Monday, November 1, 2010

Research Barrier Breakthroughs, No. 1, Part 2

The Case of Too Many Isaacs

Regimental Histories

Starting out with the reference in Jeffrey Crow’s The Black Experience in Revolutionary North Carolina that Isaac Carter of Craven County enlisted in 1777, was taken prisoner, and was discharged in 1780, I began looking for information on the 8th North Carolina Regiment. 

In all there were three regiments which had enlisted men from New Bern:

No. Companies
Districts Enlisted
2nd North Carolina
Fall 1775
Salisbury, Edenton,
New Bern
November 15, 1783
5th North Carolina
Spring 1776
New Bern, Edenton, Hillsborough
January 1, 1781
8th North Carolina
Spring 1776, Halifax
New Bern, Wilmington
June 1, 1779, Valley Forge, PA

The 7th, 8th and 9th Regiments were authorized on September 16, 1776,  assigned to the Southern Department of the Continental Army, and joined the Main Army during the spring of 1777. . . just in time for the march north to embark on the Philadelphia Campaign. 

Revolutionary War Pension 
and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files
The next place I looked was the Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications, published by the National Genealogical Society, 1966. Three Isaac Carters were listed:

Isaac Carter, Mass., Priscilla, W1023
Isaac Carter, N.C. S8147
Isaac Carter, N.C., Charity, W4912
In order for a Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant to be granted, the applicant had to give an oral account of their residence and a recollection of their military service. The questions their testimony was required to satisfy were:

1. where they were born,
2. record of age,
3. where they were living when called into service,
4. how they were called into service: drafted, a substitute, and if a substitute for whom.

Then a witness gave a sworn statement, verifying that this was indeed the man.

The first Isaac Carter, Mass. W1023, was immediately eliminated because his residence at the time of enlistment was in Massachusetts.
The second Isaac Carter, N.C. S8147 was not our Isaac either. The following was taken from his original testimony:
"I was living in Cumberland County, North Carolina and remained there nearly three years after the Close of the War, then moved to South Carolina, Orangeburgh District and lived there until the spring of 1810, then moved to the State of Mississippi (then a territory), Pike county where I now live."

This Isaac Carter never lived in Craven County, North Carolina, so he was eliminated as being our Isaac.

The third Isaac Carter was deceased in 1843 when his widow, Charity Carter, appeared before Justice Jas Bridgus. In her testimony she states that she is the widow of. . .
". . . Isaac Carter who was a private soldier in Captain Welshes company of the 8th regiment of the continental line in the Revolutionary War and enlisted on the 1st of September 1777 for the term of three years, that he was taken prisoner on the 1st of June 1779 and discharged the 14th of February 1780. The said Isaac Carter being a citizen of the county of Gates and aforesaid state during his service in the revolutionary war. She further states that she was married to the said Isaac Carter in the county of Gates in the year 1781 in which county they continued to line until the year 1803 when they moved to the county of Edgecomb where they resided together as man and wife up to the time of the death of Isaac Carter which occurred the 26th of August 1829..."
This is what the actual document looks like:
HeritageQuest Online - Revolutionary War Print

This third Isaac Carter was the one whom both Heinegg and Crow identified as 
being of a Craven County household of 5 in 1790. 
Looking at the 1790 Census Index I found four (4) Isaac Carters:
1. Isaac Carter, Craven County, 5 Free Persons of Color
2. Isaac Carter, Gates County, white with 2 slaves
3. Isaac Carter, Hertford County, white without slaves
4. Isaac Carter, Hertford County, white with 23 slaves.

The first Isaac Carter is ours, but none of the military records for men serving in the North Carolina Continental Line were for our Isaac.

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census
The 1840 Census was the first to record whether the enumerated person was a Pensioner for Revolutionary or Military Services. 

There were 49 Isaac Carters enumerated in the United States in that year, and 7 of them resided in North Carolina.

Of the Isaac Carters recorded in the 1790 Census, only one Isaac from Hertford County and our Isaac enumerated on the South Side of the Neuse River in Craven County are recorded among the 49 in 1840. 
You will see that the person who transcribed the enumeration made an error by recording his name as "Isaac Castin." Transcription errors are common, especially when dealing with  penmanship which is difficult to read. But this is the a copy of the 1840 enumeration of the 4th Isaac Carter listed above for the 1790 Census. I can identify him as the second Isaac from Hertford County because he was a white slave holder.

This Isaac Carter, although his name is transcribed as "Isaac Castin," is our Isaac. There are 6 Free Colored Persons living in the household along the South Side of the Neuse River, Craven County, NC; however, this Isaac is not recorded as a pensioner.

At this point I felt that perhaps our Isaac Carter never served in the Revolutionary War. . . or did he?

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900, available at both HeritageQuest Online and

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