Ancestry Search: Onslow County, NC
My Scottish ancestor left Fordell Castle in Fife, Scotland in the mid-1660s and migrated to the colonies. After several generations in Maryland, the Henderson family headed south to Onslow County on the coastal plains of southeast North Carolina. Today, this county is best known as the home of Camp Lejeune Marine Base.
In 1748, records show the first of my ancestors born in Onslow, a county only a few years old after being created in 1734. It was carved from Carteret and New Hanover Counties and named in honor of a British politician. For the next 150 years, through seven generations, my ancestors worked, lived, were born, and died in Onslow County. During the Revolutionary War, they fought to defeat the British. Land and business interests sometimes overlapped in the nearby areas of Wilmington or New Bern, but Onslow County remained a constant.
After following vague info about a land deed on NE Creek in Jacksonville, and ending up at what may have been an old quarry (I clearly have a lot more research ahead of me), we decided to move on to the quaint, historic town of Swansboro. The town has many charming, well-marked cottages, and the shops and restaurants all looked inviting but were (sadly) closed since it was a Monday. We settled for an ice cream break at the local candy shop. I left word at the Visitors’ Center for the area’s historic expert.
Advancing the ancestral clock forward from my first ancestor’s arrival in North Carolina to my birth in nearby New Bern 205 years later, I am now very curious about their lives. I know there was a substantial Scottish population in the area but have so far, failed to find out much in the way of enlightening information. So for now, it’s up to my imagination.