During a recent visit to the NC Archives, I came across Wake County, NC Road and Bridge Records, 1800- 1869 by Stewart E Dunaway. Recently published, this book describes original road records/petitions for a 69 year time span. Imagine my excitement when I discovered 2 generations of my ancestors listed on one of the documents. I immediately requested the original records.
This document is a petition written in July 1823 requesting a road from Orange County, NC to the meeting house in Holly Springs, Wake, NC:
“….we the undersigned petitioners request…for a road leading from the County of Orange through a part of this County [Wake] beginning and most convenient to a road in the settlement of Edward Harris thence tracing or nearly tracing an old road said by some of the old fellows said to be laid off 30 or 50 years ago leading by Luis Hopson, Joseph Barbee, Josiah Barbee, Justin Sears, ________, James Harward… to the Holly Spring Meeting House.”
The petition was then signed by 47 men including my GGGGG Grandfather James Harward and his son my GGGG Grandfather George Harward. What an incredible document that showed the neighbors living along this proposed road. James Harward is the very first signature.
I have used county court records that name road crews as a means of placing my ancestors close to their neighbors, but I had never thought to look for this type of petition. This particular petition also came with a map! Yes, I did the “happy dance” with this find.