Settlements along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina

Jeannette Holland Austin
2 min readApr 4, 2022
Cape Fear River

Cumberland County began as a settlement in the Upper Cape Fear Valley between 1729 and 1736 by European emigrants known as Highland Scots. The Cape River was a major transportation center, and ferries and the like began to crop updating from the 1730s. In 1754, the Colonial Legislature passed an Act that resulted in the division of Bladen County, thus forming Cumberland County. It was named after the Duke of Cumberland (William Augustus) who commanded the English Army. Campbellton was named the County seat in 1778. In 1783 Campbellton was renamed Fayetteville in honor of Marquis De La Fayette, a French general that served in the American Colonies Revolutionary Army.

In order to facilitate the search for Revolutionary War Soldiers, the researcher requires records during that time period. Luckily, we have found old tax records dating from 1777 to 1783.


Note: The names in these lists are alphabetical by each district and include the number of acres and details such as the adjoining area. It is helpful to view the tax records, and to follow the ancestor for each year, noting the acreage, etc. This information helps to determine the approximate year of death. And subsequent years help to define different amounts of acreage, as it is divided among the heirs. Look for the same surname, and write down the amount of acreage.

  • 1777–1783
  • 1824–1829

Old Wills and Estates

In addition, images of old wills and estates are available on NorthCarolinaPioneers (part of 8 genealogy websites) dating from 1761 to 1895.

Images of Cumberland County from the “Loose” Wills and Estates Collection, 1761 to 1895

Cumberland County, NC Records

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription.