The early migration pattern of many families that ended up in Big Fork fascinated me. The primary ones that I researched were the Bates, Goss, Edwards, Abernathy, Vandivier, Turner, and Smith families And it's very possible that the same migration pattern applies to many other Big Fork families.
Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were places of early colonies and they border each other. People from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. started their new life in America in these states. Many of our Big Fork families started in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania before moving into the Carolinas and on to Georgia or Tennessee. Here are a few:
John Bates immgrated from England and came to Virginia in 1623.
John Goss was born in Virginia in 1628 and he and his son, William, are thought to be the beginning of the Goss family.
Alfred E. Edward was born in 1791 in Virginia. His father is thought to be Richard Edwards.
Robert Abernathy II, born in 1656 in Virginia is thought to be the progenitor of the Abernathy family.
Isaac Dilbeck, from the Netherlands, is thought to be the first progenitor of Dilbecks in America and came in 1683 to Pennsylvania.
William Turner was born about 1724 in Maryland and his descendants would later marry into the Goss and Smith families of Big Fork.
James Standridge, born in Maryland, had a descendant who married into the Goss family. This Standridge family also lived in South Carolina and Georgia.
From Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, a huge number of people moved south to North Carolina and South Carolina. Others went to Tennessee, sometimes after being in South Carolina first. The flow of settlers going from Virginia to the Carolinas and on to Georgia is the one I wanted to primarily write about here. Several Big Fork families were in this huge stream of settlers and lived fairly close to each other during this migration but did they meet each other before coming to Big Fork? I mentioned this a little in the post "From Whence They Came" but would make a good subject for a future post.
Thomas Goss moved out of Virginia to North Carolina. In 1790, he moved into the far western part of South Carolina on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains called Pendleton District. Around 1800, William Bates left Virginia and also settled in Pendleton District. Many people migrated through this far western corner of South Carolina before moving on. The Vandiviers, who married into the Bates family, also lived in Pendleton District.
Next to Pendleton District was Spartanburg District where the Turners and Walkers lived. A John Dilbeck is listed in the 1790 census of Spartanburg District.
In 1808 the Abernathys were in Lincoln Co., North Carolina, about 100 miles northeast of where the Bates and Goss families lived. In 1844, they moved to Cass Co., Georgia. Dilbecks lived in Rutherford Co., North Carolina which was not far from Lincoln Co. on the west. Both counties were are the west side of North Carolina.
The Edwards family were in Chesterfield Co., South Carolina by 1814 or before. In 1825 they moved to Cobb or Cherokee Co.,Georgia. About 1834, the Stephen Bates family moved from Pendleton District, South Carolina to Cherokee Co., Georgia.
Looking through some of the Big Fork census records, here are a few surnames of those born in North Carolina: Whehunt, Aber (Abair) Cabler, Cox, Crawford, Lawrence, Masters, Walker and Abernathy. Here are those born in South Carolina: Rankin, Garmon, Dilbeck, Goss, Reed, Vandivier, Shedd, Abernathy, Bates, Crawford, Turner, Edwards, Hendrix, Bowen, Standridge and Liles. These are just a few that help us to see the general migration pattern of many early Big Fork families.
Below is a map showing the basic migration path that five families took, roughly between 1790 and 1866. The Bates family started in York Co., VA and moved to Halifax Co., VA before going to SC; the Dilbecks started from Germantown, PA. and it's thought that some may have lived in the Shenandoah Valley of VA before moving on to NC. The Goss family's original home is uncertain but Gosses were in Pennsylvania and Maryland before living in Virginia; it's interesting that a Goss had land next to a Bates family in Kent Co., VA in 1704. Gosses are found in more than one county in NC but I show them in just one which was Bertie Co. Our Gosses were also in Granville Co., NC before moving to Pendleton Dist. The Abernathys are said to have started somewhere in Maryland before moving to NC. The Edwards are said to have been somewhere in Virginia; I show a purple line for them also going to Elmore Co., Alabama because Alfred E. Edward, the progenitor of Big Fork Edwards, moved there and lived until he died in 1873. His son, Charles lived and died in Cherokee Co., GA; after he died in 1865, his family moved to Big Fork.
Click on the map for a larger view