Membership in the distinguished Order of the First Families of North Carolina requires having an ancestor who lived in North Carolina before it became a royal colony on July 12, 1729. The work at hand–-the first in a series–-proposes to describe the genealogy of the organization's qualifying ancestors. Undertaken with the blessings of the Order of the First Families, most of Mr. Brayton’s genealogies follow the ancestor's family for a full first and second generation, down to the fourth, with drop-charts describing descent to members.
The ancestors in Volume 1 are: John Alston, Sr., of Chowan Co., NC; William Bennett of Northampton Co.; John and James Drake of Bertie County, NC, and John Collins; Governor William Drummond; Nathaniel Everett of Tyrell Co.; William Bridgers, John Cotton, Osborne and Simon Jeffreys; Captain John Speir, William Whitehead; Benjamin Laker of Perquimans Co, NC.; John Mann II; Thomas Mann II; Dr. Godfrey Spruill; Ann Walker; Henry Norman I and II; and Thomas Vinson of Surry Co., VA and Northampton Co., NC.
Spanning over 600 pages, Volume 1 exhibits John Brayton's usual fastidious approach to family history. The author documents all his sources, chapter by chapter, and includes abstracts and transcriptions of the original documents supporting his findings. The introduction includes a learned essay that explains the particular problems posed by the sources for documenting each qualifying ancestry. Inclusive of a full name index, place index, slave index, registry of ancestors, and a current bibliography, this inaugural volume refers to over 17,000 ancestors and their descendants. Destined to stand alongside John Dorman’s impeccable Adventurers of Purse and Person, its Virginia counterpart, the Order of First Families of North Carolina, Registry of Ancestors, is must reading for anyone interested in the genealogical origins of the Tarheel State.
Paperback, 666 pp., (2005) Reprint 2008