Petition from the Inhabinants of Granville County, 1771

4 June 2007

Today's post is about the transcription of a petition that was filed with the General Assembly in 1771. The petition was "rejected or not acted on" and was from citizens in Granville County who opposed a new law that required a tax paid on all wives of free Black citizens (unless the wife was a slave). Many of the signers I know to be free Blacks, but others are either white or unknown to me as of yet. Click the link above for the petition itself

A few comments on the names:

  1. The following a free Blacks that I'm currently/actively researching:
    • Gibea Chavis (see the previous post for a land deed of his)
    • Benjamin Bass
    • Lewis Anderson
    • Davie Mircholl (this should be Mitchell)
    • Wiliam Chavis
    • Edward Bass
    • Rubin Bass (often spelled Reuben)
    • Lawrence Pettiford (sometimes speclled Laurence or Larrance and surnames variations include Petiford, Pettyford, and Petitford))
  2. The following names are probably free Blacks, but I do not have enough information on them:
    • Thomas, John, and William Head
    • James and Ison Caudill
    • George Fagan (I've come across this surname many times in connection to free Blacks in NC, but nothing definite one way or another. There was a line of free Blacks surnamed Fagan in VA and George could be a descendant))
    • Charles and Henry Spaulding (Spaulding is a surname I see a lot in connection with free Blacks in NC)
    • Samuel Huckaby
    • John Gwin (this could be John Gowen)
    • Humphrey Davis
    • John Harris (both Davis and Harris are surnames of whites and free Blacks in Granville County. I don't know about these two individuals)
    • Agula Snele (This is actually Aquila Snell or Aquila Snelling. I've seen Aquila, both as Snell and Snelling, mentioned numerous times in connection with free Blacks in Granville County, and Aquila Snelling most likely married into the Chavis family according to research done by Paul Heinegg. Chavis, person #15, child v.))


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DWilliams said on June 22, 2007 at 6:00 PM
It's interesting that you mention this 1771 Petition, because it has been something I have looked at quite a lot over the years, too. I have interests in several of the names on the list, but this is the first time that I have actually heard from anyone else that they thought that the 2 CAUDILLs were probably black. It is something I have been trying to determine myself for some time because my 3rd ggrandather was JOHN HAYWOOD CORDLE/CAUDLE who was born in 1821 Warren Co., listed as a free mulatto in all of the census records. There are no records of any CAUDLE/CORDLE/CAUDILL, etc. in Warren Co. prior to 1850 when my ggrandfather first appears living with his EVANS in-laws, yet I have found that all of the people of color with the surname found in Warren & the surrounding counties afterwards, were all descended from JOHN H. CAUDLE & MARY POLLY EVANS. I wonder if you have found anything else the 2 CAUDILLs in the 1771 Petition?

Erin Bradford said on une 23, 2007 at 1:14 PM
Unfortunately, I have no information on these specific individuals, but I've seen the Caudill surname in conjuntion with a lot of the Chavis and Bass family papers throughout my research, usually as a witness bondsman in a marriage, that type of thing. I'll try and do some digging on them, but it could be a while since I'm still in school and the next session of summer classes starts in 2 days.

Anonymous said on September 18, 2007 at 9:56 PM
I am the gggrandchild of Jhon Haywood caudle and Polly Evans. My Granddaddy was Samuel Caudle and great granddaddy was Limuel Caudle who is listed as Indian in Hollister/Halifax County.I wanted to correct you it was listed as mulatoo because they were black and Indian mixed bloods because of the quadroon law (Jim Crow Law)for census during that time they did not list anyone of black ancestry as Indian but mulatto. There are two different sets of Caudles and both are related to Jhon Haywood Caudle but all are of Indian ancestry.

Hotchocolett said on February 17, 2008 at 12:05 AM
Hello Erin,
My name is Paulette Pettiford. I am a direct descendant of Lawrence Pettiford. I am African American. A few mbrs of my family along with myself have traced our roots back extensively. Im sitting watching this documentary called African American African Lives 2. So I typed the name Pettiford again and came across you. Can I ask why you would research my family? Cant wait to hear back from you.

Anonymous said on June 6, 2008 at 12:33 AM
Hi, I am a descendent of the channel family that were slaves on somerset plantation. My grat great grand father was purchased by the pettigrews in their travel- I am trying to connect it all thanks

Anonymous said on January 19, 2009 at 8:16 PM
Erin I am from Terre Haute In it is in Vigo County. My people migrated from Gandville county Nc in the 1830 and 1840. My Great great grandfathers names were Lewis and Jeremiah Anderson. They both homesteaded land in Vigo county in 1835 and 1838. By 1889 Jeremiah had 812 acres which he divided among his heirs. One of them was my Great Grandmother Omey Anderson Tyler They established schools and Churches In Lost Creek Township Vigo county In. Other family names were Archers,Chavis,Roberts,Stewart,Trevans, Tyler and Pettiford. I have learned that the Andersons were some the first free blacks in Grandvile County. I now live in Charlotte and would like any information you give me. Russell Tyler redmon1937 (at)

Anonymous said on May 25, 2009 at 10:06 PM
Hi- I am a member of the Channel Family of Somerset Plantation- ancestors- James and Angeline Bennett Channel- Trying to find the original ancestors and the true origin of the Channel name- thanks-

Anonymous said on November 18, 2011 at 2:58 PM
It's great what your doing, defining the stages of family history, wating on your corrospondence of New Bern, Craven County. Mike Bell

Erin Bradford said on December 5, 2011 at 8:57 AM
Mike Bell - I cannot find any messages from you. Can you please try to email me again?

ironmen808 said on June 1, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Erin, I'm looking for Joesph Patterson was he a free black He is definitely from Granville

ironmen808 said on June 1, 2013 at 10:22 PM
I'm looking for Joesph Patterson, i believe he was a free black

ironmen808 said on June 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM
looking for joesph pattersn, he was defintely from granville, i hink he was a free black

MDS said on July 1, 2019 at 6:36 PM
Do you know more from your research about the Roberts that appear on this list?

Erin Bradford said on April 11, 2021 at 10:57 AM
Unfortunately, I had some serious health issues since 2013 that has put a big damper on my research, so no, I haven't yet.