Reference Materials Caswell County Historical Association


Set forth below is an uncategorized list of reference materials that should assist anyone interested in the history of Caswell County and North Carolina. Eventually, we will sort the references into approprotate categories. If you have suggestions for this list, please send them to the CCHA. If you would like to donate reference materials to the CCHA or the Gunn Memorial Public Library, please contact the CCHA.
  • When the Past Refused to Die--A History of Caswell County 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977)
    • An In-Depth History of the First 200 Years of Caswell County, North Carolina
    • Available for Purchase from the Caswell County Historical Association
    • See Publications for Sale
  • An Inventory of Historic Architecture--Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979)
    • A Companion Publication to William S. Powell's History of Caswell County
    • This Fascinating Book Inventories the Significant Architecture of Caswell County
    • Includes 367 Photographs
    • Available for Purchase from the Caswell County Historical Association
    • See Publications for Sale
  • Gatewood--Facing the White Canvas, David Caspers and Carlyle Poteat (2004)
    • In this revealing documentary, Yanceyville's own Maud Gatewood gives us the insight into the determination and creative process that have led to her becoming one of the most admired painters to emerge from the American South.
    • Available on VHS or DVD from the CCHA
    • See Publications for Sale
  • The Heritage of Caswell County North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985)
No longer in print but occasionally available in used book stores and through Internet vendors.
  • Thomas Day: African American Furniture Maker, Rodney Barfield and Patricia Marshall
African American master cabinetmaker Thomas Day (1801-1861), of Caswell County, North Carolina, had an outstanding career and achieved remarkable social standing during the state’s antebellum period. Day, a free black who lived in the Dan River town of Milton, was educated, owned property and slaves, ran a successful business that made furniture for some of the state’s most prosperous white citizens, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Milton. This paperback examines several aspects of Day’s notable life and career. Pp. 69, illus., index. Available From: NC Historical Publications Shop
  • Caswell County 1777-1877: Historical Abstract of Minutes, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976)
Compiled by Katharine Kerr Kendall. Index by Mary Frances Kerr Donaldson. (Reprint, 1977). Abstracts containing references to county buildings, courthouses, jails, poor houses, and the public well; names of county officials and road overseers; references to wars or veterans of wars; samples of tax rates, tavern rates, and salaries; and county expenditures. Dedication, foreword, conclusion, index. Pp. v, 182. Sometimes Available From: NC Historical Publications Shop
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1989) [Out of Print]
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books 1817-1840, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1992)
Abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall. Includes land transfers, deeds of slaves and personal property, powers of attorney, divisions of land to legatees, and migration of inhabitants. Introduction, abbreviations, index. Pp. iv, 364. (1992). Sometimes Available From: NC Historical Publications Shop
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1977)
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981)
Caswell County, North Carolina was created from Orange County in 1777, and is today adjacent to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Mrs. Kendall has abstracted all 5,700 extant marriage bonds for Caswell County from 1778, the date of the earliest bond, to 1868, when North Carolina changed the requirements of its marriage law. Each entry herein identifies the bride and groom, the date of the bond, and the name of the bondsman or witness. Contains a name index to brides, grooms, bondsmen, witnesses, and other persons named in the bonds.
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1979)
  • Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1979)
  • Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1843-1868 (Guardians' Accounts 1848-1868), Katharine Kerr Kendall (1986)
Abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall. Index by Mary Frances Kerr Donaldson. Paperbound abstracts of will books and guardians’ accounts. Also includes estate inventories, accounts, sales, settlements, divisions, and reports of various county officers and commissions. Addition material includes selected lists of marriages and deaths from newspapers (1840-1868); business directory listings for 1867-1868; an index to will abstracts; an index of states, counties, towns, streams; and an index concerning slaves. Foreword, abbreviations, indexes. Pp. iv, 212. (1986). Sometimes Available From: NC Historical Publications Shop
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Records 1778-1876, Frances T. Ingmire (1984)
  • Caswell County, North Carolina Tax Lists 1777, 1780, & 1784, T.L.C. Genealogy
  • Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (Six Volumes), William S. Powell, Editor (1979-1996)
  • North Carolina Through Four Centuries, William S. Powell (1989)
  • The North Carolina Experience: An Interpretive and Documentary History, Lindley S. Butler and Alan D. Watson (1984)
  • The Way We Lived in North Carolina, Joe A. Mobley, Editor (2003)
  • The North Carolina Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places, William S. Powell (1968)
  • State Census of North Carolina 1784-1787, Mrs. Alvaretta Kenan Register (1971)
  • 1820 Federal Census North Carolina (Supplemented with Tax Lists), Dorothy Williams Potter (1974)
  • Abstracts of Letters of Resignations of Militia Officers in North Carolina 1779-1840, Timothy Kearney (1992)
  • Marriage and Death Notices From Raleigh, N.C. Newspapers 1796-1826, Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. (1977)
  • A New Voyage to Carolina, John Lawson (1967)(UNC Press)(originally published 1709)
  • Colonial North Carolina: A History, Hugh T. Lefler and William S. Powell (1973)
  • History of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina, William Byrd (1929)
  • The American Indian in North Carolina, Douglas L. Rights (John F. Blair, Publisher, 1957)
  • The Trading Path to the Indians, Douglas L. Rights, North Carolina Historical Review, Volume VIII, page 403 (1931)
  • North Carolina and the Coming of the Civil War, William C. Harris (1988)
  • Sherman's March through North Carolina--A Chronology, Wilson Angley, Jerry L. Cross, and Michael Hill (1995)
  • My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery, Belinda Hurmence, Editor (1984) (Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves)
  • Refugees From Slavery: Autobiographies of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, Benjamin Drew, Editor (1969)
  • Narrative of My Escape From Slavery, Moses Roper (1838, 2003) [Moses Roper was born in Caswell County.]
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs (2001)
  • All the Forgotten Places, Hunter James (1981)
  • The Early Architecture of North Carolina, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Thomas T. Waterman (1941) (University of North Carolina Press)
  • A History of North Carolina Baptists, 1727-1932, M. A. Higgins
  • Yanceyville Presbyterian Church: Early History of the Church, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) [Out of Print]
  • From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill (Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina), Millard Quentin Plumblee (1984)
  • At the Foot of the Lake: The Pattillo-Patillo Family and Allied Lines, Millard Quentin Plumblee (1987)
Available for Purchase from the Caswell County Historical Association. See Publications for Sale
  • Their Highest Potential--An African American School Community in the Segregated South, Vanessa Siddle Walker (1996)
  • Graves—Twelve Generations (Some Descendants and Kin (1608-1977), Louise Graves (1977)
  • Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1625, Annie Lash Jester and Martha Woodroof Hiden (1956)
  • Burton: Our Caswell County, North Carolina, Ancestry, Margaret Burton Woods (1978) [Out of Print]
  • The Dennis and Tennison families of Caswell County, North Carolina, Sue Green (1994) [Out of Print]
  • Soil Survey of Caswell County, North Carolina, W. Edward Hearn (1910) [Out of Print]
  • Josias and Michael Dickson: Lunenburg County, VA, and Caswell County, NC, Gordon Burns Smith (2003) [Out of Print]
  • Historical Sketch of the Country Line Baptist Church, W. J. Berry (1975) [Out of Print]
  • Piedmont Plantation, Jean Bradley Anderson (1985) (History of the Bennehan-Cameron Family and Lands in North Carolina)
  • North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster (Limited Reprint Edition), North Carolina Office of Archives and History
As one of its projects to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, the North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission initiated, and the North Carolina Office of Archives and History has continued, the compilation and publication of a new, comprehensive roster of all North Carolinians who served during the war. Published under the title of North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, this series, when completed, will comprise eighteen individually indexed volumes, each of which will be approximately 600 pages in length and contain the names and service records of approximately 7,000 soldiers. A nineteenth volume, a master index to the entire series, will list the names of approximately 125,000 military personnel and the volumes and pages on which their service records appear. Go to: NC Historical Publications Shop.
  • Green Leaf and Gold: Tobacco in North Carolina, Jerome E. Brooks (1997)
  • The First State University: A Pictorial History of The University of North Carolina, William S. Powell (1972)
  • Kirk's Raiders: A Notorious Band of Scoundrels and Thieves, Matthew Bumgarner (2000)
  • A Fool's Errand: A Novel of the South During Reconstruction, Albion W. Tourgee (1879)
  • North Carolina: A History (New Preface and Concluding Chapter), William S. Powell (1977, 1988)
  • An Appeal to Caesar [The Negro Problem], Albion W. Tourgee (1884)
  • Carpetbagger's Crusade: The Life of Albion Winegar Tourgee, Otto H. Olsen (1965)
  • Dead and Gone: Classic Crimes of North Carolina, Manly Wade Wellman (1990) [Includes the Murder of John W. Stephens]
  • North Carolina Slave Narratives, William L. Andrews, General Editor (2005) [Includes Moses Roper]
  • Report of Research on The Lea Family in Virginia & North Carolina Before 1800, Ben L. Rose (1984)
This well-researched 158-page book is a must for those researching the Lea family in Caswell and Person Counties. Ben L. Rose, himself a Lea descendant, has done a masterful job unscrambling the various James, John, William, and Thomas Leas. Note that seventeen men with the surname Lea signed the petition seeking to create Caswell County (separate from Orange County), and that three of these had the given name James! While this book is believed to be out-of-print, it occasionally becomes available in used book stores and may be in local library collections.
  • Greene and Cornwallis: The Campaign in the Carolinas, Hugh F. Rankin (1976)
  • North Carolina During Reconstruction, Richard L. Zuber (1969)
  • Agriculture in North Carolina Before the Civil War, Cornelius O. Cathey (1966)
  • Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers, Ninth Edition, Michael Hill, Editor (2001)
  • The North Carolina Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places, William S. Powell (1968)
  • A History of African Americans in North Carolina, Jeffrey J. Crow, Paul D. Escott, Flora J. Hatley (1992)
  • Alexander Rose of Person County North Carolina and His Descendants, Ben Lacy Rose (1979)
While this most-excellent work does cover a Person County family, the history of that family is much intertwined with Caswell County. The Rose patriarch of the book's title, Alexander Rose (c. 1738-1807), married Eunice Lea, daughter of Captain William Lea and brother of John Lea, both early settlers of Caswell County. Moreover, Alexander Rose's son Duncan married the daughter of Reverend Hugh McAden, minister at Red House Presbyterian Church in Semora, Caswell County. Accordingly, the book is a valuable reference for anyone researching the history of Caswell County. While it is believed to be out-of-print, it is available in many libraries and does appear for sale from time to time in used book stores.
  • Historical Sketch of Connally United Methodist Church Near Milton, North Carolina, Caswell County: Organized 1821, Ophelia Barker, Editor (1969)
  • Caswell County in the World War 1917-1918, George A. Anderson (1921)
  • A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont, North Carolina, Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern (2003)
  • Dead-End Road, Deborah F. Brown (2004)
This book may be more aptly entitled, "Another Brown vs. Board of Education". It captures the historical, educational, and political events surrounding Jasper Brown and his struggles to integrate the public schools in Caswell County, North Carolina. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Jasper Brown, a God-fearing man, husband, father, and community leader, took a bold stand in pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality of education for his four children and other black children living in Caswell County. Starting in 1956, jasper, and other freedom lovers, through the auspices of the Caswell County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), sought desegregation of the Caswell County School System. After exhausting all administrative means to integrate the schools, Brown and others filed a lawsuit and embarked upon a bitter court battle. Six years later, the Federal 4th Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ordered Caswell County officials to integrate the public schools. On January 22, 1963, the first day of school integration, Jasper shot two white men in self-defense and was arrested to stand trial. Ebony and Newsweek magazines ran stories about the shooting. During the trial, the late Honorable Thurgood E. Marshall assisted with Brown's defense. Although the challenge to segregation in Caswell County was successful, Brown and his family suffered humiliation, degradation, financial loss, and even threats to their lives. Yet, through it all, Jasper Brown and his family held fast to their faith and trust in God that His justice would prevail.
  • Dead and Gone: Classic Crimes of North Carolina, Manly Wade Wellman (1954)
  • Confederate Soldiers of Pittsylvania County and Danville, Mike K. Williams ( )
  • William Louis Poteat: Prophet of Progress, Suzanne Cameron Linder (1966)
  • Burton Chronicles of Colonial Virginia, Francis Burton Harrison (1933)
  • North Carolina Taxpayers 1679-1790, Clarence Ratcliffe (2002)
  • Robert Graves of Anson County, N.C., and Chesterfield County, S.C., Ancestors and Descendants, Kenneth Vance Graves ( )
  • The Stamps Family History and Lineage, William T. Stamps ( )
  • Bright Leaf, Foster Fitz-Simmons ( )
  • The Early Architecture of North Carolina, Thomas Waterman (1941)
  • Sunset Views (In Three Parts), Bishop O. P. Fitzgerald (1900)
  • California Sketches, O. P. Fitzgerald (1879)
  • California Sketches: Second Series, O. P. Fitzgerald (1891)
  • Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, John H. Wheeler (1884)
This older reference contains a chapter on Caswell County with brief descriptions of Richard Caswell, Bartlett Yancey, Romulus Saunders, Bedford Brown, Robert Williams, Calvin Graves, Jacob Thompson, John Kerr, and others. While out-of-print for many years, reprints occasionally are found through used book sellers.
  • The James Sprunt Historical Publications (Vol. 10, No. 2), J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton and Henry McGilbert Wagstaff, Editors (1911)
This reference contains articles on Bartlett Yancey, Jr. by George A. Anderson and J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, and a collection of letters written to Bartlett Yancey. The book was published by the The University of North Carolina Press and can be found from time to time in bookstores in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, area and through internet book brokers.
  • The Guilford County Literary and Historical Association, Vol. 1, Various Authors (1908)
This reference contains articles on people important to the history of Guilford County, North Carolina. Of particular interest to students of the history of Caswell County are the segments on Archibald Murphey and Bartlett Yancey, Jr..
  • The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America, Wyn Craig Wade (2005)
History of the Ku Klux Klan.


  • Caswell County Books
  • Gunn Memorial Public Library
  • North Carolina State Archives
  • Dictionary of North Carolina Biography
  • The North Carolina Collection
  • Southern Historical Collection
  • Tobacco and Slave Ledger
  • History of the Chain (Surveying)

  • This is only a partial uncategorized list of the many excellent reference materials covering Caswell County and the State of North Carolina. If you have suggestions for this list, please submit them to the CCHA.

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