- Between 1748 and 1752, Orange County North Carolina grew from “not quite 20 taxables” to a population of approximately 4,000 people.
- First found record for the Orange County McFarlands (aka the hidden MacGregor MacFarlands) is 1755 when William McFarland is on an Orange County, Tax Roll.
- These McFarlands are believed to have been born in the period between 1750 and 1755 although specific location is not specified: William (Jr?) 1750, Peter 1751, Thomas 1751, William Thomas 1752 (same as Thomas?), Walter (Walker?) 1753, Peter 1753.
- No McFarlands (aka hidden MacGregors) in the area which would become Orange County (Granville, Edgecomb, Bertie, Chowan, Ablemarle) in the period 1664 to 1750.
- The search for parents or William McFarland (married Keziah) will find them wherever William was born about 1731.
- Two possibilities are Pennsylvania and nearby Virginia.
- Pennsylvania – There were grants along the Hyco River in what became northern Orange County in 1748, and along the Dan River, the Hogan Creek, and County Line Creek in 1751. In what became central Orange County, grants on the Eno River were entered for the year 1751. Governor Gabriel JOHNSTON reported that settlers were flocking in, mostly from Pennsylvania. The Eno community, about seven miles north of Hillsborough, was the most distinctly Scots-Irish settlement in the county. The Scots-Irish also lived east of the Haw River.They also settled in the area east of the Haw River and in the Little River and New Hope Creek sections. From the middle colonies came families of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians as well as German Lutherans. Members of both groups followed the same course of migration, traveling southward down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, through the Roanoke Gap in western Virginia, and on into the Yadkln River Valley of North Carolina. From there some moved eastward into Orange County making homes along Hyco Creek and the Eno and the Haw rivers.
Sources: http://www.carolana.com/NC/Counties/orange_county_nc.html, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncalaman/early.html, http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/surveyreports/orangecountysurveypubmanuscript-1996.pdf
8. Virginia – English immigrants from VA settled in northern Orange along the Hico River and County Line Creek.
The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road through Virginia, North Carolina, and on to Georgia was the main road that thousands of Scots Irish who landed in Philadelphia used to spread southward to settle that back country including the North Carolina Piedmont and especially to our search that portion that was Granville County and then Orange County. The map here is a 1751 map by Fry and Jefferson sourced from Wikimedia (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Kitfry-1-.jpg )with the route superimposed as crooked red line. Place names and arrow in red were added later for this post. This is one of the possible routes of our ancestors into Orange County. Possibilities are that they made the trip from Pennsylvania straight to North Carolina or perhaps briefly settled in some of the Virginia counties in the valley along the way..