George Brown, along with his wife, Rachel, and several small children, migrated to Pendleton District from the foothill country of North Carolina in the year 1805. There are no authentic records in existence to throw light upon the actual mode of travel the little family group used in making the 250 mile journey, but a tradition handed down from generation to generation indicates that their few household effects were loaded on a crude sled, such as old-time mountaineers used, and the migration effected in this manner.
That the Brown family settled in Pendleton district (which is now Anderson county) was probably not the result of a random journey in search of suitable lands for a homestead. Fifteen years earlier Arthur Gentry, a man of about the same age as George Brown, had moved to this vicinity from the Yadkin River Valley of North Carolina. There is much to indicate that the Brown and Gentry families were neighbors and friends in North Carolina, and that the decision on the part of George Brown to leave his old home and migrate to South Carolina was upon the advice and urging of Arthur Gentry.
That the Gentry and Brown families seem to have been staunch friends is further emphasized by the fact that the marriage bond of George Brown was signed by Samuel Gentry in Surry County, N. C.
Excerpt from The Story Of An Old Hollow Stump – The Beginning Of Us
by Mrs. J. P. Coe, Great granddaughter of Isom Brown)
The little excerpt above is just a sample of the 21-page document I downloaded. I just wanted to post this little bit and talk about it for a moment. Sometimes we read something so fast that we don’t always get the full meaning of it all. Just these few words here contain so much. Could you imagine what it would have been like to make a move such as this in 1805? Now imagine it with several small children. 250 miles!
Moving with just a crude sled with “their few household effects” tells me that they were probably not a very well-to-do family. Now, I could be mistaken but “few” doesn’t sound like something someone who has a lot of stuff would have. Of course, they could have been very well off and just sold everything that could be replaced and carried only that which they needed.
Another interesting fact is that the story seems to be that George’s friend was a big influence on him moving. There must have been a promise of something better for him to leave where he was, especially with several little children. I know for sure that George and Rachel had lived here for at least 17 years because they were married in 1788.
In a way, I can relate to George and Rachel. In 2010 my wife and I packed up and headed from Texas to North Carolina with our 2 daughters. The only thing waiting for us was my son, daughter-in-law and my 1 year old grandson. When we got here we were pretty much broke and I was fortunate to find a job the second day I was here. We’ve known what it feels like to leave everything and start over completely in a place that is foreign to us. Things have worked out well for us and we have made it fairly well here. We aren’t rich but we are surviving, just like George and Rachel did.
Isn’t it strange how 200 years separate us but we can still relate to each other?