Monday, February 15, 2010

The Harwards Keep Beckoning

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know that one of the main family lines that I research is my Howard (Harward) line. Many variations of the name exist, and it was not until the early 1900's that my direct line consistently used the spelling Howard. Harward and Harwood were the most common prior to this time. I find myself frequently using the spelling interchangeably much like my ancestors did.

I had recently taken a break from the Harward line. I had reached a brick wall and needed to step back from this family for a while so I could come back with a fresh approach. I'm back...again. Hopefully my time away from this line will give me that fresh approach and find me new answers to my questions. My first question: Where do I go from here?

Here is my Howard/Harward line in review:

My great grandfather was Connie M Howard
My great-great grandfather was Allen Suggs Howard (Harward)
My great x 3 grandfather was Caswell Suggs Harward
My great x 4 grandfather was George Harward
My great x 5 grandfather was James Harward
My great x 6 grandfather was William Harward (Howard)

It is at William that I get stuck. I have evidence of him buying land in Orange County, NC (now Wake County) in 1767. This is the earliest that I can place in Orange County, NC. Note: This area of land was on what became the Wake and Chatham County lines when those counties were formed in 1771.

There is another Harward/Harwood in the same area of NC that I have not mentioned before now. That is Absalom Harwood. He shows up in Chatham County, NC in 1772 and buys land in 1778 on the Wake and Chatham County lines next to my William. (Interestingly, both surnames are spelled Herrard in the document.)

Prior to being in Chatham and Wake Counties, Absalom was in Edgecomb Co, NC. He was the son of Joseph and Sarah Harwood. I have not been able to find any evidence of William having been in Edgecombe Co.

At this point, I have not been able to determine the relationship between William and Absalom, or if in fact there is one. It would seem that two men with such similar surnames living next to each other would be related in some way.

So, I believe I have now answered my own question:

Where do I go from here?

I need to research Absalom's line further. Both in Chatham and Wake Counties as well as back into Edgecombe Co.

So, fellow genealogists and readers, thanks for "listening" as I have begun work through my brick wall. I'll keep you posted.

PS I'm open to suggestions as well!

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