Thursday, September 3, 2009

Marrowbone and Buffalo

A recent email to David Southern:

Here are two other maps that show Back Creek and Haw Creek. You have probably seen them both before. One is Jeffreys 1775 map of VA with northern part of NC. The other is a transcipt of some old document probably done by W. D. Bennett. Taken together these two maps and the one you mailed clearly show that Back Creek's old name was Marrowbone River. They also show that Haw Creek was once Buffalo(e) Creek/Branch.

Jeffreys 1775
The Jeffreys Map (1775).

Jeffreys shows Jumping Run right below Haw Creek/Buffalo Branch, but that appears to be an error. It seems likely that Jumping Run is actually the east branch of Haw Creek and some surveyor assumed that it flowed into the Haw River on its own. New River, shown at the bottom of Jeffreys, is of course Cane Creek. But Jeffreys also shows some major errors such as the location of the Haw-Alamance confluence and far worse, he has the Neuse River flowing almost due south from the mouth of the Little River. But Eno, Little and Flat are basically correct. McGowan's Creek is shown as Wadcush River, which is a name I have heard before.

Meanwhile, the 1763 plat shows Island Creek just below Haw/Buffalo Creek. Island Creek appears to be Meadow Creek. Below that is Rockey Run, which from its position on the map would seem to be near Motes Creek. The 1893 Spoon Map of Alamance shows Rocky Run as the first tributary from the east immediately below Motes Creek. On the 1763 plat, Cane Creek is clearly doubly labeled as also being New River.

Alston Quarter 1763 small
The 1763 Plat

So, here's the conclusion

Back Creek was definitely Marrowbone River.
Haw Creek was definitely Buffalo Creek (cf ODB 4, pg 290).
The eastern fork of Haw Creek was probably Jumping Run.
Meadow Creek was probably once Island Creek.
Rockey Run is still the name of the first tributary on the east below Motes Creek.
Cane Creek was definitely New River.

I am not sure there is any new information there, but I thought I would write it down so that it could at least be corrected if some of it is wrong. Please let me know if that matches your interpretation.


There are at least two more maps of the area that rea notable. First,
Cowley-Moseley 1737
The 1737 Cowley-Moseley map shows Marrowbone River, Buffalo Creek, Jumping Run, New River, Wadcush Creek and Aramanchy River, just about as Jeffreys did 38 years later (no doubt copied). Moseley was one of the original land grantees in the Haw Fields as compensation for his role in surveying the VA/NC border. No wonder then that he shows so much detail in the vicinty of Haw Fields.

The second map is from 1747:
Bowen 1747
This map does not label the streams near the Haw Fields, but it does show them in quite some detail and almost identically to the Crowley-Moseley map.

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