Without seeing a copy of your 1767 deed, my "educated guess" will be the Catawba River, not the South Fork of the Catawba. When I see names like Beatty, Connor, Reed, Lytle (Little), my instinct says old eastern Lincoln. I'm sure you realize by the 1840s a large Lincoln County is being carved into what is present-day Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston, and part of Cleveland counties. Your posting mentioned a Thomas Beatty. There is a Lincoln Co. will at the NC Archives for a Thomas Beatty, probated July 1787, also a Lincoln Co. estate record for him (call number is C. R. 060.508.10 for the estate). Witnesses to the will have surnames of Brotherton, Thompson, Armstrong - all names I associate with the Catawba River area - not the South Fork River area. I have no idea if this is the Thomas Beatty you are referring to.