NC has an on line series called MARS (Manuscript Archival Retrival System or something like this is what it means). This provides on line entry to the NC Records and many times has copies of the actual record on line where one can see it. Others are sort of indexed in enough detale to provide enough information to help one tell if they might want to try and get the original if they can't pull it up on line. There are two MARS systems one OLD other NEW where the OLD one carries mostly OLD land records and the NEW one has a little of everything on it.
I had a link but it is not working so have been trying to find a new link to it. You can search 'MARS NC' and then you should get a link to it.
As far as the history of America goes it pays to know the events around where ones ancestors came throught to understand why they may have moved as they did in America.
History carries the Harrell may have come to America under John Harrell born about 1650 in England and most likely he had at least two sons with him possibly three. Also chances are John was related to a Thomas Harrell of England a clerk in the church but not sure how they related but it could account for his coming to America around 1700. Some say John had at least ten sons but if this so believe this by at least two more likely three wives with first wife wed in England and possibly the others all America. We must assume he had also daughters between sons so most likely he had at least two wives. Most likely one wife was born in England and early children born there while later a second wife had children in America.
Early Harrell Family History goes to four Harrell in America these possibly:
1) Thomas of Nansemond 1755 got lands, also in 1802 he shows up on a deed with a wife Martha so figure him a son or next generation not the elder Thomas bought land 1755 thus assume him at least 16 so born in 1739 fitting dates of the other four noted.
2) Francis of Bertie 1759 will made 1763 proved got lands as early as 1721 Nansemond later 1731 to 1734 sold this Chowen Co Bertie Pricinct. Since first bought land in 1721 assume him born in 1705 at age 16 or as early as 1700 if 21.
3) John of Wayne Co will 1793 NC recorded only Darlington SC 1803 possibly died 1830 or 1837 in NC but was still living in 1816 in SC). His son Elisha wed about 1804 to an Elizabeth in GA and he served in both American Revolution and possibly War 1812. Son Spencer was a Justice Peace in old Craven Co SC area left will Marion SC 1846. Son John may have taken up as surveyor in 1809 after father and continued to do so until as late as 1822 also may have been the John killed in 1837 in NC. The elder John of Wayne if was pulling survey chains in NC in 1755 can assume him born in about 1740 at age 15 which would be a good age for him to be helping a surveyor work a selected area, as was often common for locals to provide assistance to help do the survey work and these were often sons of locals gettings lands, sort of to help pay him for doing the surveys.
4) Jacob of SC will 1787 made and proved in Charleston but held lands on Wassamassaw Swamp. Most assume he was born about 1734 as he picks up lands as early as 1755 in NC and by 1770 is picking up lands in SC just across the line or in areas line adjusted in later or about this time.
My guess is these were all four brothers as early history assumes. Thomas line settled mainly NC VA -- Francis line stayed around Albemarle Sound -- John line move southwest to Anson NC Craven SC area -- Jacob line moved sought toward Savannah GA which early on was part of the Carolinas and settled as early as 1700 up to Augusta GA.
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