Julius Alford, born 4 September 1717 in New Kent, Virginia, was the youngest son of James Alford and the grandson of John Alford.[i],[ii]He was in his teens when his father died. By the time Julius was 30 he was in North Carolina with his wife, Lucy (Newton) Alford[iii]and their first child, John. He and Lucy had seven children: John Alford, Isaac Alford, Goodrich Alford, Polly Alford, Sarah Alford, Jacob Alford[iv]and Job Alford.
Like his older brothers, Lodwick and Goodrich, Julius lived in Saint Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, Virginia. His name is in the records of the parish. He was there in October 1735.[v]Also, like his brothers, Julius migrated south to North Carolina. In March 1753 he was in Granville County when he witnessed a deed for his brother, Lodwick.[vi]
The land known today as Granville County was once the home of many Indian tribes, dominated mainly by the Tuscarora. After the Tuscarora War of 1711, settlers mostly from Virginia began to populate this area, attracted by the abundant game, well-watered woods, and rich land. By 1746, the area had a population sufficiently large enough to merit becoming an independent county, separating itself from Edgecombe County’s western frontier.[vii]
Difficulties with the Tuscarora were not over. More people moved into the area. There was less land and decreasing resources. The Indians were pushed out of their home. In 1754 there was an Indian uprising “which affected the progress of the commercial life.” Governor Dobbs arrived from England and found a war in progress and the county’s “affairs in deplorable condition.” The Governor called for the militia.[viii]
Edgecombe responded, reporting 1,317 men. On Roanoke River in Bertie and Edgecombe there were still a hundred warriors of the Tuscaroras and about two hundred women and children. In Granville County on the west there were the Saporas with only fourteen men and fourteen women. The long struggle with the Indians terminated after about seventeen murders and ten or twelve captives being carried away.[ix]
Both Julius Alford and his brother, Lodwick, were a part of that militia. The brothers were a part of Colonel William Eaton’s Regiment. Their names are on the Muster Rolls dated 8 October 1754.[x],[xi]
October 1754 saw both Lodowic [sic] and Julius Alford marching and drilling as Privates in the Granville County Militia. In those days every able-bodied free man was obligated to own a rifle or musket and serve in the Militia. Judging by the trouble that the Colonies were having with raiders, especially the Indians and the Spanish privateers around the Sound, it’s probable that they saw some fighting.[xii]
Lodwick Alford sold 200 acres of land on the Tar River to his brother, Julius Alford, in 1754.[xiii]The Tar River was the major transportation in the county route for the first 200 years of European settlement. The river rises from a spring in northeastern North Carolina and flows southeast for 180 miles into the Pamlico, a wide estuary, and then into the Atlantic Ocean. At the time that Julius and Lodwick owned land on the river, many other settlers arrived and purchased land along the river with holdings ranging from 100 to 800 acres, with 350 acres being average. The pine forests along the river supplied the raw materials for naval stores. Pine tar and pitch were used on the sides and bottoms of wooden ships to make them watertight.[xiv]
County borders changed. Edgecombe County had been divided to form Granville County. In 1764 a portion of Granville County became Bute County. The county was short lived and abolished in 1779 when it was divided into Warren County and Franklin County.[xvii]
[i]National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, The Parish Register of Saint Peter’s New Kent, County, Virginia 1680-1787 [Parish Record Series, No. 2] (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc.) 73.
[v]The Vestry book of Saint Peter’s Parish, 1682-1758; New Kent County, Va., (Parish Record Series, No. 3). (1905). The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia. Reprint by Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC, 2006. Page 172.
[vii]Pam Thornton, Granville History, The Early History; Granville County Museum; (granvillemuseumnc.org/granville.html: accessed 2016).
….. 1 Julius Alford b: 04 Sept 1717 in New Kent, Virginia,d: November 1771 in Butte County, NC
….. + Lucy Newton b: 1720, d: 1790
……….. 2 John Alford b: Abt. 1747 in Butte County, North Carolina, d: Aft. 1830 in Greene, Alabama
……….. + Chloe Pope b: 1756
……….. 2 Isaac Alford b: 1748 in Butte County, NC
……….. 2 Goodrich Alford b: Abt. 1750 in NC
……….. 2 Polly Alford b: Abt. 1753 in NC
……….. 2 Sarah Alford b: Abt. 1756 in NC
……….. 2 Jacob Alford b: 15 Aug 1761 in Butte County, NC, d: 16 July 1824 in Washington Parish, LA
……….. + Elizabeth Bryant b: 20 June 1765, m: Abt. 1785 in NC, d: Abt. 1793
……….. + Frances Seaborn b: 29 Sept 1766 in Virginia, m: Abt. 1792 in Cumberland, NC, d: Abt. 1860 in Washington Parish, Louisiana
……….. 2 Job Alford b: Abt. 1763 in NC
- National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, THE PARISH REGISTER OF ST. PETER’S PARISH NEW KENT COUNTY, VIRGINIA, 1680-1787, 1904. Reprinted 1988 Heritage Books, Inc. 78
- “My Alford Heritage” by Carolyn Alford Saunders, 2005. Printed by Morgan Printing, Texas. Limited Edition.
- The Parish Register of Saint Peter’s New Kent, County, Virginia 1680-1787 (Parish Record Series, No. 2). (1904). Richmond, VA: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia: Reprint, Greenville, S.C., Southern Historical Press, Inc.