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Research Reveals New Information on Three of Joel Lane’s Sons

Research Reveals New Information on Three of Joel Lane’s Sons—William, Thomas, and Joel Hinton. Summer 2012 intern, Ellie Isaacs, spent a great deal of time in the Archives researching Joel Lane. She discovered two land grants previously unknown to the staff at the Joel Lane Museum House.

We had been told that several of Joel’s boys had migrated to Tennessee early in the 19th century, but we didn’t know what had drawn them there. Now we have some important clues!

A land grant for Joel Lane was entered on Oct. 28, 1783 for 2,000 acres on the Duck River. The survey of that land, done on March 15, 1785, shows the land south of the Duck River and with Small Creek running through it. The county on the warrant is named “Middle District,” and lists John Armstrong as “Entry Officer of Claims for the Western Lands.” The cover sheet for the warrant is stamped with a modern printed stamp bearing the word “Tennessee.” Further research revealed that Tennessee did not exist prior to 1796, and the Western Lands of NC were what is now TN.

The warrant for another land entry dated January 1, 1784 reads: “State of North Carolina, Davidson County; Samuel Barton Entry officer to the Surveyor of P. County Greeting. You are hereby authorized and required to Lay off and Survey a preemption of 640 acres of Land for Joel Lain [sic] aforesaid of John Hobson lying on the Big Harpeth [River] beginning half a mile Below the first Bluff Below the mouth of Jones Creek…” The survey is dated Oct. 22, 1785 and reads: “I have Surveyed for Joel Lain [sic] aforesaid of John Hobson a Preemtion of Six hundred & forty acres of Land lying on Harpeth River below the mouth of Jones’s creek…”

What do these documents tell us about Joel’s children? We don’t know until we go back to a copy of Joel’s will dated Oct.22, 1794, and suddenly some of its provisions have new meaning.

Here’s what Joel leaves to his third son, William: “I give and bequeath to my Son William Lane his heirs and assigns forever Six hundred and forty acres of Land lying on the West Side of the mountains, on Harper [sic] River…. ” So we see that William inherited land in what is now Tennessee. Perhaps he migrated there and that’s why we lose track of him in Wake County, NC after 1800.

As for Thomas, after listing a number of tracts of land in Wake County, Joel also leaves him: “one Thousand acres of Land lying West of the mountains on Duck River, being one half of a Tract Containing Two Thousand acres…” We have been told that Thomas left NC for Tennessee, and now we have a glimpse of perhaps why: he inherited land there!

Likewise, Joel’s son Joel Hinton received land in Wake County as well as “one Thousand acres of Land lying West of the mountains on Duck River being one half of a Tract Containing Two Thousand acres as aforesaid.” Like his brother Thomas, Joel Hinton inherited land in what became Tennessee and later moved there.

We find it amazing that two documents allow very large pieces of the puzzle of the Lanes’ lives to fall into place. Hats off to Ellie, a remarkable and tenacious researcher!

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What visitors say

Than you so much for the exciting presentation. The students really enjoyed all the props you brought in. I hope to have you both come back next year and show my new group of students everything you shared today!