Looking for very old water way in North Carolina?


I have scoured the internet and state archives. I am in need of locating this Oak(s) Branch off of Moon Creek in Caswell County, North Carolina. Attached is the original survey map. I have trolled Google Earth and beyond and I am having difficulty locating it.

Samuel Paul land survey map 1778 Caswell County NC

Chris Paul

Posted 2018-03-11T16:10:14.290


Welcome to GIS SE. As a new user, please take the [Tour]. Unfortunately, this is more of a geography trivia question than a geographic information systems one. A local survey firm might be of more use than the Internet. – None – 2018-03-11T16:35:32.637

2Look into your local history, especially land use changes and parcel ownership. If the creek was fairly small, it wouldn't take much to make it divert it even vanish over the past couple centuries. – None – 2018-03-11T18:23:33.017

The [genealogy.se] Stack Exchange deals with questions like this frequently so I am going to migrate this there. – PolyGeo – 2018-03-11T18:40:03.100

1Your original title mentioned that you are asking about this to solve a genealogy problem so can you provide a few details about the relevance of this question to your genealogy, please? – PolyGeo – 2018-03-11T20:02:49.030


I would like to know what "Google Earth and beyond" means. I don't want to spend a couple of hours locating North Carolina resources for you, only to have you come back and say "Oh I looked at all those already". https://genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask "Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs."

– Jan Murphy – 2018-03-11T20:57:07.240

I think it would be useful if you could reproduce that text beneath the sketch as actual text rather than a picture so that it may be available to future searches. – PolyGeo – 2018-03-12T04:42:57.560

Assuming the way the three waterways are drawn is correct(ish), the flow must be to Southeast. So this is to the North and/or West of Moon Creek, which flows roughly Northeast. If all else fails, you could examine the topology map here to look for candidate locations that might support three streams merging like this (even if some have diverted or dried up since then). Also, have you tried to locate Ninian Harrison's adjacent land?

– AndyW – 2018-03-12T16:52:06.707

Thank you...just trying to find people who are more familiar with it than I. "Beyond" means historical maps and changes in populations and buildings overlayed maps etc...please deltere. I appreciate the response – Chris Paul – 2018-03-13T03:19:04.490

@AndyW I think you should post your comment as an answer. – PolyGeo – 2018-03-13T06:07:46.650

https://northcarolina.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,1,fid,990167,n,moon%20creek.cfm has a movable GE map of the creek, but most of the branches aren't named. – Aaron Gullison – 2018-03-19T15:32:01.077



I don't think this helps much, but looking at the image on nclandgrants.com I think the other name is "Niman Harrison" rather than "Ninian". Unfortunately nclandgrants doesn't have a grant for either name.

I'm guessing the "B.O." in "Oakes Branch to B.O." refers to a bearing object, which is:

"BEARING OBJECT – (PLSS)- A corner accessory which may be a natural object that can be readily identified by its distance and direction from the corner being recorded."

So, some mark or other that was semi-permanent? I'm not a surveyor. I think it could just be a mark in a tree.

Nclandgrants has another entry for Oakes Branch: John Oakes for 100 acres "On Oakes branch a water of Moons Creek"


Sounds like that's the origin of the creek name. Unfortunately the patent doc doesn't offer any more clues, except that it's next to Samuel Paul's land, which we knew already. The survey docs might help if they're available.

Also note there are two branches to Moon Creek - between them they cover a lot of area.

Eric McNeill

Posted 2018-03-11T16:10:14.290

Reputation: 111