Central North Carolina

Family History in Central North Carolina

Family History On The Road

Central North Carolina has lots of roots for Jeff’s family.  His father’s mother and father have ancestors that were among the first settlers in Rowan and Guilford counties.

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Salisbury North Carolina (Randleman)


Zion (Organ Lutheran Church) Salisbury, NC
Zion (Organ) Lutheran Church – Salisbury, NC

Our Family History tour takes us to Salisbury – Central North Carolina next where Jeff’s 5th Great Grandfather Christopher Randleman had moved after immigrating to the Colonies in 1754 at the age of 36.  He was very active in organizing the local church, and went back to Germany in 1773 to recruit a pastor for area.  Zion (Organ) Lutheran Church was organized shortly afterwards.

We found the following:

“Founded shortly before the middle of the eighteenth century by Pennsylvania Germans of the ‘Dutch Second Creek Settlement,’ it first occupied the so-called Hickory Church but had no regular minister for a generation. Then, in 1773, one of its members, Christopher Rintelmann; (Rendleman), and Christopher Layrle; (Lyerly), of Buffalo Creek Church (now St. John’s), returned from a trip to the Fatherland, where they had successfully petitioned the Hanoverian Consistory (“Consistorialrath”), for a pastor, the Rev. Adolph Nussmann, and a schoolteacher, Johann Gottfried Arndt;. The latter, having meanwhile been ordained, succeeded Nussmann in 1775, following this removal to Buffalo Creek, in the present county of Cabarrus. These two subsequently established many new congregations in piedmont Carolina. The Hickory Church, which had been used jointly by the Lutherans and the German Reformed neighbors, was replaced in 1774 by another log building, on a different site, after some disagreement had arisen between the two denominations. For this second church a member named Steigerwalt (Stirewalt) built the first pipe organ known to that section. Soon the official designation of Zion gave way to the name of Orgelkirche, which in its Anglicized form, has persisted until now. From the fact that on August 16, 1786, Ludwig Siffert; deeded ten acres of land ‘to the Lutheran congregation belonging to the Second Creek Organ Meeting-house,’ it is evident that the organ had been installed prior to that date. The instrument was later moved into the stone edifice erected nearby a few years thereafter.

It’s amazing that at the age of 55 Christopher traveled back to Germany via England to find a pastor for their church.  They went via England to get permission to recruit the pastor.

Christopher is buried at the Zion (Organ) Lutheran Church.

Alamance North Carolina (Clapp & Albright)

Just outside of Greensboro North Carolina is Alamance, where multiple 6th and 5th Great-Grandparents (Clapp & Albright) lived and are buried at the Brick Reformed Church.  The church is still active and has a nice history page here.  The Clapps and Albrights are ancestors of Jeff’s Dad’s mother.

Old Brick (Clapp) Church in Alamance/Burlington North Carolina.

Mount Pleasant, North Carolina (Furr)

Heinrich (Henry) Furr (Furrer) was Jeff’s 5th great grandfather, and his family settled the area around Mount Pleasant after emigrating from Switzerland.

Monument near the original Furr Settlement

National History intertwined with Family History

Regulator Movement

Even before the Revolutionary War, Jeff’s ancestors participated in rebel acts.  The War of the Regulation (Regulator Movement) started in 1761 in North Carolina.  This was a rebellion against taxes levied by the English government.  The Signatories Regulator movement included both Clapp and Albright families.

In 1771 armed hostilities broke out virtually in the back yard of the Clapp and Albright homesteads in the Alamance Battle.

Typical early 1700 cabin at Alamance Battlefield

American Revolutionary War

On the Clapp side, George’s son Martin (4th Great Grandfather) fought in the later part of the Revolutionary War serving 3 different times.  At least one of these times he served in place of another individual.  There is a good chance he fought at Guilford Courthouse (now a National Military Park) on March 15th, 1781, or other battles nearby.  The battle at Guilford Courthouse was the last major battle won by the British.  General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown on October 19th, 1781.

Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield


This was a great visit to North Carolina where we were able to tie in where Jeff’s ancestors lived and the history that they were involved with.

Happy Trails from the Trippin’ Engles


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