Name: Rachel Bryan
Name: Rachel B. Bryan
Birth: 10 JUN 1723 in Bertie County, North Carolina
Birth: 10 JUN 1723 in Bertie County, North Carolina
Death: NOV 1780 in Wayne County, North Carolina
Death: 1 NOV 1780 in Rockford, Lenoir County, North Carolina
Burial: South Bank of Neuse River, Seven Springs, Wayne County, North Carolina
The Whitfield Reunion - 1990
By Claude Moore
October 19, 1990
The annual reunion of the ancient Whitfield family was held at Spring Creek
School near Seven Springs last Sunday with a good representation attending
from as far away as Florida.
It was an appropriate place to hold such a gathering since it was in this
area that the early Whitfields received land grants beginning in the 1740's.
The reunion actually began on Thursday night with a dinner at the ho
Mr. and Mr. John Whitfield in Wallace for some of the out of town guests. On Saturday a number visited our home and the Cabin Museum. On Saturday night another dinner was given at the Southern Belle Restaurant in Mount Olive honoring the out of town members of the clan.
The Whitfield Clan is now organized into what is called the "Society of the
Whitfields". A newsletter edited by Bryan Whitfield of Timminum, Maryland,
is sent to members at various times during the year. All the Whitfields in
Wayne County belong to this family and are descendants of William Whitfield I who along with his wife were killed by the Tuscarora Indians.
For the fourth time since 1966 I made the address at the reunion. It is
believed that the Whitfields were direct descendants of William, the Duke of
Normandy who invaded England in 1066 and had himself crowned king. The first Whitfield to come to America was Matthew Whitfield, a son of Sir William Whitfield, who came from England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1613. His descendant, William Whitfield I was living in Bertie County, N.C., in 172
and his wife was Elizabeth Goodman.
William and Elizabeth Whitfield settled on the Neuse River Seven Sprin
and had the following 10 children and I would estimate that they have more
than 10,000 living descendants scattered all over the United States: William
Whitield (1715-1795) who married Rachel Bryan and lived at White Hall (now
Seven Springs); Matthew Whitfield (born 1717) who married a Miss Warren and finally settled in Georgia; Luke Whitfield (born 1722) who married Rachel Powell and lived in St. David's Parish, South Carolina; Mary Whitfield who married John Grady (1710-1787) and was the progenitor of the Grady family in Duplin and Wayne; Patience Whitfield (1719-1759) who married Edward Outlaw, settled in Duplin and they were the ancestors of Duplin Outlaws;and Constantine Whitfieid (1728-1797) who married Barbara Williams and settled at Fort Barwell in Dobbs County; and Elizabeth Whitfield who married (1) Jonathan Taylor (2) Lt. John Beck.
Many years ago Therodore Whitfield did two volumes on the Whitfield, Bryan, Smith families, but this book is now out of print.
The Whitfields were among the founders of Wayne County and records show that wherever members of this family went they were outstanding and useful members of the community. Several served in the American Revolution and more than 60 in the Confederate Army.
After a picnic dinner, a business meeting was held and the following
officers were elected for the following year; President, John Whitfield of
Wallace; Vice Presidents Roy Whitfield, Hubert Whitfield and Jimmy Blodker; Corresponding Secretary, Vannie Whitfield Dady; Secretary, Carolyn Whitfield; Treasurer, Sadie Whitfield of Goldsboro. The next meeting of the clan will be on the second Sunday of October, 1991.
Wayne County, NC - Bicentennial Series
Reprinted with permission of the News-Argus and cannot be reproduced without permission.
Seven Springs Oldest Community in Wayne ?
No date shown
Editor's note: This is another in a series of articles on Wayne County's
history from 1700 to 1900 presented in conjunction with the American
Revolution Bicentennial observance.
By Bonita Metz
The community of Seven Springs, considered by most to be the oldest in Wayne County & early known as Whitehall, conceived its first public notice from an explorer named Dawson who journeyed up the Neuse River in 1710 & recorded seeing trading cabins & white traders in the area.
Until that time, the area had been considered Indian territory. Although
this is generally considered Tuscarora Indian Territory, it is believed by
local historinans that Soponie Indians were the ones who built the village
across the river from present Seven Springs & maintained a campground near one of the natural springs in the area.
Despite the reported existence of early traders along the well-traveled Neuse in the Seven Springs vicinity, Wayne County records indicate that William Whitfield, II was the first permanent settler of the Whitehall community & the man responsible for that name.
During the colonial period, the Whitfields were active in the local
government & served in the militia. William Whitfield operated a ferry across
the Neuse River which was used to transport military supplies.
Meetings of the local Committee of Safety were held at Whitehall during the
early days of the Revolutionary War & weapons & supplies were stored there. Battle records indicate that members of the Whitfield family foug
Moore's Creek Bridge.
Following the Revolution, the settlement at Whitehall began to grow,
influenced by the stage coach line which passed through the area & the
increased river traffic. Some industry developed in the small community but
for the most part its residents were then, as they are today, busy with
There was a buggy factory, a turpentine distillery, a brick works & several
warehouses in the town itself. On the site of the old Indian campground,
there was also a government-operated whiskey distillery & a blacksmith's
Years later, when the Civil War began, Whitehall became the site of a
Confederate shipyard & some say the Confederate Ram Neuse was built there.
On December 15 & 16, 1862, the Battle of Whitehall was fought & the small
town was virtually destroyed. The Union army was entrenched on the hill
overlooking the Neuse while the Confederates held the right bank of the
river in what is known as the Piney Grove community. Most of the town was
destroyed by the bombardment of the Union cannon.
Both sides claimed a victory. The Union army under the command of General
Foster had destroyed the town. The southerners had been commanded by General Robertson under the orders of General Evans.
The Ram Neuse, which was still in the Whitehall shipyard at the time of the
battle, was little damaged. It was repaired & sent to Kinston to be plated.
It was there that it was later sunk to prevent the Union from capturing it.
The booming trading center that Whitehall had been, before the Union army
burned it to the ground, was never rebuilt.
In 1874, a Presbyterian Church named White Hall was built by William B.
Whitfield, a descendant of William Whitfield, II.
Some of the older members of the church recall that Dr. J. R. Wilson, father
of President Woodrow Wilson, once preached in that church. He was then a
pastor in Wilmington & visited in the Wayne County church.
In 1940, the church was traded to the Methodists. The Missionary Baptists
organized & built a church in the community in 1892 & there have been a Free Will Baptist Church & a Holiness Church built there also.
After the Civil War, the resort possibilities of the community were developed
& two hotels were built in the area. Both the Seven Springs Hotel & the
Ninth Springs Hotel were built by the Whitfield families. But both were later
sold & operated by different owners. The Ninth Springs resort was built on
the site of the Whitfield Pleasant Plains homestead.
The resorts were popular & folks from all across eastern North Carolina,
North Carolina governors including Jarvis, Kitchin & Aycock, visited the
The Ninth Springs Hotel was the first to close & the Seven Springs Hotel
operated until after World War II & the Morgan Maxwell family, which still
owns the springs, continues to live there.
Whitehall again became a thriving community with several boat docks, a cotton gin, a supply store, a drug store, a blacksmith, a boarding house, a doctor's office & several other businesses.
In the early 1920's, the town was again partially destroyed by fire. Since
then, only a few of the businesses have been rebuilt & of course river
traffic no longer comes as far north on the Neuse as Seven Springs.
In 1951 the town's name was officially changed to Seven Springs because of
a postal name conflict.
Father: NEEDHAM BRYAN I b: 23 FEB 1690 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Mother: ANNE ROMBEAU b: 7 MAR 1691 in Helstroff, Lorraine, France
William Whitfield II b: 20 MAY 1715 in Bertie County, North Carolina c: 20 MAY 1715
6 NOV 1741
in Snowfield Plantation, Bertie County, North Carolina
- William Whitfield III b: 1 JUN 1743 in BertieCounty, North Carolina
- Elizabeth Whitfield b: 16 MAR 1746 in Bertie County, North Carolina
- Sarah Ann Whitfield b: 16 APR 1749 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Bryan Whitfield b: 9 FEB 1754 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Charity Whitfield b: 6 APR 1756 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Needham Whitfield b: 20 FEB 1758 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Rachel Whitfield b: 16 SEP 1760 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Mary Whitfield b: 18 MAY 1763 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
- Lewis Whitfield b: 23 JUN 1765 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina