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The History of the Trueblood Family
     Our North Carolina ancestor's came to this country from England, so we must take a look back at their native country of England and look to see what the records hold there. It was believed for many years that the Trueblood name was developed from the fusion of the names True and Blood, ultimately making the name Trueblood. Supposedly a John Blood married a Mary True and named their son John True Blood. A grandson as well as a great grandson also supposedly born the name John True Blood. The great grandson was our John Trueblood who married Agnes Fisher. The story goes that when he came to this country, since his name was usually written as Trueblood, he decided to combine his middle and last name to make one name of Trueblood when he came to this country. Of course this is all untrue as we have come to discover that there are records of Truebloods, with the combined name, in England as far back as 1591 in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and the London area. There was also a Trueblood (Treweblood) discovered in fourteenth-century Warwickshire, this being the earliest extant record found on this surname. For the years 1591 to 1851, 104 baptisms and burials of Lincolnshire Truebloods are recorded at the British archives.
     There have been many legends told as to the origins of our name, some may be correct, some may not be, but here I will touch on some of these legends. I would like to point out that these have not been proven, but are just that, 'legends'. I am only touching on these because I find them of interest and thought that you too might find them of interest. One such legend contributed by Augustus James Trueblood to Bula Trueblood Watson, author of "The Trueblood Family In America": Another such legend is:      Therefore it is really quite difficult to determine where the origins of the name Trueblood really came from. Maybe someday a lucky researcher will come upon the answer to this question, but as of this time it is truly unknown.
     When the book "The Trueblood Family In America" was written in 1964, there were two possible father's for our John Trueblood of Shoreditch. One was William of Cripplegate, London who was a prosperous baker and butcher, whose heirs squandered his children's patrimony. The other was Arnall (Arnold) of Beckingham, Lincolnshire, a Quaker, who died in  Lincoln Castle for his beliefs. Joseph Besse's "Sufferings of the People Called Quakers" documents Arnold's fate:

          'Arnold was committed to Lincoln Goale (or Castle) with two others, John and Richard Pidd, on 23rd September,
     1658, on a Tythes charge at the suit of George Farthing where they remained many weeks. Arnold Trueblood died in
     the Goale, the others were released by Committee of Parliament. . . .'

Arnall by 1654 became a Quaker, and his name was changed to Arnold. Both had sons born close to the same time period and both bore the name of John. At the time of publication of the book, which John was our John was not truly known. It has since been discovered that John's father was in fact Arnold of Beckingham, Lincolnshire. The link was that of the will of William Burdett, which records show that after the death of Arnold Trueblood, his wife Mary married William Burdett and the three known children of Arnold are named in the will of William Burdett along with his wife Mary. Also in the Lincolnshire Archives is found the entry for Fulbeck Monthly Meeting held 4/5/1679. . . . "It is desired that Friends of Beckingham Meeting doe enquire into the clearness and honest walking of John Trueblood: and accordingly send a Certificate to Friends at London that he may proceed in Marriage according to Truth". . .This entry links our John, who married Agnes Fisher the following month in London, to Lincolnshire..specifically Beckingham. Arnold Trueblood, the Quaker martyr of Lincoln Castle, was Arnold of Beckingham. Mary, Arnold's wife married William Burdett, both of Beckingham on 3/31/1660. William's will is dated 1679 and names his three stepchildren and his wife Mary in the will. 


This is Lincoln Castle where Arnold Trueblood died while imprisoned for his Quaker beliefs. 
     Exactly when or where John and Agnes landed in the new land is not known. Between their marriage in 1679 and the birth of the child born in Albemarle in 1684, nothing is known. It has been pointed out by Gordon Trueblood, that ocean going vessels of the 1600's could not pass through the Albemarle Sound to the Pasquotank River to reach Albemarle Precinct. The Albemarle Sound was much too shallow and the draft of the ocean going vessels of that era was too deep. The first record of an ocean going vessel of that era passing through the Albemarle Sound dates back to around 1706. John and Agnes may have first gone to Barbados, as did many of the early Quaker's, then on to North Carolina by a smaller ship or they may have disembarked in New England, which was very hostile to Quaker's (Mary Fisher was an early Quaker "preacher" to New England, and could have been related to Agnes Fisher, John Trueblood's wife, in some fashion). Also the fact that John and Agnes left their children in the care of Thomas and Jeremiah Symonds is also important because they too were Quakers who came from the New England area. Also living in the Albemarle Precinct at that time were John Phillips and his wife, who were also Quakers from New England, so it is very possible that they did in fact land in New England rather than Barbados, but until some record is found of where they landed or what ship they sailed on, it can not be known for sure. Also another interesting point is that having been married in 1679, it is very likely that more children were born to them besides the four recorded children we know about, whereas the first is shown as being born in 1684. This is 4 years after their marriage. Chances are very likely that there could have been more children bore to them, but perished soon after. Again until more records are found to back up this theory, it is really not known for sure. 
Elizabeth City, Pasquotank Co., North Carolina, formally known as Albemarle Precinct where John and Agnes made their home. Many Trueblood's were buried in the Narrows cemetery which was located at the point where the Pasquotank River narrows. It is today about 600 feet from the river and the area of the cemetery, once reportedly large, is now covered by streets, apartments and stores. 

     Unlike many other seventeenth-century colonists, the Truebloods came to Carolina as free men. They were clearly entitled to own land and slaves, and to practice their religion. John Trueblood of Shoreditch does not seem to have been penalized for his membership in the Society of Friends, seemingly having means to transport himself and his wife to Carolina, and to begin a new life. He received a large grant of land - 600 acres - relatively early, which, since its transfer was still pending at the time of his death in 1692, passed to his two sons. They, in turn, quickly accumulated more land, but as to how John of Shoreditch came to receive this land is not really known. Family legend says that John of Shoreditch was a protégé of the Duke of Albemarle, one of the Lord Proprietors of Carolina, and this might account for the family's presence in Albemarle Province and its receipt of relatively-large grants of land. Another explanation could be that John of Shoreditch could have played a large part in bringing other colonists to the New World, which in turn would entitle him to land. How and why are not truly known.
     Whatever the explanation, it is evident that John and his sons and grandsons soon prospered in Albemarle. That they remained faithful to Carolina for generations is equally evident, for the first United States census, that of 1790, lists Truebloods only in that state. After 1790, however, that situation was to change,with the rise of the slavery issue and the lure of new lands to the west. It must also be noted that most members of the first four generations of Truebloods in Carolina continued to be Quakers. This circumstance was also to change after 1790.
     It is amazing how our John of Shoreditch created the beginning of the Trueblood's in America. Only four surviving children were born in the Carolinas, Mary b 1684, Elizabeth b 1687, John b 1689, and Amos b 1692. John and Agnes did not survive the hardships of the new land for long, both died in 1692, thus leaving their children as orphans at a very early age. Mary, the eldest, being eight and Amos, the youngest, being not quite a year old. As stated in the will of John:

     . . .and lastly I do appoint and ordain in case my wife should die without making an Will, that my appointed Thomas Symons      and Jeremiah Symons to take my estate into their possession and care for the good of my children, and bring them up according to their discretion, as witness my hand. . .

Of course the old English custom of land being inherited only by sons leaves nothing except moveable goods for the daughters. The only moveable goods inherited by John and Agnes's daughters is listed in Agnes will as "negroes bequethed to above". As for the land, that was to go to John and Amos as recorded in the "North Carolina Land Grants (1663-1700)". (click here to see a copy of this land grant)
     John and Amos grow to manhood before any recorded mention of them can be found. They, no doubt, were reared in the Quaker faith, since Thomas Symons (or Simons) and Jeremiah Symons were among the early Friends in Albemarle. The Friends, however, were not always able to hold their young people within their protective arm. Such must have been the case with John and Amos Trueblood, since they are referred to in the original minutes of a Quaker meeting at Symons Meeting House as being "of the world." Thus, Catherine Cartwright marries John Trueblood and Elizabeth Cartwright marries Amos Trueblood in a double civil ceremony "before a Justice".
     Catherine and Elizabeth (Cartwright) Trueblood are daughters of Thomas and Grace (Halley) Cartwright. Thomas and Grace were married in the Symons MM, 4-4-1693, and were members in good standing of the Friends Society until the marriages of their daughters. After the usual procedure of visiting the girls and their mother, Grace, the Friends disowned them. Catherine and Elizabeth on 6-18-1715, and Grace on 4-21-1716. Thomas Cartwright, thier father, was deceased by this time and thus escaped condemnation.
     Catherine (Cartwright) Trueblood died soon after the birth of her third child, before 1728, and John Trueblood remarried a second time to Sarah Albertson, daughter of Esau and Sarah (Sexton) Albertson sometime between 1725 and 1730. Amos and Elizabeth later rejoined the Quaker faith. Elizabeth requested reinstatement, and Amos and thier children asked to be taken under the care of the meeting at Symonds Creek sometime before 1738. This is based on a journal entry of Friend Thomas Chalkley where he mentions holding meetings;

     "Third day of the week, being 13 of 4 mo., 1738 at Jacob Butlers, fifth day at Samuel Newbeys, first day at Little
       River, fourth day at Paspotanck and fifth day (21st 4 mo 1738) at Amos Trueblood up Paspotanck River."

Evidently, Amos and his family lived on the east side of the Pasquotank river, since the difficulty of their meeting with the Newbegun MM is recorded in the minutes;

      1745, 10, 5. Because of difficulties of attending mtg. at Newbegun Creek, mtg. allowed at Amos' (Trueblood)
        dwelling house.

In the sale of his land to John his brother in 1718 which consisted of 300 acres on the Log Bridge Branch, one can assume by the words "for diverse reasons and consideration" in the deed,  that some of the reason he did this may have been because of the disownment of his wife from Symons Creek. He then moved to Mill Creek to the land that his wife had inherited from her father Thomas, which was farther south and on the opposite side of Little River MH in Pasquotank County.
     The children and grandchildren of both John and Amos acquired more land and continued to grow as a family. We really have no idea of what hardships they faced or how hard their every day lives were. They all believed strongly in their Quaker beliefs and lived life accordingly, but when the issue of slavery came up, this caused many problems with alot of the Trueblood's as it did with all Quakers. The Society of Friends used a system of graduated steps to increase sensitivity to the evil of slavery; a series of "queries" in the book of Discpline. Under the heading of "Negroes and Slaves," twenty-four manuscript pages of entries, dated 1688 to 1790, record each step of the process by which the Society of Friends in America freed itself from slave-holding.

          1696 advice against the importation of Negroes
          1754 advice against buying any slaves
          1758 appointment of a committee of five to visit all Friends who hold slaves and persuade them to set
                  their slaves at liberty
          1762 Quarterly and Monthly Meetings are instructed to deal with Friends that still own slaves
          1766 the Yearly Meeting declares that Quaker slave-holders who "continue to reject advice of their brethern"
                  should be disowned by their Meeting. Also in the "Queries" of 1766 was the question which asked
                  whether they use well "the ones who are set free and educate and encourage them in a religious and
                  virtuous life"

     Thus, in the same year that the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," the Quakers made their own declaration which took these words at their full value. "They did not support their revolution by violence, but nonetheless they carried it through in a throughgoing way."
     Friends in North Carolina had a difficult time freeing their slaves because the freed men were captured and sold to harsher masters. In North Carolina and Georgia, the producers of rice and indigo furnished a barrier to immediate extension of the policy of emancipation. A slave imported from Africa paid for himself in one year in the production of rice. To do away with slavery would upset the whole financial and social status quo; therefore, laws were passed in North Carolina forbidding anyone to free slaves.
     The Quaker Truebloods, who had accepted without protest insults against their Quaker discipline, their mode of dress, and their simplicity of living, would not, by the mere act of remaining in North Carolina, give approval to a system which enslaved a brother man. Thus, they turned their backs on the dear homes and Friends who could not leave and moved on to a land of freedom for all. They migrated westward in covered wagons to Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and beyond. Truebloods took with them the same faith, the same Bible, and the same determination to conquer the wilderness that their first American ancestors, John and Agnes (Fisher) Trueblood had brought to this country. There they continued to raise their voices against slavery. Many Quaker homes, served as stations of the Underground Railway which kept slaves hidden and aided them in their escape to the North. Quakers became part of the Underground Railway because they were convinced that they were right in God's sight, even though they knew they were breaking man-made laws. This is an example of how strongly the Friends believed in their faith and would be willing to sacrifice everything for their beliefs.
     There are many Trueblood's in America today. How many of them are still Quakers is unknown to me. It does seem that many of us, those that are not Quaker's, still have some of those fundimental beliefs in equality, simplicity and honesty. I know I personally am honored to have such a rich heritage and proud to be a Trueblood decendant.