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William (Bill) L. Monroe Jr.



The Munros

From the Carolinas


Working Copy of Material to

be shared with members of the Monroe

Carolina Group 

By: Bill Monroe


Clan History



The origin of the Clan Munro is lost in that legendary obscurity which is the sure proof of real antiquity. According to the statement of Sir Robert Douglas, who declares that “the family -one of the most ancient in Scotland was driven over to Ireland by the Romans in 357, and that only after sojourning there for seven hundred years did it return to its original Highland home.”   Out of the mass of conflicting testimony only one fact emerges: that the founder of the Family-that is,--

1.      Donald, the first. Munro who held land. Whether his surname was or was not O’Cain and whether he was or was not the son of an Irish king, O'Cathan, Prince of Ferindonald we may never know. This Donald, tradition says, received at the hands of Malcolm II., for aid given to against the Danes, the. land of Alness Water called Ferindonald (or Donald's land), subsequently erected into, the Barony of Fowlis, and still in the possession of the family. Since Malcolm II. died in 1034, the family origin is more ancient than and, it is safe to add, quite as authentic as-- that of the numerous persons whose alleged progenitors came over with William the Conqueror. This Donald O'Cain, alias Munro, died about 1053 and .succeeded, tradition says, by his son—

2.      George, who helped Malcolm III., son of King Duncan, to wrest the Scottish throne from that usurper, Macbeth whom Shakspere has made immortal. This George died just at the opening of twelfth century, and was succeeded by his son –

3.      Hugh, created first Baron of Fowlis. From him the title and estates came down in uninterrupted lineal male descent for nearly eight hundred years, -a fact, says Mackenzie, “that is believed to be unexampled in the annals of Scotland and England, and only paralleled in the succession of the Lords Kingsale, premier Barons of Ireland. Hugh’s son–

4.      Robert became the second Baron of Fowlis, the fourth of the Munro line. His chief claim to distinction seems to have been that he was the first to be laid in the chanonry of Ross, which was the family burial-place for four centuries thereafter, until in the times of the Covenanters the violent Presbyterianism of the lairds impelled them to seek a spot untainted by papacy in  which to lay their bones.–

5.      Donald, the fifth Munro and third Baron Fowlis, built the old Tower of Fowlis,. Which may or may not be standing to this day. This tower was used to signal the clan to rally in times of need. This was done by building a fire on top of the tower, hence the slogan or war cry, Casteal Fulis na theine" (meaning, " Fowlis Castle is on fire") This Donald Munro is said materially to have aided William the Lion, the first Scotch king really to establish sovereignty over the Highlands, in suppressing the hitherto unchecked lawlessness of those northern regions.–

6.      Robert, the sixth Munro, fourth Baron Fowlis, married a daughter of  the-Earl of Sutherland, and by her had a son –

7.      George, who succeeded in 1239 as the fifth Baron Fowlis. All that relates to the first six generations of Munros is founded only upon tradition, - strong tradition, it is true, but unsupported by documentary proof. From the accession of George Munro, however, in 1239, the record of the clan rests upon indisputable written evidence. Therefore, the family history is absolutely authentic and undisputed from a date only fourteen years later than the signing of the Magna Charta. George, the first really attested Munro, had all the family lands confirmed to him by a special charter from Alexander II. before I249; and this charter states that the lands were held of old by his ancestor, Donald. George Munro died about I269, and was succeeded by --

8.      Robert, sixth Baron Fowlis. During his life began the bloody and ever-famous civil wars over the succession to the Scottish throne. Through them all Robert Munro remained steadfast to the party of Bruce, which represented, of course, Scotch independence; and, although an old man, he fought with his clan at the decisive battle of Bannocburn. There, moreover, his only son was killed; and eight -years later, the Robert being dead, the succession fell to his grandson –

9.      George, seventh Baron Fowlis. George, like his grandfather, fought with Bruce, and took part in the battle of Halidon Hill against the combined forces of Baliol and Edward III.,--a battle where were killed at least fourteen thousand Scots and where this seventh baron fell at the head of his clan. He had married a. daughter of the Earl of Ross and left as his successor a mere child, --

10.  Robert, eighth Baron Fowlis. Upon arriving at man’s estate, this Robert seems to have developed a disposition less warlike than that of his immediate ancestors, and successfully to have set to himself the task of increasing the family estates. He acquired much new land, the mere naming of which is quite beyond any American's powers of pronunciation and had all these and his earlier estates confirmed by repeated royal manifestoes. He was, furthermore, one of the Baron-Bailies of the Earldom of Ross, a very important office in feudal times. Robert, having been killed in a clan fight in 1369; was succeeded by his son

11.  Hugh, who acquired more lands, mainly at the hands of his cousin, the Countess Euphemia of Ross, and of whom more will be heard later,--and who fought under Donald, Lord of the Isles; against the Duke of Albany in their contest for the Earldom of Ross. By his first wife, Isabella, granddaughter of Sir Edward Keith, Great mareschal of Scotland, Hugh had a son, --

12.  George, who succeeded him in 1425 as the tenth Baron Fowlis. In the lifetime of this George Munro, in the year 1452; took place that locally famous battle between the Mackenzies and the Munros which is known as Beallach-nam-Brog, or the Pass of the Shoes, so named because the combatants to protect themselves from one another's arrows, took off their shoes and tied them on as breastplates.


The origin of this fight is as romantic as one could wish. it seems that the now venerable Euphemia, Countess Dowager of Ross, who had given much land to Baron George's father, fell deeply in love with Alexander Mackenzie, Lord of Kintail, “a proper handsome young man," and told him so. He being already plighted to Macdougall's daughter, and--what was of more consequence--the countess being not only a mere life-tenant of her estates, but also a "turbulent woman," the proper handsome" young Mckenzie very properly and firmly refused her. Thereupon she invited him to her castle at Dingwall, and, upon his again declining to marry her, cast him into prison. This turbulent old vixen then tortured the young mans page until he gave up to her the ring which was the agreed token to be sent by Mackenzie to his vassal, Macauley governor of Ellandonnan, permitting the latter to leave that stronghold.

The old countess then sent one of her gentlemen, armed with this ring, to Macauley with a message to the effect that his master was about to wed her, and that the stronghold of Ellandonnan was to be given into her hands. The Macauley, seeing the ring, obeyed the supposed order, but. soon found that, instead of being a bridegroom, his master was a prisoner. Thereupon he loitered under the dungeon window until the “proper handsome” young man found opportunity to make signs that the only way of effecting his release would be to kidnap the countess's cousin, Walter Ross, and hold him as a hostage. This the rest of the Mackenzie family, only too ready for a fight, promptly did, hurried the luckless cousin off into the mountains beyond Inverness.

The Earl of Ross dutiful son to the amorous countess king's lieutenant in the Highlands, of this capture of his cousin; and his 1ordship thereupon dispatched two hundred men to the rescue; They were joined by all the Ross vassals, including the Munros; and the pursuit of the Mackenzies with their prisoner, Waiter Ross, began. Overtaken at Beallach-nam-Brog, there ensued one of the bloodiest battles of this savage Scotch history, the Munros and Mackenzies gladly seizing this opportunity to pay off many an ancient score. The sub-clan of Dingwall was literally extinguished, one hundred and forty of its men being killed; and, according to Sir Robert Gordon, “there were slain eleven Munroes of the house of Fowlis that were to succeed one after another, so that the succession fell into a child then lying in his cradle.”· In this child, who became--

12.  John, eleventh Baron Fowlis. As a matter of fact, he was five or six years old when he succeeded to the headship of the Munros. He and his successors in: the direct line of the barony were, with a few exceptions, not particularly distinguished except in matters of fighting. Their pugnacity never flagged, and, apparently, was never satisfied. As the brawls of these men and their neighbors have little--save a romantic or antiquarian--· interest, it is worth while to mention,- only, the few barons of the clan who really did something to merit recording. –

13.  Robert Mor Munro (Mor meaning great), for example, the fifteenth baron, was one of the first of the Highland chiefs to renounce the Roman Catholic religion, voting in the Parliament of August: 1560, for the overthrow of the Church. The first spot, it is said, in the Highlands where the reformed faith was preached was at a hamlet called Waterloo, between Fowlis and Dingwall; and the minister was Reverend Donald Munro, of Coul, younger brother of John Mor Munro. This canny baron, Robert Mor, doubtless found his spiritual zeal not a little encouraged by the confiscated lands of the Church, which fell richly to his share and largely augmented the Munro estates. A curious light is thrown is upon the times by the fact that this Robert Mor’s second wife was publicly: tried for witchcraft.


Being accused of attempting to destroy her stepson both by philters and by causing elf arrows to be shot into an image of him made from clay. Although acquitted, she was plainly quite as guilty as her wretched accomplices, of humbler station who were ingeniously tortured and burned at the stake. Immediately upon her acquittal her stepson, in turn, was put on trial for “sorcery, incantation, witchcraft,” etc., in having caused a deadly sickness in his half brother; but he, also, was acquitted.

14.  The eighteenth Baron Fowlis, known as the “Black Baron,” a wild, reckless, and generally, disreputable person, so encumbered and alienated his estates that he finally had no choice except to seek military service on the Continent. With admirable humility he enlisted as a subaltern in the army of Gustavus Adolphus, but rapidly rose and highly distinguished himself, particularly at the battle of Liützen. It is; said, in this connection, that there were engaged in the Continental Wars of the seventeenth century, mainly under Gustavus Adolphus no less than three Generals, eight colonels, five lieutenant colonels, eleven majors, and thirty captains of the name and Clan Munro.

15.  Sir John Munro , the twenty-second baron, -- for  some time before this the Barons Fowlis had been elevated into baronets,· -- was famous for his steadfastness. during the troublous times of the Restoration ,as well as, for his huge bulk, being known familiarly as the “Presbyterian mortar-piece.”

16.  Sir Robert, twenty-fourth Barons Fowlis, was the best, as well as, the most romantic of the Fowlis, of whom Dr. Doddridge, in his Life of' Colonel Gardiner, writes with much enthusiasm, but with some inaccuracy.

The Black Watch

This Sir Robert was one of the six clan leaders who founded the Famous regiment, the 42nd Highlanders, known as the “Black Watch.” He was its first lieutenant colonel and the colonel being incapacitated for duty, was its leader during that second contest for the Austrian Succession which is known as the Second Silesian War. So superb was the morale of the Black Watch that is was seemingly invincible; and the Elector Palentine, writing to his envoy in London begged him to thank the king of Great Britain for the behavior of this Highlander regiment, its

Prowess being due, he adds, “to the care of Sir Robert Munro, their colones, for whose sake I will for the future always esteem a Scotchman.” The conduct of the Black Watch at the battle of Fontenoy was especially noteworthy, and has become historic. Throwing themselves, as they advanced, flat on their faces while the enemy’s bullets passed harmlessly over them, they would suddenly spring up, rush forward while delivering a deadly fire, and then as suddenly prostrate themselves again.  This extraordinary maneuver was repeated throughout the day, Colonel Munro alone standing upright beside the colors; for he was of a bulk so enormous that, had he fallen down like the rest only the efforts of a number of men pulling at his legs and arms could have put him on his feet again.  Hi preservation, therefore, was well-nigh miraculous, and was regarded by the pious Scotsmen as a special act of God.

Because of his long continental service under the Duke of Cumberland, this Colonel Sir Robert Munro and, of course, his clan ranged themselves on the Hanoverian side against the Pretender, and fought, therefore, with the English instead of with the Scotch at Culloden. Humanity forbade, however, that the men ,of the Black Watch, who would have followed their idolized leader anywhere, should be sent to fight against their own brethren. So they were detailed on other duty, while Sir Robert was put in command of an English regiment, the 37th. At the battle of Falkirk, however, these Englishmen, seized-with panic, deserted their commander, leaving him, bravely defending himself against overwhelming numbers, to be slain. "Ochoin Ochoin," wailed an old clansman, who died earlier in this century, when describing this almost-worshipped Munro chief to a boy who still lives, and cursing the English regiment, -- “Ochoin, had his ain folk [meaning the Black Watch] been there!"

17.  Sir Harry Munro, Colonel Sir Robert’s son, , the twenty-fifth baron, who was educated at the University of Leyden, seems to have been a scholarly person and a writer. His literary methods, however, must have been slower than those of the much-heralded Scotch writers of today; for Sir Harry gave thirty years to the writing of a dissertation on Buchanan's “Psalms of David,” and then -- forbore to publish it. Of greater moment than this work of erudition, however, was the deed of entail which he executed during his lifetime, giving rights of inheritance to certain females of the clan, -- a deed that proved to be a source, of long and disastrous litigation. For Sir Harry's son, --

18.  Sir Hugh, was; to speak mildly, not a nice person; and he contracted in London, where he lived during the greater part of his life, a Scotch marriage (not legal in England), the only issue of which was a daughter, Mary Seymour Munro. By the unfortunate deed of entail this daughter, were she legitimate, would inherit; and it' required years of lawsuits and, finally, an appeal to the House of Lords to establish her legitimacy. By the irony of fate she died within eight months of her father’s decease; but, during the long and bitter litigation, the beautiful old estate of Fowlis had been despoiled of its magnificent timber, the fine house had been completely dismantled, and most of the ancient charters, deeds, and family manuscripts had been carried off to London and wantonly destroyed. At the death of this Mary Seymour Munro, in 1848 the line of succession passed over to the cadet branch of Culrain, to –

19.  Sir Charles Munro, grandfather to the present baronet. Sir Charles had distinguished himself not a little under Wellington in the Peninsula; and his son, the second Sir Charles, was, as his grandson, the present- Sir Hector, a man of force and influence. The estates, though much reduced, are still not inconsiderable; and it is plain, from the reports of those who have been fortunate enough to visit the Inverness country, that the head of the Clan Munro is still regarded as one of the great men of the region.

It is impossible to go into any extended account of the numerous cadet families of Munro, or to give even a list of the generals and other officers, the clergymen, members of Parliament and public men, who have given weight and sometimes more than local fame to the name of Munro. A few only of the most distinguished can he named, Having thus far dealt mainly with warriors, it may be a relief to turn from them to the cadet family of Auchenbowie, with its line of famous physicians.

The first of these was Dr. John Monro whose father fought at Worcester, and who died in 1737;  having been one of the founders of the great School of Medicine in Edinboro. His only son was Dr. Alexander Monro, known as Dr. “Sandy, primus,” to distinguish him from his more famous son, Dr. “Sandy, secundus.” This first Dr. “Sandy” was the founder of the Royal Infirmary in Edinboro, was the first Professor of Anatomy in the university there, and was the author of no less than fifty-two volumes on medicine and surgery. This first Dr. Alexander's eldest son, John, became a leader of the Scottish bar; his second son ,Robert, went to London, and attained eminence there as a surgeon; while the third son was the Dr. ”Sandy, secundus,” already mentioned. 'This second Dr. “Sandy" Monro succeeded his .father as Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinboro, holding the position for forty-four years. He was, moreover, a founder of the Royal Society there, and wrote many medical treatises of standard authority, which were translated into foreign languages, giving him a European reputation. He discovered, or identified a crevice in the brain that is still called the Foramen of Monro; and an eminent Scotch surgeon who visited this country some years ago, and who, in his youth, attended the lectures of Dr. “Sandy's” son, Dr. Alexander Monro, tertius (of whom presently), said that that surgeon was wont to refer, with much complacency, to "me fayther's hole in the haid."

This Alexander Monro, tertius, succeeded his father and grandfather as Professor of Anatomy in the University of Edinboro, and was president of the Royal College of Physicians. In 1847, when he retired from the chair of anatomy, it had been occupied from its foundation, nearly  a Century before, solely by this one family. Mr. Mackenzie says, in this connection: “Alexander, tertius, was the fourth in direct succession of physicians in the family, -- a circumstance unexampled, we believe in Scottish medical history, but surpassed in England, where Dr. Henry Monro, a descendant of the Munros of Fyrish (of the same clan), was the fifth physician in direct descent of the same family.”' This Dr. “Sandy” tertius’s fourth son,. David, emigrated to New Zealand, became one of the leaders in that colony, was speaker of its Parliament, and was knighted in 1866.

But the cadet families, like that of the baronets, were famous, too, for warriors, First among them, General Robert Monro, a doughty soldier; who seems to have been master of the pen as well as of the sword; for not only did he command the famous Scots Brigade that did such yeoman service under Gustavus Adolphus in his wars to establish Protestantism in Europe, but he wrote a book about these wars which is said to be both extremely entertaining and of high historical value. Its title is a model of comprehensiveness: --


His Expedition

With The

Scott Regiment (Called Mac Keyes Regiment,) Levied In

August, 1626, By Sir Donald MacKey, Lord Rhees,

Colonel For His: Majesties: Service Of Denmark

And Reduced After The Battaile 0f Herling,

To One Company In September 1634,

At Woomes In The Paltz.

Discharged In Several Duties And Observations Of Service

First Under The Magnanimous King Of Denmark Dur-

Ing His Worries Against The Emperor, Afterwards

Under The Invincible King Of Sweden

During His Majesties Life Time; And

Since Under The Director Gen-

eral The Rex Chancellor

Oxensterne, And His


Collected And Gathered Together At Spare Hours By Col.

Robert Monro, First Lievetinant Under The Said

Regiment To The Noble And Worthy Captains

Thomas Mac-Keyner, Of Kildon, Brother

To The Noble Lord, The Lord Earl 0f

Seaforth; For The Use Of All Worthie

Cavaliers Favoring The Laud-

able Profession 0f Armes.

To Which Is Annexed The Abridgiment Of Exercise, And

Divers Practicall Observations, For The Younger

Officer His Consideration; Ending With The

Soldiers Meditations Going

On Service.


Printed By William Jones In Red Cross-Street


This General Sir Robert Munro, whose sword was as long as his titles, took a prominent part, after his return from the Continent, in the early wars of the Covenant, and was a pillar of strength to the Protestant cause.

In the latter part of the eighteenth century, Scotland and Europe having become rather tame fields of action, the fighting Munros are found in India, being most notably represented there by General Sir Hector Munro and by Sir Thomas Munro. Hector went out in the service of the East India Company in 1761, and rose so rapidly in military prowess, was so energetic in his handling of native troops, and made such a brilliant capture of the French-Indian city of Pondicherry that; although a young man, he was soon promoted to be major-general, commanding all the British forces. But, either through too rapid promotion or through incurable faults of disposition, his subsequent career in  India was disastrous -- indeed, almost fatal -- to the cause of the East India Company. Although knighted and created a Commander of the Bath, he was recalled to Scotland in 1782, receiving the command of the Black Watch and spending the remaining years of his life raising and equipping Scottish troops. Among his descendants  -- through with a bar-sinister -- are Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, owner of the Novar collection of paintings, of world-wide celebrity in the early part of this century, -- and Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, 2d, professor of Latin at Cambridge University about 1850 “universally admitted,” says Mr. Mackenzie, “to have been the best Latin scholar of his day in Britain,” his edition of Lucretius giving him European fame.

The last Munro to be noted from among the cadet families is Sir Thomas, of the Culcraggie branch, who sought his fortune in India in 1780, and who finally achieved such distinction as brigadier-general in the conquest of Hyder Ali, Tippoo-Tib, and other native princes, and such signal success as governor of the Province of Madras that in I819 he received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, Mr. Canning moving the vote in the House of Commons and describing him as a man “than whom Europe never produced a more accomplished statesman, nor India, so fertile in heroes, a more skilful soldier.” Thomas Munro was made a K.C.B. in 1819 and a baronet in 1825. As already stated, the Munro estates in Rossshire have - been greatly reduced by litigation; and the decay of the clan-system has made the head of the family a person of less importance than was once the case. But in the seventeenth century, when the spoils of Church had enriched its estates and the feudal power of the lairds had scarcely begun to decay, the Munros shared with the Mackenzies and the. Rosses the control, almost absolute, of that great central Highland shire of Ross, which stretches, north of the Caledonian Canal; from sea to sea. Their lands, lying just north of Inverness, which stands at the upper entrance of the great canal and is the capital of the Highlands, covered a large territory.

            At an event comparatively so unimportant as a funeral they could easily at that time e muster, a thousand fighting men of the name of f Munro. Their tartan is a very gay affair; but they have the right to wear, also, the more sombre plaid of the Black Watch -- a right shared with five other clans who established the regiment in 1729.

In an anonymous manuscript in the British Museum which has just been published is described a journey through the Highlands in 1750.  Therein the unknown author says:  To the West of the Earl of Cromarty's Seat upon an arm of the Sea called Cromartie Firth; is the Country of the Monroes. The Gentle-men of this Clan are all Firm and Steady to a man, and the Commons are well-affected, Honest, Industrious and Religious People.  Those who call them Enthusiasticall, Revengeflul, and Lazy do not know them or are highly prejudiced against them."


According to Rick Monroe who runs the MonroeGen web site, “The spelling of the family name is basically interchangable. "Munro" is the original Scottish spelling and is found only in the earliest, 18th-century records. "Munroe" was the predominate spelling prior to this century. In fact, in the family bible, his great-grandparents entered the name of each new child spelling the name "Munroe" until about 1890, when, with no apparent reason, began using the "Monroe" spelling. “Currently, most of the family in North Carolina spells the name "Monroe," although some, especially in Alabama and Texas, use "Munroe."

            My great, great, grandfather William R. Monroe spelled his last name Munroe, but towards the 1840s it became “Monroe”, and has remained that way through the generations up to present day.  I assume upon arriving in the Americas the surname “Munro” was spelled by clerks and recorders that way it sounded to them at the time.  Once on paper their last name was forever altered.


Leaving Scotland


            This is a story of the Munros, Scots  who emigrated from Scotland to America in search of a better tomorrow.  According to David Dobson and his study of “Scots Colonist of Early America 1612 - 1783” after the “political union of Scotland and England in 1707” Scottish immigrants now had access to lands in America.  Specifically, Georgia, the Carolina’s, upper New York, Nova Scotia and Jamaica held the greatest concentrations of Scots.   I will concentrate on my Highland Scots, specifically the Monroes,  who settled in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. The time line will include events and every day life from the mid 1700s leading up to the year 2000.

After the Battle of Colloden in 1745 the English parliament enacted a series of measures to strip the Scottish Highlanders of their power.  Highlanders, unless they had permission, could no longer wear the tartan, blow the pipes, or carry weapons.  Before 1745 the Clan Chiefs power came from the number of men he could assemble during time of war or local conflict.  After 1745 the Clan Chiefs power laid in what he could extract from the land and his people.  During this time Clan Chiefs began to raise rents.  This was the beginning of hard times.   In addition, Clan chiefs became more distant, lived outside of the highlands, and were less paternal.

            Tacksman, were charged with carrying out the Chiefs instructions, assembling the men, and managing the property. After 1745 unhappy Tacksman who were no longer needed began to organized mass immigrations from the Highlands to North Carolina where the governor, himself a Scotsman, made conditions economically favorable for the Scots.  Before beginning the seagoing voyage the Tacksman would arrange passage with a ships captain, and arrange for kegs of water and food to be brought on board.  From 1740 until the Revolutionary war the voyages from Scotland to the new world were organized and well planned.  The trip usually took four to six weeks to cross the Atlantic.


North Carolina


            In 1725 Colonel (Tuscarora war) Maurice Moore obtained a large land grant along Cape Fear, and soon laid out the town of Brunswick on a point of land twelve miles up from the river’s mouth.  The other founding members of Brunswick, also known as “The Family” were John Baptista Ashe and his wife, Elizabeth, who came from Bath with their three children, John, Samuel, and Mary; Edward and Ann Mosely; Jeremiah Vail; and John and Samuel Swann.  Shortly after the town was formed a highway was laid out from the Virginia line to Cape Fear.  In addition, another road was created linking the southern region with New Bern.  At this time the population of the colony was 36,000. 

In 1734 Governor Gabriel Johnston created Newton or New Town as an economic rival to Brunswick.  Newton was created because Johnston did not like “The Family”.  Newton, later named Wilmington, after Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington, was fifteen miles up the Cape Fear and rivaled Brunswick.  During Johnston’s administration immigrants from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany arrived in North Carolina.  Many had come from Pennsylvania by way of the Wagon Road.  These were mostly Scotch-Irish and lived out in western North Carolina.  One special inducement Governor Johnston used for settling Cape Fear was exempting the new settlers from public taxes for ten years.

Monroes in North Carolina

In the 1700s the Monroes sailed from Scotland, crossed the lonely and expansive Atlantic, and eventually arrived at the mouth of the Cape Fear river in North Carolina.  The river was called Cape Fear due to the series of dangerous, shifting, and forbidding shoals, which only an experienced pilot could navigate.  Once beyond these shoals these tired travelers sailed up to Brunswick, North Carolina.  At that point they used push-pole boats to carry them to Cross City, now Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The journey would take a week by pole boat.  Cross City was a bustling area of Scots with many people speaking only the Gaelic language and holding church services with Gaelic speaking ministers.  Even today you can travel to North Carolina and few the old gravestones etched with Gaelic verses. According to Rick Monroe, The Monroes settled along an arch beginning near Fayetteville and extending northward along the Little River and Cranes (or Grains) Creek, curving toward Carthage and on to Bensalem, near Eagle Springs, then southward into Montgomery County and on down into what is now Scotland County. Later, another group settled in Bladen County, east of Elizabethtown. Cemetery records in the State Division of Archives and History list many Monroes buried in the following cemeteries: Galatia, near the Cumberland-Hoke County border; Longstreet and Sandy Grove, both in Fort Bragg; Mt. Horeb in Bladen County: Union and Kitchen, near Carthage; Bensalem, near Eagle Springs; and McGill, near Wagram. There are many Monroes buried more recently in cemeteries in Fayetteville, Raeford, Laurinburg, and in smaller cemeteries in the area.  During this time most Monroes in North Carolina were farmers, land speculators, merchants, constables, road workers, or operated mills.  Some Monroes were wealthy enough to purchase slaves as depicted by the Cumberland County 1767 Tax List.


Name                                                                          White Poll                  Slaves

Daniel Munro                                                               1                                  0

Patrick Munroe                                                            1                                  1

Lewis Munroe                                                              2                                  0

Peter Munroe                                                               4                                  0

Michael Munroe                                                            4                                  2


Owning a slave is an indicator of wealth…owning one or two slaves meant you were financially well off.  The tax list also indicates moving into another social class beyond that of yeoman farmer.   These men were certainly literate.


Early Monroes in North Carolina


We (The Monroe Email Group) have been unable to determine just when the first Monroes came to the Upper Cape Fear Valley. The 1755 Cumberland County List of Taxables contains the names of five Munroes who obviously had lived in the area for some time before 1755, and some may have been, in the group of Highlanders who originally first arrived in 1739.

North Carolina Taxpayers 1679 - 1790

Absalom                Northhampton                     1780

Arthur                    Rutherford                            1782

Frederick                Northhampton                     1780

George                   Rutherford                            1782

Hector                    Bladen                                    1784

James                     Orange                                   1779

John                       Bladen                                    1784

Lewis                      Bladen                                    1784

Louis                      Bladen                                    1784

Malcomb                Bladen                                    1784

 Thomas                   Chowan                                1785

    Wm                         Rutherford                            1782

          Wm                        Chowan                                1785

          Wm                        Northhampton                     1780


The tax list included Daniel, Dugald, John, Malcolm, and Pat (Patrick). The list shows John, Malcolm, and Patrick living in the same house. Patrick's will, dated 27 August, 1797, and probated in December of that year, appointed as executors "John Munroe son of my brother Daniel, and John Monroe son of my brother Malcolm'' Tradition has it that John Munroe was the father of the three brothers Patrick, Daniel, and Malcolm, and that they were the first Monroes to settle in Cumberland County.


Reference:  Bladen Precinct/County North Carolina

Surviving Land Warrents and Surveys 1735 - 1749 and surviving

land entries 1743 - 1761


John Munro and sons Daniel, Malcolm and Patrick:

Our Immigrant Ancestors?

Reference:  Rick Monroe



Oral tradition is that the common ancestors of the Cape Fear Monroes was a John Munro who settled in the region with three sons. That is probably true. The earliest record of a Munro in the area is John Munro's land grant in Bladen Co. in 1753. (This is actually now in Cumberland Co. Keep in mind that as new counties are formed, the records change to the new county, although the person hasn't moved.) John was born about 1700, based on a 1762 Cumberland Co. court record in which he is recommended to the General Assembly to be exempted from taxes due to old age, "he being about 60 years of age."

John's three son's were Patrick, Daniel and Malcolm. That relationship is documented in Patrick's 1797 will in which he names his executors to be "John Munroe, son of my brother Daniel, and John Munroe, son of my brother Malcolm." Little more is known about Patrick. He seems to have lived on the east side of the Cape Fear River, in what is now Harnett Co. Several times he is assigned by the court to work the roads in that area. That he named his nephews to execute his will suggests that he had no sons, or at least no grown sons. We don't know what became of his line. He died before Aug. 27, 1797, the date his will was filed for probate.

Daniel, often referred to as "Old Daniel," lived on the Lower Little River, in the vicinity of Pope Air Force Base. In fact, the old Munro cemetery there was probably covered over by the Pope landing field. There is a monument at the field to that effect. Daniel operated a toll bridge over the river, a grist mill and a tavern, called an "ordinary" back then. During the Revolution, the Patriots destroyed Daniel's bridge to slow the British army. Later, the county agreed to pay to rebuild the bridge on the condition that Daniel no longer collect tolls Daniel died prior to April 28, 1787, based on the court records.

John's third son, Malcolm Munroe, received several land grants on either side of Drowning Creek in Cumberland/Moore and Anson/Montgomery counties. Because there are about seven different Malcolm Monroes in the same area during this era, we've nicknamed this one "Drowning Creek Malcolm" or DC Malcolm. Like his brother, Daniel, he operated a toll bridge, mill and an ordinary. In 1772, he built a fine home overlooking the creek, which is still standing, but unfortunately, he died later that same year.

Moving forward a generation, "Old Daniel" Monroe had at least two sons: Malcolm Munroe, his oldest son, and John Munroe, mentioned in Patrick's will. By a 1799 deed, Malcolm gives the property he inherited from his father to his brother, John Munroe. In an 1828 partition suit, this same property, belonging to John's estate, is divided among John's three sons, Daniel, Christopher and John (Jr.).


Malcolm, John's brother, was a Patriot in the American Revolution, serving as a private in Capt. McCranie's Company. Both Malcolm and his father, Daniel, were involved in the Massacre at Piney Bottom, as described in The Old North State In 1776, by Rev. Eli Caruthers, 1854. Malcolm owned much land in Cumberland and Moore counties, and seems to have been a land speculator. He ultimately settled in Moore Co. in the vicinity of Union Presbyterian Church, so we have nicknamed him "Union Church Malcolm" or UC Malcolm, for short. He was a justice of the peace and one of the original commissioners who selected the site for the county seat and courthouse when Moore Co. was formed. Even today, one of the four streets leading to the courthouse circle is named Monroe Street for him. When the town was laid-off, there were 16 building lots plotted around the courthouse. Malcolm, ever the wheeler-dealer, bought six lots for himself.

At this point, unfortunately, these families disappear into the mist of history. Numerous courthouse fires and "Our Recent Unplesantness" (aka, the Civil War) has destroyed most records from the first half of the ninteenth century. We do know that "Union Church Malcolm" had one son, Patrick Munroe (1810-1859, spouse, Christian Margaret McNeill) whose line is document in the above-referenced DAR papers. Malcolm may have another son, Neill Munroe. Dugald Monroe, whose family is documented in the Genealogy section of this web site, may have been a son of Neill, or possibly, Malcolm's son.

Similarly, another Malcolm Munroe (nicknamed "Alabama Malcolm" as he emigrated there in 1842) who is also documented here, could have been the son or grandson of "Drowning Creek" Malcolm. Alabama Malcolm was born in Nov. 1773 and Drowning Creek Malcolm died before Dec. 1772. Assuming gestation periods haven't changed significantly in 200 years, one of those dates has to be wrong for them to be father and son.

If the two Malcolms are grandfather and grandson, then who is the father? We do know that DC Malcolm had one son named John (from Patrick's will) and that John and Dugald Munroe were named to work the road from DC Malcolm's bridge after Malcolm's death, suggesting they were his sons. There is also a deed in which an Archibald Munroe buys a mill and store not far away, giving speculation he was Malcolm's son, too. So, Alabama Malcolm could be the son of John, Dugald or Archibald, or of an unknown son of DC Malcolm. Unfortunately, from Moore County's formation in 1784 until sometime in 1880, the courthouse burned three times. Virturally no Moore Co. records survive. We may never definitively know the answer.


As a member of the Monroe email group I am attempting to connect my great, great, grandfather William R. Monroe to the aforementioned line of Monroes.  We in the email group can all trace our Monroe lines back to North Carolina and we believe, but connect yet prove we are all connected somehow to one Monroe or line of Monroes who entered the Cape Fear area sometime in the early 1700s.  We continue to achieve our goal via correspondence (snail mail), email, reading rare books, court records, etc..


Forming of Counties


“In the 1700’s the North Carolina frontier crept slowly westward.  From 1743 until 1748 Bladen County covered most of the North Carolina, part of the Cape Fear, Waccamaw, and PEE DEE river basins, and the region west of them.  The formation of Anson County in 1748 took away most of the PEE DEE yadkin river basin, and the formation of Orange county in 1752 took away the upper Cape Fear, or Haw River basin.  Cumberland county’s formation in 1754 removed the middle Cape Fear basin from Bladen county.


Early Homesteads


Tying together the Monroes of Cumberland, Robeson, and Bladen county is a work-in-process.  Most of the Cumberland Monroe information has been gathered together by Rick Monroe.  The Robeson county Monroes are being worked on by DeAnn, Elaine, and I.  We are hopeful we can eventually tie together the generations of Monroes from 1740 to 1850 before they left  North Carolina for Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.


The missing links are from 1740 to the early 1800’s.  From the mid 1800s on we have documentation linking out generations to a certain ancestor. 


By gathering land deeds, marriage bonds, tax records, wills, court records, and family bibles we hope to eventually make all of the connections.


Daniel Munroe - 100 acres “on a branch of Rockfish Creek called the Juniper Branch near the place where John Nicholdson lives 26 March 1753 entry 150


Daniel Munroe - 50 acres “on the wagon road about 3 ½ miles above Cochrans place on a branch of deep creek 7 May 1753 entry 336


Malcolm and Patrick Munroe - 300 acres “on crane Creek being a branch of little river the place where James Nipers now lives”.  7 May 1753 entry 337


Malcolm Munroe SENr. -  100 acres on Stuarts Creek being a branch of Rockfish Creek including a cotton patch formerly of Mr. Odam about 2 miles from John McFearson’s 7 May 1753 entry 338


John Monroe 24 April 1762 - 100 acres in Cumberland County on a branch of the lower little river back of Richard Lyons


Donald Munroe 22 April 1763 - 95 acres in Cumberland County on the East side of the N.W. River of Cape Fear, joining his own back line, McKays Creek and Malcolm Munroe


Daniel Munrow 9 May 1753 - 100 acres in Bladen County on a branch of RockFish Creek called Juniper branch about 3 miles from the place where John Nicholson lives.


Daniel Munroe 15 November 1753 - 50 acres in Bladen county on deep creek (which is) a branch of little river.


Malcome Munroe and Patrick Munroe 2 March 1754 - 300 acres in Bladen county on the fork of little river, joining the sd. Fork or creek.


Malcome Munroe 22 April 1763 - 100 acres in Cumberland County on the E. side of Drowning Creek.


Patrick Munroe 16 November 1764 - 100 acres in Cumberland on the W side of the N.W. River of Cape Fear on a branch of Rockfish.

Reference:  Colony of North Carolina 1735 - 1764

Abstracts of Land Patents by Margaret M. Hufman


Marriage Records of Robeson County, North Carolina


Monroe, Duncan                  McMillan, Margaret J.                        12/20/1866

Monroe, Duncan                  Legget, Flora                                       --/25/185-

Monroe, Duncan                  Currie, Nelly c.                                   01/30/1865

Monroe, John                       Ausley, Priscilla M.                            05/04/1829

Monroe, Neil T.                    Var-um, Sarah C.                                 12/17/1859

Monroe, Peter                       Currie, Fereby                                    02/05/1863

Munroe, John W.                 Baker, Mary A.                                 03/27/1844

Munroe, Malcom                 Campbell, Flora                                    02/01/1810

Munroe, Duncan                  Tedder, Nancy                                    05/14/1812

Munroe, William R.                McPhatter, Harriet                               11/28/1838

Munrow, Neil                        McIntagart, Mary                                                01/12/1815


Monroe, Mary                      McEachern, Archad                           11/28/1831

Munroe, Christian                McMillan, Neil                                     10/01/1839

Munroe, Mary                      Feguson, Daniel                                   12/10/1822

Munroe, Mary A.                 McPherson, Daniel                              02/24/1840


Life in North Carolina


So what was life like in North Carolina during the late 1700s and early 1800s? From “The Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantations”,  dated 1838, “To describe to you the tract of country through which we now passed would be impossible, so forlorn a region it never entered my imagination to conceive.  Dismal by nature, indeed, as well by name, is that vast swamp, of which we now skirted the northern edge, looking into its endless pools of black water, where the melancholy cypress and juniper trees alone overshadowed the thicklooking surface, their roots all globular, like huge bulbous plants, and their dark branches woven together with a hideous matting of giant creepers, which clung round their stems, and hung about the dreary forest like a drapery of withered snakes.”  North Carolina sounds like a foreboding place full of darkness and mystery. What was timbering like along the swamps?  Again, I go back to a quote, “The wood which is cut upon its borders is obliged to be felled in winter, for the summer, which clothes other regions with flowers, makes this pestilential waste alive with rattlesnakes, so that none dare venture within its bounds, and I should even apprehend that, traveling as rapidly as one does on the railroad, and only skirting this district of dismay, one might not escape the fetid breathings it sends forth when the warm season has quickened its stagnant waters and poisonous vegetation.” 

Along the swamps didn’t seem like a cheery place, either.  But what about the Pine forests?  What was it like to live there?  “after passing this place, we entered upon a country little more cheerful in its aspect, though the absence of the dark swamp water was something in its favor - apparently endless tracks of pine forest, well called by the natives, Pine Barrens.  The soil is pure sand; and , though the holly, with its coral berries, and the wild myrtle, grow in considerable abundance, mingled with the pines, these preponderate, and the whole land presents one wearisome extent of arid soil and gloomy vegetation.  Not a single dwelling did we pass; here and there; at rare intervals, a few miserable Negro huts squatting round a mean framed building, with brick chimneys built on the outside, the residence of the owner of the land, and his squalid serfs, were the only evidence of human existence in this forlorn country.”


Colonial Life in the 1700s


In the 1700’s dwellings were cottages  built of plaster and laths, thatched roofs, chimneys of logs chinked with clay and a floor of dirt.  The log cabin we all are familiar with did not appear until 1720, and then they were mostly in the Piedmont and were built by the Scotch-Irish.  Yeoman farmers grew food for themselves and maybe hunted and trapped.  After all, North Carolina was known for it’s exportation of deerskins.  Navy stores was also a profitable business.  Pitch, tar, and turpentine were exported to Great Britain and elsewhere.

            Women of the 1700s outnumbered men 3 or 4 to 1.  Half of all women arriving in the new world were indentured servants.  To be indentured was part of the business deal for passage to America.  Free women tended to marry between the ages of 20 and 23.  Once a woman married she legally surrendered all of her possessions to her husband.  A woman most likely would marry a man of her own social mobility and depended on his good fortunes.

A typical family might include a widow, a widower, adults who had not yet married, stepchildren, orphans, and servants.  Not a typical family when compared to the 1900s, but these were not normal times.  Infant mortality was high, and adults would often succumb to the different illnesses which colonial America harbored.  So if your looking through the census and find a hodgepodge of people living under one roof then consider it normal.


Politics in the 1700s


No Monroes were living west of the Piedmont between 1700 and 1763 because that geographical area was claimed by France.  After the French and Indian war Great Britain enacted the Proclamation line of 1763, which stated no one may live west of the Appalachian Mountains.  Great Britain was very much in debt and looked to the colonies for relief…if the colonists started moving west then how would they collect theirs taxes.  In addition, if the colonists were in trouble with the Indians then Great Britain would be expected to bail them out.  10,000 British soldiers were sent to America to enforce this line.

            In the north the colonists were in conflict with the British over a series of acts designed to raise revenue for the British to pay off their French/Indian war debt.  The British enacted the Coercive acts, Quartering acts, sugar tax, stamp tax, and others.  The roads in North Carolina were bad, and its doubtful whether or not these events impacted the Carolina Monroes like those in the north. Between 1770 and 1773 was a period known as the “False Calm” under Lord North.  In 1775 the battle of Lexington and Concord take place, Colonists are killed, and circular letters are sent out to the other colonies including North Carolina.

            In 1775 the English enact the “Prohibitory Acts” in effect closing all the colonial ports.  No Monroe emigration going on during this time.  In 1775 Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation offers freedom to any slave who escapes to British lines.  Southerners are busy telling their slaves this is a trick - more conflict for North Carolina.  From now until 1783 colonists are battling English and Tories.  In North Carolina we have the “Battle of Moores Creek” and General Cornwallice is chasing General Greene, and his patriots through South Carolina into North Carolina finally battling at Guilford Courthouse.  Several Monroes from North Carolina were in the battle. 

            In 1783 the peace of Paris is signed and the Proclamation Line of 1763 is no more.  Do Monroes move west?  Not yet.  The British still occupy areas of the Ohio River valley and are trading weapons for furs.  Thus we have armed Indians in large numbers to deal with.  In addition, the roads are still bad and we are just forming a new government.  If Monroes moved anywhere it was probably south into Robeson county and then into South Carolina.

            In 1788 George Washington is elected president.  Congress is trying to figure out what their role is.  Should we be an agrarian or industrial nation.  In North Carolina we were truly agrarian.  During this time Hamilton proposed his four part financial plan.  The fourth part which called for financing roads was killed by Thomas Jefferson for rather complicated reasons.  As a result their were no real roads between the north and the south and communications were poor. Because money was denied from North Carolina (1791) it is unlikely Monroes lived far from their support system of other Monroes and Scottish family.


My Family


The earliest I can go back in my family tree is to William R. Monroe born in 1815 probably in Robeson County, North Carolina.  I am still searching for his parents.  Young William grew up in the foothills of North Carolina among the creeks and swamps.  William probably assisted his parents with the farming, hunting, and fishing.  William had an aunt named Mary Ann Monroe who married Neil Buie.  Neil was pretty well off owning three slaves, a feather bed, horses, saddles, goats, cattle, and property.  Neil’s property was adjacent to Burnt Swamp where many of the Lumberton Indians lived.  In Neils will slaves are treated as property.  For example, “Again I give and bequeath equally between my two nephews William R. Munroe and Neill James Buie 50 acres of land situated on Burnt Swamp together with my boy Robert, my mules, my horses, hogs, and all tools of every description….”

            Young William married Harriet McPhatter in November 1838. From 1840 to 1850 the record is rather murky, but I know from the Mississippi 1850 census that William, wife Harriet, and first born son Louis A. move to Corinth or Rienzi, Mississippi.  I imagine the funds he received upon Neil’s death, and later Harriet’s father’s death enabled them to move west.

In 1840 all native Americans east of the Mississippi were forced westward to Oklahoma. William, wife Harriet, and first son Louis A. now leave Robeson County for the last time to settle the newly opened Indian territory in Mississippi.  Whether they were heading for the Scottish setllement of Union Church I do not know.  They were certainly headed in that direction when they stopped in the Rienze/Danville area of Old Tishimingo county, Mississippi. History suggests that William’s journey to Mississippi took about two months. Imagine the trepidation, fear, and sorrow as William and Harriet gazed one last time at relatives they probably would never see again… then stoically, they loaded their wagon and headed west.




1765  Neill Buie is born in Cumberland County (Brothers Daniel/Archibald/John).  Neill died 8-10-1837 in Robeson County.  Neill married Ann Monroe in North Carolina, but I’m not able to locate the county.  Neill was known as the “Colonel” and served in the militia during the war of 1812.  He was a farmer and lived on Richland Swamp near Philadelphus (Ref: Buie Book Page 126).  This information is of importance because William R. Monroes aunt was Ann Monroe, and would have been sister to William’s father.  In addition, Neill and Ann Monroe had no children and William was listed in Neill’s will along with another Buie nephew.  DeAnn Monroe Steely brought up an interesting point…maybe William was an only child thus Neills favorite.  Sam West, North Carolina historian,  believes Neill Buie was a constable or man of importance because he is present at several weddings. 


1785  29 August - Hector Monroe and Lewis Munroe testators to the will of Donald Swain (Ref: Abstract of Robeson County Will Book II)


1786  Neill Buie overseer of road being built from Little Rockfish to Fayetteville.  Neill Munro and John Munrow are working hands.


1786  DeAnn and Elaine’s Duncan is born


1786  Robeson County is formed from Bladen County


1787 William McPhatter enters 40 ac on E side of Gum Swamp border; near his own line.


1787 Neill Buie enters 50 ac on E side of Richland Swamp; on N side of his own line and on both sides of a small branch.


1787  Robeson County Register

n       Duncan Munroe lives in Great Marsh/One white poll

n       Peter Munroe lives in Great Marsh

n       Note #1  According to DeAnn and Elain’s information their Duncan was born in 1786 in Scotland and Peter was also born in Scotland 1775.  Great Marsh Duncan and Peter do not show in either the 1790 or 1800 census.  Did they purchase this land on speculation and possibly lived in Cumberland County?  Did they give or sell this land later on to Lewis and Colvin?

n       Note #2  Rick Monroe in a past email mentioned that he saw an 1810 deed for a “Peter Munro of Cumberland County” for the purchase of several slaves across the state line in Marion C. South Carolina. (Dillion Co. is immediately south of Robeson and Marion is just south of Dillion.  Rick mentions that the Monroes were wheeler-dealers and were very mobile. 

n       Note #3  According To Rev Jim Monroe he has a Peter which who was born in Cumberland County in 1777.  I mention this Peter because he traveled through Robeson County to South Carolina, to Georgia, and then back to South Carolina. Possibly this Peter may be the Peter in Great Marsh?  Quoting Jim “He (Peter) married Sarah Elizabeth Mintier who was from Fayetteville.  The next time I know anything certain about him he was in Georgia, and Sarah dies.  After that David (his son) goes back to Fayetteville and is raised by his grandmother Mintier and his uncle John Mintier.  Peter goes to Marion County, SC, and David joins him in the Mid-1820s.  The only other record I know anything about—and do not have—is a deed in Marion County in 1810 where Peter apparently bought a slave.  I do know that he was a builder of cotton presses and was known for making the huge screws that turned them.  It is also possible that he built bridges and some churches, but we aren’t sure.


1788  Jan 21, Malcom Munroe enters 50 ac in the fork of Raft Swamp


1789 Robeson County Land Entries 1787 - 1795

n       Lewis Munroe enters 50 acres on west side of Great Marsh?near Desart Pond/another 50/another 200

n       Colvin (?) Munroe living in Great Marsh


1789  October 26th Lewis Munroe is heir to the will of John McPherson (father-in-law of Lewis Munroe)  We know now Lewis married a McPherson (Ref: Abstract of Robeson County Will Book II)


1790 Census shows Malcolm Monroe with 2 males over 16 and 2 males under 16.  Lewis Monro with 1 male over 16 and 2 under 16 years of age.  Collin Monro with 1 male over 16 and 3 males under 16.  Why doesn’t the census list Great Marsh Duncan and Peter?  Where these two land speculators who didn’t live in Great Marsh?  Anyway, the total male count is eleven.  Wow!  This means between 1800 and 1810 you would start to see several Monroes coming into the picture based only on those under the age of 16 in 1790.  Delain’s (DeAnn and Elains’s) Duncan would have probably been fathered by either Malcolm (Two L’s”), Lewis, or Collin.  I’m basing this assumption on the “First Census of the United States” Fayette District, Robeson County.  We need to find the spouses for Malcolm, Lewis, and Collin. 


1790 Hugh McGugan enters 50 ac E of Great Marsh; between his own line and Colvin Munroe


1790  A Neill Buie marries an Ann Monroe somewhere in North Carolina

n       IGI Record

n       Film Number:  1903928


1790 Duncan Munroe is approximately 4 years old


1791 Neil Buie enters 25 acres South of Richland Swamp; border: his own land - near Sizmors Bay and Moodys bay


1793 Malcom Munroe enters 125 acres betwen Mill Swamp and Raft Swamp; border John Smith and his own line


1793 Lewis Munroe granted land












Munroe, Malcom

State of NC


30 acres, NE Raft Swamp



Munroe, Malcom

State of NC


50 acres, Raft Swamp



Munroe, Lewis

State of NC


50 acres, between Great & Little Marsh



1793  Colen(?) Munroe enters 170 acres; border; his own line, Hugh Mcgugan & Gum Branch pond.


1793 Daniel McPhatter enters 50 ac at “the” springs


1796  Malcom Sr. Monroe is granted 50A at Raft Swamp










Munroe, Malcom, SR.

State of NC


125 acres, E. McPhauls Mill Swamp



1797 29 December -  Colin Munroe is witness to the will of Duncan Brown


1798 Angus Monroe recieves 15A W Middle Br from John McGirt


1799 Peter Munroe from James Smith deeded land


1800  Peter Munroe from William Regan deeded land










Munroe, Peter

Wm. Regan


99+ acres, S Great Marsh swamp



1800  Duncan is approximately 14 years old

n       Colin Munroe has one male up to age 16

n       Marion Munroe has one male up to age 16



1800 North Carolina Census - Robeson County

n       Malcom Munroe 3 males between 16 - 26, 1 Female 16- 26, 1 Female 45 & up

n       Archibald Munroe 2 females/1 male under 10/1male&1 female under 45

n       Colin Monroe 1 male 10 - 16/2 males & 1female 16 - 26/male & female 45 & up

n       Marion Munroe 2 male & 1 female 10 - 16/1 male 16 - 26/male & female 45 & up



1804  Marion Co SC Deedbook C/133; Peter Munroe to Neil Munroe of Cumberland Co NC; $550/600 acres; 2 Feb 1804; on SW side of Buck Swp being part of 5 tracts bounding together including the plantation whereon Peter Munroe now lives beg at a pine corner on Major Moody's line at the head of the Meadows Branch the E on side line to Long Branch...down run of branch oposite upper corner of Thos Cribbs fence to his line...up his line NW thence NE on Cribs line to a large water oak in Buck Swp...a NW in said sup (sic) to a small water oak...SW to a corner on a tract of 200 acres granted to Isaac Atkinson thence NW on said tract...SW to beginning...warrant...; signed: Peter Munroe; wit: Archd. Shaw, Murdoch McInnis, John Carmichael, Caty X Carmichael; pr: Shaw, 4 Feb 1805 before Valentine Rowell; recorded: Jul 1805 fees due. [abstracted by Jo Church Dickerson]



1804  According to Debra J. Kerner ( “In a Marion county deed dated 1803, Peter Monroe deeds to Duncan Carmicheal, Mary (Monroe) Carmichael’s husband of Marion Dist.. Merchant, “my right or claim” or eight negroes, Jacob, Cloe, Grace, Carolina, Simon, Mingo, Alse and Bet.  These are basically the same folks from the equity roll.  Then in 1804, Peter Munroe of Marion Dist. Planter deeds to Neil Munroe of Cumberland County, NC a 600 acre tract of land on Buck Swamp - part of five tracts bounding together including where Peter Munroe lives; the tract lying at the head of Meadow Branch & along Long Branch.


1807  Marion Co SC Deedbook C/390 Neil Munroe of NC to Samuel Edwards of Marion District; $500/600a; 2 Jan 1807 ...excepting 24 acres granted to Thomas Cribbs by a deed in the aforesaid District; on SW side of Buck Swp being part of 5 tracts butting & bounding together including the plantation in possession of Neil Munroe beginning at a pine corner on Major Moodys line at head of Meadow Branch thence SE to pine corner thence SE to litewood stake in run of Long Branch thence the run of said branch opposit upper corner of Cribbs fence thence up his line large water oak in Buck Swp thence NW in said swamp to a small water oak thence SW to a corner of 200 acres granted to Isaac Atkeison thence NW on said Tract to beginning...; signed: Neill Munroe; wit: Neill Carmichael, Cullin Edwards, Dugal Carmichael, Edward Herring; proved: Dugal 3 Aug 1807 bf Samuel Cooper; recorded: 3 Aug 1807.



1810 Duncan is approximately 24 years old

n       Malcom Munroe has two males up to age 26


1810 Malcom Munroe marries Flora Campbell 1 Feb 1810.  Angus Monroe is born.  Malcom Galbreath is the bondsman. Ref:  Marriage Bond.  In addition, the will of Flora Monroe dated 16 February 1864, pg. 216 lists Mary as the eldest daughter, wife of Arch’d McEachern - 10.00 dollars inheritance.  The second daughter Christian, wife of Neill McMillan - 10.00 dollars cash.  Son Peter Monroe 10.00 cash.  Granddaughter Julia Ann Monroe.  Son Duncan Monroe.  DeAnn mentions Duncan, Daniel, Dugald, Mary, and Effie as siblings, but I don’t see an Angus Monroe.  Angus Monroe is mentioned in the Campbell references.


1812  Peter Monroe 67 Scotland/Isabella 67 Scotland/Malcolm 40 NC/Peter Monroe emigrated to America in 1802.  A farmer in Robeson County,NC with a wife and four children in 1812 (Ref.  Scots in the Carolinas)  IGI Record shows a Malcolm Monroe born 1830 to a Peter and Isabel Monroe Film Number 537803, Page Number 120, Reference Number: 76122


1812 Duncan Munroe marries Nancy Tedder 14 May 1812/Malcom Munroe is present (ref. Marriage Bond Abstracts from Pam Hayes)


1812  Christian Monroe is born.  Parent were Flora Campbell and Malcom Monroe


1815 Neill Munrow marries Mary McIntagart 12 Jan 1815.  Daniel Munrow is on the marriage bond.


1815 Alexander Munroe from John Matthews deeded land.  According to “Scots in the Carolinas”, Page 240, Alexander Munroe born in 1768.  Emigrated to America during 1803.  In 1812 he was listed as a farmer in 1812.  Why would Alexander settle in Robeson county was at the time was difficult to get too unless he was following other Monroes?  Remember Peter Monroe emigrated in 1802, and maybe he was a brother of Peter?


1815 William R. Munroe is born


1819  Peter Munroe from James Watson deeded land


1820 Duncan is married with family


1822  June 19th Dugald Munroe is testator to the will of Nancy Lamb (Ref: Abstract of Robeson County Will Book II)


1822  Malcom Munroe is hier to the will of Angus Campbell (father-in-law of Malcom Munroe) (Ref: Abstract of Robeson County Will Book II)


1822 Marey Munroe marries Daniel Ferguson 10 Dec 1822


1822 Malcom Munroe from Malcom McGugan deeded land










Munroe, Malcom

Malcom McGugan


87 acres, SW Little Marsh



1823 Peter Munroe from Donald Matthews Sr. Deeded land


1823  Littleton Tedder marries Mary Vincon.  Malcom Munroe is the bondsman.


1824  Malcolm (born 1783) and Flora Monroe (born 1783) give birth to Colin


1824 Margaret Monroe receives 200A Watering Branch from Angus Gilchrist


1825 Malcolm (born 1783) and Flora Monroe (born 1783) give birth to Duncan


1827  Neil Buie, uncle to William R. Monroe attends the wedding of Duncan Campbell and Christian McKinnon on December 5, 1827.  They were married in St Pauls church, Robeson County.  Malcom Monroe had married into the Campbell family when he married Flora Campbell, sister to Duncan.


1827 Malcolm (born 1783) and Flora Monroe (born 1783) give birth to Peter


1829 John Monroe marries Prescilla M. Ausley 4 May 1829 and Neill Buie is present.



1830 Malcolm Monroe is born (Father Peter and mother Isabel)

n       IGI Record

n       Film Number 537803

n       Page Number: 120

n       Reference Number 76122


1831  Mary Monroe marries Archibald McEachern 28 Nov 1831


1831 Duncan and Peter leave for Talladega County, Alabama.  In addition, a Malcolm Monroe  and Margaret (Black) were in Talladega County.  Malcolm was a blacksmith and died in 1859.  According to Patterson’s book they moved sometime around 1839.  I don’t know if there is a connection, but I thought it worth mentioning.


1837  Neill Buie leaves estate to William R. Monroe


1838 William R. Munroe marries Harriet McPhatter 28 Nov 1838


1839 Christian Munrow marries Neill McMillan 1 Oct 1839.  Malcom Munroe attended the wedding.


1839  William R. Monroe and family leave for Mississippi.


1840 Mary Ann Munroe marries Daniel McPherson 24 Feb 1840


1840 Census Index John Monroe, John W. Monroe, Malcom Monroe, Peter Monroe,


1850  Duncan Monroe marriage to Flora Legget

Batch Number: M516029


1850  Census shows a Malcolm 64 born in Scotland and a flora 63 also born in Scotland.  Colin 26, Duncan 25, and Peter 23 all born in Robeson county (Ref: “Scots in the Carolinas, Page 241)


1864  The will of Flora Campbell Monroe, dated 16 February 1864 lists the following heirs:

            eldest daughter - Mary, wife of Arch’d McEachern

            second daughter - Christian, wife of Neill McMillan

            Son - Peter Monroe

            granddaughter - Julia Ann Monroe

            Son - Duncan Monroe (Duncan is executer of this estate)

            (Ref: Abstract of Robeson County Will Book II)



Robeson County, North Carolina Land Records






Year of Rec.







Peter McGeachy





20 Acres West Gum Branch



D McGirt





N Watering Hole Branch


Flora, Daniel, Malcom, Mary

Dugald Campbell





675 Acres Great Marsh & Ten Mile Swamp



Archibald Buie





117.5A Richland Swamp



Absalom Davis





100 acres Ten Mild Swamp



Mary Taylor





3 Tracts Wilkison Swamp


Archibald Malcom




James Smitch





355 acres near Raft Swamp



Neill Wilkinson


B of S





Neill & Mary

Archibald McNeill


P of A





William R.

McPherson Buie





301 ½ Acres Burnt Swamp










Robert L

Susan Bracy





Samual Bracy EST


Mary & Sarah C.

Annabella Munroe





289 Acres


Dugald & Nannie B






Red Springs Twp


Annie S & John K

James Jacobs





25 Acres Pembroke Twp.


Annie S. and John R.



P of A





Annie S & J.R.

Doris Locklear





40 Acres Pembroke Twp


Dugald & Nannie McR

Katie McC Buie





Red Springs


Colin A.

Archibald J McLauchlin





55 acres



Eddie L McNeill by TR





Frank Munroe EST


Nannie B

Liberty Mfg Co by TR





Red Springs Twp


Dugald & Nannie McR

Katie McA Buie


QC Deed



9 Tracts Red Springs Twp


Nannie B.

E.L. Buie





2 Tracts Red Springs Twp









First Monroes Serving on Juries

Reference:  Rick Monroe


In January, 1756, John and Malcolm Munrow served on the grand jury and in Decernber, 1756, Daniel Munrow served on the petit jury. In April, 1757, Daniel Munrow submitted an expense account for his services as a juror on the supreme court in Wilmington. These were duties to which men of stature and prominence in the community were called upon to perform and obviously these Munrows had been living in the area for several years prior to being called for jury duty. They were certainly among the first Monroes (Munrows) to settle in the valley.


Ensign James Munro

Reference:  Rick Monroe


Ensign James Munro, by his own account, came to Cumberland County, NC, with his family in 1757. He raised men to serve in the Highlander regiment during the Revolution and was commissioned an ensign in that organization. He was captured by the Whigs at Moore's Creek Bridge and imprisoned for more than four years. He was finally exchanged, and he joined a Highland detachment in Charleston and remained there until American pressure forced the withdrawal of the detachment. His property in North Carolina consisted of two hundred acres of land on Bones Creek and fifty acres on Deep Creek where he lived. His property was seized, along with that of many other Loyalists, without compensation. In 1783, he submitted a claim to the British government for 378 pounds sterling as compensation for the loss of his property. His loyalty to the Crown was proved, and he was awarded twenty pounds per annum to begin "at Michaelmas, 1783". The duration of this annuity was not specified


In his claim, James Munro stated that his wife and children were still in North Carolina, that they were destitute, and that he had not been able to bring them out of the country. I have not been able to find out how they were or what happened to them. Of particular interest to historians is the narrative of the seizure of county records by James Munro as quoted herein: "I seized the records of the county in order to strengthened the influence of government.    I had all of the records mentioned privately buried underground in the woods along with my own bonds, books, and most valuable papers, with strict directions not to touch them until I should return. Consequently they were suffered to remain in that situation so long that when they were taken up, many of the books were quite destroyed and almost all my own papers rendered useless" The first volume of the Minutes of the Cumberland County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions has long been missing and Munro's statement probably accounts for it. James Munro lived between the present towns of Fayetteville and Raeford, and since other members of our family lived in the same area, it seems reasonably certain that he was related to our branch of the Monroes



Go West!!!


In the late 1700s and early 1800s we have the industrial revolution where industrialism replaces agriculture as the economic survival of a state, but in North Carolina we have a lack of industry.  The roads are still bad and agriculture is still the main stay of economics, but shortly after the 1790’s many Scotch in North Carolina began to heed stories of a land of plenty to the southwest.  There, along the higher eastern banks of the great Mississippi river lay a land that could be had for the taking.  “A land where transportation was not a problem that it was in North Carolina, where a ton of freight sometimes cost fifty dollars to move from Brunswick to the Scotch villages of Cumberland County; for these goods could be brought up the great river by sea going boats, and bought at from merchants at a reasonable price, and crops could be marketed to these same merchants at a big price (Buie Book).”

            The first Scots from Robeson County who explored these new lands along the Mississippi were George Torrey, son Dougald Torrey, Laughglin Currie, and Robert Willis in 1806.  Most likely they took the wagon trail from Greensboro, NC to Jonesboro in Tennessee and then west to Nashville.  There the trail turns south to Columbia then west toward Savannah, Tennessee.  Cross the Tennessee River to Purdy, now called Selmer.  At Selmer a wagon road leads south to Corinth, Mississippi.  From Corinth you travel south and pick up the Nathchez Trace and follow that southwest to Union Church.  This probably took them 3 months to travel one way. 

A second Scottish group arrived with the last names Galbreaths, Gilchrists, Camerons, and Montgomery.  These Scots were nearly all Presbyterians and they established a church in 1811.  Union Church was organized in 1817 by Reverend Joseph Bullen before the state was admitted into the union.  These settlers were mainly from Robeson county, North Carolina.  After several years Reverend Joseph Bullen gathered the Presbyterian families that had collected from different parts of the country and organized them into a church, which has ever since been known as “Union Church”

            Union Church was then given to a large section of the country in the eastern end of Jefferson county, Mississippi.  It extends about 20 miles from west to east, running over into the present county of Lincoln for several miles.  Its average width is perhaps ten miles from north to south.  It embraces the two Presbyterian churches of Ebenezer and Union and at a later date two Methodist churches, Nebo and Galatia.

            The ruling elders of Union Church were Angus Patterson, Neil Buie Jr., John Buie, Matthew Smylie, Charles McDonald, Murdock McDuffie, john Watson, John Buie, Archibald Baker, Reuban Lee, Malcolm McPherson, Lewis Cato, Daniel G. Buie, Daniel H. Cameron, William B. Alsworth, Samuel D. McCallu, Allen Cato, N.R.C. Watson, Davind Galbreath, John Smylie, George Torrey, and Peter Wilkinson.

            The register on names (Not all inclusive) included McArn, McArthur, McBride, Mccall, McCallum, McCure, McCluthie, McCormich, McCorvey, McDonald, McDougald, McDuffie, McEachern, Mcfater, McIntyre, McLaurin, McLean, McMillen, McMurchie, McNair, McPherson, McQueen, McRea, and others.

            The period between 1820 and 1830 may be called the romance period of the Scotch settlement.  The people were young, times were good, and money was to be made.  After the civil war Yankee carpetbaggers moved in and bought up the land.  The proud Scotch families moved away over time and the area eventually lost its Scotch identity.


Monroes in Mississippi


            Most likely William and his family traveled to Mississippi via the wagon trail from Greensboro, NC to Jonesboro in Tennessee, then west to Nashville.  At that point the trail turned south to Columbia and then west toward Savannah, TN.  From there you cross the Tennessee River to Purdy, now called Selmer.  From Selmer a wagon road led south to Corinth, Mississippi.  The distance from North Carolina to Mississippi was approximately 600 miles and required more than two months travel time.  A move to a new region normally included the biblical twelve families traveling as a unit.  For example, in the early 1800s the Dilworth migration from Robeson county, North Carolina to Mays Creek in Old Tishomingo county, Mississippi included twelve familes. 

Arriving in Mississippi William and Harriet file a claim for land and begin farming. In 1851 William R. Monroe becomes one of many constables in Tishomingo county.  “Tishomingo county contained nearly one million acres of land, the largest county ever created in the State of Mississippi, and perhaps in the south…”  “Each town in the county was moving forward at a most rapid pace; new enterprises were being established daily; the vast timbered areas were being rapidly cleared and the merchant timber manufactured into lumber by the numerous mills which had been established in all sections of the county; in the towns handsome frame cottages were fast taking the place of the original log structures, and the planters and farmers were not behind their brethren in the business centers; thousands of acres of prairie and bottom lands had been cleared and placed in a high state of cultivation, and the surplus products of the soil shipped to market by way of Eastport were bringing in thousands of dollars annually. “  This area of Mississippi was certainly a prosperous locale during this time, and William and Harriet had additional issues to the family; William R. Monroe Jr. Born in 1840, Mary Ann (Anny G) born in 1844, Thomas Franklin born in 1848, Neal B born in 1851, Hattie and James.

            From the 1840s’ until William disappearance or death between 1855 and 1860 Harriet sent the children to school and paid for their education as indicated by the “Old Tishomingo School Records which dates from 1856 to 1859.  Whatever hardships Harriet endured while a single mother she still managed the farm and was able to provide for her children’s future.


The Civil War

It is uncertain whether or not William owned slaves, or took great concern over the north’s desire to abolish slavery.  In the 1860 census William is no longer listed in the census, and he probably had died between 1855 and 1860.  Harriet or Louis was now controlling the household and without William’s income as constable times must have been difficult.  Through the hard times the old Tishomingo school records give evidence that Harriet still managed to pay for  her younger children’s education (Appendix A).

            In the summer of 1861, A.E. Reynolds., a lawyer from  Jacinto, Mississippi met with President Jefferson Davis requesting authority to raise a regiment  of soldiers from Tishomingo county.  Reynolds was given permission with the understanding that he would find suitable means to equip the regiment himself.  Without delay, Reynolds returned home and received assistance from Francis Marion Boone, a prominent planter, and other able citizens.

            William R. and Louis A., poor country farmers, enlisted in Company B: Rienzi, Jacinto, et al.  Their group was called “Boones Revenge” and they fought in numerous engagements with the Yankees.  But at the close of the civil war there were only 12 members left for Lee’s surrender.  What happened to the rest?  Either they had returned to war torn Mississippi or were buried in a shallow grave without a tombstone.



Post Civil War


Did Louis A. and William R. Monroe survive the war?  To date I have evidence that William was alive in 1870 living in Prentis County, which is just below Alcorn County where the family originally settled.  In addition, there is handwritten information from 1911 listing William and Louis as veterans from the civil war. 


William’s Sons


According to family history my great grandfather Neil B. Monroe left Mississippi for Florida.  Somewhere along the way Neil became a surveyor, married, had six sons, and they eventually all settled in Quay (Now Winter Beach, Florida).  William R. Monroe Jr. Settled on 79 acres around Tallahassee, Florida and I have no additional information.  Thomas Franklin Monroe inherited the Mississippi farm and worked it until his death in 1922.  Louis A. Monroe disappears after the civil war.  The youngest son James is also a unknown.


Thomas Franklin Monroe


            Thomas Franklin Monroe either inherited or purchased the farm in Mississippi.  Thomas and his mother Harriet worked the farm growing cotton and vegetables.  It is uncertain exactly what crops were in abundance or whether they raised livestock in abundance.  Thomas who was born 9 August 1848 in Mississippi died there 15 April 1922 and is buried in the old Danville cemetary, which is where is mother is buried.  At this time I am unsure if Harriet was buried next to Willaim, her husband, or William is possibly buried someplace unknown.  According to my cousin Sandra who lives in Mississippi, the headstone for Harriet was added by the grandchildren.  Maybe Harriet is buried next to William and the grave is unmarked?  Thomas’s wife Octavia Monroe born 15 September 1852 - died 22 June 1933 is also buried in the old Danville cemetary.


Thomas and Octavia had the following issues:


            Franklin S. Monroe

            Doxie Burnett (Granny Dox_

                        Ben -  Ben visited the Monroes in Florida at one time in his life.

                        Walter Ed (1879 - 1939)

                        Charley F. (3 Nov 1881 - 16 Sep 1969)


                        Annie (1889 -1964)

                        George Lee (30 July 1883 - 16 Sep 1946)

                        Henry Stevenson (7 Nov 1881 - 16 Sep 1969)

Thomas Franklin Monroe (continued)


            Henry Stevenon

            Mary Katherin “Kate” Hamlin (24 Nov 188? - 11 May 1919) Died from pneomina

                        Rupert A (13 August 1911 - 12 Dec 1980)

                        Henry Fred (20 March 1918 - Died in the 1980’s)

                        Annice (10 Dec 1914 - Living)

                        Naomi (Living)

                        Laura Katerhine (Deceased; Kentucky)

                        Curtis Ray (01 Dec 1906 - 9 July 1980)

                        William Fred (17 July 1913 - 15 September 1913)


            Henry Stevenson (Remarried)

            Junnie Mae Smith (28 Sep 1906 - 28 August 1978)

                        Harold S. (7 March 1924 - Resides in Corinth)

                        Doris June (11 June 1928 - Resides in Corinth)

                        Martha (19 June 1930 - 24 Feb 1983)

                        Jeanette (29 September 1932)

                        Peggy Ruth (3 Sep 1937)

                        Jimmy Donald (17 May 1940 - Resides in Corinth)




Neil and Family in Florida


Great grandfather Neil Monroe (15 January 1851 - 20 June 1925) worked as a surveyor in northern Florida until I assume he was ready to retire.  Based on the 1920 census data he would have been 58 in the family had moved to Quay in 1910.  The date 1910 is a guess because I have no information pin pointing the earliest homestead date.  In Quay my grandfather Aaron Lee Monroe is a tomato farmer, William R. his brother is a sheriff, Sam is a citrus farmer, and I’m not sure of the rest.



1917 Draft Registration for WW1






Monroe, Aron Lee                       20 Jul 1894        W                             Monticello FL Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, Edgar                              4 Aug 1895        B                             Rome GA Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, James Walter                2 Aug 1878        W                            Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, Neal Benjamin             18 Aug 1889        W                            Lamont FL Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, Sam                                  8 Mar 1897        W                            Lamont FL Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, Sam                                  8 Mar 1897        W                            his dad b. Corinth MS Saint Lucie FL

Monroe, Willie Robert                  8 Mar 1880        W


1920 ST. LUCIE COUNTY (FL) CENSUS INDEX of towns in present day Indian River County, Florida National Archives Roll #625-226 Indexed by Aurie Morrison - July 1998


TOWNS           PAGE                 HOUSE                 LAST NAME   FIRST NAME   AGE                     BIRTH PLACE


Quay                      01A                 004                 Monroe                 Meta E                   21                            Florida

Quay                      01A                 004                 Monroe                 Tressie D              1mo                         Florida

Quay                      01A                 004                 Monroe                 Annette                 04                            Florida

Quay                      01A                 004                 Monroe                 Benjamin N           29                            Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 Agnes                    04                            Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 McCall                   14                            Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 Harvey                   10                            Florida

Viking                     04B                051                 Monroe                 Mollie                     07                            Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 J W                         42                            Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 James                     R 12                        Florida

Viking                     04B                 051                 Monroe                 Manda                   34                           Florida

Vero                        14A                 326                 Monroe                 Mary A                 48                            Florida

Vero                        14A                 326                 Monroe                 Aaron L                 25                            Florida

Vero                        14A                 326                 Monroe                 Neil                         68                            Mississippi

Vero                        14A                 326                 Monroe                 Samuel                   23                            Florida




Index to the Indian River County, Florida 1935 State Census: L-R

 NAME                                                   PRECINCT                                            PG

 Monroe, Cecil                                       Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Earl S                                      Vero Beach                                          49

Monroe, Elizabeth                                Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Harold                                    Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Harvey S                              Vero Beach                                            12

Monroe, J. R. S                                     Vero Beach                                           12

Monroe, J. W. S                                   Vero Beach                                           12

Monroe, Junita                                     Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Lydia S                                 Vero Beach                                            49

Monroe, Majorie                                 Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Margaret S                            Vero Beach                                          12

Monroe, Mollie S                                 Vero Beach                                           12

Monroe, N. B.                                       Quay                                                      2

Monroe, Rosea                                     Quay                                                      2

Monroe, S. S. S                                     Vero Beach                                            49

6/25/2001 last update  All rights reserved copied by permission of Bill Monroe