The current Highland county only came into being in 1847 and was formed from Bath and Pendleton Counties. It was named for its lofty elevation.
... but In 1745 what is now Highland County was at the far edge of land for white settlement in the Virginia Colony. We still have lots of land records showing exactly who owned what, even though some were speculators and did not live on their land.
For this project, a Pioneer is someone who came to the land currently in Highland county before the American Revolution in 1776.
(much information came from the Highland Historical Society)
Here is some useful reading:
A History of Highland County, Virginia By Oren F. Morton 1911
A Handbook of Highland County and a supplement to Pendleton and Highland History By Oren F. Morton 1922
In the early days of April, 1746, when all Augusta had not 6,000 white people, and when the county seat had no other name than "Beverly's Mill Place," the county surveyor laid off several tracts within the Highland area. He came again at the close of July and still again in September. Altogether he laid off 21 tracts on the Bullpasture and Cowpasture, but almost wholly on the former. Besides running lines for 14 persons, nearly or quite all of whom are reported as being on the ground, he reserved a tract for Andrew Lewis, his brother, and three more for the syndicate of which the two brothers were members. All these surveys came under the order of council of 1743. The 348-acre tract of Andrew Lewis was patented by himself four years later, and the farm of W. P. B. Lockridge is now a portion of it.
The settlers now here were
- Alexander Black,
- John and Robert Carlile,
- Wallace Ashton,
- Loftus Pullin,
- Richard Bodkin,
- James Miller,
- Matthew Harper,
- William Warwick,
- James Largent,
- William Holman,
- John McCreary,
- Samuel Delamontony,
- Archibald Elliott, and
- Robert Armstrong.
Black was just above the mouth of the Bullpasture, where Major J. H. Byni, now lives. All the others, with perhaps one exception, were on the Bullpasture itself, and nearly or quite in the order they are named as one ascends the river.