Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Charlotte, North Carolina

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all 19

Profiles

  • William Alexander Graham, signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (c.1740 - 1818)
    Honorable William Graham was a signer of the Mecklenberg Declaration of Indendence adopted at Charlotte NC 20-31 May 1775. William was a farmer throughout his life. In Mecklenberg. His will was probate...
  • William Crook Graham (1841 - 1914)
    Marriage: January 3, 1871 Son of Archibald & Elizabeth Crook Graham. Confederate Service: Served in Company H and later Company B of the 6th SC Infantry. Husband of Margaret McCall. Father of 12 ...
  • Ida Parks Black (1882 - 1951)
    She is an aunt of Rev. Dr. William Franklin "Billy" Graham Jr.
  • Randolph Scott (1898 - 1987)
    Randolph Scott (January 23, 1898 – March 2, 1987) was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott ...
  • Billy Graham (1918 - 2018)
    William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) was an American evangelical Christian evangelist, who rose to celebrity status as his sermons were broadcast on radio and television. Graham...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Official Website

Charlotte is the county seat of Mecklenburg County in the Piedmont Plateau region of the US.

History

The Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County (in the Charlotte area) and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records. By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from smallpox, which was endemic among Europeans, because the Catawba had not acquired immunity to the new disease.

The European-American city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding European population in the backcountry. German immigrants also settled the area before the American Revolutionary War, but in much smaller numbers. They still contributed greatly to the early foundations of the region.

The area that is now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood. Thomas Polk (granduncle of U.S. President James K. Polk), who later married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path ran north–south and was part of the Great Wagon Road; the second path ran east–west along what is now Trade Street.

Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents. He wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest".

Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become "Charlotte Town", incorporating in 1768. The crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of Uptown Charlotte. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development. The east–west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon", or simply "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square".

While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte Town, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs".

Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that eventually led to the American Revolution. May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's state flag and state seal also bear the date.

Charlotte is traditionally considered the home of Southern Presbyterianism, but in the 19th century, numerous churches, including Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic formed, eventually giving Charlotte the nickname, "The City of Churches".

In 1799, in nearby Cabarrus County, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17- pound rock, which his family used as a doorstop. Three years later, a jeweler determined it was nearly solid gold, paying the family a paltry $3.50. The first documented gold find in the United States of any consequence set off the nation's first gold rush. Many veins of gold were found in the area throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to the 1837 founding of the Charlotte Mint. North Carolina was the chief producer of gold in the United States until the Sierra Nevada find in 1848, although the volume mined in the Charlotte area was dwarfed by subsequent rushes.

Some groups still pan for gold occasionally in local streams and creeks. The Reed Gold Mine operated until 1912. The Charlotte Mint was active until 1861, when Confederate forces seized it at the outbreak of the Civil War. The mint was not reopened at the war's end, but the building, albeit in a different location, now houses the Mint Museum of Art.

The city's first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub.

The population grew again during World War I, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene, north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war, launching urbanization that eventually overtook older cities along the Piedmont Crescent.

The city's modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, largely under the leadership of financier Hugh McColl. McColl transformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) into a formidable national bank that through aggressive acquisitions eventually merged with BankAmerica to become Bank of America. First Union, later Wachovia in 2001, experienced similar growth before it was acquired by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo in 2008. Measured by control of assets, Charlotte became the second largest banking headquarters in the United States, after New York City.

On September 22, 1989, the city was hit by Hurricane Hugo. With sustained winds of 69 mph and gusts of 87 mph, Hugo caused massive property damage, destroyed 80,000 trees, and knocked out electrical power to most of the population. Residents were without power for weeks, schools were closed for a week or more, and the cleanup took months. The city was caught unprepared; Charlotte is 200 miles inland, and residents from coastal areas in both Carolinas often wait out hurricanes in Charlotte.

Links

Wikipedia

The Billy Graham Library

Carolina Panthers Stadium

Carolinas Aviation Museum

Carowinds

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

The Gantt Center

Kings Mountain National Military Park

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Spectrum Center

US National Whitewater Center

Rosedale Plantation