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The Appalachians, the historical home to North
Carolina Mountain Folk. They were primarily farmers and skilled
craftsmen, they were used to hard work and not intimidated by the
intense labor that was mountain life. Most of the immigrants were
Scots-Irish, English, and Germans
Many Northern Scots left the British Isles and came to America in the early 18th century. They came to Maryland and Pennsylvania but found the lands along the Delaware and the Chesapeake taken by earlier settlers from England. They moved west following the Great Appalachian Valley, moving southward into the Piedmont and mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
These early settlers were descendents of hardy Scots who had survived many years of struggle against invaders who, time after time, forced to live in the mountainous lands of the Scotland, they were sustained only through hard work, frugal living and the love of freedom.
The English that migrated from the Tidewater regions of Virginia and North Carolina and were the sons and grandsons of original settlers. They were late comers who found most of the best land taken and prices for existing homesteads ever increasing. Some were also of dissenting faiths, such as Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers, and were leaving eastern Virginia and North Carolina in order to escape discrimination, persecution, and taxes levied to support the Anglican Church.
These English settlers brought with them an intense devotion to the legitimate principles of liberty, law, and justice. In their heritage was the story of a long struggle for individual rights against centuries of oppressors.
The German families that made homes throughout the Piedmont and Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina were a peace-loving and industrious people and became to be recognized as the best farmers in America, and many of them were skilled craftsmen.
Family and Hard Work
Itís very likely that most of the people who now live in the Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina are descendents of these first settlers. To this day they retain many of the admirable traits characteristic of their ancestors.
They remain a proud people, proud of their ancestry, willing to sacrifice to see that their sons and daughters have a better life than they have known. Many remain true to the faith of their forefathers and are unique, creative, and self-reliant. Appalachian folk tend to be conservative, weighing change cautiously before accepting it. Most of the early families had only what they could carry or by pack horse. Some later settlers came by wagon and were able to bring more bedding, utensils, tools, seeds and plants, and such items as a spinning wheel and loom; but for many years, all needs had to be supplied by the family and from the resources at hand.
The lush forests of the Appalachians provided materials for houses, barns, household furnishings, tools, fences, and fuel. The first homes were simple cabins made of logs and occasionally covered with boards hand split from logs, until saw mills made an appearance.
The early settlers, who came to the mountain region and made the land their own, stayed and helped build communities that would become the cities and towns of today. They came to love these mountains and the bountiful forests, the cool clear streams and rivers, the rich soil of the valleys and coves, and the cool summers and tolerable winters. Setting their roots into the new land, Appalachia soon became home.
Even today these hardy mountain folk are neighborly and welcoming once they become acquainted with newcomers. Many have a strong interest in politics within their own communities as a means of expressing their opinions and securing their rights.
Their families still hold close ties as they did when they were more dependent upon one another for survival and are more themselves within the family circle than at any other time. For this reason, the "kinship system" tends to control local politics, schools, and even the churches to a great extent. They have a great love the home place, the community where they were born and grew up, and even though they may leave home to find work, they come back to retire or to die and be buried in the family cemeteries that dot the countryside.
For this, they are North Carolina Mountain Folk.