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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Cane Creek Connection

by John Allen, 2006

Cane Creek connection refers to the large number of Quaker (Society of Friends) settlers that arrived in the Piedmont region of North Carolina in the mid-eighteenth century, primarily from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and western Virginia after traveling along the Great Wagon Road. The Cane Creek region included an area that ranged across much of modern-day Guilford, Alamance, and Orange Counties and the northern parts of Randolph and Chatham Counties. As the area became more settled, other Quaker groups, known as monthly meetings, were established. As a result, many members who belonged to the original Cane Creek monthly meeting became members of more localized meetings without moving. But some of these pioneers were restless and lived in the Cane Creek area for only a short while. From the 1750s until about 1800, Quaker migration continued further south into piedmont South Carolina and coastal Georgia. One group initially living near Hillsborough moved almost en masse between 1768 and 1779 to Newberry County, S.C., and Wilkes County, Ga. Several other families from throughout the area followed this pattern. The Cane Creek Connection, then, eventually came to influence the settlement of a wide swath of the United States.

While it is not possible to name every family involved in the migration to and from Cane Creek, many names are preserved in the records of the Cane Creek monthly meeting. The Cane Creek meeting has had an uninterrupted ministry from the time of the earliest settlements to the present. The meetinghouse is still at its original location, with the burial ground adjoining, in Snow Camp. To prepare for its sesquicentennial in 2001, the Cane Creek meeting established a "heritage room" with many family histories and memorabilia. The meeting also has solicited additional family updates to add to this collection.


Bobbie T. Teague, Cane Creek: Mother of Meetings (1995).

Additional Resources:

Cane Creek Friends Meeting website: (accessed October 31, 2012).

"The History of Snow Camp." Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre. (accessed October 31, 2012).

Coble, Howard. "Celebrating The 250Th Anniversary Of Cane Creek Friends Meeting." Sept. 25, 2001. (accessed October 31, 2012).

Hinshaw, Seth B. and Mary Edith Hinshaw. Carolina Quakers: Our Heritage, Our Hope. North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1972.

Whitaker, Walter. Centennial History of Alamance County. Burlington Chamber of Commerce, 1949.




Im a descendant of Hannah Moon born in April 2nd, 1729 in Chester Pennsylvania and died in Cane Creek in 1799... do you ever come across her name? It looks like she married a William Brown Sr. in Cane Creek on 4 Apr 1748 . They had around 16 children! All the children were given the last name brown , but it looks like one was named Noblitt. Mary Noblitt. Not sure why. Anyway, thanks for your time :)


Hannah Moon was my 6th great-grandmother. I have done extensive research on the ancestral line.


I am a descendent of John Lamm born in Cane Creek in 1760. His parents were James and Mary.


I am a direct descendant of Anthony & Sarah Cole Chamness, who were among the first overseers of Cane Creek Montgly Meeting in 1751. Our family history shows that he received a Granville grant of 490 acres along Cane Creek. Is there any way I would be able to locate that land as members of my family will be here for a small family reunion on the weekend of June 16-17 and we would like to see where our ancestors lived during this time.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
Vivian Highfill


Try the Register of Deeds for Orange County. His name is Mark Chilton and his office is in Hillsborough, NC.


Hello Joe, 

Great advice! In this case though, with a land grant rather than a deed, it would be best to contact the State Archives of North Carolina. All land grants are located there. Our library has abstracts of all the land grants going back to 1663. Appreciate your input!  

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library. 

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