War of Regulation Descendants Gather at Alamance Battleground

Alamance Battlefield State Historic Site

The settlers of what was North Carolina’s western frontier were fed up with corrupt sheriffs and illegal taxes. They were driven to fight a mightier foe. Almost 2,000 backcountry farmers, called Regulators, faced off against 1,000 royal militiamen of colonial Gov. William Tryon, and were defeated. 

Regulator, militia and Allen family descendants can share genealogy and exchange stories Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m., at Alamance Battlefield State Historic Site. The “Gathering of Descendants: Liberty to Make Our Grievances Known” program is free and open to the public.

In the Battle of Alamance in May 1771, the well trained and equipped militia turned back the Regulators, but the battle was a preamble to the Revolutionary War only five years later. The historic site includes part of the battleground and the home of the family of John and Rachel Allen, which was constructed in the area around 1870 and moved to the site. Alamance Battleground is currently fundraising to acquire adjacent land to prevent commercial encroachment. 

The Battle of Alamance and other scenes from colonial North Carolina are well known to fans of the “Outlander” series from author Diana Gabaldon. North Carolina figures prominently in book five, “The Fiery Cross.” The TV series’ fourth season starts in November with lead characters Jamie and Claire making a home in North Carolina. Gabaldon was attentive to accuracy in the series historical detail.

Descendants and ‘Outlander” fans alike can learn more about the actual people and events in the background of the books and TV series. The program includes guest speakers, book signings, living history and a militia muster to mark the 1768 formation of the Regulator movement 250 years ago. The program includes:

10 a.m.    “James Pugh, Regulator Sharpshooter: A Conundrum Unfolded,” Dr. Stephen Compton, local historian and collector

11 a.m.    “The Regulator Landscape: Mapping the World of the Regulators of Old Orange County,” Mark Chilton, Alamance County Register of Deeds

 1 p.m.    “Making the Most of Your DNA Testing Investment,” Larry Cates, local historian and genealogist

 2 p.m.    “The Year in 1768 in the Backcountry: What Was Happening, Where and Why?” Carole Troxler, Professor Emerita, Elon University

 3 p.m.    “Some Ways to the Battleground: Likely Roads Used by Regulators to Muster,” Tom Magnuson, Trading Path Association

Lunch will be available for sale by the Clapp Family Association.

For additional information, please call (336) 227-4785. Alamance Battleground is located at 5803 S. NC
62, Burlington, NC and part of the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of 
Natural and Cultural Resources.

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