Research on the early Buie families of Central North Carolina is a distinct challenge. Not only were the people living in the same locality, but they also used the same given Scotch names generation after generation. For example, in the Cumberland County tax list for 1777, there were five Archibald Buies, two Daniel Buies, two Gilbert Buies, three John Buies, four Duncan Buies, one Neill Buie, and one Malcolm Buie. Sometimes, however, some separation is facilitated when a person was designated by his specific place of residence such as John Buie of Upper Little River and Archibald Buie of Gum Swamp. Occasionally occupations were listed, hence Archibald Buie the Piper and Archibald Buie the Shoemaker. Often, outstanding physical characteristics were denoted. "Red" Duncan Buie undoubtedly had flaming red hair. Since "Bann" in Gaelic meant fair complexion and hair, the physical features of Duncan "Bann" Buie are obvious. When "Senior" or "Junior" was used after a name, there was not necessarily a son or father with the same given name, for in certain circumstances the distinctions meant that there was an older or younger person with the same given name living in the same locality. In this study, any nicknames or designations are used to provide clearer distinction.
Also, the county boundaries of Central North Carolina are confusing. New counties were carved out of existing ones. Bladen County encompassed much of Central North Carolina including the upper portion of the Cape Fear River from 1734 until 1754 when Cumberland County was created. Later, in 1784, northeastern Cumberland County became Moore County and in 1786 eastern Bladen County was formed into Robeson County. Portions of Anson County, derived from Bladen in 1749, were made in 1779 into Richmond County whose eastern lands became Scotland County in 1899. Northern Cumberland County emerged as Harnett County in 1855. Lee County was formed from parts of Chatham, Harnett, and Moore Counties in 1907 and Hoke County was formed from Cumberland and Robeson in 1911. In the family groups which follow, if an event such as a birth, marriage, or death is recorded in a particular county and if the specific location is known which is presently in another county, then both counties are designated. For example, if John Buie was born in 1751 in the Buies Creek area, then his birthplace would be Bladen County (now Harnett County), North Carolina. Researchers must note that many times persons living in a county seemingly suddenly disappear but in reality only lived in that part of the county from which a new county was formed. For example, a death certificate for a young person living in Cumberland County in 1850 might be found in Cumberland, Harnett, or Hoke Counties after 1911. For a more complete account of North Carolina's changing counties the researcher is referred to The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943 by David LeRoy Corbitt (1950), published by the State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina. The best map available which contains the areas where the Buies lived was published with the books Abstracts of Minutes of the Cumberland County Court, Vols. I & II, edited by William C. Fields.
Many county records were destroyed thus hampering research in these areas. The Bladen County courthouse burned in 1800 and 1893 and therefore most records of Buies in North Carolina from 1739 to 1754 were lost. Also, the Moore County courthouse burned in 1889 and very few records of Buies living in Moore from 1784 to 1889 survived. The situation is moderately alleviated since Federal Census records from 1790 to 1910 are available and some state records such as land grants survive in the Secretary of State Office in Raleigh. Fortunately, nearly all of the early Cumberland, Robeson, and Richmond County records are intact and available for research.
Although many records and documents were canvassed, the compilers admittedly, because of obvious reasons, could not examine all of the early North Carolina records that mention persons of the surname Buie. These records include church records, cemetery records, wills and estates, deeds, tax lists, court records, military records, apprentice bonds, guardian records, quit rents, etc. The same limitations are confessed for research of county and state records of the many states and territories to where Buies settled after leaving North Carolina. Therefore, if one does not find a particular connection in this book, there are many untouched sources that can still be consulted. (Please follow this advice!! Though I found this book extremely useful, I found that "according to family tradition" there were conflicts and by simply requesting the miliatary records of one person I was able to prove the Family Group Z was a connected to Family Group B). If you have information or family tradition that does not agree, do not assume you are wrong, dig a little deeper.) The serious student is referred to Wallace R. Draughon's North Carolina Genealogical Reference (1956) for complete listings of available records. Many times investigations of records of different but related surnames were helpful and should be kept in mind. Of course, there always may be that musty old trunk in the attic which contains the ancient family Bible or aged letters that provides the key to the long-sought connection. The researcher must also remember that the Scotch population was relatively mobile. The first confirmed Buies arrived in North Carolina in September, 1739, but others probably immigrated to the colony in 1745 and 1767 and perhaps other dates also. Furthermore, there were instances when Buies left North Carolina, so their presence in certain records do not necessarily mean they remained in North Carolina until their death. For example, in the Cumberland County Court on April 27, 1786, an Archibald Buie was "exempted from paying a poll tax for 1785 on account of being absent from the state".
Here, the compilers will present the early North Carolina Buies. The arrange-ment will be primarily chronological based on dates of death. Numbers are assigned to names for clarification and reference purposes. Pertinent Family groups will be noted when applicable. Many Buies will be more thoroughly discussed in their respective family groups. The compilers sometimes have different opinions concerning various early relationships; thus, both views are presented. All of the researchers of early North Carolina history and the compilers believe that practically all of the early Buies who came to North Carolina originated from the island of Jura in Scotland and portions of the following discussions will be based upon that assumption.