Family history of immigration to America
In this excerpt, Faircloth describes the history of his family, Londoners sent as indentured servants to North Carolina tobacco fields.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, March 22, 1999. Interview I-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
JM: Can you tell me, just for a moment, about your family's history in the area? How it came to pass that your father had become so successful and had run such a large operation? Did it go way back?
LF: It wasn't that successful. He was about to starve to death during the thirties. Well, that goes back--.
JM: Just briefly, not--.
LF: Oh, sure. Well, Faircloths were, I assume, poor English. I know, I don't assume. They were poor English and early, early [settlers]. This is direct descendancy. They came out of London [and] in that immediate area -- York, London, but primarily London -- as indentured servants. They came through Norfolk. The registry shows about eight or ten of them. I mean, [they arrived in Norfok] early, early -- 1660's, 1650's -- as indentured servants to work on the Virginia plantations. Of course, tobacco then -- as it is now -- was very addictive. Well, as soon as a little bit got to London, it got very socially acceptable. It was a sign of sophistication, I guess, would be the word, to smoke. The courtiers and other wealthy British people, particularly the primogeniture -- they were aristocratic and royal families -- would send son in laws and third and fourth children and establish them on big plantations in Virginia to grow tobacco, which was extremely profitable. Well, to grow tobacco, the first thing you had to have was a lot of cheap labor. The Indians certainly weren't going to plow, so they rounded up a lot of people off the streets of London as indentured servants. Some of them came out of prison. I'm not sure exactly where my group came from, but they came early, early. I mean, before you established a plantation, you had to have people to clear it, to work it, to make it. So, around 1640, '50 they were bringing them in as indentured servants. They worked off the indenture and maybe worked on a little while for wages. They worked off the indenture and eastern North Carolina was wide-open territory, and they could come down and do what they call patent land. So, they drifted, the Faircloths, into this immediate area and have been here ever since. They settled out where I was born -- out towards Roseboro -- and it's a very common name here. You don't see it in a lot of other places. If you see a Faircloth and he knows anything about his history, he came out of this area or came through the system of indentured servants. Now, my mother's people came from Scotland. I was named for my grandfather, Duncan MacLauchlin, which is where the Lauch with the pronunciation as lock came from. The pronunciation was as if it were L-o-c-k. They migrated out of Scotland actually much, much later than my father's people did. They came in the early 1800s to what is now Fort Bragg and settled there and lived there until the government took the land around 1910 or '12 to establish Forth Bragg. They were forced to move somewhere. They had to leave there. That's where my mother wound up meeting my father after that. They came about 1800 out of Scotland and spoke Gaelic.