Clan Pollock

From The Historian's Corner:

Thomas Pollok, Proprietary Governor

This came to us by way of Rob Pollock, who shared this information about Thomas Pollok, Proprietary Governor of North Carolina.

The earliest known Pollock to come to North Carolina was Thomas Pollok who was born March 6, 1654 at Balgra, home of his father Thomas Pollok, near Glasgow, Scotland. His grandfather Thomas and his great-grandfather David Pollok had lived there before him. David was married to Margaret Boyd, daughter of an eminent Scots professor Rev. Zachary Boyd, author of religious works and donor to The University of Glasgow.

Little is known of the early life of Thomas Pollok. He had an elder brother James. He landed in North Carolina June 27, 1683 as Deputy to Lord Carteret, one of the 8 Lords Proprietors to whom was granted the territory from Virginia to Florida. He practiced law and he served twice as governor under the Lords Proprietors. He was engaged in controversy during the Cary Rebellion. He was often concerned with problems with the Indians and with the help of South Carolina forces succeeded in ending the Indian Wars in the area at the time. He spent 30 plus years in government of North Carolina before his death August 30, 1722.

Pollock Street, the location of Tryon Palace in New Bern was named for him. He was involved in the land and financial backing of the Palatines and Swiss immigrants who settled New Bern under Baron de Graffenreid.

Gov. Thomas Polllok was married twice; first in 1690 to Martha Cullen West of Dover, England, mother of his children, and second in 1701 to Esther Wilkinson no issue. He gave the name Balgra to his plantation home on Queen Anne's Creek. He had another plantation home on Salmon Creek and great bodies of land along the Roanoke, Chowan and Trent Rivers.

Gov. Pollok was one of the organizers of St. Paul's Parish, Edenton (then called Queen Anne's Creek). This became the first church erected in North Carolina. The first service was held in 1703. Thomas and Martha Pollock are buried on these church grounds, their remains being moved from the plantation to the church.

Gov. Thomas Pollok's will shows that he bequeathed to his three sons, Thomas, Cullen, and George, 55,000 acres of land. He had made much of his income from hogs. Gov. Thomas and Martha Pollok also had a daughter Martha to reach maturity, but she had predeceased him. Martha was married to Rev. Dr. Thomas Bray who was the first to found a library in North Carolina.

Of the three sons Cullen and George left no children, but Thomas (son of Gov. Thomas) and Elizabeth Sanderson had three sons, Thomas, Cullen and George. George died in infancy, Cullen had children who died in infancy but Thomas, grandson of Gov. Thomas Pollok, and his wife Eunice Edwards had four children, Elizabeth, Thomas, Frances, and George. Elizabeth married but no children; Thomas died unmarried, Frances married John Devereus. George Pollok was killed by a fall from his horse in 1836. He was the last descendant of Gov. Thomas Pollok to bear the name Pollok.

The above article was handed out by Rob Pollock at the 2007 Grandfather Mountain Games, and was then printed in the August 2010 Pollag.

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