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North Carolina’s Outer Banks – True Frontier


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The Outer Banks along the coast of North Carolina are simply amazing. Barrier islands of sand that seem to shift and change with the very winds and seas. If you’ve ever visited the Outer Banks, you know what a feeling it is to know that ocean can lie just a few feet in front of you AND 20 or 50 feet behind you is the sound or protected seawaters. What a challenge this area must have been to settle.

Most of my ancestors lived in the mountains of western North Carolina and I look around at all the abundance and security that the forests and hills provide and can’t help but think this was a challenging land for my ancestors, but it was a plentiful land. Standing on the thin stretch of sand that exists at the mere WHIM of the oceans you have to think establishing a settlement in this desolate and tenuous stretch of land was more than a challenge.

It makes you think about the personalities of the people that chose to try and live in places like this. What challenges they had faced at home, what pushed them to find a place like this to try to survive in.

Genealogists talk a lot about the dates and years, where people were from, but when you look at where they settled sometimes you get an idea of what they were made of. Surely, those are the kinds of people that has made our country what it is. Those people that could strike out into a hostile environment and put down roots and find a way, however possible to survive and even to thrive.

How many of us today could face such a spartan environment and challenge it?