British Forces, North Carolina Colony
Information provided by York descendants through E-mails and Forum postings
Semore York (ca 1727-1783) was a loyal British subject, born in England about 1727 along with his brothers Henry, John, and perhaps Thomas York. Semore is also recorded in the Colonial North Carolina records as Seymore, Seymoure, and Cemore York. Their father Jeremiah York had emigrated from England with his family into the Pipe Creek settlement of Maryland between Baltimore and Philadelphia in the early 1700's. By 1750 Jeremiah York and his three sons Henry, John, and Semore had migrated into Granville County, NC, in what is now Randolph County, NC. Thomas York had also migrated into Granville County, NC.
The North Carolina Colonial Records indicate Semore York was very active in the Revolutionary War activities and events leading up to our Independence. On January 10, 1776, Governor Josiah Martin, last royal governor of North Carolina, issued the order:
To William Fields, James Hunter, Robert Fields, Jeremiah Fields, and Seymoure York, Esquires of the County of Guilford;
I hereby grant to you power and authority to form the forces you shall so raise, into companies of fifty men each, and to appoint one Captain, and I do hereby give you full power and authority to seize and take whatsoever may be necessary of arms, ammunition, provisions, horses, and carriage for the subsistence and accommodation of His Majesty's faithful subjects
Semore York ... served as a British Captain. [He] lead 34 men into the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge near Wilmington, NC. on Feb 27, 1776. The battle lasted three minutes. Thirty of the Tories were killed or mortally wounded and between 20 -30 taken prisoners, among whom was his Excellency General Donald MacDonald, the aged Highlander and sick leader of the Tories. During the battle Capt. Semore York was taken prisoner and removed to Halifax, NC for several months.
The British Royal government in North Carolina came to an end on the dark, twisting, swampy waters of Moore's Creek. During this battle Capt. Semore York was taken prisoner and removed to Halifax, North Carolina, for several months. On April 1776 a list of prisoners in the Halifax Goad include Semore York's name. On October 12, 1776, his wife Sylvania Aldridge York, petitioned the Council of Safety, setting at Halifax, North Carolina, seeking his release in order to provide for his family. Semore committed the worst possible act when he lead the king's troops against the patriots at Moore's Creek in 1776, yet he was eventually released from prison, retained his property and received his citizenship. This indicates he was able to atone for his loyalty to the crown during the early months of the war. It also indicates he possessed that rare ability of being able to stand firm in his convictions without losing the respect of his opponents and his children, who were patriots.
souces include Glenn York.. Dennis York..Randolph County History and perhaps others which I've lost in cyberspace
Updated 9:35 PM 1/28/2013
Mark S. Carroll