Edmund's Great Grandfather John Norcom's name was included in the rare 1715 document below. In 1712, to raise provisions for the Tuscarora war, the government of
A Lest of Corne brought in for the youse of the Contry upon the Sowswest Side of Pequimens as followeth this 16th of the 12 mo: 1715 and sence When Edmund Halsey Norcom was born to Joseph and Nancy Halsey Norcom in 1824, the Norcom family made their home on Queen Anne’s Creek - below Edenton in
. At that time Joseph Norcom's plantation was valued at $7,500 and personal property was valued at $29,215. Chowan County, North Carolina
Edmund Halsey Norcom attended the
Edmund evidently met Laura Ann Dusenberry while he was a student in
Chapel Hill. They were married on October 20, 1847—the same year that Edmund graduated.
Laura Ann and Edmund made their way to
By 1860 Edmund and Laura Ann had three children—Alice, Henry and Ann. At this time, Edmund’s real estate value was listed as $8,600 with $18,000 in personal property. The Norcoms had two more children—Joseph Norcom in 1861 and Edmund Halsey Norcom in 1865.
In 2004 it was discovered that part of one of the largest collections of surviving correspondences from Unionists inside the confederacy was actually written from the Norcom House.
These letters were compiled and edited by Michael Smith and Judkin Browning in 2001 in Letters from a North Carolina Unionist. Most of the 1861-1865 Beaufort letters are to Benjamin S. Hedrick from his brother John A. Hedrick, a Unionist and abolitionist who was a United States Treasury Department customs collector in
, during the Civil War. John wrote about life in occupied Beaufort, N.C. politics, war news, and actions of northern soldiers, black recruits, and southern Unionists. He also chronicled day-to-day life including births, deaths, epidemics, celebrations, and fascinating details about life in the Norcom household. Beaufort, North Carolina
Edmund Halsey Norcom died in 1867. The grave sites of the first generation of Norcom family members in Beaufort can be found in the Old Burying Ground on Ann Street, less than one block from the original site of the family home. (Click head stone to enlarge) The Norcom family owned the home an astonishingly long time, from 1851 until 1984 - 133 years.
The Norcom House on Craven Street was purchased by its current owners in 1984 to save the house from demolition. The house, divided into four large sections, was moved four blocks to its current site on Gallants Channel, just off Beaufort Inlet
* A ship chandler is a retail dealer in special supplies or equipment for ships, who may also be responsible for the berthing and docking of the vessel before it arrives into port and is usually considered the liaison officer for the vessel's needs and demands in a foreign port. For traditional sailing ships items that could be found in a chandler might include: rosin, turpentine, linseed oil, sperm whale oil, tallow, lard, varnish, cordage, rope, hemp, oakum, tools (hatchets, hammers, chisels, planes, lanterns, nails, spikes, boat hooks, caulkin iron, hand pumps, marlinspikes), brooms, mops, galley supplies, leather goods and paper.