Thank you for your research. I have a copy of the first part of the NCGSJ article, and am hoping to find a copy of the Vol. XXI second part.
My interest comes from the association of this group with James Adair, the trader and author. I am descended from a James Addair who shows up in written records in Virginia in 1772 as a settler on the New River. Recently a lawsuit turned up in which, like James Colbert, he states he was a resident "since my nativity." All known descendants of this James Addair share a tradition of Indian ancestry (most claim Cherokee, with no details!). I have been unable to trace him any earlier.
Names you may find familiar: one of the first mentions of James Addair comes in a Fincastle County complaint from a William Kavennagh that he has blocked the path with his fence. Charles, William and Philemon Kavenaugh made land claims in the same area in 1775 (on New River near the mouth of the East River, presently Giles County, VA).
Later, in 1789, James was reported as surety for the marriage bond of John Hix (also spelled Hicks) and Elizabeth Brown.
I am intrigued by your report of land purchased in Bladen County, NC, in 1750 by James Colbert, James Adair, Abraham Colson and Johnathan Mulkey. This site, listing various James Adair dates:http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Valley/9708/marj.html
"23 Mar 1775 Benjamin Fuller of SC to JAMES ADAIR of Dobbs Co, NC, 20pd, 200ac on both sides of Wilkesons Swamp on Little Pedee.
Witt John Cade & Edward Hughes.
Bladen Co, NC DB 1738\1804, 373"
Would this land appear to lie in the same area?
Do you have any other clues about James Adair's involvement in the mixed race trader community of this part of North Carolina?