In Latin Transylvania means approximately "beyond the forest". This comes from the Hungarian name Erdély, which is related to erdö meaning forest. But my grandmother, who is Hungarian, uses neither of these terms. Instead she calls Transylvania the "annexed territories". After all, Transylvania was actually a part of Hungary when she was born.

Almost the 14th British colony in America.

On March 17, 1775 the Cherokee Indians ceded to land speculator Richard Henderson and his business partners all the land between the Ohio, Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers, in what is now parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. Henderson had already dispatched settlers led by Daniel Boone into the territory. Henderson and his partners hoped to make the territory, which they named Transylvania, the 14th British colony in America.

Virgina and North Carolina both claimed the territory for themselves, however, and needless to say were not happy with Henderson's plan, nor did the proposed colony have the approval of the British crown. Though the Transylvanian colonists organized a provisional, democratic government in May of 1775, the Continental Congress refused to acknowledge its petition to be recognized as the 14th colony. In December, 1776, Virginia named the portion of Transylvania it claimed under its royal charter to be "Kentucky County, Virgina," and in November, 1778 Virginian courts voided all of the Transylania Company's land claims.

Henderson then turned to the development of the Cumberland River area that was claimed by North Carolina, employing James Robertson to lead the project. North Carolina responded by voiding those land claims just as Virginia had. Henderson sought legal redress for his efforts, and eventually Virginia and North Carolina each awarded Henderson and his associates 200,000 acres for their labor and expenses in settling and improving the Transylvania territory.

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