THE MOONSHINER, she declares, (p. 201) is "a product of conditions resulting from the Civil War, before which time the moutnaineer converted his grain into whiskey, just as the New Englander converted his apples into cider. The act of distilling was not a crime, and became so only because it was an evasion of the revenue laws …. At the beginning of the Civil War for the sake of revenue a very heavy tax was placed on all distilled alcoholic liquors. After the war was over the tax was not removed, and this is the grievance of the mountaineer, who says that the tax should have been removed; that it is unjust and oppressive, and that he has a right to do as he pleases with his own corn, and to evade the law which interferes with his personal freedom." But, she adds : "Within the past few years the moonshiner, along with many time-honored customs, has been rapidly vanishing.
As for the rest of the windows, up till 1860 it would have been very uncommon to have plain sashes like those bottom ones, and division of the top sashes in a house as big as that into four panes would be very unlikely till late 19c. Those could of course have been later alterations, and the picture appears to show the building on its last legs rather than in its prime.
Perhaps the porch was originally ground floor only, then raised up and the original fenestration behind was replicated on the front of the raised porch? The Diocletian window on the front elevation would have been a possibility for early 18c which might have tallied with the 1775 date if the clients were fairly conservative.
When searching for marriages in North Carolina (and many other states) prior to 1868, remember it was perfectly legal to be married and have no written record of the event. North Carolina recognized marriage by publication of banns, and common law marriages were not uncommon. In some cases, a common law relationship was established and later a marriage bond was obtained and a formal marriage took place. After Reconstruction and the North Carolina Constitution of 1868, a written record should have been made and probably is preserved. Records after this date may be obtained from the Office of the Clerk of Court, Ashe County Court House, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640.