Monthly Archives: June 2014

How The State Got Its Shape

If you missed the June 23 Friends of the Archives talk “How did NC Get Its Shape: A History of the Boundaries Surveyed” by Gary Thompson, chief of the North Carolina Geodetic Survey, it is now available on the Department of Cultural Resources’ YouTube channel.

If you want to learn more about the Friends of the Archives, including how to become a member, please visit their new web pages.



1901 Confederate Pension Applications Online

The Digital Access Branch has begun uploading the 1901 Confederate Pension Applications to our online Digital Collections. There are over 35,000 applications in this series, and so far 4,500 are already available online. This is an ongoing project, and we will be adding more items throughout the summer and fall.

For this project, the microfilm copies of the pension applications were scanned by staff in the Collections Management Branch. There were approximately 80 reels of microfilm that became 80 digital folders with thousands of images in each one. We then exported the description from MARS and automated the creation of 35,000+ digital folders, one for each application. The folder titles contain the record group and series indicator, the MARS ID number, and the name and county of the soldier. We are currently in the process of matching the digital images from the microfilm to the correct digital folders. Once we have the images placed into individual folders, we can then easily link the images to the description from MARS and upload it all to our Digital Collections. Although the process is time-consuming, we have already exceeded our initial goal of having 10% of the applications online by the end of July.

The pension applications can provide much useful information about North Carolina Confederate veterans, such as the name; age (at time of application); place of residence; service information such as company, regiment, length of service, and wounds or disability; name of witness; and date of application. Also verification from the county pension board regarding applicant’s claim and whether the application was approved or disallowed by the state-level board of inquiry. The widows’ applications are filed under the names of the deceased soldiers. The pensions in this series resulted from a law passed by the General Assembly in 1901 to provide relief of certain Confederate soldiers and widows.

Under this new act “every Person who has been for twelve months immediately Preceding his or her application for a pension a ‘bona fide’ resident of the State, and who is incapacitated for manual labor and was a soldier or a sailor in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America, during the war between the States, and to the widow remaining unmarried of any deceased officer, soldier or sailor who was in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America during the war between the States (Provided said widow was married to said soldier or sailor before the first day April 1865)” was entitled to a pension.


Eleanor Troy Pippenger Collection & the Wynne Family Papers

Two new finding aids are now available on the Private Collections Finding Aids page:

Pippenger, Eleanor Troy, Collection, Bulk, 1753-1853
Bladen County was formed in 1734 from New Hannover. The Cape Fear River divides the county running roughly in a north to south line. In 1808 Columbus County was formed from Bladen and Brunswick. Ancestors of Eleanor Troy Pippenger lived in Bladen and later Columbus County. Consists primarily of land grants and indentures for acreage in Bladen County during the period, circa 1735 to 1853. These materials are particularly important because of the Bladen County courthouse fires in 1770, 1800, and 1893. Subsequent miscellaneous land and court records supplement land grants and indentures. Other items of interest include several deeds and bills of sale for slaves. There are a small portion of deeds and indentures from Columbus County spanning from 1821-1907. (3 boxes)

Wynne Family Papers, 1775-1934
The Wynne Family represented in this collection settled primarily in Franklin and Wake Counties. They descended from Pate Wills Milner and his wife, Jacobina Wilson, who originated in Scotland and Wales. In 1771 the couple came to the area that would later become Louisburg, North Carolina, Franklin County. Their great-grandson, George Washington Wynne, later moved to Raleigh where he owned the G.W. Wynne Livery, Sale, and Feed Stables and dealt in horses and mules. Papers of Wynne and related families, primarily of Franklin, Wake counties, circa 1775-1910, consisting of letters; a love letter and a poem; receipts for goods, tuition and taxes, etc.; an indenture; slave receipts and slave bills of sale; 1863 Quarter Master’s receipt; state order for audit of guardianship accounts; promissory and various monetary transaction notes; Christmas cards; a communication from Wesleyan Female Institute, and miscellaneous materials. (2 boxes)

Genealogy Online: Navigating the State Library and State Archives’ Digital Collections

A webinar designed to give North Carolina library and archives staff an overview of the genealogical materials available in the North Carolina Digital Collections will be held tomorrow, June 19, at 10 AM. The hour-long webinar will be given by Ashley Yandle of the State Archives of North Carolina and Rachel Trent and Kathleen Kenney of the State Library of North Carolina.

Space is limited and registration is required. See this State Library of North Carolina blog post for more information and to register.

Addendum (repeated from the comments): For those of you looking for the recordings of webinars held by the State Library, they are available on the State Library’s website:

The direct link to today’s webinar is

Slide from the webinar: Genealogy Online: Navigating the State Library and State Archives’ Digital Collections.

Slide from the webinar: Genealogy Online: Navigating the State Library and State Archives’ Digital Collections. This slide features a sample of photos from the Alien Registration and Naturalization materials available in the NC Digital Collections.

Also if you want to know more about the people featured in the Alien Registration and Naturalization slide (see a screenshot on your right), here is a bit more about them including their names, brief information about their occupation or country of origin, and the North Carolina county they were living in at the time.

Starting from upper left, moving to lower right: Mary Boswell Eite, British national from Shanghai, Mecklenburg County; Dr. Louise Dienes, a doctor and scientist from Austria-Hungary, Buncombe County; Yoshiko Brogden, Okinawa, Japan, and her daughter, Wayne County; Abraham Rutberg, a rabbi living in Fayetteville, Cumberland County; Elena Novas, originally of Mexico City, Mexico, Wilson County; Cordice Norman Heathersall, British dentist, Durham County; Anthony Randazzo, an Italian tailor, Craven County; Najala Kawaja, a nurse formerly of Canada, Mecklenburg County.

Juneteenth – Lessons

North Carolina’s original manuscript version of the Joint Resolution recently traveled to the Vance Birthplace Historic Site near Weaverville, N.C., and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Sedalia, N.C.  Two archives staff members traveled with the document to both sites – to monitor environmental conditions, set up and take down the display, provide security for the document, and answer questions about the document.  Preparations for the tour were detailed.  The attention to details in the planning stage made sure the execution of the plan during the exhibition was straight-forward and remarkable easy.  The parts worked as planned and the exhibition went smoothly.


On display at Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Sedalia, N.C.

The public is always the X-factor in these kinds of events.  The unknown is always the same – will people come out on a Thursday or Friday to see the document?  Both venues lined up a series of activities to compliment the exhibition – speakers, singers, local societies set up booths, continuous loop documentaries playing for visitors to drop in on, and friendly activity areas for children.  At both places the public turnout was great.


On display at Vance Birthplace Historic Site near Weaverville, N.C.

On display at Vance Birthplace Historic Site near Weaverville, N.C.

Many peoples thanked the archives staff for bringing the document out to their area so that they could view it.  The crowds ranged from the merely curious to those deeply moved by the document.  Some people wanted to take selfies with the document or photograph their children standing next to it – staff would offer to take pictures of whole families so that everyone could be in the photograph.  There were even individuals who were visiting to add the experience to their professional blogs or webpages.

This ongoing exchange between staff and the public created many moving moments.  One young mother brought her three children to the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum.  The youngest child was cradled on her hip and the two older children stood next to the document and their mom.  The standing children looked to be about eight and six years of age.  The mother asked the oldest child why was the document important.  He hesitated to answer her.  She reminded him about the conversation they had on the way to the museum.  Oh! He exclaimed.  It means the end of people having to be slaves and my ancestors could be free.  The mother nodded and smiled.  Watching this exchanged gave this staff member a whole new depth of appreciation for the document and a much better answer to the question of why the document is on tour.


The Juneteenth tour continues with two more opportunities this month for the public to see the document.  Please see our webpage for more information:


Archivist Moonlights as John White

[This blog post comes from the Outer Banks History Center.]

Outer Banks History Center archivist Stuart Parks II, as Governor John White, and Diana McQueen, as Queen Elizabeth I, await their entrance cues backstage at The Lost Colony

Outer Banks History Center archivist Stuart Parks II, as Governor John White, and Diana McQueen, as Queen Elizabeth I, await their entrance cues backstage at The Lost Colony.

Stuart R. Parks II is carrying on a Roanoke Island tradition which started over seventy-five years ago. Parks, an archivist at the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, is playing a principal role in Paul Green’s play, The Lost Colony, the outdoor drama that tells the story of England’s ill-fated attempt at settling the “New World.”

The pageant-drama began as a product of the Federal Theater Project, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Indeed the president even took in the play during its first season in 1937. Thousands have acted, danced and sung in the drama during its tenure, and many fondly remember their summers “in the cast of the Colony.” Parks, who has been active in community theater since moving to the area in 2008, portrays the role of John White, grandfather of the famed Virginia Dare.

The Outer Banks History Center is a regional archives and research library of the State Archives of North Carolina on Roanoke Island. Its holdings include ephemera, souvenir programs and photographs from The Lost Colony. Additionally, over 65 cubic feet of records of the Roanoke Island Historical Association, producers of the play, are also housed there, and are available to the public for research.

On June 23, the State Archives Examines How North Carolina Got Its Shape

[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Cultural Resources press release – you can find other news related to NC Cultural Resources here.]

Map graphic for FOA talk “History and Reestablishment  of the NC-SC Boundary”  by Presented By Gary W. Thompson

“History and Reestablishment of the NC-SC Boundary” by Gary W. Thompson, North Carolina Geodetic Survey, will take place Monday, June 23, 2014, 1:30 p.m. in the Archives & History/State Library Bldg Auditorium.

RALEIGH, N.C. — From present day Manteo to Monterrey, Calif. at one time was all Carolina. King Charles II had awarded land grants in 1663 and 1665 to eight Lords Proprietors, his allies. This established Carolina south into Florida and north to the present North Carolina and Virginia border.

A lot has changed since then, but fixing the border between the two Carolinas has been an ongoing process that will be examined during a State Archives of North Carolina hosted program “A History of the Boundaries Surveyed” June 23 at 1:30 p.m., in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Building on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. Beyond academic discussions, the boundary results affect gas and cigarette taxes, property values and more subjects then you may imagine.

The State Archives holds and will display several maps that illustrate the shifting boundaries of these states. By the late 1600s, North and South Carolina were recognized as separate entities and initial shape was given for the two states, but the exact boundary location was disputed for nearly 200 years. The two states in 1994 began a joint effort to re-establish the boundary. This effort took almost 20 years. The program will examine how this was achieved in the 21st century.

Gary Thompson, chief of the North Carolina Geodetic Survey, will provide an overview of the history of the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary in his presentation “History and Re-establishment of the North Carolina-South Carolina Boundary.” The free, public lecture will take place in the auditorium and maps from the collections of the State Archives of North Carolina will be on display in the State Archives Search Room.  Both events are sponsored by the Friends of the Archives.

For additional information, please call (919) 807-7326. The State Archives of North Carolina is within the Office of Archives and History in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

About the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. The Friends of the Archives, Inc. was formed in 1977 to provide private support for the State Archives of North Carolina. For more information about the State Archives, visit

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit