Friday Finds – The Great War in county records

This Friday we bring you another find from the microfilm collection.

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has been highlighting World War One (WWI), also known as The Great War, in 2017.  Two interesting county microfilm reels contain information related to WWI.

In the Columbus County miscellaneous series, we have a unique offering entitled “History of World War Veterans.”  This is a roster of men and women from Columbus County who served in the war – in the armed services or the Red Cross, etc.  The people are listed and their services records are briefly covered.  Often a military unit’s or Red Cross chapter’s activities will be discussed.  Many small vignettes are intermixed with the rosters and cover home front and war records.  One such piece is entitled “Red Cross in Whiteville in the Great War.”  The entire book as imaged on the microfilm is only 85 pages but it is full of descriptive items related to the people of the county during the war.  This reel is C.027.90005.

In the Davie County estate series, we have an item recorded as World War Guardians, 1937-1958.  At first glance it may seem the dates are for the second World War but the law that created the record series dates from 1929.  Chapter 33 of NC Public Laws is titled “an act regulating the guardianship of incompetent veterans and of minor children of disabled or deceased veterans and the commitment of veterans to US hospitals.”  This law allowed for assistance to veterans and their minor children.  The date of the law suggests it was related to the first World War.  This is even smaller than the reel above – only a fifteen-page book that was microfilmed.  Some of the pages included a multi-page document attached so that there are several frames to capture each of those pages.  If your veteran or his minor children received help they might be listed.  It seems likely that other counties had these records but did not separate them from other guardian books – I can find no similar World War Guardian only books in other counties in the microfilm collection.  If not your family history maybe this reel could lead you to exploring the law and how effective it was in North Carolina – or some other social history question.  Or maybe you can look at the guardian files in other counties to see if this law was used but not kept as a separate record series.  This reel is C.033.50018.

To place an order for a duplicate copy of the material mentioned in the blog post please contact Chris Meekins, Imaging Unit Head  –  chris.meekins <at> ncdcr.gov or reach him by phone at 919.807.7333.

 Friday Finds wants you!  Have you used microfilm at the State Archives of North Carolina?  Did you make a research connection – a find – using microfilm? Would you like to share your find with the State Archives for possible inclusion in this blog?  If you answered yes to all of these please send an email to Chris Meekins at the above email address.  Tell me 1) who you are, 2) what you found (like a will connecting generations or a deed naming a missing spouse, etc.), 3) what the record name and call number are,  4) and why it was “a find” (how it helped your research – be it genealogical or historical research).  Who knows – yours might be the next Friday Find in our blog…

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