Category Archives: County Records

County Restructuring in the Discover Online Catalog

[This blog post was written by Ruth Cody and Alexandra Dowrey, Archivists in the Records Description Unit, Government Records Section.]

While searching our new catalog, the Discover Online Catalog (DOC; https://archives.ncdcr.gov/doc/search-doc), you may have noticed that some of the county catalog entries look different than they did in MARS. That’s because the Records Description Unit in the Government Records Section has recently embarked on a project to restructure the presentation of county records holdings to facilitate access and discovery for these records.

The new structure more closely aligns with the way records are described in the search room card catalog. Records for each county are grouped into ten overarching categories, referred to as series. These series contain most of the same records as the corresponding card catalog series. The biggest change is that we took many of the record types out of the Miscellaneous record series and moved them into categories that more accurately represent them. We also tried to put indexes in the same series as their corresponding records. The ten categories are as follows:

Bonds, Licenses, Oaths, and Registrations contains Apprentice Bonds, Bastardy Bonds, Official Bonds and Records of county officials, Oaths taken by county officials, and other miscellaneous bonds and records pertaining to legal responsibilities of service granted through the courts, as well as Assumed Business Names, Corporations, and Partnerships and Brands or Marks registered in the county and Licenses and Registrations of merchants and professionals kept by the county.

County Administration contains records pertaining to or created by the administrative bodies of the county, including but not limited to the county Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, and Board of Health. It may include County Accounts and Claims, Journals and Ledgers of County Officials, and/or Records of Wardens of the Poor, as well as records documenting county boundaries and changes thereto.

Court Records includes records pertaining to the administration and actions of the county court system, particularly Civil and Criminal Actions before a jury and other actions before the court or the clerk, such as Special Proceedings. The dominant court prior to 1868 was known as the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions; after court reform, circa 1868, it was known as the Superior Court. Records that were previously separated by court reform are now categorized together.

Land and Property Records contains records related to ownership, transfer, and taxing of land and property.

Estates Records contains records related to the administration of deceased persons’ property.

Marriage, Divorce, and Vital Statistics contains vital records pertaining to major life events such as marriage, divorce, adoption (restricted by statute), immigration and naturalization, death, and disinterment/reinterment.

 Tax Records may include List of Taxables, Tax Lists, and Tax Records, Tax Scrolls, and Miscellaneous Tax Records relating to taxation.

Wills includes Record of Wills volumes, original Wills, and indexes to wills.

 Election Records includes Election Returns, Permanent Registration of Voters (grandfather clause registrations, 1902–1908), and Poll Books deposited with the clerk of Superior Court. It may also include minutes of the county Board of Elections.

Miscellaneous Records includes Armed Forces Discharges; Cemetery Records; Coroner’s Inquests and Reports; Military Records; Pension Records; Personal Accounts; Road Records and Reports; School Records; and truly miscellaneous records collected from various county agencies and offices. Miscellaneous Records boxes may also include records from all other county series that were of insufficient quantity to make a full box so it is always beneficial to look in the Miscellaneous Records even if the record you are looking for might fall into another category.

Those familiar with the current call number system for county records need not be alarmed. The call number system has not undergone any changes. Call numbers remain the same, and records can still be searched and accessed by entering a specific call number in the search bar of DOC. Under the new structure, unprocessed county records will be labeled as such and will have a call number that begins with T instead of CR. These records are generally unavailable in the search room on Saturdays unless prior arrangements have been made with the reference staff.

Perhaps the best way to see the holdings for each county and determine the exact record you need is to start with the main catalog entry for the county and then browse through the series to gain a comprehensive view of that county’s holdings. You can select an entire county record group by using the search criteria to the left on the search screen. Under Collection, select County Records. Then, under Level, select Record Group. This will pull up a list of 107 county record groups that you can either flip through to select one or type the county name into the search bar to pull up the exact county. Under the new structure, the ten series will be highlighted, and you can click through them to see the records available.

County restructuring is a work in progress. Currently, not all counties exhibit the new ten series structure. Staff from the Records Description Unit are working county by county to implement this new structure and record basic container information for the records. In later phases of this project, the Record Description Unit plans to provide users with more detailed information for record containers, such as specific dates for individual volumes and cross-references to related materials.

We are very excited about the many ways that our new system will facilitate research. We appreciate your patience while we implement our new county structures and add information to the system. For now, if you have any questions about locating county records, reference staff at the State Archives of North Carolina are here to help. Reference staff can be reached via email at archives@ncdcr.gov and by phone at (919) 814-6840. For general questions about searching in DOC, please refer to the online FAQs page (https://archives.ncdcr.gov/search-catalog/online-catalog-faq).

Document Facsimiles Relating to Blackbeard and the Queen Anne’s Revenge on Display at the State Archives of North Carolina

[This blog post comes from Donna E. Kelly, head of the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]

A page of handwritten text of Court minutes for men accused of storing Blackbeard's booty.

Part of the General Court minutes for men accused of storing Blackbeard’s booty. Colonial Court Records. State Archives of North Carolina [call number: C.C.R. 103]

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death, the State Archives of North Carolina is displaying several facsimiles of documents relating to his exploits along the coast, including his capture and death. The display, “Gone Out a Pirateing”: Blackbeard and the Queen Anne’s Revenge, is currently on display in the State Archives’ Search Room and will run through early October.

“Gone Out a Pirateing” features a 1709 map of North Carolina and pages from the Chowan General Court Papers and the Executive Council Journal, both dated 1719. They include descriptive testimony against Edward Thatch, otherwise known as Blackbeard. The display also includes photocopies of four documents from the British National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office [PRO]). They were obtained through the Colonial Records Project, an initiative in the 1960s to copy all documents pertaining to North Carolina that were filed in the PRO.

From September 18 through October 1, this small exhibit will be displayed on the second floor of the Archives and History/State Library Building (109 East Jones St., Raleigh). It will run Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A digitized version of the document, with additional pages, is available for viewing 24/7 in the North Carolina Digital Collections.

The Scary Truth Series, Pt. II

This is the second of three entries in a special Halloween-inspired blog series highlighting a collection of ghost stories, legends, folklore, and facts from North Carolina. Like sweet tea and college basketball, folklore is a major part of North Carolina’s cultural heritage. Legends and stories passed down from generations keep the state’s history alive and ultimately help us remember life as it once was.

The Scary Truth Series, Pt. I
The Scary Truth Series, Pt. III

Maco Light

Legend has it that a “ghost light” was all that remained from a fatal train accident that occurred over a century ago just outside of Wilmington in a small, unincorporated community named Maco. The details have become a bit fuzzy over the years, and after being told and retold thousands of times, the story has taken on a life of its own.

OurState

Illustration of the Maco Light by R. A. Sharpe in a 1956 issue of Our State Magazine. (source)

Continue reading

Mecklenburg County Tax Records

The Imaging Unit of the State Archives of North Carolina has just completed imaging and creating microfilm for some Mecklenburg County tax records.  The twenty-eight new reels of microfilm have been added to the security vault and a reading copy of the microfilm has been placed in the public search room for public use.

The material includes [reel number and years]:

065.70033 Tax Scrolls Aaron – Dross 1955
065.70034 Tax Scrolls Drum – Keenan 1955
065.70035 Tax Scrolls Keene – Rigg 1955
065.70036 Tax Scrolls Riggins – Zurich 1955
065.70037 Tax Scrolls Corporations and Outside School Adm. Unit A-Z 1955
065.70038 Tax Scrolls Late Personals and Late Personal Corporations, A-Z 1955
065.70039 Tax Scrolls Inside: Aaron – Downing 1955
065.70040 Tax Scrolls Inside: Downs – Kaperonis 1955
065.70041 Tax Scrolls Inside: Kaplan – Rhyne 1955
065.70042 Tax Scrolls Inside: Rhynes – Zurich 1955
065.70043 Tax Scrolls Inside: Corportaion, Selwyn Park and Late Returns, A-Z 1955
065.70044 Tax Scrolls Outside: Vol. A-K; Allison – Goodgame 1955
065.70045 Tax Scrolls Outside: Vols. A-K, L-Z; Corporation Goodin-Neal, Roosevelt 1955
065.70046 Tax Scrolls Outside: Vol. L-Z; Corporation Neal, Ross – American Oil Company 1955
065.70047 Tax Scrolls Outside: Vol. L-Z; Corporation AT&T – J.L. Coe Construction Company 1955
065.70048 Tax Scrolls City: Aaron – Cobb, Joe 1960
065.70049 Tax Scrolls City: Cobb, Lloyd – Grier, Caddie 1960
065.70050 Tax Scrolls City: Grier, Carey – Klutts 1960
065.70051 Tax Scrolls City: Labhart – Ozment 1960
065.70052 Tax Scrolls City: Pace – Stewart, Clyde 1960
065.70053 Tax Scrolls City: Stewart, David – Zwk 1960
065.70054 Tax Scrolls City Corporations: A&A Furniture Company – Rubbermaid, Inc. 1960
065.70055 Tax Scrolls City Corporations: S Block Company – Corporation Summary 1960
065.70056 Tax Scrolls County: Aaron – Gibson, Paul 1960
065.70057 Tax Scrolls County: Gibson, Robert – McGee, Carl 1960
065.70058 Tax Scrolls County: McGee, Clyde – Williams, Fontie 1960
065.70059 Tax Scrolls County: Williams, Fred – Zrolka 1960
065.70060 Tax Scrolls Late Returns, Corporations, Outside: A-Z; Abernathy – Corp. Outside Totals 1960
To use microfilm please come to the main registration desk at the State Archives.  Once registered, a Reference Archivist can assist you in locating and using microfilm. To order duplicate reels of microfilm in Diazo, Silver Halide, or digital format contact Chris Meekins at chris.meekins@ncdcr.gov.

The Imaging Unit is in the middle of a small project for tax records.  As we complete more imaging projects, we will post the completed projects information.  We in the Imaging Unit hope that you the researcher will find these projects useful.

Onslow County Tax Records

The Imaging Unit of the State Archives of North Carolina has just completed imaging and creating microfilm for some Onslow County tax records.  The thirty-five new reels of microfilm have been added to the security vault and a reading copy of the microfilm has been placed in the public search room for public use.

The material includes [reel number and years]:
c.072.70002 Tax Scrolls 1925 1 vol.
c.072.70003 Tax Scrolls 1926 1 vol.
c.072.70004 Tax Scrolls 1927 1 vol.
c.072.70005 Tax Scrolls 1928 1 vol.
c.072.70006 Tax Scrolls 1929 1 vol.
c.072.70007 Tax Scrolls 1930 1 vol.
c.072.70008 Tax Scrolls 1931 1 vol.
c.072.70009 Tax Scrolls 1932 1 vol.
c.072.70010 Tax Scrolls 1933 1 vol.
c.072.70011 Tax Scrolls 1934 1 vol.
c.072.70012 Tax Scrolls 1935 1 vol.
c.072.70013 Tax Scrolls 1936 1 vol.
c.072.70014 Tax Scrolls 1937 1 vol.
c.072.70015 Tax Scrolls 1938 1 vol.
c.072.70016 Tax Scrolls 1939 1 vol.
c.072.70017 Tax Scrolls 1940 1 vol.
c.072.70018 Tax Scrolls 1945 1 vol.
c.072.70019 Tax Scrolls 1946 1 vol.
c.072.70020 Tax Scrolls 1947 1 vol.
c.072.70021 Tax Scrolls 1954 1 vol.
c.072.70022 Tax Scrolls 1955 Jacksonville: A&B Grocerita – Richlands: Hobbs, Acy Robert
c.072.70023 Tax Scrolls 1955 Richlands: Hobbs, Beatrice Davis – White Oak: Parker, R.L.
c.072.70024 Tax Scrolls 1955 White Oak: Parker, R. Nick – Grand Recap (end)
c.072.70025 Tax Scrolls 1960 Jacksonville: A1 Cleaners – Jacksonville: Afterlife
c.072.70026 Tax Scrolls 1960 Jacksonville: recap of White – Swansboro (white): Warren, William Pittman
c.072.70027 Tax Scrolls 1960 Swansboro(white): Warylk, Henry – grand recap (end)
c.072.70028 Tax Scrolls 1970 Corp. Excess & grand recap – Jacksonville: Pulley, Annie Rice
c.072.70029 Tax Scrolls 1970 Jacksonville: Pulley, Talmadge – Stump Sound: Proctor, Henry E.
c.072.70030 Tax Scrolls 1970 Stump Sound: Prouty, Roland A. – Richlands: Williams, Herman
c.072.70031 Tax Scrolls 1970 Richlands: Williams, H.L. Lloyd – Swansboro: grand recap (end)
c.072.70032 Tax Scrolls 1975 Recap All Townships – Jacksonville: Mead, William E.
c.072.70033 Tax Scrolls 1975 Jacksonville: Meadows, Billy G. – Jacksonville: Wainwright Transfer Co.
c.072.70034 Tax Scrolls 1975 Jacksonville: Walton Jewelers, Inc. – Stump Sound: Glover Sales, Inc.
c.072.70035 Tax Scrolls 1975 Stump Sound: Golden Acres, Inc. – White Oak: Padgett, C. M.
c.072.70036 Tax Scrolls 1975 White Oak: Painte, Virginia R. – Swansboro: Grand Recap (end)

To use microfilm please come to the main registration desk at the State Archives.  Once registered, a Reference Archivist can assist you in locating and using microfilm. To order duplicate reels of microfilm in Diazo, Silver Halide, or digital format contact Chris Meekins at chris.meekins@ncdcr.gov.
The Imaging Unit is in the middle of a small project for tax records.  As we complete more imaging projects, we will post the completed projects information.  We in the Imaging Unit hope that you the researcher will find these projects useful.

Mecklenburg, Orange, Perquimans, Person, Sampson and Warren County Tax Records

The Imaging Unit of the State Archives of North Carolina has just completed imaging and creating microfilm for tax records of six counties.  The seven new reels of microfilm have been added to the security vault and a reading copy of the microfilm has been placed in the public search room for public use.

The material includes [reel number and years]:

Mecklenburg County

C.065.70032 Tax list 1925; 1 vol.

Orange County

C.073.70021 Tax Scrolls 1929; 1 vol.

Perquimans County

C.077.70014 Tax List 1902; 1 vol.

Person County

C.078.70007 Tax Book 1904-1907; 1 vol.

Sampson County

C.087.70115 Tax List 1925; 1 vol.

Warren County

C.100.70003-70004 Tax Books 1936, 1942; 2 vols.

To use microfilm please come to the main registration desk at the State Archives.  Once registered, a Reference Archivist can assist you in locating and using microfilm. To order duplicate reels of microfilm in Diazo, Silver Halide, or digital format contact Chris Meekins at chris.meekins@ncdcr.gov.

The Imaging Unit is in the middle of a small project for tax records.  As we complete more imaging projects, we will post the completed projects information.  We in the Imaging Unit hope that you the researcher will find these projects useful.

Cabarrus County Tax Records

The Imaging Unit of the State Archives of North Carolina has just completed imaging and creating microfilm for some Cabarrus County tax records.  The eighteen new reels of microfilm have been added to the security vault and a reading copy of the microfilm has been placed in the public search room for public use.

The material includes [reel number and years]:

C.016.70013-18 Tax Scrolls 2000
C.016.70019 Tax Scrolls 1925
C.016.70020-21 Tax Scrolls 1930
C.016.70022-23 Tax Scrolls 1940
C.016.70024 Tax Scrolls 1950
C.016.70025-30 Tax Scrolls 1990
The Imaging Unit is in the middle of a small project for tax records.  As we complete more imaging projects, we will post the completed projects information.  We in the Imaging Unit hope that you the researcher will find these projects useful.

To use microfilm please come to the main registration desk at the State Archives.  Once registered, a Reference Archivist can assist you in locating and using microfilm. To order duplicate reels of microfilm in Diazo, Silver Halide, or digital format contact Chris Meekins at chris.meekins@ncdcr.gov.