Tag Archives: Genealogy

Discover Your Family’s Past at the Cultural Resources Family History Fair Oct. 25

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

Photograph of Will Tarkington and Mamie Lougee. Call number: PhC_160_4_24

Photograph of Will Tarkington and Mamie Lougee. Call number: PhC_160_4_24

Join us for the 3rd annual Family History Fair! This free event will include speakers presenting on various genealogy topics and exhibitor tables in the lobby of the building. This event is sponsored by the Government and Heritage Library of the State Library of North Carolina, State Archives of North Carolina and the Friends of the Archives.

Admission to the fair is FREE. Programming will be offered on Saturday, October 25, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Archives & History/State Library Building in downtown Raleigh.

Click here for information on parking and here for directions.

Check back in late August for more details on our 2014 program.


About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 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. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.  Learn more at www.ncdcr.gov.

It is time to celebrate!

Example of a land grant envelope, “shuck”

Example of a land grant envelope, “shuck”

In the mid-1980s the State Archives of North Carolina started work on preserving, microfilming and indexing the North Carolina Land Grants. I have not been part of this project since the beginning, but for the past 6 years one of my jobs has been to index the microfilmed North Carolina Land Grants into our MARS database, I have now indexed 133 reels of microfilm which is 25,899 land grants and I am very happy to say that the project is now complete.

To give an idea as to the scope of this project there are over 200 fiberdex boxes consisting of 216,024 land grants which in turn became 611 reels of microfilm. North Carolina Land Grants span the years 1679-1959 and are arranged by county including the Tennessee Counties that used to be part of North Carolina. Prior to the indexing of these land grants, which consist of a warrant, plat and often a receipt, they would have to be taken out of their envelope “shuck,” flattened ,deacidified, and repaired in the conservation lab. From there they would be microfilmed and then finally indexing could take place. The indexing of the land grants required the ability to read the microfilm of old and at times almost illegible script. The information captured in this indexing was information found on the envelope “shuck” which includes the county name, name of the grantee, number of acres, grant number, date issued, warrant number, entry number, date entered, book number, page number, location, and remarks. The location field often required researching the names of the counties’, cities, creeks, rivers, branches, and other geographical locations. This process could be time consuming because not only might the handwriting be hard to read but in many cases the spelling would be wrong or the names of geographic features would have changed over the years as well. There were also times that the names of the people listed on the shuck would be spelled different ways within the documents and shuck. In those cases I would try to determine, as much as possible, the correct name. But indexing also had its upside, including finding many interesting or humorous names, such as Ice Snow or the all-time favorite among staff working on the land grant project, Bold Robin Hood.

Although the process was long and tedious, this project will now enable researchers to view the North Carolina land grant “shuck” information online. Land grants can provide valuable information for many different researchers. Recently I learned that land grants were used to help reestablish the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Genealogists may also find information in land grants useful in their family research. Just remember that the information found in our MARS online catalog is the information found on the envelope, the “shuck,” at the time of the filming. If a researcher wants more information on the contents of the shuck they will need to visit our search room to view the microfilm, because the original land grants have been withdrawn from use as a preservation measure.

Now that this project has been completed I am on to a new project. Keep an eye out for news about a new addition to the North Carolina Digital Collections.

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: http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ld/webinars.html.

The direct link to today’s webinar is http://ncdcr.adobeconnect.com/p88qnx64i8n/

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.

North Carolina Newspapers Available Online Through Chronicling America

Newspapers from North Carolina are now available online through Chronicling America,  a joint project by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities to make available online United States newspapers published from 1836 – 1922.  The North Carolina newspapers were originally microfilmed by the Collections Management Branch of the  State Archives of North Carolina. The North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is currently managing the digitization of the newspapers from microfilm, quality control, and other aspects of the project.  The first 33,500 pages submitted by UNC to Chronicling America include newspapers from Asheville, Raleigh, Tarboro, Boone, and Charlotte and are available online here. An additional 66,500 pages are anticipated to be added in the near future.

Read more about this project at North Carolina Miscellany.

Examine Your Ancestral Ties at the Annual Family History Fair in Raleigh Oct. 26

[This post is a Department of Cultural Resources press release. To learn more about news and events related to cultural resources, visit the department website.]

Examine Your Ancestral Ties at the Annual Family History Fair in Raleigh Oct. 26

RALEIGH — The annual Family History Fair celebrates links to our heritage. This year’s program offers presentations and a panel discussion about the types of evidence used to trace family ancestry-from public records to the mysterious world of DNA. The Fair will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 at the N. C. Department of Cultural Resources at 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh. The Fair opens at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 10 a.m. Admission is free.

Archivist Debbi Blake will present “Before the Vital Records Law: What’s a Family Historian to Do?” describing alternatives to the recording of births, deaths and marriages. North Carolina’s vital records law wasn’t enacted until 1913 and there was no systematic, statewide method for creating and preserving these data. In her presentation, Blake talks about alternative ways to find the data similar to that now recorded in vital records.

Professional genealogist, Diane L. Richard, principal of MosaicRPM explores the enigmatic world of genes and the double helix in her presentation, “Who’s Your (Great-Grand) Daddy?: The basics of DNA testing for Genealogy.” Richards has recently attended several training sessions on the use of DNA testing for genealogical purposes and has worked with clients and their DNA test results for the last six years. Taking a swab of cells from inside of your check may reveal a heritage unknown to you, or confirm a link to your past but the process and the issues raised are a bit more complicated. Richards’ presentation will give a brief summary of the three types of genealogical DNA testing currently available, who can take them, what they can be used for (and also what they will not tell you), the current major providers and what’s trending now. The second part of her presentation will feature a panel of individuals who will relate their own stories about genetic testing.

Members of the North Carolina Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists will be available for 15-minute “Ask the Genealogist” time slots for free consultations between 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. This service is on a first-come first-served basis.

Vendors at the Fair include the Piedmont/Triad Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum State Historic Site, the North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Wake County Genealogical Society, the Olivia Raney Local History Library, the Historic Jamestown Society, the Raleigh Family History Center and several booksellers, independent historians, researchers and archivists. There will be door prizes including a free online course from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies.

The Fair is sponsored by the State Archives of North Carolina, the Government and Heritage Library of the State Library of North Carolina and the Friends of the Archives.

The Family History Fair provides information and guidance for experienced family history researchers and beginners alike. For more information please visit http://www.ncdcr.gov/FamilyHistory or call (919)807-7450.

The State Library and State Archives are both units of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.

Alien Registration and Naturalization Records Online

CR_049_902_1_012 Photograph from Haywood County Alien & Naturalization Papers

Thumbnail image from Theresia Weill’s Alien Registration Record, Haywood County, Call number: C.R.049.902.1.

We recently added Alien Registration and Naturalization records to North Carolina Digital Collections. Here is a brief synopsis on these materials from the Guide to County Records in State Archives:

Alien, Naturalization, and Citizenship Records are records relating to the naturalization of foreign-born citizens, in which the clerk of superior court acted as federal agent. These materials are arranged by county and include information on each person’s name, age, nationality, address, and previous address, together with the names and addresses of five persons who knew each alien. These records may also include a Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen, Petitions for Naturalization, and/or Alien Registration.

For more information about the background or contents of the Alien Registration and Naturalization records, see the description in the MARS online catalog.

CR_001_902_1_007 Photograph from Alamance County Alien and Naturalization Records

Photo of John Alfred Jeffery from the Alamance County: Alien, Naturalization and Citizenship Records: Alien Registration; Call number: C.R.001.902.1.

These records are such a good resource for genealogists looking for information about families that immigrated to North Carolina. The collection covers from 1821-1944 with a majority of dates in the 20th century, with the exception of Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Wake counties. Citizens emigrated from places from all over the world including Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. One of the best parts about this collection is that some applications include a photograph of the applicant, which really gives a sense of the person behind the information.

The Alien Registration and Naturalization records are presented here as PDFs. The structure of the PDFs largely reflect the physical order of the original records; however, some of the larger volumes were divided into two or more PDF files. For each PDF file an index prepared by Archives staff precedes the actual records. The index for each file relates only to records contained in that file. At the top of the index is the call number, county name, and the name of the volume. The index contains relevant information about what is found in the records, usually names, dates, countries of origin, family members, and occupation. Not all records contain the same level of detail, so some indexes are less complete, and not all 100 of North Carolina’ s counties have Alien Registration and Naturalization records.

Before Emancipation: Searching for African-American Ancestors at the State Archives of North Carolina

Staff at the State Archives will present three topics of instruction that may help researchers who are searching for African-American ancestors who lived prior to the end of the American Civil War (pre-1865).  The three part workshop will include a session on laws concerning slaves and free persons of color, a methodology on investigating a slave narrative and records to explore when searching for information about African-Americans before the end of slavery (1865).

The workshop includes a catered lunch.

Please see the flyer for registration information and date, time and location of the workshop.

The workshop is sponsored by the Friends of the Archives, Inc. and members of the Friends of the Archives receive a discounted registration fee.


Please print and fill out the registration section of the flyer; mail registration and fee to the address listed.