Friday, May 7, 2021

Wake Treasures Journal just published. New Issue. New Look!

Volume 30, Issue 1 of our award-winning journal is now available on the WCGS website. Access this issue via the member options after logging on at We can't wait for you to see the new look!

Here are some comments from the journal editor to introduce this issue. 

Dear Readers,

 Spring is upon us, the coronavirus vaccine is here, and life is slowly returning to normal. The pandemic is sure to have honed our online research skills, and I’m sure you’ll be glad to be able to research in person once more as the archives and state library are now offering appointments for in-person research. It is also conference season, with the National Genealogical Society hosting its annual conventionon  virtually in May. Wake County Genealogical Society’s own Diane L. Richard and David M. McCorkle will be presenting and are not to be missed! 

As you may have noticed, this issue has a new cover that we are proud to debut, along with our new logo. This issue of Wake Treasures is full of continued series, such as the final part of Carey Faisons “Railroads, Hortons, and Faisons,” the 1897 Raleigh Colored School Census, Wake County Records Batch #3, Wake County Records of Slaves and Free Negroes, 1721-1829 and Soldiers Home records, while also introducing new content from Debra Blake, a secretary’s report from the Mordecai family, and Trade Licenses of 1876. 

Without the help of an array of volunteers this journal wouldn’t be possible. Please consider submitting your Wake family history, transcribing, or selecting content as the Content Curator. If you are interested in contributing to the journal, please contact me at Many thanks to our contributors, transcribers, indexer, and proofreader!

Hope you enjoy,

Donna Shackle

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Wake County Genealogical Society Meetings for 2021 - Virtual

Next WCGS Meeting:

This virtual meeting and presentation is open to all, but registration is required. 

May 25 @ 6:30pm
Topic:  Sacrifices at the Altar of Photographic Alteration
Speaker:   Stephen J. Fletcher

Photography can be seen as a history of limitations, producing slivers of time and place extracted from larger life using the technology then available. What happens, however, when we apply new technologies to old photographs? What do we gain and lose when we sacrifice an original photograph to produce a new incarnation? Join us as photographic archivist Stephen Fletcher presents an examination of the practice and ethics of image alteration from the "First Photograph" to Photoshop.

Register at this link.

Upcoming Meetings:

June 22 @ 6:30pm
Topic Finding Your Family on Ship Manifests 
Speaker:  Mark Arslan
Registration - TBA

July 27 @ 6:30pm
Topic Searching the Foreign Records Collection at State Archives
Speaker:  Vann Evans
Registration - TBA

August 24 @ 6:30pm
Topic Research and Resources at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania 
Speaker:  Vann Evans
Registration - TBA

**WCGS will meet virtually through November 2021**

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

RaleighSeniorTechEd Class Schedule for May and June 2021 - New Classes start May4

Raleigh Senior Tech Ed's schedule has been updated with classes through June 2021. All are offered virtually via Zoom. 

Classes in Genealogy, Tech and more. Visit the links for class descriptions, times and fees.

RSTE Class Descriptions


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Monday, April 19, 2021

Excellent opportunity for WCGS members who use Family Tree Maker 2019 coming soon!

If you are a WCGS member who uses Family Tree Maker 2019 and you are looking for a collaborative experience to boost your skill level, you will be interested in this upcoming effort from Cynthia Gage, WCGS Webmaster and FTM SIG facilitator. Details from Cynthia:

New SIG Discussing Family Tree Maker 2019
WCGS is starting a new Special Interest Group (SIG) for society members who are users of FTM 2019. What is a SIG, you ask? Well, it’s NOT a class nor a series of lectures nor instructor-led training. Instead, it is a collaborative format for folks to share tips and tricks to help each other on a specific topic. For the FTM SIG each session will address a pre-selected feature such as resolving places, adding media, creating citations, etc. Then a member with some knowledge on the topic will lead the session, and others will contribute to the discussion with questions or their own tips. All levels of experience are welcome. The goal is to improve everyone’s skill sets. Sessions will be held on Zoom.
The FTM SIG will meet on a Saturday morning, once every two or three months, depending on the desires of the SIG members. The first meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 15 from 10:30 to noon. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to the WCGS webmaster to get on the registration list. As we get closer to the first meeting, an email will be sent out with the Zoom link to those on the list. Any notes or handouts shared in the SIG sessions will be posted in the Members area of the website and available to all WCGS members.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Native American Ancestry Research

I want to sandwich this between our two Native American centric Society Virtual Meetings for March and April 2021. I think some will find the information and links helpful if you are working with NA research. This post is one I originally wrote for the Winter 2020 issue of the Wake Genealogy Watch newsletter.   - Cyndi Deal

"But her name is Kizzie and it says she is Native American…," said the friend I am helping to build a DNA family tree. "Does that mean I am Native American? There were rumors about my father being Native American!"  Such hope. Such excitement. This in regards to a person purported to be her great grandmother labeled as such in someone else's undocumented tree… - CD 

I gingerly explained that though there may have been someone at some point in the distant past that was Native American (NA), there are currently  no known records and no NA showing in her DNA ethnicity results to confirm that story. A sister also did not have NA register in her ethnicity. 

I also pointed out that anyone claiming NA ancestry in the last three or four generation yet not living on or near a Reservation, was not likely to be full or even halfblooded NA unless they had family documented in the Federal Indian Rolls. Thinking back on the history of our country, the time period most likely for  NA and nonNA intermarriage and admixing of DNA to occur was very early (especially true for the east coast and southern states), and most likely involved 4-7 great grandparents or further back. Any traces of NA ethnicity could have long since been whittled down to the level of noise.  One per cent or less puts you back 6 generations or more. 

Suppose it is not just noise…

Where do you go to research NA ancestry with records that could prove a connection exists? I give you fair warning—
This is not going to be a project where you can  ante up a few names and dates and locations, type them into an search engine, then  Bam! There’s your answer.

This will require some solid traditional records research with a side of historical context and a concurrent deep dive into the full spectrum of DNA and Genetic Genealogy as related to Native American ancestry. In other words, unless you have close kin living on a Reservation in the 1900s, this is going require a huge investment of time and effort.

I was midway through writing this article when I had the good fortune to hear Roberta Estes speak on this very subject at the NCGS 2019 conference. In her presentation, “Investigating Whether You Have Native American Ancestry,” Roberta told us of her ongoing Native American DNA research projects and her search for the NA in her own ethnicity. She provides a wealth of resources on line at her two blogs and even explains how to access your ethnicity segments at 23&Me and paint them to your chromosomes at DNA Painter.

You will want to check out Roberta’s blogs and resources as a starting place in your DNA research. 

DNA Explained - Native American Resources Tab

Native Heritage Project

Native American & Minority Ancestors Identified Using DNAPainter Plus Ethnicity Segments


Your first step - Prove the family line 

Use records research and dna matchesto prove parentage for all relations back to the suspected NA ancestor. Gather all records and written information you can find. Document your sources. Seek out as many DNA matches as you are able and look for possible future target testers.  

Research Federal Indian Rolls 

If, in your records research, you find links to NA Rolls at this point, you are lucky. You have landed on the doorstep of the proof you seek. 

The NA Rolls are held at the The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and can be viewed with subscription on If you do not have a subscription, check to see if your local library has one that you can access with your library card. You may be able to research from home or from your local library or state archives.

From NARA:   

"The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) gathered, collected, and/or created numerous rolls involving American Indians to identify members of various tribes and bands, including Freedmen. These rolls were created as a result of allotments, legislation, removals, treaties, and other activities. The BIA then used these rolls to create additional documentation--often using the same rolls for multiple purposes. Since the purpose of the rolls vary; the information collected also varies.

They can contain names, enrollment numbers, ages, family relations, locations, and more.

If you do not find your ancestor directly linked to the Rolls, you will still want to check the Applications for the Rolls. Many applied but were not accepted. Finding your ancestors rejected application gives you more information for your story. So still a win. Just not the one you expected. 

The Rolls currently digitized and available thru Fold3 are:

Baker Rolls, 1924-1929 Eastern Cherokee

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940 Multiple Agencies and Tribes

Roblin Roll, 1911-1919 Indians in Western Washington not enrolled or allotted to an Indian Agency

Kern-Clifton Roll of Cherokee Freedmen, 01/16/1897

Revised Copy of the Wallace Roll, ca. 1890 - ca.1896 

Dawes Rolls, 1896-1914 Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma

Guion Miller Rolls, 1906-1911 Eastern Cherokee

It is worth noting that when you are checking a particular Roll's detail page, it is useful to scroll down to the bottom of the page where there is a section detailing the earlier rolls used to compile the final Roll of interest. 

Indian Rolls not yet digitized include: 

Cherokee Emigration 1817-1838

1830 Armstrong Roll (Census concerning Choctaw Removal)

Muster Rolls Concerning Indian Removal 1832 - 1846

Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls Compilation 1836 - 1884

All of these records are held at National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Osage Annuity Rolls 1870-1960 are held at National Archives in Fort Worth, Tx.

The Grazing Payment Rolls 1923 - 1928 are held at National Archives in Seattle, Wa.

Consult the Bureau of Indian Affairs Records page at NARA for further details. 

While you are researching at Fold 3,  take a look through the Native American  Records Collection. In addition to Rolls files, you will find an index to Indian Wars Pension Files 1892-1926, Indian Wars Service Records, War of 1812 Service Records for Chickasaw and Creek soldiers. 

Will a Census help? 

Answer -  It depends on the time frame. 

Decennial Federal Census


"Prior to 1900, few Indians are included in the decennial federal census. Indians are not identified in the 1790-1840 censuses. In 1860, Indians living in the general population are identified for the first time. Nearly all of the 1890 census schedules were destroyed as a result of the fire at the Department of Commerce in 1921. Beginning with the 1900 census, Indians are enumerated on reservations as well as in the general population."

Indian Census Rolls 1885 - 1940

There are also extant yearly reservation census rolls submitted by the agent or superintendent in charge to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs starting after 1884.

 From NARA:  

"The data on the rolls vary, but usually given are the English and/or Indian name of the person, roll number, age or date of birth, sex, and relationship to head of family.

Beginning in 1930, the rolls also include the degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information. For certain years--1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939--only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. Most of the 1940 rolls have been retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and are not included in this publication.

There is not a census for every reservation or group of American Indians for every year. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under federal supervision are listed on these census rolls." View the details and limitations of this record set here.

Visit the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness site for a very good summary about how NA persons were included in the decennial census records from 1850 going forward. It changed quite a bit over time.

 Check School Records

Many boarding schools were set up in the 1800s to teach a skill and assimilate NA youth into the predominate culture. There are many record sets existing from these schools. The students were often given American names to replace their Native ones and then reverted back to their Native names once they returned home making them challenging to track but their records may be useful.  Cyndi's List has a page dedicated to these school records.

Contact the tribe

Bear in mind that there are scores of small tribes that are recognized only at state level, like the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina. You should check for records at state level and if you know which tribe the ancestor is affiliated with, contact the tribe directly to see if there are any records that include your ancestor. The National Congress of American Indians maintains a website with a directory of Tribes and Associations. Many have websites. 

DNA testing

DNA testing "may" indicate some Native American heritage but cannot prove it. As explained earlier, in most cases, the NA ancestor is so far back that all that remain to be inherited are trace amounts at best. Beyond that Y and Mitochondrial DNA can indicate a Native connection if your results turn up certain haplogroups, but not without full sequence testing according to Roberta Estes. She feels that the best strategy for Y and mt testing is to test as many lines on your DNA pedigree as possible. Autosomal can help connect you to possible NA cousin matches  in your close pedigree, but is not reliable beyond six generations. An Autosomal test will give you an ethnicity estimate that may reference an NA percentage. Like the rest, it can give you clues but no proof. I refer you to Roberta Estes' blog post for further insight Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA 

NA specific Facebook Groups

There are groups on Facebook that are dedicated  specifically to research of Native ancestry. They offer a place to network, brainstorm, and collaborate with others to further the research. I especially recommend the Native American Ancestor Explorer:  DNA, Genetics, Genealogy & Anthropology group. This is the best group that I have found that is trying to solve the problems using DNA in tandem with records research. There are many knowledgeable members here.

To find other Native American specific groups use the search bar at the top of your facebook page using “native American” or specific tribe as your keyword.

Casting about for other ideas

When all else fails, return to tried and true finding aids.  In addition to previously mentioned
Cyndi's List, be sure to check FamilySearch wiki - American Indian Genealogy, and Google. A Google search for “Native American Genealogy” turned up this page with a lot of promising links - Tracing Native American Family Roots offered by the National Indian Law Library.

Corralling the Data

As you progress with your research, be sure to keep good notes and record sources. As you begin to collect DNA matches to your potential ancestor, you may need ways to collate and review this data and incorporate it into your traditional research. I recommend the book, Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies, edited by Debbie Parker Wayne.  Its breadth of coverage of DNA in tandem with Records research and the many case studies, description of workflow, visualization tools and charts can help you stay on a narrow path as you work through your discoveries, hypotheses and findings.  

Best of luck with your ancestor search!


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

WCGS GenHelp - Events for 2021 - Next date - May 6 - Free Help for Genealogists.

More virtual help sessions are planned for 2021. The next session is May 6 at 6:30 EDT. See additional dates below.

The goal of  the monthly virtual sessions continues to be to provide free genealogy assistance to hobbyists. Mark your calendars for the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm ET. 

It is not necessary to be a member of WCGS to participate and there is no cost. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and share knowledge during the 90-minute session. The session will be moderated. Please note this program will not include research requests or queries; all assistance will be given only within the time constraints of the monthly virtual session.

         Thursday, May 6, 2021 @ 6:30pm 
         Thursday, June 3, 2021 @ 6:30pm                    

Time: 6:30pm ET (this is an open session; you may enter the Zoom at any time during the 90-minute session or drop once your question is answered)

Please submit your queries in advance. It gives the panelists a chance to mull and ponder and come up with better suggestions for you. Submissions should be sent to

Please note this program will not include research requests or queries; all assistance will be given only within the time constraints of the monthly virtual session.

Click here to register to for GenHelp. Scroll down to the GenHelp registration section. 

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Genetic Genealogy Videos for All Skill Levels: From Newbie to DNA Master One Video at a Time

 This post is one I originally wrote for the Fall 2020 issue of the Wake Genealogy Watch newsletter. The topics are still pretty fresh. I hope you find something useful here.  - Cyndi Deal

DNA for genealogy is a big topic and there are no shortcuts on the learning curve, but there is so much DNA education at our fingertips right now. With so many great genetic genealogy webinars available on line, why not sharpen your skill set?  (Bonus - All but two of these are free!) - CD


You Can Do DNA
, presenters - Christi Lynn Jacobsen, Dana Leeds, Diahan Southard. Watch video
New to DNA? Start here. This covers test types, test companies, testing strategies, best explanation of ethnicity estimates ever, and basic concepts including Leeds Color Matching  in a very beginner friendly format. 

What Exactly is a Centimorgan? An Introduction to the Science of DNA Testing, presenter - Ran Snir.  Watch video
This is an overview of the science and terms you will encounter regularly in the study of genetic genealogy.
CentiMorgan, SNP, Segment, etc.

DNA is Dynamite - How to Ignite your Ancestral Research, presenter Michelle Leonard. Watch video
This is an overview of Y and Mito and good coverage of using Auto and X. It uses examples from several testing companies. Good overview of evaluating match trees and shared matches. 

DNA the Glue That Holds Families Together, presenter - Diahan Southard.  Watch video
Diahan tells the story of the discovery of her Mom's bio family. The work flow up the tree to a common ancestor and back down are well covered here. The process is the same for linking to your DNA matches, adopted or not.

Getting started with DNA, presenter - Debbie Kennett. Watch video
This video covers intro to Y, and Mitochondrial, with emphasis on Autosomal. It highlights the useful new "predictive tree" tools at the major companies.

Intermediate - Advanced

Adoption and Unknown Parentage ($), presenter - Michelle Leonard. Watch video
I am working on my 3rd viewing of this webinar. It is not to be missed. The workflow is basically the same whether you are working an adoptee, NPE, or DNA match with little to no tree. It covers match organization, age considerations, endogamy, segment data, contacting close family. There is a fee ($9/month or $45/year). This is very worth the fee.

 DNA For Your Family Knot, presenter - Jennifer Patterson Dondero. Watch video
Do you sometimes get confusing results with your DNA matches? Do your family lines cross in ways you don't expect? This video covers pedigree collapse and endogamy.

DNA Painter, presenter - Jonny Perl. Watch video
If you have your DNA at sites that share segment data and provide chromosome browsers, you can take advantage of this powerful segment mapping tool.

WATO, presenter - Jonny Perl. Watch video
Introduction and explanation of the What Are the Odds Tool at Use this tool to figure out where a mystery match fits into a tree. It includes a live demo of the tool.

Connecting the dots - Intro to Auto Clusters, presenter - Paul Woodbury. Watch video
This is a good introduction to genetic networks and the new Auto Cluster tool at My Heritage. This is a good first stop for working with any cluster tool. 

3 Genealogy DNA Case Studies and How I Solved Them ($), presenter - Roberta Estes. Watch video
There is no substitute for seeing the process in action. Use autosomal, Y and mitochondrial DNA to solve 3 genealogy puzzles. There is a fee ($9/month or $45/year). This is very worth the fee.

Autosomal DNA - a step-by-step approach to analysing your atDNA matches, presenter - Maurice Gleeson. Watch video
This is an older video but presents solid technique. The DNA SIG spent the summer of 2018 learning and practicing Maurice's techniques. It has served us well. 

$ - if you decide to spring for a Legacy Webinar Subscription, check out the Tech Zone short videos and the whole Foundations in DNA series by Blaine Bettinger.  - CD

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Irish Webinar offered via Zoom - March 30

Excellent research opportunity.

Take a little Zoom trip to Ireland for your research.
Tuesday, March 30. 9:00 AM EDT - 1:30 PM EDT U.S. Eastern Time

This Webinar is offered by the Heinz History Center & Wesmoreland Historical Society.

Irish Genealogy Workshop

Irish genealogy experts Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast are back (virtually!) for the seventh annual Irish Genealogy Workshop.

Featuring live Question and Answer sessions and interactive virtual networking opportunities, this workshop will foster connections between attendees and expert speakers.

Benefitting beginners and seasoned genealogists alike, this in-depth virtual workshop will examine a multitude of historic records and electronic resources that will advance your Irish genealogy research.

Special access to recordings of the lectures will be made available to attendees following the live workshop.

Attendees will also be invited to a second live Q&A session with Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt on Tuesday, April 13.

Registration and Fees are available at the link.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Reminder to sign up for the March 23 WCGS meeting and the April 1 GenHelp Session

The links to register are here. Be sure to scroll down to the second section if you are looking for the GenHelp session. 

See you there!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Wake Wednesday: Celebrating Wake County’s 250th Year

This post is one I originally wrote for the Spring 2021 issue of the Wake Genealogy Watch newsletter. - Cyndi Deal

Celebrating Wake County’s 250th  Year 

It would be remiss to ignore Wake County and its place in history of both state and nation as well as its importance to the many first settlers of the region. In researching the creation of Wake, I was most intrigued to find its creation firmly entangled with the fiery politics of the day.

Did you know that Wake owes its founding directly to the turmoil caused by the Regulator Movement of the pre-Revolution period from 1765 - 1771?

Life, survival, and politics was rough for the inland North Carolina colonists of this period. A drought and crop losses created a serious economic depression. They were forced to buy food and supplies from eastern merchants who were charging top prices for their wares and were quick to press charges when the colonist were not able to pay. The merchants and the judges, lawyers, and sheriffs charged with collecting these debts had no ties or allegiances to these struggling souls, only to the British sovereign who had no concerns but to collect all that was owed and collect quickly.

By 1765, King George III had promoted General William Tryon as governor. Tryon pressed the tax collectors, sheriffs, judges and increasingly, the military to ruthlessly pursue the collection of all debts. Tryon and the King’s agents were hampered by the fact that these farmers were in backcountry woodlands that were not easy to access, govern or maintain control. In addition to the perceived lawless stubborn nature of the colonist, there also a notable amount of corruption within the ranks of the merchants and the King’s agents.

Stress grew into hostility and protests. Tension in Hillsborough, the closest town for the colonist to press their grievances and seek legal redress, became volatile and reached a crescendo in September 1770 with an uprising that rocked the town and was forever after labeled the War of Regulation

The ensuing violence prompted the colonial General Assembly to explore ways to dampen the violence and regain control over the rebellious and unruly colonists.  One consideration was  a plan to carve up the large counties in the middle of the colony which proved the most difficult to govern.  This map from 1768 shows the expansive regions with limited access to government and legal services.

Source - Choose 1768 from year list

In December  1770, a bill to create a county carved out of portions of Orange, Johnston and Cumberland was presented to the House of Commons by Joel Lane, then a Johnston County Representative. The bill was enacted on March 12, 1771, and the new county was named to honor Royal Governor Tryon’s wife, Margaret Wake Tryon. The Assembly carved out three more inland counties after the formation of Wake. Those were Chatham, Guilford and Surry. The second map shows the new counties and resulting changes.

Source - Choose 1770 from year list

This effort to quell resentment and rebellion did not succeed. It surely sowed the seeds of the Revolutionary War in the very near future.  Wake County owes it very existence to this tumultuous time in American history.

More Reading:
Wake, Capital County of North Carolina, Volume 1: Prehistory through Centennial, by Elizabeth Reid Murray. Available online at DigitalNC. Focus on Wake and Regulator Movement-  Ch 2 image 54 and Ch 3 image 77.

What Was the Regulator Movement? History and Significance, by Robert Longley.

Historical Raleigh, With Sketches of Wake County (from 1771) and Its Important Towns; Descriptive, Biographical, Educational, Industrial, Religious, by Moses Neal Amis. C. 1913. Available for free reading on Google Books. The text of the “Act for the Erection of Wake County and St. Margaret’s Parish”, the order directing Wake’s registration, and a list of the 19 townships and the prominent and influential citizens of the time are included in this book. Very much worth the read!

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