Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Resolution - Subscribe to Wakecogen Blog

You can subscribe to Wakecogen Blog and have the posts delivered directly to your email in box. The process is simple and quick.

On the desktop, the box to subscribe is the first thing you will see in the right hand side bar.

On a mobile device, the box to subscribe will appear as you scroll to the bottom of the feed.

Notice that there is also a search feature located at the bottom of the mobile screen should you ever need to use it. (Search is located on the right sidebar on the desktop version.)

The sign up process is the same for both. Just add your email address and click "Submit." Soon, you will begin receiving updates as posts are published. In addition to, tutorials, tips, techniques, events, publications, Wake Wednesday posts, and other timely topics, a blog subscription is a good way to keep up with late breaking events and schedule changes.

Happy New Year from Wake County Genealogical Society!

Return to the WCGS Website

Friday, December 28, 2018

Progress Tracker for DNA Study

This is a checklist I originally prepared for the Dec 2016 WCGS presentation - Enhance your Genealogy Research with DNA Testing. Time flies and so much in the genetic genealogy world has changed so quickly, but I think this stands the test of time as a good basic checklist for beginners. - CD
Enhance your Genealogy Research with DNA Testing
Progress Tracker for DNA Study
Getting Started:
_ Identify your need, question, or line of descent that needs proving.
_ Identify your subject or subjects.
_ Choose the appropriate tests and company.
_ Order, complete, return, wait.
While you wait:
_ Build your tree back at least 4 generation - 5 or 6 if possible. Also, build it "wide" at the level of your grandparents and great grandparents. Include all siblings, spouses, and descendants that you can. It really helps when you are looking at lines that may descend from one of those female ancestors whose name gets lost in time.
_ Watch the 5 part Bettinger webinar series, Foundations in DNA, at Legacy Family Tree (subscription service, a $9.95 investment - bonus you can watch unlimited webinars  - all you find interesting during your month subscription). 
_ Locate and work through your testing site tutorials. (see DNA Links Handout)
_ Create a account for additional tools to study your results.
When your results return:
_ Spend some time studying your top matches, their trees, and surname lists, to determine your common ancestors.
_ Upoad your raw data to Gedmatch for study and comparison. Gedmatch is free and offers some powerful tools for comparison. It is a much larger match pool too.
_ Keep good notes about matches and matches in common. You will be looking at so much data that you will need to capture it while it is fresh in your mind. One Note and Excel will help with this.
_ Have fun while you learn!
Prepared by Cyndi Deal, 2016


Thursday, December 27, 2018

DNA Links and Reading List

This is a handout that I originally prepared for the Dec 2016 WCGS presentation - Enhance your Genealogy Research with DNA Testing. Time flies and so much in the genetic genealogy world has changed so quickly, I have updated some links and added a few others but this list will get you started up the learning curve that is Genetic Genealogy. - CD
DNA Links and Reading List
Videos and Webinars 
3rd Party Tools - a third party free website (operated by generous volunteers) for analysis and comparison of raw autosomal DNA data from other fee-based genetic genealogy testing companies. Gedmatch offers many tools for visualizing how you and your matches connect including a Chromosome browser, in common with and one to many matching. Tier one tools (small fee) include triangulation tools, lazarus tools to replicate dna of a parent or grandparent, evil twin tool which can provide you with the 50% of the DNA you did not receive from each parent.
Genome Mate Pro - an app to help manage the data collected from autosomal DNA research. It allows you to house and compare data from the different companies and keep detailed notes. It is a more advanced tool you should have on your radar if you get serious about genetic genealogy study.
Chrome extensions for working with DNA
AncestryDNA Helper (for Ancestry DNA)
Medbetterdna - various uses, but my favorite is the ability to make your AncestryDNA match note appear on the match list page. Saves you a lot of clicking through to see what you wrote.
Pedigree Thief  (for Ancestry DNA) - Tree clipper that allows you to convert a matches pedigree tree to a gedcom or insert in another program like Genome Mate Pro for study.
DNA Arboretum (for FTDNA) - Tree clipper that allows you to convert a matches pedigree tree to a gedcom or insert in another program like Genome Mate Pro for study.
Blogs - by Jim Bartlett by Kitty Cooper by Roberta Estes by Blaine Bettinger by CeCe Moore by Lisa Larkin, Ph.D.
Genetic Genealogy in Practice, by Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
Facebook Groups Use the FB search to find and join.
DNA Newbie
Gedmatch User Group
AncestryDNA Matching
FTDNA User Group
Genetic Genealogy Tips & Tricks - run by Blaine Bettinger
DNA Detectives - run by Cece Moore
Testing site comparison guide
Prepared by Cyndi Deal, 2016

    Wednesday, December 26, 2018

    Wake Wednesday - Wake Forest Christmas c. 1875

    I have shared this before, but I just love this account of Christmas in Wake Forest in 1875.


    Visit the Wake Forest Museum Blog for the full story of Christmas from the students point of view. It was too difficult for some to travel home at that time and they left to their own devices for merry making! Local residents took them in for the holidays. In addition to the traditional Christmas activities, the students spent their time at Tackey Parties and Night Suppers. Travel back in time here!

    Saturday, December 22, 2018

    Wake Treasures Journal - Volume 28, Number 2

    Wake Treasures Volume 28, Number 2 – Spring 2018 is now available for viewing and download at the website. This issue incorporates material covering more than 150 years of Wake history and family narrative.

    Topics include:
    Golf Membership List - Meadowbrook Country Club, Garner, NC. 1963
    1802 Tax List - continuation
    Eugene Narron Allen of New Light
    Wake County General Assembly Session Records 1798 & 1806
    Thoughts about Yates Mill
    1893 Register of Births, city of Raleigh
    Ad - Bostrom-Brady Manufacturing
    Raleigh Grocery Ledger (1884-1886)
    Playing among the Tombs (Historic Oberlin Cemetery)

    Members may access this and all issues of the Journal online here.

    If you have personal stories of people, places, and events connected to Wake County, please consider sharing them for inclusion into future editions! Contact the journal editor.

    Need this content? Become a member here.  
    Access to the Journal online is one of the best benefits for remote Wake County researchers. There are over 20 years of issues online with Wake specific primary source content. Search in your sweats and fluffy slippers!

    Return to the WCGS Website

    Monday, December 17, 2018

    Add a Surname list to your Wakecogen account

    By Cynthia Gage, WCGS Webmaster
    Reprinted from the Winter 2018 Issue of Wake Genealogy Watch - the newsletter of WCGS:
    Have you entered your surnames onto the Wake County Genealogical Society website?  This is a member benefit, and it’s a great way for others to find your names and get in contact with you while preserving your privacy.  And it’s easy to do! 
    Here’s how!

    Click on image to view larger!

    After logging in, select the “Profile” submenu under the “Members Area”.  Then select the surname tab.  To enter a surname, click on the “+” button on the top right.  Fill in the requested information and save.  Besides the information shown above, the surname input screen has a field for alternate spellings and one for any other comments both of which will be available for visitors to see. 
    As shown, it is recommended that there is only one surname, one county, and one state per line entry to optimize the success of visitors in finding your names.  However, the only required information on the surname input screen is the surname itself.  The rest can be left blank if you choose.  Once you have entered your surnames, you can always come back later and add more information by clicking on the pencil icon beside the surname.
    Now that you have your names entered, here is what visitors will be able to see and do.   From the Surname page on the main website, visitors can search for the surname of their interest. 

    Click on image to view larger!
    In this example, two lines have been found.  For the first listing (Ingham), the surname which was searched (Ingram) had been included in the alternate spelling area when the member entered the data.  By clicking on the “eye”, the visitor will see all the details for the selection, including the alternate spellings and any other comments which the member entered onto the surname listing.  If the visitor wishes to contact the member associated with the surname, they can click the “envelope” to send an email.  Their message will go to the member’s email address on record.  Note that for the privacy of our members the email pop-up does NOT show the email address of the member.  However, the visitor is required to enter their email address in order to send a message.  Thus the member can review and then choose whether to respond to the message from their email server.

    Click on image to view larger!

    Since these messages will come to your inbox, be sure that WCGS has your correct email address, or you may lose out on receiving messages from others who are researching your ancestors!
    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

    Saturday, December 15, 2018

    Learning Opportunity - Full and Half Day Small Group Sessions

    Here is another great learning opportunity to check out before the New Year.

    Edgecombe Community College, in Tarboro, offers a Weekend ContinuingEducation Series in Historic Preservation Trades. This program is run by Monika Fleming, Program Chair for the Historic Preservation curriculum at ECC. Monika presented the WCGS June program - Jewish Immigration in Eastern NC.

    Classes meet Saturdays for full and half day instruction. The small group setting includes discussion and one-on-one interaction.

    Early 2019 Topics:
    Intro to Genealogy
    Research Historic Property
    Education & Ancestors
    Local & State Records
    Genealogy Websites
    Military Records

    Visit the schedule page for details and registration.

    I have not taken one of these classes myself, but I know several people who have and they all come back raving about the experience due to the small class size.  They all say it is well worth the short trip to Tarboro on a Saturday morning!

    Friday, December 14, 2018

    Learning Opportunity - Senior TechEd Winter 2019 Schedule

    Education is the gift that keep on giving. Take advantage of the winter listings from Senior TechEd for yourself or someone on your gift list.

    View the Senior TechEd Schedule here.

    Highlights this season include a series of lessons on working with The series is offered twice, in January and again in February.

    Also MS Excel 1&2 - We use spreadsheets for everything from name disambiguation and timelines to DNA sorting and match correspondence. This time will be well spent.

    Other topics of interest:

    Windows Backup

    File Explorer

    Cloud Computing

    Google Photos

    Android Smartphone Apps

    IOS, Ipad, and Iphone

    Much more... Take a look.

    Return to the WCGS Website

    Wednesday, December 12, 2018

    Wake Wednesday - Merry Christmas from Raleigh c. 1907

    So, I was casting about for a WW post with a holiday theme and happened on this quaint turn of the century Christmas postcard that was featured in the North Carolina Postcards section of the digital North Carolina Collection at UNC. 

    This is a postcard that B. H. Woodell, of Raleigh, had personalized and printed to send to his friends and colleagues in December 1907. It is a very classic and formal card typical the ones I have seen from that time period. 

    I am not familiar with Mr. Woodell and wondered what sort of footprint he left in Wake County for that time period. 

    A Google search turned up several entries for him in an 1887 Raleigh City Directory housed at the NC Archives. This ad from the directory shows that he was a business man in downtown Raleigh at that time.  

    There are several other mentions of Mr. Woodell in this directory. They document his dual occupations of shoe merchant and broker/commission merchant, and his membership in the Odd Fellows, a fraternal and benevolent society. His home address of 118 N. Dawson and business address of 230 Fayetteville Street indicates that Raleigh was truly a walk-able city back then. He could have walked the half mile trip in about 10 or 15 minutes.

    The next hit on my Google search turned up several newspaper articles that documented his activities as Grand Secretary in the Odd Fellows, his travels, his visitors, and even an illness. He was active and well known in his community.

    Another hit turned up a free ebook on Google books documenting the 1907 Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of North Carolina. Mr. Woodell was a busy man! I count more than twenty mentions of him in this book. (If you have ancestors from Wake who were Odd Fellows, you want to check out this free book.)

    Next, my search pulled a hit at My Heritage that told me that his daughter Mary married into the Briggs family, also prominent at that time. 

    I made all these discoveries about someone I am unfamiliar with, and I hadn't even touched Ancestry or FamilySearch yet. 

    A quick search at Ancestry tells me that Mr. Woodell was born in August 1839. His full name was Burwell Henry Woodell. He married Emily Jane Buchanan in his home county of Chatham in 1868. They were living in Raleigh at least by 1871. They had six children, four of which were born here in Raleigh. They lived at various times on Blount Street and Person Street. B. H. died in Wayne County in 1919, but was buried in Raleigh at Oakwood Cemetery.

    A biography Mr. Woodell's life can be found on Ancestry in "History of North Carolina, Vol. 5." It chronicles his early life in rural Chatham County, his military service in the Civil War, and his early entrepreneurial career in Raleigh. There is a very thorough and impressive accounting of his time and activities in the Odd Fellows. As the other sources hinted at, he was a very important man in this organization, not only for Raleigh, but for all of the state as well. From the text:
    "Mr. Woodell has personally organized a large per cent of the Odd Fellow lodges in North Carolina, and his voice has been heard in almost every lodge room in the state. In 1885, when he was elected grand secretary, there were forty-two lodges in North Carolina, with 1,208 members. In June 1916, there were 240 lodges with more than 15,000 members, and a large part of this gain in membership may be directly attributed to his faithful and untiring efforts."
    Mr. Woodell must have had many, many of those postcards printed up! I suspect the high esteem was mutual many times around.

    For me, this exercise was certainly a lesson in being open to non traditional sources to fill in the gaps in your research. I will make every effort to"peek around the corners and under the rugs" for my next search.

    Merry Christmas, Mr. B. H. Woodell.

    Glad Holidays Tidings to all of our readers!

    Return to the WCGS Website

    Wednesday, December 5, 2018

    Wake Wednesday - Where to put the permanent NC State Capital

    Would Wake County be very different if the choice of the state capital location had been different?

    How? Would roadways and growth centers be effected? Would a location five miles away make a difference?

    Interesting to ponder. I am sure it would have mattered more to the generations who came before us as their transportation and access to commerce would be most affected.

    Hunter vs. Lane

    The story of selecting the site of the permanent state capital is covered in this great article about inns and tavern from NCpedia. Isaac Hunter and Joel Lane are both represented here, as are several other important inns and taverns from the early days of colonial North Carolina.
    "Inns and taverns played an important role in the economic and geographic development of colonial North Carolina. These establishments-also known as "ordinaries" in eighteenth-century America because they often catered to the full spectrum of social classes-were frequently one of the first businesses to appear in newly designated county seats, offering food and lodging to travelers and visitors to court...."

    Friday, November 30, 2018

    Wake Research Trip

    Plan a Research Trip to Wake County
    Reprinted from the Spring 2018 Issue of Wake Genealogy Watch - the newsletter of WCGS:
    I was asked by someone living remotely for advice in planning a genealogy research trip to Wake county. I thought my resulting notes might be helpful to others. Please note that all blue text is a working hyperlink, valid as of  2-9-2018. Special thanks to Barb, Ann, and John for their suggestions. - CD

    When planning a Wake County research trip, your top 3 must-visit destinations are:
    This is the repository for all things historic pertaining to Wake county. Contact the  research librarians via ORL email, for specific sources that would be useful for your research. Check out their online Collections page.  And the Local History Information Guide.
    **Note: ORL is expected to open sometime mid 2021 post renovation and post covid. Access will be by appointment in the beginning.**

    • The State Archives of North Carolina 
    Next stop is a twofer! Visit 109 E. Jones St. in downtown Raleigh to visit both NC Archives and the Government and Heritage Library.  Before you travel, visit both websites to plan your research strategies.

    Check the Researchers page at the Archives for records you might find useful.  You just never know what you will find - diaries, ledgers, photos, family papers.
    Visit the G&H Library page for a whole host of services and research guides that can help you fine tune your goals.
     • The Wake County Justice Center 
    at 301 McDowell St. houses land, marriage, and probate records. (Check the website before going for restrictions on what you can carry in.) Visit the Register of Deeds for marriage and land records.  Visit the Clerk of Superior Court for probate records.
    If time and travel allow:
    UNC Southern History Collection (located in Chapel Hill if travel permits)- Browse or search the collection in advance or contact for guidance.
    Search online pre- and post-trip:
    These sources are online and can be accessed as needed:
    NC Land Grants - can be searched online. Searchable data plus 160,000 images for 216,000 land grants issued by the State of North Carolina from 1663 to 1960.
    Wake Treasures Journal (WCGS publication) - over 20 years' worth of transcribed data available to WCGS members - While this requires a WCGS membership to access online, the sheer volume of local, original sources, not accessible elsewhere, makes your membership worthwhile. Here are examples of Wake County material which has been abstracted/transcribed and published in the journal.
    - Bastardy Bonds (1772-1937) - Divorce Record (A-Z)
    - Levy Dockets (1805-1815) - School Census (1897)
    - Tax Records - Poor House Records
    - Apprentice Records - Court Minutes
    - Military Records - Newspaper Articles
    - Deed Book R ... and much more! 
    Location based research - These may point you in some direction that I have not mentioned here.
    I planned a similar trip two years ago to a family spot in Louisiana. The pre-planning was daunting, but the trip was so much fun and the findings so rewarding that it is worth all the effort. I wish you the best of luck in your family hunting.
    Do you have other favorite places to visit for research locally? Share with us. Send them

    Wednesday, November 28, 2018

    Wake Wednesday - How did your ancestors celebrate Christmas?

    Did you grow up in a rural setting? Want to revisit some Christmas customs you might have forgotten and share them with your younger family members?

    Visit Oak View Farm for their program - How They Celebrated from 1850 to 1950. Dec 3 - 22

    "Tour the Plank Kitchen and Main House and see decorations interpreting five different time periods in Oak View’s history (Antebellum Era, Civil War Era, Victorian Era, Great Depression, and World War II)!"


    They will also offer "Sleigh Rides and Cider" on Dec 1. See their site for more info.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2018

    Event: Dec 6, Granville County Gen Society - "America's First Thanksgiving"

    Time sensitive - happens Dec. 6

    We just received this event notice to the WCGS inbox:

    Message from Granville County Genealogical Society 1746, Inc.

    The program for the December 6, 2018 meeting of the Granville County Genealogical Society will be presented by Mrs. Velvet Woodlief, GCGS member.

    Velvet will present a program on Capt. John Woodlief, and his landing at Berkeley Plantation in Virginia on December 4, 1619. "America's first Thanksgiving". Upon landing on the shores of the James River, Virginia, he carried out the first of his orders and instructions from Sir William Throckmorton, knight and baronet, Richard Bearkley, Esq, George Thorpe, Esq, and John Smyth, Gent., who commissioned the voyage. "Wee ordaine that the day of our ship's arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perputualy keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almight God".

    Edward Woodlief, one of our society's members, and other Woodliefs from Granville, Vance and Franklin Counties, along with the help of late Pearl Woodlief Blackley (Vance County) and from Woodliefs across the United States worked to get the recognition for the First Thanksgiving in America established. In 1956, a memorial was built on the shore of the James River at Berkeley Plantation honoring Capt. John Woodlief. On the plaque to Capt. John Woodlief, there are more Woodliefs from North Carolina than any other state. That same year and each year since, Woodlief descendants are sent a special invitation and a reception is held for them prior to the re-enactment of the landing of Capt. John Woodlief. Other spellings of the surname are Woodliffe, Woodliff, Woodlase and Woodlief. Edward Woodlief can trace his ancestry to this Capt. John Woodlief.

    A celebration of this event is held the first Sunday in November of each year (moved from the first Sunday in December for more favorable weather). Next year will mark the 400th anniversary of the landing and the guest speakers will be Charles Berkeley, owner of Berkeley Castle in England and the former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles. The Godspeed sailing ship from Jamestown will be anchored offshore.

    Please join members of the Granville County Genealogical Society in attending this meeting, to be held at 6:30 P.M. on December 6, 2018 in the conference room at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, N.C. All GCGS meetings are open to the public, and visitors and guests are always cordially invited to attend.

    All GCGS meetings are open to the public and guests are cordially invited to attend.

    Web site address:
    Mailing address:
    GCGS 1746, Inc.
    PO Box 1746
    Oxford, NC 27565-1746

    Friday, November 23, 2018

    Volunteer Request - Seeking Narrative Stories for Wake Treasures

    Request from Wake Treasures quarterly journal editor, Diane L. Richard: 

    Going forward, we would love to include more narrative pieces in the pages of the Wake Treasures Journal – case studies, family stories, short memory pieces of life back when, etc. Stories don’t need to be long or involved. They can be stories about family, about communities, about activities (church, sports, service organizations, scouts, schools, businesses, and so on), buildings and landmarks that existed and no longer do so, and the list is endless. Any bit of Wake County history involves people … History is invaluable to our genealogical research and our search into family histories provides value and context to history. 

    Do you live in Wake County and like me don’t have family here? 

    We all live and/or drive by places where history happened – let’s learn more about this history or share what we already do know! No Wake County ancestry is needed for these types of contributions. Please consider how you might help share our “collective” history, family lore and more via the journal. 

    Thanks! - Diane,

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    Wake Wednesday - Old Raleigh Building With Many Lives

    This beautiful building sure had a lot of lives. Extra points if you know the story without even looking. Do you know all the names and functions it had over its long life. Sadly, this beautiful Wake county landmark that our ancestors would have strolled past on a leisurely afternoon is no more.

    You can read the wonderful twists and turns of this beauty's history in this Goodnight Raleigh blogpost

    Baptist Female University - built in Built in 1899 at the corner of Blount and Edenton streets.

    Baptist University for Women - name change in 1904.

    Meredith College - 1909 was renamed again, "in honor of Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Reporter (1835) and an early 19th century advocate of higher education for women". The college was housed here until the mid 1920's when it relocated to the present location.

    Mansion Park Hotel - from the mid 1920's until sometime in the 1950's. The hotel advertised itself as Raleigh's "Most Comfortable Hotel" with reasonable rates, free parking, between Capitol and Governor's Mansion, 122 rooms, 100 bathrooms, Headquarters, Carolina Motor Club, AAA.
    In the 1950's, this beautiful building was purchased by the state and used as office space including a driver's license office. This beautiful old "grand dame" was demolished in 1967. The location is now a parking lot. Ahhhhh.....progress.

    One more photo before I close. This one from the Meredith College website. A class photo from the college's early days. I love that they used the spectacular porches and stairways to pose. What a remarkable place with a remarkable story.
    Were your ancestors part of this story?

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    Reciprocal Journals in the WCGS File at Olivia Raney Local History Library

    Did you know that there is a selection of genealogical and historical journals from around the state available in the WCGS files at Olivia Raney Family History Library?

    We previously featured our Reciprocal Journals program (shared from other counties and regions of NC) in the Fall 2018 issue of WGW. We wanted to bring this content out of the stacks so people could have an idea what was available (from your favorite comfy chair no less).

    You can keep tabs on the latest additions to our collection by visiting our Journals photo album at the WCGS Facebook page. This is a great opportunity to keep up with your research in other parts of the state. If you see a journal topic you want to check out, visit Olivia Raney Library to view these issues and more that we have in our collection. Just ask at the front desk. Sign their visitor book while you are there. We like to help ORL for all they do to help us!

    Special thanks to WCGS Corresponding Secretary, Linda Hames for keeping this journal project moving along. I can always count on her to send me the contents page from the journals as they arrive in our P. O. Box.

    Here is a preview of what we have on file:


    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    Online Learning Opportunities

    Updated to add the Utah Genealogical Society DNA SIG. They have some great webinars up thru the end of 2019 including a virtual conference on Sept 24, 2019. Most are free with preregistration.

    Stay educated and entertained with these great webinar offerings. Most are free. Visit individual sites for details! Thanks to Barbara McGeachy for curating this list for us!

    Friday, November 9, 2018

    Monday, October 29, 2018

    WCGS Trifecta at NCGS

    Wake County Genealogical Society is the proud recipient of three awards from the North Carolina Genealogical Society at its October 27, 2018  Conference and Meeting.
    Awards are as follows (left to right in photo):
    -Excellence in Periodical Publishing-Journal:  "Wake Treasures,"   editor Diane L. Richard.
    -Excellence in Periodical Publishing-Newsletter: "Wake Genealogy Watch,"  editor Cyndi Deal.
    -Excellence in Web Presence-WCGS website: webmaster Cynthia Gage.
    Photo - Steve Deal

    A full description of the categories and winners can be viewed on the NCGS website.
    Congratulations to WCGS. Thanks and appreciation to the winners. We are indebted to them and their teams for the hours of hard work and dedication to produce a quality product on an consistent basis. This speaks well for our society as a whole.  
    Way to go Team Wake!!