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

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,

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