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

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