Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wake Wednesday - Raleigh's First Suburbs ca.1900

Something is pulling my attention to Raleigh/Wake County around the turn of the century (1900's). It was a time of accelerated growth and prosperity. Perhaps it is that parallel that with today's frantic growth pace that has me looking backwards.  

I started looking at the historic neighborhoods that built up in the early 1900's:

  • Glenwood  - c.1905. It's development a direct result of the streetcar line providing access north and west.
  • Boylan Heights -  c.1907. Built on 180 acres of the William Montfort Boylan Mansion on the western outskirts of Raleigh.
  • Cameron Park - c.1910. Built on land that half a century earlier was Cameron Plantation.
  • Bloomsbury - c. 1914. It's construction signaled the transition from streetcar access to automobile access as Raleigh expanded ever outward.

As I did more research, I became amazed and a little unsettled at the historical, cultural and sociological details that are unearthed when you start to read about them. What started as a curious and nostalgic look at some quaint Wake communities lead to a whole different perspective on Raleigh as it emerged into the 20th century. (The links above will take you directly to individual historic profiles for each neighborhood.)

I was going to do several posts on these lovely nostalgic neighborhoods and their role in the changing mores of Wake County. As luck would have it, my research led me to someone else with the same interest in these communities who had already covered this topic in full detail and really honestly. So rather than "re-invent the wheel," I will now direct you to the well written blog post, City of Oaks by blogger David Fleming.  While I am mainly interested right now in the Raleigh communities that sprung up right after 1900, David has covered the development of Raleigh in its entirety. This will necessitate some scrolling on your part to bypass the original layout of Raleigh and the stagnation of growth around and after the Civil War years.  The part that I am most interested in about a quarter way down the page just after he discusses Josephus Daniels. 

He starts with pretty much the same jumping off point that I had arrived at - the building of the streetcar line on Glenwood Avenue and how it both enabled and depressed parts of Raleigh's population. Like I said, some of this is unsettling, but he does present a thorough unvarnished look the racial divide and class isolation that grew through the first half of the 20th century.

David's post is filled with wonderful photos, maps, historic perspective and even some useful statistics. If times allows, read the whole article and take in the massive amount of work that David has done here.

I am sure grateful for his efforts. I could not begin to present the subject as well as he did.

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wake Wednesday - The Great Trading Path

If you have Native American ancestors from Virginia and North Carolina, this link is fascinating. The Great Trading Path skirts the western edge of Wake county.

Visit this wonderful blog post at Native America Roots for lots of historic details and great maps that show the route of the Trading Path as well as a few surprises. 

Did you know that there were buffalo in this area and that is "what originally brought the Eastern Siouan speaking Saponi from the Ohio River valley into this region."


Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Upcoming Events and Learning Opportunities for March

There are lots of fun events happening in the next 2 weeks. Many seem to focus on family history writing.

Coincidence? Or that little nudge that we all need?

I also want to alert you to the fact that the last day to sign up for the NCGS Virtual Conference is Sunday, March 17. Hurry. That is tomorrow or today if you are getting this blog forwarded to your email!!

Now, for the list --

20 March
Genealogy Course: #3
Presented by Raleigh SeniorTechEd @ Knightdale Recreation Center
Covers more features of including working with other sites such as Find A Grave. Fee is $10. More info and registration at their website.

21 March
Piedmont Trails Live Chat Event on Facebook. 9am - 5pm
Genealogy Brickwalls, Family Researching Tips, Understanding Local and National History. Includes migration and the early routes. Discussions about free genealogy research tips, understanding family traditions, locating records and much more. This will be an all day event and will include participants from the group page, the main Piedmont Trails fb page and the Piedmont Trails North Carolina forum. More info on the Facebook Page 

22-23 March
NCGS Virtual Conference
2 full days, 8 interesting topics, and 7 expert speakers--is Friday and Saturday, 22-23 March 2019. No matter where in the world you are, you can attend. And, if you can't make it during the conference, you have access to all of the content for 90 days.
Register soon! Registration closes on 17 March. Registration page.

26 March
WCGS Meeting
6:30 pm to 8:15 pm
Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, 27610
Seek the Extraordinary: Family History Blogging
Speaker: George Thomas
Why confine your family story to brief snipits presented by way of the single-lined fields commonly used in genealogy based software? Instead, take time to honor the fact that your uniquely personal history has real connections to extraordinary happenings playing out on the world scene. Read more at WCGS website. 

28 March
Writing Your Personal History
Presented by Raleigh Family History Center, 5060 Six Forks Rd. 27609
Speaker-Sister Caryn Winterton
Get started writing your personal history and capturing the stories from your life. Your family's future generations will be strengthened and motivated as they learn from your example, trials and triumphs.
Admission is free. Register here through Eventbrite.

30 March
Research Strategies and Historical Writing -  eConference
presented by Family History Fanatics in conjunction with Pima County Genealogy Society
Speakers and topics will include:
Leslie Carney - What Does the Document Tell Us: Document Analysis
Devon Noel Lee - Synthesize Seven reSources to Bust Brick Walls
Emily Garber - When It Takes a Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques
Laura Hedgecock - Better Writing Through Research: Enhancing Family History Narratives with Historical Context
Early bird rate of $19.99 until Mar. 22.

Ongoing on Mondays
Olivia Raney Monday Genealogy Webinars
Join ORL each week to view and discuss a webinar from Legacy Family Tree. Featuring different topics each week.1 p.m., Olivia Raney Library. Check website or call for details.

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wake Wednesday - Finding Green Alford's Parents

If you have the surnames - Alford, Liles, and High - in your family lines, you will want to check out the account of Lodwick Houston Alford and his efforts to discover and prove the parents of Green Alford, b,1781 near Wakefield, Wake County (Wake Treasures, vol.10, nbr. 2).

I read his account hoping for a workflow strategy or inspiration to solve my own elusive ancestor. His efforts included proving/disproving the various family stories passed down for generations, working with several local history librarians in the area, using the Bastardy Bond abstracted records* published in the Wake Treasures, and calling in another set of eyes when it seemed all possible lines of research had been exhausted. The sum of all these efforts led to his success.

This was a compelling report, one I could not stop reading even though it was NMF (not my family). He has given me some ideas to approach my mystery from other angles in the future. Definitely worth a read whether you are Alford or not.

*Bastardy bonds listed by time frame and location in journal subject index on page 1.

Journal access is a great perk of your Wake County Genealogical Society membership and a handy tool for those researching in Wake County remotely. Members have 24/7 access to the Journal. With 20 plus years of content, you will likely find the surnames and place names you are researching. Access the Journal issues directly in the Member Area after log-in.

This content is referenced with permission of Journal editor.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wake Wednesday - Cary Records

Do you have ancestors and relative in Cary? If you/they have been there awhile you will enjoy this new record set available online.

Update from North Carolina Digital Heritage Center via Facebook:

"Interested in the history of Cary, NC? Research files documenting the change in the community from small farm town to major suburb of Raleigh over the 20th century are now online thanks to our partner Page-Walker Arts & History Center."

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Event alert: Upchurch and Allied Families to meet in Cary in April

If you are following UAFA, you will be interested in the events outlined in their latest bulletin. The four public events take place on April 12 & 13. Events are covered in detail in this weblink.

Allied Families Newsflash