Thursday, April 2, 2020

Expanded Hours Chat Service at Government and History Library

If you are missing having access to the Government & Heritage Library at NC Archives, you may wish to take advantage of their online chat service.  They also accept email questions. Links and email addy are in this post that appeared in my Facebook newsfeed today. Check it out!

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Dig In to US Census Records Courtesy of My Heritage

My Heritage US Census records are free to view from March 29th until April 5th, 2020. Read the details from the blog post here.

Happy hunting...

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Senior Tech Ed Update - April Genealogy Classes will be hosted on Zoom

WCGS member, Jen Gunther, sends us this update from Senior Tech Ed in Raleigh. They have started offering some of their classes on Zoom in view of the restrictions on public gatherings. This provides a unique opportunity to use some of our (now copious) downtime for some learning. Think of it as a "staycation" where the classes come to you.

From Jen -
We will be offering a limited selection of seminars during April using the Zoom video conferencing app.
Most of the seminars being hosted in April are genealogy-based. Henry Spencer will host his entire series via Zoom starting on Friday, April 3.  Instructions as to how to register for these classes are on the STE website (  After registering, the instructor will contact all registered students with instructions as to how to get on Zoom, will share the access link for the seminar, and will forward the Handout  What could be easier?  And it gives us all something to do while sheltering-at-home and stimulates our brain to learn something new. duirng this challenging time.
Take a look at the seminars offered and see if you are interested in any of them.
Genealogy topics include:
Genealogy Overview, Making Sense of Ancestry DNA Test Results, Getting Started with, More Topics in

Note: Classes are starting as early as this Friday, April 3 so don't delay in checking this out.

View their Schedule page to Register. 

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wake Wednesday - Olde Raleigh c.1797

I had a great time last night listening to the WCGS online presentation in lieu of a face to face meeting. I hope many of our members took advantage of this experimental project. David McCorkle showed us many sources for historical maps and many new technologies to bring these maps to life. 

One of the maps early in David's presentation was a map of the very early city of Raleigh. I found this map captivating. This is one of the wonderful maps in the UNC North Carolina Maps Collection. In addition to the handrawn roughness and aged patina of this map, the maker had taken the time to draw the houses and shops in their respective locations. Zoom in enough, and you can take a stroll down old Raleigh streets in your mind. Here is your ticket to time travel - Plan of the City of Raleigh with all the improvements & all the Numbers july 1th, 1797


PS - if any of you had trouble logging into the presentation last night, please let us know. Email me and I will forward to David. This remote presentation is a new process and still being worked out. Your feedback will help.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

WCGS March 24 Meeting Is Cancelled

WCGS has cancelled our general meeting of March 24 at the Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC due to public health concerns. The library, as part of the Wake County system, has supsended gatherings through April 15 and as this is an evolving situation, email is really the best way to keep informed.

WCGS members should look for email updates on future changes. If you are not a yet a member and want to be updated, you should join our mailing list for non-members at this link -

We will reschedule the presentation by George Thomas the near future. Stay tuned.

Keep researching. If you get bored and want to do some remote volunteering, contact our Journal team for instructions to get you started transcribing Wake County historical records from home. We are working on Soldiers Home records and the Wake School Census among others. It is always fun to see familiar names and places in these records. For me, it reinforces my connections to Wake county. 

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

UPDATE - Transcription Session Saturday, March 14 IS CANCELLED

Update - The Transcription Session for this Saturday is cancelled. We are practicing social distancing and an abundance of caution. We hope you will too.

If you are bored and want to transcribe at home anytime over the next few weeks, see the instructions below to get started transcribing remotely. 

Hope to see you all in April.

Join us at CVRL this Saturday morning, March 14.
WCGS Transcription Session @ Room 202,Cameron Village Regional Library, 1930 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605. 10:30am - 12:30pm. Details and Contact info.
Transcription events are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month through the end of 2020. These events are not educational workshops, but time set aside for us to work together on transcription projects to benefit either the WCGS journal, Wake Treasures, or your own research. You can bring your own photocopies or digital files of documents or records needing transcription. We will also provide photocopies and digital files of Wake County-related records needing transcription. These transcriptions will be used in future issues of Wake Treasures. 

Are you interested in volunteering to help with Wake transcriptions, but just can’t make the Saturday time slot? We can accommodate you! You don't even have to be in Wake County. Much of the material to be transcribed can be accessed, transcribed and uploaded remotely. You can transcribe at your leisure at home . Contact Donna Shackleeditor, or Jessica Conklin, content curator, if you would like to volunteer from home.

Dates for 2020 Transcription events ** The second Saturday of each month from 10:30-12:30 in Room 202, Cameron Village Regional Library, 1930 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605** Location change!
Mark your calender - Apr. 11, May 9, Jun. 13, Jul. 11, Aug.8, Sep. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12

You may be interested in these useful transcription tools:

Whoa!! This latest Transcription tip will speed up the process and make you a Power Transcriber. We can all use this tip. Dictate your transcription into MS Word or other software. Watch this You Tube video from Connie Knox!

Handy, easy rules sheet from our Wakecogen Projects page.

Instructional video by our former editor, Diane Richard. To view "Accurate Transcription for Historical Records", click on the title and scroll down to the viewing window.  

FamilySearch has an extensive wiki on Transcribing Historical Documents here.

Guidelines for Reading Old Documents includes some of the standard text often seen in old wills, deeds, etc.

11 Tips for Reading Old Handwriting has suggestions for parsing out those letters that don't look quite like today's cursive or printed letters.

Various ways letters were written over time:

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Wake Wednesday - Elizabeth Reid Murray Wake History Volume 1 Available Digitally

Saundra Cropps, Library Manager at Olivia Raney Local History Library, recently shared wonderful news. Saundra's email -
Hello everyone,

Wake, Capital County of North Carolina: Prehistory through Centennial (Vol. 1), 1983 is now digitized with DigitalNC.

This is a historical moment for Wake County and we honor the author, the late Elizabeth Reid Murray today! I have attached her biography.

I want to thank her son, Mr. Jim Reid, for giving The Olivia Raney Local History Library/WCPL permission to have her book digitized. 

Please share as needed.
This is indeed wonderful news. Elizabeth's volumes were one of my first resources for starting the Wake Wednesday series of blogposts. This is a fantastic resource full of wonderful local history and family stories. If your roots go way back in Wake, you will want to spend some time with this volume. 

Saundra included Elizabeth Reid Murrays biographical information which you can read here. She was quite a proponent for keeping Wake's history alive.
Elizabeth Reid Murray

Elizabeth Reid Murray dedicated her life to documenting and preserving the history of Wake County, the place she considered “just the finest place on Earth.”

She was the author of Wake Capital County of North Carolina: Prehistory through Centennial (Vol. 1), 1983, and the co-author of Wake Capitol County of North Carolina: Reconstruction to 1920 (Vol. 2), 2008. These books are the most definitive authoritative secondary resources on the history of Wake County. The Elizabeth Reid Murray Collection at the Olivia Raney Local History Library is an extensive resource for scholarly research on Raleigh and Wake County.

Born Mary Elizabeth Davis in Wadesboro, North Carolina, she first moved to Raleigh to attend Meredith College, graduating in 1946. She began her professional life as a continuity writer of WPTF radio and as the program manager for WADE radio in Wadesboro.

Returning to Raleigh, she held numerous positions, including: Director, Meredith College News Bureau; editor, woman’s section, Raleigh News and Observer; Executive Secretary, Governor’s Coordinating Committee on Aging for NC; research assistant to Dr. Clarence Poe; teacher, local history courses for Wake County Public Schools and Wake Technical College; local history correspondent, Raleigh Times, News and Observer, Raleigh Spectator and Raleigh Magazine; and member, Raleigh City Council (1973).

Mrs. Murray was frequently recognized for her many contributions to the community and was awarded the following: American Association State and Local History for From Raleigh Past (1965); first Meredith Distinguished Alumna award (1970); W.P. Peace Award for best book on NC history (1983); Community Service Award, Raleigh Board of Realtors (1983); Wake County Phi Beta Kappa Award (1985); Silver Bowl Award, NC Museum of Art (1987); President’s Cup, Wake County Historical Society (1994); Anthemion Award, Capital Area Preservation, Inc. (1994).

Elizabeth Reid Murray was a wife, mother and grandmother.
She and her husband James Reid, a former mayor of Raleigh had three children, Michael Ernest Reid, Nancy Kennedy Reid Baker, and James William Reid, Jr.  Mr. Reid died in 1972. In 1979, Mrs. Reid married Dr. Raymond L. Murray of the Nuclear Engineering Department of North Carolina State University.

In 2006, Elizabeth Reid Murray donated her entire collection of manuscripts, slides, postcards, and photographs to the Olivia Raney Local History Library. The collection of more than 500 boxes of materials spans from 1965-2004 and is the largest archival collection owned by Wake County Public Libraries. Mrs. Murray was a longtime supporter of WCPL serving as a library trustee and a member of the planning committee for the opening of the Olivia Raney Local History Library in 1996.

In her research, she enjoyed uncovering stories of not only the elite but also of unsung heroes - people of color, people in remote and rural communities, and outstanding leaders. Her work ethic to affirm that her sources and facts were accurate was impeccable. Known in the community as someone who was generous with her knowledge, she was an inspiration to researchers.

Elizabeth Reid Murray died in 2014. Her books, publications, and collection at Olivia Raney Local History Library represent the passion and dedication she had for sharing the history of Wake County.

 Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wake Genealogy Watch - Spring 2020 - Newsletter is Live

The Spring 2020 Issue (Vol.3 Issue 3)  of our award winning newsletter, Wake Genealogy Watch, is now available online for reading or download.

You can visit the WCGS website or access through this link - Wake Genealogy Watch, Spring 2020

This issue contains the following topics:
• Facebook for Genealogy - a survey of the many groups found within the walls of Facebook relating to all topics of research, historic context, techniques and even genetic genealogy. Harness the power of Facebook for your research.
• Cynthia Gage shares a very useful tip about tracing newspaper articles to their original location for the most complete coverage and details.
• Reunion planning guides and tips.
• A heads up on an upcoming workshop featuring Thomas Jones. It is close enough for a road trip. You may want to mark your calendar.
• A query request from one of our readers.
• Another very full calendar of events.

 As always we welcome your articles, comments, or other items for the newsletter, so please contact Cyndi at if you have something to share.

Photo Note: If you choose to read a printed version of this newsletter, some of the photos will be difficult to view due to size constraints. Please refer back to the online edition where you can enlarge the photos to accommodate better viewing.  This recent issue of the Newsletter may be downloaded from the WCGS Newsletter page.  Enjoy!

Or, click this newsletter page link to view this and all past newsletter content.

We welcome your feedback, input, and submissions for inclusions in future editions. Please address all concerns to

Visit the WCGS Blog for more events, late breaking news, tutorials, updates and other special posts. 

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Reminder: Rootsweb Mail Lists Deadline - March 2

Just wanted to remind everyone who was active on Rootsweb Lists that they will cease to be active on March 2nd, in 7 days.

There after they will be accessible as read only content.

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Free Webinar Wednesday Night, Feb. 19 - Cold Calls, First Contact

Get more from your first contact, whether it be fleshing out family stories or connecting with your DNA cousins. Great Free Webinar Wednesday night.

Southern California Genealogical Society 2020 Jamboree Webinar Series -
De-Thorning Interviews: Cold Calls and First Contact
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 9:00 PM (Eastern Time)

This lecture will demonstrate the tactful approach to interviewing individuals, making cold calls and making first contact with individuals via emails and social media. Learn how to be comfortable gleaning oral family history stories from people you know and have never met before. Examples of these types of contact will be given.
1. Approaches, Considerations & Cautions
2. How to Prove If True

Professional genealogist Tammy Priolo BASc, PLCGS 25+yrs. Consults, researches, writes, lectures & workshops nationally & internationally. Many genealogical volunteer positions including nine years with the FHC in North Bay Ontario. Member of APG, GSG, OGS and Advisory Board Member
Sign Up -

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

RootsTech 2020 Presentation Schedule

The schedule for RootsTech2020 is posted now online at their website. I was pleasantly surprised that many of the presentations have PDF files of their syllabi posted in the descriptions.

It may be entertaining and worth your while to take a look.

RootsTech2020 Presentation Schedule

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

News and Events from Friends of Oberlin Village

I received the following in an email from EOV this week:

Dear Friends of Oberlin Village,
Please join other Friends of Oberlin Village for our  Feb. 24 meeting, beginning 6 pm, in the fellowship hall of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church, 1023 Oberlin Road.  All are welcome.  This month's meeting will include a "Voices from the Past" presentation by Earl Ijames, Curator, NC Museum of History.

Also of possible interest are upcoming events:

Preservation North Carolina's (PNC's) documentary "Oberlin -- A Village Rooted in Freedom"  is slated to be shown on UNC-TV on February 20th at 10:00 P.M.  Dive in to the history of Oberlin, one of North Carolina’s largest freedmen’s villages established after the Civil War, and witness Preservation North Carolina’s effort to save two landmark properties for its new headquarters.

Because PNC realizes that that is not an ideal time for many viewers, they have made arrangements to provide preliminary screenings. These preliminary screenings will not be abbreviated versions --- they will show the documentary in its entirety. Here's the schedule:
February 17, 6:30 P.M., Oberlin Baptist Church, 806 Oberlin Rd.
February 19, 6:30 P.M. --- N.C. Art Museum, 2110 Blue Ridge Road
Watch anywhere, anytime at and!   

Cheryl Williams and the Education Committee are looking for volunteers to staff an information table at each screening (need 2 volunteers 20 min before and after).  If you can help, contact Cheryl who can arrange for you to get the table, brochures, etc. or (919) 592-2333.

Virtual MLK: 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s' "Fill Up the Jails" Speech
Saturday, February 15, 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
NC State University Centennial Campus Hunt Library
1070 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27606  (Most parking is free on the weekend)

Event is free and open to the public

NC State researchers, led by Dr. Victoria Gallagher, will immerse community members in one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most iconic speeches. King delivered this speech, originally titled “A Creative Protest” but later referred to by King and others as “Fill Up the Jails,” on February 16, 1960 at White Rock Baptist Church in Durham. The Virtual MLK (vMLK) event will take audiences back in time by leveraging the Hunt Library's 270-degree visualization capabilities, allowing them to virtually walk around the historic sanctuary, hear a re-creation of King’s speech, and virtually sit with congregation members.

The day includes family activities, choir performances, and a community conversation on advocacy.
For a detailed schedule and to register for scholar-guided tours, click here.

FOV has received the following invitations

African-American Cemeteries
Saturday, February 22, 2020, 2 PM, free admission with reception to follow
Eagle Lodge #19, 142 W King St, Hillsborough, NC   
Orange County’s Cultural Resources Coordinator Peter Sandbeck will present a program with slideshow on how to identify, protect and preserve the many abandoned or otherwise mostly unknown African-American cemeteries in the county. They all have a story to tell, and no one knows more about them than Peter Sandbeck.

Screening of documentary "February One"
Wednesday February 19, 2020 7 PM
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh
3313 Wade Ave, Raleigh, 27607

Join us for the viewing and discussion of the documentary February One recounting the courageous sit-ins led by the college students known as the Greensboro Four. The video uses first hand accounts and rare archival footage to document  the volatile winter of 1960 in Greensboro, NC. The students’ actions not only challenged public accommodation laws in North Carolina, but served as a blueprint for the wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept the South and the nation throughout the 1960’s.
For more information:
Please note that this will replace the presentation "Revisiting Raleigh’s “Black Main Street”: Vintage Photos and Lasting Impact of the 3rd Ward" that was announced at the January FOV meeting due to illness of the presenter. 

Hope to see you a week from Monday at our next meeting,

Becky Boston

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wake Wednesday - John Hunter, born a slave, lived 112 years

For those of you who missed the COR Museum African-American Symposium last Saturday, or the N&O article that preceded it, you missed some great local history. I will refer you back to the N&O article that chronicles the discovery of John Hunter's history and Ernest Dollar's efforts to unite that history with living family members.

John Hunter was an enslaved person on the Spring Hill Plantation, owned by Theophilus Hunter. John was well loved and lived a very long life. His obituary claimed 112 years. He was interviewed in the 1870 for an article in the Raleign Sentinel. His memories include Fayetteville Street while it was surrounded by wilderness and wild animals, the blood thirsty dragoons of Col, Tarleton, and local buildings burning in 1812.

We are lucky that Ernest Dollar, COR director, discovered John and his history so that his story can be share again now.

See the article and the video at the N&O.

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mark Your Calendar - Thomas W. Jones Workshop in Asheville June 20, 2020

We received this notice from the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society in Ashville very recently:
I am contacting you on behalf of the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society (OBCGS) in Asheville, NC.
We are offering a professional workshop, “Beyond the Barriers” on June 20, 2020 that may be of interest to your members. The speaker is Dr. Thomas W. Jones, a board-certified genealogist, who is nationally known as a writer, a knowledgeable and entertaining presenter and editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

The most interesting topic lineup includes:
  • Building a Credible Lineage Despite Missing information, Conflicting and Incorrect Records and Undocumented Publication
  • Finding ‘Unfindable’ Ancestors
  • The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames
  • Systematically Using Autosomal DNA Test Results to Help Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls
Early bird pricing is available prior to May 15.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Event - Feb. 8 - 4th Annual African-American History Symposium - Transformation from Slavery to Freedom

Visit the City of Raleigh Museum Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1-3pm. COR will present the 4th Annual African-American History Symposium, a free event. 

From the City of Raleigh Museum Facebook event page:
The fourth annual African American History Symposium will explore the transformation from slavery to freedom through two lectures. Collector Craig James will discuss images from his personal collection of early African American photographs. James’ library of rare photos captures the transformation from slavery to freedom and the emergence of a new black identity. A native North Carolinian, James is descended from slaves from the Spring Hill Plantation in Pender County. Among his collection are images of his family, “Nursey” James, who was born into slavery and lived into the 20th century. Also speaking will be City of Raleigh Museum director, Ernest Dollar, will share new research on the enslaved community of Dix Park and the efforts to locate living descendants. During research on the museum’s latest exhibit, From Plantation to Park: The Story of Dix Hill, Dollar discovered John Hunter, born in the 1760s, and traced eight generations of his family to New York. In November 2019, John’s family traveled back to Raleigh to learn about their historic roots and the future of the new park.

Parking and Directions for COR

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Fold3 Black History Collection Free Access

I received this in an email from Fold3 today:
In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3® is making the records in its Black History Collection available for free through the end of February.

Whether you're searching for your ancestors or looking for primary documents to help with other research, the Black History collection gives you access to more than a million documents, records, and photos that help to capture the African-American experience during five eras of American history: Slavery, The Civil War, Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws, World War I & II, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Fold3 Black History Collection - free access through the end of February

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wake Wednesday - Check out the Joel Lane House before it gets a new coat of paint!

See the red pigment from the original construction 250 years ago. See the pit saw marks in the boards. Most surprising see the two small bullet embedded in the wood. Wonder when that happened?


Click through to WRAL to read the article by Heather Leah.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Local Event - Feb 16 - Dedication Ceremony - Memorial to the Enslaved of Joel Lane Plantation

We have received notice that there will be a dedication event for a Memorial to the Enslaved of Joel Lane Plantation on February 16.

Details are as follows:

Dedication Ceremony: Memorial to the Enslaved of the Joel Lane Plantation, 1769-1800

On Sunday, February 16, 2020, we will gather in the Joel Lane Museum House gardens for a time of contemplation and remembrance, as we dedicate a memorial to the people who were held in slavery by Joel Lane and his family. More details.

Time: Sunday, February 16, 2020,
Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Location: Joel Lane Museum House Herb Garden, at the southeast corner of the JLMH grounds, located at 160 S. St. Mary’s St., Raleigh, NC 27603. Parking is available on the streets surrounding the museum.

Admission: Free; All are welcome.

Contact Information: tel: (919) 833-3431; email:

Return to the WCGS Website

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Reminder - Transcription Session Saturday, Feb 8 at Cameron Village Regional Library

Join us at CVRL this Saturday morning, Feb. 8.

WCGS Transcription Session @ Room 202,Cameron Village Regional Library, 1930 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605. 10:30am - 12:30pm. Details and Contact info.

Transcription events are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month through the end of 2020. These events are not educational workshops, but time set aside for us to work together on transcription projects to benefit either the WCGS journal, Wake Treasures, or your own research. You can bring your own photocopies or digital files of documents or records needing transcription. We will also provide photocopies and digital files of Wake County-related records needing transcription. These transcriptions will be used in future issues of Wake Treasures. 

See you Saturday! Get a dose of local history and leave a Wake Legacy at the same time!

Dates for 2020 Transcription events ** The second Saturday of each month from 10:30-12:30 in Room 202, Cameron Village Regional Library, 1930 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605** Location change!

Mark your calender - Jan. 11, Feb. 8, Mar. 14, Apr. 11, May 9, Jun. 13, Jul. 11, Aug.8, Sep. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12

You may be interested in these useful transcription tools:

Handy, easy rules sheet from our Wakecogen Projects page.

Instructional video by our former editor, Diane Richard. To view "Accurate Transcription for Historical Records", click on the title and scroll down to the viewing window.  

FamilySearch has an extensive wiki on Transcribing Historical Documents here.

Guidelines for Reading Old Documents includes some of the standard text often seen in old wills, deeds, etc.

11 Tips for Reading Old Handwriting has suggestions for parsing out those letters that don't look quite like today's cursive or printed letters.

Various ways letters were written over time:


Return to the WCGS Website


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Rootsweb Email Lists are going away soon.

If you are a user of Rootsweb email lists and you have visited recently, you have encountered this message header at the landing page...

Beginning March 2nd, 2020 the Mailing Lists functionality on RootsWeb will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to send outgoing emails or accept incoming emails.  Additionally, administration tools will no longer be available to list administrators and mailing lists will be put into an archival state.  Administrators may save the emails in their list prior to March 2nd. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb.    - source

If you are already a frequent user, this will come as sad news. If you are not familiar with the Rootsweb lists yet, visit their index page to see the wealth of information there and know that these are discussions that will cease soon. If you see a list where you want to collaborate, you better get a move on.  Effective March 2, they will no longer be interactive. 

WCGS member, George Thomas, sees this as a huge loss and encourages all Wake County and North Carolina researchers that wish to have "your thoughts recorded (and searchable) on the rootsweb lists", to act fast. 

Your only chance is between now and between now and March 2. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb.

Friday, January 31, 2020

24 Hour Learning Opportunity from Legacy Webinars - March 12 - 13 Eastern Time

Great news from Legacy Family Tree Webinars & MyHeritage Webinars --

Event: FREE Live Webinar: The 24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon
Host: Legacy Family Tree Webinars & MyHeritage Webinars

Join us in making history as we embark on the first-ever 24-hour genealogy webinar marathon, where you will learn how to trace your ancestors from the world's top genealogists and educators. From advanced Googling to DNA, from The Great Lakes to Australia and Germany, there's something for everyone... in every time zone. And thanks to and MyHeritage, the entire event is free! Pop in for a session or two, or stick around for the full 24 hours — it's completely up to you. There will even be time for Q&A and door prizes. If you can't join us in real time, we've got you covered: all recordings will be available absolutely free for a week. Beyond that, you can watch them anytime with a webinar membership to

Click registration link for list of topics and speakers.

Topics: 24 topics
Presenters: 24 speakers
Dates: Thursday-Friday, March 12-13, 2020
Start Time: 24 hrs.
2:00 PM Pacific
3:00 PM Mountain
4:00 PM Central
5:00 PM Eastern

**All recordings will be available absolutely free for a week after the 24hour presentation.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Nearby next week - Durham/Orange Gen Society Meeting - Feb 5

Nearby next week -

February 2020 D-OGS Meeting: Using Maps and Mapping Tools in Genealogy 

Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Speaker Name: David McCorkle
It's great to find the exact location or at least general area where you ancestors lived on a modern map, but that alone is only part of the story. Please join us on Wednesday, February 5, at 7:00PM at the OWASA Community Center, 400 Jones Ferry Rd, Carrboro, NC to hear D-OGS President David McCorkle present Using Maps and Mapping Tools in Genealogy. In addition to helping find your ancestor's home, maps can provide clues to questions like where to find county and state records, who were their neighbors, what migration routes they used, why they might have settled in that area, what church they attended, where they are buried, what newspapers to search, and much more. David will discuss the many historical and modern maps available online, where to find them, and how to use them. He will also discuss and demonstrate various mapping tools that allow you to combine different types of maps and data to help with your research.

Location: OWASA Community Center
Address: 400 W. Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro

The OWASA Community Center is on the right side of Jones Ferry Road heading west out of town. Park in the lower lot on the west side of the facility - the center is the door closest to the street on the lower level.

More Details at D-OGS webpage.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wake Wednesday - Five Points ca 1920

This photo appeared in my Facebook feed yesterday and I just really have to share it with you. Wrap your head around this pastoral scene and try to reconcile it with the Five Points of today...

click photo to see larger size

Houses, barns, fields, streetcar tracks. How much it changed between the 1920s and the 1940s!
How much will it change now with the present growth and building spree?

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Friday, January 24, 2020

Family History Affiliate Access - while Olivia Raney is closed for renovation.

I have the details for interim Family History Affiliate access now. I heard from Carrie Lee, the adult services manager at Cameron Village Regional Library last week. She confirms that access to the FamilySearch database at CVRL is now live. There is only one dedicated computer for this service.

To use:
Check in with a staff member at the reference desk – second floor.
Staff will get you logged in.  

CRVL is located at 1930 Clark Ave. Raleigh, NC 27605

It is wonderful that CVRL has worked through the paperwork process to make this irreplaceable access available during the time that ORL is out of commission.

WCGS is surely appreciative of all the staff at CVRL has done to accommodate us and make us feel welcome!

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wake Wednesday - John Lawson - Did He Pass Through Wake County?

I found this great account of John Lawson's 1700 exploration of the area that would become North and South Carolina, in a book written back in 1922 - History of Wake County, North Carolina, by Hope Summerell Chamberlain. It is a fantastic book, fast paced and pleasant enough that I am frankly captivated. You may see more posts inspired by it pages in the future.

Chamberlain describes Lawson's voyage:
"The first historian of North Carolina, the explorer Lawson, although known to have passed through the central part of this State, cannot actually be proved to have trod the soil of Wake County. One authority on our local history thinks that he did, and indeed it seems more than possible.

Lawson made a journey through western and middle Carolina in the year seventeen hundred or thereabout. His course was a long loop coming out of South Carolina and crossing the Catawba and the ''Realkin" (or Yadkin) and other streams, continuing in a northeasterly direction and then due east, until he finally reached the settlements of the North Carolina seaboard. His descriptive traveller's journal reads as fresh and as crisply Interesting as if penned last year, and we get the impression of a writer alert in every sense and perception. He was a fine optimistic fellow, and though he was hired no doubt to praise the new colony, and so draw In settlers from among the readers of his account, yet no one can close his book without the feeling that he too, like many another coming to North Carolina to live, soon fell in love with the climate, and delighted to bask under the sunny sky.

Hear his account of leaving ''Acconeechy Town" (which must have been near Hillsborough), and marching twenty miles eastward over "stony rough ways" till he reached "a mighty river." This river is as large as the Realkin, the south bank having tracts of good land, the banks high, and stone quarries. We got then to the north shore, which is poor white sandy soil with scrubby oaks. We went ten miles or so, and sat down at the falls of a large creek where lay mighty rocks, the water making a strange noise as of a great many water wheels at once. This I take to be the falls of News Creek, called by the Indians 'We-Quo-Whom.'

For a first trip through an unknown wilderness, guided only by a compass, this suggests
the neighborhood, and describes the granite ridges that traverse Wake County, and produce the Falls of Neuse, where the river flows across one of these barriers.

During the next days' travel he comments on the land ''abating of its height" and ''mixed
with pines and poor soil." This, too, makes it sound as if he perceived the swift
transition which may be seen in the eastern part of Wake County from one zone to the
next, from the hard-wood growth to the pine timber, and from a clay to a sandy soil.

Lawson highly praised the midland of North Carolina, between the sandy land and the
mountains, and it is pleasant to read his enthusiastic account of this home of ours, and
learn the impression it made on a good observer in its pristine state, and before the white
man's foot had become familiar with the long trading path, which must have crossed west, near this section, but not certainly in the exact longitude of Wake County.
This trail is known to have passed Hillsborough, and to have crossed Haw River at
the Haw Fields. It may well have followed the same course, as later did the Granville
Tobacco Path, which certainly traversed Wake County near Raleigh."
Chamberlain really wants Lawson's path to have cut through Wake County and his descriptions of portions certainly do sound like our wild surrounds. The "large creek where lay mighty rocks," The granite ridges, the land ''abating of its height" ... ''mixedwith pines and poor soil." I feel I have walked those very spots.

Was he describing "News Creek" (Neuse River)? Others feel it could easily have been the banks of the Little River.

For more insight, you could attend this talk at the City of Raleigh Museum on Thursday night:
Scott Huler talks about John Lawson's trek, his own trek in Lawsons footsteps, his book and the exhibit at COR.
City of Raleigh Museum at 7 - 8:30 pm on Jan. 23
info: 919.996.2220

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Reminder - WCGS Meeting - Tuesday, Jan 28, 6:30pm

Join us!

Quaker Patriot Research: Daniel Bills - A Man for His Place and Time
Tuesday January 28, 6:30 pm to 8:15 pm
Cameron Village Regional Library
1930 Clark Drive
Raleigh, NC 27605
Speaker: Ann Myhre
Join us for the story of Daniel Bills - a Quaker who was a patriot in the Revolutionary War.  We'll highlight the records used in his discovery and some of the other unusual resources that shed light on his life.
All WCGS meetings are free and open to the public.  Bring a friend!  Social time: 6:30; Announcements: 6:45pm. Presentation will start at 7:00.

Return to the WakeCoGen Website

Wednesday, January 15, 2020