Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Wake Wednesday - Five Points ca 1920

Do you recognize this spot in Raleigh?

This photo appeared in my Facebook feed at some point and I just really have to share it with you. Wrap your head around this pastoral scene and try to reconcile it with...

click photo to see larger size

 the Five Points of today...

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?

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Friday, January 26, 2024

2024 Wake County Genealogical Society Virtual Meetings - next - January 23, 2024

Join us for the next Virtual Meeting from WCGS!

Tuesday, Feb 27 @ 6:30pm - Virtual

Topic Roots of Hope: Rediscovering the Legacy of John Hunter
Ernest Dollar, Director of the City of Raleigh Museum

A chance discovery led to an incredible merging of past and present. While working on an exhibit at Dix Park, Ernest Dollar found record of John Hunter, an enslaved man from the plantation where the State Hospital was later constructed. The genealogical detective work began with Hunter's birth in 1760 and ultimately led to the return of living descendants in 2019. His work was profiled in an award-winning documentary and has reshaped the Park's conversation on its complicated past.

This virtual meeting and presentation is open to all, but registration is required.  *

*Please register by 4pm day of meeting.
*Please save your passcode and link for ease of entry at start time. 

Tuesday, March 26 @ 6:30pm - Virtual
Topic Walk Where Your Ancestors Walked: Virtual Heritage Travel 
Lisa Lisson

Tuesday, Apr 23  @ 6:30pm - Virtual
Topic:  Genealogical Research at UNC-Chapel Hill's Wilson Special Collections Library
Speaker: Jason E. Tomberlin, Head of Research and Instructional Services; Interim Curator, North Carolina Collection

Tuesday, May 28 @ 6:30pm - Virtual
TopicAre You Calling My Granddad a Liar? Family Lore and What To Do With It
Speaker: Jessica Conklin

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

NCAAHGS Conference 3 day event in Raleigh Feb 2 - 4, 2024

Tales From the Table: Genealogy, Foodways, & Legacy Building - AAHGS Conf.   

February 2-4

The 2024 NC AAHGS Conference will be a three (3) day event.

Friday, Feb 2 - tours of the State Archives, the State Heritage Library, and the vault.

Saturday, Feb. 3 includes a full day of workshops (16 of them) (at Shaw University/ Estey Hall) including basic genealogy, foodways and legacy building, as well as a panel discussion and luncheon.

Our own Saundra Cropps will offer a presentation with Patsy Smith Morgan on Serendipitous Moments of Genealogical Discoveries (including the Shiloh Community, Morrisville, NC).         

Sunday, Feb 4 - there will be tours around the historic Black spaces in Raleigh including The Pope House (home of Dr. Manassa Pope - a Black medical graduate of Shaw University's Leonard School of Medicine who ran for mayor in 1919), the Historic Turner House in Oberlin Village, and the Historic Black Neighborhoods of Raleigh (created from the freedmen's villages that were started after the Civil War).

Tickets and detailed information at this link - 

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wake Wednesday - Historic Marker Event Saturday, Jan 27 in Holly Springs - Rev War Patriot Christopher Woodward

Historic Marker Unveiling to Celebrate Revolutionary War Patriot’s Mill and Store

Saturday, Jan. 27, 1 p.m. at Virginia Creek Drive near the corner of Sunset Lake Road, at the entrance to Creekside at Sunset Lake.

The Town of Holly Springs invites the entire community to the unveiling of a historic marker celebrating Revolutionary War Patriot Christopher Woodward’s mill and store. Near the mill at Camp Middle Creek, Lt. Col. Hardy Sanders mustered troops to protect the North Carolina legislature during the Revolutionary War.

Woodward operated a mill near the marker location as early as 1781. A frequent gathering place, the business milled lumber, ground corn and wheat, and ginned cotton. Tax records from 1819 indicate the Woodward family ran a retail store on the site, the first in this area.

Further details in the linked Holly Springs press release.

Visit Wake County Genealogical Society's Website - 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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

This information was first shared with us in March of 2020. Wake, Capitol County... Vol 1,  remains an excellent starting point when exploring Wake County family history and as a historic and cultural reference of the area.  - CD 2024

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.

Please see the link here.
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.

 Visit Wake County Genealogical Society's Website - 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Wake Wednesday - New Light

by Carla Stancil

Happy Wake Wednesday! As someone whose ancestors have been in Wake County since before the Revolution, I’m always curious about people and places who played a part in their lives.
I’ve long been fascinated with the New Light area of Wake County. It is in the far northern tip of the county and is very near Falls Lake. I’ve been particularly interested in how New Light got its name, and ran across this on NCPedia:
"New Lights" refers to a specific sect of Baptists that emerged during the Great Awakening of the 1730s and the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s. During these revivals, some converted Baptists were named "New Lights" because they believed that God had brought new light into their lives through their emotional conversion experiences. These New Light Baptists were also known as Separate Baptists for their belief in conversions, which set them apart from other Baptists, who preached Calvinistic ideas of predestination. (Attributed to Ellen Fitzgibbons Causey, 2006).

I would love to chat with other researchers who found a connection between “New Lights” who settled in New Light! Post here!

Read Carla's Blog here for more on her New Light roots.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Wake Wednesday - The Civil War era earthworks that circle Raleigh

Did you know that that portions of the earthworks built to fortify the city of Raleigh during the Civil War still exist? 

Did you know you can find these earthworks remnants at places like New Bern Ave, Peace and West Streets, and other locations throughout the city? Did you know that the earthworks have their own blog. 

Not just a post, but an entire blog! 

2020 version of Bredenberg's fortification map

Visit the blog - Raleigh's Wall - to see the wall on maps -  old and new - and hear stories uncovered as author/blogger, Alfred Roy Bredenberg, uncovered the wall and its history. He has also developed  an interactive map of the fortifications. Brededberg also writes a companion blog Civil War Nuances dedicated to stories and insights into the Civil War. 

Visit Wake County Genealogical Society's Website - Homepage | WCGS Events | Join WCGS | Publications | Wake Cemetery Survey Images | Society Surnames | Digital Resources | History Resources | More Links and Resources | Contact