NCGenWeb Partners with Free Online Genealogy Course

Last month, we shared the news of a new online genealogy course being offered called RootsMOOC.  Organized by  Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library and the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library, the free course will guide you through an introduction to family history research.  If you are just getting started with your family history, or even if you’ve been at it awhile, there is likely something to be learned by many.

Here at the NCGenWeb Project, we are pleased to be able to share the news that we are hosting the Facebook Discussion Group for RootsMOOC! This partnership with our NC colleagues is exciting and we hope to be able to help answer questions you may have along the way. We can also share resources from the NCGenWeb, and other USGenWeb projects, that can aid you in your research. 


The course starts in just a week, on March 23rd, so come join us over at Facebook at and get started! If you have not yet enrolled, please visit our previous blog post for instructions and to all – we very much look forward to seeing you there!


An Online Course to Learn Genealogy

An important part of our role here in the NCGenWeb Project is to help you with information and resources for your genealogy and family history research.  While we focus on providing records, we also answer questions to help you along the way.  We even help those just beginning to learn more about genealogy.

Thus, the latest news from the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University and the State Library of North Carolina is surely going to be of great interest to many  — they have recently announced an online course for genealogy called RootsMOOC!

The RootsMOOC course uses a MOOC approach (or Masssive Open Online Course) to learning. This means that many people can sign-up to take the course and the information for each week can be done at your own pace, on your own time.  Coursera is an example of a well-known provider of MOOC courses, so I’m excited to see this approach used for genealogy education.  RootsMOOC is free and begins March 23rd and ends June 1.  You’ll definitely want to sign-up now so that you receive all needed notifications as the start date nears.

The description of the course from the State Library of North Carolina’s website indicates:

RootsMOOC is a friendly introduction to family history research in the United States using commonly available sources. The expert researchers at the State Library of North Carolina will help you learn about the most useful sources, tools, and techniques for getting your research off the ground and properly organized. By the time you’re finished with this course, you’ll have a good start on your own genealogy research and you will know how and where to keep digging.

Topics covered will include techniques for getting started, understanding the US Census, working with state and local resources, and online sources and strategies.  Watch the video below for an introduction to the course from Kyle Denlinger, librarian at Wake Forest University:

Learn more about RootsMOOC on the course website. I have signed up for the course and I hope to see many of our NCGenWeb researchers signed up too.  If you do sign-up, please do let me know – perhaps we can have our own NCGenWeb cohort group :-)


Disclosure: RootsMOOC was made possible in part by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  I, in my professional career, am partly funded by a grant from the IMLS. Just wanted to disclose this for absolute transparency. — Taneya


Join Our New Facebook Group

facebook-group-iconBest greetings for the New Year! As usual, we here at the NCGenWeb Project aim to provide you with great resources for your family history and genealogy research.  As part of that mission, we created a Facebook community back in 2012.  We are now transitioning to a Facebook group so that we can exchange information more easily with each other.


Please join our group now at We look forward to engaging with you and helping with your research. 

Free Webinar on NC Taxes

From today until October 5th the NC Genealogical Society is allowing free access to a recent webinar by Mark Lowe on NC Tax Records.  Titled “NC Taxes, People, Places, Time, and Delinquency” the webinar will teach you about the variety of NC tax records and help you locate them for your family history research. 

Mark is an excellent presenter and if you can take advantage of the free webinar, you can visit the NC Genealogical Society Webinar Registration page to learn more. 


Fresh Look for NC Digital Collections

Earlier this month, the NC Digital Collections website received a face-lift! Have you taken the time to fully explore it?

With more than 90,000 items, the NC Digital Collections site is a great treasure for those doing family history research in this state.  Developed by the State Library of North Carolina and the State Archives of North Carolina, this repository of information is well-worth your visit. The new site design now makes it easier for you to search across all the digital collection materials, and also makes it easier to see the collection groups at-a-glance.


 Visit the newly refreshed website and explore your NC connections!

More NC Newspapers For Your Enjoyment

newspaperAlmost exactly a year ago, we shared news that final titles had been selected for the papers to be added to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website.  As of a couple of weeks ago, the first batches are now appearing online! The North Carolina Collection at UNC-CH recently wrote a blog post listing the papers that are now online.

Titles from Buncombe, Craven, Edgecombe, Mecklenburg, Pasquotank, Wake, and Watauga counties are up with time ranges spanning 1836-1922.  Newspapers are excellent sources of information and this collection is definitely worth searching and browsing.

Even more will be added over the coming months, so be sure to keep an eye on the NC Miscellany blog from the North Carolina Collection for more updates.


A Blog Worth Following: This Day in North Carolina History

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you are having success in your family history research, or at least having fun trying to shatter any brickwalls you may have. 

I wanted to just take a moment to point a blog definitely worth following – This Day in North Carolina History, from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. I’ve been following the blog for the past year and have learned so many interesting things about the history of the state! Their entries cover events from the entire time span of the state and are just overall interesting. 


You can follow in several ways:

  • Subscribe to the RSS feed and enjoy reading at your leisure in your favorite RSS feed reader. If you’ve not used RSS feeds, watch this 3-minute video for a quick overview.
  • You can sign up to get each day’s post sent directly to your email inbox. This is the option I personally use as this is one blog that I want to be sure to never miss! On the right side of the site’s page is an area for you to enter your email address. 
  • Like their Facebook page and follow their Twitter feed for these posts and more

Happy Reading!


It’s Getting Easier to Find NC Estate Records

The North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) is currently in the process of indexing original estate files held at the North Carolina State Archives and they are doing a phenomenal job!  Done in partnership with FamilySearch, the records are available online and society volunteers are creating name-specific way-pointers to facilitate finding records.  As it stands, records can be searched by name, or browsed by county.  The indexing at is approximately 70% completed. 

Probate Court record for Elizabeth Koontz – Davidson County (1877)

As I personally began working with this database, I quickly realized I wanted a better way to browse.  The surname index is a great asset for the online collection, but browsing is limited to one county at a time and you can’t see the entire alphabet at once.  So, to make it easier to see a list of names within any one county, and to make it easier to look for records across counties, I am partnering with NCGS to create a master index to the collection.   For example, while I know that there were Koonce families in Jones County, NC – I could use the master index to see what other Koonce persons there were across the state who are represented in this collection.   


The master index is hosted on the NCGS website and can be viewed at It is a work in progress, but you can view the list by surname or by individual county. Additionally, the county lists will eventually be shared on some of our NCGenWeb sites too! Please stay tuned as we add more and more counties to the master index in the upcoming months. 




Need to find NC Troops from 1861-1865?

Then, you will just LOVE the latest offering from the NC Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR).  Just today they announced the online availability of the master index to the seminal work “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster” and I know many a researcher will be ecstatic!


A project that began back in 1961, the book collection, currently at 18 volumes, contains 115,000 names of North Carolinians who served in the Civil War. NCDCR projects that at least another 4 volumes are forthcoming for publication so the database will very likely be added to as the volumes continue to be published.  From the email announcement today:

The rosters in each volume are arranged numerically by regiment or battalion and alphabetically by company. Each roster is preceded by a unit history giving information about where it was raised and how it was designated. Officers and enlisted men are listed in separate sections alphabetically by surname. Each name is followed by a service record that includes information such as the soldier’s county of birth and residence; his age and occupation at time of enlistment; promotions; whether he was wounded, captured or killed; and whether he deserted or died of disease.

You can access the index online at  To search, click on the “Entries” tab and enter a surname into the search box in the far right corner of the screen. Once you’ve identified an entry of interest, you can either find the book at a library near you, or purchase the books from NCDCR. 





Many thanks to NCDCR for this great resource!

NC Confederate Burials Database

The NCGenWeb Project is pleased to announce the availability of a new database of Confederate burials from around the state.  A project of the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, many volunteers are contributing to the information available. 

The database is online at  This is an ongoing project and new records will be added on a regular basis.


The site is currently searchable by name, city & county.  Be sure to try a variety of spelling to look for your persons of interest.  Each database record has multiple fields, though they may not all be filled in. Fields include the name of the person, birth date, death date, company, any remarks, county of death, cemetery buried in, cemetery address, city of burial, directions to the cemetery, latitude & longitude.

example record detail

The cemetery project is managed by Keith & Myra Lanier and Myra is one of our county coordinators here in NCGenWeb.  Thanks to the NC SCV, the Lanier’s and all volunteer contributors that help make this resource available for NC researchers.