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 FamilySearch.org is approximately 70% completed.
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 http://goo.gl/uHdVoQ. 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.
On their blog today, the NC State Archives announced a change to their Saturday hour schedule. Beginning on August 1, 2009, they will no longer close for lunch from the 12-1pm hour; instead, they will be open continuously from 9am-5pm. If you are within travelling distance to visit them, this is great news! Please visit their blog for more info.