Category: Monthly Meetings

April 6th Meeting – The History of Carrboro

By , April 1, 2011

**Note LOCATION change**

The next DOGS meeting will be held next Wednesday evening, 6 April, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Christ United Methodist Church in Southern Village, south of Chapel Hill on US 15-501. The street address is 800 Market Street. There is parking behind the church. Enter the back of the church through a door which opens into a large meeting room.

The program will be presented by Richard Ellington. He will be presenting a slide show on the history of Carrboro. Carrboro is celebrating its centennial this year. The official town celebration took place on 3 March, 2011.  Richard and a friend, Dave Otto, have published a pictorial history book of Carrboro. Richard will have autographed copies on sale after the meeting; cost is $21.99

“History of Patterson Mill & New Hope Creek” – Mar 2, 2011

By , February 23, 2011

The next meeting of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society will be held March 2, 2011 at the Duke Homestead meeting place in Durham and will feature research historian Stewart Dunaway and his program entitled “Research on the History of Patterson Mill – New Hope Creek”

Meeting Details:
Date: March 2, 2011
Time:  7:00pm
Topic: Research on the History of Patterson Mill – New Hope Creek
Speaker: Stewart Dunaway
Location: Duke Homestead – 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham, N.C. 27705;  Phone: (919) 477-5498
Note*  Stewart will sell and sign books at the end of the meeting.

About the topic:

The New Hope Creek basin housed numerous grist mills by early pioneers of Orange County. This book documents the complete history of the Patterson Mill, the Patterson family, their land, and how the mill evolved over time. This mill site was involved in a very unique plan with Durham’s famous Erwin Mill Co. A plan for a massive water reservoir for Erwin Mill’s newest plant, will involve this land, which for the first time, is completely documented (including contracts with Orange and Durham County Commissioners). This site is (mostly) persevered by the Duke Forest (Korstian Division), which can be visited by the public through nature trails.

About the speaker:

Stewart Dunaway, formerly an executive of Siemens Telecom (FL), is retired and now spends time researching colonial and revolutionary war history in North Carolina. He has published myriad historical books as well as genealogy related material from the State Archives. He has transcribed over 19,000 records from the Archives, now provided in book form. His books can be found on the internet -  www.lulu.com/sedunaway Stewart Dunaway, his wife Maryellen and daughter Sarah reside in Hillsborough.

About the book:

The History of Patterson Mill is another great example of grist mill operation in North Carolina. In Orange County, New Hope Creek was a thriving area, as numerous land grants were issued for this basin. Patterson’s mill resides within Duke Forest Preserve (Korstian Division), thereby preserving this area for years to come. This book provides a brief genealogical overview of the Patterson’s as they arrive in Orange County just prior to its formation. These early Granville land grants document their purchase in 1751. Read about this family, the mill’s history, and view the remnants and what they tell us. In addition, read about the amazing plan of Erwin Mill Cotton Company has for purchasing this mill and adjoining land in 1909. Also understand the role Durham and Orange County commissioners played during this amazing plan. This book will challenge tradition and folklore. This book is full of pictures, maps, newspaper articles, land plats and lots of information.


Duke Homestead:


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“Civil War Death Study” – Feb 2, 2011

By , January 26, 2011

The next meeting of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society will be held February 2, 2011 at the Duke Homestead meeting place in Durham and will feature research historian Josh Howard and his program entitled “Civil War Death Study.”

Meeting Details:
Date:  February 2, 2011
Time:  7:00pm
Topic: Civil War Death Study
Speaker: Joshua Howard
Location: Duke Homestead – 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham, N.C. 27705;  Phone: (919) 477-5498

About the topic: The Civil War Death Study is a project assigned as part of the Department of Cultural Resources (DCR) 150th Anniversary of the Civil War commemoration.  The study involves analyzing the number of Confederate and Union soldiers from North Carolina who served and died in the conflict utilizing military service records, archival resources, and period newspapers.  The results of the study are to be published in a future book called The North Carolina Civil War Atlas.

About the speaker:
Josh Howard
Josh Howard is a research historian with the Office of Archives and History.  He is the co-author of two books about the Revolutionary War, the most recent of which,  Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, published by the University of North Carolina Press, was awarded the 2010 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award.  He is the co-editor of the North Carolina Civil War Atlas, a DCR initiative of North Carolina’s Sesquicentennial commemoration of the war.  His duties for the project currently include analyzing the number of North Carolinians who served and died in the Civil War.

Josh Howard:
Co-author – Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse
Co-author – Fortitude and Forbearance: The North Carolina Continental Line in the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783
http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=1620


Duke Homestead:


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Old Chapel Hill Cemetery

By , January 5, 2011

This is a repost from January’s program….

Start the New Year right by joining us for the 1st meeting of the year.
We will be meeting in Chapel Hill at the Chapel Hill Preservation
Society, the Horace Williams House, at 610 E. Rosemary Street – see map
here . Our speaker will be Ernest Dollar,
Executive Director of the Preservation Society. Ernest will be speaking
on the work exploring grave-sites that the society has been sponsoring
in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. I’m sure that this will be a very
informative session. Ernie always has interesting material to present.

Happy New Year!

– Richard

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick spoke about DNA, photography, and Databases

By , October 26, 2010

at October’s monthly D-OGS meeting.

The following was provided by our Secretary, Tonya Krout.

After welcoming the members and guests in attendance, Richard Ellington introduced our speaker, Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD. She is the author of two of the best-selling books in genealogy. In addition she has been featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation radio program, has written cover articles for Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine and Family Chronicles. She is a regular contributor to Ancestry magazine. Fitzpatrick received her BA in physics (1976) from Rice University, and her MA (1983) and PhD in nuclear physics (1983) from Duke University, and has 25 years experience working in the field of high resolution optical measurement techniques. She is a Fellow of the Society of Photo Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) optical society. She is the group administrator for the Fitzpatrick DNA study, which she founded in 2000.

Ms. Fitzpatrick went from being a rocket scientist to forensic genealogist and has worked on identifying remains as well as debunking the myths of Misha Defonseca and Herman Rosenblatt and was the only person to identify a descendent of Fred Noonan (who flew with Amelia Earhart) so that DNA could be compared to any remains that might be found from the doomed flight.

Colleen Speaking to D-OGS

Colleen Speaking to D-OGS

Colleen said that Forensic Genealogy can be compared to when “CSI Meets Roots”. When you have a photo you have everything you need but you have to figure out what you are looking at. She showed us a photo from her personal collection and asked if we could tell who the person was who was very ill.  Members offered many guesses but no one got it quite right. She said the mother was sitting slightly higher than the other members of the family on the first row because she was in a wheelchair and shows signs of having had a stroke.

Colleen Demonstrates A Photo

Colleen Demonstrates A Photo

She showed us another photo and asked if we could tell when it was made. Most people were looking at the woman’s hat and clothing but she said that clothing was only one part of the equation. Close inspection would show that this was taken in a photo booth. We needed to find out the history of photo booths. Colleen said the first one was in New York in 1926 and in 1927 they went into broader distribution so the earliest this photo could have been taken was 1926.

She went on to show us a variety of photos and to explain what went into dating them. There was one that turned out to be a photo of the survivors of the Battle of Shiloh that would have been taken 1908-1912 per the various clues. Another was an outdoor daguerreotype that had long thought to be a photo which included Mozart’s widow. Since this type of outdoor photography wasn’t developed until 1842, it made it quite unlikely that was Madame Mozart.

Colleen also showed us a photo that had another face shown on the back which provided a great deal of information. She stressed that we should look at the back of the photos for information. She also said when scanning in photos to create the largest file possible as this was sometimes a way to get more detail and visual clues.

The second part of her presentation was “The Database Detective”. She said so much more information was available now on the Internet and more was being made available every day.

We need to mine:

  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • Census records
  • City Directories
  • Newspaper obits
  • Coroner’s reports
  • Orphan records
  • Destitute records
  • Medical records
  • Ebay and other collectible websites

New Orleans was a major port of entry for Irish immigrants in the early 1850s. She had done a search for medical records, entered all the records and found that admission records varied greatly at the Charity Hospital. What was driving it? By comparing rainfall records in 1851 she learned that a few weeks afterwards there was an increase in admissions. This was the time of virulent Yellow Fever outbreaks. Also there was an upward tick in admissions shortly after passenger ships put ashore because of all the disease that bred in the close quarters of the immigrant ships.

Her third presentation was “The DNA Detective”. She said that DNA picks up where your paper trail leaves off. She spoke about her own Fitzpatrick study and how Terry Fitzpatrick, #1 in the study in 2000, has never matched anyone. She said there were many online sites for DNA testing and she had used DNA Heritage. She mentioned www.ysearch.org, www.ybase.org and www.smgf.org.

Lastly, she displayed a photograph of Benjamin Kyle, a man who was found beaten who does not know who he is to see if we recognized him.

Colleen Discusses Unidentified Man

Colleen Discusses Unidentified Man

The program ran long but there were many questions. Finally Richard reminded us that Colleen had brought some of her books if anyone wanted to purchase any and get them autographed.

Photographs courtesy of Carol Boggs.

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick on DNA and Forensic Genealogy

By , October 6, 2010
Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Please join us tonight at 7 p.m. at the Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center for a talk by Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick. Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., is the author of two of the best-selling books in genealogy. She has been featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation radio program (July 2005), and has written cover articles for Internet Genealogy (June 2006), Family Tree Magazine (April 2006) and Family Chronicle (October 2005). Colleen writes a regular column for Ancestry magazine. Her book Forensic Genealogy has been widely recognized for its innovative forensic science approach to genealogical research.

DNA & Genealogy was commissioned by Family Tree DNA for its Second Conference on Genetic Genealogy in November 2005, and has been called by readers as “the ideal handbook for anyone starting out in genealogy using the DNA tools available” and “the book to get for someone starting or running a surname project.” Colleen consults with television and documentary production companies on Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy.

Colleen’s day job is as a recognized expert in high resolution optical measurement techniques, with many years experience working for NASA and the National Science Foundation. But in Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy, Colleen shows that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get the most from your genealogical materials.

Colleen’s presentation will be “Forensic Genealogy (CSI Meets Roots)” – Gives an overview of analyzing old photographs, database mining, and DNA”.

Bring a friend with you and come to this meeting. You do not want to miss this program! If you already have copies of her books, bring them with you. Colleen has agreed to autograph her books and will have copies available for purchase there.

Forensic Genealogy – $26.50
DNA & Genealogy – $22.50
The Dead Horse Investigation – $25.50

Please bring cash or check (We don’t do credit cards.)

You can check out the books on her website:


Directions to the Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center:


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“Downtown Durham Building Architecture & History” – Sept 1, 2010

By , August 30, 2010

The next D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 1 September, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham 27705. Phone: (919) 477-5498 – One-half mile from I-85 and Guess Rd (Exit 175), Follow the brown historic site road signs.

The program for this meeting will be presented by Frank DePasquale. The title for the program is Downtown Durham Building Architecture & History.

Frank DePasquale graduated from the NCSU School of Design in 1951. He is a founder of DTW Architects & Planners, Ltd, a group responsible for the planning of several Durham Schools. He has been highlighted on the Triangle Modernist Houses website for homes he’s designed throughout Durham. He is President Emeritus of the Historic Preservation Society of Durham and was a recipient of their prestigious Bartlett Durham Award in 2000.

Please join us in learning about how Architecture has helped to shape the history of Downtown Durham.

“The Bull City–A Short History of Durham” – July 7, 2010

By , July 1, 2010

The next D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 7 July, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham 27705. Phone: (919) 477-5498 – One-half mile from I-85 and Guess Rd (Exit 175), Follow the brown historic site road signs.

The program for this meeting will be presented by Lynn Richardson, NC Room director at the Durham County Public Library on Roxboro Street. The title for the program is The Bull City–A Short History of Durham, North Carolina.

This presentation is a whirlwind tour of the highlights of Durham history. Lynn Richardson, local history librarian for the Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection, will talk about the local American Indians and the explorers who first “discovered” them, settlements that predated Durham (and a bit about their reputation!) and Durham’s founding, the Civil War and the tobacco boom it engendered, the entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Durham’s two institutions of higher learning and how they got here, the beginning and growth of the Civil Rights Movement, and urban renewal and its consequences. Pictures from the library’s photo archive will enhance the talk.

“Moving Midway” – June 2, 2010 at 7 pm

By , May 25, 2010

This D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 2 June, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham 27705. Phone: (919) 477-5498 – One-half mile from I-85 and Guess Rd (Exit 175), Follow the brown historic site road signs.

The program for this meeting will be the showing of a video, “Moving Midway” that details the moving of an old plantation house and its effects on the families that had lived there. Watch the trailer here.

When New York film critic Godfrey Cheshire returns home to North Carolina in early 2004 and hears that his cousin Charlie Silver plans to uproot and move the buildings of Midway Plantation, their family’s ancestral home, an extraordinary, emotional journey begins.

Charlie’s plan is a controversial one within their extended family. Some fear the move will destroy Midway. Others worry about the reaction of the plantation’s ghosts, including Miss Mary “Mimi” Hinton, Midway’s eccentric owner when Charlie and Godfrey were kids.

There’s another group who may be concerned too. Charlie says he was recently visited by a man who claimed that their family has a large, previously unknown African-American branch, due to a liaison between Midway’s builder and a plantation slave.

Back in New York, Cheshire fortuitously encounters Dr. Robert Hinton, an NYU professor of African-American studies who says his grandfather was born a slave at Midway.

While beginning a dialogue on the meaning of Midway from their very different perspectives, Cheshire and Dr. Hinton examine how the Southern plantation, a crucial economic institution in early America, generated a powerful, bitterly contested mythology that was at the center of a string of American cultural milestones, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Birth of a Nation to Gone with the Wind and Roots.

“Road, Bridge, Ferry, and Mill Records – Another Genealogist treasure” – May 5, 2010

By , May 3, 2010

This D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 5 May, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Orange County Public Library on 137 West Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. Here is a map

The program will be presented by D-OGS member and author Stewart Dunaway. His program will be “Road, Bridge, Ferry, and Mill Records – Another Genealogist treasure”. These county records (located at the State Archives) contain amazing information about families and their locations. These records are now being cataloged and indexed by Stewart Dunaway, allowing easy access to these valuable county records. His talk will include a brief overview of how infrastructure laws evolved from British Rule to early American expansion. Using old Orange County records to illustrate this evolution, Stewart will also show examples of genealogy oriented information, not just trade route or other historical information. Included in these records are law suits which can include amazingly detailed information as well.

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