March 2011 Newsletter

By , March 1, 2011

News & Articles of Interest to Durham-Orange Genealogists
PO Box 4703, Chapel Hill , NC 27515-4703
2011 dues – $20
Sue McMurray – President


Meeting Announcements
Meeting Minutes
The Same Under Our Skin
Have You Checked Your Anti-Virus Software Today?
DIY: Free Tools for Removing Malicious Software
How to Evaluate Conflicting Genealogy Information
Genealogical Glossary
Books of Possible Interest
Calendar of Events
Parting Thought

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Meeting Announcements

This March 2011 D-OGS Meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, 2 March, 2011 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 will be: Research on the History of Patterson Mill – New Hope Creek. The speaker will be Stewart Dunaway. 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) preserved 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 – Stewart Dunaway, his wife Maryellen and daughter Sarah reside in Hillsborough.

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D-OGS Meeting Minutes for February 2 2011

The program was presented by Josh Howard, a research historian with the Office of Archives and History. Josh spoke about the Civil War Death Study, a project assigned as part of the Department of Cultural Resources (DCR) 150th Anniversary of the Civil War commemoration. Since we have no official secretary to take notes, the newsletter editor was going to try to do this. Unfortunately, the newsletter editor (me) became so interested in listening to Mr. Howard’s presentation that I forgot to take any notes during the program. Mr. Howard did report that extant “official” records probably overstate the number of NC soldiers killed in the Civil War. Some accounts include soldiers from locations as far away as Alabama as “NC dead”. He is gathering new numbers from several other reliable sources.

Highlights of the newsletter calendar were brought up by Richard Ellington, newsletter editor. Particular attention should be paid to the upcoming calendar of events because of the many local Civil War sesquicentennial events.

Reports were received from the Trading Path journal editors that the next journal is in production. Additional contributions are requested if members have any pertinent material that they would like to submit.

The Treasurer’s report showed a current balance of $2936.27.

We still do not have a permanent secretary. This is problematic. Any good organization NEEDS someone to keep accurate records and details of meetings. Please consider volunteering to fill in this valuable necessity.

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The Same Under Our Skin

CHARLOTTE Can genetic material tell you a person’s race?

That’s one of the questions visitors are asked as they move through “Race,” an exhibit that opened Jan. 29 at Discovery Place.

Most will get it wrong – genetics can’t show the difference. In fact, the exhibit points out, humans are more genetically alike than any other living species. No one gene can support the idea of race.

Though racial passions have long steered the course of history, the concept of race seems to be a uniquely human invention.

“Science has created a whole new understanding of the topic,” says John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “Race as a concept is really not supportable through biology. For me, that’s a pretty profound shift.”

The “Race” science exhibit has been planned for about two years as Discovery Place’s first big project after 18 months of renovations.

“Race” opens as another major exhibition, the “Courage” project at neighboring Levine Museum of the New South, focuses on the early struggles for school desegregation.

Timing was a coincidence, says Mackay, who notes the “Race” exhibit would probably be topical – and as provocative – at any juncture in recent history. “I can’t think of a topic more relevant,” he says.

The exhibit was created by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. It has been shown in Michigan, Phoenix, St. Louis, Boston and Los Angeles. Its Charlotte exhibition will be the first in the Southeast.

Among the elements of “Race: “In a mock school cafeteria, visitors can listen to teen perspectives in a “Youth on Race” video from a multiracial high school theater troupe.

Visitors can scan their skin and see it compared with the hues of other visitors, then consider whether skin color equates with race. Through a microscope, visitors can examine their own skin and learn what causes color variations.

Political, economic and social forces that forged the concept of race in the 17th and 18th centuries are examined in the “Living With Race Theater.”

A census exhibit shows how views of racial identity have changed over the years, and visitors can vote on how racial classification should be treated by the census. In other cities that have hosted the exhibition, one of the most surprising elements has been “Who’s Talking?,” where visitors try to match voices with photos of people’s faces by listening to tone and inflection.

Discovery Place executives visited “Race” when it was on display in Detroit and were impressed by the discussions it spawned, says Debra Smul, the museum’s vice president of marketing.

Joanie Philipp, director of major projects, said casual conversations between strangers are inspired by the content wherever “Race” is shown. In Charlotte, an area will be set aside to provide such chemistry.

After touring the exhibit, by appointment, small groups can participate in facilitated discussions on the topics, Smul says.

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Have You Checked Your Anti-Virus Software Today?

If you have a PC and you do any Web browsing, then you better have some type of anti-virus software. If you are NOT using any anti-virus software to protect your PC, you are asking for trouble!

Most anti-virus software requires a lookup table so it can scan your computer for the various types of viruses or “bugs”. This lookup table needs to be updated on a regular basis. If you haven’t updated the anti-virus software lately, DO IT NOW! If you don’t know how to update the software, ask a friend who does.

The next article will give you some good information on some FREE tools that can help you protect your PC and fight malicious software. The article is geared toward IT professionals but you can apply the tools and techniques for your personal needs.

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DIY: Free Tools for Removing Malicious Software

By Jack Wallen

Takeaway: Fighting the malware battle really hurts when you’re spending a good deal of your IT budget (if you even have an IT budget) on software to protect machines from attacks. Here’s how to do it for free.

Malicious software (be they viruses, rootkits, trojans, worms, or malware) are so prevalent it seems one of the primary jobs for IT is the protecting, cleaning, and removing of said software. It seems no matter how hard you try, or how much you pay for the software you use to protect your desktops, it always seems like a losing battle. Fighting that losing battle really hurts when you are spending a good deal of your IT budget (if you even have an IT budget) on software to protect machines from attacks.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I have found plenty of tools that can help in the quest to have a virus/malware-free environment. These tools can be either installed on your machines or used as a toolkit to carry with you to fight the good fight. You won’t find enterprise-grade tools here. What you will find are tools I have found to do the best job at keeping my systems clean.


Combofix is my first line of defense tool when I suspect something has taken over a machine. But you shouldn’t just run this powerful tool without a few considerations. First, and foremost, what will Combofix fix? After a successful run of Combofix, you should have cleaned (if applicable): Malware, Rootkits, Trojans, Worms, and Viruses. What you need to know about Combofix, prior to running is quite important. The single most important issue with Combofix is that you cannot run it with an antivirus tool enabled. With some antivirus solutions you can simple disable the tool (Symantec Endpoint Protection is a perfect example). One particular antivirus solution, AVG, I have found to require complete removal before running Combofix. And to be on the safe side, I prefer to run Combofix with the computer in safe mode. One other note: Never download Combofix from any other site than Bleeping Computer or ForoSpyware.


Another free tool, CCleaner does two things incredibly well: Cleans the Windows registry and removes cached web data. There are a lot of registry cleaners available, but CCleaner is the one I always trust. As with any tool, you want to make sure you understand the tool before using. And although cleaning cached browser data is fairly harmless, cleaning the registry is not. I highly recommend always doing a backup of the registry when using CCleaner to take care of this task. Fortunately CCleaner has a built-in tool for backing up said registry.

Microsoft Security Essentials

After using so many different anti-virus tools, the one tool that seems to work nearly as well as any other, without any attached cost, is Microsoft Security Essentials. Not only will this anti-virus tool work well to help prevent infection, it does so with as little drain on the system as nearly any anti-virus tool.


People are always surprised to find out they need anti-spyware as well as anti-virus protection. Of the anti-malware tools I have used, Malwarebytes seems to be the most effective. Now there are two different versions of Malwarebytes: Free and Paid. The biggest difference is the Paid version has a real-time scanner built in. The free version must be run manually. This is not a problem if you are in control of all the PC scanning, or you can trust your users to manually run the software nightly (as well as manually update the definitions often.) If you cannot trust your users to run this piece of software, you might need to buckle down and drop the $24.95 for the licensed version.

Final thoughts

There are so many pieces of software available for the DIY user, which only means more trouble in discerning which ones are worth using. Hopefully the list above will help you narrow down the tools you need to keep around in your DIY toolkit.

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How to Evaluate Conflicting Genealogy Information

“I have three different birth dates for my grandfather. He told me when he was born; I have a delayed birth certificate; and a baptismal record for him. Each has a different birth year—now what?”

Conflicting sources are a continual problem when doing genealogical research. How do you know which one is accurate? Sometimes an error is so blatant that you can immediately determine which is the more accurate document. But often it is not that cut and dried. When we do find conflicting information, we should evaluate the sources by using a scientific approach.

Each document should be evaluated on the following criteria:

1. Is the document an original or a copy?

An original is the first copy of any document. A photocopy of the original is usually considered an original. Each time a document is hand copied the chance of error is greater. Be especially aware of compiled indexes. Historically these where hand-created, and often error prone.

2. Is the information primary evidence or secondary evidence?

Primary evidence is the testimony (oral or written) given by an eyewitness or recorded by mechanical device present at the event. Secondary evidence is information that is either not the result of personal observation or is collected significantly after the fact. A vital record, such as a birth certificate, would usually be considered a primary source. The parent giving you information about their children would usually be a primary source. There are always exceptions that you need to consider. Is the parent elderly and is his/her memory questionable? In this case they might need to be considered a secondary source. Other examples of secondary sources are tombstones and census records.

3. Does the document contain direct or circumstantial evidence of the information you are seeking?

Direct evidence is information that directly answers a question. Circumstantial evidence gives a logical inference from which an answer might be derived. For example, if you are looking for the birth date of your ancestor, Ohso Elusive – and you find a church baptismal record that says he was born on January 12, 1876, the document directly answers your question. Ohso was born on Jan. 12, 1876. If, on the other hand, you find a death certificate that says Ohso Elusive died March 15, 1948 at the age of 72, you have a document that gives you direct evidence of his death date but circumstantial evidence of his birth date

Naturally, the ideal document would be an original record from a primary source with direct evidence, but genealogists usually are not that lucky. After evaluating each of the conflicting documents using the scientific approach, the document that comes closest to the ideal is probably your most accurate. Of course we could still have erroneous information so, if and when you locate additional records, you should always compare them to your current information and evaluate the information once more.

Using a scientific approach to our research gives us the greatest chance of accuracy, which should be the goal of every genealogist.

(Article courtesy of OneGreatFamily February 2011 newsletter)

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Paulette Kelly-Porter
292 Price Road
Elizabethton, TN 37643

Query: Looking for info on John Armstrong, father of Mary Polly Armstrong, B: 1780 in Orange Co., NC. Mary Armstrong married in Orange or Caswell Co., NC to John Jessee. I am looking for their marriage record.


Herbert Englishman
5 Peridot Place
Durham, NC  27703

For more than two years I have researched the history and families of the Piper-Cox old house located in Eno River State Park.  If there is anyone out there who has informtion on the following families, please contact me. I am hopeful of completing my book in 2011.

Secondly I am writing a history of the gristmills and families in this Park. If you have any pictures or information on them (and the families), please contact me.

Pipers, Dickson, Cox, Langley, Cates, Cook, Browning


Mary Utley Montgomery
PO Box 861
Graham, NC  27253

Sallie Collier Davis married Foster Utley in 1844 in Wake Co., NC. They are my great-great grandparents. I am looking for information for Sallie Davis’ ancestors. The only information I have is that her father was Miles Davis and her mother was Susannah Beville who were married in Orange Co., NC in 1814. Any information on the Davis line will be deeply appreciated.


Cheryl Smith
602 Milldam Ct. Apt 44
Millersville, MD  21108

I am researching my family tree and have hit a brick wall.  My ancestor E.G. Mercer married a Mary Suit/Soot. The only information I have is that Mary Suit/Soot was born in North Carolina possibly Orange County. I was wondering if anyone is researching a similar name or can point me in a new direction.


Jennifer Merline
Fort Myers, FL 3908

I am looking for a copy of the will of Ephraim Sargent.  Ephraim was married to Elisabeth Hodge.  He died in Orange Co., NC around 1839.


Marilyn C. Jones
6673 Sprague St.
Philadelphia, PA  19119

Seeking information on Orange and Martha Sears (African Americans) who lived in Orange Co. NC., Mangum Twp. Orange was born approximately 1810 and died in 1878. Martha’s maiden name was Umpstead. She owned land in Durham in 1880’s.They was married in 1851. I’m trying to find the name of the slave owner of both.

L Burroughs

My husband’s family – Burroughs – came from the Hillsboro NC area in the 1880′s – and I am looking for information on the family – do you have family folders or reference information on local families. Do you have any information on the family – or can you suggest someone who would do a little research?

This is a black family and the earliest I can find on the census is a William Burroughs who was born in 1856 and married 1st Martha and second Emma Pratt. I have a listing of 5 children from both wives. The family moved to Madison NJ in the 1890′s along with a great number of people from that area.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.


Rick Holsomback
486 Tom Terry Road
Chatsworth, GA  30705

Searching for details on Holsonbacks who are first documented in Caswell County in 1762 when Derick received a land grant for 400 acres. Nancy Holsonback received 100 acre grant in 1784. I descend from one of two orphans, John b. 1770 or Abraham b. 1775 both of whom were indentured to James Jay per Caswell County court records in 1786. Any info appreciated.

Lisa Carte
442 Township Road 378
Steubenville, OH  43952

I am interested in any information pertaining to Rev. Mark Andrews who was the first pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church. He was born in 1774 and died in 1846. He was married to Elizabeth Bailey. His father was William Andrews who was born in 1750 and died in 1824. Mark had a son named John who was born in 1808. John married Cynthia Phillips from Chatham County. I am trying to document that John “Anders” Andrews was in fact Mark’s son.


Linda Gattis
111 McEntyre Street
Rainbow City, AL  35906

Still trying to substantiate the parents of Harrison N. Gattis B: abt. 1825 NC D: abt 1858 GA. believed to be a son of John Gattis 1784 NC-abt 1860 GA and Sarah “Salley” Blackwood 1791 NC aft. 1860 GA. Harrison married Elizabeth Lumpkin 1826 GA – aft 1901 AL in 1853 in Floyd County, GA. Resided in Cass County, GA until his death about 1858 in a wagon accident. He was possibly a brother of Thomas T. Gattis 1818 NC – abt 1860 GA. Any info will help.


Nancy Phipps
2070 Co. Rd. 448
Mount Hope, Al.  35651

Please, do you have any info on the parents of Simeon Young Phipps, his D.O.B is August 28,1829. Parents name are John Phipps and Mary Clements. Would like to find a lead on John Phipps may have come thru Penn. Thank you, Nancy Phipps


Edwin Holaday
504 4th Ave.
Forreston, IL  61030

Any info on James J Holaday b 3 Jan 1813 in NC, d 6 Jul 1877 in MO. Also, wife Sarah Hutchison b 12 Jan 1815 in NC, d 14 Apr 1882 in MO. They were married 1835 in IN.


Dorothy Brannon McCorkle
668 Sibley Road
Eupora, MS  39744

My great-grandfather was L.M. Dew/Due from NC, then migrated to MS around 1840. His wife was Sarah Elizabeth Curry/Currie. I am looking for any info on either of them.


P J Roberts

Greetings, I am trying to find out about the history of the Roberts family in North Carolina.

It was the firm belief of my grandfather that our heritage is Welsh.  His grandfather, Braxton McCord Roberts, was born in in Wilkes, NC in 1810.  We know Braxton was the son of Thomas Roberts and grandson of Carter Braxton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (from Virginia), but we’re trying to find out more.  Are there any records of anyone named Roberts coming in the 1680s or 1720s?  Any information you can provide will be appreciated.

Just as a footnote, I live in Southern California and have been active in the Welsh Choir of Southern California for the last several years.

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Genealogical Glossary

  • COMMON ANCESTOR – the nearest ancestor shared by two individuals
  • COMMON LAW MARRIAGE – a man and a woman living together in a marital status without legal action. In some states living together a specified period of time constitutes a legal marriage, even without benefit of legal action
  • COMMOTE – A secular division of land in Wales larger than a township and smaller than a lordship.
  • COMMUTATION – the conversion of the value of labor services to monetary payment
  • CONSANGUINITY – [Latin consanguineus] the relationship or connection of persons descended from a common ancestor; a blood relationship See also “Degrees of Consanguinity

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Books of Possible Interest

Images of America: Carrboro – this is a new book about the history – past, present and possibly future – of the Town of Carrboro, NC. The book is co-authored by David Otto and Richard Ellington. Richard is a D-OGS member. The book is largely an annotated picture book that offers the first published work dedicated to the history of Carrboro, now celebrating its centennial this year. Carrboro was originally incorporated as “Venable” in 1911 but changed its name to Carrboro in 1913.

The retail cost is $21.99 and is available locally at Barnes & Noble, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, UNC Bullshead Bookshop, Fitch Lumber Company, RBC Centura Bank in Carrboro, the authors and several other retail outlets. It can be ordered from Arcadia Publishing here.

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Calendar of Events

Forsyth County Genealogical Society – Wednesday, March 9, 2011at 6:30PM in the auditorium of the Forsyth County Public Library at 660 West Fifth Street in Winston-Salem, NC – Cynthia Wells will present “Exploring the Mysteries, Exploding the Myths: Using DNA for the Family Tree”. Ms. Wells is the North Carolina Regional Speaker and Representative for the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. She is also administrator for four DNA surname projects.

Alamance County Genealogical Society – ACGS regular monthly meetings begin again on 14 March 2011 at 7:00 p.m., at the Western Steak House, 142 N. Graham-Hopedale Road Burlington, NC 27215 – 336-227-1448. The program is presented by Larry Aaron and is titled “Race to the Dan”

Mount Vernon Genealogical Society – On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society (MVGS) will meet in room 112 of the Hollin Hall Senior Center in Alexandria, Virginia.  The meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.  The meeting will feature a presentation entitled “Genealogical Gems in the U.S. Serial Set.”  The program will be presented by Claire Bettag, CG, CGL.

Claire Bettag, CG, CGL, is a professional genealogist who conducts research primarily in Washington, Louisiana, and France. She lectures nationally and locally, and writes for genealogical publications. She has served as trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists, and National Genealogical Society, Director of National Institute on Genealogical Research, and co-editor of NGS Quarterly.

The U.S. Serial Set, published by the Government Printing Office, is part of a vast collection of published documents popularly called “Gov Docs” (government documents). The serial set ranks among the most valuable genealogical resources for genealogists. Containing records of the U.S. Congress, executive agencies, independent commissions, and other entities, it provides a wealth of information, often untapped by researchers.

The Hollin Hall Senior Center is located 4 miles south of Alexandria just off Fort Hunt Road at 1500 Shenandoah Road in Alexandria, Virginia. MVGS is a nonprofit organization and has over 260 members residing in Alexandria, Fort Belvoir, the counties of Fairfax, Prince William, Montgomery, and Prince Georges, as well as several states.

Additional information about the meeting and MVGS can be found at  Any questions about the program should be directed to Harold McClendon at 703-360-0920 or

NC Museum of History – Freedom Papers: One Family’s Struggle to Refuse Slavery and Secure Respect, 1785–1945 Sunday, Mar. 20, 2011 at 2 p.m. To register, call 919-807-7847.

PRESENTER: Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan – Professor Scott’s talk traces the history of a family across four continents and five generations, from its enslavement in 18th-century West Africa through emancipation during the Haitian Revolution and a subsequent odyssey from France and Belgium to Cuba, New Orleans, and Haiti.

Historic Stagville – Civil War 150th Celebration – Sunday, March 20, 2011from 2:00-4:00pm

Christ Unchained: African American Slaves and the Civil War Era: To inaugurate Historic Stagville’s series of programming and events celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in NC the site welcomes Dr. Dan Fountain, an associate professor of history and the director of public history at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Fountain’s recent publication, Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation: African American Slaves and Christiantiy, 1830-1870 takes a new look at the African American conversion experience and argues that only after emancipation did African Americans more consistently turn to Christianity. Dr. Fountain’s research challenges the conventional notion that Christianity was a central facet of enslaved life and instead posits its largely post-bellum origins. He bolsters his argument through surveys of religious behavior and the WPA slave narratives. This lecture will explore the significance of Christianity in the slave community during the Civil War and post-bellum.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Wake county genealogical society – monthly meeting scheduled for March 22, 2011 at the Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610. The program is currently TBA.

Ohio conference – March 31-April 3, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio Genealogical Society – OGS presents “Genealogy through the Centuries” at the Hyatt on Capitol Square. For more information, visit

NC Museum of History – Correspondent Lines: Poetry and Journalism in the U.S. Civil War
Sunday, Apr. 3 at 2 p.m. To register, call 919-807-7847.

SPEAKER: Eliza C. Richards, UNC–Chapel Hill – During the Civil War, new technologies such as the telegraph and the steam-powered printing press gave Americans unprecedented access to the battlefield, changing our reactions to the news and our thinking about war itself. Professor Richards explores these influences in both the literary and journalistic accounts of the time.

Alamance County Genealogical Society – ACGS regular monthly meetings begin again on 11 April 2011 at 7:00 p.m., at the Western Steak House, 142 N. Graham-Hopedale Road Burlington, NC 27215 – 336-227-1448. The program is presented by

-Pierce County Genealogical society spring seminar – The Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar will be on May 7, 2011, with nationally-known speaker Laura G. Prescott, and emcee Cyndi Howells.

For additional details, see our website at:

Downloadable PDF brochures are also available on the website.

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My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”

Parting Thought

Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.

If you have any items of interest that you would like to submit for future publication, please contact Richard Ellington at or 919.967.4168

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