Blog Spotlight: African American Soldiers and Sailors

Congrats to Richard Phillips, one of our active North Carolina genealogy researchers!  One of his blogs was highlighted during the GeneaBloggers Radio Show #18 on Friday, May 27th.

GeneaBloggers Radio is held weekly on Friday evenings.  You can listen live and access previous shows here.  It is a great platform for learning new information while at the same time socializing with other genealogists.  This latest show focused on military records.  Guests included Curt Witcher of the Allen County Public Library and professional genealogist Jeffrey Vaillant.  Each week, Thomas McEntee, the show host, picks a blog to highlight.  This week, Richard’s African American Soldiers & Sailors blog was the one picked.

Not only is Richard an active researcher but he briefly helped us out as coordinator of the Scotland County pages. He has several web projects and this particular blog focuses on African American Soldiers and Sailors of Onslow County during the Civil War period.  This and another of his blogs is listed on the Onslow County Military page.

African American Soldiers & Sailors Blog

You can also find his blogs listed on our NC Genealogy 2.0 page along with many other NC genealogy & history related blogs.

How cool for Richard to be featured on GeneaBloggers Radio.  Here at NCGenWeb we value our volunteers such as he and our many others.  If you in fact, have information to share, please let us know.

New Host for McDowell County

The NCGenWeb Project sends a big welcome to our newest County Coordinator, Jane Gouge!

Jane has adopted McDowell County, one of the counties that sits on the western side of the state.

An active family researcher, Jane has also recently started a blog and discusses her Conner family roots on her site, Connor Trails of North Carolina.  Be sure to check her blog out.

Thank you Jane for joining us; we look forward to seeing what new data you gather for the site.

Gale National Library Week Offers Access to Historical Newspapers

The Gale Cengage company is offering a wonderful treat during the next two weeks.   From now until April 24th, several databases will be available free of charge in celebration of National Library Week.

Several databases will be available, the one most likely to be of highest interest for most genealogy researchers is Gale News Vault becuase of its vast collection of historical newspapers.  The database includes both US & UK newspapers and has more than 10 million pages available.

For North Carolina — the following newspapers and ranges are available in the 19th US Century Newspapers subset of  Gale News Vault:

  • News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) from 1880-1899 –  close to 6,000 issues
  • Raleigh Register from 1800-1899 – more than 3500 issues
  • Fayetteville Observer from 1816-1899 – more than 3,000 issues
  • Daily Register (Raleigh, NC) from 1850-1861 – more than 500 issues

Remember, newspapers often covered items over a wide geographic area so you’ll want to be sure to especially check for news in counties near to where the paper was published.   For example, the Raleigh Register newspaper covered news from across the state — here’s an 1858 excerpt of an account on the death of Mr. George Hensley of Madison County (all the way on the other side of the state) who unfortunately met his demise due to an accidental gun discharge after a bear hunt.

Published in the Weekly Raleigh Register - Wednesday, January 27, 1858; Issue 10; col D

If you have research interests in other states, you’ll certainly wish to download the title list from the 19th Century US Newspaper collection as there are papers for many states.

To access the materials, choose from the drop down menu in the widget below.  Happy Hunting!

P.S.  — hat tip to my friend Billie of the TNGenWeb Project for letting me know of this!

FYI, here are some other newspaper resources:

Newspaper Abstracts/Extracts Bibliography

As county coordinators, we often receive inquiries from researchers on how to find various types of information.  A common request is how to locate obituaries and death information – sometimes even going back before official state and county records.

Over the years,  many have taken the time to go through historical newspapers and pull out items of genealogical interest such as births, marriages & deaths.  Many of our county sites have detailed information on how to locate such records, but as an additional aid, we’ve put together a bibliography of print resources to help you locate information extracted or abstracted from various newspapers in the state.

The new page is hosted on the FamilySearch Research Wiki in light of our collaboration with  The page has a purposeful emphasis on PRINT resources. When available, each book will link to the catalog record for either the Family History Library or to help you find the book at other libraries.

Snapshot from the NC Newspaper Extracts Bibliography page.

To get to the list, either click on the image above or visit  We hope you find this consolidated list helpful. And, if you notice something missing, let us know or add it to the wiki yourself!

New Northampton County Cemetery Burials Database

Northampton County co-coordinators Ken Odom & Tom Davis are pleased to announce a new addition to their site.    You can now search and access a database-driven compilation of close to 3,000 burials in the county!

Cemetery & Burials Database

The database is searchable by last name and by cemetery.   Each record includes death & birth dates as applicable.   Headstone photos and a map showing the location of the cemetery are also included.

To access it, visit   Kudos to the team for producing this wonderful resource! If you have persons of interest from the county, you will definitely wish to consult this database.

NCGS Sixth Annual Speakers Forum

Today, February 19th, 2011, the North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) hosts their Sixth Annual Speakers Forum in Raleigh, NC.   Throughout the day,  NCGS members will share their expertise on a variety of topics.

Presentation titles include:

  • State Land Grants: Accurate Information?
  • WorldCat: It’s Not Just for Librarians
  • Use of Facial Recognition Tools for Ancestor Identification
  • Freedmen’s Bureau Records: Much More Valuable to Anyone’s Research Than You Might Have Thought!
  • No Person Shall … Gallop Horses In the Streets: Using Court Records to tell the Story of our Ancestors’ Lives
  • Shoot…I already had this
  • Social Media: Share Your Genealogy Without Losing Your Mind
  • Story-Catching While You Can

The full details of the day can be found here.  I’m hoping that NCGS Speakers may share brief recaps of their presentations for those of us that can’t make it in person.  Be sure to check the NCGS website for future notifications.

National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Files

Did you know that the North Carolina State Preservation Office is adding the full application files of properties nominated for the National Register of Historic Places?

Announced on their website, PDF nomination files are currently available for all properties listed since 2009.  The files are worth checking out for all those doing family history research.  The nominations are several pages in length and include pictures and detailed histories.  Below is an example for the William A. Curtis home in Raleigh.

Home of William A. Curtis, an African-American resident of Raleigh, Wake County. The home was built ca. 1915. Photo from the nomination file.

Statement of Significance for the William A. Curtis House

The list of sites with nomination files attached may be found online at  At the time of this writing, approximately 230 were available.  North Carolina has more than 2700 properties listed on the Register and the Office does plan to add older ones as time allows.  Meanwhile, if you are interested in the nomination of any particular property and it is not available online, contact the Office for details on how to order.

Free Lecture: Bringing in the Dead

On January 25, 2011,  Josh Howard, a research historian in the Research Branch of the N.C. Office of Archives, will discuss his work on the North Carolina Civil War Death Study.   Through his work Mr.  Howard has been able to provide details of North Carolina Confederate and Union units – for both black and white troops.

More details can be found on the blog of the State Library of North Carolina.

Analysis of an 1860 Slave Census

Most researchers are likely familiar with the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules.  These census records are available for about 17 states and provide data on the number of slaves owned by owning families.

Dr. Barnetta McGhee-White has a particular interest in Granville County, and African-American records of the state in general.  Her 3-volume set, Somebody Knows My Name: Marriages of Freed People in North Carolina, published in 1995, is an invaluable resource for those researching African-American families in the state.

She continues to contribute data for genealogy research; most recently spending time transcribing the 1860 Slave Schedule for Granville county.   Not only has she listed the names of the slaveowners, but she’s provided graphs and tables that help paint a clearer picture of the slave population.  You may view the slave population breakdown here.  Be sure to visit the other African-American resources for Granville County, and resources throughout the state of North Carolina.

Thank you Dr. McGhee-White for your work.  The NCGenWeb project is always pleased to know of and accept contributions of all kinds from researchers.  To anyone reading, if you have information to share, please do consider our county pages.

NCGenWeb Adopts NC Pages on FamilySearch Research Wiki

In the last post, we shared information about transfer of the FamilySearch website to their new online domain – and highlighted some of the new features.  One such feature included their Research Wiki – a site designed to help guide you to resources for locality searching and also to provide information on a wide array of genealogy resources.  Think of it like a Wikipedia for genealogy.

The FamilySearch Research Wiki team has been actively trying to grow the wiki so that it as effective as possible. Part of this initiative includes their Adopt-A-Wiki program whereby societies, archives or other family history organizations can sign up to help enrich and monitor specific pages.

Joining other USGenWeb State Projects, the NCGenWeb is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the North Carolina pages on the Wiki.   Now when you visit one of the county pages, you’ll find a badge identifying the NCGenWeb as the adopter.  Our goals as adopters are to help round out the pages with basic information to help get you started; similar to what we do anyway here at the NCGenWeb.   Our collaboration with the Family History Library on this project provides you more access points for your research.

Beaufort County, NC Research Wiki Page

The benefit of the Wiki is that YOU can contribute directly to the page.   A registration is required in order to make changes, but editing is as simple as using today’s standard Word processing programs.  Here are some helpful links if you’d like to get started:

Bear with us as we spend the next few weeks enhancing the pages, but visit the wiki site to explore.  If you have knowledge to share – add it!  Others will benefit.

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