Dick Eastman runs one of the most popular genealogy blogs out there today – Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. Recently, Dee Gibson-Roles, county coordinator for several counties (Buncombe, Cherokee Reservation, Jackson, Macon, Madison & Swain) was highlighted in his newsletter!
Dee writes a genealogy column for the Asheville Citizen-Times paper of Asheville, NC and the surrounding region. Her recent article on reading and understanding deed records was noted by Dick on November 1st. You can read his overview here and you can find Dee’s article here. If you’ve ever read old deeds or wish to learn more, you’ll be sure to want to read through her article for great tips on understanding the terminology.
The December 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine includes a list of the “Best State Websites” for genealogy research. Guess what USGenWeb project appears in the list? the NCGenWeb!!!
There are two websites listed for North Carolina, the NC State Archives and NCGenWeb. Here are their comments for us..
Another standout from the USGenWeb Project, this North Carolina site offers a wealth of extras. The maps tracing the state’s confusing county formations are a must-bookmark, and the Digital Bookshelf <ncgenweb.us/nc/bookshelf> is a nifty guide to digitized titles of interest to Tar Heel State researchers.
A big shout-out to all of our county coordinators for their excellent work in making the NCGenWeb a must-go website for research in the state. For our researchers, we will continue to work diligently to bring you as many resources as we can to help you along. The full list contains a total of 75 websites and one other USGenWeb project is mentioned – our cohort in Iowa. Congratulations to Iowa too! Check out the full list on the Family Tree Magazine website – you’ll want to be sure you visit them if you haven’t already.
The NCGenWeb Project is sad to relate that earlier this month we lost one of our county coordinators (CC), Sharon Pierce. Sharon was the CC for Stanly & Cabarrus counties. She actively contributed material to each site and worked with many researchers to help share genealogical information. She will be missed by us all.
Fellow CC, Patsy Dwiggins, has graciously adopted Stanly & Cabarrus counties.
The NCGenWeb Project is pleased to inform interested researchers of the new Johnston County site. Michael Kay, whose family roots extend to the area, recently adopted the county and has designed a new site for you all to enjoy.
Some of the features you’ll find on the site include:
- an RSS feed so you can keep up with updates via your favorite feed reader
- a well-organized sidebar to help you locate records of interest
- interactive census records with comments and transcription variations (particularly the 1800 census)
Michael uses a back-end database system for the site that offers him an advantage of adding new resources quickly. Check it out!
Craven County is celebrating it up this weekend! This year marks the 300th Anniversary of the county and in honor of the birthday a series of events have been planned to celebrate the area history. Not only is the celebration for those from Craven County, but many of the neighboring counties as well – Beaufort, Carteret, Jones, Lenoir, & Onslow included.
The event is sponsored by the Family History Society of Eastern North Carolina. Events will be held on Friday, August 20th & Saturday, August 21st. More details can be found on the event website at http://www.encfamilies.org.
There is also an article in the New Bern Sun Journal worth reading for personal stories of some of those attending. To all those going, have a great time and share pictures with those of us that can’t attend!
Recently added to the Military section of the NC Statewide information section is a link to the Sons of the South website – a collection of information about the Civil War.
The Sons of the South has a plethora of resources about the Civil War, including images from the 1861-1865 issues of Harpers Weekly newspapers during this time period. There is a detailed overview of events by year, as well as information about the battles, the generals, and other significant figures & events.
The images from the Harpers Weekly are really worth looking at – they are quite detailed with many of them done by Thomas Nast, considered to be the “father of the American cartoon. ” You could spend hours browsing these issues, but in the process you will learn a lot. For example, here are two images I found from Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina that appeared in the December 24, 1864 issue of Harper’s Weekly.
The North Carolina specific images from the magazine run are included in the University of North Carolina’s Civil War Image Portfolio if you’d like to browse by specific subject areas.
The NCGenWeb Project is pleased to announce new county coordinators for Pender & Northampton counties.
- Pender County – Cindy Goodin is now the CC for Pender County. Cindy works at the Pender County Public Library. Cindy is the Technology Coordinator at the library plans to work with various library staff members to bring great resources to the county site.
- Northampton County — Ken Odom & Thomas Davis join us as partners for the Northampton County website. Both men have roots in the county and already collaborate together on a website dedicated to families of the area, the Faison’s Old Tavern Genealogy Project. The site includes burial information, family trees, family photographs and more.
We welcome all the CC’s to the project!
Are you familiar with the FamilySearch Indexing Project? This is an initiative from the Church of Latter-Day Saints and via the efforts of thousands of volunteers, they are making parts of their collection freely available online at their Family Search RecordSearch & FamilySearch Beta websites.
Recently, FamilySearch announced the availability of a new collection that is available for volunteer indexing, NC Freedmen Letters from 1862-1870. Here is a sample image:
The project goal is to index every name that appears in these letters and more details can be found on the project page. If you have some free time to spare, consider registering and indexing a batch or two.
Welcome to the 2010 State of the NCGenWeb!
We thought it would be helpful to share with our researchers a recap of some of the activities that have occurred in the project over the past year. Perhaps this can also help our collective memory going forward as we continue to strive to bring you free & excellent resources for your family history research. This update will cover the 12 months spanning July 2009 – June 2010.
NCGenWeb Board & Administrative Functions
Elections were held in June 2009. Diane Siniard was elected as State Coordinator. Shortly thereafter, Ron Dailey & Katherine Benbow joined as Assistant State Coordinators #1 and #2, and I came on board as the webmaster; Derick Hartshorn serves as Board Advisor. After Ron resigned from the ASC position, Deloris Williams came on as ASC #2 Dee Gibson Roles, Sue Ashby and Jo Branch joined the board as Regional Coordinators, a role designed to help county coordinators in regions throughout the state. We now have 4 regions to cover the state – Coastal, Eastern Piedmont, Western Piedmont & Mountain. We’ve had some turnover throughout the year, so currently Katherine Benbow & Deloris Williams are our co-State Coordinators until we have our state elections. Additionally this year, the NCGenWeb project also revised the County Coordinator Guidelines and passed our Bylaws!
In late July 2009, we launched a new NCGenWeb homepage. This site is now using WordPress, a blogging/content management system platform. As part of the new site, we also started a blog and have published 53 posts since then, an average of one post each week. If you’d like to follow along with us, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, or sign up to receive each post to be sent directly to your email account. Additionally, all county URLs were configured to work by using http://www.ncgenweb.us followed by the county of choice – this will work whether or not the site is hosted here, on Rootsweb, or elsewhere. This was done in order to help make it easier for researchers to get to the county of interest.
During the course of the year we’ve also had some new and/or former county coordinators join us here in the project. These include:
- Davidson County – Trent Briles
- Durham County – Ginger Smith
- Forsyth County – Patsy Dwiggins
- Nash County - Earl Bell
- Randolph County – Trent also signed up as CC for Randolph County. Thanks Trent for taking on two counties.
- Stokes County – Patsy was kind enough to take on Stokes as well. Thanks Patsy for also taking on two counties.
- Wayne County – Guy Potts, file manager for the NCGenWeb Archives
In addition to the new CC’s, we also have several counties shift hands among current NCGenWeb members and/or sites have gotten facelifts. Be sure to check the new/redesigned sites and update any older bookmarks.
This year, we unfortunately lost two county coordinators – John Burney McGowan, co-CC of Hyde County & Sheila Hanna, cc of Franklin County. Both were active participants in the project with vast knowledge of their counties and are missed by many. We’ve also lost Beverly Gail Cole, an active contributor to the NCGenWeb though not a CC. If you know of others that we may have missed please let us know.
Data Sources/Additional Features
Furthermore, we continue to try and bring you resources relevant to your information seeking. The NCGenWeb has a few new pages of resources for your perusal, including a Statewide Resources page, a Digital Bookshelf site for categorizing ebooks, an index of graduates of North Carolina schools & universities, and a list of social networking feeds relevant to NCGenWeb. But, information resources aren’t coming just from us directly; over this past year we’ve seen the online offerings greatly expand from UNC-Chapel Hill, from the Church of Latter-Day Saints, from Google News Archive and more. Visit the blog for postings over the past year highlighting new collections.
Over the past 12 months many have visited the NCGenWeb site. While we don’t have data for all the counties combined, for those hosted on the ncgenweb.us server alone we average more than 2,800 visits each day and more than 87,000 visits each month. Much of our traffic comes from those who directly bookmark our pages (58%), with 31% of the traffic coming from search engines, and another 10% coming from referrals from sites such as the main USGenWeb site.
We have site visitors from all over the globe – China, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, South Africa and Canada to name a few.
We have accomplished a lot this year here at NCGenWeb, with many thanks to all of our site contributors. Help us continue to grow and expand and promote free genealogical resources. Next time you are working on your family research send an email to a county coordinator to see how you can help. We all benefit from everyone’s contributions and look forward to continued growth in this upcoming year.
Recently, the Associated Press carried a story about a photo of two young slave children and how the photo had been associated with a document of sale for a slave named John. The materials were found in an attic of a North Carolina home and sold to collector Keya Morgan. I learned of this after reading a brief article about it on Eastman’s Genealogy News site. There is a full article that can be read at ksl.com that describes more.
This afternoon, while doing some housekeeping on the NCGenWeb site, I saw a new incoming link. I’m glad I followed it, the result was fascinating. Maggie Jochild has written a wonderfully detailed blog post outlining strategies and techniques that may possibly help locate the family of said John given her analysis of census records and information found here on NCGenWeb.
The deed of sale was in Brunswick County, so much of Maggie’s research focuses on Brunswick and New Hanover counties as she traces the Potter & Grist families. John was sold by the Potter family to the Grist family. Maggie links to a Potter family pedigree and a James Grist biography on the New Brunswick & Beaufort county sites respectively.
Read Maggie’s post – it is absolutely fascinating and a good example of using online material to begin research. Of course, many things are not available online, but this is a great way to start.
Consider submitting material to NCGenWeb – your contributions just may help others as it has helped Maggie formulate some interesting hypothesis on finding out who this John may be.