I cannot speak enough goodwill about the team of DigitalNC.org. I have been such a fan of their online digitization efforts since they started and I’m always finding good treasures there. I’ve used the yearbooks they’ve been digitizing to create the NCGenWeb Yearbook Index and I’ve culled through newspapers abstracting information for the NC People in the Papers site. But, last month they sent me absolutely over the edge when I received a notice that they were adding back issues of the Roanoke Beacon online!
You see, my maternal grandmother was from Plymouth and she and her family history are one of the main drivers behind why I am doing genealogy in the first place. When I first got online in 2005 to start my family history research, Washington County is where I started. I received so much help from the work posted on this NCGenWeb site that I knew I had to give back. One way for me to do that was to begin indexing the Roanoke Beacon. So, I ordered microfilm, paid to have some issues digitized in PDF form, and then began the index. Along the way, I secretly hoped that I’d find tidbits about my ancestors and so far, I have found one!
But now, in cooperation with the Washington County Library, issues from 1889-1918 are online at the DigitalNC.org website! That’s almost 20 years of turn-of the-century issues – whoo hoo!
So, you can expect the index to grow and more entries from Washington County to be added to the NC People in the Papers database, as well as to the Washington County, NCGenWeb site. Newspapers contain such valuable information so take some time to explore the paper and see what you find. Your ancestors just may be lurking among those pages somewhere.
Over the weekend I spent some time indexing issues of the Roanoke Beacon. I extracted articles from the March – June 1890 issues to the NC People in the Papers database. As usual, I focused on articles of genealogical interest such as obituaries, marriage notices, births, and mentions of specific family relationships. With this update I added 168 names from 73 articles.
Obituaries in this group include:
Marriages in this group include:
In addition, there are other news items included. For example, this grade report from the Creswell Academy of some of Principal Dunston’s students — could you imagine having your grades posted in the newspaper??
Grade reports from the Creswell Academy - May 2, 1890 issue of the Roanoke Beacon
To view the current list of 409 names from Washington County that are in the index so far, click here.
, Vital Records
A marker near the Washington County Courthouse mentions three fires that burned it – 1860, 1862, and 1881.
photo by Flickr user JimmyWayne
While indexing old issues of the Alamance Gleaner (paper of Alamance County, NC), I found a reference to the 1881 fire.
The loss is described as $127, 000, of which there was little insurance.
July 12, 1924, p. A10, col. 6
- Most every Race church in the city is undergoing reconstruction or anticipates such. The cornerstone to the New chapel’s new building was laid Monday. The sermon for the occasion was preached by Dr. C.W.B. GORDON of Petersburg, Va. The stone was laid by the Carthagenia lodge No. 38. A.F. and A.M. of this city. Many visiting lodges were present to witness the ceremony.
- Mrs. Sarah CHERRY, daughter and son left for Atlantic City Saturday.
- The Meridian Sun lodge, G.W.O. and O.F., was called upon to bury one of its members.
- The Washington district of the Knights of Gideons held its district meeting with the Rock Hill lodge, No. 150
Whenever I find some spare time, your county coordinator likes to abstract information from old issues of the Roanoke Beacon Newspaper. This is a personal project I’ve been doing for the past few years and I’ve learned a lot about life in the Plymouth area in the late 1800s.
For my abstracting project I’ve created an online database, but one area I’ve not been consistently including are those notices of court proceedings. I’ve decided then to transcribe these columns and include them as material for the Washington County NCGenWeb site so they can have a home.
You will now find a new category in the drop down menu on the right side of the page under “Records” called “Court Proceedings.” Check out the first date I’ve added, those of May 5, 1899. In addition to a long list of criminal charges, we learn that the Baums get divorced and someone was slacking on their transcribing duties for the court.