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.