July 25, 2014

NC Archives vs. Virginia Archives

I've spent many a happy hour at the North Carolina archives elbow deep in books, abstracts, really old documents and microfilm. I also take rich advantage of the option of ordering documents from the archives via their online portal. I appreciate that they will search for my request and bill me a measly $2 via email. Once paid, they send me the document via snail mail. The only thing that could make the process any better was if they would send me the documents electronically. But for $2, I'm not gonna complain. I love this service!

I appreciate it even more after visiting the Virginia archives site. Known as the Library of Virginia, it is organized differently than North Carolina. That's not necessarily a good thing. Not only can you not order documents electronically (must print a form, fill it out, and MAIL or fax it), but the charges are very high comparatively. It's $10 for an obit or marriage notice. It's $25 if you want a copy of the marriage bond/license or a deed. And a whopping $30 if you want an estate record or will.

Is it just me or is that crazy? Am I missing something?

Plus, they will not search for anything you can get from the National Archives.


It's a good thing that I only need very early Colonial records from Virginia for a couple of immigrant ancestors!

I know they have overhead and have to pay trained staff to do the leg work on requests, but $30 just seems excessive for a will. Don'tcha think?

Makes me love my North Carolina even more.

July 24, 2014

Marriage Bond for Cyrus Davis and Mahala Fowler, Feb 16, 1835

Marriage Bond
Granville County
Cyrus Davis and Mahala Fowler
Feb. 16, 1835


WE acknowledge ourselves indebted to the State of North Carolina, in the sun of five hundred pounds : but to be void on condition that there is no lawful cause to obstruct a marriage between Cyrus Davis and Mahala Fowler for whom a license now issues.

Witness our hands and seals this 16th day of February 1835.

Cyrus Davis (his mark), Seal

R Bullock, Seal

July 21, 2014

Marriage Bond for Solomon Davis and Nancy Raney, Feb. 22, 1797

Marriage Bond
Granville County
Absolom Davis and Nancy Raney
22 February 1797
NC State Archives

State of N Carolina
Granville County

Know all men by these presents that We Absalom Davis & Thomas H. Phillips are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency Saml Ashe Esquire in the just and full sum of five hundred pounds currency to which payment will and truly to be made, we and our heirs, Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents sealed and dated this day of February 1797.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the above bounden Absolom Davis hath made application and license for marriage to be celebrated between him and Nancy Raney.

Now in case there shall not appear hereafter that there is any lawful cause by which said marriage may not be celebrated as intended to be had and solemnize, then the above to be void.


Susannah Phillips
Thomas Phillips

Absolom Davis, Seal

July 20, 2014

Learn how to use NC tax records! NCGS Webinar Sept. 19 at 3pm ET

The North Carolina Genealogical Society presents:
J. Mark Lowe
NC Taxes: People, Places, Time, and Delinquency
LIVE Webinar 19 September 3:00 pm EDT, Free Viewing Period: 3-5 October 2014

Discover the variety of North Carolina tax records, and how they can tell you more than the amount due.  Learn where they are located, and when to look at alternate sources for information.
Taxation in the Americas began within the colonies for the crown. By the time, the constitution was written in 1787, all colonies were taxing citizens on property, capitation (head), livestock, and other properties. The constitution gave specific authority to the state to levy and collect taxes. For purposes of our discussion, we will focus on the levy on people (poll tax), property and other personalty.

The North Carolina General Assembly in 1715 defined taxable persons as free Males over sixteen years of age. Basically a tax list is a register of free males, land owners, and slave owners who, by nature of their age or ownership, are required to pay taxes to the governmental authority. But there is so much more to learn. 

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA was named the FGS Delegate of the Year in 2000. He is a full-time professional researcher and educator, who formerly served as President of APG, and as an officer for FGS . You can generally find him researching for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives or Biography Channel’s uneXplained. Otherwise with his love for teaching, you will see him at SLIG, IGHR, numerous webinars or at your local society.

Lowe is a professional researcher and educator, teaching at SLIG, IGHR & RIGS Alliance, researching for clients, and working on projects like "Who Do You Think You Are?"


July 11, 2014

High School Alumni Newsletters: Jesse Roland Stancil

Brought High School Alumni Newsletter
Summer 2001
An often overlooked source (at least, by me...) is the good 'ole high school alumni newsletter. I'm sure not every high school has one, but if they do, it can contain pictures and information that will make your heart pitter patter.

Take for instance Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC. It is one of the oldest high schools in Wake County and ranked as one of the top high schools in the nation. It's a New Deal school - large and imposing constructed of stone. Love those New Deal schools. 

A lovely gentleman - whose name I can't recall, naturally - has worked long and hard to keep the lines of communication open for Broughton alumni. He was with the Class of 1941. I spoke with him several years ago, and he recalled my Uncle Roland clearly as well as all those "Stancil boys". He even remembered the lady (Miss Vada Dew) my uncle was sweet on  in high school. She is still alive and living in Raleigh!  How cool is that?

He sent me the newsletter in which he had included a blurb about my uncle's death in World War II. 

PFC Jesse Roland Stancil attended Lewis School and Broughton in the '30s and enlisted in the Army on April 8, 1943. He landed in the Anzio Invasion and fought up the "boot" of Italy with Co. I, 157th Reg. of the 45th Division. Jesse Roland was killed in southern France on October 21, 1944 and is buried in Montlawn Cemetery in Raleigh. There were six Stancil boys and one girl who lived at 51 N. West Street in Raleigh, NC.

He even included two pictures of him.  I was very impressed, not to mention touched by his efforts to communicate with alumni and let them in on the news of one another. 

So don't do like I did and neglect to check with the high schools attended by your family members. You just might get a lovely surprise!

July 9, 2014

Death Certificate Abstracts: another piece of paper

Death Certificate Abstract for
Ethel Davis Allen
Part of my recent organization effort has been to abstract and dissect my documentation so as to wring every ounce of information from them. I've poured over forms and templates online until my eyes are crossed. 

I found a great abstract for death certificates on The Organized Genealogist on Facebook. I tweaked and modified it to jive with North Carolina death certificates since 99% of my family's death certificates are from this state.

I posed a question about the social security number. I always hesitate to record these. I have stopped recording them in my Family Tree Maker database. I've never had an occasion to use the number and I am aware of security issues around these numbers. Still...I had to ask. Has anyone ever had a reason or need for a family member's SSN for research purposes?

I'm not sure if they are needed to order the SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Number) cause I stopped ordering them when the cost increased to $35 a while back. Beyond that...why would the SSN be important to a genealogist?

Maybe I'm missing something. That's often the case.