July 28, 2014

Incredible resources in your public library!

One of the best things that happened to me today was the discovery of the rich online offerings of the Wake County Public Library!

I had no idea the number of wonderful databases I could access via the library site.  My favorite at the moment is Heritage Quest. You can access many of the databases on Heritage Quest that are available on Ancestry, except for one that is particularly of interest to me.

PERSI (Periodical Source Index) is the largest subject/people/places index in genealogy and local history. It was created by the wonderful folks at the Allen County Public Library which has long been a mecca for genealogists. PERSI indexes articles in 11,000 journals and periodicals including those published by local and national genealogical societies. 

Don't have a membership with your local or county genealogical society? Miss receiving their publications with relevant information about your areas and surnames of research? No problem! PERSI can peruse the index of journal articles for you. For example, when I searched on "Granville County, NC" in PERSI, I got hits on a boat load of articles in the NC Genealogy Society Journal and the Granville County Genealogical Society's Granville Connections. Plus lots of other local journals. Jackpot!

I remember using printed volumes of PERSI when I was in high school and college, but I really haven't paid much attention to it (or obviously to my local library) in the time I've been researching ancestors. Big Mistake!

So! Log on to your local library right now to get a good look at all the awesome resources you're missing out on. In Wake County, NC, you'll need your library card number to access. That's probably the case in other counties too.

July 27, 2014

Marriage Bond for Lovell Harrison and Lorilee Little

Marriage Bond for Lovell Harrison and Lorilee Little
Feb 9, 1796

State of North Carolina Wake County. Know all men by these presents that we Lovell Harrison and Benja. Porter both of the State and County aforesaid are held & firmly bound unto Samuel Ashe Esq. Governor & his successors in office in the fun of five hundred pounds.

Executed in the presence of W. Rucker (?)

Lovell Harrison (his mark)
Benja. Porter (his mark)

9th of Feb 1796 Lisley Little

Note: Lorilee Little's name can be found spelled a variety of ways: Lieley, Lisley, or Livley

Source: NC Archives 

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?"