Archive for April, 2009

April 27, 2009

Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives

Hands down, one of my favorite records to use is the Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives, 1741 – 1868. If you can’t make it to the State Archives, the best way to access this record is to find a library that houses it (many in North Carolina do) or to view it using

This index is, as far as I know, only available on microfiche. It’s made up of numerous sheets containing both groom and bride indices, alphabetized by surname. Each item may contain the names of the bride, groom, bondsman, and witness, the date and county in which the bond was taken out, and the record number. It may also give additional information, such as a parent’s name, or may point to additional information given on the bond itself.

This index is particularly useful for anyone whose ancestors moved through North Carolina, either from county to county or to and from other states.

For more information on the history of this work, see Overview of Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives. This item is available for purchase through the North Carolina State Archives.

April 12, 2009

Priority Surnames

I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.

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April 10, 2009

Southwestern North Carolina Genealogical Society Quarterly

Local historical and genealogical society newsletters are often an excellent source of information about an area’s records. One such example is that of the Southwestern North Carolina Genealogical Society Quarterly, which covered the counties of Cherokee, Graham, and Clay in Western North Carolina.

The SWNCGSQ was published from Winter 1984 (Volume I, Number I) to Fall 1994 (Volume XI, Number IV). Articles were primarily record extractions and queries; a large amount of coverage was given to marriage records, cemetery surveys, census indexes, and lists of delayed birth certificates for all three counties, with member-contributed pedigree charts and family group sheets thrown in for good measure.

At some point after the SWNCGSQ ceased publication, a surname index was compiled covering all issues. The index can be found at the public libraries located within Cherokee, Clay, and Graham Counties. Issues of the quarterly are available at the same locations and in the Family History Library.

April 1, 2009

Historic Georgia Newspapers

Valerie over at Begin with ‘Craft’ has compiled a nifty list of historic Georgia newspapers whose images have been digitized and placed online. All of the sites she mentions are for-pay, but this list will help you compare what’s online and where so that you can determine which subscriptions you might need to purchase in order to access these wonderful resources.

If you’re old school and would rather use the microfilm, the University of Georgia initiated a Georgia Newspaper Project several years ago, wherein they attempted to track down and microfilm extant copies of all known historic Georgia newspapers. To search the online catalogue of the collection, you will need to know the city where the newspaper was published. As far as I know, the University of Georgia is the only repository holding the entire microfilmed collection, although other libraries and research repositories should have microfilmed copies of historic newspapers which were published in or near their locality.

Begin with ‘Craft’ is an excellent guide to online resources for those researching in Georgia. Valerie’s posts are well-written, concise, and informative, and I highly recommend her work for those who need that extra helping hand to find their Peach State ancestors.

April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The Next Generation of Researchers


My son recording information from the tombstone of Samuel O. Hopkins at Antioch United Methodist Church Cemetery, Rabun County, Georgia.