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?"


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. 

July 3, 2014

Independence Day

I can't let Independence Day come and go without pausing a moment to brag. Not brag so much as to recognize my Patriot ancestors who personally had a hand (or gave a life) to help create a new nation:

1. CYRUS DAVIS of Granville County, NC served in Donoho's Company from April 1776 to September 1778. 

2. JONES FULLER of Granville County, NC served with the Granville Militia in Cept. Solomon Alston's Company. 

3. MESHAK FULLER served from Granville County, NC.

4. JOEL JOHNSON served from Johnston County, NC.

5. JOHN JOHNSON of Johnston County, NC was a Pvt. with the 2nd North Carolina Batt. He served under Capt. Manlore Tarrant and Col. John Patten.  

6. BENJAMIN MATTHEWS served from Bladen County, NC. He received 207 pounds 5 shillings in 1783 for some unspecified participation.

7. MATTHEW MOORE of Cumberland County, NC served with his father, WILLIAM MOORE. 

8. WILLIAM MOORE of Cumberland County, NC served in Lt. Col's Company enlisting July 20, 1778.

9. GODFREY STANCIL of Tyrrell County, NC served on the Pitt County Safety Committee during the war.

10. JOHN STANCIL of Wake County, NC served in Capt. Polk's Regiment 1776 - 1784.

11. PETER STANCIL of Tyrrell County, NC gave his life in service. He was in the 10th Reg., Capt. Bradley's Company. In his service file found at the NC Archives is this one statement:  
"I hereby certify that Peter Stancil served as a continental soldier in the North Carolina Line and dec'd in the service thereof. Given under my hand this 23rd fay of December, 1796. John Mecleara"
For his service and death, Peter's heirs were entitled to a land bounty given after the war by the State of North Carolina. The land was in Tennessee.

I am sure there are many other patriot ancestors I have not yet identified. 

It makes me quite proud that my family - both paternal and maternal - helped step us toward democracy. 

Somewhere between your first burger and your last hotdog tomorrow, be sure to pause a moment to remember why you have the day off. If not for the Peter Stancil's of the world who gave their lives in service, we would not be enjoying a beautiful celebration in the land of the free. 

July 1, 2014

George Wesley PEARCE

My third great grandfather, George Wesley PEARCE, was born in January of 1843 in Wake County, NC. He was the fifth child of John PEARCE and Martha WILLIAMS. 

He had eleven siblings, per the 1850 US Census: James T., Marcellus Ervin, John Wesley, Angeline, Sarah Tyson, Vandelia, Sylvanus Talmadge, Joseph Moncher, Roxana, Berry, and Charlie. The family was living in the New Light area of northern Wake County, NC.

George served with Company D of the 23rd Reg in North Carolina during the Civil War. 

When he was 23, George married Miss Elizabeth Caroline PERRY,daughter of William PERRY and Delia HARRISON. The date was February 14, 1866, in the 2nd year of the US Civil War. 

Marriage Bond George Pearce and Caroline Perry
They married in Wake County, NC and had the following children:

  1. Dillithea (Dilley) PEARCE was born married, and died in Wake County, NC. She was born 08 Apr 1867 and died 01 Apr 1947 at the age of 79. She married John W. Henry ALLEN on 11 Oct 1896.
  2. John William PEARCE was born in 1868 in Wake County and died 13 Jun 1941 in Franklin County, NC. He married Tish CARTER sometime between 1891–1921 and then Geneva BRIDGES on 05 Feb 1891.
  3. George Wesley PEARCE also lived, married, and died in Wake County, NC. He was born 18 May 1870 and died 03 Aug 1951. He first married Wiley CHAMPION on 12 Dec 1901 in Wake County, and then Clovenia WILKES on 22 Sep 1909.
  4. Martha Hawkins PEARCE (my 2nd great grandmother) followed several of her siblings and spent her life in Wake County, NC. She was born 10 Sep 1872 and died 30 Nov 1953 at the age of 82. She married Allen H. RAY on 03 Dec 1885.
  5. Annie Elizabeth PEARCE was born 10 Feb 1876 in Wake County and died 04 May 1950 in Franklin County, NC. She married Champion Newton ALLEN on 19 Nov 1893 in Wake County.
  6. Joseph PEARCE was born 24 Oct 1877 and died 05 Nov 1949. He married Lilla CHAMPION on 14 Oct 1901. All occurred in Wake County, NC.

George and family appears on the 1850 census in New Light, Wake County. On the 1860 census, the family was recorded in the Northwestern District of Wake County.  This was probably still the New Light area. 

Oddly, in 1880, George and family appear on the census in Johnston County living in the Neuse River area. I suppose they moved south to Johnston County for work. However, by 1900, they had returned home to the New Light area of Wake County. 

George died in 1916 in Wake County and is buried on the Allen O'Neal Farm on Purnell Road, near New Light next to wife Elizabeth.