Wake County Genealogical Society, North Carolina
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Saturday, February 11
Tour of Johnston County Heritage Center  (Meet-up)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Johnston County Heritage Center
241 East Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Let's gather in person and check out the repository of records for Wake County settlers and ancestors before there was even a Wake County! Prior to its formation in 1770, the land we think of as Wake lay partially in Johnston county (also Cumberland and Orange, stories for another day).   The Johnston County Heritage Center holds approximately 2,500 books, 800 reels of microfilm, 300 maps/atlases, 100,000 photographic images, 600 private collections of books and papers, and vertical files on genealogy, biography, and local history. The focus for genealogical records primarily includes the eastern half of North Carolina and the Virginia Tidewater region. Todd Johnson, Executive Director of the Center has offered to give us a tour and help us get our bearings on searching Wake County Records.

Here is a sneak peek for what JCHC offers!

The Story of Rachel: Challenges of Manumission
Tuesday, February 28
The Story of Rachel: Challenges of Manumission  (Meetings)
6:30 pm to 8:15 pm
Speaker: Diane L. Richard
One would think that if someone “freed” a slave via their will, their dying declaration would always be honored, but, unfortunately, you would be quite mistaken.  Manumissions were rare in the pre-Civil War south due to very restrictive laws. In this presentation we’ll explore: (1) What Manumission is; (2) Manumission Laws of NC through time; (3) Challenges of Manumitting a Slave; (4) Quakers and the Freeing of Slaves; and (5) the Odyssey of Rachel. In 1782, Rachel was seemingly freed by her owner’s will, but it wasn’t until about 1800 that she and her children were actually freed and assumed a new surname. In this talk we’ll learn about the jurisdictions, entities, and parties involved in freeing Rachel and how the overall process played out.  
Virtual, free, and open to all. Please join us by registering at:
Note: Songs of the Enslaved and Downtrodden with Mary Dobbin Williams has been rescheduled to June 27th

The Revolution and Finding Wake in Orange and Durham in Wake
Tuesday, March 28
The Revolution and Finding Wake in Orange and Durham in Wake  (Meetings)
6:30 pm to 8:15 pm
Speaker: Mark Chilton
Orange County Register of Deeds and Historian with background in Geography
Often county-oriented genealogies are too tightly focused when in reality they should reflect the broader jurisdictional history of the place one’s ancestors lived. Applied locally, Mark Chilton, Orange County Register of Deeds, will speak on his county’s records identifying land and people in what became Wake County in 1771.  Similarly, Mark will speak on Durham County and the importance of researching its lands and people found earlier in the annals of Wake County.  And personally important to Mark, he will challenge the Wake County Genealogical Society and similar societies to explore and publish historically significant records lost during the American Revolution. Join us as there’s lots to be gained by attending this presentation!
Virtual and free with registration beginning shortly after the February meeting.