Wake County Genealogical Society, North Carolina
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Highlighting Women within WCGS

As March is Women's History Month, I decided to do the exploring for you on what resources WCGS has provided relevant to women's research. I started my search on our Blog page and found the recent post on Women Who Shaped Wake County.  Once there, be sure to follow the imbedded links to learn more about the five women highlighted in this post: Margaret Wake Tryon, Anna Julia Cooper, Dorothea Dix, Elizabeth Murray Reid, and Josephine Ella Baker. A post from 2022 highlighted the 1899 building of the Baptist Female University, which has since become Meredith College. This lead me to search for yearbook and catalogue records for this Wake institution, and I found that Meredith has digitized 205 items from their collection covering the three incarnations of the college.  You can find the link to these records on our Wake Research Links webpage under Meredith College. Personally, I find these old catalogues fascinating reading, and they are rich with the names of women.
Another 2022 post was for Diane L. Richard's presentation to the society "In Her Own Words - the Lives of Women".  If you are a WCGS member, you can log into the members area and download her meaty six-page handout on this topic.  Whether a member or not, you can also access Diane's site where she shares two free articles on "Finding Women in Ledgers" written for the magazine Your Genealogy Today.  Diane is a former WCGS President and a former editor of our journal who has moved on to bigger and better genealogical opportunities! As a member of the Genealogical Speaker's Guild, she is in demand and will be returning to us in June to present on "Digging for Gold in Colonial North Carolina Records".  Be sure to put this on your calender!
Other women-related topics can be found within the issues of our journal Wake Treasures, which is now open to all researchers.  Besides the usual BMD records (Birth, Marriage, Death), women can be found in the Bastardy Bonds records (Vols. 1-9, 21,and 25) and Divorce records (Vols 5-21.)  Check the Subject Index Guide to help narrow your search by date of the event. There are also over 25 Slave Narratives from women (Vols. 6-9). Other topics in the journal include newspaper clippings about Meredith College and the opening of women-owned boarding houses; customers of the William Hill Merchandising Store (Vol. 1 Issues 2-4), and biographical sketches of Carrie L. Broughton (Vol 2. Issue 2), Mary Bayard Clarke (Vol. 21 Issue 1), and Mary Ann Towles (Vol. 1 Issue 4).
I hope this is helpful and that you are able to find some of your female ancestors within our resources.  I know I will be looking to add more women-relevant resources to our links page. 

Wake Genealogy Watch - Spring Edition

The Spring 2024 Issue (Vol. 7, Issue 3) of our award-winning newsletter, Wake Genealogy Watch, is now available online for reading or download. You can visit the WCGS website  or access through this link - Wake Genealogy Watch, Spring 2024.
Features in this issue include:
  • Read details of the recent unveiling ceremony for a new Historic Marker in Holly Springs.
  • We are seeking a webmaster volunteer. Read the details and volunteer information here.
  • Find RootsTech 2024 highlights including links to selected presentations, and the whole on demand schedule.
  • Research tip – Finding Prisoners and other special populations in post-1900 Census Records
  • Have fun exploring selected topics from the Wake Treasures Journal contents, now available to all. Featured collections are linked in this issue.
  • Explore the Allied Families’ Biofile image collection online at their website. This vast collection comprises years of research on the Upchurch and their allied families in Wake County and their migrations elsewhere.
  • Read about an AI image creation experiment using Bing Image Creator and other tools.
  • Improve your photo preservation skills with this on demand video workshop from the Missouri State Archives.
  • Learn about a very large donation of over 750 genealogy books that will benefit everyone with folks who migrated through Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
Photo Note: If you choose to read a printed version of this newsletter, some of the photos will be difficult to view due to size constraints. Please refer to the online edition where you can enlarge the photos to accommodate better viewing.  Click this Newsletter link to view this and all past newsletter content.  
We welcome your feedback, input, and submissions for inclusion in future editions.  Please address all input to newsletter@wakecogen.org.

Wake Treasures Goes Public!

It is well-known how technology has changed the way information is disseminated.  The growth of on-line platforms are providing new ways of sharing and reaching a broader audience.  WCGS has seen these changes and over the years has expanded its outreach through our WCGS Facebook and WCGS Blog social-media pages.  We also modernized our website several years ago and then converted our newsletter distribution to an on-line digital format where issues can be stored and made available at the click of a mouse!  In the past hard-copy publications provided the standard format for keeping information available, but these are only useful when they can be conveniently accessed.  Thus, the next step for WCGS involved making changes to our Wake Treasures Journal.  This summer the Society voted to change our method for disseminating information usually found in the journal to other formats including our social media sites, our newsletter, and our website.  In the spirit of increasing our support to the genealogical community, the Board also voted to make all past issues of Wake Treasures available to both members and non-members alike!
Wake Treasures is the multi-award winning journal of the Wake County Genealogical Society.  Over the years the number of issues per year has varied from two to four.  From the Wake Treasures page you can download in pdf format, any or all of the Wake Treasures issues which have been published starting with the first issue in 1991 which includes an 1809 tax list from the Buffelow district and Wake Bastardy Bond files starting in 1772!  The December 2022 publication is the final issue of the Journal and it includes the 1896 Raleigh Tax List and the WW1 deaths from Wake County.   To help your search, there is a Subject Index available for the first 25 volumes of the Journal.  We hope you are successful in finding your Wake ancestors in the record transcriptions and abstractions available in these genealogical-rich issues.

Resources for African American Research

With the election of Saundra as WCGS’s first Diversity Officer, we want to highlight some of the resources available on our site for supporting African-American research - one of which was assembled by Saundra!  Many of these resources (and more) can be found within the Research Resources section of our website. Under the Articles and Handouts page, there is a section dedicated to items relevant to African-American research.  These are PDF files which provide resource lists and/or links to repositories.  Here you can find Saundra’s handout “Tracing Your Roots” and two articles from our Wake Genealogy Watch newsletter covering enslaved person research and links to Juneteenth videos from Family Search.
When looking on the Wake Research Links page, you can sort by the “African-American” category to narrow the links to dedicated topics.  Here you will find searchable links to college catalogs from Latta University, Shaw University, and the Leonard Medical School of Shaw.  These catalogs cover various years from 1876 to 1920 and list the students, faculty, and for some catalogs the alumni.  But don’t just limit your search to items under the AF-AM Category.  If your ancestor was from Raleigh, be sure to check the links to Raleigh City Directories (broken series 1881 to 1921).   Looking under “Baptist Records,” a search for African American returned 64 hits across the state including the Wake County cities of Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Apex and Wendell.  Many of these records are from the nineteenth century and include membership rolls.  Did you ancestor own land in Wake County?  Then check our direct link to the Wake County Register of Deeds.  Our county is one of the few which has all the deeds online.
Our Wake Cemetery Project is another great resource for African-American research.  You can perform a category search within the various townships to easily locate AF-AM cemeteries.  This resource will provide the location of the cemetery and in many cases transcriptions of the headstones.  Here you will find listings for small family cemeteries which are not included on Find-A-Grave.  And even for instances where the cemetery is listed on Find-A-Grave, you may find our resource has a more complete listing either because Find-A-Grave is incomplete or because headstones were missing by the time the information was gathered for Find-A-Grave.  Our project also lists the purported locations for Slave cemeteries though gravestones are lacking.
Our journal Wake Treasures provides another resource for finding your African-American ancestors.  Check our Subject Index file for the topics of “Slaves”, “Free Negros”, “Slave Narratives”, and “Free Persons of Color” to find records which we have abstracted or transcribed for publication in the Journal.  This index covers the first 25 years of our journal, but more recently we have also transcribed the 1897 Raleigh School Census – “Colored”.  It can be found in Vol 29 Issue 1 through Vol 30 Issue 2.  Our Wake Genealogy Watch newsletter also contains articles of interest to African-American researchers, not just topic-specific but also for general articles on improving your genealogy skills.  A newsletter index is under development.
Our lists and links to support research in Wake County continues to grow. If you have an appropriate suggestion, please let our webmaster know, and be sure to check back with us often!

WCGS on Lulu!

Did you know WCGS has publications of transcribed records which are available for purchase on Lulu? Visit the Wake County Genealogical Society Bookstore here.


April 23
Genealogical Research at UNC-Chapel Hill's Wilson Special Collections Library
Presenter:  Jason Tomberlin, Head of Research & Instructional Services and Interim Curator of the North Carolina Collection   Wilson Library is home to the ...

May 28
Are You Calling my Granddad a Liar? Family Lore and What to Do With It
Presenter:  Jessica Conklin   Oral family history can be spot-on accurate, or rife with misconceptions. Combining genealogy and pop psychology, we'll discuss some real examples ...

June 25
Digging for Gold in Colonial North Carolina Records
Presenter:  Diane L Richard, MEng & MBA, Mosaic Research and Project Management (MosaicRPM)   Due to extensive record losses, colonial research can be quite challenging.  The ...

July 23
Gravestone Symbolism
Presenter:  Robin Simonton   Genealogists use gravestone information to document death information, but often a burial marker provides more than biographical information. Gravestones, like any ...

August 27
An Adoptee Searches for Roots
  Presenter:  Monika Fleming   Raised as an only child, I was born in Germany and adopted by an American family. Once my adoption was ...

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