Sunday, February 22, 2009

North Carolina

North Carolina State Archives have many state government records as well as manuscripts, books, and other items related to North Carolina and the people who lived there. There is no fee to use the site. They have some probate records available. Especially nice is the Mitchell Will Index. It is a fairly extensive list of wills. It is indexed alphabetically within each county. This just one of the many digitalized records that are very useful for genealogical research.

North Carolina GenWeb Project has access to many records such as census, cemetery, both at the county and state level. There is no fee for this site. You can do a general search for the all of the county sites at one time, or you can go to the specific county and search by county. The census records are a good alternative to expensive subscription sites.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confederate Widows Update

I'm making some progress in my Confederate widows project. Here's what I've done so far.

First I looked at women who were heads of households in the 1870 Dallas County, Arkansas census. I only looked at Chester Township where my ancestors are from at first because I wanted to keep the group small. After that I went to a website I know that lists Arkansas Confederate Civil War veterans. The Original Arkansas Genealogy Project, Civil War From this website I pulled down all the men from units who enlisted in Dallas County or who were listed as being from Dallas County. I tried comparing the surnames of the women to this list with not a lot of success and so I tried a different approach.

I went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake on Friday and looked at Probate records from Dallas County, Arkansas. I started in the year 1861 and went through page by page until about 1865 and recorded all the names of men. If widows were listed, I recorded their names. I then took this list and compared it to the names of the enlisted men and hooray, I came up with some matches.

My next steps will be to track down their families in the 1860 census. Try to determine their ages and if they were married when they died and then what happened to their wives. I am hoping that I will be able to find at least a few families I can trace from which to write my paper on.

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Tennessee State Library and Archives

This is the website for the Tennessee state library and archives. They have an extensive manuscript and microfilm collection which a searchable catalog to locate needed records. They also offer research services. The downside to the website is that most of the electronic databases and indexes you can search require you to be a resident of the state of Tennessee.

TN GenWeb Project

They have many searchable databases on both the state and county level. There is no charge to use the site.

One of the interesting things to remember about Tennessee is its origin. A good portion of it came from territory that was once part of North Carolina. If you're looking for really early land records (before Tennessee became a state in 1796) you might want to try looking in North Carolina. Many Revolutionary war veterans received bounty land in the area now known as Tennessee so you might want to check bounty land warrants.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

South Carolina

Here are some websites for research in South Carolina.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

This is the website for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. It is similar to the other state archives that I have mentioned previously. They offer research services so that you could have them look at a book or manuscript that you can’t find anywhere else. There is no fee to use the site.

South Carolina GenWeb Project

This is the USGenWeb site for South Carolina. It has many of the same features as other state sites within USGenWeb. The page where you select the county of choice gives a brief background on which district the county was formed from which is very useful when needing to search the earliest records of the state. There is no fee to use the site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Confederate Widows

I am starting a new project for a class I'm taking on Southern History. I will be looking at the lives of women who lost their husbands during the Civil War. I will be focusing on Dallas County, Arkansas where my ancestors lived. I know that one of my ancestors lost her husband during that time period but I haven't had time yet to find if it was from injuries from the Civil War. I think it will be interesting to see how they managed in life.

The South in general fared rather poorly after their loss in the Civil War. Many men lost their lives and many families were left destitute. Women have always had difficulty maintaining their status in society. The South was especially so because it was a very male dominated society. I think I will find that women had a very rough time of it and there are probably many women there still today who have trouble. I'm not saying that women have trouble today because of the Civil War but because of the nature of the male dominated society.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Here is a website for Virginia that I like to use. It is for the state library of Virginia. They have a lot of good documents digitized and searchable on their website. Sometimes the best clues to finding southern ancestors are found in land records. If you do land research, you will appreciate the land grants database. Virginia is not an easy state to do research in but this website is helpful. There is no fee to use this site.

The Library of Virginia