Last Saturday I went to this year’s NC Family History Fair at the Government & Heritage Library in Raleigh. While there I mingled and talked to old colleagues and made new connections. One person I was impressed with was the president of the NC Genealogical Society, Victoria Young. We had a long discussion about the loss of the great abstractor Wynnette Parks Haun. Not only did she die several years ago but there seems to be no avenue to get any of her mountain of work. She used to have a booth at the family history fair but now her work is in the hands of her grandson and he is unreachable. Lord knows I have tried and after talking to Ms. Young it seems that half the state has tried unsuccessfully to contact him and in order to buy her monographs.
I also attended two presentations. The first was Grants in North Carolina before 1776, presented by Dr. AB Pruitt. It was a Powerpoint and a lively discussion on Royal and Proprietary Land grants, which included information on grants by Governor William Berkley of Virginia, grants by Lords Proprietor, grants by the King and grants by the Earl of Granville with minor discussions about petitions resurveys, Wachovia grant to Moravians and grants to the rascal Henry McCulloch. One thing I learned was that indentures for land were so-called because the three copies of the surveys were folded together and then a piece was ripped out of the top an indenture if you will. Then when they were brought back together the rips should match and you knew you had a genuine plat.
The second presentation was Road, Bridge and Ferry Records: A New Path in Genealogy Research presented by Stewart Dunaway. I bought a few of his books last year and they can be useful especially if you have hit some brickwalls and can’t find anything in the usual places or if you just want to supplement what you know. Road, bridge and ferry records will identify land owners that may not be found in any other materials. They are another tool in the genealogist toolkit, one that can be overlooked. His presentation was about how to use the books he writes and sells.
Also, I got a lot of nice swag!