Last week when Lisa Henderson was in town to give her presentation, she also brought by a collection of family deeds for me to digitize. My focus at graduate school was in the digitization of historic, archival records so anytime someone brings me musty old documents, I am very happy. These deeds are records that may not be in the state archives and if they are they are not easy to access. Very few of North Carolina’s historical records have been digitized so anyone that wants access has to plop down at the archives and sort through them. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, all of their holdings will be digitized, but I am not holding my breath because it is expensive and requires a lot of man (or woman) hours. This also calls for a state government that wants to invest in the future. So read into that what you will.
The deeds involve many of the families that Lisa talks about so eloquently on her Scuffalong blog, especially the families allied to Napoleon Hagans in and around Wayne County, NC. I believe that the earliest date of the deeds are 1847, which makes these gems genealogical gold for African Americans researching this period where very few records exist. After I am finished digitizing and creating metadata for them (hopefully soon) I will put the images up on the Wilson County Local History and Genealogy Library Flickr page for all to enjoy!