1925 Boy Scouts Memory Book

Last Friday I received in the mail a donation of a photo album from 1925 containing perhaps fifty photographs of Boy Scouts and the Stuckey family in Wilson, NC.  The High Point Museum originally received the memory book from the owner and thought that it should be in Wilson. So we are very grateful that they sent us this unique treasure.

Some of the subjects of the photographs include a Confederate veteran reunion, Camp Wilson, Charleston, SC, Camp Leach (doesn’t sound fun) in Beaufort County, NC, the Appalachians, and Bath, NC. I have digitized a few pages but it is so large I am going to take it to UNC Chapel Hill on Thursday to get it completely digitized and put up on Digital NC.

Carraway and Batts, Dealers in Liquors, Groceries, Cigars, Tobacco, etc.


Looks like Mrs. SJ Carraway took some classes or was giving to the institute.


I think that this was an early form of life insurance.


This was printed on the back of the MB&R certificate. A great genealogical resource for death dates before death certificates.


A page from the saloon’s receipt pad. The two circles are probably where the metal receipt holders went through.


1886 liquor license for Carraway and Batts.


William P. Carraway owned one share in the Farmer’s and Mechanics’ Association.

These documents are a brief glimpse into a short-lived venture between William P. Carraway and John Batts called Carraway and Batts Liquor, Groceries, Cigars, Tobacco & Co. that was part of the Monk Moore collection.  I believe that it would have been called a saloon and it existed sometime between 1884 and 1890. I know this because it doesn’t appear in the 1884 City Directory or the 1890 one.  But in 1890, a saloon is listed as being owned by John Batts, leading one to wonder what happened to Carraway.  His share could have been bought out, but it does look like he had some life insurance, I’m not insinuating anything, but he was probably murdered (jk).

Happy National Bookmobile Day!



It really is National Bookmobile Day, which is nestled right in the middle of National Library Week.  I unfortunately do not know who the people in these photos are, but it is sometime after or during 1973.  I discerned the date by looking up the book that is featured on the wall of the bookmobile, The Home Run Trick,  which was first published in 1973.  Also, the clothes are screaming 1970’s.

1915 South Carolina Birth Certificates are now Online

Nell Welsh BC

This is my grandmother’s sister’s birth certificate. I guess her parents had not thought up a name for her yet. Some copies, like this one are a bit light. I can’t even read her mother’s name, which should be Alice Hilton.

Nell Welsh

Here is where she added her name to the the blank birth certificate in 1966.

This is awesome- South Carolina birth certificates for the year 1915, the first year they were issued, are now online at South Carolina Electronic Records Archive.

South Carolina had cut the funding for their Department of Archives and History so much in the past decade that they could hardly staff the place, and I knew several people who had lost their jobs.  Well they must have somebody over there because last month they released this digital bombshell.

Thanks to the Dead Librarian at the Richland Library in Columbia, SC, for the heads up.

Rev. Owen L.W. Smith, US Minister to Liberia


Rev. Owen Lun West Smith (1851-1926)


Adora Estelle Oden Smith (1870-1906) of Beaufort, NC. Adora was Rev. Smith’s second wife. His first wife, Lucy Ann Jackson, was  murdered by his insane sister,Millie, on July 6, 1891. Adora and Owen had three children that died young. Rev. Smith’s third wife was Cynthia Ann King Isler (1868-1921) of Grifton, NC. She had four children from a previous marriage. (gleaned from the unpublished  writings of Hugh B. Johnston)

Today I stumbled upon a trove of materials about the the trailblazing Rev. Owen L.W. Smith (1851-1926).  Rev. Smith was born into slavery in Giddenville, Sampson County, NC to Ollen Smith and Maria Hicks and  was a servant in the Confederate army but escaped to become a soldier in the US army and fought  at the Battle of Bentonville.  He later rose to prominence in Wilson as the pastor of the the St. John AME Zion Church and Presiding Elder of the New Bern District of the North Carolina Conference.  Rev. Smith caught the eye of some prominent elected officials and was appointed by President William McKinley as Minister and Consul General to Liberia. You can find lovely post about him over at Black-Wide Awake.

Below are some of his letters printed in the Star of Zion, a Charlotte, NC based newspaper of the AME Zion Church.  You can find more on our Flickr page.



I like his description of first seeing Ireland as he sailed into Queenstown (now Cork). This was the first sight I ever saw of Ireland as I sailed into Cork on an overnight ferry from Swansea, Wales.


WCPL Local History and Genealogy Room: Now with Even More New Books!

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The Wilson County Genealogy Society must really like me because they just gave me thirteen more new books  (Sure, they like me well enough, but they really want to support Wilson County’s awesome library)!

This combined with the sixteen books they gave me a couple of weeks ago brings the number to 29.  And if you think that this gift giving is going to stop on an odd number you are so wrong, for the local DAR is donating the new Edgecombe County Cemetery book, bringing the number of books donated in the past month to 3o, which, I am very sure, is a round number.

If you haven’t noticed, all of the books are by Stewart Dunaway, a very prolific transcriber whom I have met at the yearly Family History Fair held every Fall at the State Library of North Carolina.  Mr. Dunaway is going to be speaking next Tuesday, March 3, 7 PM at the Wilson County Genealogy Society meeting and I am sure it going to be a great program.