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08 May 2019

Our Library Collections: North Carolina

One in a series highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

This North Carolina county book contains a
treasure trove of detailed land grant information
North Carolina is well represented at CGS. The shelf section begins with The North Carolinian – a Quarterly Journal of Genealogy and History. We have volumes 1- 8 covering 1955 to 1966. We also have large collections of the North Carolina Historical Society Journal, North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, and two sets of journals for specific counties.

Our North Carolina collection includes a large section for individual counties. One book that looks particularly useful is N.C. State Land Grant Entry Book (1778), Orange County, Volume 1, Grants #1 – 1000. This book pairs images of the original federal land grants with succinct transcriptions of each grant. It also includes data tables specific to names, locations, and waterways to facilitate researching by name or location. Author Stewart E. Dunaway notes, “In addition, I provide a number of interesting “tid-bits” about these grants, such as total acres granted, how many acres by stream and by quantity.”

A very detailed lot description from
Hillsborough, NC: History of Town Lots
Another book by Dunaway is Hillsborough, N. C.: History of Town Lots; the Complete Reference Guide. This source describes the formation of and history of each Hillsborough lot – all 238 of them. For example, for a single lot (No. 20) Dunaway tells us what deeds are associated with this property, provides two detail maps, and recounts the ownership history. He tells us Abner Nash first bought these lots and built a mill. Other buildings were added, the property was sold to Peter Mallett and the name of the mill was changed to Mallett’s Old Mill. A Nathan Palmer owned the mill and when he died his wife sold the property, and it goes on for two additional pages. This book is a gold mine of detailed information. I hope Dunaway moves on to Tennessee and does this for Carter County, where my ancestors lived.

I keep learning new, useful information
like the meaning of "headright"
The last book I selected for this post was North Carolina Headrights: A List of Names, 1663-1744, compiled by Caroline B. Whitley. I chose this volume because I was not familiar with the term “Headright”. Turns out headright is another term for “landright,” which is how land grants were made throughout the British American colonies. “Although there were numerous refinements and variations, the system allotted each grantee a certain amount of land based on the number of persons he or she brought into the colony …. so, acquisition of land by headright.” This book is organized chronologically. It lists the name of the grantee and summarizes the substance of each grant.

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