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 Welcome to the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society



During inclement weather, please make sure we are open by calling 828-253-1894 or check this website.


 NEWSCAST featuring OBCGS and the Patton Family

Recently a portrait of Elizabeth Patton Crockett was discovered in the attic of one of the old Patton homes in Buncombe County.  Elizabeth (b. 22 May 1788) was the daughter of Robert & Rebecca Patton and the (second) wife of Davy Crockett.  The portrait is part of an estate auction that took place in Damascus, VA, on 8 March 2015 and sold for $10,500 according to the Asheville Citizen Times (9 March 2015). This story has generated much interest locally and area-wide.  

On 3 March 2015 John Le of WLOS TV in Asheville visited OBCGS and interviewed president Edith Garrett about this Patton family.  The news story aired on WLOS on 3 March 2015 can be viewed at:

And thanks to John Le of  WLOS for his kind comment on his Facebook page: “Discovered a great resource today, the Old Buncombe Genealogical Society. Awesome place to research family history, driven by donations and volunteers.”


 Portrait of Elizabeth Patton Crockett

Photo courtesy of in Black Mountain, NC


 The main area served by Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society encompasses the territory included in the original Buncombe County created by act of the General Assembly of North Carolina at its session of 1791-92, ratified on January 9, 1792. The original Buncombe County included those areas presently known as Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison and Transylvania Counties and the western part of Yancey, McDowell and Polk Counties. Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, & Swain were still Cherokee Indian Lands until 1819 and 1835. For our purposes, however, we consider them a part of Old Buncombe County, as many families moved into these areas before they were officially acquired from the Cherokee.

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Jan Rhodes Obituary

Jan Rhodes October 29, 1935 – March 5, 2015 Janet Carol (Jan) Rhodes, 79, passed away Thursday, March 5, 2015 at her home in Asheville, NC. She was a dedicated volunteer with OBCGS and contributed to our program to support all of our volunteers. She was an experienced genealogist and worked many hours with her …

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Zelma Fund Smith Obituary

 Zelma Smith 1922 – 2015 OBCGS members and Volunteers are saddened to learn of the death of our long-time friend, Zelma Smith.  Even after her move to Virginia, she continued to keep in touch and send us items of interest about genealogy. Zelma performed many volunteer functions at OBCGS, but most of us remember her as …

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Write Your Family History Book

We just released new guidelines for writing your own family history book and have included a copy here on our website. Guidelines such as these serve our members by providing insight into a project designed to help you organize your research findings. Writing articles for “A Lot of Bunkum”, the Society’s quarterly journal is a …

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Sarah Moore Obituary

Sarah Moore February 24, 1927 – May 12, 2014 OBCGS is deeply saddened by the passing of long-time member, Sarah Moore, of Hendersonville.  Sarah was a volunteer at OBCGS for many years , always willing to help others research their family history.  She was also well known for her assistance in helping ladies with an application for …

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Bill Trantham Obituary

William Vance “Bill” Trantham May 4, 1940 – May 12, 2014 It is with great sadness that we report that long-time member and volunteer Bill Trantham passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 12, 2014 in Asheville.  Bill was an avid genealogist and and a great asset to OBCGS.  He was also a member of First …

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Avoiding ‘Brick Walls’ by Dee Gibson-Roles

At some point in family history research, almost every researcher encounters the dreaded “brick wall” — the point where research seems to come to a dead end or an ancestor seems to disappear from the records. There are a number of mistakes the researcher can make that increase the likelihood of encountering these brick walls. …

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Summer Travels are a Good Opportunity for Cemetery Visits

by Dee Gibson-Roles With summer in full swing many people traveling stop by cemeteries in which one’s ancestors are interred. There is something very satisfying to a genealogist in standing at a special ancestor’s grave – something akin to a feeling of connection with the past. Researchers should visit cemeteries armed with a good camera. …

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Occupations Often Led to Names

by Dee Gibson-Roles At some point in pursuing family history, almost every researcher encounters an ancestor’s occupation that is foreign to him/her. Some have become completely obsolete, while others are today entirely different from the vocation in which the ancestor worked. When surnames came into use, many elected to use their occupation as their surname, …

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Genealogical Proof Standard

by Dee Gibson-Roles In today’s technology-oriented society, the term “GPS” is assumed to refer to an instrument which can guide one from point A to point B. However, genealogists have their own “GPS” —the Genealogical Proof Standard —which can guide researchers as well. Those who follow this standard can be sure that their research has …

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Mistakes Compromise the Credibility of Your Research

by Dee Gibson-Roles No one is immune from making mistakes, and genealogists are certainly no exception.  However, the lessons that can be learned from others’ mistakes can prevent long hours of useless and unproductive family research.  There are several mistakes commonly made by researchers, particularly those new to research, and other researchers can profit by …

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