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Welcome to the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society


In case of inclement winter weather, please call the society office


to assure that the office/library is open.


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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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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Dates, Timelines Essential to Family Research

by Dee Gibson-Roles There is probably no one to whom dates are more important than genealogists. Birth, marriage and death dates are critical when tracing one’s ancestry, but other dates can be just as important. One event many researchers fail to recognize is that of the formation dates of the counties where ancestors may have …

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Online Query Boards Can Yield Treasure Trove

by Dee Gibson-Roles At some point in researching one’s genealogy, almost every researcher feels the need to place a query on an online query board or in a genealogical journal published by a society in the geographical area of his/her research. When well-constructed, such a query can yield great results. First we should discuss the …

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Genealogy Gifts

by Dee Gibson-Roles With Christmas fast approaching, everyone is busy with shopping and trying to find that perfect gift for loved ones and friends.  Genealogists are certainly no exception. The fruits of our research can easily be turned into great Christmas gifts for our family members.  Most of us have relatives and friends who tease …

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Veterans, from Tea Party to Civil War

by Dee Gibson-Roles The Veterans Day observance brings to mind our ancestors who have served in the military since the time of our country’s birth. It is safe to say that almost all researchers who have ancestry in the U.S. have at least one ancestor who served, and most have several. We are often asked …

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Beginner Advice

by Dee Gibson-Roles October is Family History Month, making it a perfect time to start researching one’s family history. Many folks indicate an interest in finding their ancestors but have no idea where to start. We’ll try to provide information to overcome that with our topic this month. There are a few supplies that every …

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