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History and Purpose


The society was founded in 1980 as a non-profit cultural organization incorporated under Section 501(c)(3). Our purpose is to provide genealogical education on Western North Carolina through publications, workshops, a library and research support.

There are many ways to take advantage of our resources:

Research at the OBCGS Library – plan to visit our library and explore the more than 10,000 volumes available for research. We have microfilm, Internet Access and more.

Public Website – many resources are available for free on our website

All Access Membership – contains records on our website that provide additional resource materials such as an index of the Buncombe Co., NC Divorce Records and copies of obituaries from the late 1800s through the 1980s.  Click here to join and obtain Members Only Access and/or Full Access Memberships.

“A Lot of Bunkum” (ALOB) – our research journal is available to members only. It includes research articles on Western North Carolina (WNC) families and the region. A paper copy or electronic copy is mailed to each member and an electronic archive of past issues is available in the Members Only  section of the website.

Programs and Annual Workshop – we conduct at least six programs each year with compelling speakers covering subjects important to current genealogical research and WNC history. They are usually held on the third Saturday of the month (see the calendar for specific dates). Members may receive a discount on the registration fees.

OBCGS Bookstore & Print Shop – We publish many of our own books and provide a sales platform (with approval by our Book Committee) for others to sell and market their books to our customers. We also print books for our customers such as family histories, memory books and genealogical records. Click here for more information on publishing your book and the link to our online bookstore at eBay.

Volunteers – we are completely volunteer-driven and there are no paid employees working for the Society. Currently, we have several opportunities for volunteers in the library, the print shop and projects conducted at home. You can also write articles for our journal or help us during our programs and workshops. Apply to volunteer here.

Plan to get involved today!

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