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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 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. FREE for members, $5.00 a day for non-members.

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

Members Only Website Access – contains pages that provide additional resource materials such as scanned copies of the Buncombe Co., NC Marriage Register and back issues of our journal ALOB. Membership is available for $35 for individuals, $40 for families and $500 for lifetime. Click here to join and obtain Members Only Access and/or Electronic Access.

Electronic Website Access – includes resources such as copies of Western NC obituaries going back to 1977 and scanned copies of our Family Surname Files. An extra annual fee is required – $20 for members and $40 for non-members for our Electronic Access Files. Click here to sign up for Electronic Access for Non-Members.

“A Lot of Bunkum” (ALOB) – our research journal is available to members only. It includes research articles on Western North Carolina 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 Access section of the website.

Programs and Annual Workshop – we conduct at least six one-hour programs each year with compelling speakers covering subjects important to current genealogical research usually held on the third Saturday of the month (see the calendar for specific dates). Our Annual Workshop is an all-day event with multiple speakers providing an in-depth analysis of genealogical issues. It is usually held in the fall of each year (see calendar for the specific date). Members 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 the link to our online bookstore at eBay.

Volunteers – we are completely volunteer-driven and there are no paid employees working for the Society. We have opportunities for volunteers in the library and the print shop right now. You can also write articles for our journal or help us during our programs and workshop.

Plan to get involved today!

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