Useful Research Links

This post offers some useful links that could enhance your research into Western North Carolina genealogy and local history:

Alexander Street North American Womens Letters and Diaries. The collection includes approximately 150,000 pages of letters and diaries from Colonial times to 1950, including 7,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts—all in electronic format for the first time. Women’s experiences of everyday life from all age groups and life stages, a wide range of ethnicities, many geographical regions, the famous, and the not so famous are represented. More than 1,500 biographies enhance the use of the database. Useful for anyone researching and writing about women’s experiences during different historic periods.

A. B. Pruitt website. Pruitt is the author of many books focused on North Carolina Land Grants. His website features his books and others, but his site also includes the history of land grants in North Carolina (1777-1796) and Tennessee (1778-1802) which could be valuable background information for any genealogist.

American Battlefields Trust – the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. 
More than 200 battles and skirmishes occurred in South Carolina during the war. Working with a panel of historians and archaeologists to select the most significant of these actions, they have developed plans to form The Liberty Trail, an innovative driving route designed to connect these battlefields and tell the captivating and inspiring stories of this transformative chapter of American history.

Archives of Appalachia – The Center for Appalachian Studies East Tennessee University. Archival materials include family, business & organizational papers, photographs & audiovisual materials, including a searchable online database.

Buncombe Co., NC Register of Deeds Website. On this site you will find an online database of recorded deeds dating back to the late 1700s as well as information about obtaining marriage licenses, birth certificates, death certificates and military discharges.

Fairfield District, South Carolina Deeds and Bonds. Photocopies of the original records.  These are not available at
Georgia State Archives  Visit this useful site and click on the “Virtual Vault” for valuable information in wills, land records, campaign materials, confederate records, death certificates, postcards and more. 
Haywood County Library Genealogy & Local History Collection. Contains searchable newspapers printed in Haywood County from the 1880s to 2013.  Also a history collection which contains photos, documents and music on the history of Haywood County.

NCpedia. It is the online encyclopedia of North Carolina, and it is supported and staffed by librarians at the Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina. This page provides support and information for helping you get the most from the resource and for getting search help if you need  it. Librarians at the Government & Heritage Library and NCpedia have made a number of help features available for visitors. These include live CHAT, email, and viewer posted comments to NCpedia articles.

North Carolina County Formation – USGenWeb Archives.
See several maps illustrating the formation of NC counties over time created by David L. Corbet.
North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS)  This list is comprehensive page full of links related to the state and its genealogical resources. 
North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data –  Among other research papers, it provides searchable data for 217,460 land grants including names, dates and locations for years 1663-1960, including 10,000 grants in what is now Tennessee. 
North Carolina Maps  Featuring maps from three of the state’s largest map collections — the State Archives of North Carolina, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center — North Carolina Maps provides an unprecedented level of access to these materials.
North Carolina Room – Pack Library, Asheville, NC.
This research department has changed its name to “Buncombe County Special Collections” and is working on a new website. We will update this posting as soon as we know their new site is ready. In the meantime, go to
Race and Slavery Petitions Project  This link provides a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders and free people of color. To search the petitions by keyword, select geographic and date criteria then enter a search term or phrase below. To search the database for specific named individuals, select the Search By Name tab. To see petitions associated with particular historical, legal, or cultural topics, select the Browse Subjects tab.
South Carolina Department of Archives & History. Includes an online catalog that allows searching and browsing of information about the holdings of the South Carolina State Archives.
UNC Asheville Ramsey Library. This library has many collections that includes resources documenting the diverse culture of Asheville & UNC including manuscripts, books, oral histories, photographs & other materials.
Contains online collections of Civil War letters, Cherokee Traditions, copies of the Cherokee Phoenix, oral histories, WNC Maps, & Picturing Appalachia (a photograph collection)  among other items.
Western North Carolina Historical Association.
This association is housed in the Smith-McDowell House Museum. They are starting to add items from their archives to their website so take a look to see what they have available. You can visit their museum for a tour of the house by setting up a reservation here.

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