NCGS Internship Program Update
1 July 2012 – 30 June 2014 Biennial Report
This article provides an update on the NCGS internship program that was made possible thanks to the generosity of former NCGS board member and well known North Carolina genealogist, the late Frances Holloway Wynne. NCGS partnered with the North Carolina State Archives to offer an internship for the purpose of cataloging and preparing materials previously unavailable for use by researchers. The program is supervised by Fran Tracy-Walls, Private Manuscripts Archivist, Special Collections Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.
Lea Walker arranged and described ten account book collections during the 2012–2014 biennium. For each project, she created an online finding aid in the Archivists’ Toolkit, an archival data management system. Each finding aid includes one to three indexes of customer’s names to facilitate genealogical research.
All of the selected collections came from burned counties or those counties that have experienced some records loss. Two collections from the colonial/revolutionary period were given priority treatment due to their age and fragile condition. Both of these collections were identified as needing extensive conservation and were transferred to the conservator upon completion of the finding aids. One collection, the Matthew and Margaret Byrne Account Book (AB.76), was also identified as a good candidate for digitization by the Digital Access Branch.
The North Carolina Genealogical Society expressed a particular interest in antebellum collections. Thus, eight of the selected collections represent the antebellum period. Particular care has been given to list antebellum women in customer indexes, since women were not enumerated by name until the 1850 census. Other minorities noted in indexes include one Native American living in Cherokee County after the Cherokee removal and ninety-five slaves born on a plantation in Bladen County. These ninety-five slaves, listed in the Matthew and Margaret Byrne Account Book (AB.76), were the subject of three blog posts in the State Archives of North Carolina blog, History For All The People. Extensive analysis of wills and slave schedules revealed that many of the slaves were kept by descendants of the original owner and often lived on neighboring plantations from 1762 to 1862. Slave relationships were also researched. It was determined that thirty-three of the slaves might have descended from one matrilineal line.
The Ballance Account Books (AB.70) were the subject of another blog post. The store owner had seven children, five of whom were identified as blind in the federal census. The eldest three sons, who were all blind, helped their father in the business. The oldest was given a significant amount of responsibility in running one of the family’s two stores.
Basic conservation measures were also undertaken. These included the removal of inserts from account books and the re-housing of account books in boxes and custom folders.
Finding Aids Completed during 2012-2014
Thomas Ballance Family Account Books, 1846-1851 (AB.70), 6 Volumes, Hyde County
Barnes and Bardin Account Books, 1839-1843 (AB.129), 4 Volumes, Wayne and/or Wilson County
Matthew and Margaret Byrne Account Book, 1761-1864 (AB.76), 1 volume, Bladen County
John Cockton Account Books, 1769-1794 (AB.78), 2 Volumes, Currituck County
F. F. Fagan and Company Account Books, 1832-1839 (AB.66), 4 Volumes, Tyrrell County
Mitchell and Bouchelle Account Books, 1820-1845 (AB.83), 4 Volumes, Rowan County
John M. Patrick Account Book, 1852-1863 (AB.65), 1 volume, Greene County
Valley Town Account Book, 1850-1871 (AB.59), 1 Volume, Cherokee County
Waugh and Finley Account Books, 1815-1838 (AB.80), 4 Volumes, Wilkes County
Hardy Whitford Account Book, 1832-1841 (AB.85), 1 Volume, Craven County
Blog Posts Written for the North Carolina State Archives blog, History for All the People
Account Book Yields Slave Records, 1 November 2012
Slave Records on a River Plantation: A Day Book with Bunches of Birthdays, 8 November 2012
Slave Records on a River Plantation: The Curious Case of Metillah, 9 November 2012
Accounts and Ballances, 4 October 2013