Update - 7 Feb 2015: almost 23,000 more Names and over 4500 Places have been added. The structure of the page has changed again - each document is all-inclusive of the names beginning with that letter (i.e., all the "A"s in one file, etc.). These are still individual pdf files that will open in a new browser window, and still searchable. These are obviously much longer lists, but researchers should have no trouble opening them in a browser.
Currently, the total is 63,118 Name entries and 9692 Place entries.
Update - 13 Nov 2014: over 10,000 more Names and over 2,000 Places have been added. The structure of how these indexes are accessed has been changed, using a table format rather than a page with a list of downloadable documents. Each entry in the table will open a pdf file in a new browser window. It is hoped this will make it less cumbersome for researchers. Currently, the total is 40,342 Name entries and 5,154 Place entries.
In the latest update, it was discovered a number of Place entries from the 1978 index were incorrect. These have been re-indexed. As the Journals were indexed by different individuals over the years, and we have multiple volunteers transcribing them, various discrepancies in format have crept in. Before bringing this latest update online, a concerted effort was made to standarize all the entries.
Please see below for information about the NCGS Journal Index, this project, and helpful search guidelines/techniques.
About the NCGS Journal Index
(Quoted sections here are from the "Annual Index for Vol I", published in October 1975, compiled by Ransom McBride.)
Beginning with the first NCGS Journal in 1975, a yearly index was included at the end of Issue No. 4. This index is actually composed of three different indexes - the Ancestral Name Index, the Contemporary Name Index, and the Place Name and Topic Index.
The Ancestral Name Index lists all the names found in the pertinent volume not considered 'contemporary'.
The Contemporary Name Index was defined as generally people who were still living as of the year 1900, and included names of NCGS members, and "current authors, compilers and editors". This is not included in our current project.
The Place Name and Topic Index "...is primarily concerned with geographic place names and topic categories...." In our current project, we have limited ourselves to place names.
Article titles are already indexed in "The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal Index of Journal Articles, 1975-2013", compiled by Crestena Jennings Oakley, Nov 2006; revised and updated by Jordan Jones, Jul and Sep 2010; revised and updated by Larry W. Cates (the current Journal editor), Oct 2012 and Nov 2013.
Beginning in 1994, indexes were included at the end of each issue, rather than a single, annual index appended to Issue No. 4.
Use of the Asterisk *
"An asterisk following a name denotes a black or mulatto as shown in the records. If the surname is underlined, it indicates the name of the owner, and the black is a slave; more than one such surname underlined indicates previous owners in order from left to right as known. Where a surname has been asterisked but not underlined, the person is regarded as a 'free black' as far as the records so indicate.
"In some cases, especially in the colonial tax lists, households with slaves may have more than one adult male living in the household, and the identified owner or owners of the slaves is not known."
- From the 1975 NCGS Journal Index
We have included asterisks with names in this context. Underlining was also included, but for technical reasons, the underlining did not carry over. Researchers can still identify people of African descent by the asterisk, but will have to look in the original Volume/Issue to see whether the person in question was slave or free, and if the surname given was that of a slave owner. It is important to note that the custom of using the asterisk is not consistent over the years - lack of an asterisk does not necessarily mean the person named is not of African descent.
The NCGS Journal Index Project
This project was conceived in the fall of 2013, with the first volunteers starting about the 1st of the year, of 2014. Volunteers are assigned a particular Volume, or part of a Volume, to index - either Ancestral Names, or Place Names, or both. They transcribe from the original index to a pre-formatted spreadsheet. The individual spreadsheets are imported into a Microsoft Access database. (This is where the transfer of underlining breaks down.) This allows all records to be compiled into a single, alphabetized list. Duplicates entries are removed, the master list is broken down into more manageable groups of names, and reports based on those groups are exported to PDF format, then uploaded to our server for viewing on the NCGS website.
It is important to note that our project is not a re-indexing of the NCGS Journal - everything is based on the original indexes. Our goal is to bring all the disparate indexes to one easily accessible and easily searchable location, as an aid to researchers.
Past Journals were indexed by a number of individuals over the years, and by and large they did a great job. As with any human endeavor, mistakes can, and probably did, occur. This project is being carried out by a number of individuals, and they are doing a great job, as well. And they are also human. With all that in mind, it is possible that a name may have been missed or a page number mislabeled, but we are confident those will be the rare exception.
As with any old documents, we are not only subject to less-than-legible handwriting, we are also susceptible to the vagaries of spelling.
For example, one of our members has spent time researching the name "Osborne", and found at least 34 variations in spelling:
Asbun, Asburn, Aulbourn, Aursbourn, Ausband, Ausbern, Ausbin, Ausbon, Ausborne, Ausbourn, Ausbourne, Ausburn, Ausburne, Orsborn, Orsborne, Orsbourn, Orsburn, Orzburn, Osben, Osbern, Osbin, Osbon, Osborn, Osborne, Osbourn, Osbun, Osburm, Osburn, Osburne, Ozbarn, Ozborn, Ozborne, Ozbourne, and Ozburn.
Transcribers, and indexers after them, can only work with what was written, not what might have been intended. The savvy researcher will keep this in mind when looking for names of specific interest.
If the name you're searching for is not in the list, it may not have been indexed yet. Also remember alternate spellings may be in two different index groups - for example, "Brian" as an alternate of "Bryan", will be in different index groups.
Update: As all names beginning with the same letter are now in one document, alternate spellings should not be in a different group, unless the initial letter is changed. For example, "Osborne" to "Ausbourn".
If the researcher notices an obvious error, or an entry that seems questionable, please contact the NCGS Webmaster.
This is a compilation of all NCGS Journal Indexes, from its beginning. Entries are sorted by name, then by Journal volume number, then by Journal issue number. Page numbers are generally sequential, as they were listed in the original printed index. As it is likely that most people would not know off-hand that Volume VII was published in 1981 (for example), the year of publication has also been included to help the researcher.
Volume VII will not appear in any entry, as such. Roman numerals have been converted to decimal numbers for accurate sorting. For a database, VII comes after IX, alphabetically. Use of decimal numbers allows us to accurately list 7 before 9.
The names from NCGS Journal Indexes are listed here alphabetically (see notes on Special Characters). An identical name is listed only once, but may be found in multiple volumes, and even multiple issues within one or more volumes. Multiple entries for this are made for the single name entry. For example, "Walden, Michael" appears on the list once, but under his name is a separate entry for Vol 1, Issue 3, and another for Vol 2, Issue 4, along with the relevant page numbers for each.
The number of entries for a single name may be much greater for more common names. For example, "Smith, John" has twelve different entries under his name. (As of 15 Aug 2015 - this will most likely increase over time.) There are also entries for "Smith, John - Justice", "Smith, John Carpenter", "Smith, John Esq.", "Smith, John Sr.", etc. Note that these latter names are all different from each other, as well as different from "Smith, John".
It is important to note that although the name "Smith, John" has multiple appearances in the Journal, it is not necessarily the same person. That applies to all entries in the index.
Place Names follow the same organization. "Albermarle Co. NC" precedes "Albermarle Co. VA" in the list.
Special Characters and Alphabetization
A simple last name with no first name always comes at the top of the list.
A last name with a trailing asterisk (typically indicating African descent, as noted above) will come after a last name with no associated first name, but before last names without an asterisk. For example, this sequence: "Graves -Capt.", "Graves*, Lewon", "Graves, Betsy". Captain Graves does not have a first name listed, Lewon Graves has an apostrophe, and the first entry for "Graves" alphabetically, with a first name and no asterisk, is Betsy Graves. Update: The asterisk has been moved from the last name to follow the given name(s), so the example "Graves*, Lewon" now appears as "Graves, Lewon*", which allows for better sorting by surname. Surnames with an apostrophe, but with no given name, will follow the same rules as previously noted.
An apostrophe used in a name comes last, alphabetically. For example, "Boyd's Co. Mecklenburg Co. NC" (a census record) comes after "Boyd, William".
In some instances, special characters are used to denote a 'best guess'. For example, the name "W[ill]iams, Samuel". The reader can easily understand this, but in sorting alphabetically, a computer doesn't. The special character [ comes before A, so this name appears at the top of the list of names that start with "Wa...", and won't appear in the list that has all the "Williams" surnames. Another example: "S[c]arbrough, Nathaniel" will be listed before "Sadler, Anderson", and will not appear in the list that has all the "Scarbrough" surnames.
The use of parentheses with a question mark also takes a name out of strict alphabetization. For example, the name "D(e?)ary, Samuel" comes before names that start with "Da...", in the same list group. The left parenthesis moves it up the list, regardless of what comes after it.
Please Consider Volunteering to Help
This is a massive project - we have only just begun, and already have almost 30,000 Ancestral Names and over 3,000 Place Names indexed. This is from only five volumes (or just parts of volumes), and the NCGS Journal is currently at Volume 40!
Please visit the Volunteer! page of our website for more details about helping with this project.
We could most certainly use more volunteers!
The North Carolina Genealogical Society