Staff Person: Martha Elmore
Family collections contain a wealth of sources of interest to descendants and to historians. These include birth and death records, land records, estate papers, wills, diaries, and letters. In some cases, when courthouses have burned, these records held by families may be all that exists to document a county’s past.
Another somewhat untapped source of information found in some family collections is slave records. Oftentimes slave births are listed in the owner’s family Bible or in financial documents. Then there are lists of slaves in estate records, slave names mentioned in medical records, and bills of sale for slaves. All of these records can be helpful to historians and to African Americans tracing their family history.
Shown below are two pages of slave births listed in the back of a diary kept by James Ormond of Greene Co., N.C.
For more information about this collection, go to the http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0792/.