CHRISTIAN, William J. – (d. 1920)

William J. CHRISTIAN, one of Durham’s oldest and most influential citizens, died suddenly in Maplewood cemetery, by the side of his wife’s grave, which he was visiting for the first time in several weeks, his condition being too feeble for him to go often.  Medical aid was summoned but death was instantaneous.  He was born December 13, 1839. He was a valiant Confederate soldier and was a prisoner for more than 18 months on Johnson’s island.  He was a staunch Baptist in his Christian faith.

Source: Pender Chronicle (Burgaw, NC); 13 May 1920.

List of Durham County Students Added

Did you know that the NCGenWeb Project offers an index database of college and high school students at schools around the state?


Durham High School, 1921

A list of students from Durham County extracted from that database has been added to Durham County NCGenWeb site. The list currently includes more than 1800 names of students attending schools around the state. Most entries are pre-1940. You can access the list here.

History of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 1878-1994

This book describing the history of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church from 1878-1994 was recently added to the Internet Archive. The book contains more than 250 pages and is organized primarily under the auspices of each Rector.  There are many illustrations – including pictures of church leadership, church members, and buildings of the church and in surrounding Durham areas.

If you are reading this post via email or a feed reader and unable to see the embedded book, you can view the book online at the Internet Archive.



Durham newspaper to be digitized

chronicling america image


North Carolina is participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC) which is endeavoring to digitize historic newspapers across the country in order to make them available online for research.

The Durham Daily Globe will be included in the list of titles to be digitized in 2013.

The Durham Daily Globe started in Durham, North Carolina in 1889 by publisher Edward A. Oldham. It was published daily with an additional Durham Sunday Globe published on Sundays from 1889 to 1894.

It had previously been called The Daily Tobacco Plant (1888-1889) and the Durham Daily Recorder (1886-188?).

Following 1894 the title changed to The Globe-Herald, the Morning Herald, and the Durham Weekly Globe. 

If you can’t wait until 2014 when the digital copies of this newspaper will be posted online to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site, you can view the microfilmed copies of this newspaper  at the following locations:

Duke University Library, Durham County Library, East Carolina University, the North Carolina State Archives, the State Library of North Carolina, and UNC-CH.

“Mastering Genealogical Proof” by Thomas Jones

Mastering Genealogical Proof

from the National Genealogical Society website:

Pre-order your copy today of this essential guide to genealogical  research today. The National Genealogical Society presents this important work as part of its Special Topic series.
As a unique textbook on genealogical methods and reasoning in the twentyfirst century, Mastering Genealogical Proof guides readers in acquiring genealogical skills transcending chronological, ethnic, geopolitical, and religious boundaries.

About the Book and Author

Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students, and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for  proficiently applying the chapter’s concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues. Answers are at the back of the book along with a glossary of technical terms and an extensive resource list.

Thomas W. Jones, who has pursued his family history since he was fifteen, is an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator.


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
  • Chapter 2 – Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
  • Chapter 3 – GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
  • Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
  • Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
    Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
  • Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
  • Chapter 8 – Using the GPS
  • Chapter 9 – Conclusion
  • Appendix A – Pritchett Article
  • Appendix B – McLain Article
  • Glossary
  • Reading and Source List
  • Answers to exercises
See the PDF for the full list of contents. See also a sample exercise.

Ordering Information

You can pre-order your copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof today. Order online (payment in full required at time of pre-order). Cost is $25 for NGS members and $30 for non-members.

Mastering Genealogical Proof will also be available for purchase at the NGS 2013 Family History Conference, 8-11 May, where Thomas W. Jones will hold two book signing events.

Estimated Ship Date: 20 May 2013

Newspapers to be digitized in 2013!


Digital NC, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, has announced a new round of newspapers that are slated to be digitized in 2013 and contributed to the North Carolina Newspapers project. Among them is Durham’s own The Carolina Times  from 1965 – 1972. Digital NC is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at UNC-CH. They work with libraries, historical societies, genealogy societies, and archives across North Carolina to digitize and publish historic materials online in order to provide access to the materials.

Here is a list of several other newspapers slated to be digitized in 2013:

Title Years Nominating Institution
The Enterprise (Williamston) 1901-1932 Martin Memorial Library
Forest City Courier 1919-1931 Rutherford County Public Library
Danbury Reporter 1872-1945 Danbury Public Library
Elkin Tribune 1930-1940 Elkin Public Library
Central Times (Dunn) 1891-1895 Harnett County Public Library
County Union (Dunn) 1897-1899 Harnett County Public Library
Democratic Banner (Dunn) 1901-1902 Harnett County Public Library
Rocky Mount Herald 1934-1938 Braswell Memorial Library
Rocky Mount Mail 1875-1876 Braswell Memorial Library
Press and Carolinian (Hickory) 1887-1892 Catawba County Library
Hickory Democrat 1906-1915 Hickory Public Library
Polk County News (Columbus) 1902-1921 Polk County Public Library
The Carolina Times (Durham) 1965-1972 Durham County Library
Erwin Chatter (Cooleemee) 1944-1954 Davie County Public Library
Cooleemee Journal 1965-1970 Davie County Public Library
Alamance Gleaner (Graham) 1875-1880 Alamance County Public Library

Durham County Library’s Extended Hours

From Lynn Richardson –

Dear Friends of the North Carolina Collection,

We’ve expanded our hours to include Saturdays 10:00-5:00. Lauren Havens, MLS, UNC-Chapel Hill, and former NC Collection volunteer, is the Saturday staff person. See the press release below for more details.

Collection hours are:

Mon.                     12:30-9
Tues.-Thurs.      10-5
Fri.                         2-5
Sat.                        10-5

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Lynn Richardson
North Carolina Collection
Durham County Library
(919) 560-0171


Date: July 13, 2012                                                                                                  

CONTACT: Gina Rozier, 919-560-0151 or



Durham County Library North Carolina Collection to Begin Saturday Hours


Durham – Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection will add Saturday hours beginning July 14, 2012.

With funding from a grant from Durham Library Foundation, which will provide for additional staff, the NC Collection will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

The North Carolina Collection houses more than 16,000 books, plus thousands of other items related to North Carolina and Durham history and culture including local government documents such as city and county budgets, photographs of Durham from the late 1800s forward, maps of Durham and North Carolina, local magazines like Our State and North Carolina Historical Review, newspapers from the late 1800s forward, high school yearbooks from Durham schools, old Durham phone books and city directories, and papers of Durham individuals and organizations.

For more information about the Collection, or if you are interested in donating materials to enhance the study of Durham city and county’s history and culture, contact Lynn Richardson at 919-560-0171.

Durham County Library provides the entire community with books, services and other resources that inform, inspire learning, cultivate understanding and excite the imagination. For more information, visit your local library or visit us online at

Directories page updated

Bransons Directory 1890 Several City and Business Directories have been uploaded to the Internet Archives website and to the Digital NC Collections. A new Directories page organized by year has been added to the Durham County site here.

City directories can be very useful tools for genealogical research! They are alphabetically arranged making them easy to use; they are usually compiled each year; and they take care to capture all households of the city.

Because these directories were created more for business use, the creators took care to be exact with name spellings, middle initials, addresses, etc because they needed to be able to distinguish between their customers.

You can read more about why directories were created and how they can be used in genealogical research in this article by the ProGenealogists.

Come out and Listen to the Doc Branch Band

doc branch band









Come out and listen to the Doc Branch Band this weekend at the North Regional Library at 221 Milton Road, Durham, NC.  The Doc Branch Band features old time fiddle tunes, bluegrass standards and the band’s original compositions.

Concert will be this Sunday, June 10, at 3pm.

There will be a short conversation with the band members led by Doc Branch historian Peter Kramer before the concert, starting at 3pm.

Sponsored by the Durham Library Foundation

Durham County Library.

See this flyer for details.

Durham County Cemetery Surveys Now Online

The North Carolina State Archives have been hard at work uploading files to the North Carolina Digital Collection! One such collection is a series of surveys of cemeteries done by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the 30s and 40s. You can access the Durham County Collection of surveys here.

To view other North Carolina surveys click here.