Getting Started

Amy Grisak, begins her article with a “WARNING” label! Sleep deprivation, walking through cemeteries and obsessive tendencies about scraps of paper when it comes to genealogical research.  The article which appears in the 2013 Farmers’ Almanac is titled Digging up Roots – The INS and OUTS of creating your own family tree.

You can read the article at http://usgenweb.org/farmer_almanac2012.pdf. It does not matter if you are a beginner wanting to know the basics of genealogical research or someone who has researched for a long time and now wanting to get back to the basics..this article is packed full of helpful information.

Thanks, Amy for great information.

Davis, Lydia & Martha

I am trying to find some information about the McDowell County poor Farm/Alms house. It may have been in Higgins Township. I am looking for their cemetery or death information on their residence.

I am interested in a Lydia & Martha Davis that lived there in 1900. Martha also lived there in 1910. Her deth record states she died in 1913 & is buried at the Poor farm.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,  Norman Davis


  • June 23, 1900 Census, McDowell Co., NC, Marion, County poor home, House 262-263
  • Lyda Davis, Pauper, F, W, March 1835, 65, Single, NC, NC, NC; Martha Davis, Pauper, W, F, May 1855, Single, NC, NC, NC
  •  April 29, 1910 Census, McDowell Co., NC, Higgins Twp., Page 139, House 46-47
  • Martha Savis, F, W, 47, Single, Pauper, NC, NC, NC.
  • Note: Living in the McDowell County Poor home.
  •  Death Certificate: Martha Davis, b. age 50, d. Dec. 28, 1913, Higgins, McDowell Co., NC. Residence: Inmate of County Home. Burial: County Home. Father: Logan Davis. Mother not listed. (Female, White) Informant: Joseph England, Marion, NC. Recorded: March 27, 1914. Note: There was another death certificate that was not complete with death as Dec. 28, 1914.

Delayed Birth Certificates

Years ago, births were written in family Bibles, on notes of paper, etc. when the government required birth certificates, then people of all ages applied for delayed birth certificates.

A delayed birth certificate is one that is not filed within a set period of time, in North Carolina this is within a year of the child’s birth.

If you are having trouble finding a birth certificate, check out the links below to see if  your great or great-greatgrandparents filed for a delayed certificate

Delayed birth certificates for McDowell County in the USGenWeb Archives:






I recently found your contact information on the Mcdowell County, NC Genealogy website in regards to the Brooks surname.  My family and I have been searching for information regarding my Great Grandfather Stanley Thomas Brooks.  He was born May 1st, 1898 in McDowell Co, NC.  But, we have been told that his last name was not Brooks at birth.  Stories have been told that the original last name of Stanley Thomas was Hanie.  However, we have never been able to prove it.

The “family story” is that Stanley Thomas Brooks’ father killed a man in NC.  Stanley was sent to an orphanage along with a sister.  He was taken from the orphanage by his grand father.  They moved to South Carolina and changed their last name to Brooks.  There is no information about the sister.

I recently obtained a copy of his Death Certificate and it lists his father’s name as Thomas Brooks and no mother’s name.  The only other “reference” I have for him is a WWI draft card that states that his father was born in McDowell Co, NC.

Being that Madison County is not far from McDowell Co, and you have information about Brooks families, I’m hoping you may be able to help.  I have no other information regarding our family.  Below is a list of pertinent information for Stanley Thomas Brooks.

Stanley Thomas Brooks

Born: 5/1/1898 McDowell Co, NC

Died: 9/29/1965 Pickens Co, SC

Spouse: Bettie Mae Gilstrap (born 1899 Easley, SC)

Children: Edward Stanley Brooks, Joe C Brooks, Charles Stanley Brooks, Claudie Clifton Brooks, Thomas Brooks


Amery Brooks

1782-1982 Membership Lists at Bill’s Creek Baptist Church

Many of McDowell County citizens have their roots in surrounding counties, one of which is Rutherford County where Bill’s Creek Baptist Church is located. A wonderful resource book by Helen Mason Lu of Dallas, Texas is “Bill’s Creek Baptist Church, Two Hundred Year History, 1782-1982“.

I am privileged to have a copy of this wonderful resource and will gladly do a look-up for you. Limit your request to two individuals and include as much information as you have that will be helpful with the look-up. Please take note of complete look-up guidelines on the Look-Up Page.