I don’t live anywhere near Wake County, but I try and do what I can to help provide access to information about the area. Last weekend while shopping at a local used bookstore, I found a copy of James Vickers’ Raleigh, City of Oaks: an Illustrated History, originally published in 1982 by the Wake County Historical Society. Since I can always stand to learn more history of the area, I snapped it up for only $5!
The book is slightly under 200 pages and as the title indicates has many pictures. The history of the county is covered from the area’s beginnings to 1982. It is organized as follows:
- Chapter I – An Eventful Birth: to 1792
- Chapter II – A Planned City: 1792-1820
- Chapter III – The City of Oaks Grows: 1829-1850
- Chapter IV – Yankees Come and Go: 1850-1880
- Chapter V – Capital Improvements: 1880-1905
- Chapter VI – From Prosperity to Depression: 1905-1940
- Chapter VII – A Modern City Blossoms: 1940-1982
- Chapter VIII – Heading Toward the 21st Century
- Chapter IX – Chronicles of Leadership
I’ve also scanned the index so it’s easy to see who is or is not included in the book. Also, I’ve added information about the book to the small but growing Bibliography page on this site. There’s some interesting history covered in the book. If you have any questions or would like a lookup, just let me know (email address on sidebar).
Yearbook photos are a great way to capture details of your ancestors. I’ve been going through a number of the North Carolina yearbooks that have been added to the Internet Archive and sometimes I am particularly struck by a photo.
This weekend, while going through the yearbooks for Meredith College , I noticed that there were three girls, all from Halifax County, by the name of Kitchin. I was struck by the photo of one in particular before I even looked at the name – that of Musette Kitchin. Then, in the next couple of volumes for the college I found two more Kitchin girls. I wondered who they were?
These photos of the ladies are from the 1928, 1929, and 1930 yearbooks for Meredith College (then called Baptist Female University). Musette was a daughter of former Governor William Walton Kitchin. Hesta & Pauline were sisters, her first cousins; their father was William Walton’s brother, Claude Kitchin Sr.
In the process of researching them to reconstruct the tree and see how they were related, I learned that Hesta & Pauline’s mother is related to one of my family’s slaveowners – Kemp Plummer Battle (former president of UNC-Chapel Hill). Their mother Kate Mills Kitchin is a great- granddaughter of Catherine Ann Battle Wesley who was a sister to Kemp’s father, William Horn Battle. These types of connections are interesting to come across.
Yearbooks can help add great detail to your family tree. I wonder if Pauline’s family knows about her garnering the superlative for “Most Poised” ? You’ll find these yearbooks linked from the Education page.
1930 Superlatives - Baptist Female College
Wake County is home to many educational institutions and I’m slowly building up the Education page with their information. Tonight, I’ve added links to the growing collection of yearbooks that the University of North Carolina is adding to the Internet Archive website for schools around the state. Particularly of interest for Wake County are:
- North Carolina State University – to date, they have all the yearbooks online from 1903-2009!
- Meredith College - these are just beginning to be added; to date, they have issues spanning 1904-1913 and I am sure more will be added soon.
Not only is Wake County represented, but they also have yearbooks for:
- Appalachaian State University
- Duke University
- Elizabeth City State University (African-American)
- Elon University
- Louisburg College
- UNC-Chapel Hill
- UNC- Greensboro
From the Wake County Education page, I’ve linked to the overall yearbooks page we’ve created for sharing across the NCGenWeb project. You should definitely take the time to explore; you may find your ancestor’s yearbook photo. I found three of my family members in the yearbooks for ESCU and I’m hopeful I’ll find more!
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