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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Archives/Best Use of Time
In Response To: Archives/Best Use of Time ()

Hi Shirley,

I work in the State Library of NC, which shares the building with the archives. First off, I want to let you know that there is major renovation going on here and the archives will be closed starting this coming Saturday (April 28th) until at least July 10th. Check back with me early July (because I'll forget, I have short term memory lapses) and I'll let you know for sure when they will be opening.

Please go to this site:

This site will tell you exactly what type of documents they have at the county level in the archives. There is a link for "Guide to Research Materials...," be sure to read it, this guide gives you county level information and you can see exactly what Burke and Rutherford Counties have.

I can tell you from personal experience that apprenticeship records are here in the archives and very helpful! But note there was a courthouse fire in Rutherford Co. in 1907 and most early records are gone. Burke seems to have very early records for apprenticeships, so hopefully that is where she was apprenticed and where the record is for! Check out my blog, below after this message, I'm going to be doing a review of the type of information in apprenticeship records within a couple of weeks, maybe even next week.

For the marriage record, the archives have marriages in Burke that go back to 1780 and Rutherford goes back to 1774 (but remember, some of them may have been lost in the fire).

For children born to white mothers from Black fathers, you'll need the bastardy bonds. Also, in court records. There was a law in 1715 that if a white woman had a child by a Black man, whether either were free or not, the woman was required to pay a fine....actually, you just need to read the whole section on the laws passed in 1715 in my blog, I just posted that last week and it will give you some ideas of where to check. Also, if there is any identification of the father, it would be in these records, but realize that women were not required to give the name of the father and many records I've come across do not.

We also have a book here at the state library regarding "free people of color" in Burke County (and I think another on Rutherford). If you give me some names, I can look through them during my lunches.

I will send Pam and Joy a copy of the text of this post. They are librarians in the genealogy division here of the State Library and have proved to be valuable sources to me in my research. They may have some other ideas.

You can contact me on here or privately at


Messages In This Thread

Archives/Best Use of Time
Re: Archives/Best Use of Time

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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