Kinsearching May 14, 2006




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825


     Hear ye, hear ye! Raymond Parker Fouts announces the completion of her new book of newspaper material--ABSTRACTS FROM THE EDENTON GAZETTE AND NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ADVERTISER, EDENTON, NORTH CAROLINA, EXTANT ISSUES OF 1822, 1827-1828 AND 1829. Like most newspapers of the time, this weekly publication included a wide assortment of news items, both local and national, which Fouts reproduces verbatim and with original punctuation.

     Although the paper was printed in the town of Edenton, the county seat of Chowan County, so-called "local" news also pertained to the surrounding counties of Bertie, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington. The paper gleaned state news from other North Carolina newspapers while national and international news came from papers published in the larger American ports.

     Because of the vast array of information, researchers never know what interesting historical facts or genealogical "gold nuggets" they may discover. Some examples of topics are reports of student exams from Edenton Academy, list of letters remaining at the post office, the Cherokees planning to move west, petition of heirs of Daniel HUNTER to sell land in Granville County, lost boats and shipwrecks, African-Americans settling in Liberia, outbreaks of diseases like smallpox, locust infestations, the establishment of a new post office, and advertisements for sale of supplies, houses, land, and slaves.

     A knowledge of the events taking place at a certain time may help genealogists better understand the actions (or inactions) of their ancestors. Newspaper information may also be significant because it puts families and individuals in a certain place at a specific date and may supply clues for further research through the other people with whom they were associated. In addition, details in newspaper data may help researchers distinguish between individuals with the same name who live in the area at the same time.

     Since North Carolina did not begin keeping vital statistics records until 1913, newspaper data about marriages, divorces, and deaths help to fill in the information gap. Even more important, several of the marriages reported in the newspaper were never entered in the appropriate county records and sometimes contain more details than those that were. The Edenton paper extracted an interesting marriage item from The Niagara Herald. In 1829 Wenright PROCTOR, having married Mary Ann MULDOON, alias LAMB, cautioned people not to credit anything to her on his account because the marriage was unlawful.

     A trademark of Fouts's work is her thorough indexes. In addition to separate indexes to full names of all people, locations, and female names (both maiden and married), she furnishes a miscellaneous index that pertains to such categories as apprentices, clerks of court, companies, deaths, diseases, divorces, marriages, judges, Masonic lodges, newspapers, occupations, postmasters, and sheriffs.

     Experienced genealogical researchers familiar with Fouts's work hold her books in high esteem. Her latest publication, ABSTRACTS FROM THE EDENTON GAZETTE AND NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ADVERTISER, EDENTON, NORTH CAROLINA, EXTANT ISSUES OF 1822, 1827-1828 AND 1829, is another excellent example of her meticulous work. Genealogical libraries will want to buy a copy for their collections.

     Containing 141-pages, the book has soft covers and a preface. It costs $30.00 plus $2.50 postage for one book and 75 cents for each additional copy. Residents of North Carolina should also add 7% state tax to the price. To order this interesting volume, send your check--payable to NC Research at Home--to North Carolina Research at Home By Raymond Parker Fouts, c/o Walter R. Haun, 410 Crestview Drive, Durham, NC 27712-2335.

     The Christine Knox Wood Collection of genealogical materials is now available for research at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Most of the material consists of bound BENSON family group sheets and data used in the Benson Magazine of Research, which Wood published in the early 1980s. The collection also has some books and copies of pictures.

     The photograph below is of Wood's ancestor Elizabeth BENSON, born 15 July 1819 in Howard Co., MO, and died 29 July 1904 in Henry Co., MO. Elizabeth married Thomas KNOX on 22 July 1837 in New Franklin, Howard Co., MO. Data about this couple and their descendants can be found in the two volumes of KNOX MEMORIAL written by Wood in 1972.