Family Research Center
We are excited to announce our Family Research Center is opening back up!
- We are now able to allow both volunteers and visitors to come in any Tuesday or Thursday from 10am until 1pm.
- Also, starting on June 26th the entire museum will be open from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays, allowing us to have visitors at those times as well.
- Anyone wanting to do research should just check in with us first to make sure that an FRC staff member will be available at the times you plan to come.
- Email us at email@example.com to set a time or clarify our policy.
We are holding our Monthly Membership meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month via ZOOM. If you are a member but haven't received a notice of these meetings, contact us at the e-mail address given above so that we can be sure you are on our blast e-mail list to notify you of the upcoming meeting and ZOOM link.
Continue to check this website for status updates.
A Message from the President
Greetings and thank you for taking a moment to read through this message!
A contingent of Olde Meck Board Members recently attended the National Genealogical Society (www.ngsgenealogy.org) virtual conference Focus on Societies. This conference was specifically constructed to help geneaolgical societies either fine-tune or revamp to be more effective and to flourish. Without a doubt, all of the presentations that were given were intriguing and spurred ideas, but there was one presentation in particular that I wanted to comment on.
Jill Morelli, of Washington state, gave a presentation called Lessons Learned from the Pandemic. In her presentation, Ms. Morelli discussed how she had sent out survery forms to a large group of genealogical societies around the United States to inquire how their socities were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and what they were doing to get through it. She displayed a number of graphs from the results of the returned surveys, which reflected the struggles that many societies have had to endure during these challenging times of limited or no access to their facilities, meetings or other events.
Throughout the past 14 months, I would like to say that Olde Meck has done a remarkable job in contining its mission to promote genealogy and to assist those who are looking for information from Mecklenburg County. Although the FRC has been closed to the public since March 2020, our volunteers have been given access to the room on a limited basis, which allows us to continue to research our collection. We have received several donations, both in physical material and monetarily. The most prominent switch was to move our in-person Monthly Meetings to a virtual format. This has allowed members who are not living in this area to attend the meetings, and we've had some excellent speakers over the last year!
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many members and volunteers who have contributed to the perserverance of Olde Meck over the last year. Your efforts have made an incredible difference! I also appreciate those who continue to use Olde Meck as a resource for information, as this helps keep our society in action.
It's been a rough time for everyone but it seems as though we are turning a corner to better days. Olde Meck is in a great place to move forward with resilience when those days are here!
President, Olde Meck
Olde Meck Presentation at NGS SLAM! Event
Olde Meck was pleased to participate in the NGS SLAM! Idea Showcase on May 18th during the virtual national conference. This first-time event allowed us to share our volunteer efforts with others.
Thanks to all the Olde Meck volunteers who are working faithfully to incorporate donations to our society into our collection so that others may benefit.
Click here or the image below to see our presentation.
Members Honored at Holiday Meeting
Two annual awards were presented at the December 9th Olde Meck Holiday Zoom meeting:
1. GREENLEE LILLY AWARD
The Greenlee Lilly Award, selected by our president to recognize someone who has performed outstanding service in the current year, was presented to Ann Martin. Ann completed projects this year which greatly benefitted Olde Meck.
- She was a key member of the committee to preserve the Ferguson Collection volumes, investigating and implementing options to scan these valuable resources into searchable files for research use.
- Ann also developed a comprehensive, easy to follow COVID Protocol to guide our volunteers and researchers during visits at the Family Research Center during this restricted time.
- Additionally, Ann has updated the Olde Meck Facebook page, adding timely content and useful posts to share with interested researchers everywhere.
2. ORDER OF 1775
The final award of the evening is the Order of 1775, given to an individual who has performed long term service for Olde Meck and the practice of genealogy as a whole. Our President, Jeffrey Houser was honored with this year’s award for his many commitments to Olde Meck which include:
- Beginning his fifth year as president, during this difficult period.
- Overseeing Olde Meck involvement in Backcountry Days, NCGS Conferences, Carolina Room Workshops, etc.
- Spearheading Abandonded Cemeteries project.
- Presenting genealogical programs and writing articles for our Quarterly.
- Assisting many researchers in their genealogical quests.
- Preserving genealogical resources by acquiring materials for the benefit of all genealogists.
Congratulations to both of these deserving members who help to make Olde Meck the valuable organization it is!
Melungeon Heritage Association Offers Podcasts
Olde Meck board member, Heather Andolina, is also the president of the Melungeon Heritage Association (MHA) and has shared a series of podcasts featuring speakers who are of interest to genealogists.
The Melungeon Heritage Association presents its 2020 Annual Melungeon Union Meeting lineup of speakers through this new podcast due to COVID-19. This seven-episode series brings the extraordinary stories and insights from an array of diverse voices, each with their own fascinating glimpse into mixed-ancestry and cultural evolution.
The episodes are hosted by Heather Andolina, President of MHA, and Lis Malone, Podcaster and Diversity Inclusion Advocate. Produced by Lis Malone. It is presented by The Melungeon Heritage Association (www.melungeon.org). You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. The direct links are:
Preserving Spaces Offers Virtual Historic Tours
Olde Meck members experienced a special treat at our August 12th monthly meeting when Kyle Scharf of Preserving Spaces demonstrated his virtual tours of historic Mecklenburg sites.
Kyle has combined his background in historical preservation with his expertise as a professional photographer to launch a new website which allows users to 'walk' through historic places in our area. The resulting 3D tours preserve important history which is fast disappearing.
With the goal to create a massive library of historic sites and accompanying oral histories that anyone can view at any time on their computers, smart phones, and tablets, Kyle has already posted tours of an old home, business, outdoor space, and even an historic jail. His podcast introduces the historians and preservationists behind the scenes for these sites.
The History of Scots-Irish Immigration to America
A great turnout greeted John Miles for our October Zoom meeting, where we learned Why the Scots-Irish Immigrated to America. A long-time scholar of all things related to Scottish and Scots-Irish history, John related the background and social situation that faced many who lived in Scotland during the 17th and 18th century. He identified four main components of the massive movement of families to this country:
- Agricultural improvements in the Highlands, resulting in less need for workers.
- More law and order, reducing the need for a paid militia.
- Religious freedom sought by Presbyterians.
- Voluntary and Involuntary Indentures.
Olde Meck members may view this presentation behind the Member Login tab on this website. Members and visitors also contributed to the discussion after Mr. Miles presentation and added some helpful tips for those researching their Scottish and Irish ancestors:
- The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni) may be helpful.
- James Leyburn wrote an excellent book The Scots Irish In America that describes the Scot immigration down the Great Wagon Road in Virgina.
- Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600-1800 2nd New edition by William Roulston was also recommended.
- Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland by William J. Rouston.
- The Scots-Irish http://www.scotch-irishsocietyusa.org/ can provide help and hosts pertinent events.
- You can search by family name, county, and parish at http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/.
- Records such as Hearth Money Rolls, religious censuses, and estate records are also available.
For more information about John Miles, go to his website.
Storyteller Has Writing Projects You Can Join
Thanks to storyteller Randell Jones for sharing his entertaining video of Famous and Infamous Women of North Carolina with us in July. Randell has many other fascinating tales, available both in printed and video form. He is also compiling stories from anyone else who wants to share and publish their own stories.
To hear more of Randell's stories and learn about his other writing projects, visit www.randelljones.com.
Picture Formatting Suggestions
Below are links to YouTube videos created by Louise Nottingham, leader of the Olde Meck Writers' Group. They are designed to help you format photos and images of documents that you may want to include in a Microsoft Word family file:
- Corrections Tool
- Grouping Tool
- Placements Explained
- Screenshot Clippings
Navigating Mecklenburg County Deeds
Deed records can provide a wealth of information to fill out our ancestors' stories but can oftentimes be difficult to access. We are excited to announce an addition to our website which will make the process of finding valuable Mecklenburg land records easier than in the past.
As part of her internship for a course in her Masters of Library Science program at East Carolina University, Ann Martin, now an Olde Meck member, has recently completed a helpful video tutorial to walk users through the process of accessing the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds website. If you have Mecklenburg ancestors and have ever wanted to view old deeds and land transactions, this video will facilitate your journey.
Ann describes the basics of deeds, what they consist of, and how they can help with family research. She then provides easy to follow navigation through the Register of Deeds website using a specific example.
(1) Click Start Button below to begin. Be sure to view in Full Screen (icon at bottom right of video)
We hope you will find Ann’s video tutorial useful and search for the deeds of your ancestors. Please feel free to give us feedback on this new feature.
Organize Your Family History Research
At the May 2019 monthly meeting, Lynn Bancroft presented a program on methods to help us organize our family history. She discussed useful hints and presented a sampling of different charts which can enhance our research. Based on Family Tree Magazine’s 8 Habits of Highly Organized Genealogists, Lynn described how the following tips may be helpful:
- Keep the big picture in mind.
- Take charge of paper files.
- Go digital.
- Establish an organization routine.
- Take advantage of tech tools.
- Designate a workspace.
- Color-code folders and files.
- Create a kit for on-site research.
Lynn gave explanations of how to implement each of these habits and had copies of the charts she presented available for attendees to take home. Lynn's Research Organization Presentation is available to Olde Meck members who missed attending the meeting.