View Family Showcase:   Margaret Moore Christenberry
Submitted by:   Carole Bazzell, Novi, MI

Conversation with Kenyatta D. Berry

Olde Meck was honored to partner with the Charlotte Chapter of the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society to present nationally known genealogist Kenyatta D. Berry for a Conversation With Kenyatta, on February 12th. Kenyatta is a host of the popular PBS series, Genealogy Roadshow, an attorney, professional genealogist, and the author of the helpful research guide The Family Tree Toolkit:  A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy.
Ms. Berry answered questions posed by interviewer Heather Andolina about various topics including her personal genealogy experiences, tips for doing research, the particular difficulties of African American research, and the use of DNA testing in family history. She also answered audience questions and personally signed many copies of her book, which attendees purchased following the presentation.
Some highlights from Ms. Berry:
  • Newspapers are one of her favorite, underutilized sources.
  • A wonderful African American resource is the History of the American Negro and Its Institutions by A. B. Caldwell.
  • 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the 1870 Census, which was the first census to enumerate former slaves by name.
  • To improve your results, study your history, especially for the specific counties you are researching.
  • The use of DNA in genealogy is currently like the Wild West. However, you never know what it will tell you.
  • Don't force relatives who will not open up about the past. Find other sources.
  • Her most rewarding experiences have been seeing the reactions of people when she told them new information about their ancestors.
Photos from Olde Meck's February 12th Meeting,
"Conversation with Kenyatta D. Berry:"

African-American History Month Resources

Navigating Mecklenburg County Deeds

Video Tutorial
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)
(2) If you want to go directly to YouTube, click Navigating Mecklenburg County Deeds
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 May's 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:
  1. Keep the big picture in mind.
  2. Take charge of paper files.
  3. Go digital.
  4. Establish an organization routine.
  5. Take advantage of tech tools.
  6. Designate a workspace.
  7. Color-code folders and files.
  8. 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.

March 11
Famous and Infamous Women of North Carolina
Celebrate Women's History Month and the centennial of ratification of the 19th amendment with the tales of famous women from North Carolina's past. Randell Jones, award winning author and storyteller, will regale us with stories of many females who stood out at ...
April 8
Medieval English Genealogy, Part II
Gerald Montagna began sharing a thorough study of English life from medieval times at our October 2019 meeting. He focused on the upper class nobility and its structure. Gerald returns to fill out the remainder of the story, describing the ...
May 20
Echoes of Our Ancestors - 2020 National Family History Conference
Learn new strategies, resources, and techniques to sharpen your family history skills at the NGS 2020 Family History Conference.
June 20
Beyond The Barriers, Sponsored by Olde Buncombe County Genealogical Society
Presenter Dr. Thomas W. Jones, a board-certified genealogist, award-winning writer & recipient of awards from genealogical organizations, will offer 4 sessions designed to help both beginning & experienced researchers find paths around research barriers. Topics include   1) “Building ...