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Submitted by:
Tommy Beatty, Matthews, NC

Writers Group Shares Stories and Recipes

Do you think genealogy should be more than just charts with names, dates, and places? Do you have family tales that you want to be passed down to generations beyond you? And, do your descendants know the origin of your favorite family recipes? Those who attended the November Olde Meck monthly meeting were treated to an inspirational evening showing how to begin answering these questions and preserving those interesting stories in your family tree.
Members of the Olde Meck Writers Group shared their reasons for joining this subgroup, their experiences in the group, some personal stories they have written, and old family recipes that inspired these stories. Louise Nottingham, founder and moderator of this group, gave an overview of how they began and how they are organized. Other members then took turns explaining their reasons for joining and what writings they have been able to produce. They each shared a family recipe and a story about how it ties in to the family.
Click Writers Group Stories and Recipes to view the text and all the delicious recipes! Notice also that one of the published stories by group member Tommy Beatty appears below.

Elvie Lee Beatty Jr
“The One Arm Bandit”
by Tommy Beatty
Olde Meck Writers Group
My father, Elvie Lee Beatty Jr was born November 24, 1923 and died July 10, 1995 the fourth of seven children. By the time of his sixth birthday, the country was cast into the Great Depression that led to WWII, times that challenged everyone to survive. It's likely that he observed his father doing everything he could to house and feed the family.
By the time he was thirteen, Elvie was delivering newspapers for the Charlotte News and by sixteen was a bicycle messenger for Western Union, both while attending school.
“Mommy, what happened to Daddy's arm?” I asked. “He was delivering telegrams for Western Union and was hit by a taxicab and his arm had to be cut off” Mom responded to a little boy's curiosity.
This would become the defining event in his life, forcing him to re-learn everything and eventually deciding that it was up to him to succeed or fail.
My first images of his will to succeed were of Dad working on his car but to me that wasn't unusual. Didn't everyone's dad work on their cars. About that time, Dad had started working at a service station back when the attendant pumped the customer’s gas, washed their cars and performed most of the maintenance work.
When I was a little older, he built and drove a race car at the local dragstrip. I wasn't allowed to go except for the one time, when a friend and I rode our bicycles through the woods to get to the road that would take us to a hill that overlooked the dragstrip. We managed to watch him race one time before we had to leave to get home before dark. It was only a short time until Dad sold the car, probably at Mom's urging.
Then he decided to do something that most folks in his position would never have attempted, he started playing golf, eventually becoming a nine-handicap golfer winning frequent amateur tournaments in the Carolina Golf Association. It never crossed my mind that a one-armed man shouldn't have been able to play golf. Years later, we occasionally played but I never won.
When I was sixteen, Dad decided it was time to return to drag racing, teaching me to build and maintain cars and drive the race car. It wasn't long until Dad turned over the driving duties to me, making me think his renewed interest was at least in part to spend time with me. After I got married, Dad picked up the driving duties for the race car, “The One Arm Bandit”.
Dad continued working on cars, playing golf and racing until the mid-1980s when he tore a tendon in his one good arm requiring it to be repaired.
It wasn't until I started working on my family tree that I learned what had driven Dad to expect perfection of himself and me, after all if “it's worth doing, it's worth doing right”. The accident that could have prompted self-pity had forced him to adopt a sense of confidence. He could do anything. It wasn't until his health declined that he gave up and eventually stopped fighting to live.
In case you're wondering, he played golf right-handed, swinging the club backhanded. The race car was a manual shift four speed but he still managed to steer and shift the gears frequently driving it to 120 MPH in an eight mile. Imagine how this was done.

Family Research Center
--- Now Open for Visitors ---
The FRC is open. Anyone wanting to do research must schedule an appointment so we can make sure we have a staff member available to help. Email to schedule an appointment.
FRC Hours by Appointment Only
Tuesday  10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday  10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday  11:00 am - 4:00 pm​
We hold 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, email so we can be sure you are on our blast email list.

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 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:
  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.

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 ( 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. 
To take the tours of this 'online museum' or find out more, visit Preserving Spaces.

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:
  1. Agricultural improvements in the Highlands, resulting in less need for workers.
  2. More law and order, reducing the need for a paid militia.
  3. Religious freedom sought by Presbyterians.
  4. 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 ( 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 can provide help and hosts pertinent events.
  • You can search by family name, county, and parish at
  • 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

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:
  1. Corrections Tool
  2. Grouping Tool
  3. Placements Explained
  4. Screenshot Clippings

December 8
Olde Meck Holiday Meeting
Olde Meck will celebrate the holidays and the end of another successful year with a Zoom meeting for all members once again this year. We will recap the year's accomplishments, install officers for 2022, announce society awards, and provide prizes!  ...
January 9
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2022
Join Us for SLIG 2022 Elevate your Genealogical Education to New Heights 27th Annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy January 9–14, 2022, Salt Lake City, Utah SLIG will open with All-Participation Orientation on Sunday, January 9th at 5:00 pm ...
February 5
Black History Month Genealogy Conference
Save the date for this year's Black History Genealogy Virtual Conference. Sponsored by the North Carolina chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), the theme of the event is Genealogy and History: The Ties That Bind Our Family, Community, ...
March 3
RootsTech Genealogy Conference
FamilySearch has announced that RootsTech Connect 2022 will take place on March 3–5, 2022, as a fully virtual family history event. Building on last year’s success, RootsTech Connect in 2022 will remain completely virtual and free. RootsTech Connect 2022 will allow people ...
April 18
April 2022 Salt Lake City Research Trip, The Dream Genealogy Vacation!
Does a week at the world’s largest genealogy library sound like the DREAM GENEALOGY VACATION to you? Are you struggling to do research on your own or have a brick wall you are trying to break down? Could you use ...