Garland P. Stout Files
Free for the Taking!
The Family Research Center has been holding the research records of the late Garland P. Stout for many years. Although known primarily for his excellent North Carolina County maps, Mr. Stout also gathered genealogical information in a ‘dead end’ file that came to us some years ago. This collection is organized in manilla folders by surnames, submitted by researchers from across the state and country. Some of the files are extensive, and some are very small.
The staff of the FRC have determined that we can no longer keep this collection. We are willing to give away individual folders from these family files to anyone who will come to get them. Here is a list of the Stout Collection File Headings.
If you are interested in some of these files, please contact us at or come by and pick them up by the 1st of November. After that time, they will be discarded.

Book Sale Brings Surprise
There are still lots of great deals in our Used Book Sale!
Thanks to a wonderful response, we have sold over 200 books and taken in more than $1,500. We have found good homes for books we could not use and provided funds we can use for other needs.
We recently learned of a serendipitous experience from one of the folks who purchased from us. Lee Dickson lives in Texas and has ancestors from both Mecklenburg County and from Madison Co., KY. He was surprised to see a book of Madison Co. Marriages in our sale and purchased it, wondering if it might have any of his people. When it arrived, he was thumbing through it, not remembering who he was researching in that area. And then it happened!! In this book he had never seen before, the names of his ancestors, Philes Pope and Charles Bland, along with their wedding date, were highlighted in pink! No other names were highlighted in this book, and Lee hadn’t told us who he was researching. We  are thrilled Lee found some of his Kentucky roots right here in Mecklenburg County!
There are still over 200 titles available, most in excellent condition. We have also added more books. View the updated list to see what gems you might find for your own use.
If you would like to purchase any items, you may:
  • come by the FRC.
  • contact us by mail at PO Box 32453, Charlotte, NC, 28232-2453.
  • email us at
  • phone us at 704-568-1774, Ext.109.
Please list item numbers and titles in all requests. We can ship your order within the United States. Shipping charges will apply, but these are still wonderful deals! This is First Come, First Served ... so contact us soon to reserve your picks!

Herman Ferguson - A Genealogical Giant

The genealogy community has suffered a great loss with the recent death of Herman White Ferguson. Ferguson, age 106, passed away on Friday, January 13, 2023.
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Herman was a geologist by profession. He served as the State Geologist of Tennessee and then worked at U.S. Steel Corporation, carrying out investigations of coal and non-metallic deposits in the United States, Australia, and South Africa until his retirement in 1981.
In retirement, his interest in genealogy became a hobby which resulted in the publication of 18 books. The first book was about his own family in Tennessee. That research led to an interest in the records of Mecklenburg County. Herman purchased a microfilm copy of the county court minutes, deed books, wills, tax lists, and estate records and began the arduous task of abstracting them to make the information readily available to genealogical researchers.
For his efforts Ferguson has received awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians, the NC Genealogical Society, and the Order of 1775 from Olde Meck in 2004. In December of 2021 he received the Old North State Award. This honor is presented by the governor to recognize “dedication and service beyond expectation and excellence to the Great State of North Carolina.” 
In 2019 Olde Meck entered into an agreement with Mr. Ferguson and his family to purchase the remaining inventory of his books as well as the rights to future publication, allowing this treasure of information to remain available to the public for many years to come.

Tracing Your Family Tree

Check out the link below to see what Lynn Bancroft, Olde Meck Vice President, and others have to share about "Tracing Your Family Tree." This is an article written by Cailyn Domecq for the Our State online magazine.

Program Gave Useful Tips for Old Photos

For our August meeting, Olde Meck member and owner of Visual Story Media, Kimberly Melton, joined us to deliver a presentation entitled, “DIY Photo & Media Organization for Genealogists.”
Most of us probably have boxes of old photos and documents and a phone and computer full of too many photographs to count. It’s time to think about organizing all of that media so you can actually look at it and share it with others! It doesn’t have to be a daunting process if you break it into five easy steps:
  1. Set goals and deadlines.
  2. Select the items for your project.
  3. Sort.
  4. Save and scan your printed photos and slides.
  5. Share your hard work with family and friends.
Refer to the DIY for the Genealogists cheat-sheet to help guide the way. Members may also view a recording of the entire program behind our Member Login tab.

Blackwelder Files Offer a Wealth of Information

Olde Meck Volunteers have completed the initial task of going through the impressive collection of genealogical materials donated by Linda Blackwelder. Linda has been a prolific researcher in the Steele Creek community of Mecklenburg County for many years. In addition to doing research for hire, she also compiled the book, Steele Creek, an Early History of the Steele Creek Community, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Over the years many Steele Creek families have shared their information with Linda, in addition to her own research. We are grateful Linda has entrusted us with her files so that even more people can benefit from her efforts.
Here is a list of the folder headings from her files. If you find something you'd like to explore further, either come by the Family Research Center or contact us at

Ferguson Errata
Mecklenburg County, NC, Will Abstracts, 1791-1868, Books A-J
If you purchased a copy of Herman W. Ferguson's Mecklenburg County, NC, Will Abstracts, 1791-1868, Books A-J, from Olde  Meck, and it did not have a loose copy of the “Errata” in the front, you may wish to print this Errata page and insert it. Ferguson made these corrections in 2010, but some copies sold after that time may not have had the page of “Errata.”

Genealogical Offerings at NC State Archives

For our June meeting, we enjoyed an informative overview of the offerings of the North Carolina State Archives, presented by Alison Thurman. Alison provided this NCSA Handout which you may download. Thanks, Alison! Contact with questions.

Organizing Your Genealogy Research

Does your genealogy area look anything like the picture here? 
If so, you may want to view the recording of Olde Meck member Lynn Bancroft's talk Organizing Your Genealogy Research
This is an updated program from one she gave to Olde Meck in 2019 and was presented at the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) Black History Month Conference. Lynn discussed useful hints and presented a sampling of different charts which can also improve our efficiency. Based on ideas from many genealogy experts, she described how the following tips may be helpful:
  1. Keep the big picture in mind.
  2. Designate a workspace.
  3. Take charge of paper files.
  4. Establish an organization routine.
  5. Go digital.
  6. Use Additional Charts
  7. Create a kit for on-site research.
We are sharing the recording here in the hopes it can provide some tips for all of us to better organize our research.
(1) Click Start Button below to begin. Be sure to view in Full Screen (icon at bottom right of video)
(2) Go directly to the YouTube video, click Organizing Your Genealogy Research

Newspapers Online

Katie Grafer presented our January program about how to use historic newspapers to assist in genealogical research. In her presentation, "Extra! Extra! Getting Clues and Context From Historic Newspapers," Katie shared many tips about how to look beyond the obituaries and wedding announcements to help guide your newspaper research. She explained the other types of useful information that can be found in old publications, including public notices, social columns, and even advertisements. She gave specific examples from her own research that allowed her to ‘connect the dots’ on elusive ancestors.
The following list of websites may help you find historic newspapers:

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.

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

October 11
Monthly Meeting - Researching Your Ancestor’s Brick & Mortar Can Help Break Down Your Brick Wall
Join the Olde Meck October meeting to hear genealogist Michelle Spencer describe how looking into your ancestor's business may help you break down your brick walls.
October 14
York County Library Genealogy & Family History Expo
Don't miss this special event! * 12 Sessions from seven speakers, including Sunny Jane Morton, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, Craig Scott, Lisa Lisson, and Cheri Passey. * Topics include Finding the Truth in Old Family Stories, Church Records, Digging for Records on ...
October 28
NCGS Fall Conference and Annual Meeting
NCGS is proud to present the 2023 Fall Conference, Annual Meeting, and Awards event in Raleigh, NC. Attendance may be either in person or virtually, featuring four presentations by Shannon Combs-Bennett, QG. Shannon's topics will include using DNA in genealogy, ...
November 8
Diane Richard - Goldmines in Colonial North Carolina Records
We are pleased to have Professional Genealogist Diane Richard join us in November to speak about the goldmines of information available in North Carolina records. Diane will share many details about what information exists, where to look for it, and ...
December 13
Olde Meck Holiday Meeting
Join us to celebrate the holidays and this year's accomplishments for Olde Meck! We will also install officers for the 2023 Board of Directors.