View Family Showcase:   Badger Mitchell Johnson (WWI)
Submitted by:   John Blythe, Huntersville, NC

The Family Research Center is CLOSED  
Monthly Meetings Occur Online
Olde Meck's Family Research Center (FRC) remains closed at this time. But our staff is able to access our collection. If you have questions or inquiries, email 
We hope you and your family will be safe during these difficult days. Check this website for the status of the FRC.

Medieval & Early English Genealogy, Part 2

Plan to join us for the March 10th Olde Meck meeting to hear Gerald Montagna decipher medieval English life and terms which can aid in your own research, regardless of your ancestors’ origins.
Americans with English ancestors face a formidable obstacle when they examine legal documents from the Medieval & Early Modern period:  a completely alien social and legal system!  Terms found in wills, contracts and lawsuits are either perplexing or don’t mean what you’d think they mean.   People also belonged to strict social classes that defined their rights and their obligations to the other classes.
In this two-part lecture, Olde Meck member Gerald Montagna explains the legal system and social background necessary to grasp English legal documents from the Medieval & Early Modern period.  How and why that society arose is set forth in the beginning of Part 1, while the causes of its decline and demise conclude Part 2.  In between, the social classes are discussed: the nobility and gentry in Part 1, the everyday people in Part 2.  Legal terminology relating to each class is discussed throughout.  Snippets of Medieval English music add spice to the program.
Part 1 was previously presented in October 2019, but has been freshly rewritten and re-narrated to sync much more closely with Part 2.  The audience is urged to listen to this new version of Part 1 in preparation for the debut of Part 2, which assumes knowledge of the basic concepts.  On March 10 the audience will be permitted to ask questions about both lectures.
This presentation will occur via Zoom on Wednesday, March 10th at 7:30 pm EST. Look for a meeting link on this site early on that day.
Gerald strongly advises us to view English Medieval - Early Modern Genealogy Part 1 beforehand.

Copyright Law for Genealogists

Are you writing your family history and unsure about how to cite facts and photos? Do you wonder what genealogy information you can legally copy off the internet? Are you concerned about what you can and cannot publish?
We are very fortunate to have a true expert help us answer questions like these. The April 14th monthly Olde Meck meeting will feature nationally known genealogist Judy Russell, who will speak to us about Facts, Photos and Fair Use:  Copyright Law for Genealogists. Understanding what is and isn't copyrighted and what genealogists can and can't use is the key to staying out of trouble and to protecting our own work. Learn about what copyright is, and what it isn't, and what we can use in crafting our family histories.
The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a well-respected genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. Judy is one of the featured speakers for the upcoming National Genealogical Society annual conference this May 17th - 19th. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her award-winning blog is at
A handout will be available prior to the meeting. Look for further information and the Zoom link on this website the day of the meeting.

Members Honored at Holiday Meeting

Two annual awards were presented at the December 9th Olde Meck Holiday Zoom meeting:
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 ( 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

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.

March 10
English Medieval-Early Modern Genealogy, Part 2
We are pleased to welcome back Olde Meck member Gerald Montagna to present Part 2 of his Introduction to English Medieval - Early Modern Genealogy. In October of 2019 Gerald acquainted us with the basic structure of early British society and the ...
March 13
Charlotte Museum of History - Afternoon on the Grounds
On March 13th, the Charlotte Museum of History will open its 8-acre site for a self-guided, outdoor experience of Charlotte’s oldest home site. Guests can explore the Museum’s park-like setting, walk through the garden, and view the historic buildings. ...
March 18
Lunch & Learn: Revolution in the Backcountry
For the next installment of the Charlotte Museum of History Lunch & Learn series, long-time Charlotte Museum of History volunteer Tom Phlegar will take us on a journey through the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution and explore how ...
April 14
Facts, Photos and Fair Use: Copyright Law for Genealogists
Understanding what is and isn't copyrighted and what genealogists can and can't use is the key to staying out of trouble and to protecting our own work. Learn about what copyright is, and what it isn't, and what we ...
April 17
Loch Norman Highland Games at Rural Hill
The Loch Norman Highland Games at Rural Hill is a family friendly event presented by Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville, NC. Come and experience all the fun with Highland Dancing, Bagpipe Bands, Highland Athletics, a Giant Kid's Zone, Scottish Merchants, ...