T256, Before the Vital Records Law: What’s a Family Historian to Do?

February 13th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

North Carolina, T256, Before the Vital Records Law: What’s a Family Historian to Do?

4:00 pm, Thursday, 11 May 2017 (North Carolina Archives)

Debbi Blake has been an archivist at the NC State Archives for 27 years and has seen more than her fair share of serendipities happen to researchers.  By their very nature, these are capricious, but researchers can do certain things that may heighten their chances for such events.  This presentation explores some record types that may surprise researchers with they might contain that can change the course of their research.

Debbi describes her lecture: “The date on which a state began keeping vital (birth, marriage, and death) information about its citizens varies widely.  In North Carolina, like much of the south, these records were late in coming.  Not until October 1913 did the NC law enabling collection of this information take effect.  The law affected birth and death information most profoundly, since at least some marriage information had been collected beginning as early as 1741. There is no doubt that vital records are the foundation of genealogical research, and lack of them is a formidable obstacle.  Like most obstacles, however, genealogists can handle them—they just need the right tools.  In the case of North Carolina’s vital records information, it is all about what you know.  This presentation will give alternative record types that may provide the needed information, or a close approximation of that information.”