North Carolina Biography

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

North Carolina Library[edit | edit source]

The North Carolina State Library has the most complete collection of North Carolina biographical materials. Their collection also includes some digitized biographies.

University of North Carolina[edit | edit source]

University of North Carolina's North Carolina Collection Biographical Index contains citations to biographical sketches about North Carolinians. Over five hundred volumes, primarily from the North Carolina Collection and other libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have been indexed to date.

Biographical Encyclopedias[edit | edit source]

Representative biographical encyclopedias are:

See United States Biography for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also North Carolina History and North Carolina, United States Genealogy for additional sources.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has many volumes containing biographical sketches of residents of North Carolina. For an index, see Donald Hehir’s Carolina Families: A Bibliography of Books about North and South Carolina Families (Bowie, Maryland) At various libraries (WorldCat), FHL book 975.6 D23hd

To find biographies and published family histories on specific surnames in the FamilySearch Catalog, use a Last Names Search. Using the available filters will help to limit the search.

The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local county histories with biographical sketches of residents. These can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search under:

NORTH CAROLINA- BIOGRAPHY
NORTH CAROLINA, [COUNTY] BIOGRAPHY