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Society Journals Make Excellent Finding Aids

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Journal cover GSRCNC

To learn more about our ancestors beyond the basics of censuses and vital records, successful researchers access lesser known record sets, archives, and manuscript collections. One way to find our ancestors in these records is by reading the journals produced by genealogical and historical societies.

The Genealogical Society of Rowan County publishes a quarterly journal of genealogical records and historical articles related to Old Rowan County, North Carolina. As a member you can receive current issues, but many libraries, including the History Room at the Salisbury Library, hold collections of past journals. Some journals include a name index covering their journal’s contents for that year.

Journals typically contain transcriptions of records that might be difficult to find. Society members submit items of genealogical interest, such as transcriptions of court records, estates, obituaries, newspaper articles, and tax lists. Many of these can be one of a kind records that you might never have seen otherwise.

The Journal of Genealogical Society of Rowan County can be found in the Edith M. Clark History Room. The History Room is located on the third floor of the Salisbury, North Carolina, Main Library Branch. In addition, this research library holds many other collections of society journals.

Examples of Society Journals

For example, another society journal at our home library is The Bulletin of The Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County. This collection takes up two shelves and covers the area of North and South Carolina that was part of old Tryon County, 1769 Р1779. Many counties evolved from Old Tryon. In North Carolina they are McDowell, Burke, Polk, Rutherford, Cleveland, Lincoln, and Gaston. In South Carolina, they are Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Cherokee, Union, York, and Chester. A wonderfully valuable online index to these journals is available at this society’s website.

In summary, society journals such as these are excellent finding aids and can lead to treasure troves of original records.