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Genealogy Methodology: Estate Records

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In her book North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, Helen Leary defines estate as real and personal property that was owned by the deceased. Over the years, I have mentioned estate records in passing, but never really talked about what they are. There are quite a few type of estate records, but they all deal with the division of the estate of someone who has died. Today, I want to talk about the different types of records and the information they may contain as well as were the records are and how you can obtain copies.

First thing to understand with estate records is that the size of the records can vary widely from 1 paragraph to hundreds of pages that span generations. About a year ago, I found an estate record while doing research that was nearly 100 pages in length and spanned 2 generations – all fighting over the division of slaves. The estate record began in the time of slavery and ended well after slavery ended. Although the fighting began about the division of slaves, it ended with fighting about the division of the value of the said slaves! The less arguing over an estate, the shorter it will be. The 1 paragraph estates I’ve seen can be summed up as “[Name]‘s estate has been settled.”


North Carolina County of the Week: Caldwell County

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North Carolina County of the Week: Caldwell County Caldwell County, NC

Formed in 1841 from Burke and Wilkes Counties, Caldwell County is located in the Mountains of North Carolina. Its namesake is  Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Join us this week for a tour of the county, from its history and people to its historical and documentary collections, cultural heritage sites, and its natural heritage.

To learn more follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  And be sure to check out our Pinterest board.  You can join the conversation or highlight favorites by using the hash tag #nccotw.

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State Doc Pick of the Week: Lead Safe Toys for North Carolina Children

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Lead safetyWith the holidays approaching be sure to consider the hazards of lead when giving young children toys. Lead exposure in young children can cause serious health problems. Children under 6 and pregnant women are most at risk from exposure to lead. This short bulletin explains how lead in toys can be a risk and how to determine and prevent lead exposure from contaminated toys.  It also includes a toll-free hot line phone number for questions about lead poisoning and prevention.

This report can be downloaded, printed, saved, and viewed by clicking here .

Process for Receiving a Land Grants, Part 3

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a Road in NC with trees and land on both sides

Last week, I discussed the first step in the land grant process (land entries, which were application to buy vacant land). Today I want to talk about the next steps: the warrant and the plat map.


This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.