We’ve been adding a lot of rare genealogy research to our digital collections lately through our Vertical File digitization project. As I’ve mentioned before, we have a significant amount of family history research donated by patrons over the years. To help make it more accessible and searchable, we’re slowly digitizing that content and putting what we believe to be out of copyright in the North Carolina Digital Collections. The rest can be searched on site in our Copyrighted Genealogy Vertical Files database. So far, we’ve gotten through surnames that start with A, B, E, and S. This content also feeds our Vertical File Transcription Project over on flickr, where volunteers help us by transcribing documents.
In one of the files, I found a photocopy of a book entitled Historical sketch of New Hope Church : in Orange County, N.C. (1891) by David I. Craig. What interested me most was a 12-page handwritten addendum appended to the main text. The addendum was signed D. I. Craig. I decided to pull the book from our collections and, sure enough, our copy has that original addendum at the end.
In it, D. I. Craig takes issue with an assertion made by John Hill Wheeler in Historical sketches of North Carolina, from 1584 to 1851. On page 80 of Historical sketches, a footnote claims that David Craig, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, was the father of Burton Craig, Esq., of Salisbury, NC. The author, Craig, states strongly that “This is a mistake on the part of Mr. Wheeler, and consequently of history, so glaring and so unjust that it ought to be corrected.”[emphasis Craig's]
Burton Craig, of the Salisbury Craigs, was a line separate from D. I. Craig’s own family. D. I. Craig argues in the rest of his addendum that Wheeler’s footnote is false, and that 2nd Lieutenant Craig was in fact D. I. Craig’s own ancestor and not related to Burton Craig. His family’s traditions reinforce his claim, but he also presents a series of deductions based on the amount of land awarded to soldiers of different ranks after the War compared with those awarded to 2nd Lieutenant Craig.
I wanted to highlight this addendum today because of the dogged persistence D. I. Craig took in his research – in the latter part of the 19th century, no less. He references texts that were both in and out of print at the time. He visited the Nashville, TN Register’s Office to look at land grants as well as numerous Craig relatives and cemeteries.
D. I. Craig finished up his addendum with “I hope some day to rewrite and enlarge this sketch.” I’m not sure he ever did, but he did leave behind diaries and more family history research. The Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds and has digitized many of D. I. Craig’s papers related to family history and other topics. You can view them online.