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Don't Overlook the History of the County

"History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750 - 1976,"

Mary L. Medley, 1976

You can find the history about the county where you are researching. Many counties have more than one. I have gotten these county histories through the:


  • public library

  • genealogy society

  • historical society

  • WorldCat.org

I used to go to the library and read them there, but now I realize that county histories have led me to records. Each county that I research now I have purchased one or more histories.


When I am looking for a person, I can find a clue here or there by reading the county history. I do not let the county history collect dust. I find myself returning to it again and again.


Even during the times I feel I have much already to go on, I stop to find out how the person I am researching interacted in his or her community.


County histories help me to tell a more complete story, but I do not stop there. They lead me to other places such as the archives, manuscripts, and even living people.



The latest county history that I have purchased is the "History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750 - 1976," by Mary L. Medley. Steve Bailey from the Anson County Historical Society suggested it.


I ordered the book from Steve on May 6th. I received it right away, and I already have been able to find the following things in the history:

  • businesses

  • cemeteries

  • church

  • migration

  • occupations

  • plantations

  • schools

  • surnames

Using those eight things, I can research my ancestor, Buck Nelms, and the Nelms family that enslaved him in Anson County. Buck went with Eben and Charles to Mississippi in 1841, however he had family that lived in Anson after the 1900's.


With this county history, I will begin to piece my family back together again.



























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