• 54°

Norris Dearmon column – Historian suggests genealogy as a fascinating project for upperclassmen

By Norris Dearmon
for the Salisbury Post
Schools have started up for another year, and it might be wise for the upperclassmen to start thinking about their projects for the coming year. Since I have been involved in genealogy for the past 20 years or more, I would like to suggest that some consider a project in genealogy. The reasons for the suggestion follows.
I firmly believe that a search of a family history can be rewarding to those who do the research. It is never too early to start, since people die all the time, and some valuable information dies with them. Some of it will never be known. For instance, I would love to ask my grandmothers or my dad many questions to fill in some gaps which will never be filled now.
With technology where it is today, research is much easier than it was 20 years ago. Libraries have much material which was not available just a few years ago. Also, they have computers and subscriptions to some Web sites giving researchers access to information not known before. There are also a lot of Web sites free for anyone online to use. It is easy to get sidetracked when something else pops up of interest.
Some of the information available either published or online are Census records back to 1790, tax records, cemeteries, obituaries, family histories, family Bibles, war records of all kinds, Social Security records, newspapers on microfilm, marriage, death and birth records, city directories, telephone directories and much more. It can be time-consuming, especially when trying to go back many generations, but some can wait should a stumbling block be reached.
The one thing that makes genealogy research difficult is the spelling of names. Census takers would spell names by the way they sounded, because in a lot of cases, those giving the information were uneducated.
In my case, I look for Dearman, Durman, Deerman, Deermon, Diermon and other spellings.
If someone comes from a foreign country, the spelling used there can be very different. When there is no middle name, dates have to be used to determine who is who. Often, only two names were used, so there could be several Henrys or Georges or Johns and other common names.
I have been able to trace my dad’s line back to 1766 and my mother’s line back to 1425. My great-great-great-grandfather on my daddy’s side landed in Wilmington, Del., on June 30, 1789, from Germany, and on my mother’s side, from Sussex County, England.
Sometimes interesting ancestors can be found. There may be pirates, prisoners of war, outlaws, interracial couples and a lot of other surprises.
The journey can be rewarding. It is something to be proud of when it is traced as far as you can go. You should keep logs of your work, locations and copies of information, pictures and anything useful for future reference to prove the findings.
Even recordings of interviews can be very good, especially after the person passes away.
Software of all kinds is available. Some is free and some is not, but all are good. Library History rooms are glad to assist in getting you started.
I hope you make an A-plus.
Norris Dearmon is a historian and a volunteer in the History Room of the Kannapolis Branch Library.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance