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Newspapers.com can be a big help in genealogical research

By Gretchen Beilfuss Witt

Rowan Public Library

Genealogical research often consists of looking at many types of records: marriage, land, court, will and probate. While searching records in the History Room can yield ample information about a family’s vital statistics, sometimes a story or two helps fill in the gaps and gives a greater understanding and more in-depth picture of the family history.

Newspaper articles are a great resource for finding those stories and RPL has just the place to start. Recently, Newspapers.com North Carolina Collection was added to the databases available for genealogical and general research. This collection includes portions of the Salisbury Evening Post and The Carolina Watchman as well as newspapers from nearby towns like Mocksville, Mooresville, Lexington, Cooleemee and Statesville, and across the entire state.

The database can be accessed from several points. From the library’s main web page, select History and Genealogy, once on the History Room page, look to the right hand side, where the Online Genealogy Resources are listed, scroll to the bottom of the list and select Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection.

This link goes through NCLIVE directly to the Newspaper.com collection. Alternately, selecting NCLIVE through the ebranch link and then choosing Genealogy and Historical Maps or Journals will also provide access to the newspaper collection.

Once in the collection, searching can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Selecting the Search tab pulls up a search box where specific terms can be entered. The results can often be quite broad; a search can then be narrowed by changing the date parameters or choosing specific titles.

Opting for the Browse tab yields a list of North Carolina cities and then a listing of titles. Clippings tab provides a location in which searches and articles can be saved to an account and accessed later. This account is free to set up and is associated with an email address.

Selecting the papers by location link will pull up a map showing the cities and towns in North Carolina that have newspapers in the collection. A location pin marking each city will also indicate the number of newspapers available. Clicking on the pin will give a list of the newspapers, as well. Make the selections and begin to search.

Choosing “The Spencer Crescent” and then searching for fire company yielded a plethora of articles concerning the fire department of Spencer and firemen working for the Southern Railroad, including an article from Aug. 19, 1909, in which a large meeting was held to approve the purchase of a horse-pulled hose truck for the Spencer fire department.

Selecting just a specific name in the search box, Leonard Lee Readling, produced 111 options, one of which was an article in the Yadkin Valley Herald in September of 1917 presenting a list of men exempted from the army.

Once an article is found, it can be printed, emailed, clipped and saved or shared to Ancestry. Choosing the print icon allows printing of the entire page or just a portion of the page; items can also be saved as JPGs or PDFs.

The envelope icon indicates the article can be downloaded, shared via Facebook, Twitter, embedded or just emailed. The website also offers some short tutorials on how to best use the site. As with all databases provided through NCLIVE, the database can be accessed from home with a library card and PIN or at one of the library branches.

Dive in and explore the historic newspapers of North Carolina and find those stories.

Summer Reading Registration: There are three age categories: Children (newborns-rising fifth graders), Teens (rising sixth- to 12th-graders), and Adults (ages 18+). In addition to tracking reading hours, 2017 Summer Reading festivities include special programs and a variety of prizes. Contact your nearest branch for full details.

Preschool Time: Each program last 30-45 minutes. Doors close at 10:40 a.m.; 3- to 5-years-old. Through July 28. All at 10:30 a.m. — Headquarters, Tuesdays; East, Thursdays; and South, Mondays.

School age: Rising first- through fifth-graders; 45-60 minutes. Storytellers, educators and entertainers provide different programs each week for seven weeks. To enter the weekly prize drawing, “Reader Book Reviews” should be turned in before the program begins. Headquarters, Thursdays, 2 p.m.; East, Wednesdays, 2 p.m.; South, Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

Program schedule: July 17-21, Captain Jim; July 24-28, Lee Street theatre.

Cleveland: School-Age programs at Town Hall, 302 E. Main St., on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Patrons in Cleveland may report summer reading hours during the programs.

Teen Summer Reading: All at 3:30 p.m. Mondays, East Branch; Tuesdays at headquarters; Thursdays at South Rowan Regional. Teens receive booklets to keep track of points earned by reading, attending library programs and completing activity challenges. Points can go toward prizes at the end of summer.

Program schedule: July 17-20, Mini Model United Nations, become an expert on a deadly zombie pandemic that threatens the world and stop the next outbreak; July 24-27, Quiz Bowl; July 28, National Teen Lock-in, 6:30-10:30 p.m. at library headquarters; permission slip required for teens to participate.

Adult Summer Reading: July 25, 2:15 p.m. Headquarters. Hour-long chair yoga with registered teacher Marie Theriault. Qijong, July 25, 6 p.m., hourlong session with Theriault.

Summer reading film series: July 17, 5:30 p.m. at East; July 11 at 6:30 p.m., July 18,6:30 p.m., headquarters, and July 21, 10 a.m., headquarters. “Dear Dumb Diary.” This rated PG film has a runtime of 87 min. Free, open to the public, all ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under 9. Free popcorn and lemonade.

“Pay It Forward,” South, July 19, 2 p.m. PG-13 film has a runtime of two hours and three minutes. Free, open to the public, all ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under 13. Free popcorn and lemonade.

Genealogy class: Land and Taxes, headquarters, July 22, 10 a.m. Co-hosted by Genealogical Society of Rowan County and Edith M. Clark History Room, free, open to the public. Buying, selling and settling land leaves a trail that we can follow to find our lineage. This class explores land and tax records. For more information or to register, please contact Gretchen at Gretchen.Witt@rowancountync.gov or 704-216-8232 or visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

Displays: Headquarters, Piedmont Players Theatre and Bookend Art Sculpture by Wayne Gladden; East, Charles Whitley art; South, lunch box memorabilia by Sharon Ross.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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