All posts by Linda Stufflebean

Linda is a retired special education teacher, who is also a 35+ year genealogy addict.

New GeneaGem: Mamie McCubbins Collection, Rowan Public Library, North Carolina

Do you have ancestors who lived in Rowan County, North Carolina? Rowan County was home to thousands of 18th century ancestors who migrated westward into Tennessee and Kentucky.

Many of those early residents were Scots-Irish or Germans who first settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland, so Rowan County is a vital link connecting early families with descendants who moved on.

My husband has several ancestral links who, at one time, lived in Rowan County, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time trudging through county records.

Rowan County was formed in 1753 from the northern portion of Anson County. However, it was much larger in area back then than it is today. All, or portions, of the present-day counties of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, Yancey fell within its bounds at that time – which is most of western North Carolina!

Birth and death records weren’t kept until the 20th century, but Rowan County is nevertheless rich in early records as it has had only one courthouse fire in 1865, in which some records were lost.

Today’s GeneaGem is a terrific collection of records compiled by Mamie McCubbins and housed at the Rowan Public Library since 1954.

The best part of this collection is that not only has it been digitized and is accessible for free online, but family information has been organized with a Surname Index. It makes searching a simple task!

Some of the Rowan County names in my hubby’s family tree include Douthit, Thompson, Jarvis, Roland and Stoehr (Starr). I even have one tie to the South, through my Loyalist Dutch ancestor Philip Crouse, who can be placed in Rowan County in the 1770s.

Every one of those surnames has a folder in the McCubbin collection and has been save in PDF format.

Information varies from surname to surname. One might find correspondence with family information, handwritten index cards, typed abstracts of deeds and even war information.

The Lopp folder contained a list of Rowan County males who didn’t sign the Oath of Allegiance in 1778. Most of the images are quite legible, although my 1778 list shows faded ink.

However, my Philip “Crose” is easily read in the third column.

If you have ancestors who lived in, or even passed through Rowan County, North Carolina, the Mamie McCubbins Collection should be in your online genealogy toolbox!


Memorial Day 2023

In Memory of All Who Gave Their Lives for Freedom

Although Memorial Day is to remember those who died fighting for freedom, and few women have died in conflicts, I’d like to share The Women’s Military Memorial, located at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the Memorial’s goals is to preserve information about the military service of women. Several years ago, I registered my mother, who was very proud of her service in the WAVES during World War II.

The home page has a tab in the header photo to set up a free account and register the names of any women in your family, along with details of their service, in the Memorial. They also accept donations.

What a great way to honor the military women in our families!


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your First Foray into Genealogy Social Media

It’s already memorial Day weekend. This year seems to be flying by. Randy Seaver is keeping with the technology-themed challenges again this week:

1)  What was your first foray into genealogy social media on the computer? 

I was already a long time genealogy addict by the time the internet started to explode. Although we started off with Apple computers, by the early 1990s, we had switched to PCs.

Today, I’m not very much into social media. In fact, the only source I use now – very sparingly – is Facebook. Back in the 1990s, as Randy mentioned, genealogy message boards were extremely popular. I loved the surname boards and browsed quite a few of them, which at the time, were much more plentiful for my mother’s New England ancestral lines as opposed to my paternal Rusyn ancestors.

We never used AOL or Prodigy. Instead, my favorite message boards were the ones that were housed on RootsWeb, then on Ancestry. I think they are still viewable, but have been closed to further comments for a long time.

I found excellent clues and actual facts for many of my colonial American families.

It also brought the first taste of instant gratification with an answer – no need to wait for my favorite mail lady to see if any letters arrived for me.

It hasn’t been all that long – the last few months, actually – since a couple of archived message boards came up when I did a general online search for a family.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.