North Carolina Virtual Family History Fair

The 2017 North Carolina Virtual Family History Fair was held on Saturday, November 4, 2017. 

The online live streaming event was presented by the North Carolina Government and Heritage Library and the State Archives of North Carolina. This year the presentations focused on local collections and resources for local and family history research. Local records, libraries and archives are a treasure trove of excellent information to Start @Home for research.

Attendees watched presentations on their own on a laptop or desktop or at participating North Carolina Libraries (list below). 

Watch recordings of all presentations from the 2017 North Carolina Virtual Family History Fair

2017 North Carolina Virtual Family History Fair recorded videos,  

Slides of all presentations can be found below the list of libraries. 

2016 North Carolina Virtual Family History Fair recorded videos  


10 AM: Local Collections and Records for Family and Local History

Recorded presentation: 

Everything is local, local, local! Staff from the State Archives of North Carolina and the Government and Heritage Library will discuss how information at their repositories will help you in your quest--treasures include local government records, county abstracts, family histories, and other resources.

11 AM: Newspapers and Finding Treasures

Recorded presentation:

Newspapers contain a wealth of information from the articles to the advertisements; information that provides knowledge and insight into periods of time that may change the course of their research. Staff from the Government and Heritage Library, the State Archives of NC, and the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center discuss what and where information is available about both current and historical NC newspapers, tools to access newspaper content, and current, ongoing services to provide access to out of print newspapers.

12 PM: DigitalNC for Family and Local History Research

Recorded presentation:

There are numerous types of materials held by public libraries and other local cultural heritage institutions that can provide invaluable information about local and family history that cannot be found elsewhere. Kristen Merryman, the Digital Projects Librarian from the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, will discuss the city directories, yearbooks, and other local level publications that has freely available for many towns and counties across North Carolina and how they can be used to fill in gaps and enrich your knowledge of your town and family’s past.

1 PM: Genealogy of a House

Recorded presentation: 

Staff from the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office will discuss different methods of research to uncover the genealogy of your house. Michael Southern, GIS coordinator and senior architectural historian, will demonstrate HPOWEB (, a web-based historic properties GIS mapping tool, and review information available in local architectural survey publications and nominations of properties and districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Claudia Brown, Survey & National Register Branch supervisor and architectural survey coordinator, will discuss resources for research such as city directories and Sanborn Insurance Fire Maps. Mitch Wilds, Restoration Services Branch supervisor, will talk about analyzing the building elements of a property in order to date it.

Participating North Carolina Libraries:

These North Carolina libraries will be offering viewing parties of the live streaming sessions. Please click on the name of the library to connect to their website for more information.

George H. & Laura E. Brown Library, Washington, NC

Burke County Public Library (C.B. Hildebrand Public Library), Hildebrand, NC

Burke County Public Library (Morganton Branch), Morganton, NC

Burke County Public Library (Valdese Branch), Valdese, NC. 

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, Hickory, NC 

Chatham Community Library, Pittsboro, NC

Cleveland County Library, Shelby, NC

Harold D. Cooley Library, Nashville, NC

Gaston County Public Library (Main Branch), Gastonia, NC

Lexington Public Library, Lexington, NC 

Lincoln County Public Library, Lincolnton, NC 

New Hanover County Public Library (Main Branch), Wilmington, NC

North Carolina Government & Heritage Library/State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC 

Onslow County Public Library (Main Branch), Jacksonville, NC 

Transylvania County Library, Brevard, NC

Wake County Libraries (Olivia Raney Local History Library), Raleigh, NC