Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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From the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library: Papers of Sybil Hyatt, Genealogist and Writer


Photograph of Sybil Hyatt, from the Sybil Hyatt Papers

The Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, one of our newest partners, holds the personal papers of Sybil Hyatt, genealogist and author. These papers are now digitized and published on DigitalNC.

Sybil Hyatt, a member of a notable Lenoir County family, was an outspoken writer and researcher in Eastern North Carolina. Many claimed that she knew more about the genealogy and history of Lenoir and Craven counties than anyone else. Her research focused primarily on Swiss and German settlers in NC, as well as histories of the well known families in the area.

Most of the files in this collection revolve around genealogy, particularly that of the Palatine colonists who settled the New Bern area of Craven County, but she was also interested in politics, education, and taxes. Hyatt was a staunch advocate for education and tax reform in North Carolina. You read more about her opinions and correspondences on these subjects, here.

There are many interesting highlights from this large collection, but several of particular interest to researchers might be Hyatt’s intensive work creating the North Carolina Society for the Descendants of the Palatines. She lead the society for many years:


Clipping from the Kinston Morning Herald, from the Sybil Hyatt Papers

Other useful resources for researchers could be the materials that Hyatt herself used. Included in the collection are several issues of the North Carolina Booklets, issued by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of North Carolina and several issues of the Quarterly Review of the Eastern North Carolina Genealogical Society. These items offer a window into how Hyatt became so well versed and proficient in her research throughout her career. Several interesting items include:

You can see all of the new additions to the Sybil Hyatt papers, here. If you are interested in learning more about the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library please visit their contributor page or the website.

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