An excerpt of the John Hunter Family Record, who came to the US from Ireland around 1750.
Over 120 genealogical collections from Surry County have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. Created and assembled by Luther Byrd, former Elon College professor from Westfield, North Carolina, these collections represent a huge variety of information about different families and their descendants living in Surry County. Many of the collections include documents, papers, newspaper clippings, and personal letters to and from Byrd about the family members.
The coat of arms for the Thrower family, included in the Arrington collection.
Also included are various family records and family tree diagrams, complete with indexes to determine where a given family member is located in the tree. One such example is the Hunter Family Record excerpted above. Looking through these collections, it is fascinating to see the staggering amount of documents and material that these families created and saved throughout the years, as well as the amount of work that Byrd put in to ensure that these collections are all relevant and well-maintained.
These collections represent a growing wealth of information about the history of Surry County. To browse through other materials from Surry Community College, visit their partner page or check out their website.
Clipping from The Mount Airy News in the Surry Community College Scrapbook November 1980-July 1985.
21 scrapbooks from Surry Community College have been digitized and added to DigitalNC. Surry Community College is located in Dobson, North Carolina and serves Surry and Yadkin Counties. These are the first scrapbooks we have digitized from Surry Community College; they contain clippings about the college from various local and state newspapers, including events, activities, athletics, arts, funding, awards, students, teachers, and classes. One scrapbook was made by Louise Anderson, a visiting artist at Surry from 1982 to 1984 who participated in the storytelling festival. The scrapbooks date from 1964 to 2007, covering forty years of Surry’s history.
All of the scrapbooks from Surry Community College can be viewed here, plus we have digitized yearbooks for Surry in the past, which can be viewed here. You can see more from Surry Community College on their contributor page and learn more about them on their website.
21 new oral histories detailing the lives of those who lived in Mount Airy and Surry County are now online thanks to our partners Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and Surry Community College. The digitization of the oral histories from Mount Airy Museum was done by our colleagues in the Southern Folklife Collection and the work was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
First page of the transcript from the Margaret Leonard, Evelyn Coalson, and Esther Dawson interview. The women are sisters and were interviewed in 1997.
The participants were primarily interviewed in the 1990s about their lives in the Mount Airy and Surry County region dating from around 1910 until 1970s. The Spanish Flu pandemic, World War I, World War II, race relations, the Civil Rights movement, and the Great Depression are all topics covered in these oral histories, which feature men and women and Black and white people.
While these oral histories were digitized last fall and winter, with the COVID-19 situation this spring, they provided a very useful option for enhancement while our staff worked from home. We have been able to add transcripts for each of the oral histories that didn’t have them, as well as enhanced metadata, making them even more accessible than before for our users.
To learn more about our partners on this, visit their websites at Surry Community College and Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. To learn more about our partnership with the Southern Folklife Collection, visit our post here. And to view and listen to more oral histories on DigitalNC, visit our North Carolina Oral Histories exhibit.
Thanks to our partners at Surry Community College, DigitalNC is proud to host sixteen new yearbooks from Surry County. The batch consists of 8 yearbooks from Pilot Mountain High School (1947-1961) in Pilot Mountain, 4 yearbooks from Beulah High School (1956-1959) in Dobson, and 4 yearbooks from Surry Central High School in Dobson (1965-1968).
The Eaglet of Beulah High School, 1956
The yearbooks provide insight into the lives of students at the three schools in the mid-twentieth century, sharing memories of academic and extracurricular activities.
The Aquila of Surry Central High School, 1966
We are thankful to Surry Community College for helping us make these yearbooks accessible online. To view all 16 yearbooks in this batch, click here. To see all digitized materials from Surry Community College, click here. To learn more about the college, visit their partner page here or their website here.
A new batch of yearbooks from Surry County are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. Included in this collection is almost two dozen yearbooks from schools across Surry County, dating from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. Also included is a special yearbook from 2011 that celebrates 50 years of education at Easy Surry High School in Pilot Mountain, N.C.
An exterior photo of East Surry High School.
These yearbooks contain portraits of individuals and their class photos as well. Also included are photographs highlighting clubs and student activities, including clubs, sports teams, and events.
The 1967 graduating class of Mount Airy High School standing in front of the building
The East Surry High School 50th Anniversary yearbook contains a history of the town of Pilot Mountain since the 18th century, the history of East Surry High School since 1961, and include class photos and list of the graduating classes of every year from 1962 to 2011. Included in the second half of the yearbook are advertisements and photos of families that had multiple generations of students go to East Surry High School.
Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:
- Knob Whispers [1949, 1956, 1958-1959], Pilot Mountain High School
- The Origo [1958-1961], Westfield High School
- Field-Airs [1953, 1957], Westfield High School
- East Wind [1966-1968], East Surry High School
- The Airmont [1952, 1957, 1959, 1967-1968], Mount Airy High School
- East Surry High School 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition 
These yearbooks are an important addition to our collection on DigitalNC, as they show what life was like in Surry County, and show us what high school meant to Surry County students. To see more from Surry Community College, check out their partner page, or visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, Surry Community College, yearbooks from Lowgap High School are now available on our website. This batch includes yearbooks from the years 1950, 1951, and 1955 to 1959.
To learn more about the Surry County Public Library, please visit their website.
For more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbook collection.
David Wright, Associate Dean, Learning Resources, Surry Community College
This year marks the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be posting 10 stories from 10 stakeholders about how NCDHC has impacted their organizations.
Today’s 10 for 10 Q&A is from David Wright, Associate Dean for Learning Resources at Surry Community College. We’ve partnered with Surry CC (Library home page | NCDHC contributor page) to digitize yearbooks, newspapers, and genealogical collections. Surry CC Library has been active in digitizing a lot of Surry County history, making connections with area groups and institutions to share their history online at Surry County Digital Heritage. Read below for more about our partnership with Surry Community College.
What impact has NCDHC had on your institution and/or on a particular audience that means a lot to you?
NCDHC has been an advocate, a source of information about the process of digitization, and has provided our rural community with the tools to bring a digital history project to fruition. Surry Community College has benefited from the expertise of the NCDHC as well as a partner in digitizing yearbooks from the county. At the beginning of our digital history project, I felt like I had a sounding board (& expertise) in Lisa Gregory and the staff at NCDHC. A project of the size and scope of the Surry County Digital Heritage had not been attempted anywhere in our area. We needed good advice and found it at NCDHC.
Do you have a specific user story (maybe your own!) about how DigitalNC has boosted research or improved access to important information?
The “yearbook project” that NCDHC has helped us bring together is an amazing resource. It has been a lot of footwork and many deliveries and pickups in Chapel Hill, but the libraries in Surry County can refer patrons who inquire about yearbooks to DigitalNC, where all the yearbooks are gathered in one place and are easy to browse and use and not scattered in locations throughout the county. As in many counties, before school consolidation, there were lots of community schools, many that were K-12. This is a valuable resource for genealogists, other family history researchers, and just fun browsing for people who remember the community schools.
If you were asked to “describe what makes NCDHC great” in a few words, what would they be?
A dedicated and helpful staff who want to preserve the historical records of communities.
The 1949-1959 and 1964-1968 editions of The Elk, a yearbook from Elkin High School, are now available on DigitalNC thanks to our partner, Surry Community College. Elkin High School is located in Elkin, North Carolina, a town in Surry and Wilkes Counties. These edition joins previously digitized editions of The Elk from 1947-1948, and 1960-1963.
From page 85 of The Elk 
The Alma Mater, from the 1951 yearbook
These yearbooks contain class photos, photos of student life, and photos of clubs, sports and activities. Some of the yearbooks contain fun extras like class prophecies, tongue in cheek “last will and testaments” from the senior class, and even the school song! Yearbooks on DigitalNC are fully text searchable, and are a great resource for genealogy.
To see more materials from our partner, Surry Community College, visit their DigitalNC partner page, or take a look at their website.
A May 1926 edition of the Mount Airy News. Articles include a local citizen celebrating their 90th birthday and information about Mount Airy High School
Twelve years and over 600 issues of the Mount Airy News have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. These scans are brand new, with DigitalNC now containing March 1917 through September 1929. While the Mount Airy News is now published six days a week, the newspaper was only published once a week at this point in time. The Mount Airy News services Mount Airy and Surry County, and joins fellow Surry County newspapers including the Chatham Blanketeer and the Elkin Tribune.
An article announcing a meeting between NC Governor Morrison and VA Governor Trinkle
Looking through the Mount Airy News today, we can learn a lot about what concerned the people of Surry County nearly a hundred years ago. In one October, 1922 issue, the main headline was a meeting between North Carolina Governor Cameron Morrison and Virginia Governor Elbert Lee Trinkle to talk about building roads between Mount Airy and the nearby towns of Sparta, NC, and Stuart, VA, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Mount Airy. Looking through the pages, we can see praise for local teachers and school board members, an article about local farmers joining a cooperative association, and an editorial piece denouncing women who are uninformed voters, when they recently earned the right to suffrage.
Reading these articles gives us an idea of what life was like in Surry County and Mount Airy at the time, and it is invaluable to us. To browse through other materials from Surry Community College, take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.
The following microfilmed newspapers were selected for digitization in 2017-2018. Thanks to supplemental funding from the State Library of North Carolina, we were able to complete more reels than in previous years. Reels were chosen from nominations according to our Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm.
|Alamance Gleaner (Graham, N.C.)
||Alamance County Public Libraries
|Carolina Indian Voice (Pembroke, N.C.)
||UNC Chapel Hill
|Carteret County News-Times (Morehead City, N.C.)
||Carteret County Public Library
||Johnson C. Smith University
|The Cherokee Scout (Murphy, N.C.)
||Murphy Public Library
|Duplin Times (Warsaw, N.C.)
||Duplin County Library
|Enterprise (Williamston, N.C.)
||Martin Memorial Library
||Farmville Public Library
|Franklin Press and the Highlands Maconian (Franklin, N.C.)
||Fontana Regional Library
|The Franklin Times (Louisburg, N.C.)
|Hertford County Herald (Ahoskie, N.C.)
|Journal-Patriot (North Wilkesboro, N.C.)
||Wilkes County Public Library
|Mount Airy News
||Surry Community College
|News-Record (Marshall, N.C.)
||Madison County Public Library
|Perquimans Weekly (Hertford, N.C.)
||Perquimans County Library
|Pilot (Southern Pines, N.C.)
||Southern Pines Public Library
|The Roxboro Courier (Roxboro, N.C.)
||Person County Public Library
||Johnston County Heritage Center
|Transylvania Times (Brevard, N.C.)
||Transylvania County Library
|Watauga Democrat (Boone, N.C.)
||Watauga County Public Library
||Haywood County Public Library
||Forsyth County Public Library