Viewing entries posted in October 2022

Three More Years of Wilson County Genealogical Society News Available

A group of adults standing in a line

The 2022 WCGS Officers

Get excited, North Carolina genealogists—three more years of Wilson County Genealogical Society newsletters are now available on our site! These issues, ranging from 2020 to 2022, offer stories of family lineages and local histories along with WCGS news.

One article from the February 2022 newsletter helpfully explains the differences between older kinds of photographs: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. The authors, James and Margaret Bailey, explain the physical processes for developing each type, which include exposing some kind of metal or glass to light and then treating it with chemicals. One notable quality about these kinds of photographs is that they represent a mirror image of reality. The article includes this example of a person wearing a ring; in the original daguerreotypes, it looks like she is wearing in on her right hand, but in the digitally-flipped image, it’s clear that she is wearing it on her left hand (possibly indicating that she is married). 

A comparison of a photograph and its mirror image. In the photo is a Black adult in a white dress standing and looking at the camera.

For more interesting tidbits, you can see the full batch of newsletters here. You can also see all materials from the WCGS (including older newsletters) here. To learn more about WCGS, visit their partner page or their website.

Celebrate Homecoming with Harnett County Yearbooks

A homecoming queen in a tiara dabs her eye with a tissue as she holds a bouquet of flowers.

Homecoming Queen Mary Sue Godwin from the 1969 Echo

Even if you’re not a fan of cold weather, pumpkin-flavored treats, or changing leaves, you may still have a fondness for the fall football season. It’s the time of year again where students across the state celebrate their schools with the beloved tradition of homecoming.

Thanks to our partner, the Harnett County Public Library, we’ve added 23 more high school yearbooks and a few graduation programs to our digital collections. These yearbooks, which span five schools from 1948 to 1972, give us a look back to homecomings of years past. 

One of the most common traditions in this set of yearbooks is honoring the homecoming court—the group of young women from whom the homecoming queen is chosen. The pageantry of the event takes on various levels at each school; in this 1972 spread from Lillington High School’s Footprints, a few people appear to be arriving on horseback.

A black-and-white photo of football players clustering together on the field, presumably during a play.

Football players from the 1972 Footprints

Another popular tradition of homecoming is the big football game. Although homecoming queens tend to get a fancy portrait in the yearbook, each school seems to have a different way of celebrating its football team. In the case of Erwin High School’s The Hourglass from 1962, that celebration takes the form of action shots of each of the varsity players (plus a spread for the team photo and the coaches). Curiously, there isn’t much recorded about the actual games—who the schools played or who won.

You can see all of the yearbooks in this batch—featuring Erwin High School, Lillington High School, Dunn High School, Anderson Creek High School, and Boone Trail High School—here. You can also see the three graduation programs from Erwin High School here. To browse our entire collection of high school yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks page. To find out more about Harnett County Public Library, you can visit their partner page and their website

Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Photographs Now Online from Braswell Memorial Library

Our latest batch of materials from the Braswell Memorial Library includes a set of photographs showing the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in the 1970s and 1980s.  The Will, List of Heirs, and a Decree of Sale of Lands associated with Samuel E. Westray who died on February 15th 1894 is also included. Other documents associated with the Rocky Mount (N.C.) area are scans of a Christmas Card from James Phillips Bunn along with an invitation to the Grand Celebration Ball.

There are photographs showcasing different aspects of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad operation throughout the multiple locations across North Carolina. You can see derailed trains, individual parts of the trains, candid photographs of people near the railroad along with portraits of products being transported.

Picture of The Family Lines System train sitting still on the railroad track

The Family Lines System train          

You can view the Westray will, Bunn’s Christmas card, Grand Ball Celebration invitation and all Railroad photographs here. These materials are now apart of the NC Memory collection. To see more materials from from the Braswell Memorial Library you can visit their partner page.


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

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