Exciting news from the State Library’s blog about a classic North Carolina resource.


North Carolina Gazetteer is online through NCpedia

NCpedia and the North Carolina Gazetteer

NCpedia and the N.C. Government and Heritage Library in cooperation with the University of North Carolina Pressnow make the entirety of The North Carolina Gazetteer available online through NCpedia athttp://www.ncpedia.org/gazetteer.

The free online encyclopedia features thousands of articles and resources about North Carolina culture and history. It is hosted by NC LIVE, and managed by the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The North Carolina Gazetteer is a dictionary of North Carolina’s geographical place names documenting their location, history and origins. First published by the UNC Press in 1968, it was compiled by noted North Carolina historian William S. Powell, professor emeritus of history at UNC-Chapel Hill. A revised edition in 2010 co-edited by Michael Hill of the N.C. Office of Archives and History updated and expanded the volume. It contains information on over 20,000 places in North Carolina.

“The key is that, whereas other sources list just the name, Powell’s book included the stories and derivations behind the names,” says Michael Hill. “No other state has anything like it. I was pleased to work with Professor Powell and UNC Press on the revised edition.”

The North Carolina Gazetteer has had a prominent place on the bookshelf of North Carolinians for more than a generation,” says UNC Press Editorial Director Mark Simpson-Vos. “I’ve spoken to journalists, librarians, and teachers who have told me they cannot do their work without its handy reference to our state’s places. Together, Mike Hill and Bill Powell were able to update this resource for the 21st century, and we are thrilled that it is now so easily accessible for all readers through the NCpedia web site. I know plenty of folks are going to spend hours like I have losing myself in the important, surprising, and sometimes quirky history of these places and their names.”

The North Carolina Gazetteer is a tremendous resource for anyone who lives in, or has ever traveled through, North Carolina,” says State Librarian Cal Shepard. “Where else would you go to find out Hanging Dog Creek was named after a Cherokee legend, or that Wolf Pit Township was named for the way colonists tried to trap wolves in the area? It also explains how to pronounce the names of places that have been frequently mispronounced, like Robeson County. We are excited to make it available online to everyone through the NCpedia site.”

The Gazetteer is the third work to be made available online through NCpedia’s partnership with UNC Press. The agreement to make the content from both theEncyclopedia of North Carolina and the six volumes of the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography available online was announced Feb. 9, 2012.

All articles from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina were added by the end of 2012. NCpedia is on schedule to complete the process of integrating articles from theDictionary of North Carolina Biography this year.

The NCpedia expansion to include resources from the University of North Carolina Press has been funded through a Library Services and Technology Act grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

It’s the biggest live event in Winston-Salem since Elvis “shook up” the Carolina Theater in 1956. Don’t miss it:


Event: The Morning Show on WSJS radio
Time: 9:15 AM, Friday, March 28, 2014
Where: 600 on your AM dial

Among the things that we promise NOT to discuss are Vladimir Putin, the whereabouts of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 or anything about Justin Bieber.

So now we’re on Camel City Dispatch, your best online source for local news.


Each week, the editors will choose from one of our hundreds of posts on local history to feature as “Fam’s Friday Flashback”. You can tune in here: Camel City Dispatch

This program was originally scheduled  in March but has been rescheduled due to bad weather.

The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will meet at 

6:30 PM, April 1, 2014 in the Auditorium of the Forsyth County Public Library, 660 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC. 

Social at 6:30, Program at 7:00. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Martha R. Brown, Winston-Salem author, will discuss her research and writing techniques in creating the historical novel “Holding Sweet Communion” which is based on her great-grandfather’s Civil War letters.  Mrs. Brown is a graduate of Agnes Scott College with a Master’s Degree from Duke University.  Books will be available for purchase.


Front page, Winston-Salem Journal, May 28, 1926. Jess Roy Pinkston defeats Wilbur Crews at the Central School playground in the finals of the Journal’s annual marbles tournament.


At the beginning of the final match, the Journal shot the finalists squaring off…in the background are the other contestants who have already been eliminated. Contrary to popular belief, boys were not the only ones who knew the difference between an aggie, an immie, an alley and a taw. Almost half the contestants were girls, and some of them were no doubt quite willing to play for keepsies, as in “winner keeps, loser weeps”…how the latter felt may be the origin of the term “losing ones marbles”.



“Aggies” were the standard…hand made from agate in Germany throughout the 19th century. “Immies” were common glass marbles made to imitate the look of aggies. Even lower on the totem pole were “commies”, made of clay. By 1840, one manufacturer in Ohio was turning out 100,000 commies a day.


“Alleys” were made of alabaster and for a time were considered the best marbles.

“Taws” were shooters, often larger than the other marbles. By the late 19th century, many of them were “steelies”, steel ball bearings.


Most kids outgrew marbles by their mid-teens, but some never did.



In case you haven’t heard, big changes are coming to how you find materials at the library. The following article has the scoop. As a result of the transition all libraries will close at 6 PM Wed. Feb. 5 and will not open until noon on Thursday Feb. 6. 

Improvements coming to Library

Starting at noon on Thursday, February 6th, the Library will become the newest member of NC Cardinal and also make the switch to Evergreen as our online catalog. Both of these changes will dramatically increase the number of resources at your fingertips and greatly improve your overall catalog experience.

NC Cardinal is a growing consortium of public libraries in 26 counties across North Carolina dedicated to sharing resources and expanding opportunities through the use of a single online catalog.

What this means is that as a FCPL card holder you will now have access to over 4.2 million library items. Your library card will also be welcomed at any participating consortium member institution.

Powering NC Cardinal will be Evergreen, a new software package the Library is switching to that will improve your online catalog user experience. Evergreen’s look and feel will be very similar to searches you do on the Internet now. For example, as you begin to type in the search box, a drop-down list of possible words beginning with those letters will appear. All of those terms link you to titles on that subject . If you type VEG, the resulting list includes Vegan, Vegas, and Vegetables.The results of a search also creates a list of related terms that run down the left side of the page. You may click on any of these terms to go to those materials. All of the great features you’ve been using in the previous catalog will still be available but with many new features that will enhance your online catalog experience.

One new features of Evergreen we think you will really like is the ability to create reading lists for yourself or to share with others. Perfect for book clubs members who want to share their book suggestions with other club members. Another feature lets you place multiple holds on materials with a single keystroke.

For more information about the Society, please see our website at www.forsythgen.org
Facebook too!
Direct Inquiries to FCGS-Editor@triad.rr.com
Attn: FCGS Members
The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will hold its regular monthly meeting in the Auditorium of the Main Forsyth County Library at 660 West 5th Street in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, February 04, 2014.
Please join us at 6:30 PM for refreshments.  The program starts at 7:00 PM.  The meeting is free and open to the public.
For our program, we are pleased to welcome back Mr. Robert “Bob” S. Lockett, Board Member of the Wythe County Virginia Genealogical and Historical Association.  He will present part two of “Using DNA for Genealogical Research.”  At our March 5, 2013 meeting he presented, “DNA and Genealogy – a Basic Course” which covered the biology of DNA activity in conjunction with genealogy and family lineage.  (For members who attend the meeting there is a brief brochure of that lecture available for check-out from our FCGS lending livrary.  See Baxter Cromer, FCGS Librarian. 
[If the Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools are closed owing to weather, the Society will not meet.]

Forsyth County Genealogical Society meets Tues., Jan 7, 2014 at FCPLibrary-Central (auditorium), 660 W 5th St, Winston-Salem, NC27101. 

Social at 6:30 PM

Program at 7:00 PM

  Cynthia Doxey Green, Ph.D., taught family history at BrighamYoungUniversity in Provo, Utah, before moving to Winston-Salem where she now volunteers at the local FamilySearchCenter.  She will give a lecture on “Using Genograms in Genealogy”.  Genograms are graphs which illustrate the structure and characteristics of families across three or more generations.  While not replacing pedigree charts, they allow us to look beyond names, dates, and places, to see inter-generational family traits and patterns. 

It is a tradition at the Forsyth County Public Library that the various departments and branches exchange e-mail Christmas cards. Somehow, the Grinch got assigned permanently to do the NC Room’s card. Here is the 2013 edition:


As always, click for full size

For those unfamiliar with NC Room history, Janet Berkeley, the library director, began collecting North Carolina titles sometime in the 1930s. By the time that Anne Correll opened the North Carolina Room in 1975, she already had a collection of about 12,000 books on genealogy and local history.

When Anne retired in 1985, Jerry Carroll took over and continued to build the collection. Jerry retired in 2008 and Billy King took command. Today, the NC Room has about 33,000 books and 36,824 other items (microfilm, microfiche, maps, reports, catalogs, etc), not to mention 68 drawers of vertical files, family histories and other material, and a significant array of technology that more than enhances the physical materials.


Janet Berkeley (right) with Nell Nettles outside the Carnegie Public Library on Cherry Street sometime in the late 1930s. Nell Nettles would later marry Richmond Rucker.


Anne Correll (right) in the original North Carolina Room, receiving a gift book from local supporters.


Jerry Carroll ran the NC Room from 1985-2008.

In the wake of a lot of posting involving the Winston-Salem police force in the 1920ish era, I got a Facebook chat query from a manager at Visit Winston-Salem. She said that her grandfather, C.C. Goforth, who she had never known, was a Winston-Salem motorcycle cop in the 1920s-1930s era and wondered if we might have anything about him.

Being the pessimist that I am, I thought probably not. Fortunately, I am merely a faux pessimist, so right away I found this, a picture taken of the Twin City police department’s motorcycle division wearing their brand new uniforms in front of the almost as brand new City Hall on April 18, 1928. Grandpa C.C. is the second officer from the right.

Police Motorcycles 1928

Hey, way more than any pessimist could hope for. But because we pessimists are never satisfied, I dug a bit deeper and made an extraordinary find in our vertical files…a massive and confusing collection of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, programs, flyers and other printed matter. In a folder marked “Winston-Salem – Police – History” there were a bunch of photocopied pages stapled together.

The title page read “The Police Review: North Carolina from a Police Standpoint”, volume 4, number 4, April 1925. It was a periodical published by the state, with each issue featuring a different NC city police department, with a picture and brief bio of every department employee. The April, 1925 issue was about the WSPD. I dashed to our workroom and began scanning. And so:


Grandpa C.C. Goforth, meet your granddaughter.

This is merely the beginning. On the very last page, I found a real surprise. Remember the “Great 1918 Race Riot that Wasn’t a Race Riot” and the obscure guy who was the hero of the night? If you had asked me what the chances were that we would ever find a picture of him, I would have advised you to buy a lottery ticket instead. Well, stay tuned…

And along the way you will get to meet some extraordinary members of the Twin City’s first modern police force. And at some point, you will learn about the scandal that erupted that same year, 1925, in Ardmore, of all places, which involved a couple of enterprising married sisters, some police detectives, a very special prohibition era speakeasy, a newspaper war and a leading citizen turned street preacher, not to mention what was going on at Forsyth Country Club.

Oh my!

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