Over an eleven-year period, Joyce Parris has written a genealogy column for the Asheville Citizen-Times of Asheville, North Carolina. Week-by-week over that time, Mrs. Parris has helped thousands of persons with western Carolina ancestry trace their roots in the Tarheel State by publishing their genealogical queries, reviewing books, and furnishing helpful hints about the genealogical terrain of the Swannanoa Valley and beyond. For this book, she has rearranged and/or updated literally hundreds of genealogical columns to produce an invaluable guidebook to the subject she knows best–western North Carolina genealogy.
Family History of Western North Carolina contains seven chapters, some of which speak for themselves. There is, of course, a chapter on “the basics,” which explains how to get started, using computers, writing inquiries, etc. The next three chapters cover the core resources of western Carolina genealogy, namely, record centers and archives, libraries and their holdings, and genealogical societies of one sort or another. Chapter Five features a brief history of western North Carolina, while the subsequent chapter clues the reader to important reference books and family histories covering the region. The final chapter is a special one devoted exclusively to western North Carolina military records spanning the period from the Revolutionary War through the Spanish-American War.
Appended to the text itself is a rich collection of genealogical queries which the author has amassed over the years. Upwards of 500 queries touching on 2,500 persons (a full 20 percent of the entire volume) promise to yield valuable connections to any number of family trees for the persons who consult this unique reference work, one which must now be reckoned as the starting point for western North Carolina genealogy.
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