Between 1900 and 1903, James Hathaway compiled and edited what is now regarded as the supreme collection of genealogical source records on the Old Albemarle region of North Carolina, issued quarterly in eleven numbers of 160 pages each. The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register sought to provide abstracts of every item relating to the personal as well as the public history of the counties of the region. Although cut short by the editor’s untimely death, this goal was very nearly realized, and in the eleven published numbers of the Register we are left nonetheless with an achievement of major proportions.
In its 1,760 pages the Register bears reference to no fewer than 50,000 North Carolina settlers. Chief among its contents we find abstracts of land grants, court records, conveyances, births, deaths, marriages, wills, petitions, military records (including a list of North Carolina Officers and Soldiers of the Continental Line, 1775-1782), licenses, and oaths. There are in part, in addition, dozens of articles of a miscellaneous nature, several family sketches, and the inevitable and always helpful “Queries and Answers.” The abstracts derive from records now located in the state archives and from the public records of the following present-day counties of the Old Albemarle region: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington, and the Virginia counties of Surry and Isle of Wight.
N.B. Anyone who purchases the Register, should also own Worth S. Ray’s Index and Digest to Hathaway’s North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register. While it is a subject asnd name index to the Register, Ray’s Index and Digest
is a compendium of information in its own right, providing new as well as extended family data, citations to other published authorities, and copious notes and expolorations.