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Genealogical Research in the North Carolina Collection: Searching by Subject Heading

Getting Local -- County Related History and Genealogy

While the North CarolinaCollection at Joyner Library collects historical and genealogical information for all 100 counties in the state, collection focus has been primarily, though not exclusively, focused on counties located in the Coastal Plain Region or east of Route I-95. The best way to access these resources for a particular county is to use the online Joyner Library Catalog and do a subject alphabetical search. For example, type into the search field "Pitt County (N.C.)" and press enter. Then scroll down the list of sub-headings to locate titles connected with genealogy and history. These will likely include local histories, abstracts of census records, deeds, wills, and related resources. Most county resources of this type will come under the call number heading F262 and are shelved alphabetically by county. Thus, it is also possible to browse both the reference and general circulating collections in the North Carolina Collection for these resources electronically. Published family histories are also available in the collection and mainly fall under the call number heading CS71.

Searching by Subject Heading

Genealogy research can be conducted in many different ways. One way is to look in the Joyner Library catalog for information about people and place(s) you are interested in. Here are some examples of subject keyword searches you could use to search the library catalog.

  Church Records

  • Sample place name search:  Wilmington North Carolina Church history
  • Sample denomination name search: Baptists
  • Sample church name search: Memorial Baptist Church Greenville North Carolina

  Census, United States

  • Follow this format: State name -- Census, Date: North Carolina Census, 1870 Indexes

  Census, State
 For special state census see County, state or place name

  • Hyde County North Carolina Census, 1850

 City Directories

  • Sample city directory search: Raleigh North Carolina Directories


  • North Carolina Gazetteers
  • North Carolina Description and travel Gazetteers
  • Names, Geographical North Carolina
  • Postal service Germany


  •  Sample family surname search:  Scott family

 Land Records

  • Land grants Ohio
  • Land grants North Carolina Lenoir County
  • Land titles North Carolina Nash County
  • Land tenure England Essex
  • Land tenure North Carolina

 Local Histories

  • Pitt County North Carolina Genealogy
  • Pitt County North Carolina History
  • Pitt County North Carolina Biography


  • North Carolina Maps
  • Washington North Carolina- Maps
  • North Carolina -- Description and travel -- Maps

 Military Pensions (search under state or country and war)

  • Pensions Military  North Carolina
  • Pensions Military United States Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Pensions Military United StatesRevolution

  Military Service

  • United States History Civil War Biography
  • United States History Civil War Personal narratives
  • United States History Civil War Regimental histories
  • United States History Civil War Registers
  • North Carolina Militia
  • North Carolina History Civil War

  Naturalization Records

  • Naturalization records North Carolina

 Passenger Lists

  • Ships Passenger lists (also search names of vessels)
  • Ships England London Passenger lists
  • Immigrants United States Registers
  • German Americans Genealogy (Search name of ethnic group)


  • Sample local newspaper search: Asheville North Carolina Newspapers


  • Pitt CountyNorth Carolina History Periodicals
  • Pitt County North Carolina Genealogy Periodicals


  • Names, Personal Europe
  • Names, Personal France
  • Names, Personal French