Reminiscences of Randolph County, An Excellent Resource

Reminiscences of Randolph County by J. A. Blair, 1890

Online is a book called Reminiscences of Randolph County, [North Carolina] written by J.A. Blair in 1890.

This book is available for free online at the Internet Archive and can be read page by page on the website.

It can be very helpful in researching Randolph County ancestors, especially since it was published the same year of the missing federal censuses of 1890.

In the upper right corner of the website, you can search any text or by surname, taking you directly to the ancestors you seek. After your text search, be sure to notice the bar at the bottom of the page pointing out all of the instances of your search.  This allows you to quickly scroll through your search results.

Lastly, you can download a copy by PDF or ePub version of this book.

This is a true Randolph County treasure!

Back Creek Monthly Meeting Cemetery Images

Original Back Creek Monthly Meeting House

Quakers have called North Carolina home since the late 1600’s. Randolph County has a “Friends” church called Back Creek Monthly Meeting that began in 1789. It is still active today.

Found in Entry Hall at Back Creek Monthly Meeting

While visiting the cemetery, looking for Henley ancestors, I captured many images of both the church and some of the tombstones in the cemetery.  I’ve also restored some of the early images of the church.  Go here to see Back Creek images.

Also, know that many of the tombstones were removed from this cemetery.  The Pastor told me that they had been removed decades ago because they were not in compliance with the churches policy of the time. It was considered to self-serving to have your name and only initials were allowed at the time. So many headstones were removed by the church. While there are large areas of this cemetery that appear to be open, I was informed that this cemetery is full.  Today, names and dates adorn the tombstones.

Also, Find-A-Grave has many tombstones from Back Creek, but few of the church itself. Be sure to check both locations for your ancestors.

Please give proper credit to photographers when posting or copying images.

Nannie Watson Winslow Henley – A Gold Star Mother

Nannie Watson (Winslow) Henley b. 1874 in Asheboro, North Carolina, was married to Henry “Gus” Henley b. 1862. Their second child was Clifford Henley, b. 5 April 1896, in Asheboro, North Carolina, who died in WWI on 29 September 1918 in France.

He is buried in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Plot G, Row 32, Grave 14 in Romagne, France. He was a Private First Class, 308th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, in the US Army.

According information compiled by fellow genealogists in the family, Nannie Henley, was invited by the War Department to visit the grave of her son in Europe (along with other mothers who lost sons in the war).

S.S. Leviathan 1917

Nannie sailed on the S.S. President Roosevelt to France and returned on the S.S. Leviathan to New York. To date I’ve not been able to locate the outbound passenger list on the S.S. President Roosevelt, but I was able to locate the passenger list naming Nannie as she returned on the S.S. Leviathan to New York.

According to the passenger list, she (at age 57) sailed from Cherbourg France on September, 10th, 1932 and arrived at the port of New York on September 16th, 1932 making it a six day voyage during the height of hurricane season.

The photo is of Nannie Henley while she visited the grave for her fallen son. Also notice she is wearing what looks like a WWI service metal on her chest along with a ribbon that says “H * 1”.

The passenger list and ship image can be found on, New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957, search for Nannie Henley in 1932.

For more information about Gold Star Mothers, here are some books of interest.


Wilmington Through the Eyes of Louis T. Moore

Wilmington, North Carolina History
Wilmington Through the Eyes of Louis T. Moore a Video Documentary

Wilmington Through the Eyes of Louis T. Moore is a documentary that highlights the history of Wilmington, North Carolina as seen and written by Louis Toomer Moore.  Excerpts from his book “Stories Old and New of the Cape Fear Region” are recreated to tell some of the favorite stories he wrote about in his book.

Louis T. Moore did more than just write a book about Wilmington and photograph it in panoramic fashion.  He became actively involved in recording what the community of Wilmington, North Carolina had worked so long to build.

Much of the community and many of the visitors here may never know that the reason they see so much of Wilmington history around the city is , in part, due to Louis T. Moore’s efforts to save it.

Historic Wilmington, North Carolina is located on the Lower Cape Fear River in New Hanover County.

This video was produced by Constance H. Knox and H. Walter Knox in 1996. It first aired on UNC-TV (PBS), followed by The History Channel, nationwide.

Here’s a book by Susan Taylor Block of a similar theme to my documentary. I served with Susan on the Board of Directors at the Old New Hanover Genealogical Society years ago.

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