Descendants of the Great Dismal

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I am a Trafton descendant through my third great grandmother Eliza Trafton (b. 1820). Eliza was born free which is evident through her presence in the 1850 Federal Census (as the wife of Henry Newsom); however, little is known about her early life. In an effort to learn about Eliza’s lineage, I have begun to research the Trafton family of Camden County, NC. This article is an introduction to the patriarch, Charles Gardner Trafton, and… Read More

Recently I stumbled upon a newspaper article so valuable I had to share it here (as an image and with full transcription). I have written extensively about several of the references within this article so I have added hyperlinks to related content. Old Swamp Road in Camden County Editor Economist, Dear Sir: I have been requested by my neighbor, Mr. J. S. McCoy, to write you a short account of the “Old… Read More

When your ancestors were common people from a small, rural area, you learn to set modest record expectations. I have few wills, few church records, few family bibles, and few family graveyards to walk through. Record scarcity can be discouraging but it is a normal part of genealogy and it encourages creativity and relationship building with other researchers. Your chances of finding obscure records are much better as part of an active research community than… Read More