The NCGS Journal Helps Uncover an Authentic Picture of the Past

Genealogy is a fascinating field that not only looks back into history, but it connects us with the vast generations of family who came before us. It can be a deeply meaningful experience to uncover the mysteries of the past. How can we really uncover an authentic picture of our ancestors’ lives with nothing but impersonal census records and land deeds? How can we discover our ancestors’ lived experiences?

The NCGS Journal is an incredible resource that can help provide historical and social context. The NCGS Journal often includes transcripts and abstracts of obscure North Carolina records that you may think to look for or even know exist. The most recent journal volume includes an abstracted letter from the diary of the John Graham Young (1), a civil war soldier. He detailed his feelings about his circumstances and his sadness at the loss of so many of his friends. 

The beauty of a diary like this, is that it makes it possible for us to hear from our ancestors in their own words. Even if your ancestor did not keep a journal, the John Graham Young diary could still give you a feeling for what Civil War service was like. If you are lucky, your ancestor could even be in the list of Young’s fallen comrades or in a similar North Carolina regiment. The only way to find out is to look!

The NCGS Journal is full of information that may assist you on your genealogical journey. In recent years, each journal volume has focused on a single theme such as “Children and Youth” or “Migration: In and Out of North Carolina. If you want a little extra help finding what you’re looking for, you can search the online index by ancestral name, numbered military unit, or place name. You can also Search a comprehensive list of NCGS Journal articles. This list is complete through Volume 47 (2021), Issue No. 2. Once you find an article of interest, you can link directly to the issue and view immediately.

If you have questions about the journal or wish to contribute, email our journal editor at journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org.

(1) File Folder Label P.C. 1076.1, John Graham Young Papers, 1861-1864, PC. 1076, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. Finding Aid, https://axaem.archives.ncdcr.gov/findingaids/PC_1076_John_Graham_Young_Papers.html