Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Visit to the Randolph County NC Library

Last weekend I made the 1.5 hour trip from Raleigh to Asheboro (Randolph Co), NC to visit the Randolph Room (genealogy library) of the Asheboro Public Library in search of information on my Godwin ancestors. Their online website has a list of all the family files that can be found in their genealogy collection, one of which is the GODWIN file. My main goal was to peruse the contents of this folder and see if I can find anything interesting.

The directions I had to the library were not accurate, so I had to drive around a bit before I found it. Luckily I had my phone on me which has internet. I was able to type in the address of the house that I turned around at as the starting point and the library's address as the final destination. I got to the library in no time. The Randolph room was a small room situated on the bottom floor of the library. There were three 4-6 person tables scrunched in the room. The family files were situated in tall file cabinets that ran the length of the walls. It did not take long for me to find the Godwin file.

The first thing I noticed about the folder was that "See Lucas file" was written across the front of the folder. Inside, the Godwin folder contained printouts of Charles Lucas' WorldOne Connect file posted on Charles Lucas maintains the Lucas Family website and is highly active in using DNA to connect the Lucases of the Carolinas. His printouts contained information on William Godwin, whom he stated was the father of David, Samuel, and Thomas Godwin of Edgecombe Co., NC.

The folder also contained printouts of a court case that Nathan Godwin was involved in against William Burney. Nathan Godwin, the complaintant, testified that he was running a mill on his property and that when William Burney moved to the area, he also started a mill running that prevented Nathan's mill from running properly. The neighbors who testified on William Burney's behalf claimed that Nathan's mill was run down and had not been working for quite some time. The court was in favor of William Burney. This court case was significant in that it indicated that Nathan Godwin owned and operated a mill on his property. However, this information was not new to me as I already had copies of this court suit in my files.

Lastly, the folder contained printouts of another court case that Nathan Godwin was involved in pertaining to his wife's Latham family and the estate of John Latham, Nathan's wife Sarah Latham's father. I also have copies of these court precedings already in my files.

Since I did not find anything new or interesting in the Godwin family folder, I moved on to the Lucas family folder. I found a lot of valuable information on the family of John Lucas who married Elizabeth Milberry Godwin. I believe Elizabeth Godwin was the sister of my supposed ancestor, Nathan Godwin. I printed out almost everything I found in the Lucas folder for further review, however upon first glance, I don't believe that I did ever find any documents that revealed what Elizabeth Lucas' maiden name really was. I think that family lore has had her as a Godwin for many years now. I need to follow up on this lead. Some interesting things I found in this folder were pictures of a log cabin that John Lucas built prior to the Revolutionary War and some articles about its current state of repair and restoration. Also I found many pedigree sheets compiled and submitted by several of Lucas' descendants, many of whom also removed to Indiana in the early 1830s. A local gentleman by the name of Paul Lucas has been slated as the authority on the Lucas family of North Carolina. I might send a note to some of these researchers to see what documentation supports the Godwin name being tied into the Lucas family line. This folder was a wealth of information and had copies of several deeds, wills, and estate files. Surprisingly, however, the folder did NOT contain a copy of John and Milberry's estate files which are housed at the Archives and copies of which are in my own personal collection. They did not leave a will.

Two other folders I briefly examined were the Steed and Lewis family folders. These folders were too thick to photocopy and I had already spent my $20 photocopying the Lucas family folder contents (they charge $0.20 a page). I need to come back to these folders when I have more time, and when these lines are fresher in my mind.

I feel good about my trip, however, I kind of feel like I spent too much time, energy and money on the Lucas family. However it has always been my mantra and secret of success to learn all that I can about not just my own family of interest, but those who lived around them during their lifetimes. It will also be beneficial to have information on the descendants of this Lucas line, as they do share maternal Godwin DNA and they moved around the country as my Godwins did.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this info! some of my family got their freedom papers from william burney in 1860