The Dallas Herring Collection at Pender County Public Library in Burgaw will host genealogist Tyrone Goodwyn speaking on the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau from Southeastern NC this Saturday, April 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. The library also hosts the Claude Moore Research Files, formerly of Turkey, that would be of interest to Sampson residents.
The U.S. agency was formed in 1865 to help former slaves and impoverished whites in the aftermath of the Civil War. The records are rich in genealogical leads and stories of these people. The program is free, but to attend, please call 910-259-1234 in advance for seating reservations.
Goodwyn has read more than 7,000 pages of letters and records in the original 19th century handwriting. They are rich in personal stories mostly undiscovered by present day descendants. Reading these personal letters sequentially one-by-one, he faced people both hurting and helping each other after the Civil War.
The program will appeal to anyone interested in hearing compelling stories of these people during the Reconstruction era. People whose ancestors, either former slaves or impoverished whites in that time, will also be interested in learning more about these records for genealogical research.
Mr. Goodwyn’s personal project was to explore the oral family story of the Jacobs and Merritt families that their ancestor George W. Bordeaux was Register of Deeds in New Hanover (Pender) County in the 1800s. He found documentation to prove that story and much more.
Goodwyn has been specializing in genealogy of tri-racial free people of color in southeastern NC counties. He has particularly been researching the Bordeaux, Brewington, Collins, Herring, Jacobs, Manuel, Mainor, Merritt, Messick, Walker, West, Williams, and Wheeler families of Pender, Sampson, and Duplin counties for over 40 years. He is the historian for the PenderROCK Family Reunion. Goodwyn resides in Washington, D.C., where he is Senior Technical Director for AT&T.
The library’s Dallas Herring Collection, formerly of Rose Hill, is rich in genealogy of the middle Cape Fear region. The collection is open to the public Thur-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors can come early on April 22 for a tour. The library is located at 103 S. Cowan St. in Burgaw.
For more information, call Mike Taylor, director of the Pender County Public Library by phone at 910-259-5113 or by email at [email protected] The library can also be visited online at penderpubliclibrary.org.