Sunday, February 14, 2010

Raby: George Washington Raby II and Elizabeth Killian

Location of Lenoir, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°54′30″N 81°31′48″W

My great grandmother, Dora ("Annie" Raby) Tennent, was born and buried in Lenoir, Caldwell Co., NC.  1870-1936

Dora's parents were George Washington Raby II,  b. 1836,  and Elizabeth Catherine Killian, b. 1839, and they would have been married about 1860.

I would like to find the date and place of their marriage, and where each was born.

George II was born 14 Sep 1836 to Geo. W. Raby (Sr.) b. 1810 and Lydia Bentley b 1813 (Burke Co).  He was the 4th of 5 boys. His parents are both buried in the Lenoir/Hudson area.

Elizabeth Catherine nee Killian was born 20 Sept 1839  to  Abel and Levina (Fry) Killian. She died 1927 in Hickory, NC.

So I start with what used to be a public search of the database of US marriage records by state.  Surprise: In the last few years, free online access to personal history documents disappeared. See Links below for my running fury on the new corporate ownership of my family history.

1 comment:


I'm wondering. Did Ancestry/Rootsweb buy the census database that volunteers from USGenWeb built? Back in 1996, there was ROOTS-L, a listserv I belonged to where genealogy information was exchanged. And from there came a call to transcribe public records to the Net for public access. Volunteer response was phenomenal, and rapidly, and I mean exceeding all expectations, the US census records were up and searchable. Database seaches led to images of the orignals in old handwriting. Pure stuff.

Today, try to search a census. You get limited results and are inevitably led to a screen requiring you subscribe to see the results. Go to US GenWeb and poke around. No real information. Locals activities, soft projects, but no census data, marriage records, etc. But there is this curious historical account of the making of free public access to genealogical records by them. No active links though.

And I'm thinking, is this like the race for the public/private control of the human genome project? In that case, the public won out. But for historical records of lives on paper, I think we totally lost. THere is no free public internet access to public records. Ancestry owns them.

So I tried the old-fashioned way and emailed the Registrar of Deeds for Caldwell County, NC, to request a copy of an ancestor's marriage certificate or record. The email bounced, no such place in cyberspace.

Tell me, why should a for-profit company own our public records? Because they can. Municipalities need money and people don't want to pay taxes.

More to come in the search for one man's trail.