Beaufort County Genealogical Society
President – Ann Basnight
Vice-President – Terria Baynor
Treasurer – Louise Cowell
Corresponding Secretary – Mary Disharoon
Recording Secretary – Vernetta Lange
The Beaufort County Genealogical Society met on 1-7-03 in the Register of Deeds Office. At 7:00 p.m. President Basnight welcomed 36 members and guests.
The reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, the treasurer’s report and the corresponding secretary’s report were dispensed with and Jennifer Leggett Whitehurst, the Register of Deeds, was introduced.
Jennifer familiarized the group with the mission of her office: to generate and maintain specific public records of Beaufort County. The real estate and property records date back to 1696. The Grantee (buyer) and Grantor (seller) Indexes are available to assist in locating and establishing ownership of properties. These publications also include bills of sale, mortgages, deeds of trust and other documents relating to property ownership. Recorded property maps were also indexed and available for use and may be copied.
As mandated by law, birth and death certificate records would be maintained by the county effective 1913. These indexes and records are available for researchers.
Many people born prior to 1913 provided proper documentation to support their birth dates so a “Delayed Birth Certificate” could be issued for each. These are indexed in the green binder labeled “Delayed Births”.
The marriage register dates back to 1847, however, marriage certificates on record date back only to 1881. Some marriage certificates reflect names of parents and witnesses to the ceremony.
Copies of these records are $.25 each. A few are $.50 each. Certified copies needed for official purposes may be obtained for $10.00 each. Birth certificates can only be certified by the county originally issuing the certificate. Under certain circumstances close family members with proper documentation can obtain certified copies. Marriage licenses today are $50.00 $5.00 goes to NC State’s children’s fund, $20.00 to the domestic violence fund, and $25.00 retained for repair and maintenance of records.
Since 1995 the birth, death, marriage and property records are being indexed in the computer to expedite research for the computer oriented. As time permits these records are being scanned and included in order to eventually get all vital statistics and property transactions in the computer from the 1995 date forward.
Jennifer mentioned that occasionally someone doing research finds an error in the records (based on personal knowledge/proof). DO NOT make any pen/ink change. Report any such error to her staff who’ll discuss how the change must be made as required by law.
She related a law was recently passed that allows 10% of certain monies collected by the Register of Deeds Office to be retained for the express purpose of automation enhancement of records and to restore records in need of repair, which is costly.
She’s giving thought to obtaining more space to maintain the vital statistics in a separate room, but plans are tentative at best.
Jennifer asked that as we research, leave the cabinet top closest to the copy machine vacant and available for staff use.
President Basnight and members thanked Jennifer for the discussion and opportunity to do research for the remainder of the evening.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.
NOTE: Not discussed, but of interest to many people are military records maintained by this office. The records available have been brought in by the veteran or a family member, so it is not a comprehensive list of Beaufort County Veterans. Some date back to World War I.
The minute dockets retained here are records of Board of Commissioners’ Meetings dating back to 1919.
This office is also responsible for swearing in Beaufort County Notaries of the Public and maintaining a record of such.
The next regular meeting will be held on 2-4-03 at BCCC at 7:00 pm. Fred Willard, who is researching and excavating the Croatan site on Hatteras Island, will be the featured speaker. Watch the Washington Daily News for updates. Visitors welcome. The call list will be activated.
Respectfully submitted by Vernetta Lange – Recording Secretary
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