The Albemarle Genealogical Society was founded in January 1982 to aid individuals in their genealogical research and in the compilation of their family histories. The society, serving Currituck and Dare Counties, attempts to create an interest in genealogy, to gather and preserve genealogical and historical data, and to provide genealogical resource information to any interested individuals.
Officers of the Albemarle Genealogical Society
Dorothy Hocutt, President
Jackson Bell, Vice-President / Program Chair
Newell Cannon, Treasurer
Barbara Bell, Secretary
The Albemarle Genealogical Society (AGS) was organized in December 13, 1981 by Jean Spencer, Jo Anna Heath Bates, and a few local people interested in genealogy. ByLaws were adopted in 1982 and the Albemarle Genealogical Society was officially formed.
Because Currituck County once contained a large portion of the original Albemarle Precinct (or county) and took in some of the area of what is now Hyde and Tyrrell counties, as well as what we know today as Dare County, it was decided to call the society the Albemarle Genealogical Society to aid individuals in their genealogical research and to gather and preserve genealogical and historical data. Meetings then and now are held at the Currituck County Public Library in Barco and include informative speakers on the subject of genealogy and local history.
The first AGS president, Jo Anna Heath Bates, mentions in the first newsletter that 60 members joined the society during its first year. Members mostly lived in Currituck, Camden, Dare and Pasquotank counties, but there were also many members from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area and even some from Washington, D.C., Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
The newsletter then and now provides local genealogical information, research tips, and surnames needing research, and news about the organization. Today, the newsletter is distributed primarily by email.
To supplement membership fees, the Albemarle Genealogical Society published several genealogical books over the years that are still for sale including:
• The Heritage of Currituck County, North Carolina: 1670-1985, edited by Jo Anna Heath Bates, c1985 (Jo Anna Bates was first AGS president)
• The Histories of Currituck County, North Carolina Families, edited by Jeanne Meekins Murray, c2005 (Jeanne Meekins Murray is the current AGS president)
• Currituck Marriage Records Books, c1983
• Currituck County, North Carolina Cemetery Records, c1995
The Heritage book mentioned above was a joint venture with the Currituck Historical Society. Other publications including the Dare County WPA Cemetery Records and 1860 Pasquotank County Census have also proven to be an aid to genealogical research.
The Albemarle Genealogical Society continues to be active in supplying information about the cemeteries of Currituck County to the North Carolina Cemetery Survey, which operates under the Division of Archives and History within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
Donated genealogy materials are added to and maintained by the Currituck County Public Library in Barco for all to use. In 2001, AGS purchased genealogical and historical microfilm and archival storage for the Currituck County Public Library in Barco and also donated funds to purchase two computers, reference books, and journals for the library’s Genealogy Research Center. Over the years, AGS helped to fund the digitization of genealogical files housed in this Genealogy Research Center. These files are now digitized and made available upon request to those researching Currituck ancestors. Currituck County Public Library is one of the few libraries to have their entire genealogy collection digitized and indexed thanks to the hard work of its library staff and funding from AGS, the Currituck County Public Library and its Library Foundation.
Continuing as a philanthropic society to aid in preserving genealogical and historical information, AGS donated funds to The Old Jarvisburg Colored School Restoration Project. The school established in 1868 is now restored and located on US 158. AGS also contributed funds toward the organization and indexing of the Gregory Williams Outer Banks Genealogy Collection, housed in the Manteo location of the Dare County Library. Portions of this Outer Banks genealogical collection is now available online as part of the Dare County Digital Heritage Collection www.daredigitalheritage.org AGS has also funded oral history videorecording projects such as Ms. Hickman’s “99 Years of Currituck County Memories”. Copies were donated by AGS to local history organizations, schools, and libraries.
AGS successfully organized and held a one-day Genealogical Conference in 2013 in Grandy, North Carolina with more than 90 attending workshops, presentations, vendor exhibits, and research assistance sessions.
Recent AGS meetings included guest speakers that discussed:
• Photograph organization and preservation
• Civil War history of the region and researching ancestors
• Currituck County architecture
• Church histories and records of local Baptist churches
• Photographers of the Outer Banks: Aycock Brown, Meekins, and Drew Wilson
• Currituck County Lifesaving Service and stations
• Research resources available at the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
• Resources of the Outer Banks History Center and other NC State Archives
• 99 years of Currituck County memories presented by Ms. Libby Griggs Hickman, videorecorded courtesy of the Currituck County Public High School.
• Finding online Currituck County government records
• North Carolina genealogy research
• DNA for genealogy research
In 2012, the Albemarle Genealogical Society won the Award for Excellence in Web Presence from the North Carolina Genealogical Society for a freely accessible website promoting North Carolina genealogy.
In 2016, the Albemarle Genealogical Society received the annual Grace M. Austin Endowment Award from the Currituck County Public Library for providing special service to the Currituck County Public Library.