Local History & Genealogy Collections

The Local History & Genealogy Librarian works out of the May Memorial Library and may be contacted directly at reference.staff@alamancelibraries.org. Limited inquiries may be answered via mail if a stamped, self-addressed envelope is provided.

The May Memorial, Graham and Mebane libraries all have local history and genealogical collections specific to their communities.  Please contact each directly for further inquiries.

North Carolina census indexes for the U.S. federal population censuses are available from 1790 through 1940 via the library subscription to the online genealogical services HeritageQuest and Ancestry or as print indexes available at May Memorial Library.

HeritageQuest may be accessed remotely via the library website using your 14-digit library card number.  The Ancestry database is available only within the library.

Alamance County Information Alamance County Photographs & Postcards

Other sources of local historical and genealogical information:

Alamance County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 3052
Burlington, NC 27216


Alamance County Historical Museum
4777 South NC Highway 62
Burlington, NC 27215

Other Resources  Local History & Genealogy Information
  • Roots-l Resources Page:  The homepage of the best-known  genealogical mailing list with more than 10,000subscribers.
    Soundex Converter: Convert a surname to the Soundex Code used for indexing census microfilm from the National Archives and Records Administration.
  • Alamance County Genweb: Alamance County NC site of the USGenWeb Project
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Search the International Genealogical Index (IGI) of the Mormon Church.
  • Africana Heritage Project: The Africana Heritage Project was begun in order to assist African Americans who are researching their family histories. Our mission is to rediscover those valuable records that document the names and lives of slaves, freed-persons, and their descendants.
  • Cemetery Census: A volunteer effort to provide free listings of complete cemetery surveys along with photographs of grave markers. This is not a commercial web site.
War Records Neighboring County Genealogical Societies

May Memorial Local History

The Local History Collection at May Memorial Library contains works on the history and genealogy of Alamance County and its neighboring counties — Caswell, Chatham, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rockingham.  The collection is also a  repository for the ancestor charts of members of the Alamance County Genealogical society and for the Society’s collection of genealogical journals.

The Local History collection at May Memorial Library welcomes donations of materials of local interest.  However, lack of archival quality storage facilities prevents the acquisition of certain materials in fragile or delicate condition.

Items in the Local History collection at May Memorial Public Library
  • North Carolina marriage bond index prior to 1868
  • North Carolina cemetery surveys prior to 1914
  • Troop rosters and pension abstracts for certain 18th & 19th century American Wars
  • Yearbooks from High Schools and Colleges in Alamance County and North Carolina
  • Burlington, North Carolina city directories from 1920 to the present
  • Alamance County Delayed Birth Certificate Abstracts 1875-1914
  • A list of Mayors of Company Shops and Burlington from 1869-2012
  • A marriage and obituary index to local weekly newspapers including The Alamance Gleaner (1875-1913), The Twice-a-Week Dispatch (1908-1915)  and The Mebane Leader (1911-1915)  Click here for the obituary index and click here for the marriage index.
  • Genealogical notes on local families of German descent and Lutheran and Reformed Church records translated from German by the late Rev. David I. Offman, Lutheran minister.
  • Scrapbook of the life of physician and blood-banking pioneer, Dr. Charles Richard Drew, who died in a traffic accident in Alamance County in 1950.
  • “In Days Gone By”  newspaper column written by the late Julian Hughes in the Burlington Times-News regarding early Burlington people and places. An index to the articles is available.
  • A subject index to Don Bolden’s Burlington Times-News columns “Alamance in the Past” for the years 1974 – 1976 and 1978 – 1985 is available.
  • A subject index to items from the yearly Times-News Progress edition from 1949-1960.
  • Early photographs from a Burlington, NC promotional pamphlet published in 1906 by O.F. Crowson held by the May Memorial Library Local History Collection.  View the photographs here.
  • Click here to see the Mebane Family Photographs from north central North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas as collected by the late Robert Duff Mebane and held by the May Memorial Library Local History Collection.
  • Click here to see photos of transportation in Alamance County.
  • Family History Vertical File. View a list of Surnames included in this file.
  • North Carolina Business and City Directories
  • Bigger Better Burlington! View digitized images of Burlington Chamber of Commerce pamphlets from the 1930s through the 1950s.
  • Burlington by Map and Atlas, a collection of street maps and atlas information from Burlington North Carolina in the 1920s through the 1950s

Graham Local History

Items in the Local History collection at Graham Public Library

  • Yearbooks from High Schools and Colleges in Alamance County
  • Census records
  • Church histories
  • Historic newspapers
  • City directories
  • Family History Titles.
    • View a list of Surnames included in these books. View a list of Titles with included Surnames.
  • Photographs of Graham.
  • Newspapers on Microfilm:
    • The Alamance Gleaner, weekly newspaper published at Graham, NC, for the period Feb. 9, 1875-Jan. 30, 1947.
    • The Times-News, daily newspaper published at Burlington, NC. Our library holds: Jan 1979 � Dec. 1983.

Mebane Local History

Materials in the Mebane collection include:

  • Nearby People and Towns
  • Histories of Surrounding Counties (Caswell and Chatham)
  • Local People (by and about) and local memories
  • History of Mebane
  • Alamance County Pictorial and Written History
  • North Carolina General History
  • Names of North Carolina postmasters from 1832-1971 in Alamance-Cleveland counties on microfilm.
  • Alamance County Census on Microfilm (1790-1930)
  • Microfilm of the Mebane Leader 1911-1915, and Mebane Enterprise 1922 – present (some years missing, call for specific information)
  • Alamance Magazine 2003-2006
  • Family Histories: Benson, Albright, Allen, Bingham, Coble, Collins, Lynch & Tate, Crouse, Steel, Lineberry, Iseley, Shoffner, Harper and Fowler
  • Local Records: Marriage, Census, Local News 1996-2013, and Historical Information on local schools
  • NC records
  • Alamance Genealogist 1984-2013
  • Forgotten Patriots (African American and American Indian patriots in the Revolutionary War)
  • Church Histories:

Cane Creek : Mother of Meetings by Bobbie T. Teague
From Whence We Came: Cane Creek Meeting Sesquibicentennial Remembrance Book
Salem United Methodist Church
Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church 1849-1981
A History of Hebron United Methodist Church, 1850-2000
History of the First United Methodist Church, Graham, North Carolina: 1896-2004 by Frances Heath
A History of the Christian Church in the South by Durward T. Stokes and William T. Scott
Pressing Toward the Mark by Bill Page (History of the First Baptist Church of Mebane 1901-1991)
A History of Black Congregational Christian Churches of the South by J. Taylor Stanley
The Ministers of Mount Zion Christian Church (from 1832 through 2007)
Church in the Old Fields: Hawfields Presbyterian Church and Community in North Carolina 1738-1960) by Herbert Snipes Turner

  • Cemetery Records

Pine Hill Cemetery, Burlington, North Carolina
Roster of Revolutionary War Gravesites of Soldiers, Patriots, and Ancestors Buried in North Carolina by Doris Lancaster Thompson
Piedmont North Carolina Cemeteries Volume 1
Historical Phillips Chapel Methodist Church Burial Grounds 1849-1996 by Bill Teer
The Cemetery of United Methodist Church by Todd Richard McIntyre
Mount Zion Christian Church Cemetery by Jerry A. Blalock
Area Cemetery Information
Tombstone Inscriptions Recorded from Private or Abandoned Cemeteries by Durward T. Stokes

  • NC troops 1861-1865
  • NC Regiments 1861-1865
  • Large-scale family tree – Descendants of William Mebane of Pennsylvania (Including Col. Alexander Mebane of North Carolina)
    • Maps:

    The First Lords Proprietor’s Map of Carolina – 1672
    The Free and Independent United States of America – 1795
    1822 Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of North Carolina
    1893 Map of Alamance County
    1928 Map of Alamance County
    1967 Map of North Carolina (with color-coded counties)