Release:  February 29,  2012                                                     Contact:  
Fay Mitchell, 919-807-7389

Reba McEntire Finds Family in the State Archives  

(L-R) Former State Archivist Dick Lankford; Cultural Resources Assistant Secretary Jennifer Woodward; Reba McEntire; Archives Correspondence Unit Supervisor Chris Meekins; Archives Reference Unit Supervisor Doug Brown; Archives Public Services Branch Head Debbi Blake; and Archives Collections Management Branch Head Sarah Koonts.


RALEIGH - Country music star Reba McEntire turned up long, lost relatives in the State Archives of North Carolina. She was on a mission that will be aired on the Friday, March 2, edition of the NBC television show, Who Do You Think You Are? The North Carolina State Archives is one of the country's oldest and largest state archives.


"Viewers can tune in on Friday to find out what Reba McEntire learned about her family tree, but they can come to the North Carolina State Archives and the State Library of North Carolina five days a week to find a treasure trove of resources to help them explore their own families," said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle.


Last year, professional staff at the Archives and State Library helped more than 40,000 visitors in search rooms located in Raleigh, in Manteo, and in Asheville. One visitor from Ohio wrote, "What a wonderful resource you have in your Archives and State Library. It is a true reflection of how your state cares about its past and present and future. You set a very fine example of what others should do."  Another visitor from the western part of the U.S. wrote, "Thank you so much for maintaining this collection of reference books and materials and doing as much as possible to get much of the materials digitized so that even more of us can access it. I live in Colorado but approximately 70 percent (of my) family lines come through North Carolina at some point. Thank you for your help."


Many online resources are also available. In 2011, digital collections from the State Archives and State Library saw 734,600 online visitors from 170 countries, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 350 cities in North Carolina. Total page views were 2,742,000.


One collection, North Carolina Family Records Online, a joint project of the State Library and State Archives, is a digital collection of Bible records, marriage and death notices from state newspapers, books on North Carolina families, cemetery photographs and surveys, genealogy vertical files and more.


The State Archives contain records from all of the state's 100 counties, as well as from six counties now defunct. The Manuscript and Archives Reference System online catalog describes the types of county records held by the archives. Census and court records, bonds, estate records, marriage records, Bible records, tax records, wills, and other types of records can be searched.


Genealogical Research Services in the Government and Heritage Library of the State library includes family and local histories, census records, county, state and federal records abstracts and indexes, military records, cemetery surveys, and research databases and newspapers. The State Library of North Carolina is celebrating its 200th birthday all through 2012.


A native of Oklahoma, McEntire is the best-selling female country artist of all time. She has had 63 Top 10 hits, and has received 15 American Music Awards, nine People's Choice Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards, two Grammys, and is one of only four entertainers in history to be honored with a National Artistic Achievement Award by the U.S. Congress. An actress as well, McEntire had the top television sitcom for six consecutive years on two networks, as well as a stint on Broadway in "Annie Get Your Gun" that garnered a Drama Critics Award. She also has successful clothing, footwear, and home collections.


For additional information visit the State Archives or call (919) 807-7310. Visit the State Library, or call (919) 807-7460, or call (919) 807-7389. The State Archives and State Library are within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.


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About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources


The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives.


Cultural Resources champions North Carolina's creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state's economy.


To learn more, visit

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North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources 

109 East Jones Street / Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
(919) 807-7385 /   


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