Olde Meck is extremely fortunate to have acquired the inventory and rights to all of Herman W. Ferguson’s volumes of abstracted records, essential tools for genealogists in Mecklenburg County. These books contain critical information from court records, deeds, wills, and much more from the early days of Mecklenburg history.
We have included below the introductory descriptions along with the complete index for each volume. You may use your computer's FIND function to search each one for surnames and keywords of interest in your research. If you find a volume of interest to you, you can visit the Sutcliffe-Ferguson Family Research Center to explore the entries or order from the Olde Meck Store.
"Herman's expertise in abstracting is well-known to genealogists and historians, who rely on his commitment to accuracy and his knowledge and interpretations of legal terms and procedures."
----- COURT PROCEEDINGS -----
1. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: 1774-1780
Mecklenburg County was formed in 1763, and the court minutes from the county's first 11 years are missing. This book is a new transcription of Mecklenburg County's earliest extant court minutes that were originally published by Doris Futch Briscoe in 1966 and which are now out of print. The present work covers the court sessions from July 1774 to mid-April 1780. In addition to the full name, place, and subject index, Ferguson has included a map with waterways indexed and in color. 2007, v+72 pp. Indexed.
2. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol I 1780-1800
This volume of Mecklenburg County court minutes by Ferguson begins where Doris Briscoe's Mecklenburg County, NC, Court Minutes, Book 1, 1774-1780 left off midway through the April 1780 court session. [See above entry for Ferguson's new transcription of Briscoe's transcription.] Ferguson carries the minutes through to the end of 1800. Tables list dates when justices of the peace qualified and the year each sheriff, clerk of the court, and register of deeds was appointed. Legal terms are defined and legal procedures are explained. 1995, x+276 pp. ISBN 0-9620770-3-8. Indexed.
3. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol II 1801-1820
A continuation of Ferguson's book of court minutes, this volume covers the years 1801-1820. Included are naturalizations prior to 1822, an important source that shows if a person were a "newcomer" and not connected to others in the area of the same surname in an earlier period. The format is the same as the first book with full names, places, slaves, and occupations completely indexed. A map of Mecklenburg County circa 1790 shows waterways and locations of the county's earliest churches. 1997, xii+342 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-4-6.
4. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol III 1821-1830
This volume covers Mecklenburg County court minutes from 1821 through 1830. Each court action has been transcribed verbatim, with punctuation added for clarity. Ferguson's usual excellent index saves search time, because each page of minutes is indexed by a number. Also included are abbreviations used in the abstracts, definition of legal terms, names of county officials and their dates of service, as well as Ferguson's standard l 790 map of the county. 1998, ix+252 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-5-4.
5. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol IV 1831-1840
The fourth in Ferguson's series of Mecklenburg County court minutes, this volume contains 22 applications for citizenship giving dates and places of birth, departure dates from Europe, and arrival dates in the United States, in addition to the usual court records of deed recordings, probate, estate settlements, etc. A map of Mecklenburg County in the early 1800s is included. 2002, x+259 pp. Indexed.
6. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol V 1841-1850
The 1840s were a time of growth and change in Mecklenburg County. Court minutes record citizenship granted to immigrants, the building of a new courthouse, and the coming of the railroad to Charlotte. Not only are the routine court matters of registering deeds, probating wills, assigning administrators and guardians, and appointing officials reported, but also historical events such as running the dividing line between Mecklenburg and Union Counties and collecting taxes for the new school system. Ferguson's characteristic full name, place, and subject index facilitates searches. 2003, 259 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-9-7.
7. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol VI 1851-1860
The decade of the 1850s saw the railroad bringing business to Charlotte, immigrants still arriving from Europe, and Mecklenburgers moving westward. These and other changes are all reflected in this sixth volume of Ferguson's series of the county court minutes, which he has transcribed verbatim. They contain references to orphans, remarried widows, free blacks, slaves, illegitimate children, apprentices, and merchants, as well as registrations of deeds, appointments of guardians and court officers, divisions of estates, and jury selections. The 1860 county map shows routes both of the railroad and main roads through the county. 2004, x+303 pp.
8. Minutes of Court of Common Pleas & Quarter Sessions: Vol VII 1861-1868
This volume brings to a close the minutes of the county court, which was replaced by the Board of County Commissioners in 1868. Usual court matters are covered with emphasis on relief of needy soldiers' families, the financial burden carried by the county, oaths of allegiance and amnesty, and court orders relating to Reconstruction. The index includes every name, place, and subject. Railroads and main roads circa 1860 are shown on the county map. 2005, x+238 pp. Indexed.
----- DEEDS -----
9. Deed Book Abstracts 10-14, Mecklenburg County, NC
Following up the Mecklenburg County abstracts of Deed Books 1-9 by Brent Holcomb, Ferguson has abstracted the next four books, 10-14, covering some early 1757 land grants through 1793 deeds. A user friendly index, map of Mecklenburg County watercourses with its own index, definition of legal terms, and comments on unique deeds are embellished in this volume by photocopies of 30 German signatures that appeared in the deeds. Because the Americanization of the German names has been rendered incorrectly in many cases, Ferguson has included the original signatures, hoping readers can decipher the German scrip. 1995, x+ 182 pp. Indexed.
10. Deed Book Abstracts 15-23, Mecklenburg County, NC, 1794-1830
Continuing the deed abstracts of Mecklenburg County published earlier by the author, this volume contains deeds, powers of attorney, mortgages, trust deeds, and bills of sale from January 1794 to August 1830. Deed Book 17 consists entirely of land grants from 1800 to 1826. Ferguson's index is extremely user-friendly, because full names, places, and subjects refer to individual abstracts and not to page numbers. 2001, viii+354 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-8-9.
11. Deed Book Abstracts 24-28 & Books 1-3, Second Series
Deeds, land grants, powers of attorney, mortgages, trust deeds, and bills of sale are represented in these abstracts covering court sessions from August 1830 through October 1850. Fully indexed by name, place, and subject, the volume also has an indexed map of the county’s waterways in the early 1800s. 2007, viii+304 pp. Indexed. Color Map.
Click for: Intro Later Index
----- ESTATE RECORDS, TAX LISTS, WILLS -----
12. Decedents for Whom Loose Estate Papers are Extant - Mecklenburg County
This volume is a finding aid to approximately 9,750 loose estates files in the North Carolina Archives for persons who died in Mecklenburg County. If a person died intestate, these files should definitely be consulted to find the disposition of an estate. 1998, 68 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-6-2.
No Introduction or Index
13. Decedents for Whom Loose Estate Papers are Extant - Cabarrus County
This volume is a finding aid to approximately 9,750 loose estates files in the North Carolina Archives for persons who died in Cabarrus County. If a person died intestate, these files should definitely be consulted to find the disposition of an estate. 1998, 68 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-6-2.
No Introduction or Index
14. 1792 Petition and Tax Lists: 1797, 1798, 1799, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1810, 1811, 1815, and 1824
In the absence of most early tax records for Mecklenburg County, Ferguson has brought together a 1792 petition listing names of Mecklenburg County residents protesting the formation of Cabarrus County and 11 extant tax lists to 1824. Five of the tax lists are repeated from his book of will abstracts, but all are collected here in one place. Both petition list and tax lists are arranged by militia companies. Also has included is a map of Mecklenburg County before Cabarrus and Union Counties were cut off that shows rivers and creeks extending into adjoining counties. 1999, vi+186 pp. ISBN 0-9620770-7-0. Indexed.
15. Will Abstracts, 1791-1868, Books A-J, and Tax Lists 1797, 1798, 1799, 1806, & 1807
This comprehensive volume of abstracts of all Mecklenburg County wills from 1791 through 1868 includes 38 original unrecorded wills found only in the state archives. In addition, Ferguson has listed in the appendix earlier wills from Brent Holcomb's Mecklenburg County, NC, Abstracts of Early Wills, 1763-1790 (1749-1790), referencing the testator, date, and page where they are found in Holcomb's book. Maps of the county for 1790 and 1860, and sketches of historic Mecklenburg homes are included. A list of errata discovered in the first printing and James Latta's will, which was omitted, are included as a separate page. 1998, xvi+368 pp. Indexed. ISBN 0-9620770-2-X.