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MARRIAGE & DEATH NOTICES
ABSTRACTED FROM THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER
Compiled & Edited by Myrtle N. Bridges
Newspaper marriage and death notices have long been the subject of
genealogical interest. In 1991 Bessie R. Hubbard published Marriage
& Death Notices 1816 - 1840 Abstracted from the Fayetteville Observer
and Predecessor Papers, and in 1997 Fayetteville Observer (N.C.)
Marriage & Death Abstracts 1841-1850. Her award-winning books are
contributions of considerable magnitude.
This 387 page book contains marriage and death abstracts from antebellum
1851 through the Civil War, when Gen. William T. Sherman's Union army
destroyed the Observer's offices in 1865. The Fayetteville Observer
with Edward J. Hale & Son the Editors and Proprietors was the earliest
regional paper in southeastern North Carolina. As Fayetteville was a
trading center due to the Cape Fear River, its newspaper carried much
information about eastern North Carolina people and parts of upper South
Carolina. Much of the news was gathered from the private conversations
and letters of townspeople or from talking with travelers. The Fayetteville
Observer is among North Carolinas most useful post-Civil War newspapers.
The newspaper was re-established by the Hale family in 1883.
This work is a key resource about people who lived in the counties of Robeson,
Richmond, Moore, Cumberland, Montgomery, Anson, Chatham, Johnston, Harnett,
Sampson, Columbus, Brunswick, Union, Wake, Granville, Edgecombe, Duplin, Randolph,
Bladen, New Hanover, Northampton, Burke, Franklin, Caswell, Alamance, Orange,
Stanly, Guilford, Wayne, Person, Rowan, McDowell, Davidson, Onslow, Halifax,
Caldwell, Martin, Craven, Green, Iredell, and Pitt. Marriage and death notices
also came from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Georgia and others.
The North Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilmed the state's
pre-1901 newspapers. The film is accessible in various ways: it can be viewed during
a personal visit to the Search Room in Raleigh; it can be purchased from the Department
of Cultural Resources for a modest fee; many reels can be secured through the in-state
interlibrary loan from the North Carolina State Library; and much of the microfilm is
held by various public, private, community college, and university libraries throughout
the state, where they can be seen during a personal visit. There are about 13 reels of microfilm of the Fayetteville Observer published
semiweekly from 1851-1865.
This 8.5" X 11" soft cover publication contains a surname index of almost 14,000 names.
Cover photos made by Howard Bridges
Front: Sardis is a beautifully maintained old cemetery hidden among the trees about a mile off Highway #401 South near Fayetteville, NC.
Here the fragrant Magnolias proudly represent the Old South making this a truly peaceful resting place for many.
Back: Blooming Day Lilies accent a stone pillar with a bronze plaque which reads: Sardis Church was organized May 5, 1816. The first
building known as Hodges Meeting House was located on the opposite side of the ravine and nearer the river. The second building probably
erected in 1830 stood at the Southwest corner of this cemetery. The stone of these pillars forming its foundation in 1916. The third building
was erected at Linden, NC. The plaque also lists serving Ministers and Ruling Elders at Sardis Presbyterian Church. -Myrtle Norton Bridges
In order to keep the cost of this publication affordable, I have posted the huge number of Confederate Soldiers who died in the Civil War (1861-1865) here.
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