My Catawba County
Who's Haunting Your House?
Have you ever thought your house might be haunted? That is one of many mysteries our resident genealogy detective, Catawba County Associate Librarian Alex Floyd, loves to help people solve. As manager of the Rhodes Room at the Catawba County Library in Newton, Floyd manages the Catawba County Library System’s extensive collection of genealogy and local history resources. We asked him to tell us more about this fascinating resource.
What is the Evelyn D. Rhodes Room at the Newton Library?
The room serves as a resource to provide patrons with quality materials and reference services in the areas of genealogy and local history. We constantly collect and prepare print, digital and microfilm materials to continue expanding the collection to better serve our patrons.
What kinds of materials and records are available in the collection?
The collection offers a wide array of resources, including family, county and state histories, city directories, digitized family files, North Carolina county and cemetery records and Catawba County and North Carolina vertical file collections. A diverse map collection includes USGS maps, G.P. Stout historical research maps, Sanborn fire insurance maps, tax maps and various county and North Carolina maps. Our microfilm collection offers Catawba County newspapers, early county records, and census and cemetery records. In addition to North Carolina, the room’s collection also features materials from twenty other states. We have AncestryLibrary.com available as well.
Are there any materials in the collection that are particularly noteworthy?
Two of my favorite collections are the microfilmed newspapers and the maps. I find them extremely interesting and use them constantly in answering reference questions.
When people visit the room, what are they typically researching?
Our patrons normally are seeking information on family and local history, Revolutionary War and Civil War ancestors, schools, businesses, churches, historic houses, and sports.
What have been some of the more unusual requests you have received?
By far, the most unusual requests have been for information on haunted houses. We receive several requests annually from people who have experienced paranormal events in their homes.
What are some of your more memorable recollections from your years helping people research their family histories?
These involve helping people solve family mysteries! They run the gamut from illegitimate children to different types of criminal cases. The common denominator here is the silence of older generations regarding these events, which leads later generations to investigate the mysteries and acquire the facts if possible.
How/when can people access the collection?
The Rhodes Room is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Indexes and some family history materials are available on the Rhodes Room website.
Is there anything you would like to add about the Library System’s genealogy and local history services?
We provide these services to a broad spectrum of patrons, including genealogists, students, architectural historians, authors, attorneys and advertising firms. I enjoy providing these services to people. The job is endlessly fascinating and is a daily learning experience. I hope to continue developing the collection with useful and informative materials for our patrons.