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Craftsman Database — Help

Important: Be patient for search results to appear. Depending on your Internet connection, it can take upwards of a minute for some complex searches to complete.

Wachovia Area Craftsmen: Individuals who worked in the Wachovia Area of North Carolina have been documented in a separate database. If your search results include Wachovia Area craftsmen, you will see basic information about their records but will need to visit the Research Center to access the full text. MESDA plans to digitize the Wachovia Area resident cards and incorporate them into the Craftsman Database in the future.

New Craftsman Records: As MESDA research associates identify new craftsmen or add new material concerning existing craftsmen, that information will appear in the Biblio Source field located below the card images. If a craftsman has been identified after MESDA switched to digital recording, then no card images will be present.

 

PRINTING & SAVING RECORDS

•  Use your internet browser's "Print" function (usually found under the "File" menu item) to print pages. If you have a PDF creator or virtual printer installed on your computer you can "Print" to your search results to a PDF document.

•  To save a record for viewing later during your session, select the box next to "Click to Save Record" and the record will be saved in your "basket." To view your saved records, click "Show Click to Save Record Items" at the top of the page (next to "Previous Page" and "Next Page" navigation options). Your saved records will be kept for the duration of your session in the Craftsman Database but will be cleared once you leave the site.

 

KEYWORD SEARCH 

•  When you enter search terms in this field you will search all words in all the records in the database.

•  To search for a phrase, enter the word inside quotes: "corner cupboard."

•  Word Search is best used when searching for terms that would not be included in one of the fields available in Advance Search (craftsman name, trade, location, date, summary, status, or ID number).

 

BROWSE

•  Use the Browse function to display all records in the Craftsman Database sorted by Craftsman Name, Trade, Geographic Location, or MESDA ID Number.

•  Browsing is similar to using the analog Craftsman Database index cards. If you begin browsing by Craftsman Name it is the same as opening the index card drawer for “A” and moving forward alphabetically.

 

ADVANCED SEARCH

Craftsman Name:

•  Names appear last name first. Names of apprentices are accompanied by the names of their masters (in capital letters) and “apprentice” will appear after the trade in the occupation field.

•  If artisans have been found working in two or more locations, they are listed in each, with separate MESDA identification numbers. Caution must be used when identifying migrating craftsmen. When names appear twice, they may or may not represent the same person; to conclude that two listings of the same name do indeed refer to the same person in different regions is a judgment to be made by the researcher based on all the information available.

Trade:

•  The trades listed may contain several occupations that an individual artisan appears to have followed, based on the documented evidence examined. Normally, the trades artisans worked in are related in some way.

•  Click here to view or download a complete list of Trades used in the database.

Geographic Location:

•  To search artisans from all cities and towns in a state, choose the abbreviation for the state you want to search (i.e, "N.C." for North Carolina or "D.C." for District of Columbia).

•  Some artisans do not have a specified city or town and will be found by searching the full name of the state (i.e., "Maryland (unspecified)" or "Alabama").

•  If you are searching for artisans in a county that contains one or more towns or cities, you may need to search for multiple locations. For example, say you are searching for a craftsman in Fayette County, Kentucky, you will also need to search “Lexington, Ky.” Entering “Fayette Co., Ky.” will only result in those craftsman identified outside of Lexington.

•  If artisans have been found working in two or more locations, they are listed in each location, with separate MESDA identification numbers. Caution must be used when identifying migrating craftsmen. When names appear twice, they may or may not represent the same person; to conclude that two listings of the same name do indeed refer to the same person in different regions is a judgment to be made by the researcher based on all the information available.

•  While primarily focused on MESDA’s early South (Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee), some effort has been made to identify migrating craftsmen in cities and towns in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Primarily drawn from city directories, you will encounter records in the Craftsman Database for men and women working outside of the MESDA’s seven-state region.

 Individuals who worked in the Wachovia Area of North Carolina have been documented in a separate database. If your search results include Wachovia Area craftsmen, you will see basic information about their records but for now will need to come to the Research Center to access the full text. MESDA plans to digitize the Wachovia Area resident cards and incorporate them into the Craftsman Database in the future.

•  Click here to view or download a complete list of Geographic Locations used in the database.

Dates:

•  Dates can be either a single year or a range of years.

•  For single dates, a hit occurs if the craftsman worked during that year. For example, searching for a “blacksmith” in “1820” would display craftsman such as James Addison who was a blacksmith from 1819 to 1822.

•  To search for a range of year dates, use '..' (two periods) between the years (for example, "1815..1821"). A hit occurs if the craftsman worked during that year or range of years. For example, searching for a blacksmith in 1820 would display craftsman such as James Addison who was a blacksmith from 1819 to 1822, as would a search for "1815..1825".

Summary Terms:

• When more detailed information about a craftsman’s life or trade can be gleaned from the primary source, that data is included as a Summary term.

Click here to view or download a complete list of Summary terms used in the database.

Status:

•  When the gender, ethnicity, or enslaved/free status of a craftsman can be gleaned from the primary source, that data is included as a Status term. Note every record contains a status.

•  The Status terms are:

 female artisan

 indentured black servant artisan

 Indian artisan

 slave artisan

 free black artisan

 indentured servant artisan

 journeyman artisan

MESDA ID Number:

•  Every craftsman is assigned a unique ID number.

•  If artisans have been found working in two or more locations, they are listed in each location, with separate MESDA identification numbers. Caution must be used when identifying migrating craftsmen. When names appear twice, they may or may not represent the same person; to conclude that two listings of the same name do indeed refer to the same person in different regions is a judgment to be made by the researcher based on all the information available.

 

CONTACT

If you have questions or want to request further information about our research holdings, please contact the MESDA Research Center at Research@oldsalem.org or call 336-721-7379.


BEGIN USING THE CRAFTSMAN DATABASE


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