The NC State Library and Archives is the perfect set-up for genealogists. The mezzanine level is devoted to family records with 2-3 helpful librarians staffing the room six days per week - and xerox copies are only 10 cents a page!!!! Upstairs on the second floor are the closed stacks and manuscripts. I will head there tomorrow to find some loose (unbound) deed and probate records.
Today I focused on finding traces of the Holt and Kennedy families in NC. The Kennedy's spent less than a generation here and almost all moved onto Kentucky. There are few land records for them as the area they occupied (Rowan County) was in the flux of moving from English patent land to statehood. Most residents merely occupied the land and at statehood (1778) stood in line for a deed. By that time Kennedys were already headed for KY. I have some land deeds for Kennedys but mostly they seemed to put up their horses and cows as collateral to purchase more property and never really made a go of it here.
In contrast, the Holt's occupied land in Orange County - the Raleigh area. They were here for several generations. I have probate records for both Michael I and Michael II and confirmation that Joseph was born here but moved to Kentucky. Michael II accumulated quite a bit of property including some down here in Chatham County where Anne and Carl live. No one seems to have grave sites in either family. I think they were probably buried on family land and the tombstones were long ago destroyed.
After my research, I headed to Durham and Duke University. The daughter of good friends, is a minister at the Duke Chapel. I was lucky enough to be there for a service she officiated and then she gave me a private tour of the chapel. We were going to take the tiny elevator to the top of the tower but figured that since the repairman was stuck in it, we would pass. Instead, we ate Thai food and caught up with each other's lives. A nice day all around.