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Visitor Information


Transcribe Hand-Written Documents

Help us learn more about the Lane family by transcribing hand-written documents from the 18th century!

Is your ability to read cursive good? Want to improve it? Then help us transcribe hand-written documents concerning the Lane family and their neighbors. Reading and deciphering old documents gives the reader a fascinating insight into local history. Wake County Court minutes from the 18th century have been transcribed, but many other documents have not.

It is very difficult to interpret a document that can’t be read fluently, so you would be helping us uncover more of the missing information about Joel Lane, his family, and even the enslaved who lived on his plantation. A big thank you goes to Jolee who has transcribed the first document for us!

We’ve listed links below for various documents concerning the Lanes and their neighbors. Please download a document, and if you decide to give it a try, use the contact button to let us know which one you have chosen before you start so you won’t duplicate someone else’s efforts. Thank you for the gift of your time!

Here’s a sample of what we are trying first to decipher and then to understand:



Links to documents:


What visitors say

Thank you so much for leading us on a guided tour of the Joel Lane House! I had no idea that the kitchen was separate from the main house, and how different the two are. I had always assumed that the most dangerous job for a slave was in the fields, but your expertise showed me that the kitchen (because of the heat and potential for fire) was actually the most dangerous for a slave woman…