Places in Mecklenburg: past and present

Early Mecklenburg places were built up near rivers and large creeks. Later, places were built up around mineral springs and railroads. The population movement to larger cities during the depression and then again in World War II to find work, the addition of interstate highways, and the subsequent removal of rail lines had a huge impact on the rural areas. Note – For the purposes of this article – a ‘place’ is an area, locality, or population center that is referred to in historical records pertaining to Mecklenburg.

In Mecklenburg there were places like Lombardy Grove and St. Tammany which at one time were thriving areas with their own post offices. There has not been a post office at either of these places now for over 100 years, and they aren’t considered places any more on present day maps. Some places that were built up around railroads now only have a church remaining.

Virginia place names can be confusing and ‘places’ are defined differently than in other states. In Virginia there are counties and independent cities, which create and house records. An ‘independent city’ in Virginia functions completely separate from a county and functions the way counties do in most other states. A ‘town’ has elected officials but is part of a county. So, if your ancestor lived in a town, they would need to search by the county that the town is in to find records. Then there are rural areas, that might just be a crossroads with a school or church near by. The Census areas might use different names than local people might use. Probably the most confusing is actual residence verses the post office areas. Virginia address locality names are based on which post office services your area. For example, I live in a rural Virginia area. My home address has a city name, because the post office at the closest city services the mail where I live. But, I am actually a resident of a county.

I’ve been pondering ways to organize things on this website by locality, so that people can search by surname and/or place name. I want to have a locality page that shows schools, churches, mills, ferries, and other community places. On the locality page I plan to list surnames, cemeteries, news clippings about being incorporated, and posts about that locality.

I started using a new website template , which allows for much more page customization, and has a menu visible from each page. Anywhere on the site, you’ll now be able to search by locality or name and go back to the home page. Places and surnames are in a menu at both the top and the bottom of each page on the site.

I’ve created a new ‘Places’ page on this site. This page has two sections, one for each area of the county beginning with Eastern (Old 98th Regiment), followed by Western (Old 22nd Regiment). Each section (western & eastern) lists towns, rural areas, and post office areas, both past and present. If you have a place name for me to add, or pictures about a place you’d like to share, please let me know. I hope that these changes will make it easier for you to find your family and the places where they lived in Mecklenburg.

Post Offices, which determines the present day addresses.

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