Alex Floyd dedicated to helping citizens find local history

Elijah Smith

For anyone doing research on their family’s heritage and their home county, it can sometimes be difficult to get the resources you need.
Alex Floyd, of the Newton branch of the Catawba County Library System, is an invaluable asset in counteracting that problem. Floyd manages and compiles the decade’s worth of records and family histories in the Evelyn D. Rhodes Room that is dedicated to genealogy of the area.
Floyd has obtained a wealth of knowledge in the history of the area from the vast collection and puts it to good use. Anyone who may be looking to learn more about their family or the land they live on can rest assured knowing they are dealing with an expert.
“One of the best parts is pulling the rabbit out of the hat for people, helping them find exactly what they were looking for,” he said.
Floyd had the pleasure of putting his knowledge to work while assisting Gary Freeze in his research for the three volume series, The Catawbans. A majority of the work Floyd involved himself in was studying the microfilm records of the newspapers in the area. With records reaching back to the 19th century and covering multiple publications, the microfilm proved to be a rich source of information.
Within the Rhodes Room are hundreds of books, the previously mentioned newspapers, maps of the area and the surrounding counties, and a large amount of state and county records reaching back to the Revolutionary War. This happens to be one of the points of interest recently, with an increased number of members from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) seeking research material.
This collection is not just limited to the area, however, as Floyd has made a point to include material that goes beyond the county. Not only is the surrounding area covered, but record collection has begun to expand to eastern parts of North Carolina, surrounding states, and even Pennsylvania. By covering even more territory, researchers will be able to go even further back to when families moved around and settled in North America.
“When introducing something here we like to ask how a researcher will use this information,” Floyd said. As the caretaker of the collection, Floyd does an excellent job of honoring the mission put in place by Rhodes and maintaining a fantastic level of quality. For Floyd, maintaining records and adding to the collection is to not only preserve the past but look toward the future and being able to help any student, citizen or scholar that may make their way into the Rhodes Room. The Rhodes Room is located on the lower floor of the Newton Library and is open to all from 9 AM – 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

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