From now through the end of September 2020, Ancestry.com Library Edition is available from home or anywhere else where you have an internet connection. (You usually have to be on-site at the library.) Search census, vital records, military records, immigration records to learn about your ancestors!
The Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection includes 3.5 million pages from over 1,000 NC county and local newspapers. The collection goes as far back as 1751 and as recent as 2018, though the bulk of the collection is from the mid-1800s up to the 1970s.
Heritage Quest offers many of the same resources as Ancestry.com Library Edition, and can be accessed online from your home with a Pender County Library card.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a free national digital library that provides access to millions of materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the US. While the DPLA is not focused specifically on genealogical research, you can find a wealth of local historical photographs, documents, family Bibles, and more from locations throughout the US.
The 1940 Census is the most recent US census available to the public. The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and has been taken every ten years since. However, data from recent censuses are not available because of a 72-year restriction on access to the Census. Most researchers find it helpful to begin with most recent Census that has been released and work backwards to locate people in earlier generations.
However, there is currently no index for the census. The key to finding your ancestor is knowing the enumeration district (ED). For help finding the enumeration district --- Click here.
Earlier census records are available at the library through subscription databases (Ancestry and Heritage Quest), microfilm and in books.