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Genealogy Resources

North Carolina Genealogy Resources

North Carolina's history dates back to the colonial period and offers records for every major period in American history. It was a starting point for many who migrated west.

  • Bent, James Robert. The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register. 3 vols. Clearfield, 2006.
  • Brayton, John Anderson. Order of the First Families of North Carolina: Registry of Ancestors Vols. 1 & 2. Clearfield, 2005, 2009.
  • Brayton, John Anderson. Transcription of Provincial North Carolina Wills, 1663-1729/30 . 2 vols. Clearfield, 2003, 2006.
  • Digital Collections. University of North Carolina.
     
  • Doughboys Database.  Contains information about people who had Mecklenburg County, NC connections who may have registered for the draft, served in the military or assisted in the war effort as a civilian during World War I.

  • Eddleman, Bill. Abstracts of Haywood County, North Carolina Deeds 1808-1838. Greeville, S.C.: Southern Historical Books, 2005.

  • Electronic Resources. State Library of North Carolina.

  • Finding Slave Records. State Library of North Carolina.

  • Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina, from the Colonial Period to about 1820. 2 vols., 5th ed. Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008.

  • Gable, Sharon Rea. Camden County, North Carolina (Extant) Marriage Returns, 1848-1919, Including Cohabitation Records. Suffolk, Va.: Self-published, 2007. Order from Family Research Society of Northeastern North Carolina, P.O. Box 1425, Elizabeth City, NC 27906-1425.

  • Gable, Sharon Rea. Camden County, North Carolina Will Book D: September 1854-1868. Suffolk, VA: S. Gable, 2010.
     
  • Genealogical Research in North Carolina. State Library of North Carolina.

  • Green, Linda L. North Carolina 1850 Agricultural Census, Volume I. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2008.
     
  • Guilford County, North Carolina Online Documents.

  • Haines, Jeffrey L. Research in North Carolina. Arlington, Va: National Genealogical Society, 2008.
     
  • Hathaway, James Robert Bent. North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. I, no. 1-Vol. III no. 3 (11 numbers). Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., Inc., 2006, 1900-1903.
     
  • Heinegg, Paul. Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina from the Colonial Period to About 1820. Fifth Edition. Two Volumes. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006, 2005. Reconstructs the history of the free African-American communities of Virginia and the Carolinas by looking at the history of their families.
     
  • Holcomb, Brent H. Marriages of Chatham County, North Carolina, 1772-1868. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., Inc., 2006, 1987.

  • Holcomb, Brent. Marriages of Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1868. Baltimore: Geneal. Pub. Co, 1981. At its formation in 1753, Rowan County, North Carolina, covered a large area, for it extended north to Virginia and had an indeterminate western boundary. It lay across the main migration route to the south and west, and was peopled by pioneers of German, Scotch-Irish, and English extraction. It is their marriage records, from 1753 to 1868, that form the basis of this work.
     
  • Holcomb, Brent H. Marriages of Rutherford county, North Carolina, 1779-1868. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005, 1986.

  • Holcomb, Brent H.  Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Abstracts of Early Wills 1763-1790 (1749-1790). Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Co., Inc., 2008, 1980.

  • Hollingsworth, J.G. History of Surry County, North Carolina. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Books, 2005, 1935.
     
  • Jones, Roger C. Guide to North Carolina Newspapers on Microfilm. Raleigh, North Carolina: Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1982.

  • Kendall, Katherine Kerr. Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1778-1868. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Co., Inc., 2008, 1981.
     
  • Land Records, 1600-1957; Indexes 1693-1959. Microfilm of original records at the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh. Filmed by the archives, 1980-2003, 591 rolls, beginning with FHL film #1942649.
     
  • Marler, Kathleen. Families of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, 1792-1815. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005, 2004.
     
  • Marler, Kathleen. Residents of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 1762-1790. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005.

  • McEachem, Leora H. Duplin County, North Carolina Court of Please & Quarter Sessions 1784-1787 (Vol. I). Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Books, 2005, 1978, 1979, 1980.

  • Meredith College, Carlyle Campbell Library.  If you have North Carolina Baptist ancestors, the library's holdings of the Biblical Recorder, the journal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, which began publication in 1834, will be essential to your research. A series of printed indices provide access to the contents that are available on microfilm.

  • North Carolina, Birth Index, 1800-2000. Index of births from the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. Index provided by Ancestry.com. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Births and Christenings, 1866-1964. Name index to birth, baptism and christening records from the state of North Carolina. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. FamilySearch. 

  • North Carolina, Civil Action Court Papers, 1712-1970. This collection includes digital images of civil court records filed in North Carolina counties between 1737 and 1968. Civil court actions contain a variety of records with information of genealogical and historical value whether in adversary or ex parte proceedings. Civil suits were generally brought to settle questions of land ownership, unpaid debts, unfulfilled contracts, and unperformed agreements. Suits concerning dower, breach of contract, and slander were frequent. Divorces were included. The legitimating of bastard children fell within the province of this court. The records also include some records of slave emancipation and of naturalization proceedings. This collection is being published as images become available. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865. Confederate service records of soldiers who served in organizations from North Carolina . The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M270. Index courtesy of Fold3. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865. Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from North Carolina. The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917 and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M401. Index courtesy of Fold3. FamilySearch.

  • The North Carolina Collection.

  • North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

  • North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953. Pensions were provided for Confederate veterans who were residents of North Carolina and who had lost a leg, eye, or arm, or who were incapacitated for manual labor while in the service of the Confederate States during the Civil War. Widows of soldiers who were killed in service were entitled to the same benefits as long as they did not remarry. Any person, however, who owned property with a tax value of $500.00 or received a salary of $300.00 per year from the nation, state, or county was not eligible. The law was amended to include widows of soldiers who had died of disease while in service. In 1901, a new pension law was passed, in which, “Every person who has been for twelve months immediately preceding his or her application for pension bona fide resident of the State, and who is incapacitated for manual labor and was a soldier or a sailor in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America, during the war between the States (provided, said widow was married to said soldier or sailor before the first day of April, 1865)" was entitled to a pension. No person holding a national, state, or county office for which he received $300.00 annually, no person with property valued at $500.00 or more, or no person receiving aid under laws for relief of totally blind and maimed was eligible (inmates of the Soldiers' Home, recipients of pensions from other states, and deserters were excluded from benefits under the pension acts, although inmates of the Soldiers' Home were granted quarterly allowances of $1.50 in 1909 -- increased to $3.00 quarterly in 1913). FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina County Collection. The North Carolina County Collection is a general image file arranged by county and comprises approximately 5,200 prints and photographs of places, events, and people. Each county file includes at least one folder—and often many more—for each of North Carolina's 100 counties. A folder may contain one or more images. Each county has a Web page that lists the folder titles containing photographs in each county file, and at least one low resolution digital scan.

  • North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979.  Name index and images of marriage records from North Carolina county courthouses. These records include licenses, marriage applications, marriage bonds, marriage certificates, marriage packets and cohabitation registers. Currently, portions of the following counties are represented in this collection: Alamance, Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Beaufort, Bladen, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Cherokee, Chowan, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hanover, Hyde, Johnston, Lincoln, Macon, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Northampton, Pitt, Richmond, Rowan, Surry, Wilkes. Additional records will be added as they are completed. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, County Records, 1833-1970. Collection of various county records including, wills, guardianships, estates, voter registration books, coroner’s inquests, etc. It was filmed at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in Raleigh. This collection is being published as images become available. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867-1984. Images of death records and marriage licenses recorded in Davidson County, North Carolina. Some of the individual volumes include an index and there are comprehensive indexes to some of the records. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994. Name index to death and burial records from the state of North Carolina. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 109,511 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Deaths, 1906-1930. Name index and images of death certificates recorded in North Carolina from 1906-1930. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Deaths, 1931-1994. Name index to deaths recorded in North Carolina from 1931-1994. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Digitization Project. In 2009, the North Carolina State Archives completed a project to digitize newspapers from it's collection that were, up until that time, only available on microfilm. These materials include papers dating from 1752-1890s from cities like Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816) - a total of 23,483 digital images that are keyword searchable.

  • North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online). North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online is the World Wide Web's doorway to the special collections of North Carolina's libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions.

  • North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979. Index and images of estate files from North Carolina counties. The originals were filmed at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. The estate records contain loose papers relating to the settlement of estates including such matters as provision for heirs including minor children as well as distribution of funds, land and property, including slaves. This project was indexed in partnership with the North Carolina Genealogical Society and Library. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Family Records Online.
     
  • North Carolina GenWeb Project.
     
  • North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2000. Ancestry.com

  • North Carolina, Marriages, 1759-1979. Name index to marriage records from the state of North Carolina. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Newspapers. Over 2,000 newspapers have been published in North Carolina since the North Carolina Gazette first appeared in New Bern in 1751. Many North Carolina newspapers have been microfilmed by the North Carolina State Archives and are available for use at the Government and Heritage Library. In 2009, the State Archives of North Carolina completed a project to digitize newspapers from its collection that were, up until that time, only available on microfilm. These materials include papers dating from 1752-1890s from cities like Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1789-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816) - a total of 23,483 digital images that are keyword searchable.

  • North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970. Includes probate matters recorded at county courthouses in North Carolina. Includes wills, guardianships and estate records in bound volumes. Although the coverage dates include a larger span of years, most of the records in this collection are from 1800-1930. FamilySearch.
     
  • North Carolina State Archives. The North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county, and local governmental units, and copies of federal and foreign government materials. In addition to these official records are private collections, organization records, maps, pamphlets, sound recordings, photographs, motion picture film, and a small reference library. In all, the Archives houses over 50,000 linear feet of permanently valuable materials containing millions of individual items. Materials in the Archives collections constitute by far the most valuable assembly of manuscript records and North Caroliniana in existence.
     
  • North Carolina State Archives: Online Projects.

  • North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909: The collection contains images of case files from North Carolina State Supreme Court. Most cases are appeals of lower court decisions with each case usually covering multiple pages. The records are arranged chronologically and handwritten.

  • North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909. Images of original case files from the North Carolina State Supreme Court. This collection is being published as images become available. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina, Wilmington and Morehead City Passenger and Crew Lists, 1908-1958. This collection contains passenger and crew lists for vessels arriving at Wilmington and Moorhead City, North Carolina from 1908-1958. It corresponds with NARA publication A3481: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina, 1908-1958. FamilySearch.

  • O'Kelly Chapel record books - 1857-1924 and 1941-1953. Provides links to the digitized pages and typed transcriptions of the two record books from the O’Kelly Chapel in Chatham County, NC. Records located at Belk Library at Elon College. The documents are primarily comprised of congregation member lists, congregation meeting minutes and conference meeting minutes. The books also provide information about the black community by way of member lists, indicating this church was integrated by the early 19th century.
     
  • Olds, Fred A. Abstract of North Carolina Wills. Reprinted Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 2004, 1925.
     
  • Post-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index. Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Service Division, Work Projects Administration, microfilm of originals in the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina. The cards give county, name of cemetery, town, name of person, birth date, death date, age, spouse or parents, location of grave, and military information, if known. Filmed by the archives, 5 rolls, beginning with FHL film #882965.
     
  • Pre-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index. Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Service Division, Work Projects Administration, microfilm of originals in the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina. Surname index cards list county, name of cemetery, town, person, date of birth, death date, age, spouse or parents, location of grave, military information. The cards are organized alphabetically by county, alphabetically by town and then alphabetically by cemetery name. Filmed by the archives, 23 rolls, beginning with FHL film #882944.
     
  • Ray, Worth S. Lost Tribes of North Carolina. Part I: Index and Digest to Hathaway's North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., Inc., 2004, 1945.
     
  • Ray, Worth S. The Lost Tribes of North Carolina. Part II: Colonial Granville County [North Carolina] and Its People. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, Inc., 2007, 1945.
     
  • Ray, Worth S. The Lost Tribes of North Carolina, Part III: The Mecklenburg Signers and Their Neighbors. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, Inc., 2007, 1946.
     
  • Ray, Worth S. The Lost Tribes of North Carolina, Part IV: Old Albemarle and Its Absentee Landlords. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, Inc., 2007, 1947.

  • Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution. Clearfield, 2008.

  • Shields, Ruth H. Orange County, N.C. Abstracts of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of: Sept. 1752-Aug. 1766. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Books, 2005, 1965.

  • Southern Historical Collection and the Southern Folklife Collection

  • State Library of North Carolina: Electronic Resources.

  • State Library of North Carolina: Services to Genealogists.
     
  • Tax Lists, North Carolina Counties, 1720-1764. FHL title "Tax lists of various counties of North Carolina," microfilm of originals at the Secretary of State's Office, Raleigh, North Carolina. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941, 1 roll, FHL film #18071.

  • United States.  Heads of families at the first census of the United States taken in the year 1790: North Carolina. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1973.
     
  • Western NC Genealogy Resource Center.  This site has been developed to aide the Western NC researcher. This site is no longer affiliated with any group or organization.

  • Wooley, James E. Macon County, North Carolina: Marriages 1829-1939. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Books, 2005, 1984.