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Guide to Wilkes County, North Carolina ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Wilkes County, North Carolina
Map
Map of North Carolina highlighting Wilkes County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
Location of North Carolina in the U.S.
Facts
Founded 1777
County Seat Wilkesboro
Courthouse
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Contents

County Courthouse

Wilkes County Court
110 North St
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-651-7351

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913
military and land records from 1778 [1]


History

Wilkes County is located in northwestern North Carolina. The county was formed from Surry and the District of Washington (or Washington District) by a 1777 legislative act. That act took effect 15 February 1778. 

The county derives its name from John Wilkes, who was an opponent of Britain's Tory party and, at one time, Lord Mayor of London. Because Wilkes had been barred from serving in Parliament because of his political stance, in spite of his having been elected to office, he was viewed as having been persecuted for the sake of freedom.

The first settler of Wilkes County is said to have been Christopher Gist, who moved into the area in 1750. Other famous residents include Daniel Boone and Revolutionary War hero Col. Benjamin Cleveland.

The first court was held at the home of John Brown. The second court was held at the "bent of the Yadkin" on 1 Jun 1778 and was moved the following day, June 2, to the Mulberry Field Meeting House. That location was chosen as the county seat on June 3.

The 2010 population of Wilkes County was 69,340. Wilkes County comprises 757.19 square miles.

Parent County

1777--Wilkes County was created from Surry County and the District of Washington.
County seat: Wilkesboro [2]

Boundary Changes

Ashe County was created from Wilkes County in 1799. Caldwell County was created from parts of Wilkes and Burke Counties in 1841. Part of Wilkes County, along with parts of Caldwell and Iredell Counties, became Alexander County in 1847. Watauga County was created in 1849 from parts of Wilkes, Caldwell, Ashe, and Yancey Counties.

For animated maps illustrating North Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation North Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1664-1965) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

A few of the early records are missing. The reason is unknown. For a list of record loss in North Carolina counties see: North Carolina Counties with Burned Courthouses

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Cities and towns

Neighboring Counties

Resources

Ncwilkes.png

Cemeteries

General

Specific

Censuses

For tips on accessing Wilkes County, North Carolina census records online, see: North Carolina Census.

Church Records

Baptist
  • Beaver Creek. Constituted 1779.[3]
  • Brier Creek. Constituted 1781.[3]
  • Fish's River. Constituted 1789.[3]
  • Little River. Constituted 1791.[3]
  • New River, North Fork. Constituted 1781.[3]
  • New River, Three Forks. Constituted 1791.[3]
  • Roaring River. Constituted 1779.[3]
  • Roaring River, South Fork. Constituted 1785.[3]
  • Yadkin River, Head. Constituted 1779.[3]

Court

  • Court (Wilkes County records in U.S. GenWeb Archives)
  • Court records from 1781 that have not been transferred to the North Carolina State Archives are at the office of the Wilkes County Clerk of the Superior Court at the Courthouse, 500 Courthouse Dr., Wilkesboro, NC 28697, (336) 667-1201. Some records, however, have been transferred to the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, ND.
  • The North Carolina State Archives has the original copies of the following: Apprentice Bonds and Records, 1778-1916; Bastardy Bonds and Records, 1773-1911; Officials' Bonds and Records, 1777-1914.
  • The North Carolina State Archives has various records of the Wilkes County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: Minutes, 1778-1868; Appearance Docket, 1840-1853; Execution Dockets, 1837-1868; State Docket, 1778-1792; Trial and Appearance Docket, 1824-1827; Trial Docket, 1837-1859; Witness Dockets, 1807-1837; and Misc. Dockets, 1778-1858.
  • The North Carolina State Archives has various records of the Wilkes County Superior Court: Minutes, 1807-1931; Equity Minutes, 1819-1860; Equity Enrolling Dockets, 1813-1857; Equity Execution Docket, 1814-1861, and Appearance Docket, 1815-1830; Appearance Docket, 1823-1846; Execution Dockets, 1807-1860; Judgment Dockets, 1868-1877; Recognizance Docket, 1812-1832; State Dockets, 1807-1822 and 1837-1866; Criminal Issues Dockets, 1873 and 1879-1884; Trial and Appearance Docket, 1807-1822; Trial Docket, 1822-1844; Witness Docket, 1824-1833; Misc. Dockets, 1807-1855; Civil Action Papers, 1771-1936 and those concerning land, 1778-1928; Criminal Action Papers, 1761 and 1778-1945.
  • Other records at the State Archives: Alien Registration records, 1940; County Accounts, 1773-1903; Insolvents' Records, 1780-1896; Record of Jurors, 1893-1906; Record of Justices of the Peace, 1877-1898; Physicians' Certificates of Registration, 1889-1988; Record of Lunacy, 1899-1937; Orders and Decrees, 1869-1935, 1938; Special Proceedings Dockets, 1880-1941; Clerk's Minute Dockets (Special Proceedings), 1884-1941; Misc. Records, 1775-1946; Record of Strays, 1822-1839.

Education

Genealogy

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
Bibliography
  • History of Peter and Christina Shutt Dick Family: Frederick County, Maryland, Wilkes County, North Carolina, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Simpson County, Kentucky, Sangamon County, Illinois, Cass, County, Illinois [4]
  • Owens, Charles Sterling. David Owen, Revolutionary War Soldier, and His Descendants Wilkes County, North Carolina to Rockcastle County, Kentucky [5]
  • Andrew Vannoy 1742-1809: Husband of Susannah Shepherd [Vannoy]
  • Captain Samuel Johnson of Wilkes County, North Carolina: Ancestry and Descendants [6]

Land

  • Wilkes County has land records starting from 1777 which can be obtained from the Wilkes County Register of Deeds, 500 Courthouse Drive, Suite 1000, Wilkesboro, NC 28697, (336) 651-7351
  • The North Carolina State Archives has various land-related records pertaining to Wilkes County: Record of Deeds and Grants, 1779-1796; Record of Deeds, 1789-1851; Deeds, 1741-1944; Ejectments, 1799-1907; Land Entries, 1783-1851; List of Land Entries, 1808-1828; Record of Sale of Land for Taxes, 1870-1887; Petitions for Partition and Sale of Land, 1892-1912, 1932; Processioners' Record, 1883-1884; Misc. Land Records, 1778-1925.

Local Histories

  • The Heritage of Wilkes County [7]
  • Wilkes County (Images of America series) [8]
  • Wilkes County Bits and Pieces [9]
  • Historical Sketches of Wilkes County. Wilkesboro, NC: Chronicle Job Office, 1902 - [10]
  • Early Settlers of Reddies River [11]
  • The Land of Wilkes [12]
  • Marriages of Wilkes County, North Carolina, 1778-1868 [13]
  • Sketches of Western North Carolina: Historical and Biographical [14]
  • Poet's Progress [15]
  • The Heritage of Wilkes County, North Carolina (Volume II) [16]

Maps

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Wilkes County for European settlers included:[17]

Military

Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War pension applications at the National Archives for individuals associated with Wilkes County, North Carolina as a place of residence or enlistment, some of which have transcribed copies as indicated:

Civil War

Civil War Confederate units - Brief history, counties where recruited, etc.

-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
:- 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company D
:- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
:- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Detailed Men, Company H
:- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company A
:- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company F
:- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company K

Newspapers

Other Records

Probate

  • The Wilkes County Clerk of the Superior Court (500 Courthouse Dr., Wilkesboro, NC 28697-2497, (336) 667-1201) has copies of wills, estate records, and records pertaining to administrations and settlements, except for those records that have transferred to the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh.
  • The North Carolina State Archives has various probate-related records for Wilkes County: Record of Accounts, 1868-1939; Administrators' Bonds, 1890-1919; Appointment of Administrators, Executors, Guardians and Masters, 1868-1903; Appointment of Administrators, Executors, and Guardians, 1903-1915; Record of Administrators, Executors, and Guardians, 1915-1941; Record of Widows' Year's Allowance, 1871-1970; Estates Records, 1777-1945; Guardians' Records, 1780-1939; Guardians' Bonds, 1910-1921; Record of Amounts Paid to Indigent Children, 1913-1935; Record of Settlements, 1805-1834; Records of Assignees, Receivers and Trustees, 1872-1915.
  • The State Archives also has the following records for Wilkes County: Record of Wills, Bonds, Inventories and Bills of Sale, 1778-1799, 2 vols.; Wills, 1778-1948.

The following are links to transcribed Records of Wills & Estates for Wilkes County:

Taxation

  • 1787 Tax List (New River Notes)
  • 1797 Tax List (New River Notes)
  • Absher, Mrs. W.O., Ruth P. Gregory, and Paul W. Gregory, Wilkes County, North Carolina Taxables (1787, 1788, 1789, 1790) Vol. 3. North Wilkesboro, NC: The Wilkes Genealogical Society, 1975: text in Internet Archive

Vital Records

General

  • Wilkes County Register of Deeds has copies of birth, marriage, and death records. Contact the office for details: 500 Courthouse Drive, Suite 1000, Wilkesboro, NC 28697, (336) 651-7351

Births

Marriages and Divorces

Specific Marriages

Deaths

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

(Note: The following are in alphabetical order.)

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wilkes County, North Carolina. Page 514 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 2:569-570. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  4. [Dick] Hoffman, Muriel M. History of Peter and Christina Shutt Dick Family: Frederick County, Maryland, Wilkes County, North Carolina, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Simpson County, Kentucky, Sangamon County, Illinois, Cass, County, Illinois. Anchor, Ill.: Hoffman, 1970. FHL Book 929.273 D55h
  5. [Owen] Owens, Charles Sterling. David Owen, Revolutionary War Soldier, and His Descendants Wilkes County, North Carolina to Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Knoxville, Tenn.: C.S. Owens, 1991. FHL Book 929.273 Ow2owc
  6. Weight, V.F., Captain Samuel Johnson of Wilkes County, North Carolina: Ancestry and Descendants, 1988. (Google Books link)
  7. Absher, Mrs. W. O., editor, The Heritage of Wilkes County, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Wilkes Genealogical Society, Inc., 1982.  Google Books link
  8. Bass, Misty, Christy Earp, and Jennifer L. Pena, Wilkes County (Images of America series), Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2007: Google Books link
  9. Byrd, Fay, Wilkes County Bits and Pieces, 2010. Google Books link
  10. Crouch, John. Historical Sketches of Wilkes County. Wilkesboro, NC: Chronicle Job Office, 1902 - typescript edition: text in Internet Archive | text in New River Notes - later edition: text in Internet Archive
  11. Gregory, Paul W., Early Settlers of Reddies River, Reddies River Valley (N.C.): Wilkes Genealogical Society, 1976. Google Books link
  12. Hayes, Johnson J., The Land of Wilkes, Wilkesboro, NC: Wilkes County Historical Society, 1962. Google Books link
  13. Holcomb, Brent, Marriages of Wilkes County, North Carolina, 1778-1868, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983: Google Books link
  14. Hunter, C.L., Sketches of Western North Carolina: Historical and Biographical, Raleigh, North Carolina: The Raleigh News Steam Job Print, 1877; see ch. 9: "Wilkes County:" Google Books link
  15. Pearson, James Larkin, Poet's Progress, 1965. Reprint, Wilkesboro, NC: Wilkes Community College, 2005.  Google Books link
  16. Simpson, Mrs. Nancy W., editor. The Heritage of Wilkes County, North Carolina (Volume II), Charlotte, North Carolina: Wilkes Genealogical Society, Inc., 1990.  Google Books link
  17. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the Early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  18. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/f/f5/Iginorthcarolinap.pdf.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 17 December 2014, at 17:42.
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