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Guide to Burke 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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Online Records

Burke County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Burke County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
Location of North Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1777
County Seat Morganton
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County Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy Government Records

Burke County, North Carolina
201 S Green Street
P O Box 219
Morganton, NC 28680
Phone: 828-438-5450

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913
marriage, land and military discharge records from 1865;
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1865[1]


Parent County

1777--Burke County was created 8 April 1777 from Rowan County. County seat: Morganton [2]

Boundary Changes

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

1865--Many court records and most land records burned by Federal troops.

Former Burke County Genealogical Society President Betsy Pittman's article can help you discover your Burke County ancestors despite record loss, see:

  • Pittman, Betsy Dodd. "Burke County 'Bypasses,'" The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2 (May 1989):68-72. FHL Book 975.6 B2s v. 15 (1989).

For a list of record loss in North Carolina counties see: North Carolina Counties with Burned Courthouses


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties





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

Church Records

  • Catawbo River. Constituted 1785.[3]




  • [Plumlee] Plumlee, Robert D. The Plumlee Family. Clearwater, Fla.: Plumlee Systems, Inc., 1969, 1979. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.


Local Histories



Early migration routes to and from Burke County for European settlers included:[4]


Civil War

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

-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, usually known as the Bethel Regiment.
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
:- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
:- 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
:- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry,usually known as the Bethel Regiment, Company G
:- 41st Regiment Volunteers - 3rd Cavalry, Company F
:- 5th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company C
:- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company F
:- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company I
:- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
:- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
:- 8th Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company C




Vital Records

  • 1867-1939 - Burke County Marriage Index 1867-1939. Batch B868464 at FamilySearch - free.[5]
  • Burke County Marriages - search on the website of the Burke County Register of Deeds
  • North Carolina Marriages, 1762-1979 - search this database of marriages from across the state - images included; via FamilySearch
  • Burke County marriages - may be included throughout Carrie Broughton's 6-volume index of the Raleigh Register & State Gazette newspaper (1799-1893). Marriages are listed by year and PDF files are searchable. Available on the North Carolina Digital Collections website.
  • Burke County Marriages 1774-1854 North Carolina Pioneers
  • North Carolina Marriages to 1799, a database, available to members North Carolina Pioneers


Societies and Libraries 

Burke County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 661
Morganton, NC 28680-0661
Burke County Genealogical Society

membership is required

Burke County Historical Society
PO Box 151
Morganton, NC 28680-0151

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Burke County, North Carolina p. 507. 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. George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 2:562. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  4. 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.
  5. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Iginorthcarolinaa.pdf.


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  • This page was last modified on 28 June 2015, at 14:10.
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