Swain County, North Carolina GenealogyEdit This Page

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Swain County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Swain 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 1871
County Seat Bryson City
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United States  Gotoarrow.png  North Carolina  Gotoarrow.png  Swain County


County Courthouse


Swain County North Carolina
1 Mitchell St P O box 417
Bryson, NC 28713
Reg of Deeds has b & d rec from 1913
m rec from 1907 & land rec
Clk Sup Ct has div & ct rec from 1900 & pro rec
Swain county was created 24 Feb 1871 from Jackson and Macon


European settlement began soon after the Cherokee Indian cession of 1798. These Europeans settled in the areas along the Oconaluftee and Tuckaseegee Rivers. The Cherokees surrendered the remainder of the land in a treaty on February 27, 1819. In 1871 the North Carolina General Assembly passed an act making Swain a North Carolina county, taking land from Jackson and Macon county. It was named for David L. Swain a former governor of North Carolina and president of the University of North Carolina.

The first court was held at Cold Spring Meeting House. Commissioners were to select a site for the courthouse and lay out a town named Charleston, to become the county seat. Charleston was renamed Bryson City in 1889 in honor of Colonel Thad Dillard Bryson.

Swain County began probating wills in 1876.

Parent County

1871--Swain County was created from Jackson and Macon Counties.
County seat: Bryson City [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

1879--Courthouse fire destroyed many records.

1908-- Swain County Courthouse in Bryson City burned by rioters, January 7, 1908.  No records were saved. [2]


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties






Local Histories



Civil War

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




Vital Records

Societies and Libraries 

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. GenDisasters.com Bryson City, NC Courthouse Burned by Rioters, Jan 1908 http://www3.gendisasters.com/north-carolina/17868/bryson-city-nc-courthouse-burned-rioters-jan-1908


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