North Carolina County Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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North Carolina County Records, 1833-1970 .
This article describes a collection of records at
North Carolina, United States
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Flag of North Carolina
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Location of North Carolina
Record Description
Record Type County Records
Collection years 1833-1970
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection includes the following various county records:

  • Coroner's Inquests (1793-1905)
  • Voter Registration Books (1888-1896)
  • Wills (1821-1968)
  • Guardianships (1849-1967)
  • Estates (1854-1968)

Soon after they were formed, counties began recording vital records, court records, and land transactions. The records are generally well preserved. The records were made to establish legal rights and to help track the population for health and taxation purposes. Most of the records are either handwritten or handwritten on printed forms. The information is generally reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant. Some transcription errors may have occurred.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for North Carolina County Records, 1833-1970.

Collection Content

Sample Images

The records generally include the following information:

  • Date of the event, transaction, or recording with the county
  • Names of individual, witnesses, family members, sometimes neighbors
  • Ages
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Occupations
  • Signature or mark
  • Amount of any money exchanged

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The type of event
  • The approximate date the event occurred
  • The name of the individual or individuals, such as the bride and groom, infant, or deceased

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "County" category
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the names, ages and residence church and census records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

"North Carolina, County Records, 1833-1970." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for North Carolina County Records, 1833-1970.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.