North Carolina State Supreme Court Case Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the Records
North Carolina, State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909 .
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 Supreme Court Cases
Collection years 1800-1909
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

This collection is comprised of images of case files from North Carolina State Supreme Court for the year 1800 to 1909. The cases are generally appeals of lower court decisions with each case usually covering multiple pages. The records are arranged chronologically and handwritten.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina originated with the State Constitution of 1776, which empowered the General Assembly to appoint "Judges of the Supreme Courts of Law and Equity" and "Judges of Admiralty." The appellate court was created in 1799. For additional information on the history of the North Carolina State Supreme Court, see the following on-line article:

Supreme Court of North Carolina

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for North Carolina State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909.

Collection Content

Sample Images

The case files usually include the following information:

  • Date of case or filing with the court
  • Names of interested parties and witnesses

Depending upon the type of case heard you may also find any of the following:

  • Names of family members
  • Names of neighbors
  • Ages
  • Relationships
  • Residences
  • Occupations
  • Signature or mark
  • Legal descriptions of land
  • Amount of money exchanged as part of business transactions or assessed by the courts

How Do I Search the Collection?

When searching the records it is helpful to know the following:

  • The approximate court date
  • The name of the individual or individuals involved in the case
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, variant spellings of the surnames

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Year Range"
⇒ Select the "Box/Case Numbers" 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. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the names, ages, residence, church, and census records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The information given varies from one record to another record.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment or other types of records such as military records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

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 State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing State Archives, Raleigh.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for North Carolina State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909.

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 State Supreme Court Case Files, 1800-1909.

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.