Difference between revisions of "Surry County, North Carolina Genealogy"

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==== Cemeteries  ====
==== Cemeteries  ====
*[http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/surr/index.htm Surry County, North Carolina Cemeteries] (Cemetery Census)
*[http://www.newrivernotes.com/nc/fishergap.htm Fisher's Gap Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery] (online list, New River Notes)
*[http://www.newrivernotes.com/nc/libertyunionpbcem.htm Liberty Union Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery] (online list, New River Notes)
*[http://www.newrivernotes.com/nc/wolffcem2.htm Stony Ridge, Wolff Family Cemetery] (online list, New River Notes)
*[http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/surr/index.htm Surry County, North Carolina Cemeteries] (online lists, Cemetery Census)
*[http://www.newrivernotes.com/nc/wolffcem.htm Wolff Family Cemetery] (online list, New River Notes)
==== Censuses ====
==== Censuses ====

Revision as of 21:28, 1 April 2011

Template:North Carolina-stub

Surry County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Surry 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 1771
County Seat Dobson
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United States  Gotoarrow.png  North Carolina  Gotoarrow.png  Surry County

County Courthouse


Parent County

1771--Surry County was created from Rowan County.
County seat: Dobson [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Brief History

Surry County was originally formed from Rowan County in 1771. Rowan had been formed from Anson in 1753, and Anson was formed from Bladen in 1750. The act to form Surry County was proposed to the assembly of North Carolina in December 1770, and was passed the following month, January 1771. This act became effective 1 Apr 1771.

Wilkes County was formed in 1777 from Surry County and, according to some sources, Washington District, also known as the District of Washington. Evidently, however, the District of Washington was created in the same legislative session. Washington District is, today, Washington County, Tennessee. Stokes County was formed ten years later from Surry's eastern border.

Yet another division took place in 1851, as Yadkin County was formed from the area south of Yadkin River.  At this time a new county seat was moved from Rockford to Dobson, and has remained there to this day. Dobson is named for William Polk Dobson, a prominent citizen. The Registrar of Deeds Office welcomes visitors to its very user-friendly collection of vital records.

The 1860 census for Surry County shows about 1,200 slaves in the county.

Settlers from Virginia and Pennsylvania who were of the Quaker religion came from the New Garden and other meetings in Guilford County, North Carolina.  Some of those families include Bond, Burcham, Hill, Hiatt, Horton, Love, Pinson, Jackson, Jessup, Simmons, Stanley and Taylor. Many of them moved on to Indiana but numerous descendants are still in the area.

Those of the German Moravian faith who came from other North Carolina settlements include the Brinkley, Hauser, Kiger, Moser and Shouse lines. Families of French descent include Hardin, Poindexter, Lambert, Laurence, and probably Laffoon.

The Riggs family, said to descend from Edward Riggs III who came to Massachusetts in the 1630s and founded Morristown, New Jersey, came to Surry County with the Henson, Jarvis and Wilmoth families.

Families that came from Albermarle County, North Carolina, were Burrus, Cave, Easley, Fleming, Franklin, Ollesby, Perkins, Snow, Taliaferro and Tucker. Those that came from neighboring Stokes County were East, Hill, King, Pratt, Simpson, Venable and Vernon.

Other prominent familes were Marion, Creed, McKinney, Moore, Dudley and McCraw.

Present-day Surry County is southern living at its best. Because of being somewhat isolated at the base of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia, it has been able to retain the long-held traditions of the families lines that have remained there for over 220 years. Some have clung to the old Elizabethan English and many have strong roots in their Primitive Baptist upbringing. Most of these second-generation Americans were born in Virginia and migrated to North Carolina looking for the fertile land that had been advertised and scouted.

Places / Localities

Populated Places

  • Dobson (county seat)
  • Elkin
  • Mount Airy
  • Pilot Mountain

Neighboring Counties


  • Bryan
  • Dobson
  • Eldora
  • Elkin
  • Franklin
  • Long Hill
  • Marsh
  • Mount Airy
  • Pilot Mountain
  • Rockford
  • Shoals
  • Sloam
  • South Westfield
  • Stewarts Creek
  • Westfield

Major Rivers

  • Ararat River
  • Fisher River
  • Mitchell River
  • Yadkin River




  • 1786 State Census for Surry County (incomplete)



Family Histories

  • [Adamson] Dixon Ben F. and Alice L. Dwelle Dixon. The Adamson Source Book, a Genealogy of the Descendants of Rachel Williams Adamson, 1776-1850 of Surry County, N.C., Jefferson County, Tenn., and Lawrence County, Ind.: with an Addendum of Miscellaneous Historical Material on the Name Adamson. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: B.F. Dixon, 1942-1961. 
  • Coats, Charlotte, Joshua Richardson, Lazarus Tilley, William Mason: The American Revolution and Before, 2006.
  • Dunagin, Percy E., The Early Dunagins of Surry County, North Carolina, Family Heritage Publishers, 2007.
  • Heinegg, Paul, Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005.


Local Histories

  • Absher, Mrs. W.O., and Mae R. Hayes, Surry County, North Carolina Deed Book C (1777-1788). Self-published.
  • Boyles, Carolyn, Wilma Hiatt, and Surry County Genealogical Association, Surry County (Images of America series), Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.
  • Columbine, Mary Felts, Surry County, North Carolina: Early Settlers and Road Builders, 1771-1850, 2005.
  • Heinegg, Paul, Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005. 
  • Holcomb, Brent, Marriages of Surry County, North Carolina, 1778-1868, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982.
  • Hollingsworth, Jesse Gentry, History of Surry County, or Annals of Northwest North Carolina, W.H. Fisher Company, 1935. (Google Books link, without preview)
  • Jackson, Hester B., Surry County Soldiers in the Civil War, Dobson, North Carolina: Surry County Historical Society, 1992.
  • Linn, Jo White, Surry County, North Carolina Wills, 1771-1827, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992.
  • Thompson, Evelyn Scales, Around Surry County (Black America Series), Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2005. (Google Books link with preview)





Research Guides

  • Sweeney, Alice J. "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3. Available at FHL; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.


Tax lists, 1784-1789, are extant.

Vital Records


  • Surry Community College - various issues between 1969-1995

Societies and Libraries

  • Bassett Historical Center, Bassett, Virginia. Website includes descriptions of collections. Excellent resource for family history research in Henry, Patrick, Floyd, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia, the city of Martinsville, Virginia, and Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties in North Carolina.[2]

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Sweeney, Alice J. "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3, available online at: http://www.vgs.org/vgsn2804.pdf.