Finding Records in North Carolina
Vital Records:

    North Carolina began requiring statewide registration of births and deaths in March, 1913. Compliance was considered full by 1920. Marriage
    records are found recorded with the Register of Deeds in each county after 1868. Prior to that time marriages could be solemnized by numerous
    authorities, so records were sporadically kept. Marriage bonds are available for about half of the counties, and some marriages will be found in
    almost every county.


For birth records after 1913, and death records after 1930, write:

    North Carolina Department Of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Vital Records Section, 225 North McDowell Street, P.O. Box 29537,
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0537



For death records after 1913 and before 1930, write:

    North Carolina State Archives, Archives and Records Section, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2807

    For earlier records, write to the register of deeds of the county in question.



Census Records:

    Federal census records for North Carolina begin with 1790 and continue each decennial year through 1920, except for the destroyed census of
    1890. All are indexed in at least one format. The 1790 enumeration is missing for Caswell, Granville, and Orange counties; the 1810 is missing the
    counties of Craven, Greene, New Hanover, and Wake, (though the information has been substituted in most publications with tax lists); and the
    1820 is complete except for Currituck, Franklin, Martin, Montgomery, Randolph and Wake counties. The 1890 census survives for only South Point
    and River Ben townships in Gaston County, and Township No. 2 in Cleveland County.

    In 1784 the North Carolina General Assembly requested that a list of inhabitants be taken. Compliance was slow and apparently incomplete, with
    some counties not responding until 1786. Extant portions of the 1784–87 state censuses are in Alvaretta K. Register, State Census of North
    Carolina, 1784–1787, 2d ed., rev. (1971; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978). Additional portions of the 1784–87 censuses have
    been located since the Register's publication. See Helen F. M. Leary, comp., "Bertie Co., N.C., 1787 State Census," The North Carolina
    Genealogical Society Journal 9, no. 1 (February 1983): 32–34, and Jonathan B. Butcher, "1787 Census Return for Pearson's Company, Rowan
    County, NC," The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal 11, no. 4 (November 1985): 253–54. Tax lists serve as substitutes for other early
    censuses.



Land Records:

    North Carolina is a state-land state. Lands were usually obtained from the state or from other individuals. Early acquisitions were made from British
    proprietors. The land grants of North Carolina are indexed in the Master Card File Index to North Carolina Land Grants, 1679–1959, available from
    the Land Grant Office, Office of the Secretary of State, 300 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603. When writing, furnish the full
    name of the grantee and the county in which the grant was made.
    The proprietary land patents are available at the North Carolina State Archives and on microfilm at the FHL. See Margaret M. Hofmann, Province of
    North Carolina: 1663–1729, Abstracts of Land Patents (Weldon, N.C.: Roanoke News Co., 1983). The British Crown purchased the province in
    1729, and began selling lands in 1735. This purchase included all but the proprietorship of Granville. Abstracts of Crown land patents are in
    Margaret M. Hofmann, Colony of North Carolina, 1735–1764, Abstracts of Land Patents and Colony of North Carolina, 1765–1775, Abstracts of
    Land Patents (Weldon, N.C.: Roanoke News Co., 1983–84). For Granville grants, see Margaret M. Hofmann, The Granville District of North
    Carolina, 1748–1763: Abstracts of Land Grants, Vol. 1– (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.: the author, 1986– ), which is a continuing project. The Granville
    land records are indexed in full in the Lord Granville Index in the Land Grant Office of the Secretary of State.

    Most of the state grants have been microfilmed and are available at the North Carolina State Archives and the FHL, along with grants made in
    Tennessee to veterans who served in the Revolutionary War. When land was sold by individuals, the transaction generally was recorded with the
    county Register of Deeds.



Court Records:

    Court records entail probate records, guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources. It should be remembered that there are
    different levels of jurisdiction for courts in the United States, all of which should be considered for research under various circumstances. Court of
    Common Pleas, Orphan's Court, Probate Court, District Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court. See: "Research in Court Records" by Arlene H.
    Eakle, found in Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, rev. ed. (Salt
    Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).



Military Records:

    Though North Carolinians served in wars prior to the Revolutionary War, little documentation still exists. Surviving muster rolls and militia officer lists
    are available at the North Carolina State Archives and are published in Murtie June Clark, Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732–1774 (Baltimore:
    Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986). Revolutionary soldiers of North Carolina can be found in Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American
    Revolution (1932; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977). Also, the comprehensive index to Revolutionary War Records on fifty-eight
    reels of microfilm is available at the National Archives, the FHL and other selected libraries. As well, bounty lands were given by North Carolina,
    entailing lands in present-day Tennessee.


    War of 1812 service can be researched in Muster Rolls of the Soldiers of the War of 1812: Detached from the Militia of North Carolina, in 1812 and
    1814 (1851; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976). Unfortunately, this source must be carefully verified in original records. Civil War
    service records are available at the North Carolina State Archives, including enlistment bounty payrolls. The most comprehensive publication on
    North Carolina's Confederate soldiers is Louis H. Manarin and Weymouth T. Jordan, comps., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865, A Roster, 12 vols.
    (Raleigh: State Department of Archives and History, 1981–present). The newest publication is a reprint of Walter Clark's Histories of Several
    Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861- 1865. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1996. North Carolina
    offered pensions to Confederate veterans and their widows beginning in 1885. Pension records and the accompanying index are available at the
    North Carolina State Archives; the index is available on microfilm at the FHL. An unindexed, printed Roster of the North Carolina Volunteers in the
    Spanish American War is available in the Search Room of the North Carolina State Archives.



Additional Sources:

    Leary, Helen F. M., editor. North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History Raleigh: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996.

    Powell, William S. The North Carolina Gazetteer. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.

    North Carolina Department of Archives and History. Guide to Research Materials in the North Carolina State Archives, Section B: County Records
    10th rev. ed. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1990.



Archives, Libraries and Societies:

    North Carolina
    Division of Archives and History, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.URL: http://archives.ncdcr.gov

    North Carolina Genealogical Society, Dept. E, P.O. Box 1492, Raleigh, NC 27602