City Genealogy Guide: Raleigh, NC
Discover your roots in Raleigh, NC, with our city guide.
Like the stately trees that earned it the nickname City of Oaks, Raleigh, NC, embodies history and vitality with a dash of Southern charm. Thriving business and shopping venues, combined with a lively arts scene and its status as state capital, have propelled Raleigh into one of the fast-growing cities in America. But like the oaks, Raleigh doesn’t take its roots for granted—which makes it a great place to search for yours.

Steeped in history

In 1792, when North Carolina sought a centrally located site for a capital, commissioners purchased 1,000 acres of land in Wake County from Joel Lane. They named the new city after Sir Walter Raleigh. Once the state house opened in 1794, businesses began to emerge on Fayetteville Street. Population gained momentum with the arrival of two railroads in the 1840s.