North Carolina Records Details and Resources

North Carolina Records Details and Resources

Where to find North Carolina census records, immigration records, land records, maps, vital records and more.


North Carolina began statewide registration of births and deaths in October 1913, marriages in 1962, and divorces in 1958. Records of these events are also kept in the county where the event occurred: birth (before 1960), death, and marriage records with the register of deeds; divorces with the superior court clerk. Before the 20th century, legislative divorces (before 1835) or court-granted divorces (after 1814) were rare. The state archives holds surviving pre-1868 marriage bonds; few early marriage licenses exist.

For vital records copies, try the county office first. The Vital Records Registrar website contains information on obtaining copies from the state Vital Records Unit.

The state archives site contains information on its genealogical holdings. For detailed guides to manuscripts and county records held at the archives, see Other records include:

  • Colonial records, including some abstracted or microfilmed tax lists and estate records
  • Early North Carolina papers in several series, especially series KK, of the Draper Manuscripts, which are housed at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and available on microfilm at major research libraries
  • 1785-1787 state census, various counties, not complete; no state censuses after 1787
  • Pre-Civil War records of ante-bellum plantations and industries (see Witcher’s book cited below)
  • Post-Civil War African-American cohabitation (marriage) records and slave narratives
  • Records of the three North Carolina branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (FHL film 928586)
  • North Carolina Confederate pension records from 1885, at the state archives


  • An Abstract of North Carolina Wills From About 1760 to About 1800 by Fred A. Olds (Genealogical Publishing. Co., 1965)
  • Catalogue, North Carolina Federal Court Records, National Archives — Atlanta Branch edited by William D. Bennett (W.D. Bennett, 1987)
  • Colonial Estate Papers, 1669-1759 by the North Carolina Division of Archives and History (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1996)
  • The County Court in North Carolina Before 1750 by Paul Moffatt McCain (Duke University Press, 1954)
  • The Eastern Cherokees, a Census of the Cherokee Nation in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia in 1851 compiled by David W. Siler (Polyanthos, 1972)
  • The First Laws of the State of North Carolina, 2 vols., by John D. Cushing (M. Clazier, 1984)
  • Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for North Carolina, 1864-1866 by the US Bureau of Internal Revenue (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988)
  • North Carolina Extant Voter Registrations of 1867 by Frances Holloway Wynne (Heritage Books, 1992)
  • North Carolina Higher-court Records, 5 vols. (State Department of Archives and History, 1968-1981)
  • North Carolina Taxpayers compiled by Clarence E. Ratcliff (Genealogical Publishing. Co., 1987-1989)
  • North Carolina Wills and Court Records, 1679-1775 (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941)
  • North Carolina Wills and Inventories, Copied From Original and Recorded Wills and Inventories in the Office of the Secretary of State by J. Bryan Grimes (Genealogical Publishing. Co., 1967)
  • North Carolina Wills, a Testator Index 1665-1900, 2 vols., by Thornton W. Mitchell (T.W. Mitchell, 1987)
  • The State Records of North State Census Records by Ann S. Lainhart (AMS, 1970)


  • Explorations, Descriptions and Attempted Settlements of Carolina, 1584-1590 by Richard Hakluyt, edited by David Leroy Corbitt (State Department. of Archives and History, 1948)
  • The Highland Scots of North Carolina by Duane Gilbert Meyer (Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission, 1963)
  • The Loyalists in North Carolina During the Revolution by Robert O. DeMond (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, ca. 1940)
  • Marylanders to Carolina: Migration of Marylanders to North Carolina and South Carolina Prior to 1800 by Henry C. Peden, Jr. (Family Line Publications, 1994)
  • The Moravians in North Carolina; an Authentic History by Levin Theodore Reichel (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968)
  • North Carolina Naturalization Index, 1792-1862 by Betty J. Camin (B.J. Camin, 1989)
  • Record of Emigrants From England and Scotland to North Carolina, 1774-1775 edited by Albert Ray Newsome (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, ca. 1989)
  • Roster of Soldiers From North Carolina in the American Revolution by the Daughters of the American Revolution (North Carolina) (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977)
  • Westward From Virginia: The Exploration of the Virginia-Carolina Frontier, 1650-1710 by Alan Vance Briceland (University Press of Virginia, 1987)


  • Colonial Land Entries in North Carolina, 3 vols., by A.B. Pruitt (A.B. Pruitt, 1994-1995)
  • Colony of North Carolina: Abstracts of Land Patents, 2 vols., by Margaret M. Hofmann (Roanoke News Co., 1982-1984)
  • The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748-1763: Abstracts of Land Grants, 4 vols., by Margaret M. Hofmann (Roanoke News Co., 1986-1993)
  • The History of Land Titles in Western North Carolina: A History of the Cherokee Land Laws Affecting the Title to Land Lying West of the Meigs and Freeman Line, and Laws Affecting the Title of Land Lying East of the Meigs and Freeman Line Back to the Top of Blue Ridge by George Henry Smathers (Miller Printing Co., 1938)
  • Land Grants, Land Entries and Warrants and List of Grants for Various Counties of North Carolina, 1764-1853 by the North Carolina Secretary of State (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941)
  • Land Records, 1600 Thru 1957; Indexes, 1693-1959 by the North Carolina Secretary of State Land Grant Office (North Carolina State Archives, 1980-2003)
  • North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791 compiled by Goldene Fillers Burgner (Southern Historical Press, 1981)
  • North Carolina Land and Property Records: A Register of the Several Counties, Alphabetically Arranged, Being a Listing of Deed Records, Mortgages, Trusts, etc. by the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints Genealogical Department (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969)
  • The Proprietors of Carolina by William Stevens Powell (Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission, 1963)
  • Province of North Carolina, 1663-1729: Abstracts of Land Patents by Margaret M. Hofmann (Roanoke News Co., 1979)


  • The Formation of North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943 by David Leroy Corbitt (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1950)
  • Index to Maps of North Carolina in Books and Periodicals Illustrating the History of the State From the Voyage of Verrazzano in 1524 to 1975 by David Sanders Clark (Clark, 1976)
  • The National Post Road by Virginia Greene DePriest (V.G. DePriest, 1990)
  • North Carolina Atlas and Gazetteer: Topo Maps of the Entire State (Delorme, 1997)
  • North Carolina Atlas: Portrait of a Changing Southern State edited by James W. Clay et al. (University of North Carolina Press, 1975)
  • North Carolina County Maps compiled by C.J. Puetz (Puetz Place, ca. 1980)
  • North Carolina, Her Counties, Her Townships, and Her Towns compiled by Joan Colbert Gioe (Researchers, 1981)
  • North Carolina in Maps by William P. Cumming (State Department of Archives and History, 1966)
  • Statistical Gazetteer of the States of Virginia and North Carolina: Embracing Important Topographical and Historical Information, From Recent and Original Sources Together With the Results of the Last Census, Population and Statistics in Many Cases to 1855 edited by Richard Edwards (Published for the Proprietor, 1856)


  • Abstracts and Letters of Resignations of Militia Officers in North Carolina, 1779-1840 compiled and abstracted by Timothy Kearney (North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1992, Walsworth Pub.)
  • Abstracts of Pensions of North Carolina Soldiers of the Revolution, War of 1812 & Indian Wars by Annie W. Burns (ca. 1960)
  • The Black Experience in Revolutionary North Carolina by Jeffrey J. Crow (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1977)
  • Compendium of the Confederate Armies, 11 vols., by Stewart Sifakis (Facts on File, 1992-1995)
  • Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions From North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-’65, 5 vols., edited by Walter Clark (Broadfoot Publishing., 1996)
  • The King’s Mountain Men; the Story of the Battle, With Sketches of the American Soldiers who Took Part by Katherine Keogh White (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1966)
  • Muster Roles of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 Detached From the Militia of North Carolina in 1812 and 1814 by Maurice S. Toler (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976)
  • North Carolina Civil War Documentary edited by W. Buck Yearns and John G. Barrett (University of North Carolina, 2002)
  • North Carolina Confederate Militia Officers Roster as Contained in the Adjutant-General’s Officers Roster edited by Stephen E. Bradley, Jr. (Broadfoot Pub. Co., 1992)
  • North Carolina Revolutionary Soldiers, Sailors, Patriots & Descendants compiled by Joseph T. Maddox and Mary Carter (Georgia Pioneers Publications, ca. 1970)
  • North Carolina’s Role in the First World War by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon (State Department. of Archives and History, 1966)
  • North Carolina’s Role in the Spanish-American War by Joseph S. Steelman (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1975)
  • North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, 15 vols., compiled by Louis H. Manarin (State Department of Archives and History, 1966-2003)
  • North Carolina, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 by the US Selective Service System (National Archives, 1987-1988)
  • Roster of Soldiers From North Carolina in the American Revolution: With an Appendix Containing a Collection of Miscellaneous Records by the Daughters of the American Revolution, North Carolina (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977)
  • This Destructive War: The British Campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782 by John S. Pancake (University of Alabama Press, 2003)
  • Volunteer Soldiers in the Cherokee War, 1836-39 by James L. Douthat (Mountain Press, 1995)


  • Abstracts of Vital Records From Raleigh, North Carolina Newspapers compiled by Lois Smathers Neal (Reprint Co., 1979-1995)
  • Cemetery Records of North Carolina, 8 vols., copied by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Genealogical Society (The Society, 1947-1961)
  • Death Certificates, 1906-1994; Still Births, 1914-1953; Fetal Deaths, 1960-1974; Index, 1906-1967, 1906-1974 by the North Carolina Department of Public Health, Vital Records Section (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993-1995)
  • Gravestone Records, 10 vols., by Leora Hiatt McEachern (L.H. McEachern, 1971-1981)
  • Guide to Vital Statistics Records in North Carolina by the Historical Records Survey (The Survey, 1942)
  • Index to Death Certificates, 1968-1994 (North Carolina Department of Public Health Vital Records Section, ca. 1994)
  • An Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1977)
  • Marriage and Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette (1799-1867), 4 vols., compiled by Carrie L. Broughton (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1949)
  • Master File Relocation Card Index for Grave and Cemetery Removal and Relocation, 1934-1954 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1996)
  • North Carolina Marriage Records: Early to 1800 edited by Jordan R. Dodd (Precision Indexing, 1990)
  • Post-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index by the Historical Records Survey (North Carolina Department. of Archives and History, 1972)
  • Pre-1914 Cemetery Inscription Card Index by the Historical Records Survey (North Carolina Department. of Archives and History, 1972)
  • Somebody Knows My Name: Marriages of Freed People in North Carolina County by County, 3 vols., compiled by Barnetta McGee White (Iberian Publishing Co., 1995)
  • Tar Heel Tombstones and the Tales They Tell by Henry King (Down Home Press, 1990)

Return to the main North Carolina page

From the Family Tree Sourcebook
Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.

Related Products

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>