North Carolina Resources

The Basics


Public Domain, Link


North Carolina Timelines


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 were recorded with the Register of Deeds in each county after 1868.  Earlier 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 may be found at the county level.

State Vital Records on

North Carolina Census Records

Federal census records for North Carolina began in 1790. 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 only surviving portions of the mostly destroyed 1890 census are 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.  Tax lists may be used to substitute for other early censuses.

Related Censuses Available on

North Carolina Military Records on Ancestry

North Carolina Probate, Wills, and other Estate Records on Ancestry

North Carolina Land Records

Data Collections

Civil War


1 thought on “North Carolina Resources

  1. Jo Gaertner

    I have a “brick wall” that I know someone out there can help me with. I am trying to find the father of Jesse Smith who was born in Anson Co., N.C. on 16 Apr 1765. He was a RW soldier and his DAR # is A 210280. His 2nd wife, Anna Mitchell, was my great. She received a Widow’s Pension (W.2450). On, Jesse’s father is listed as Col. John “Little River” Smith, but I can find no proof of this. If you can, please help me solve this mystery that has been vexing me for months.


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