Iredell County Formation History and Subsequent Changes

Iredell County was formed in 1788 from Rowan County.  The law enacting it gives the following description:

... beginning where Coddle Creek enters Mecklenburg, and running up the east fork of said creek to the raod leading from Beatie's Ford to Salisbury, from thence a strait course to Alexander M'Korkle's, Senior, from thence to the south fork of the Yadkin River at the mouth of a branch in Margaret Dobbin's Meadow and from thence due north to the Surry line; that all that part of the said county of Rowan lying westwardly of the said dividing line, shall thenceforth be erected into a new and distinct county by the name of Iredell.  (S.R., XXIV, 980)

Part of Burke and Wilkes counties was annexed to Iredell in 1793:

..., beginning at Iredell county line on the Catawba-river, thence up said river about three miles to Uriah Davis, thence nearly a north course about two miles to the bent on lower Little-river in James Fox's land, thence up said river to the lower end of John Barnes's land, thence nearly a north-east course along the dividing ridge between Grassy and Muddy forks to Iredell line between Black-Oak ridge and Brushy mountain, thence a south course along said line to the beginning; and all the land included by said line is hereby annexed and added to the county of Iredell.  (Laws, 1793, Ch. 31.)

In 1811 an act amending the act of 1793 and adding part of Wilkes and Burke to Iredell was passed.

... Commissioners to extend the line between the counties of Burke and Iredell, from the Three-cornered Island, in the Catawba river, to the bent of Lower Little river, in James Foxe's land, agreeable to the act of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, for establishing the same.  (Laws, 1811, Ch. 79)

Part of Iredell was annexed to Wilkes in 1815.

... ; beginning at a place known by the name of Kemp's cabbin, or where the present line crosses the road leading from Statesville to Wilkesborough, on Hunting creek waters, or within one half mile of said place as may seem best to said commissioners, and not depart more than one half mile from a direct line to the following points, running nearly west to Lewis Dishman's, thence to the wolf pit, on the road leading from Randolph Maberry's to Thomas Cook's, thence varying said line so as to include Joseph Queen's house, on rockey creek in the county of wilkes, thence to the top of Archus mountain, north of John Smith's, sen. thence crossing the Cove Gap road, near Hugh Campbell's house, thence to Benjamin Bentley's plantation, whereon he now lives, thence to the dividing ridge between the counties of Wilkes and Iredell, and that from and after the passing of this act, all that part of the county of Iredell within the above prescribed bounds be annexed to and made a part of the county of Wilkes, ... (Laws, 1815, Ch. 18)

Parts of Wilkes and Burke were added to Iredell in 1818.

... run the line between the counties of Burke and Iredell, from the Three cornered Island in the Catawba River to the bent of Little River in James Fox's land, agreeable to an act of one thousand seven hundred and ninety three for establishing the same.  (Laws, 1818, Ch. 139)

In 1819 additional commissioners were named to run this line.  No description is given in the law.  (Laws, 1819, Ch. 39)

Alexander was formed in 1847 from Iredell, Caldwell and Wilkes.

... : beginning on the Wilkes and Iredell line, where the same crosses the Cove Gap Road, and running thence a Westerly or North Westerly direction, as the case may be, so as to strike the top of the main ridge of the Brushy Mountain, near James Robinett's, leaving the said Robinett's house on the south side of said line; thence with the main dividing ridge of said mountain to a point two miles east of Coxe's Knob, provided the said knob be found on the main ridge; if not, then to a point two miles east of a line, running the nearest and most direct course from the top of said knob to the top of the main ridge of said Brushy Mountain; thence a direct line to the mouth of a branch on the main road near Steel's Old Mill; thence a south westerly direction to a point on the Catawba River, one mile, in a direct line, below the mouth of upper Little River; thence down the said Catawba River to Nimrod Pendergrasse's; thence a north east direction to the Ferry Road; thence with the Ferry Road to the Mountain Road; thence a direct line to the eleven mile post, on the Statesville Road; thence a direct course to Robert G. Martin's; thence direct to the Wilkes line, one and a half miles west of the widow Jane Redman's; thence with the said Wilkes and Iredell line to the beginning: ... (Public Laws, 1846-47, Ch. 22)

Iredell County was named for James Iredell (1751-1799), Attorney General of North Carolina during the Revolutionary War, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1788.  He was one of the leaders of the State, advocating the adoption of the Federal Constitution.  Washington appointed him a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1790.

NOTE: All of the above quotes and information are from The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943, by David Leroy Corbitt; Division of Archives and History, NC Dept. of Cultural Resources; Raleigh, copyright 1987; pages 127-129.

James Iredell

James Iredell

James Iredell

North Carolina History Project:
James Iredell, Sr. (1751-1799)

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4
James Iredell, Charge to Grand Jury

Iredell House Marker

National Park Service:
Iredell House, Edenton
Chowan County, NC

   Chowan County:
The James Iredell, Sr. House

Iredell NCGenWeb Site Index


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Iredell County's Parentage, Relatives, and Neighbors

Iredell County was created from Old Rowan County in 1788.
Alexander County was created in 1847 from parts of Iredell, Caldwell, and Wilkes counties.
Caldwell and Wilkes were never part of Iredell; they were, however, once part of Old Rowan County.

Iredell County is in the western central section of the state, and shares boundaries with Rowan, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Catawba, Alexander, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Davie counties. The present land area is 575.57 square miles. In 2000, the population was 122,660.  The county seat is Statesville, established in 1789.

Wilkes County (Iredell's NCGenWeb Neighbors) Yadkin County
Alexander County


Davie County
Catawba County


Rowan County
Lincoln County Mecklenburg County Cabarrus County

To understand North Carolina county formation further, please look at the following:

North Carolina County Formation. State Library of North Carolina
NC County Development, prepared by the NC State Archives, downloadable PDF
The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943 ~ inexpensive & invaluable to anyone with deep NC roots
North Carolina Formation Maps, FamilyHistory101 site

Iredell NCGenWeb County Coordinator

Katherine Dick Benbow

I became Iredell NCGenWeb's County Coordinator in July 2009, and I will be updating the site and adding to it.  While I grew up in Iredell County, I live elsewhere in NC now.  I cannot do research or look-up's.  My primary concern is maintaining and updating the website, so that you can find the resources you need for your research in this area.  If you have material to contribute or ideas to suggest, please use the link above to contact me.  Thank you for your interest in Iredell County.

If you are interested in becoming the CC for Iredell, please contact me.  The site is available for adoption.

NCGenWeb thanks Tom Winslow for his stewardship of Iredell NCGenWeb for 12 years.


last update: 25 March 2011

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