Status of Courthouse Records in North Carolina

Many records are destroyed by fires in the courthouses and/or other unknown causes.

The "Guide to Research Materials In The North Carolina State Archives" gives all the known information about the courthouse records. What is listed here is from this book.

It can be purchased from the NC State Archives or viewed/downloaded from

http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/FindingAids/co_guide.pdf

Counties listed in red had no damage. The Federal Courthouses are at the end of the list with links to photographs.

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Alamance - (Established in 1849 from Orange Co.)

Alexander - (Est. in 1847 from Caldwell, Iredell & Wilkes Co.'s) Federal troops burned many court records in 1865

Alleghany - (Est.1859 from Ashe Co.) Fire in 1932 destroyed a few permanent records

Anson - (Est.1750 from Bladen Co. ) Fire in 1868 destroyed many court records

Ashe - (Est. in 1799 from Wilkes County) Fire in 1865 destroyed many court records

Beaufort - (Est. in 1705 as Pamptecough Precinct of Bath Co.)

Bertie - (Est. in 1722 from Chowan Precinct. as a precinct of Albemarle Co.)

Bladen - (Est. in 1734 from New Hanover/Bath Prec.) Fires in 1800 & 1893 destroyed most of the court records and several land records

Brunswick - (Est. in 1764 from Bladen & New Hanover Co.'s) Federal Troops destroyed many court records in 1865)

Buncombe - (Est. in 1791 from Burke and Rutherford Co.'s) Fires in 1830 & 1865 destroyed many court records

Burke - (Est. in 1777 from Rowan Co.) Federal Troops destroyed many court records and most land records in 1865

Bute - (Est. in 1764 from Granville Co.) Divided into Franklin & Warren Co.'s in 1779, some records of Bute may be fund in those counties

Cabarrus - (Est. in 1792 from Mecklenburg Co.) Fire of 1876 destroyed a few court records

Caldwell - (Est. in 1841 from Burke & Wilkes Co.'s)

Camden - Est. in 1777 from Pasquotank Co.) Many records missing; some said to be from a storage room fire, no date given

Carteret - (Est. in 1722 from Craven Precinct as a precinct. of Bath Co.)

Caswell - (Est. in 1777 from Orange Co.) Some records said to be destroyed by militia troops during Reconstruction- (1865+)

Catawba - (Est. in 1832 from Lincoln Co.) Many court records missing; reason unknown

Chatham - (Est. in 1771 from Orange Co.) Many court records missing; reason unknown; Fire in Mar. of 2010 no records destroyed

Cherokee - (Est. in 139 from Macon Co.) Many records destroyed by fires of 1865 (Federal Troops) 1895 & 1926

Chowan - (Est. by 1670 as a Prec. of Albemarle Co.) Many records said destroyed by acting clerk of court in 1848

Clay - (Est. in 1861 from Cherokee Co.) Fire (not in the courthouse?) destroyed all records of the county in 1870

Cleveland - (Est.1841 from Lincoln & Rutherford Co.'s)

Columbus - (Est. 1808 from Bladen & Brunswick Co.'s)

Craven - (Est. 1705 as Archdale Precinct of Bath Co.) Records destroyed by Indians in 1712

Cumberland - (Est. 1754 from Bladen Co.)

Currituck - (Est. by 1670 as a Prec. of Albemarle Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Dare - (Est.1870 from Currituck, Hyde & Tyrrell Co.'s)

Davie - (Est.1836 from Rowan Co.)

Davidson - (Est. in 1822 from Rowan Co.) Fire in 1866 may have destroyed some records

Dobbs - (Est. in 1758 from Johnston Co.; divided into Glasgow and Lenoir Co. in 1791) Fire in 1880 many records destroyed

Duplin - (Est. in 1750 from New Hanover Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Durham - (Est. 1881 from Orange & Wake Co.'s)

Edgecombe - (Est. 1741 from Bertie Co.) Land record before 1759 are with those in Halifax Co.

Forsyth - (Est. 1849 from Stokes Co.)

Franklin - (Est.1770 from Bute Co.)

Gaston - (Est. 1846 from Lincoln Co.) Fire 1874, destroyed many records.

Gates - (Est.1779 from Chowan, Hertford & Perquimans Co.'s)

Graham - (Est. 1872 from Cherokee Co.)

Granville - (Est. 1746 from Edgecombe Co.)

Greene -(Est. in 1791 as Glasgow Co. from Dobbs, name changed to Greene in 1799) Fire in 1876 lost many court and All land records

Guilford - (Est. in 1777 from Orange & Rowan Co.'s) Fire in 1872 caused slight loss of records

Halifax - (Est. in 1758 from Edgecombe Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown.

Harnett - (Est. in 1855 from Cumberland Co.) Fires of 1892 & 1894 destroyed court and many land records.

Henderson - (Est. 1838 from Buncombe Co.)

Hertford - (Est. 1759 from Chowan Co.) Fires in 1830 & 1862 destroyed majority of county records

Hoke - (Est. 1911 from Cumberland & Robeson Co.'s)

Hyde - (Est. 1705 as Wickham Precinct of Bath Co.) Name change to Hyde in 1712.

Iredell - (Est. in 1788 from Rowan Co.) Fire of 1854 destroyed many court records

Jackson - (Est. in 1851 from Haywood and Macon Co.'s) Many records missing; reason unknown

Johnston - (Est. in 1746 from Craven Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Jones - (Est. in 1779 from Craven Co.) Fire 1862 during Civil War battle many records destroyed

Lee - (Est. 1907 from Chatham & Moore Co.'s)

Lenoir- (Est. in 1791 from Dobbs Co.) Fires in 1878 & 1880 destroyed many court records

Lincoln - (Est. in 1779 from Tryon Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Macon - (Est. in 1828 from Haywood Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Madison - (Est. 1851 from Buncombe & Yancey Co.'s)

Martin - (Est. 1774 from Halifax & Tyrrell Co's) Fire in 1884 destroyed many court records

McDowell - (Est. 1842 from Burke & Rutherford Co.'s)

Mecklenburg - (Est. 1763 from Anson Co.)

Mitchell - (Est. in 1861 from Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Watauga & Yancey) Records believed destroyed during 1907 move

Montgomery - (Est. 1779 from Anson Co.) Fire in 1835 destroyed many records

Moore - (Est. 1784 from Cumberland Co.) Fire of 1889 destroyed most land records and many court records

Nash - (Est. 1777 from Edgecombe Co.)

New Hanover - (Est. in 1729 from Carteret/Bath Prec.) Some fires during the years have destroyed a few records.

Northampton - (Est. in 1741 from Bertie Co.) Few records missing; reason unknown

Onslow - (Est. 1734 from New Hanover Prec./Bath Co.) Storms of 1752 & 1786 destroyed many records

Orange - (Est. 1752 from Bladen, Granville & Johnston Co.'s) Many records missing; reason unknown

Pamlico - (Est. 1872 from Beaufort & Craven Co.'s)

Pasquotank - (Est. 1670 as Prec. of Albemarle Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown

Pender - (Est. 1875 from New Hanover Co.)

Perquimans - (Est. by 1670 as Prec. of Albemarle Co.) A few records missing; reason unknown

Person - (Est. 1791 from Caswell Co.)

Pitt - (Est. 1760 from Beaufort Co.) Fire of 1857 destroyed most court records

Polk - (Est. 1847 from Henderson & Rutherford Co.'s) Act repealed in 1848. Reestablished in 1855

Randolph - (Est. 1700 from Guilford Co.) Many court records missing; reason unknown

Richmond - (Est. 1779 from Anson Co.) A few court records missing; reason unknown

Robeson -(Est. 1878 from Bladen Co.) Many court records missing; reason unknown

Rockingham - (Est. 1785 from Guilford Co.) A few court records missing; reason unknown

Rowan - (Est. in 1753 from Anson Co.) A few records destroyed by Federal Troops in 1865

Rutherford - (Est. 1779 from Tryon Co.) Fire of 1907 destroyed many court records

Sampson - (Est. 1784 from Duplin Co.) Early court records missing caused by Fed. sympathizers in 1865 & fire in 1921

Scotland - (Est. 1899 from Richmond Co.)

Stanly - (Est. 1841 from Montgomery Co.) A few early court records missing; reason unknown

Stokes - (Est. 1789 from Surry Co.) A few court records missing; reason unknown

Surry - (Est. 1770 from Rowan Co.)

Swain - (Est. in 1871 from Macon & Jackson Co.'s) Fire 1879 destroyed many records

Transylvania - (Est. 1861 from Henderson & Jackson Co.'s)

Tryon - (Est. 1768 from Mecklenburg Co.) Divided into Lincoln & Rutherford Co.'s in 1779

Tyrrell - (Est. in 1729 from Bertie, Chowan, Currituck and Pasquotank Prec's. as Prec. of Albemarle Co.) A few early records missing

Union -  (Est. 1842 from Anson & Mecklenburg) A few court records missing; reason unknown

Vance - (Est. 1881 from Franklin, Granville & Warren Co.'s)

Wake - (Est. 1771 from Cumberland, Johnston & Orange Co.'s) A few early records missing, Fire 1832 in deed register's office

Warren - (Est. 1770 from Bute Co.) Some records missing; reason unknown

Washington - (Est. 1799 from Tyrrell Co.) Courthouse destroyed by Federal  bombs in 1862, fire 1869 & 1881 destroyed most records

Watauga - (Est. 1849 from Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes & Yancey Co.'s) Fire 1873 destroyed all land records & most court records

Wayne - (Est. 1779 from Dobbs Co.) A few early court records missing; reason unknown

Wilkes - (Est. 1777 from Surry Co. & the Dist. of Washington) A few early records missing; reason unknown

Wilson - (Est. 1855 from Edgecombe, Johnston, Nash & Wayne Co.'s) A few early court records missing; reason unknown

Yadkin - (Est. in 1850 from Surry Co.)

Yancey - (Est. 1833 from Buncombe & Burke Co.'s) Many early court records missing; reason unknown

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North Carolina Federal Courthouses

For more reading and photos about many of the old courthouses.

 

For even more reading.

 

Asheville, North Carolina
U.S.
Court House and Post Office (1909)
Completed in 1892. Razed ca. 1930.

 

U.S. Post Office and Court House (1931)
Completed in 1930. Still in use.

 

Bryson City, North Carolina

Completed in 1963.  Still in use.

 

Charlotte, North Carolina
U.S.
Court House and Post Office (1901)
Completed in 1891. Razed in 1913

 

U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (1934)
Completed in 1915.  Sold to the city in 2005.

 

Durham, North Carolina
U.S.
Post Office (1934)
Completed in 1934.  Still in use.

 

Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Completed in 1906.  Renamed the J. Herbert W. Small Federal Building and
United States Courthouse in 2009.

 

Fayetteville, North Carolina
Completed in 1966.  Fate of building unknown.

 

Greensboro, North Carolina
U.S.
Court House and Post Office (1900; 1904)
Completed in 1887.  Razed ca. 1938.

Greensboro, North Carolina 

Completed in 1933.  Renamed and still in use, 1988.

 

New Bern, North Carolina
Completed in 1897.  Court was abolished in 1912.  Now
New Bern City Hall.

 

Completed in 1935. Still in use.

 

Raleigh, North Carolina
U.S.
Court House and Post Office (1901; 1938)
Completed in 1879.  Still in use.

 

Rockingham, North Carolina
Completed in 1935.  Now owned by
Richmond County.

 

Salisbury, North Carolina
Completed in 1911.  Court was abolished in 1912.  Now
Rowan County administrative offices.

 

Statesville, North Carolina
Completed in 1891.  Court was abolished in 1912.  Now
Statesville City Hall.

 

Washington, North Carolina
Completed in 1913.  Now in use as a municipal building.

 

Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Completed in 1917.  Now  the Wilkes Board of
Education Building.

 

Wilmington, North Carolina

Completed in 1846.  Razed ca. 1914.

 

Completed in 1891.  Met here until 1919.  Fate of Building unknown.


Completed in 1919.  Still in use by the U.S. District Court

 

Wilson, North Carolina
Completed in 1928.  Now the
Imagination Station Science Museum.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Completed in 1907.  Now the
Millennium Center.

 

North Carolina Federal Courthouse Sources:

http://www.fjc.gov/history/courthouses.nsf/search?openagent&state=North+Carolina

© 21 Apr 2010 - present, NCGenWeb