The following is a copy & paste from the old McDowell County Genweb site. It may difficult to follow. If you know of a better website with this information, please email me.
McDowell County Records Found in the North Carolina State Archives
Type and Years Used
|BONDS||Apprentice Bonds and Records, 1798, 1842-1917||Apprentice Bonds and Records: Could include apprentice bonds (or indentures), petitions for apprenticeship, petitions for freedom dues upon the completion of an apprenticeship, and civil and criminal actions concerning masters or wards.|
|Bastardy Bonds and Records, 1842-1932||Bastardy Bonds and Records: Could include bastardy bonds, presentments against and examinations of unwed mothers and mothers-to-be, warrants to bring the putative fathers to court, and receipts for payments made on behalf of bastard children.|
|Officials’ Bonds and Records, 1843-1922||Officials’ Bonds and Records: Could include bonds of various county officials, record or register of officials’ bonds, appointments, oaths, resignations, and civil and criminal actions involving county officials.|
|COURT RECORDS||County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions – Minutes, 1843-1867; Execution Dockets, 1843-1868; State Docket, 1857-1868; Trial and Appearance Dockets, 1844-1860;||Minute Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: County courts of pleas and quarter sessions evolved from precinct courts in 1738. The courts were composed of three or more justices of the peace and sat four times each year. The functions of county courts may be categorized into three distinct areas – judicial, probate and administrative – that are reflected in the minute dockets. The courts exercised both civil and criminal jurisdiction, original and appellate (from magistrates courts). Probate responsibilities included acknowledgment and probate of deeds, probate of wills, appointment and qualification of administrators, executors and guardians, binding of apprentices, and inquisitions of lunacy. The court also served as the governing body of the county, responsible for the appointment and qualification of local officials, levying of local taxes, expenditure of public funds, granting of licenses (tavern keepers, ferry operators, and peddlers), registration of stock marks, paternity inquisitions, and emancipation and manumission of slaves. Courts of pleas and quarter sessions were abolished by the Constitution of 1868. The judicial functions devolved to county superior courts and justices of the peace courts; the probate function was vested in the clerk of superior court; and administrative responsibilities were inherited by the newly created boards of county commissioners. This series may include both rough and smooth copies of the minutes.Appearance Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: Record of issuance of writs, summonses and subpoenas to bring defendants and witnesses to following term of court. Also records appearances of appeals from magistrates’ courts and of proceedings by petition (sometimes recorded in separate Petitions Docket).Execution Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: Record of money due to successful litigant, fines and court costs; the type of recovery writ issued; and the execution of writ and satisfaction of judgment.
State Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: Criminal docket tracking appearance and trial of state prosecutions.
Trial Docket, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: Record of civil causes expected to come to trial during term. Brings forward information from appearance docket and also shows pleadings of defendant, prior ruling by court, verdict, judgment, and final orders.
|Superior Court – Minutes, 1845-1925; Equity Minutes, 1852-1866; Equity Minutes (Rough), 1851-1855; Equity Execution Docket, 1853-1868; Equity Trial Docket, 1852-1868; Execution Dockets, 1846-1862; State Docket, 1845-1867; Trial, Appearance and Reference Dockets, 1845-1869; Civil Action Papers, 1822-1933; Civil Action Papers Concerning Land, 1846-1935; Criminal Action Papers, 1843-1936;||Minute Docket, Superior Court: Superior courts were established in each county in 1806, replacing the district superior courts that had functioned since 1778. These courts were clothed with original and appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction, as well as actions in equity.Appeal Docket, Superior Court: Record of cases appealed to the Supreme Court.Appearance Docket, Superior Court: Record of issuance of writs, summonses and subpoenas to bring defendants and witnesses to following term of court.
Equity Minute Docket, Superior Court of Law and Equity: Minutes of the Superior Court of Law and Equity (1806-1868).
Equity Execution Docket, Superior Court of Law and Equity: Record of money due to successful litigant in actions at equity, fines and court costs; the type of recovery writ issued; and the execution of writ and satisfaction of judgment.
Equity Trial (and Appearance) Docket, Superior Court of Law and Equity: Record of equity actions expected to come to trial during term. Brings forward information from appearance docket and also shows pleadings of defendant, prior ruling by court, judgment, and final orders.
Execution Docket, Superior Court: Record of money due to successful litigant, fines and court costs; the type of writ issued to recover same; and the execution of writ and satisfaction of judgment.
Reference Docket, Superior Court: Record of causes referred to referee at law returnable during term, showing decisions of referees.
State Docket, Superior Court: Criminal docket tracking appearance and trial of state prosecutions. After 1868, known as Criminal Issues Docket.
Trial Docket, Superior Court: Record of civil causes expected to come to trial during term. Brings forward information from appearance docket and also shows pleadings of defendant, prior ruling by court, verdict, judgment, and final orders.
Civil Action Papers: Civil case files from magistrates courts, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Superior Court, and, in some counties, other inferior courts, arranged chronologically.
Criminal Action Papers: Criminal case files from magistrates courts, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Superior Court and, in some counties, other inferior courts, arranged chronologically. the miscellaneous land records (408).
|Circuit Criminal Court/Western District Criminal CourtMinutes, 1897-1901;||Minute Dockets, Other Courts: Includes Circuit Criminal Courts (reconstituted as Eastern/Western District Criminal Courts, 1895-1901)|
|ELECTION RECORDS||Record of Elections, 1896-1901, 1920-1968;|
|ESTATES RECORDS||Record of Estates, 1859-1879; Record of Accounts, 1869-1900;Appointment of Administrators, Executors and Guardians, 1868-1910; Estates Records, 1830, 1832, 1842-1939; Guardians’ Records, 1843-1937; Guardians’ Accounts, 1910-1934; Record of Settlements, 1872-1925;||EstatesRecord of Estates/Accounts: Prior to 1868, volumes entitled record of estates may include inventories, accounts and final settlements of estates, and guardians’ accounts. After 1868, the series in most counties contains only inventories, accounts of sales and annual accounts of administrators and executors.Appointment and Record of Administrators: Post-1868 record of appointment and qualification of administrators of estates.
Appointment and Record of Executors: Post-1868 record of qualification of executors. Prior to ca. 1915, executors were included in an omnibus volume entitled Appointment of Administrators, Executors, Guardians and Masters, filed as 504, which see. Appointment and Record of Guardians: Post-1868 record of appointment and qualification of guardians. After 1919, includes oath and bond of guardians. Prior to ca. 1915, guardians were included in an omnibus volume entitled Appointment of Administrators, Executors, Guardians and Masters; in some counties, these are entitled Record of Probate (Estates) or Minutes, Probate Court (both in 519). May also include an index to guardians and wards.
Estates Records: Loose estates papers arranged alphabetically by name of decedents. Papers may include appointments and renunciations of executors and administrators; administrators’ and guardians’ bonds; inventories; accounts of sale; annual accounts; final settlements; civil actions and executions involving administrators, executors and guardians; and actions in equity or special proceedings involving property of an estate. If the father of wards can be determined from guardians’ papers, they are filed with the estate of the deceased rather than with the guardians’ records. A list of estates records is available. At this time, the listings of names do not link to images of the actual documents. Guardians’ Accounts: Volumes arranged chronologically. In most counties, these have been numbered with the Guardians’ Records (510); eventually, all will be renumbered as 509. Guardians’ Records: Loose guardians’ papers arranged alphabetically by surname of wards, and volumes of guardians’ accounts (but see 509). Papers may include appointments, oaths and bonds of guardians; annual accounts; final settlements; civil actions and executions involving guardians; and actions in equity or special proceedings involving the property of a ward’s estate. These records also include indigent wards for whom the clerk of superior court served as receiver. Record of Settlements: Volumes of settlements or final accounts submitted by administrators and executors after the complete distribution of the assets of an estate.
|LAND RECORDS||Deeds, 1813-1916; Cross Index to Deeds, 1843-1917; Ejectments, 1844-1909; Land Entry Books, 1843-1915;Record of Surveys, 1905-1914; Attachments, Executions, Levies and Liens on Land, 1843-1935; Mineral Lease Book, 1891-1892;Index to Mineral Lease Book, 1891-1892; Miscellaneous Land Records, 1797-1939;||LandDeeds: Includes record of deeds (volumes) and original handwritten deeds left in the courthouse after being deposited with the clerk for probate and recording. The loose deeds may be segregated into various types, such as deeds of sale, deeds of gift, deeds of trust, mortgage deeds, and quitclaim (or release) deeds. In many counties, all but the deeds of sale are boxed together as miscellaneous deeds. Deeds of sale are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the grantee; other deeds are arranged chronologically.(Cross) Index to Deeds: Superceded volumes of indices, usually cross referenced to grantee and grantor.
Ejectments: Papers in ejectment suits, arranged chronologically. Ejectment was an artificial form under common law devised to try title to land. After 1868, when common law forms were abolished under the new state constitution, ejectment cases were tried as a summary proceeding (without a jury).
Land Entries: Includes land entry books and boxes of loose entries.
Land Divisions, Partitions and Surveys: Includes volumes and boxes concerning divisions of land between tenants in common and the processioning of boundary lines between contentious neighbors. Volumes may include Land Divisions, Record of Surveys, and Record of Processions. Loose papers may include petitions for partition or sale of land (culled from actions at equity and, after 1868, special proceedings) and processioners’ records.
Land Sales for Taxes: Includes volumes and boxes concerning the sale of land for nonpayment of taxes. Volumes may include Tax Levies on Land, Tax Suit Judgment Dockets, and Sheriffs’ Deed Books. Papers from tax suits that resulted in the sale of land are arranged chronologically.
Miscellaneous Land Records: Contains records from other series of land records of insufficient quantity to make a full box. May also include boxes of records concerning land for which no series number has been assigned, such as condemnation proceedings, foreclosures, and attachments, executions, liens and levies on land, and volumes relating to the probate of deeds. Many box and volume titles may be peculiar to one or two counties.
|MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND VITAL STATISTICS||Marriage Bonds, 1842-1868; Divorce Records, 1849-1941;||MarriageMarriage Bonds: Includes boxes of marriage bonds and certificates (1741-1868), arranged alphabetically by groom. Marriage bonds are statements of intent to marry that were attested by the prospective groom before the clerk of court in the bride’s county of residence. Typically, one or more bondsmen signed as security for the forfeiture of the penal sum (originally 50 pounds, increased to 500 pounds in 1778, and to one thousand dollars in the nineteenth century) should the marriage not occur or prove to be illegal. Most marriage bonds give the names of the groom, bride, bondsmen and witnesses, the county in which filed and the date. If accompanied by a certificate of marriage, the information may also include the date of marriage, the name of the person performing the rites, and, towards the end of the period, the names of parents. The more than 170,000 marriage bonds in the Archives have been abstracted. Volumes of abstracts are available for each county from which bonds have been received. There is also a statewide index, arranged by both grooms and brides, available on microfiche.Divorce Records: Includes divorce actions pulled from civil actions and arranged alphabetically, and a volume entitled “Maiden Names of Divorced Women”, beginning in 1937.|
|MILITARY AND PENSION RECORDS||Pension Records, 1852-1939;|
|MISC. RECORDS||Alien Registration, 1927, 1940, 1942; County Accounts and Correspondence, 1843-1941; Homestead and Personal Property Exemptions, 1858-1926; Lunacy Records, 1848-1951; Clerk’s Minute Dockets (Special Proceedings), 1921-1968; Special Proceedings, 1870-1898; Miscellaneous Records, 1843-1938; Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, 1843-1873; Records of Assignees, Receivers and Trustees, 1844-1942;||Miscellaneous Records: Includes records from other series, except land records, of insufficient quantity to make a full box. May also include box(es) of records for which no series number was assigned, including records of slaves and free persons of color; bills of sale; promissory notes; canal and drainage records; shipping and fishing records; mill records; mining records; timber records; powers of attorney; grand jury records; and witness tickets. Many box and volume titles may be peculiar to one or two counties.Records of Assignees, Receivers and Trustees: Includes boxes of records concerning assignees, receivers and trustees appointed to settle the financial affairs of bankrupt individuals and businesses. In some counties, the records are merged into one chronological series; in others, the records of the three types of agents have been separated. Also includes volumes of accounts of assignees, receivers and trustees.|
|ROADS AND BRIDGES||Road Records, 1843-1921; Railroad Records, 1860-1925;Railroad Bonds, 1867, 1887, 1907; Miscellaneous Railroad Records, 1860-1917;|
|SCHOOL RECORDS||Minutes, County Board of Education, 1873-1885;|
|TAX AND FISCAL RECORDS||Lists of Taxables, 1842-1859; Tax Records, 1839-1917, 1927;||TaxLists of Taxables: Includes volumes and boxes of tax lists, chronologically arranged.Miscellaneous Tax Records: Volumes and boxes of records relating to taxation. Boxes may include tax lists (if less than a box full), civil and criminal actions concerning taxation, lists of insolvent taxpayers, tax receipts, and merchants’ purchase returns. Volumes may include Record of Federal Direct Taxes Collected, Poll Tax Register, Record of Assessment of Land for Taxation, and Schedule “B” Taxes.|
|WILLS||Wills, 1841-1920; Index to Wills, 1843-1868; Cross Index to Wills, 1843-1905;||Wills: Includes record of wills and original wills arranged alphabetically by decedent. Many of the older record of wills may also record estates matters (inventories, accounts of sale, and final settlements) and deeds. (Cross) Index to Wills: Superceded volumes of indices, usually cross referenced to devisee and devisors.|
|CORPORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS||Record of Corporations, 1886-1962; 1 reel.Record of Partnerships, 1913-1966; 1 reel.|
|COURT RECORDS||County Court of Pleas and Quarter SessionsMinutes, 1843-1867;|
|Superior CourtMinutes, 1845-1957; 12 reels.Equity Minutes, 1852-1866; 1 reel|
|ELECTION RECORDS||Record of Elections, 1896-1968; 1 reel.|
|ESTATES RECORDS||Record of Accounts, 1869-1968; Record of Administrators, Executors and Guardians, 1913-1930; Record of Administrators, 1921-1968; Appointment of Executors, 1870-1910; Record of Executors, 1930-1968; Record of Guardians, 1926-1968; Record of Indigent Children and Lunacy Funds, 1934-1953; Record of Widows’ Year’s Allowance, 1923-1966; Inheritance Tax Records, 1923-1968; Inventories of Estates, 1859-1867; Record of Settlements, 1872-1968; Index to Estates, 1843-1968;|
|LAND RECORDS||Record of Deeds, 1843-1956; Index to Real Estate Conveyances, Grantor, 1842-1961; Index to Real Estate Conveyances, Grantee, 1842-1961; Land Entry Books, 1843-1956; Record of Surveys, 1905-1913; Map Books, 1925-1968; Index to Map Books, 1925-1968; Record of Sales by Trustees and Mortgagees, 1921-1968;|
|MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND VITAL STATISTICS||Marriage Bonds, 1842-1868; Marriage Licenses, 1868-1961;Marriage Registers, 1851-1945; Index to Marriage Registers, 1851-1968; Maiden Names of Divorced Women, 1940-1965; Index to Births, 1914-1969; Index to Deaths and Delayed Births, 1913-1967;|
|MILITARY AND PENSION RECORDS||Record of Armed Forces Discharges, 1919-1969; Index to Armed Forces Discharges, 1919-1969;.|
|MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS||Orders and Decrees, 1869-1957; Special Proceedings, 1870-1953; Index to Special Proceedings, 1870-1953, 1968-1980;|
|OFFICIALS, COUNTY||Minutes, Board of County Commissioners, 1868-1968;|
|SCHOOL RECORDS||Minutes, County Board of Education, 1885-1968;|
|TAX AND FISCAL RECORDS||Tax Lists, 1842-1859;|
|WILLS||Record of Wills, 1843-1968;Index to Wills, 1843-1968;|