Thank you for visiting Rowan NCGenWeb! Please note that this site is not part of Rowan County government.
Rowan County is one of the older counties in North Carolina, and once occupied the whole northwest quadrant of the state. Rowan was created in 1753 out of Old Anson County, and named for Matthew Rowan, the acting governor of NC from 1753-1754. Anson was created in 1750 from Bladen County, as the state’s population grew and people needed centers of government closer to their homes.
Rowan gave up land to the counties of Guilford (1771), Surry (1771), Burke (1777), Iredell (1788), Davidson (1822), and Davie (1836). Other counties were created out of those counties, as people continued to settle in the northwest area of the state. You can download a PDF of North Carolina County Development to use in your research, as your family’s records will be with the county which had jurisdiction at the time in question.
Rowan had settlers from many different directions and ethnic origins. There were English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Germans, and others. Many were Protestants, and among them were Quakers.
The county seat is Salisbury, which was the location of the district superior court for the colony and early days as a state, before counties were allowed to have their own superior courts.
The northern border is shared with Davie County, and the southern border is shared with Cabarrus County. The western border is shared with Iredell County, and the eastern border is shared with Davidson County.