of Courthouse Records in
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 and later sources, with supplemental information from “Story of the Counties of North Carolina with other data”, by noted historian, Fred A. Olds.
The most recent 2009 Version can be purchased from the NC Historical Publications Shop.
Counties listed in red had no damage or known missing. The Federal Courthouses are at the end of the list with links to photographs.
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
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
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
Cabarrus - (Est. in 1792 from Mecklenburg Co.) Fire of 1876 destroyed a few court records
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 1839 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
Craven - (Est. 1705 as Archdale Precinct of Bath Co.) Records destroyed by Indians in 1712
Currituck - (Est. by 1670 as a Prec. of Albemarle Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown
Dare - (Est.1870 from Currituck, Hyde & Tyrrell Co.'s)
Davidson - (Est. in 1822 from Rowan Co.) Fire in 1866 may have destroyed some records
Dobbs - (Est. in 1758 from Johnston Co.;
Duplin - (Est. in 1750 from New Hanover Co.) Many records missing; reason unknown
Edgecombe - (Est. 1741 from Bertie Co.) Land record before 1759 are with those in Halifax Co.
Forsyth - (Est. 1849 from Stokes 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.) Many early Marriage Bonds missing. Will Books from 1746-1772 missing, although 71 unrecorded wills for that time period are on microfilm. Court Minutes 1746-1780 missing. Many Court Minutes from 1780-1820 are missing.
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
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.
Haywood- (Est. in 1808 from Buncombe Co.) Recently, some records destroyed in move to new courthouse
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
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
Martin - (Est. 1774 from Halifax & Tyrrell Co's) Fire in 1884 destroyed many court records
McDowell - (Est. 1842 from Burke & Rutherford Co.'s)
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.
Onslow - (Est. 1734 from New Hanover Prec./Bath Co.) Storms of 1752 & 1786 destroyed many records
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
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
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
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
Vance - (Est. 1881 from Franklin, Granville & Warren Co.'s)
Wake - (Est. 1771 from
Warren - (Est. 1779 from Bute Co.) Some records missing; reason unknown; County Court Records from abt 1814 -1823 are missing.There is a loss of records for around the 1935 time period. Deed Books 15 and 16, 1799-1803, are missing from the court house and from the NC Archives. (According to “Story of Counties of North Carolina with other data” pg. 61, by noted historian Fred A. Olds, written ca 1920, Deed Books 14 & 15 were destroyed in a fire in the residence of a register of deeds)
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
Yadkin - (Est. in 1850 from Surry Co.)
Yancey - (Est. 1833 from Buncombe & Burke Co.'s) Many early court records missing; reason unknown
Asheville, North Carolina
Completed in 1892. Razed ca. 1930.
Completed in 1930. Still in use.
Completed in 1963. Still in use.
Completed in 1933. Renamed and still in use, 1988.
Completed in 1935. Still in use.
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
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Last updated: April 27, 2017