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County NCGenWeb genealogy website.
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Watauga was formed in 1849 from Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and
Yancey. It was named for the Watauga River, which name came from an Indian word meaning "beautiful
water." It is in the northwestern section of the State and is bounded by the State of Tennessee and Ashe,
Wilkes, Caldwell and Avery counties. The present land area is 312.51 square miles and the 2000 population
was 42,693. The first court was ordered to be held at the home of George Council, at which time justices of
the peace were to decide upon a place for the future courts until the courthouse was erected. Commissioners
were named to select a site for a county seat "which site shall be between Reuben Bartley's and a point
one-half mile west of Willie McGee's east and west direction, and between John Pennell's and Howard's
Knob north and south direction." They were to acquire the land and lay out a town and erect the public
buildings. In 1851 a superior court was established for Watauga, and it directed that court was to be held
in the courthouse at Boone. Boone, named in honor of Daniel Boone, is the county seat.
*Information courtesy of the
NC Gazetteer about