McDowell County, North Carolina Genealogy
Guide to McDowell County, North Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
McDowell County is located in the southwestern portion of North Carolina and was named for Revolutionary War Colonel Joseph McDowell.
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
McDowell County Courthouse
21 S Main Street
Marion, NC 28752-4041
McDowell County Website
Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death and land records.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1842.
McDowell County, North Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]
Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
For animated maps illustrating North Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation North Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1664-1965) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Populated Places[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
History Timeline[edit | edit source]
The court was ordered to be held at the home of Jonathan L. Carson until the county seat could be established. The act also named commissioners to select a site as near the center of the county as possible, acquire land, lay out a town by the name of Marion, and erect a courthouse. Marion is the county seat.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Bible Records[edit | edit source]
Biographies[edit | edit source]
Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census Records[edit | edit source]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
- 1700-1970 - North Carolina, Church Records, 1700-1970 at FamilySearch — index
- McDowell County Churches (NCGenWeb)
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Court Records[edit | edit source]
Directories[edit | edit source]
Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]
Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]
Genealogies[edit | edit source]
Guardianship[edit | edit source]
Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]
Register of Deeds records and keeps copies of all documents pertaining to land and issues certified copies or photocopies of same, as required. Deed images are available for download from January 1, 1971 to the present day at the McDowell County Deeds Register of Deeds Website.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
Migration[edit | edit source]
Early migration routes to and from McDowell County for European settlers included:
Military Records[edit | edit source]
- 1861-1865 North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch
- 1861-1865 North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch
- 1861-1865 U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry
- 1861-1865 U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry
- 1885-1953 North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953 at FamilySearch
Regiments. Men in McDowell County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in McDowell County:
- - 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company A
- - 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company G
- - 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- - 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
World War I
World War II
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Other Records[edit | edit source]
Periodicals[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
The Clerk of Superior Court is elected for four years and must be a resident of the county in which he or she is elected. Unlike clerks of court in other states, the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina has numerous judicial functions.
As judge of probate, the Clerk has exclusive original jurisdiction over matters relating to the probate of wills, and the administration of estates, including appointing personal representatives, auditing their accounting, and removing them from office if necessary. The Clerk also presides over many other legal matters including adoptions, incompetency proceedings, condemnation of private lands for public use, and foreclosures. The Clerk is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of the district and superior court. In addition, the Clerk receives and disburses money collected each year from court fees and fines.
McDowell County Clerk of the Superior Court
Has probate records starting from 1841, if they haven't been transferred to State Archives. Contact the Clerk of the Court to confirm which records are available at their office.
It is generally more cost effective to obtain records at the County level, however, the North Carolina State Archives has originals and/or copies of most older County records.
North Carolina State Archives
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4614
Online Probate Records
- 1660-1790 North Carolina Will Abstracts 1660-1790 at Ancestry $
- 1663-1979 North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979 at FamilySearch
- 1665-1998 North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998 at Ancestry $
- 1735-1970 North Carolina Probate Records 1735-1970 at FamilySearch
- 1760-1800 North Carolina Will Abstracts 1760-1800 at Ancestry $
- 1843-1923 Will Books (1843-1923 and Indexes) at FamilySearch
School Records[edit | edit source]
Tax Records[edit | edit source]
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
- The Register of Deeds is the custodian of various records which are filed for safe-keeping. Examples of documents housed are numerous types of deeds, deeds of trust, leases, assignments, powers of attorney, separation agreements, contracts, cancellations, assumed names, partnerships, corporations, notices of foreclosure, notices of bankruptcy, releases, restrictive covenants, military discharges, financing statements and terminations, birth and death records, maps and plats.
- The Register also issues marriage licenses (see the link below for more information) and administers the oath of office to notaries public. As a service to McDowell County citizens, the Register of Deeds records and keeps copies of all documents pertaining to land and issues certified copies or photocopies of same, as required.
- Deed images are available for download from January 1, 1971 to the present day at the McDowell County Deeds Register of Deeds Website.
- 1800-2000 - North Carolina, Department of Archives and History, Index to Vital Records, 1800-2000 at FamilySearch — index and images
Birth[edit | edit source]
- 1800-2000 North Carolina Birth Index 1800-2000 at FamilySearch
- 1866-1964 North Carolina Births and Christenings 1866-1964 at FamilySearch
- 1913-1922 North Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-1922 at FamilySearch — index and images
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1741-2004 North Carolina, United States Marriages at FindMyPast
- 1741-2004 North Carolina Marriage Index 1741-2004 at Ancestry $
- 1759-1979 North Carolina Marriages 1759-1979 at FamilySearch
- 1762-1979 North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 at FamilySearch
- 1763-1868 North Carolina, Civil Marriages, 1763-1868 at FamilySearch
- 1847-1877 Marriages - Marriage Bonds. North Carolina Pioneers $
- 1851-1966 McDowell County Marriage Index 1851-1966 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch
Death[edit | edit source]
- 1898-1994 North Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994 at FamilySearch
- 1906-1930 North Carolina Deaths 1906-1930 at FamilySearch
- 1908-2004 North Carolina Death Indexes 1908-2004 at Ancestry $
- 1909-1975 North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1975 at Ancestry $
- 1931-1994 North Carolina Deaths 1931-1994 at FamilySearch
Divorce[edit | edit source]
- 1926-1975 North Carolina, County Divorce Records, 1926-1975 at FamilySearch
- 1958-2004 North Carolina Divorce Index 1958-2004 at Ancestry $
Research Facilities[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Libraries
Libraries[edit | edit source]
- McDowell County Public Library
PO Box 2122
90 West Court St.
Marion, NC 28752
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
- Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
128 Bingham Road, Suite 950
Ashveille, NC 28806
Websites[edit | edit source]
- USGenWeb Project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- McDowell County NCGenWeb
- USGenWeb Archives-McDowell County
- Piedmont Trails Major genealogy resources complete with surnames and family stories. Various maps of area and much more.
- North Carolina Genealogical Society
- List of North Carolina Genealogical Societies
- McDowell County Public Libraries
- FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.
Research Guides[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McDowell County, North Carolina. Page 510 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McDowell County, North Carolina. Page 506-514 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 505-509.
- Wikipedia contributors, "McDowell County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDowell_County,_North_Carolina, accessed 21 February 2020.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/9/91/Iginorthcarolinag.pdf.