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Cleveland County, North Carolina Genealogy

Guide to Cleveland County, North Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Shelby
Organized: January 11, 1841
Parent County(s): Lincoln, Rutherford[1]
Variant Spellings: Cleaveland
Neighboring Counties
Burke  • Catawba  • Cherokee (SC)  • Gaston  • Lincoln  • Rutherford  • York (SC)
See County Maps
Courthouse
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Location Map
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County Information

Description

The county was named for Benjamin Cleveland, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who took part in the Battle of King's Mountain. Cleveland County is located in the western area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Cleveland County Courthouse
11 East Marion St
PO Box 1210
Shelby, NC 28150
Phone: 704-484-4834
Cleveland County Website

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1914, marriage records from 1851 and land records from 1841.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce records from 1921, probate records from 1843 and circuit records from 1914.[3]

Cleveland County, North Carolina Record Dates

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.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1851 1914 1914 1841 1843 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1841 Cleveland County was created 11 January 1841 from Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. Cleaveland was originally used but the present spelling was adopted in 1887.
  • County seat: Shelby[5]

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

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:[6]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Cleveland County, North Carolina online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See North Carolina Cemeteries for more information

 

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 10,396
1860 12,348 18.8%
1870 12,696 2.8%
1880 16,571 30.5%
1890 20,394 23.1%
1900 25,078 23.0%
1910 29,494 17.6%
1920 34,272 16.2%
1930 51,914 51.5%
1940 58,055 11.8%
1950 64,357 10.9%
1960 66,048 2.6%
1970 72,556 9.9%
1980 83,435 15.0%
1990 84,714 1.5%
2000 96,287 13.7%
2010 98,078 1.9%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".


Church Records

Methodist

  • Mount Harmony United Methodist Church, near Polkville, N.C. Organized by 1791.[7]


List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

Land and Property Records

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Burke CountyCatawba CountyLincoln CountyGaston CountyRutherford CountySpartanburg CountyCherokee CountyYork CountyNC CLEVELAND.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Cleveland 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 Cleveland County:

- 12th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
- 14th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 4th Volunteers, Company D
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, 1st Company D
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company C
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Detailed Men, Company C
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company D
- 4th Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry (59th North Carolina State Troops), Company I
- 4th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company H
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company E

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Obituaries

Other Records

County Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Social Security Records

Tax Records

  • 1840-1848 Cleveland County Tax Scroll, 1840-1848 (images) at FamilySearch
  • 1849-1857 Cleveland County Tax Scroll, 1849-1857 (images) at FamilySearch: Part 1 and Part 2

Vital Records

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

Listed below are archives in Cleveland County. For state-wide archival repositories, see North Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers

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

Listed below are libraries in Cleveland County. For state-wide library facilities, see North Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Museums

Societies

Listed below are societies in Cleveland County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see North Carolina Societies.

  • Broad River Genealogical Society
    PO Box 2261
    Shelby, NC 28150-2261
    Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Cleveland County, North Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_County,_North_Carolina." accessed 01/10/2019
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cleveland 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.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Cleveland County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_County,_North_Carolina, accessed 11 February 2020.
  7. "Mount Harmony United Methodist Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, http://www.ncmarkers.com, accessed 22 October 2012.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Iginorthcarolinaa.pdf.