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Gates County, North Carolina Genealogy

Guide to Gates 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: Gatesville
Organized: April 14, 1778
Parent County(s): Chowan[1]
Neighboring Counties
Camden  • Chowan  • Hertford  • Pasquotank  • Perquimans  • Southampton (VA)  • Suffolk (VA)
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information


Gates County is located in the eastern portion of North Carolina and shares a border with Virginia. It was named for General Horatio Gates, an American brigadier general in the Revolutionary War.[2]

County Courthouse

Gates County Courthouse
PO Box 345
Gatesville, NC 27938
Phone: 252-357-0850
Gates County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage and death records.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1780.[3]

Gates County, North Carolina Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913 1779 1913 1780 1776 1780 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

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 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]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Gatesville
  • Hall
  • Haslett
  • Holly Grove
  • Hunters Mill
  • Mintonsville
  • Reynoldson
Historic communities

History Timeline

Gates County was formed in 1779 from Chowan, Hertford, and Perquimans counties. It was named in honor of General Horatio Gates, who commanded the American Army at the Battle of Saratoga. Gates County is in the northeastern section of the State and is bounded by Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan and Hertford counties, and the state of Virginia. The present land area is 340.67 square miles. The act establishing the county provided that commissioners be appointed to select a site centrally located for the erection of a courthouse, etc., and to have the building erected. In 1781, an act was passed to levy an additional tax for the completion of the public buildings. The Legislature of 1830-1831 passed an act which said that the place now known as Gates Court House, in the county of Gates, shall in the future be known and described by the name of Gatesville. Gatesville is the county seat.

Gates County was a part of an area originally called "Albemarle", named for George, Duke of Albemarle. Later, what is now Gates County was split into three separate entities: Hertford, Chowan, and Perquimans counties. Most of the land within the present boundaries was considered to be Nansemond County, VA, until 1728, when William Byrd had surveyed the "dividing line" between Virginia and North Carolina.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Gates 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.
1790 5,386
1800 5,881 9.2%
1810 5,965 1.4%
1820 6,837 14.6%
1830 7,866 15.1%
1840 8,161 3.8%
1850 8,426 3.2%
1860 8,443 0.2%
1870 7,724 −8.5%
1880 8,897 15.2%
1890 10,252 15.2%
1900 10,413 1.6%
1910 10,455 0.4%
1920 10,537 0.8%
1930 10,551 0.1%
1940 10,060 −4.7%
1950 9,555 −5.0%
1960 9,254 −3.2%
1970 8,524 −7.9%
1980 8,875 4.1%
1990 9,305 4.8%
2000 10,516 13.0%
2010 12,197 16.0%
Source: "".

Church Records

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes


  • Southall - Warner, Seth. "Descendants of the Reverend Daniel Southall of Eastern North Carolina," The Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Fall 2007):175-190; Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 2008):107-127; Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall 2008):221-240.


Land and Property Records

  • Gates County Register of Deeds
    202 Court Street
    PO Box 471
    Gatesville, NC 27938
    Phone: 252-357-2411
    Office contains records concerning real estate recordings, including Deeds and Deeds of Trust. Copies of survey maps are recorded in the Register of Deeds office. Also recorded in this office are Marriage, Birth & Death Records, as well as Military Discharge Records. Discharge records 50 years of age or older are available for public view. More recent discharge recordings are only available for the Veterans' needs.
  • Online Records Search Page

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Southampton CountySuffolk (Independent City)Camden CountyPasquotank CountyChowan CountyHertford CountyPerquimans CountyNC GATES.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Gates County for European settlers included:[7]

Military Records

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Gates 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 Gates County:

- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company C
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company H

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records

County Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Social Security Records

Tax Records

Vital Records





Research Facilities


Listed below are archives in Gates 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


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



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

  • Gates County Historical Society
    PO Box 98
    Gates, NC 27937


Research Guides


  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.
  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), Gates 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, "Gates County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,cfips,073,c,gates.cfm, accessed 14 February 2020.
  7. 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.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at