Cherokee County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Cherokee 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: Murphy
Organized: 4 January 1839
Parent County(s): Macon[1]
Neighboring Counties
Clay  • Fannin (GA)  • Graham  • Macon  • Monroe (TN)  • Polk (TN)  • Union (GA)
See County Maps
Cherokee County, North Carolina Courthouse.JPG File:Cherokee County, North Carolina Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County is located in the extreme Southwest corner of North Carolina and shares borders with Georgia and Tennessee. It was named for the Cherokee Indians who inhabited its land before European settlement began[2].

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County Courthouse
53 Peachtree
Murphy North Carolina 28906
Phone: 282-837-2613
Cherokee County Website

Clerk Superior Court has divorce records,
Registrar of Deeds has land records[3]

Cherokee 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.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913 1837 1913 1846 1838 1848 1784
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1865, 1895, 1926--Courthouse fires destroyed many court records.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1839--Cherokee County was created 4 January 1839 from Macon County.
  • County seat: Murphy[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 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:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Beaverdam
  • Hothouse
  • Murphy
  • Notla
  • Shoal Creek
  • Valleytown

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Proud, resourceful people -- many descended from the Cherokee Indians who once lived in the region now known as Cherokee County -- welcome visitors to share their peaceful spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, if only for a little while. It is no wonder why the Cherokees made the area their home or why they hid in the mountains when the Indian removal took place in 1838.

Hundreds of waterfalls and creeks, forests filled with wildflowers and tall pines wrapped in mountain breezes invite strangers to stay awhile and enjoy one of Mother Nature's finest creations.

Descendants of hearty Scottish and English settlers who married fine young Indian maidens carry on traditions from generations past. Descendants who never lived in Cherokee County venture back "home" to find their roots. Murphy, the county seat, offers a wealth of history at its courthouse, library and the Cherokee County Historical Museum which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Travelers passing through the small communities surrounding the town of Murphy such as Hanging Dog, Culberson and Grape Creek may want to stay and experience the warmth of the people at the spring festival or the Christmas parade in Murphy or the fall festival at the John C. Campbell Folk School in nearby Brasstown.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Cherokee 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[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 3,427
1850 6,838 99.5%
1860 9,166 34.0%
1870 8,080 −11.8%
1880 8,182 1.3%
1890 9,976 21.9%
1900 11,860 18.9%
1910 14,136 19.2%
1920 15,242 7.8%
1930 16,151 6.0%
1940 18,813 16.5%
1950 18,294 −2.8%
1960 16,335 −10.7%
1970 16,330 −0.0%
1980 18,933 15.9%
1990 20,170 6.5%
2000 24,298 20.5%
2010 27,444 12.9%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Monroe CountyPolk CountyFannin CountyUnion CountyGeorgiaClay CountyMacon CountySwain CountyGraham CountyNC CHEROKEE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Cherokee 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 Cherokee County:

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]

Voter Registration

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • 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 Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Cherokee Historical Society
    205 Peachtree Street
    Murphy, NC 28906
  • NC Cherokee Reservation Genealogy
    PO Box 455
    Cherokee, NC 28719

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb Project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • NCGenWeb Cherokee County - many records of all kinds for the County
  • Western NC Genealogy Resource Center - Census, Marriage, Birth & Death records, Cemetery,Military, and various other kinds of records for Cherokee County
  • 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]

  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), Cherokee 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, "Cherokee County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 11 February 2020.