Franklin County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Franklin 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: Louisburg
Organized: April 14, 1778
Parent County(s): Bute[1]
Neighboring Counties
Granville  • Halifax  • Johnston  • Nash  • Vance  • Wake  • Warren
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Franklin County is located in the north-central portion of North Carolina and was named for Benjamin Franklin.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Franklin County Courthouse
102 South Main Street
Louisburg, NC 27549
Phone: 919-497-4200
Franklin County Website

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913, marriage records from 1869, land records from 1779.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce and court records.
Marriage bonds from 1779 are located at the NC Archives.[3]

The first county courthouse was a log building erected circa 1781 either on or very near the current county courthouse location on Main Street between Court and Nash Streets. The log courthouse was replaced with a structure of brick and stone in 1849. The 1849 courthouse was completely remodeled in 1936 and again in 1968 when it was also enlarged.

The first jail was built close to the original courthouse and during the same time frame, but it was destroyed by fire in 1872. It was replaced with a stone building which still stands, though now abandoned, on the south side of Nash Street about one-and-a-half blocks east of Main Street. The new Franklin County Jail & Sheriff's Department Complex was built in 1994 and is located west of downtown Louisburg on T. Kemp Road.

Franklin 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 1869 1913 1774 1779 1776 1784
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

The 1820 Census for Franklin County is lost; reason is unknown.

On 6 December 2013, Franklin County destroyed many historical records dating back to the 1840s through incineration. The records, dating back to the 1840s, included bound volumes of deeds, liens, and chattel mortgages, Large quantities of unbound records were also destroyed. None of these materials appear to have been microfilmed or scanned prior to their being burned.

For the status of records for all North Carolina Counties see:Status of Courthouse Records in North Carolina

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1778 Franklin County was created 14 April 1778 from Bute County when it was divided to also create Warren County.
  • County seat: Louisburg[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
  • Cedar Rock
  • Cypress Creek
  • Dunn
  • Franklinton
  • Gold Sand
  • Harris
  • Hayesville
  • Louisburg
  • Sandy Creek
  • Youngsville

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Franklin county was formed in 1779 from the southern half of Bute County in the midst of the American Revolution and was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin who had recently negotiated an alliance and secured loan agreements with France that would eventually help to win America's independence. The abolishment of Bute County came at the urging of area resident and strong political activist, Benjamin Seawell, who introduced a bill to separate from the county which had been named after the Earl of Bute. Seawell had also been among those selected to represent the county at the Halifax Congress of April 1776. Fellow representatives of Bute at that meeting included Green Hill, William Alston, Thomas Sherrod, Thomas Eaton, Benjamin Person, Benjamin Word, and Philemon Hawkins. The act establishing the county authorized that the first court be held at the home of Benjamin Seawell and it was left to the justices to determine where subsequent courts were to be held until a courthouse could be erected - a goal that was finally met in 1781 with the construction of a log courthouse.

Louisburg, the county seat, was also chartered in 1779 and is believed to have been named for King Louis XVI of France who was a strong American ally. There is disagreement among historians as to when the town was first named, with estimates ranging from as early as 1758, though historians generally agree that the name of the town was originally spelled "Lewisburg". Once the charter had been established, 100 acres of land were purchased from Patewells & Jacobina Milner for the platting of the new county seat. The initial survey for the town was performed by William Christmas who was also responsible for the layout of Raleigh, North Carolina. Louisburg remained the only town in the county until after the Revolutionary War.

Situated in the northeastern section of the State, Franklin County is bounded by Nash, Wake, Granville, Vance, and Warren counties. The present land area is 492.02 square miles and the population has grown from roughly 7,500 at the dawn of the 19th century to 47,260 in the year 2000. The soil is fertile and, in some areas, chock-full of granite. Originally a community focused primarily on agriculture and livestock and boasting 3,367 farms covering 267,530 acres in the year 1900, today Franklin County is home to 574 farms encompassing 128,412 total acres. The county is now focused on broadening her economic base through encouragement of real estate development and much attention is now given to enticing large corporations to bring their operations to the county.

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 Franklin 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.
1790 7,502
1800 8,529 13.7%
1810 10,166 19.2%
1820 9,741 −4.2%
1830 10,665 9.5%
1840 10,980 3.0%
1850 11,713 6.7%
1860 14,107 20.4%
1870 14,134 0.2%
1880 20,829 47.4%
1890 21,090 1.3%
1900 25,116 19.1%
1910 24,692 −1.7%
1920 26,667 8.0%
1930 29,456 10.5%
1940 30,382 3.1%
1950 31,341 3.2%
1960 28,755 −8.3%
1970 26,820 −6.7%
1980 30,055 12.1%
1990 36,414 21.2%
2000 47,260 29.8%
2010 60,619 28.3%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]


  • Jaile's Creek Constituted 1771.[7]
  • Maple Spring Constituted 1793.[7]
  • Sandy Creek Constituted 1770.[7] Minute book (1770-1859) online.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

  • The Franklin County Register of Deeds and the Franklin County Court Clerk have a number of records; contact for more information. Note that most of the originals of the older records have been transferred to the State Archives and that the records contained at the County level are usually hand copied into the County Books. Generally, it is much more cost effective to get documents on the County level rather than through the Archives.

Transcriptions: (NCGenWeb)

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]

Granville CountyVance CountyWarren CountyHalifax CountyNash CountyJohnston CountyWake CountyNC FRANKLIN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Franklin 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 Franklin County:

- 12th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company K
- 12th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company L
- 13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company E
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company G
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company L
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company K
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company E
- 3rd Battalion, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company A

World War I

World War II

Vietnam War

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]

North Carolina has a number of resources for collections of wills at both the State and County levels. Older wills were sent to the North Carolina State Archives where most are indexed and stored by county. The records in the Archives are also filed under a cross-index to wills, cross-referenced by devisor and devisee. The Franklin County Courthouse has copies of all county wills. Originals have been transferred to the NC State Archives.

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 Franklin County. For state-wide archival repositories, see North Carolina Archives and Libraries.

The North Carolina State Archives has copies of Franklin County records starting from its establishment in 1779. Guide to Research Materials.

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 Franklin County. For state-wide library facilities, see North Carolina Archives and Libraries.

  • Braswell Memorial Library
    727 N. Grace Street
    Rocky Mount, NC 27804
    Phone: 252-442-1951

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Heritage Society of Franklin County, NC

Websites[edit | edit source]

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), Franklin 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, "Franklin County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Carolina, accessed 14 February 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 1:491; 2:564. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at