Wake County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Wake 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: Raleigh
Organized: 1771
Parent County(s): Cumberland, Johnston, and Orange [1]
Neighboring Counties
Chatham  • Durham  • Franklin  • Granville  • Harnett  • Johnston  • Nash
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Wake County was named in honor of Margaret Wake, wife of colonial Governor William Tryon. The county is located in the north central area of the state.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wake County Courthouse
St Garland James Bldg
300 S Salisbury
PO Box 1897
Raleigh, NC 27602
Phone: 919-856-5460
Wake County Website

Registrar of Deeds has marriage and land records.
Clerk of Superior Court has probate records.[2]

Wake 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913 1770 1913 1769 1774 1770 1784
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1810, 1820 U.S. Federal Census for Wake County are lost.
1832 Several deed books were destroyed in register's office fire.

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

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Raleigh, History and the Present, NCpedia, site from the North Carolina State Library

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

  • Bible Records at North Carolina Digital Archives - index and image

Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Wake 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 10,192
1800 13,437 31.8%
1810 17,096 27.2%
1820 20,102 17.6%
1830 20,398 1.5%
1840 21,118 3.5%
1850 24,888 17.9%
1860 28,627 15.0%
1870 35,617 24.4%
1880 47,939 34.6%
1890 49,207 2.6%
1900 54,626 11.0%
1910 63,229 15.7%
1920 75,155 18.9%
1930 94,757 26.1%
1940 109,544 15.6%
1950 136,450 24.6%
1960 169,082 23.9%
1970 228,453 35.1%
1980 301,327 31.9%
1990 423,380 40.5%
2000 627,846 48.3%
2010 900,993 43.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]


  • Cross Roads. Constituted 1792.[6][7]
  • New Light Meeting House.[7]
  • Swift Creek. Constituted 1757.[7]

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]

  • [Lane] Haywood, Marshall DeLancey. "Joel Lane, Pioneer and Patriot." Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • [Massey] Massey, William W. "Richard Massey of Bartons Creek, Wake County, North Carolina: With the Search for his Parentage," The Genealogist, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall 2004):196-227.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Durham CountyGranville CountyFranklin CountyNash CountyJohnston CountyHarnett CountyLee CountyChatham CountyNC WAKE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Wake 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 Wake County:

- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 7th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 14th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 4th Volunteers, Company E
- 14th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 4th Volunteers, Company K
- 1st Brigade, North Carolina Reserves, Company D
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Artillery 10th Regiment Volunteers-1st Artillery, Company A
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company I
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company D
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company K
- 41st Regiment Volunteers - 3rd Cavalry, Company I
- 4th Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry (59th North Carolina State Troops), Company I
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company I
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company K

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

  • Olivia Raney Local History Library
    4016 Carya Drive
    Raleigh, NC 27610
    Phone: 919-250-1196

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Apex Historical Society
    PO Box 506
    Apex, NC 27502
  • Wake County Historical Society
    PO Box 26655
    Raleigh, NC 27611

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • NCGenWeb: Wake County - part of the USGenWeb Project
  • Wake County Genealogy (North Carolina Genealogy)
  • 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.
  2. 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), Wake 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Wake County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_County,_North_Carolina, accessed 29 February 2020.
  6. Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association: From Its Original Rise Down to 1808 (1808), Chapter 16. Digital version at archive.org.
  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), 2:569. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/f/f5/Iginorthcarolinap.pdf.