Ashe County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Ashe 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: Jefferson
Organized: 18 November 1799
Parent County(s): Wilkes [1]
Neighboring Counties
Alleghany  • Grayson (VA)  • Johnson (TN)  • Watauga  • Wilkes
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Ashe County is located in the upper Northwest corner of North Carolina and shares borders with Tennessee and Virginia. It was named for Samuel Ashe, Governor of North Carolina from 1795 to 1798[2].

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Ashe County Courthouse
Court Street, P O Box 367
Jefferson, NC 28640
Phone: 704-694-3212
Ashe County Website

Register of Deeds has birth records from 1913
marriage records from 1853, divorce records from 1750
and court records from 1770[3]

Ashe 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 1853 1913 1800 1778 1800 1784
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1865 -- The Ashe County Courthouse in Jefferson was destroyed by fire in 1865. Many of the records survived.

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1799 -- Ashe County was created 18 November 1799 from Wilkes County.
  • County seat: Jefferson[5]

The area that became Ashe County had, at various times, been a part of Anson County, Rowan County, Surry County, and Wilkes County. Both Alleghany and Watauga Counties were formed out of Ashe County.

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
  • Hurricane
  • Jefferson
  • Laurel
  • North Fork
  • Obids
  • Old Fields
  • Peak Creek
  • Pine Swamp
  • Piney Creek
  • Pond Mountain
  • Walnut Hill
  • West Jefferson

Population Statistics by Township, Year


  1870 1880 1900 1910 1920 1930
Dwellings 88          
Families 88          
People 456          
  • White Males
  • White Female
  • Colored Males
  • Colored Females
  • Foreign-born Males
  • Foreign-born Females
  • Blind
Real Estate $36,880          
Personal Estate $47,620          

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

The line between Virginia and North Carolina was established in 1749 by a surveying party led by Peter Jefferson, thus establishing the northern border of what became Ashe County. The first recorded visit to the area occurred in 1752 when Bishop Augustus Spangenberg, head of the Moravian Church of America, came, looking for 100,000 acres of land upon which to settle.

The area that became Ashe County was part of Anson County during the early colonial period, part of Rowan County in 1753, Surry County in 1771, Wilkes County in 1777 and, from 1784-1789, was part of the State of Franklin.

After being associated with the State of Franklin. the territory was claimed as part of Washington County which, in turn, was a part of the Southwest Territory, and later Tennessee. This was the case until it was annexed back by North Carolina into Wilkes County again in 1792.[7]

Ashe County was incorporated as a separate entity by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1799. The county was named for Samuel Ashe, a Revolutionary War patriot, Governor of North Carolina, and superior court judge.

Ashe County is the northwestern-most county in the state of North Carolina, and covers 427 square miles. The county seat is the city of Jefferson, established in 1799. This was the first city in America to be named for Thomas Jefferson. He was Vice-President of the United States at the time.

Jefferson, the county seat, was platted in 1803. An early courthouse was destroyed in 1865. The old 1904 courthouse is now a historic landmark in Jefferson.

See also:

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 Ashe 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


Specific Cemeteries

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 2,783
1810 3,694 32.7%
1820 4,335 17.4%
1830 6,987 61.2%
1840 7,467 6.9%
1850 8,777 17.5%
1860 7,956 −9.4%
1870 9,573 20.3%
1880 14,437 50.8%
1890 15,628 8.2%
1900 19,581 25.3%
1910 19,074 −2.6%
1920 21,001 10.1%
1930 21,019 0.1%
1940 22,664 7.8%
1950 21,878 −3.5%
1960 19,768 −9.6%
1970 19,571 −1.0%
1980 22,325 14.1%
1990 22,209 −0.5%
2000 24,384 9.8%
2010 27,281 11.9%
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]

County histories often provide important details of events and people of the local area. They often list such things as the names of first settlers, dates of settlement of communities, names of those who served in military organizations, details about the establishment of churches and businesses in the county and its towns, and many other facts helpful to the genealogist and family historian.

  • Anderson-Green, Paula Hathaway. A Hot-Bed of Musicians: Traditional Music in the Upper New River Valley (discusses Ashe County folk musicians and briefly mentions their family connections). Google Books
  • Arthur, John Preston. Western North Carolina: A History (from 1730 to 1913), Raleigh, North Carolina: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1914. Google Books
  • Ashe County Historical Society. Ashe County Revisited (Images of America series). Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2002 (photo history). Google Books
  • Cooper, Leland R. and Mary Lee Cooper. The People of the New River: Oral Histories from the Ashe, Alleghany, and Watauga Counties of North Carolina. McFarland, 2001. Google Books | publisher | WorldCat
  • Cox, A.B., Footprints on the Sands of Time: A History of Southwestern Virginia and Northwestern North Carolina, Sparta, North Carolina: Star Publishing Company, 1900. New River Notes (complete text)
  • Crawford, Martin. Ashe County's Civil War: Community and Society in the Appalachian South. The University Press of Virginia, 2001. Google Books | publisher | additional info
  • Fletcher, Arthur L. Ashe County: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: Ashe County Research Assn., 1963; McFarland & Co., 2009. Google Books
  • Goss, Bernard. The Heritage of Ashe County, North Carolina. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Ashe County Heritage Book Committee in cooperation with the History Division of Hunter Publishing Co., 1984. WorldCat
  • History of Ashe County (NC Digital Collections, NC State Archives)
  • Houck, John, Clarice Weaver, and Carol Williams, Ashe County Historical Society. Ashe County (Images of America series), Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2000, 2003 (a photo history of the county). Google Books | WorldCat
  • Miller, Danny. The Miller Families of Ashe County, NC, 2007. Google Books
  • Oral History Interview with Roy Ham, 1977, Interview H-0123-1, Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2007. Documenting the American South (complete text and audio)
  • People from Ashe County, North Carolina, General Books, 2010. Google Books
  • Reeves, Eleanor Baker. A Factual History of Early Ashe County, North Carolina: Its People, Places and Events. 1986.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Grayson CountyJohnson CountyAlleghany CountyWilkes CountyWatauga CountyNC ASHE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Other Resources

Regiments. Men in Ashe 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 Ashe County:

- 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company B.[8]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (Wilson Rifles).[9]
- 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company D
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company A
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Detailed Men, Company G
- 5th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company D
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company B
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company F

World War I

  • 1914-1918 World War I Papers at North Carolina Digital Collections - index and images
  • 1917-1919 - North Carolina, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images
  • Bickett, Thomas Walter. The Ashe County Case. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2002. WorldCat
  • World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918, for Ashe County have been microfilmed. Copies of these records are available at the Family History Library (their microfilm number 1765559) and are also available online at, for a subscription fee. The original cards are maintained in the Southeast Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in East Point, Georgia and have been microfilmed by the National Archives as their Microcopy M1509.

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Some older Ashe County, North Carolina news has been reported in the following:

  • The Landmark, Statesville, North Carolina (during at least the 1880s-1890s)
  • Raleigh Register, Raleigh, North Carolina (during at least the 1850s)

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

The recording of wills and probate proceedings for the residents of Ashe County are the responsibility of the Clerk of Superior Court in the County Courthouse.

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]

Ashe County marriage records started in 1828. The Register of Deeds issued marriage licenses beginning in 1868.

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voter Records[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

  • Ashe County Public Library
    148 Library Dr.
    West Jefferson, NC 28694

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

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), Ashe 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, "Ashe County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Carolina, accessed 6 February 2020.
  7. Arthur L. Fletcher, Ashe County: A History (Jefferson, N.C.: Ashe County Research Assoc., 1963), 33-34.
  8. The Virginia State Line: Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line,, accessed 11 June 2012.
  9. John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at