Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy

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United States
North Carolina
Burke County

Guide to Burke County, North Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: Morganton
Organized: 8 April 1777
Parent County(s): Rowan[1]
Neighboring Counties
Avery  • Caldwell  • Catawba  • Cleveland  • Lincoln  • McDowell  • Rutherford
See County Maps
Courthouse
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Location Map
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County Information

Description

Burke County is located in the Western portion of North Carolina and was named for Thomas Burke, delegate to the Continental Congress and governor of the state 1781-1782[2].

County Courthouse

Burke County Courthouse
201 S Green Street
P O Box 219
Morganton, NC 28680
Phone: 828-438-5450
Burke County Website

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913
marriage, land and military discharge records from 1865;
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1865[3]

Burke County, North Carolina Record Dates

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 1865 1913 1865 1865 1865 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss

1865--Many court records and most land records burned by Federal troops.

Former Burke County Genealogical Society President Betsy Pittman's article can help you discover your Burke County ancestors despite record loss, see:

  • Pittman, Betsy Dodd. "Burke County 'Bypasses,'" The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2 (May 1989):68-72. FHL Book 975.6 B2s v. 15 (1989).

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1777--Burke County was created 8 April 1777 from Rowan County.
  • County seat: Morganton[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 MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Burke County, North Carolina:

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Burke 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

Church Records

Baptist

  • Catawbo River. Constituted 1785.[6]

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

  • Plumlee Plumlee, Robert D. The Plumlee Family. Clearwater, Fla.: Plumlee Systems, Inc., 1969, 1979. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online

Guardianship

Land and Property Records

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Ncburke.png

Migration

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

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Burke 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 Burke County:

- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, usually known as the Bethel Regiment.
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
- 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
- 41st Regiment Volunteers - 3rd Cavalry, Company F
- 5th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company C
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company F
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company I
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E
- 8th Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company C

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

  • 1799-1893 - Burke County marriages - may be included throughout Carrie Broughton's 6-volume index of the Raleigh Register & State Gazette newspaper (1799-1893). Marriages are listed by year and PDF files are searchable. Available on the North Carolina Digital Collections website.
  • Burke county newspapers - a listing of newspapers published in the county & libraries that hold them; via the Library of Congress.
  • Burke County residents in the newspaper - name listing of people from the county as located in misc. newspaper articles; time span varies. Articles indexed in the NC People in the Papers database.
  • North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project - contains full-text papers from 1752-1890s. Search for your Burke County ancestors.
  • Deaths of Burke County - list of county area deaths reported in various newspapers; dates range from late 1700s to 1900s.

Obituaries

Other Records

County Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Vital Records

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries

Museums

Societies

  • Burke County Genealogical Society
    PO Box 661
    Morganton, NC 28680-0661
    Website
    Membership is required

  • Burke County Historical Society
    PO Box 151
    Morganton, NC 28680-0151

Websites

Research Guides

References

  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. https://www.ncpedia.org/geography/Burke
  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), Burke 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. George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 2:562. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  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 https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Iginorthcarolinaa.pdf.