Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy

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United States
North Carolina
Burke County

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


Burke County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Burke County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
Location of North Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1777
County Seat Morganton
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County Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy Government Records

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

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[1]

Register of Deeds
PO Box 219
Morganton, NC 28680-0219
Telephone: 828-438-5451
Fax: 828-438-5463

Clerk of Superior Court
PO Box 796
Morganton, NC 28680
Telehone: (828) 433-3200


Parent County

1777--Burke County was created 8 April 1777 from Rowan County. County seat: Morganton [2]

Boundary Changes

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.

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).


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
NCGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
NCGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
North Carolina Cemeteries
Billion Graves
See North Carolina Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census.

Church Records

  • Catawbo River. Constituted 1785.[3]




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


Local Histories



Early migration routes to and from Burke County for European settlers included:[4]


Revolutionary War
Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Service men in Burke County, North Carolina Genealogy 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, North Carolina Genealogy:

-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



Online Probate Records


Vital Records

  • 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.
  • 1774 - 1854 - Burke County Marriages 1774-1854 North Carolina Pioneers
  • 1867 - 1939 - Burke County Marriage Index 1867-1939. Batch B868464 at FamilySearch - free.[5]
  • Burke County Marriages - search on the website of the Burke County Register of Deeds

Societies and Libraries 

Burke County Genealogical Society
PO Box 661
Morganton, NC 28680-0661

membership is required

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

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Burke County, North Carolina p. 507. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 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.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  5. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Iginorthcarolinaa.pdf.