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Caldwell County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Caldwell 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: Lenoir
Organized: 11 January 1841
Parent County(s): Burke, Wilkes[1]
Neighboring Counties
Alexander  • Avery  • Burke  • Catawba  • Watauga  • Wilkes
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Caldwell County is located in the Western portion of North Carolina and was named for Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill[2].

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Caldwell County Courthouse
905 West Ave NW
Lenoir NC 28645
Phone: 828-757-1310
Caldwell County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death and land
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, Court and Probate Records[3]

Caldwell 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
1914 1841 1914 1841 1840 1841 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1841--Caldwell County was created 11 January 1841 from Burke and Wilkes Counties.
  • County seat: Lenoir[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

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Caldwell County was formed in 1841 from Burke and Wilkes counties. It was named in honor of Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University of North Carolina. He strongly advocated a public school system and a railroad across the center of the State from Morehead City to Tennessee.

Caldwell County is in the west central section of the State and is bordered by Alexander, Catawba, Burke, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes counties. The present land area is 471.60 square miles and the 2000 population was 77,386.

The court was ordered to be held at the store of George Powell near the house of George Smith, Jr., until a courthouse was erected. Commissioners were named to select a site as near the center as possible, acquire land and a town, and erect a courthouse. Lenoir, named in honor of William Lenoir, is the county seat.

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 Caldwell 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.
1850 6,317
1860 7,497 18.7%
1870 8,476 13.1%
1880 10,291 21.4%
1890 12,298 19.5%
1900 15,694 27.6%
1910 20,579 31.1%
1920 19,984 −2.9%
1930 28,016 40.2%
1940 35,795 27.8%
1950 43,352 21.1%
1960 49,552 14.3%
1970 56,699 14.4%
1980 67,746 19.5%
1990 70,709 4.4%
2000 77,415 9.5%
2010 83,029 7.3%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]


  • Yadkin - Minutes (1787-1946) on microfilm at the University of NC Davis Library (Serial 1-1280 1786-1946).

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Caldwell County Courthouse
216 Main St NW
Lenoir, NC 28645
(828) 759-8403
Mailing Address:
PO Box 1376
Lenoir, NC 28645

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]

The Register of Deeds office is the primary custodian of permanent records for the county. We record a variety of real property documents including deeds, deeds of trust, mortgage cancellations, powers of attorney, maps and others. The Vital Records Division maintains Caldwell County birth records, death records, marriage licenses issued in Caldwell County, Military Discharges, and Notary records. Our online records search can be accessed from this site and contains all of our real estate indexes since the formation of the county and images of all of our real estate documents from the early 1900's forward. Indexes of all of our vital records can also be found there.

Caldwell County Register of Deeds

Caldwell County Registry of Deeds Records Search

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Watauga CountyWilkes CountyAlexander CountyCatawba CountyBurke CountyAvery CountyNC CALDWELL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Caldwell 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 Caldwell County:

- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company C
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company F
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company I
- 8th Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company C

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]

County Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

The Caldwell County Clerk of the Court has probate records starting with 1830, if they have not been transferred to the North Carolina State Archives.

The Clerk of Superior Court is elected for four years and must be a resident of the county in which he or she is elected. Unlike clerks of court in other states, the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina has numerous judicial functions.

As judge of probate, the Clerk has exclusive original jurisdiction over matters relating to the probate of wills, and the administration of estates, including appointing personal representatives, auditing their accounting, and removing them from office if necessary. The Clerk also presides over many other legal matters including adoptions, incompetency proceedings, condemnation of private lands for public use, and foreclosures. The Clerk is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of the district and superior court. In addition, the Clerk receives and disburses money collected each year from court fees and fines.

Clerk of Superior Court
(828) 759-8402
Ext. 8376

Caldwell County Courthouse

216 Main St NW
Lenoir, NC 28645
Mailing Address:
PO Box 1376
Lenoir, NC 28645

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records

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]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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 Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Caldwell County Genealogy
    PO Box 2476
    Lenoir, NC 28645-2476
    Telephone Number: 828-758-1075

  • North Carolina Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 30815
    Raleigh, NC 27622-0815

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), Caldwell 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, "Caldwell County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Carolina, accessed 9 February 2020.
  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