Franklin County, North Carolina Genealogy
Guide to Franklin County, North Carolina ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Franklin County, North Carolina|
Location in the state of North Carolina
Location of North Carolina in the U.S.
|Founded||April 14, 1778|
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church Records
- 4.4 Court
- 4.5 Land
- 4.6 Local Histories
- 4.7 Maps
- 4.8 Military
- 4.9 Newspapers
- 4.10 Probate
- 4.11 Taxation
- 4.12 Vital Records
- 4.13 Yearbooks
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Franklin County Courthouse
102 South Main Street
Louisburg, NC 27549
1820 Census missing
Register of deeds has birth and death records from 1913
marriage records from 1869, land records from 1779
Clerk Superior Court has divorce and court records 
Register of Deeds
PO Box 545
113 S. Main St.
Louisburg, NC 27549
Clerk of Superior Court
102 S Main St
Louisburg, NC 27549
Telephone: (919) 497-4200
Franklin County was formed in 1779 and, in the same year, the town of Louisburg was surveyed by William Christmas on land which had been purchased from Patewells & Jacobina Milner for that purpose. That deed from the Milners survives today in the first volume of county deeds. The county's first commissioners were William Brickell, William Green, William Hill, John Hunt, and Osborn Jeffreys and these men were charged with many tasks, the earliest of which were to build a courthouse and a jail. The first meeting of the men was the Franklin Court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions of 1779 and it was held at the home of Benjamin Seawell. It is unfortunate that none of the records from those earliest days of Franklin County survive.
The first county courthouse was a log building erected circa 1781 either on or very near the current county courthouse location on Main Street between Court and Nash Streets. The log courthouse was replaced with a structure of brick and stone in 1849. The 1849 courthouse was completely remodeled in 1936 and again in 1968 when it was also enlarged.
The first jail was built close to the original courthouse and during the same timeframe, but it was destroyed by fire in 1872. It was replaced with a stone building which still stands, though now abandoned, on the south side of Nash Street about one-and-a-half blocks east of Main Street. The new Franklin County Jail & Sheriff's Department Complex was built in 1994 and is located west of downtown Louisburg on T. Kemp Road.
Franklin county was formed in 1779 from the southern half of Bute County in the midst of the American Revolution and was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin who had recently negotiated an alliance and secured loan agreements with France that would eventually help to win America's independence. The abolishment of Bute County came at the urging of area resident and strong political activist, Benjamin Seawell, who introduced a bill to separate from the county which had been named after the Earl of Bute. Seawell had also been among those selected to represent the county at the Halifax Congress of April 1776. Fellow representatives of Bute at that meeting included Green Hill, William Alston, Thomas Sherrod, Thomas Eaton, Benjamin Person, Benjamin Word, and Philemon Hawkins. The act establishing the county authorized that the first court be held at the home of Benjamin Seawell and it was left to the justices to determine where subsequent courts were to be held until a courthouse could be erected - a goal that was finally met in 1781 with the construction of a log courthouse.
Louisburg, the county seat, was also chartered in 1779 and is believed to have been named for King Louis XVI of France who was a strong American ally. There is disagreement among historians as to when the town was first named, with estimates ranging from as early as 1758, though historians generally agree that the name of the town was originally spelled "Lewisburg". Once the charter had been established, 100 acres of land were purchased from Patewells & Jacobina Milner for the platting of the new county seat. The initial survey for the town was performed by William Christmas who was also responsible for the layout of Raleigh, North Carolina. Louisburg remained the only town in the county until after the Revolutionary War.
Situated in the northeastern section of the State, Franklin County is bounded by Nash, Wake, Granville, Vance, and Warren counties. The present land area is 492.02 square miles and the population has grown from roughly 7,500 at the dawn of the 19th century to 47,260 in the year 2000. The soil is fertile and, in some areas, chock-full of granite. Originally a community focused primarily on agriculture and livestock and boasting 3,367 farms covering 267,530 acres in the year 1900, today Franklin County is home to 574 farms encompassing 128,412 total acres. The county is now focused on broadening her economic base through encouragement of real estate development and much attention is now given to enticing large corporations to bring their operations to the county.
1778--Franklin County was created 14 April 1778 from Bute County when it was divided to also create Warren County. Bute County was abolished in 1779.
County seat: Louisburg 
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.
The 1820 Census for Franklin County is lost; reason is unknown.
On 6 December 2013, Franklin County destroyed many historical records dating back to the 1840s through incineration. The records, dating back to the 1840s, included bound volumes of deeds, liens, and chattel mortgages, Large quantities of unbound records were also destroyed. None of these materials appear to have been microfilmed or scanned prior to their being burned.
For the status of records for all North Carolina Counties see:Status of Courthouse Records in North Carolina
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|North Carolina Cemeteries|
|See North Carolina Cemeteries for more information.|
For tips on accessing Franklin County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census.
- Jaile's Creek. Constituted 1771.
- Maple Spring. Constituted 1793.
- Sandy Creek. Constituted 1770.
- Holland Murphy Petition-1822
- Extract of Minutes: 1786-1787
- Extract of Minutes: 1788-1790
- Extract of Minutes: 1791-1800
- Extract of Minutes: 1801-1805
- Extract of Minutes: 1806-1807
- Extract of Minutes: 1808-1810
- Extract of Minutes: 1811-1813
- Extract of Minutes: 1814-1815
- Extract of Minutes: 1816-1817
- Extract of Minutes: 1818-1820
- Extract of Minutes: 1821
- Extract of Minutes: 1822
- Extract of Minutes: 1823
- Extract of Minutes: 1824 & 1828
- Extract of Minutes: 1829
- Extract of Minutes: 1831-1833
- Extract of Minutes: 1834-1837
- Extract of Minutes: 1838-1839
- Extract of Minutes: 1840
- 1779 - 1782 - North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers 1779-1782 at FamilySearch — index and images
- North Carolina Loyalist Units
- 1861 - 1865 - North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch.org — index and images
- 1861 - 1865 - North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch.org — index and images
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1885 - 1953 - North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953 at FamilySearch — index and images
- North Carolina Civil War Rosters
- Civil War- North Carolina History
- Franklin County U.S. Colored Troops
Regiments. Service men in Franklin 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 Franklin County, North Carolina Genealogy:
- - 12th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company K
- - 12th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company L
- - 13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
- - 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company E
- - 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company G
- - 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company L
- - 1st Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company K
- - 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company E
- - 3rd Battalion, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company A
World War I
- 1917 - 1919 - North Carolina, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 at FamilySearch — index and images
World War II
- 1940 - 1948 - North Carolina, Discharge and Statement of Service Records, 1940-1948 at FamilySearch — index and images
North Carolina has a number of resources for collections of Wills at both the State and County levels. Older wills were sent to the North Carolina State Archives where most of them have been indexed and stored by County, including estate record materials such as inventories, accounts of sale and final settlements. The records in the Archives are also filed under a cross index to wills, cross referenced by devisor and devisee. The Franklin County Courthouse has copies of all of the County wills while the originals have been transferred to thr State Archives, so depending on your needs, you may want to take that into consideration when looking for wills.
Online Probate Records
- 1660 - 1790 - North Carolina Will Abstracts 1660-1790 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1663 - 1979 - North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1665 - 1998 - North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1735 - 1970 - North Carolina Probate Records 1735-1970 at FamilySearch.org — images
- 1760 - 1800 - North Carolina Will Abstracts 1760-1800 at Ancestry.com — index and images
- Pre - 1790 - Pre-1790 Franklin County, North Carolina Genealogy Wills stored at the North Carolina State Archives are online - free. Website tips.
- 1785 - 1964 - Will Books A to Y (1785-1964) have been digitized by FamilySearch - free.
- 1787 - 1838 - Images of Wills and Estates, Vols. 1 & 2. North Carolina Pioneers ($)
There are a few websites that have copies of Franklin County wills as listed below:
- Franklin County Wills Index
- Franklin County Index to Wills-Devisors List
- Franklin County USGenWeb Archives-Wills Index
- Franklin County Probate Records - contain browsable images from FamilySearch
The North Carolina State Archives has copies of Franklin County records starting from its establishment in 1779, to see a complete listing of the records available for the County please Click Here to view their Guide to Research Materials in the North Carolina State Archives, and scroll to the County page. Adobe Reader is required and can be downloaded here for free if you don't have it. The Archives currently charges $20 for Requests from Out-of-State Residents, and a copy of their Request Form along with further details can be viewed here.
The Franklin County Register of Deeds and the Franklin County Court Clerk also have a number of records available to the public from their offices and should be contacted to verify which records they have and what their prices are for obtaining them. Note that most of the originals of the older records have been transferred to the State Archives and that the records contained at the County level are usually hand copied into the County Books. Generally, it is much more cost effective to get documents on the County level rather than through the Archives, so you may want to first check with the County Registrar or County Court Clerk for the records you are in search of.
Remember to always be as specific as possible when requesting information from any of these locations, this will give you a better chance of locating the document that you are looking for with the least chance of wasting their time and your money.
These records are available from:
Births from: 1913 located at: FC Register of Deeds office
Deaths from: 1913 located at: FC Register of Deeds office
Marriage Bonds from: 1779 located at: N.C. Archives
Marriage Licenses from: 1869 located at: FC Register of Deeds office
Property Deeds from: 1776 located at: FC Register of Deeds office
Wills from: 1780 located at: County Courthouse
- 1800 - 2000 - North Carolina Birth Index 1800-2000 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1866 - 1964 - North Carolina Births and Christenings 1866-1964 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1741 - 2004 - North Carolina, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1741 - 2004 - North Carolina Marriage Index 1741-2004 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1759 - 1979 - North Carolina Marriages 1759-1979 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1762 - 1979 - North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1763 - 1868 - North Carolina, Civil Marriages, 1763-1868 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1779 - 1868 - Franklin County Marriages 1779-1868 at NCGenWeb - free.
- 1869 - 1964 - Franklin County Marriage Index 1869-1964 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.
- Franklin County Marriages
- Franklin County Freedmen's Marriages - Cohabitation Marriages of former slaves
- 1898 - 1994 - North Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1906 - 1930 - North Carolina Deaths 1906-1930 at FamilySearch.org — index and images
- 1908 - 2004 - North Carolina Death Indexes 1908-2004 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1909 - 1975 - North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1975 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1931 - 1994 - North Carolina Deaths 1931-1994 at FamilySearch.org — index
- Louisburg College: 1923-1997
- Franklin County students at North Carolina colleges - a list alphabetized by surname from the NCGenWeb Yearbook Index
- Franklinton High School Yearbook-1930
Societies and Libraries
Tar River Connections Genealogical Society
PO Box 8764
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
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.
- Franklin County, NC History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
- Franklin County NCGenWeb
- USGenWeb Project
- Franklin County USGenWeb Archives
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Franklin County, North Carolina. Page 508 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 1:491; 2:564. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
- 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.