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Johnston County, North Carolina Genealogy

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


Johnston County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Johnston 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 1746
County Seat Smithfield
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Johnston County is located in the Central portion of North Carolina and was named for Royal Governor of North Carolina Gabriel Johnston[1].

Johnston County, North Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1746 1914 1759 1748 1760 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Johnston County Courthouse
207 East Johnston Street
P O Box 118
Smithfield, NC 27577-4515

Register of Deeds has marriage and land records
Clerk Superior Court has probate and court records[3] 

Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 118
Smithfield , NC 27520
Phone: 919-989-5160
Fax: 919-989-5160

Clerk Superior Court
P.O. Box 297
Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 209-5400

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1746--Johnston County was created 28 June 1746 from Craven County.
County seat: Smithfield [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Johnston County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census. Links to Free, Online Census Records from 1790-1940 -

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist[edit | edit source]
  • Mill Creek. Established by 1808.[5]
  • Rocky Spring. Constituted 1793.[5]
  • Three Creeks. Established by 1789.[6]
Church of England[edit | edit source]
  • St. Patrick's Parish. Established 1756.[7]

County Records[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Links to Court Records -

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

  • [Humphries] Holcomb, Brent Howard. Ancestors and Descendants of Charles Humphries (d. 1837) of Union District, South Carolina, 1677-1984. Columbia, S.C., 1985. FHL Book 929.273 H889hb.

Land[edit | edit source]

Local Histories [edit | edit source]

Historical Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • June 28, 1746 - Royal Governor Gabriel Johnston signs legislation creating the County of Johnston.
  • Oct. 18, 1775 - Independent North Carolina's Provincial Council holds its first meeting at Johnston County Courthouse (Smithfield).
  • May 9, 1777 - Town of Smithfield chartered by the N.C. General Assembly.
  • May 3-15, 1779 - N.C. General Assembly meets in Smithfield.
  • Feb. 16, 1861 - Town of Boon Hill chartered - renamed Princeton in 1873.
  • March 19-21, 1865 - Civil War Battle of Bentonville rages as the "bloodiest battle ever fought on North Carolina soil."
  • April 12, 1869 - Town of Clayton chartered.
  • Feb. 11, 1873 - Town of Selma chartered.
  • Jan. 30, 1874 - Town of Pine Level chartered.
  • March 7, 1887 - Towns of Benson and Kenly chartered.
  • March 11, 1889 - Town of Four Oaks chartered.
  • May 1, 1899 - Town of Jerome chartered - renamed Micro in 1905.
  • Aug. 15, 1945 - Farmers Day in Smithfield celebrates the end of World War II.
  • Sept. 1, 1965 - Johnston County's public schools begin racial desegregation, completed by consolidation of high schools in 1969.
  • Oct. 1, 1991 - Land-use zoning instituted throughout Johnston County as suburbanization follows recently completed I-40 from Raleigh.
  • Aug. 2, 1996 - Town of Wilson's Mills re-chartered (original charter issued in 1927, revoked in 1971).
  • Nov. 3, 2009 - Town of Archer Lodge incorporated by a majority vote of residents within its proposed borders.

Maps[edit | edit source]


Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

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

- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company H
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company C
- 7th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company F
- 7th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company G
- 8th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Captain John Daniel's Company
Civil War Battle[edit | edit source]

The following Civil War battle was fought in Johnston County:

Map showing Civil War battles in North Carolina.
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries [edit | edit source]

Johnston County Genealogical Society
PO Box 2373
Smithfield, NC 27577-2373
Telephone Number: 828-631-2646

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Johnston 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.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Johnston County, North Carolina. Page 510 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association: From Its Original Rise Down to 1808 (1808), Chapter 16. Digital version at
  6. George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 1:491. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  7. Robert J. Cain, ed., The Church of England in North Carolina: Documents, 1699-1741 (Raleigh, N.C.: Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1999), xxxiii. FHL Book 975.6 K2cr.
  8. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 8 August, 2012)
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at