McDowell County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to McDowell 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: Marion
Organized: December 19, 1842
Parent County(s): Rutherford and Burke[1]
Neighboring Counties
Avery  • Buncombe  • Burke  • Mitchell  • Rutherford  • Yancey
See County Maps
Courthouse
NorthCarolinaMcDowellCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Nc-mcdowell.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

McDowell County is located in the southwestern portion of North Carolina and was named for Revolutionary War Colonel Joseph McDowell.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

McDowell County Courthouse
21 S Main Street
Marion, NC 28752-4041
Phone: 828-655-4200
McDowell County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death and land records.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, probate and court records from 1842.[3]

McDowell 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 1872 1914 1842 1813 1842 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]

  • 1842 McDowell County was created 19 December 1842 from Rutherford and Burke Counties.
  • County seat: Marion[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[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]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
  • North Cove
Census-designated places
Townships
  • Crooked Creek
  • Dysartsville
  • Glenwood
  • Marion
  • Montford Cove
  • Nebo
  • North Cove
  • Old Fort
  • Pleasant Gardens
  • Sugar Hill
  • Woodlawn-Sevier


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

The court was ordered to be held at the home of Jonathan L. Carson until the county seat could be established. The act also named commissioners to select a site as near the center of the county as possible, acquire land, lay out a town by the name of Marion, and erect a courthouse. Marion 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 McDowell 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 6,246
1860 7,120 14.0%
1870 7,592 6.6%
1880 9,836 29.6%
1890 10,939 11.2%
1900 12,567 14.9%
1910 13,538 7.7%
1920 16,763 23.8%
1930 20,336 21.3%
1940 22,996 13.1%
1950 25,720 11.8%
1960 26,742 4.0%
1970 30,648 14.6%
1980 35,135 14.6%
1990 35,681 1.6%
2000 42,151 18.1%
2010 44,996 6.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".


Church Records[edit | edit source]


List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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]

Register of Deeds records and keeps copies of all documents pertaining to land and issues certified copies or photocopies of same, as required. Deed images are available for download from January 1, 1971 to the present day at the McDowell County Deeds Register of Deeds Website.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Mitchell CountyYancey CountyAvery CountyBurke CountyRutherford CountyBuncombe CountyNC McDOWELL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in McDowell 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 McDowell County:

- 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company A
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company G
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company E

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]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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.

McDowell County Clerk of the Superior Court
(828) 652-7717

Has probate records starting from 1841, if they haven't been transferred to State Archives. Contact the Clerk of the Court to confirm which records are available at their office.

It is generally more cost effective to obtain records at the County level, however, the North Carolina State Archives has originals and/or copies of most older County records.

North Carolina State Archives
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4614
919-807-7310

Check their Guide to Research Materials for what kinds of records are available, and also download their forms to request information by mail.

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • The Register of Deeds is the custodian of various records which are filed for safe-keeping. Examples of documents housed are numerous types of deeds, deeds of trust, leases, assignments, powers of attorney, separation agreements, contracts, cancellations, assumed names, partnerships, corporations, notices of foreclosure, notices of bankruptcy, releases, restrictive covenants, military discharges, financing statements and terminations, birth and death records, maps and plats.
  • The Register also issues marriage licenses (see the link below for more information) and administers the oath of office to notaries public. As a service to McDowell County citizens, the Register of Deeds records and keeps copies of all documents pertaining to land and issues certified copies or photocopies of same, as required.
  • Deed images are available for download from January 1, 1971 to the present day at the McDowell County Deeds Register of Deeds Website.

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 and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • McDowell County Public Library
    PO Box 2122
    90 West Court St.
    Marion, NC 28752
    Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
    128 Bingham Road, Suite 950
    Ashveille, NC 28806

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.
  2. https://www.ncpedia.org/geography/mcdowell
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McDowell County, North Carolina. Page 510 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McDowell 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, "McDowell County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDowell_County,_North_Carolina, accessed 21 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 https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/9/91/Iginorthcarolinag.pdf.