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Orange County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Orange 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: Hillsborough
Organized: 1752
Parent County(s): Bladen, Granville and Johnston[1]
Neighboring Counties
Alamance  • Caswell  • Chatham  • Durham  • Person
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Orange County is located in the north-central portion of North Carolina and was named for William V of Orange, the infant grandson of King George III of England.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Orange County Courthouse
200 S Cameron St
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: 919-245-2675
Orange County Website

Registrar of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913, marriage and land records from 1754, divorce records from 1869, probate records from 1756 and court records from 1865.[3]

Orange 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
1913 1754 1913 1865 1754 1756 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1781 Some records were lost/destroyed when they were buried to avoid destruction by Cornwallis during the Revolutionary War.
1789 Courthouse burned

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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.

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
  • Bingham
  • Cedar Grove
  • Chapel Hill
  • Cheeks
  • Eno
  • Hillsborough
  • Little River

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Orange County was created out of parts of Bladen, Granville, and Johnston counties in 1752. At that time, it comprised a large section of the middle of the North Carolina colony, extending halfway from the Virginia line to the South Carolina line. It was named for the infant William V of Orange. His mother Anne, who was a daughter of King George II of England, was the dowager princess of the Dutch Republic.

At the time that the county was formed, there were 5 Native American tribes living in the area.

As other counties were created out of parts of Orange’s territory, these counties were created wholly out of Old Orange: Chatham (1771), Caswell (1777) and Person (created out of Caswell in 1791), and Alamance (1849). Other sections of the old county were combined with parts of other counties to create: Guilford (1771), which gave birth in turn to Randolph (1779) and Rockingham (1785); Wake (1771), Durham (1881), and Lee (1907). After all of this, Orange County was just a fraction of its original size.

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 Orange 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.
1790 12,216
1800 16,362 33.9%
1810 20,135 23.1%
1820 23,492 16.7%
1830 23,908 1.8%
1840 24,356 1.9%
1850 17,055 −30.0%
1860 16,947 −0.6%
1870 17,507 3.3%
1880 23,698 35.4%
1890 14,948 −36.9%
1900 14,690 −1.7%
1910 15,064 2.5%
1920 17,895 18.8%
1930 21,171 18.3%
1940 23,072 9.0%
1950 34,435 49.3%
1960 42,970 24.8%
1970 57,707 34.3%
1980 77,055 33.5%
1990 93,851 21.8%
2000 118,227 26.0%
2010 133,801 13.2%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]


  • Rocky River, near Siler City, N.C. Organized about 1757.[7] Now located in Chatham.
  • South Country Line or Waters of Haw River. Constituted 1783.[8]

Church of England

  • St. Matthew's Parish. Established 1752.[9]


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]

  • Clendenin - White, Jo White. "Clendenin of Orange County, North Carolina: An Exercise in Southern Genealogical Problem Solving," The Genealogist, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Fall 1985):186-190.
  • Thompson - Buchanan, Jane Gray. Thomas Thompson and Ann Finney of Colonial Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Lawrence, Closs, and John Thompson. Allied Lines of Finney, McAllister, Buchanan, and Hart. Oak Ridge, Tenn.: J.G. Buchanan, 1987. FHL Collection.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

NC Orange

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Orange 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 Orange County:

-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, usually known as the Bethel Regiment.
-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-1st Brigade, North Carolina Reserves, Company I
-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry,usually known as the Bethel Regiment, Company D
-1st Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company I
-2nd Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company K
-3rd Battalion, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Captain Mark Durham's Company
-3rd Regiment, North Carolina Artillery, 2nd Company G
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company B
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company C
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company G
-13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry, Company A

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]

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]


Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voter Registration[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]

  • The Durham-Orange Genealogical Society of North Carolina
    PO Box 4703
    Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4703

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), Orange County, North Carolina. Page 511 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Orange 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, "Orange County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Carolina, accessed 23 February 2020.
  7. "Rocky River Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.
  8. George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 2:566. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  9. Donna Sherron, "North Carolina Parishes," accessed 12 October 2012. Digital version at Lost Souls Genealogy
  10. "Old Eno Church and Cemetery," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.
  11. "Hawfields Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.