Orange County, North Carolina Genealogy

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United States
North Carolina
Orange County

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


Orange County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Orange 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 1752
County Seat Hillsborough
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County Information


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[1].

County Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Orange County, North Carolina Genealogy Government Records

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

Courthouse burned 1789
Registrar of Deeds has Birth and Death rec from 1913
marriage and land records from 1754, divorce records from 1869
probate records from 1756 and court records from 1865[2]

Register of Deeds
PO Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Telephone: 919-245-2676
Fax: 919-644-3018

Clerk of Superior Court
106 E Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Telephone: (919) 644-4500


Orange County NC 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 NC colony, extending halfway from the VA line to the SC 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.

Parent County

1752--Orange County was created from Bladen, Granville and Johnston Counties.
County seat: Hillsborough [3]

Boundary Changes

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

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties



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.


For tips on accessing Orange County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census.

Church Records

  • Rocky River, near Siler City, N.C. Organized about 1757.[4] Now located in Chatham County.
  • South Country Line or Waters of Haw River. Constituted 1783.[5]
Church of England
  • St. Matthew's Parish. Established 1752.[6]

County Records


Family Histories

  • 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.


Local Histories




Revolutionary War
Civil War

Online Records

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

-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, usually known as the Bethel Regiment.
-1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company G
-13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry, Company A
-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, Company B
-6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company C
World War I
World War II



Online Probate Records


Vital Records

Birth Records
Death Records
Divorce Records


Societies and Libraries 

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

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.



  2. 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.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. "Rocky River Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.
  5. 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.
  6. Donna Sherron, "North Carolina Parishes," accessed 12 October 2012. Digital version at Lost Souls Genealogy - free.
  7. "Old Eno Church and Cemetery," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.
  8. "Hawfields Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.