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Rutherford County, North Carolina Genealogy

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


Rutherford County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Rutherford 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 1779
County Seat Rutherfordton
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Rutherford County is located in the Southwestern portion of North Carolina and shares a border with South Carolina. It was named for Revolutionary War General Griffith Rutherford, a member of the North Carolina Provincial Congress[1].

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1917 1779 1913 1779 1779 1779 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Rutherford County Court
229 N Main Street P O Box 551
Rutherforton, NC 28139-0630
Phone: 828-287-6155

Courthouse burned in 1857
Clerk Superor Courtt has birth records from 1917
death records from 1913
marriage dirvorce probate court and land records from 1779
tax lists and voter registration[3]

Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 551
Rutherfordton, NC 28043
Phone: 828-287-6156
Fax: 828-287-6470

Clerk Superior Court
229 N Main St Ste 203
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 288-6100

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1779--Rutherford County was created from Tryon County. Tyron County was abolished in 1779.
County seat: Rutherfordton [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

After Rutherford County's initial creation in 1779, there have been some distinct changes made to the boundaries.

In 1791, a small portion of the west sides of Rutherford and Burke County created Buncombe County.

In 1841, about a third of the county on the east side, as well as western side of the neighboring Lincoln county, were formed into Cleveland County.

The year following that, 1842, a small portion of the northern side of Rutherford county and half of the neighboring County of Burke was taken to make McDowell County.

In 1855, the southwestern side of the county was formed into Polk County.

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]

1907--Fire burned courthouse

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 Rutherford County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist[edit | edit source]
  • Bill's Creek. Constituted 1782.[5]
  • Buffalow Creek. Constituted 1777.[5]
  • Green River. Constituted 1778.[5]
  • Mountain Creek. Constituted 1789.[5]
  • Sandy Run. Constituted 1788.[5]
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
  • Brittain Church, Rutherfordton, N.C. Organized 1768.[6] Originally located in Tryon County.

County Records[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
  • "Notes on a Proctor Family of Northeastern Rutherford Co., N.C.," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 38, No. 3 (August 2010):102-110. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 38

Land[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]


Migration[edit | edit source]

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

Military[edit | edit source]

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

Online Records

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

- 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company D
- 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company G
- 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company N
- 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company B
- 1st Battalion, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company C
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company G
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 Records[edit | edit source]
Death Records[edit | edit source]
Divorce Records[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County
PO Box 938
Forest City, NC 28043

Rutherford County Library
255 Callahan Koon Rd.
Spindale NC 28169

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), Rutherford 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), Rutherford County, North Carolina. Page 512 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 5.2 5.3 5.4 George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 2:568. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  6. "Brittain Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program,, accessed 22 October 2012.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at