Watauga County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Watauga County

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


Watauga County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Watauga 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 1849
County Seat Boone
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County Information


Watauga County is located in the Western portion of North Carolina and shares a border with Tennessee. It was named after the Watauga River ("Watauga" is an Indian word meaning "beautiful river")[1].

County Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Watauga County, North Carolina Genealogy Government Records

Watauga County Courthouse
842 W King Street
Boone, NC 28607-3531
Phone: 828-265-8052

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1914
marriage records from 1872 and land records
Clerk Superior Court has divoce, probate and court records from 1872[2]

Register of Deeds
842 W. King Street, Courthouse, Suite 9
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: 828-265-8052
Fax: 828-265-7632

Clerk Superior Court
842 W King St
Boone, NC 28607-3560
Phone: 828) 268-6600


The area that became Watauga and Ashe counties was part of Anson County during the early period; part of Rowan County in 1753, Surry County in 1771, Wilkes County in 1777 and was briefly part of the State of Franklin from 1784-89. After Franklin it was claimed as part of Washington County (part of the Southwest Territory, and later Tennessee) until it was annexed back by North Carolina into Wilkes County again in 1792.[3] Ashe was incorporated as a separate entity by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1799. North Carolina erected Watauga County primarily from Ashe County in 1849.

Parent County

1849--Watauga County was created from Ashe, Caldwell,Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.
County seat: Boone [4]

County histories are available such as:

  • A History of Watauga County, North Carolina : with sketches of prominent families by John Preston Arthur (1915)

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

1873--Courthouse fire destroyed all of the land records and most of the court records.


Populated Places

  • Beech Mountain
  • Blowing Rock
  • Boone
  • Seven Devils

Neighboring Counties




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


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


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Howard's Chapel

County Records



Local Histories




Early migration routes to and from Watauga County for European settlers included:[5]


Revolutionary War
Civil War

Online Records

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

- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, Company D
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company G
World War I
World War II



Online Probate Records


Vital Records

Birth Records
Death Records
Divorce Records
Marriage Records


Societies and Libraries 

Genealogical Society of Watauga County
PO Box 126
Boone, NC 28607

Watauga County Historical Society
E. Mast, 253 Wm. Hardy Mast Road
Sugar Grove, NC 28679-9707

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.



  1. https://www.ncpedia.org/geography/Watauga
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Watauga County, North Carolina. Page 513 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Arthur L. Fletcher, Ashe County: A History (Jefferson, N.C.: Ashe County Research Assoc., 1963), 33-34.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. 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.
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/f/f5/Iginorthcarolinap.pdf.