North Carolina Newspapers

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Newspapers publish marriage, divorce, death, and funeral notices, and obituaries. Beginning about 1900, newspapers also published birth notices. Notices include names, dates, and places. Marriage and death notices may contain maiden names and names of parents and other living relatives.

Newspapers also publish articles of local interest that often cover religious and social events in the community and include the names of people involved. Some newspapers serve several communities and devote columns to the everyday happenings in the area. Newspapers also include legal notices, estate sales, and advertising for local businesses.

Since 1959 the North Carolina Division of Archives and History has been microfilming newspapers in the state. Their collection of newspapers is the state’s largest. Many public and university libraries in North Carolina have copies of these microfilms. Copies can often be obtained by other libraries in the United States through interlibrary loan.

Inventory on the Internet

Over 7,100 North Carolina newspaper titles (3 million pages) are cataloged in:

North Carolina Newspapers. In State Library of North Carolina [database on-line]. Raleigh, North Carolina: State Library, 1 July 1999 [cited 2 August 1999]. Available at:

This site briefly lists the newspaper title, town, and life span so researchers can obtain microfilm copies through interlibrary loan.

Published Inventories

Several inventories of North Carolina newspapers are:

Jones, Roger C., comp. Guide to North Carolina Newspapers on Microfilm: Titles Available from the Division of Archives and History. 6th ed. Raleigh, North Carolina: Division of Archives and History, 1984. (FHL book 975.6 A3g; fiche 60495418.) This guide is arranged alphabetically by city and covers newspapers from 1751 to the 1950s. The list of newspapers on the Internet site above updates this inventory and includes all titles filmed since 1991.

Jones, H. G., and Julius H. Avant. Union List of North Carolina Newspapers, 1751–1900. Raleigh, North Carolina: State Department of Archives and History, 1963. (FHL book 975.6 B3n.)

Birth, Marriage, and Death Notices in Newspapers

Many birth, death, and marriage notices have been copied from North Carolina newspapers and published. For example:

Broughton, Carrie L. Marriage and Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1799–1855. 4 vols. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1949–. (FHL book 975.6 V2b; film 873831 item 2 [vol. 2 only].)

Fouts, Raymond Parker. Abstracts from the North Carolina Gazette of New Bern, North Carolina. 2 vols. Cocoa, Florida: GenRec Books, 1983. (FHL book 975.6192/N1 B3f.) Volume 1 has abstracts for 1751–1759 and 1768–1790, volume 2 for 1791–1798. This is an important source for finding information about marriages, deaths, slave runaways and sales, dead letters, land sales, vessel arrivals and sales, Revolutionary War activities, estate settlements, elections, businesses, Indian attacks, emancipations, powers of attorney, rental advertisements, and relief of the poor. Each volume is well indexed.

Fuller, Marian Camper. Obituaries and Marriage Notices from the Carolina Watchman, 1832–1890: An Index. Greenville, South Carolina: A Press, 1981. (FHL book 975.6 V22fm.) This book usually give names, marriage date or death date, newspaper issue, and date.

Neal, Lois Smathers. Abstracts of Vital Records from Raleigh, North Carolina Newspapers, 1799–1839. 3 vols. Spartanburg, South Carolina: Reprint Co., 1979–1995. (FHL book 975.655/R1 V28n.) This book lists name, county, date of event, and issue and date of newspaper. It often gives age, and may also state relationships.


The Family History Library has copies of very few North Carolina newspapers. There are a few nineteenth century newspapers for Guilford, Orange, and Wake counties.

See the "Newspapers" and "Obituaries" sections of the United States Research Outline (30972) for help in locating other newspapers published in North Carolina.

Many periodicals publish information from newspapers. They are referenced in the "Places" search of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) described in the "Periodicals" section of this outline. See also the "Obituaries" section for help in finding obituaries.

You can find more resources for local North Carolina newspapers in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Locality Search under: