NGS Research in the States: North Carolina

ngs08“From the Native American tribes who first lived on the land to the English settlers form Virginia who followed; from the enslaved African Americans to those who came to the area on overland routes, the people of North Carolina have produced a wealth of records to tell their stories. Genealogists who want to trace Tar Heels will find an abundance of records if they take the time to study the history, geography, and record-keeping practices of the state.”

Before European settlers came to North Carolina, by way of Virginia, at least 35 different Native American tribes had inhabited the area of the state at one point or anthers. The first attempt to settle the area by Europeans failed in 1580, and took until the 1650s before any successful settlement was founded. North Carolina had a difficult and varied history through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The state saw many battles during the Revolutionary War and much of the state was in chaos. Fewer battles were fought within the state during the Civil War, but the war took no less toll on its people. After the wars, however, the state saw prosperity, becoming a leader in furniture, textiles, and tobacco.

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later re-issued as special publications designed to support genealogical research in each state. NGS Research in the States Series: North Carolina was written by Jeffrey L. Haines.

Like other NGS Research in the States guides, this volume on North Carolina begins with a short, historical summary of the state and its inhabitants. Learn more about your North Carolina ancestors with help from this guide.

About the Author

“Jeffrey L. Haines is a professional genealogists who specializes in the study of the families of the Carolinas and the British West Indies…Mr. Haines currently serves as the editor of the North Carlina Genealogical Society Journal. He has written articles for many publications, including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ OnBoard, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.” He has lectured locally and nationally, and has served in several key positions in multiple genealogical organizations.

Table of Contents

History and Settlements

Archives, Libraries, and Societies

  • North Carolina State Archives
  • North Carolina State Library
  • University of North Carolina Collections
    • North Carolina Collection
    • Southern Historical Collection
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • Other Repositories
  • North Carolina Genealogical Society
    • Other Societies

Major Resources

  • Aids to Research
  • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
  • Biographical Guides
  • Business Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Censuses and Census Substitutes
    • Federal Census
    • State Census
  • City and County Directories
  • City-Level Research
  • County-Level Research
  • Court Records
    • County Courts
    • Higher Courts
    • Federal Courts
  • Ethnic Records
    • African Americans
    • Native Americans
    • Cherokee
    • Lumbee
    • Other Groups
  • Land Records
    • Colonial Land Grants
    • County-Level Records
  • Military Records
    • Colonial War
    • American Revolution
    • Cherokee Wars, War of 1812, and Mexican War
    • Civil War
    • Post Civil War and Reconstruction
    • Spanish American War
    • World Wars
  • Naturalization and Immigration Records
  • Newspapers
  • Probate Records
  • Religious Records
  • Tax Records
  • Vital Records
    • Adoption Records
    • Birth and Death Records
    • Marriage Records
    • Divorce Records
  • Voter Rolls
  • Women Of North Carolina
  • Conclusion

These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: North Carolina are available from Family Roots Publishing.


Other guides in series reviewed to date (in alphabetical order):


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