Department of State Archives: The NC State Archives maintains record collections that range from military records and newspapers to maps and organizational records. Documents can be digitized and emailed to researchers, as well as an online search function. They are also responsible for maintaining death records prior to 1930.
State Library: The State Library maintains information related to the state's development and growth. the N.C. State Library offers free resources for family historians and researchers, as well as free online resources to support your research. Your library card can give you access to other resources housed on the State Library's website.
Register of Deeds: The Register of Deeds maintains records related to land deeds, leases over three years long, deeds of trust, easements and other land based records. Each county's ROD maintains its own records.
County Clerk of Court: In North Carolina, the County Clerk of Court is responsible for maintaining birth certificates before 1913, marriage records prior to 1962 and divorce records prior to 1958. To access these records, contact the County Clerk of Court in the county where your ancestor lived.
Department of Vital Records: The Department of Vital Records maintains birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce records and fetal death reports. Requesting records from this office comes with a processing fee, so it is recommended that you exhaust all avenues before contacting Vital Records for your needs.
National Archives Census Records: Census records can provide the building blocks of your research. The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and has been taken every ten years since. Because of a 72-year restriction on access to the Census, the most recent year available is 1950. The 1950 Census was released on April 1, 2022. The National Archives has the census schedules available from 1790 to 1950, and most have now been digitized by our digitization partners. Family researchers generally find it most helpful to begin with the most current census and work backwards as a strategy for locating people in earlier generations.
Free Genealogy Databases
FamilySearch.org-Free genealogy database maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this site aggregates documents and connects family members through family tree construction. There are also local genealogy centers attached to FamilySearch.org where you can go for in person support.
Reclaim the Records-Reclaim the Records is an activist organization based in New York City that specializes in getting access to state records that are not digitized or available to the public through FOIA requests, digitizing them and releasing them to the public for free. All records caches are uploaded to open data sites like Internet Archive.
Graves and Burial Sites
Professional Genealogy Associations
Research and Archival Support
Black Family Research: Records of the Post-Civil War Federal Agencies at the National Archives compiled by Reginald Washington. United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC : National Archives and Records Administration, 2003. LCCN 2003426109
County Courthouse Book: A Concise Guide to County Courthouses and Courthouse Record by Elizabeth Petty Bentley. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 2009.
The Beginner’s Guide to Using Tax Lists by Cornelius Carroll. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 2008.
Checklist of Historical Records Survey Publications: Bibliography of Research Projects Reports by Sargent B. Child and Dorothy P. Holmes. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1999.
Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 by William Thomas and William Dollarhide. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 2007.
State Census Records by Ann S. Lainhart. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 2008.
Freedman’s Bank Records. Salt Lake City, UT : Intellectual Reserve, Inc. : Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, c2000.