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Chatham County, North Carolina Genealogy

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

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County Facts
County seat: Pittsboro
Organized: December 5, 1770
Parent County(s): Orange[1]
Neighboring Counties
Alamance  • Durham  • Harnett  • Lee  • Moore  • Orange  • Randolph  • Wake
See County Maps
Courthouse
NorthCarolinaChathamCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Nc-chatham.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Chatham County is located in the central portion of North Carolina and was named for William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who defended American rights in the British Parliament.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Chatham County Courthouse
12 East Road
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Phone: 919-542-3240
Chatham County Website

Register of Deeds has birth and death records from 1913, marriage and land records from 1771.
Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records from 1913, probate records from 1771 and court records from 1869.[3]

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913 1771 1913 1869 1771 1771 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

  • 1771-1774 From the time of ratification of the bill to establish the county, in April of 1771 to 1774, there are no pleas and quarter session minutes.
  • 1800-1805 There is also gap of about 5 years between 1800 to 1805 in these minutes.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:


Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1770 Chatham County was created 5 December 1770 from Orange County.
  • County seat: Pittsboro[5]

In 1897 Chatham lost a portion of the NW boundary to Alamance Co., from a survey to establish a previously de facto boundary.

In 1907 Chatham lost a portion of the SE boundary to form the newly established Lee Co.

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.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

The following are locations in Chatham County, North Carolina:

 Incorporated Cities:

  • Fearrington - population: 903
  • Goldston - population: 319
  • Pittsboro -  County Seat- population 2, 226. It is located 34 mi. SE of the state capitol, Raleigh.
  • Siler City - population: 8,747


Unincorporated Cities:

  • Bear Creek
  • Bennett
  • Bonlee
  • Brickhaven
  • Bynum
  • Carbonton
  • Corinth
  • Crutchfield Crossroads
  • Gulf
  • Haywood
  • Moncure
  • Silk Hope
  • Wilsonville

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

The bill for establishing Chatham County was introduced in the Colonial Assembly, held at New Berne, December 5, 1770. But the bill was not ratified until January 26, 1771 and became effective the first day of April in 1771. The county was named for the first Earl of Chatham - William Pitt, 1708-1778. According to history, the Earl of Chatham was a true believer in the right of America and defended these rights in the British Parliament. Perhaps that zeal of patriotism transmitted itself to the inhabitants of Chatham County, because the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions struck the customary extolling of the King and his titles, in 1773, long before the first shot rang out in New England. Even though Chatham was a Crown Province of North Carolina until statehood was established on July 4, 1776. The county seat of Pittsboro was named for William Pitt, the younger, who was the youngest prime minister of Great Britain. He was 24 years of age, at the time.
Chatham was created from Orange County whose area was ten times what it is now. Because of political factions and difficulty in holding court and recording documents, the distance being so great, the counties of Guilford, Wake and Surry were created at the same time as Chatham. As a deterrent to the meeting and assembly of these factions and to facilitate the governing of them. Chatham is in the center of the state, in the hilly, timber covered section of the state. The counties that are neighbors are: Almance, Durham, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Randolph and Wake.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Chatham County, North Carolina online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See North Carolina Cemeteries for more information

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist

  • Bear Creek Constituted 1786.[6]
  • Collin's Mount Founded before 1773.[6]
  • Deep River Founded before 1773.[6]
  • Haw River Church built 1769.[6]
  • Rocky River, near Siler City, N.C. Organized about 1757.[6][7] Formerly located in Orange.
  • Tick Creek Founded before 1773.[6]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

  • Chatham County Courthouse
    Clerk of Superior Court
    PO Box 369
    12 East Street
    Pittsboro, NC 27312
    Phone: 919-542-3240
    Website

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

  • Register of Deeds
    PO Box 756
    Pittsboro, NC 27312
    Phone: 919-542-8235
    Website
    Deed records are indexed and copies of the actual documents are available online starting from 1771 Chatham County Deeds Online Search
-All Chatham County land transactions, including any sales or exchanges of real property in the county. This includes any transactions involving parcels of land, easements, rights of way and lease holdings.
-Security documents, such as deeds of trust, mortgages, and uniform commercial code filings.
-Public records of notaries.
-Records of businesses operating under assumed names.
-Vital records, including births, deaths and marriages. The office provides certified copies of vital records to persons who are eligible under state law.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Ncchatham.png

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Chatham County 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 Chatham County:

- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
- 11th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company G
- 15th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, formerly the 5th Volunteers, Company M
- 1st Brigade, North Carolina Reserves, Company H
- 1st Regiment, North Carolina Junior Reserves, Company H
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry (63rd Regiment Volunteers), Company E
- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry (63rd Regiment Volunteers), Company G
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company I
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company B
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company E
- 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company I

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

County Records

Voting Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

Indices to Chatham County Wills and Estate Records: (NCGenWeb)

Abstracted wills: (NCGenWeb)


  • Clerk of the Superior Court
    12 East Street
    PO Box 369
    Pittsboro, NC 27312
    Phone: 919-542-3240
    Website

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1755 1755 Orange County Tax List (transcript) at NCGenWeb (many Chatham Co. families were included before formation of Chatham)
  • 1795 1795 Chatham County Tax List (transcript) at NCGenWeb
  • 1815 1815 Chatham County Tax List (transcript) at NCGenWeb
  • 1815 Tax Lists, Chatham County, 1815 (images) at North Carolina Digital Collections

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • Register of Deeds
    PO Box 756
    Pittsboro, NC 27312
    Phone: 919-542-8235
    Website
    The Register of Deeds Office maintains vital records, including births, deaths and marriages. The office provides certified copies of vital records to persons who are eligible under state law.

Online Records

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. https://www.ncpedia.org/geography/Chatham
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Chatham 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.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 George Washington Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, 2 vols. (1930; reprint, Gallatin, Tenn.: Church History Research and Archives, 1990), 1:230-231, 297; 2:562-563. FHL Book 975.6 K2p 1990.
  7. "Rocky River Church," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, http://www.ncmarkers.com, accessed 22 October 2012.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Iginorthcarolinaa.pdf.

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