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Research in Stokes County

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Map of North Carolina with the location of Stokes County in blue

This week’s North Carolina County of the Week is Stokes County so I wanted to post some information about the county and doing research using county records.

Stokes County was created in 1789 from Surry County. The southern half of Stokes County became Forsyth County  in 1849.

Counties that border present day Stokes are (clockwise from the North to the West) Patrick County, VA, Rockingham, Forsyth, and Surry Counties.

The closest early major migration route to Stokes County is the Upper Road, which traveled through Orange County. The Upper Road begins north in Maryland and ends in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County. Some who traveled on the Great Valley Road, which ran from Philadelphia through central Virginia, may have also settled in Stokes County area.

The county seat was originally Germantown, which was established in 1790. When the county split to create Forsyth County, the new county seat became what is today known as Danbury in 1849. From 1849-1851, the town was simple known as “county town of Stokes”. In 1851, the name changed to Crawford, and in 1852, the name Danbury was chosen.

Many of the original records for Stokes County are located in the State Archives of North Carolina;some records are missing for an unknown reason.  The Government and Heritage Library has some books and microfilm for Stokes County – view the catalog to see what books and microfilm our library has. Microfilm can be loaned to NC residents through their local libraries. Please contact your local public library about borrowing microfilm through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Not all records are located in the State Archives. Many land records and vital records, including birth and death certificates as well as marriage certificates after 1868 are located with the Stokes County Register of Deeds office. This site has many of the land records in a searchable database, but not the vital records. The website gives you information on how to contact them.

Court records, estates, wills, etc. are available through the Clerk of Superior Court. If you cannot go to the office, you can call to request the records. According to the Clerk of Superior Court, copies are $2.00 for the first page and $0.25 for each additional page.

Read more about Stokes County at NCpedia.

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