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Research in Catawba County

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Map of NC with Catawba County in blue

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

Catawba County was created in 1842 from Lincoln County and was named after the local Native American tribe. The area was heavily settled by the German, Swiss, and Scot-Irish.  Counties that border present day Catawba County are (clockwise from N to W): Alexander, Iredell, Lincoln and Burke. The borders of Catawba County have remained relatively unchanged since creation.

The closest early major migration route is the Upper Road. The Upper Road broke off from the King’s Highway in Fredericksburg, VA and traveled southwest to Charlotte, NC.

The county seat is Newton, founded in 1855 and named after Isaac Newton Wilson, a member of the General Assembly

Many of the original records for Catawba County are located in the State Archives of North Carolina; however, some records are missing for an unknown reason.  The Government and Heritage Library has some books and microfilm for Catawba 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 Catawba County Register of Deeds office. Catawba County Register of Deeds office also has another website with many of the land records in a searchable database, but not the vital records. The website gives you information on how to contact them.

Read more about Catawba County at NCpedia.

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This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.