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abolished counties

Abolished Counties: Glasgow County

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If your ancestors came to North Carolina in the 1600s, there is a good chance they lived in an abolished county at some point. Some abolished counties, such as Glasgow County, were created after 1700. As genealogy researchers, we are taught when boundaries change and new counties are formed records created in the original county stay there rather than moved to the new county; however, that leads to the question of what happens with records created in abolished counties.

 

Map of NC counties in 1791 with Glasgow County in Blue

Glasgow County shaded in blue

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Abolished Counties: Dobbs County

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If your ancestors came to North Carolina in the 1600s, there is a good chance they lived in an abolished county at some point. Some abolished counties, such as Dobbs County, were created after 1700. As genealogy researchers, we are taught when boundaries change and new counties are formed records created in the original county stay there rather than moved to the new county; however, that leads to the question of what happens with records created in abolished counties.

Map of NC around 1760 showing the location of Dobbs County

Map of NC in 1760 showing the location of Dobbs County – Image courtesy of Learnnc.org

Dobbs County Formation and Records

Let’s take a look at Dobbs County, created in 1758 from part of Johnston County. Only a few records exist; there are some wills, which are in the Thornton W. Mitchell’s will book index. There were also deeds, which are not dated. Dobbs County was abolished in 1791 when it split into Glasgow and Lenoir Counties. Any records that were mixed in with Lenoir County records have been destroyed by court house fire in 1878 and again in 1880.

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Research in Abolished Counties: Clarendon, 1664-1667

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North Carolina in 1664.

If your ancestors came to North Carolina in the 1600s, there is a good chance they lived in an abolished county at some point. Most of the abolished or abandoned counties were created by 1700; Clarendon, one of three original counties, was one of those counties and was created in 1664. In three short years, it was abandoned.

For genealogy researchers, we are taught when boundaries change and new counties are formed that records created in the original or parent county are found there rather than the new county, but what about with abolished or abandoned counties? In the case of Clarendon County, records no longer exist, at least not within the state. It is possible records may exist in England. Rather than focus on the records, this post will focus on the county’s history and how other counties were formed from Clarendon.

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Research in Abolished County: Bute, 1784-1779

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Map of NC counties in 1775 with Bute County shaded in purple

Bute County shaded in purple

As genealogy researchers, we are taught when boundaries change and new counties are formed records created in an original or parent county stay there rather than moved to the new county. Abolished counties present a question, though: what happens with records when the county no longer exists? Today, we will look at how original records for Bute County are filed and what records are available.

Bute County was established in 1754 from the eastern half of Granville County. Fifteen years later in 1779, the county was abolished and split into Franklin and Warren Counties. Original records for Bute County are filed in the State Archives of North Carolina. The majority of records left for Bute are filed in the County Records collection of the Archives with county code 015. Some of the records are also filed in both Franklin and Warren Counties as well, so let’s take a closer look.

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