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Buncombe County Genealogy

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Buncombe County Genealogy – History, Creation and Facts

The county was formed in 1791 from parts of Burke County and Rutherford County. It was named for Edward Buncombe, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who was captured at the Battle of Germantown.

In 1808 the western part of Buncombe County became Haywood County. In 1833 parts of Burke County and Buncombe County were combined to form Yancey County, and in 1838 the southern part of what was left of Buncombe County became Henderson County. Finally, in 1851 parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County were combined to form Madison County.

Buncombe County has contributed a word to the English language. In the Sixteenth Congress, after lengthy debate on the Missouri Compromise, members of the House called for an immediate vote on that important question. Instead, Felix Walker, whose district included Buncombe County, rose to address his colleagues, insisting that his constituents expected him to make a speech “for Buncombe.” It was later remarked that Walker’s untimely and irrelevant oration was not just for Buncombe–it “was Buncombe.” Thus, “buncombe,” afterwards spelled “bunkum” and then shortened to “bunk,” became a term for empty, nonsensical talk. Source Wikipedia

Buncombe county is the father (mother?) of all of the western counties. Originally, it’s dimensions were so vast, it was referred to as the “state” of Buncombe. The County seat of Buncombe County is Asheville. The county currently is split into the following townships: Asheville, Avery Creek, Black Mountain, Broad River, Fairview, Flat Creek, French Broad, Ivy, Leicester, Limestone, Lower Hominy, Reems Creek, Sandy Mush, Swannanoa, and Upper Hominy.

Among the notable locations in Buncombe County: The Biltmore Estate, Grove Park Inn, Thomas Wolfe House, Vance Birthplace, the Folk Art Center (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway), Pisgah National Forest, and the Grove Arcade, Basilica of St. Lawrence. Asheville has a great Urban Trail with markers in a self guided tour.

Buncombe County NCGenweb Site

The Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2122
Asheville, NC 28802

covers the counties that Buncombe originally entailed which is most of current Western North Carolina. (covers present day Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain, and Transylvania Counties)


Buncombe County Courthouse
60 Courthouse Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
Probably the best public library for research in the county. (Some other libraries in the Asheville Buncombe system have specific content to the town, such as the Weaverville library.)

Pack Memorial Library
67 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC. 28801

Search the Pack Library Special Collections online

Asheville-Buncombe Library System

If you’re interested in Weaverville history and visiting. There is the Dry Ridge Museum which is in the basement of the Library in Weaverville on Main Street. Neat collection of photos, books, etc.

Weaverville Branch of Asheville-Buncombe Library System
41 N. Main Street
Weaverville, NC 28787
The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints has a reading room at their Church building on Sweeten Creek Rd. in the Arden area.

Buncombe County Genealogy – Records


1800 Federal Census index

1810 Federal Census index online text

1820 Federal Census index

1830 Federal Census index

1840 Federal Census index

1850 Federal Census index online text Directory opens to listing of text files by starting page number.


USGS listing of cemeteries of Buncombe County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Buncombe County Genealogy – Other Resources

Query Forums

Buncombe County, NC Query Forum

Latest North Carolina Genealogy Query posts for Buncombe County from the Forum:

North Carolina Genealogy Forum: Forum: Buncombe County NC Genealogy Queries – Recent Topics

lynnsisk on “Alexander,Baldwin,corn,king and Sisk family of NC”

We are looking for the family of Pinkney Alexander who married a Jane Baldwin,had a daughter named Annie Epsie ALexander,she married a George Derice L Corn,they had a daughter named Helen Agatha Corn who married Leslie Monroe King.They had a daughter named Thelma Kathleen King who married Earl William Sisk Sr. They all were suppose to be from Asheville North Carolina. I know Corn’s also came from Virginia.Alexander’s we have no clue. We cant find any information on Pinkney Alexander and his wife.Some say he has a statue in Asheville Nc,no idea,cant find it.His wife Jane Baldwin is suppose to be Cherokee Indian,and I guess from we were told so is alot of Corn’s..Does anyone have any idea about any of these families and if you do will you please help. I know more about the Sisk side than I do about the rest,so if anyone can help with the first 4 families it would be great,none of us are close enough to go look for ourselves and no idea where to look for more information…Thank you

burgessca on “Espie Caroline Kirkland”

According to my research: Nathan Kirkland-Cherokee Indian Chief- (Cheesesquire) 1750 NC – 1851 or 1880 (Robbinsville, NC)-M- Lilly Berry Faw 1758 – had 9 children the first in 1781 James Altonia Kirkland NC -M- Susan Boston 1783 – NC who had 11 children the fourth born in 1810 was Espie Caroline Kirkland -M- Benjamin Kirkland (1st. cousins). They had 10 children. I have more info if you would like to contact me.

THunter on “1832-1865 Robert M. Jones or Robert Lewis Jones wife Clarissa Hughey Asheville”

I’ve now found out that my ggGrandfather Robert M. Jones may have really been Robert Lewis Jones instead. He was still married to Clarissa Hughey and after his death she married a Samuel Stroup of Swannanoa, NC. Robert and Clarissa had two children that I know of Harriett Roxana and William Jones but may have had two more that I know nothing about. My gGrandfather is William and gGrandmother was Sallie Morgan Jones. Any help would be much appreciated. I’ve searched everywhere and haven’t had any luck. The Hughey family still lives in the Asheville area but I’ve not found any that are connected to Clarissa. The Stroup family still live in the Swannanoa area too, but again I’ve not found any that are connected to Harriett Roxanna and Samuel Stroup family.

THunter on “1832-1861 Robert M. Jones husband to Clarissa Hughey”

I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find any info on my gggrandfather Robert M. Jones. He married Clarissa Hughey (Samuel Hughey and Margaret Young Brank’s daughter) She had been married before to Laffyette Patton from Swannanoa, NC and after Robert she married Sam Stroup of Swannanoa so I thought Robert must be from that area too, but I can’t find anything on him. A lot of the Jones from my family was buried in Clarks Chappel Cemetery and a lot of them lived in Weaverville. Any help on finding out about Robert M. Jones would be appreciated.

Ilene Nutt on “Mitchell family and Breedlove or Budlove family”

Looking for information about Martha E. Budlove or Breedlove with two children, Celia JC Budlove or Breedlove, and Elijah LWJEWPS (strange initials listed in 1860 Census Record.Martha and children were living with her parents William M. and Barby (Martha)Mitchell. They were living in Shoal Creek, Cherokee County N.C. at the time of the census.

Ilene Nutt on “Benjamin Kirkland born 1802 Rutherford County”

Looking for information about Benjamin Kirkland born 1802 in Rutherford County.


Buncombe County, NC at Genforum

Cities and towns in Buncombe County:

Asheville (County Seat)
Black Mountain
Enka Village
Oak Park
Royal Pines
West Asheville
West Haven

News related to Buncombe County, NC

“buncombe county” nc – Google News

Buncombe County lawyers up for opioid lawsuit – Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Buncombe County lawyers up for opioid lawsuit
Asheville Citizen-Times
Two other firms had submitted formal bids to the county, though Manager Mandy Stone said Baron and Budd's focus on distributors "is more closely aligned" with Buncombe County's work in fighting the opioid crisis. Baron and Budd has worked with a
Commissioners sign off on economic incentive changes, more preschool space and opioid lawsuitMountain Xpress

all 2 news articles »

Flood advisory for Buncombe and neighboring counties – Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Flood advisory for Buncombe and neighboring counties
Asheville Citizen-Times
Buncombe County, as well as Henderson, McDowell, Yancey and Transylvania counties, are under a flood advisory until at least 8:15 p.m., the report stated. There are lane closures in Jackson County … So far, Western North Carolina is reporting
PHOTOS, VIDEO | Monday rainstorm causes severe flooding across NC, SCWLOS

all 5 news articles »

Reality Check: Were all Buncombe County employees who received a retention bonus eligible? – WLOS

Reality Check: Were all Buncombe County employees who received a retention bonus eligible?
BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — When Buncombe County gave News 13 updated salary information for some employees, we learned some were getting paid a retirement benefit while still working. The county previously did not include this money in …

NC County Cuts Corporate Incentives to Support Local Economy – Nonprofit Quarterly

Nonprofit Quarterly
NC County Cuts Corporate Incentives to Support Local Economy
Nonprofit Quarterly
The Mountain Xpress reports that county commissioners in Buncombe County (centered on Asheville) are “signaling a shift in philosophy and priorities regarding how economic development incentive dollars will be doled out.” At the commission meeting, …

Buncombe vaccination religious exemptions quadruple state average – Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Buncombe vaccination religious exemptions quadruple state average
Asheville Citizen-Times
Philosophical vaccination exemptions are not accepted under North Carolina law. At least two schools in Buncombe County, North Buncombe Elementary and Evergreen Community Charter, had kindergarten vaccination exemption rates of more than 20 …

Questions linger in Buncombe inmate’s death – Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Questions linger in Buncombe inmate's death
Asheville Citizen-Times
Their accounts differ from the official version of events the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office released in the death Michele Quantele Smiley, who was taken into custody on a probation violation. The 34-year Buncombe County woman and mother of six died

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