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Burke County Genealogy

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The county was formed in 1777 from Rowan County. It was named for Thomas Burke, a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1781 and Governor of North Carolina from 1781 to 1782. In 1791 parts of Burke County and Rutherford County were combined to form Buncombe County. In 1833 parts of Burke County and Buncombe County were combined to form Yancey County. In 1841 parts of Burke County and Wilkes County were combined to form Caldwell County. In 1842 additional parts of Burke County and Rutherford County were combined to form McDowell County. Finally, in 1861 parts of Burke County, Caldwell County, McDowell County, Watauga County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County.

Burke County was home to the first European settlement in the interior of North Carolina: “The first European settlement in the interior of North Carolina and what became the United States was made by Spanish in 1567, when they built Fort San Juan at the large Native American settlement of Joara near present-day Morganton. They renamed the settlement Cuenca.[2] In 1568 the natives killed the Spanish and burned the fort. The Spanish never returned to this area, and it was centuries before the next Europeans tried to settle there.”

In 1567 a Spanish expedition arrived and built Fort San Juan there, claiming the area for the colony of Spanish Florida. They had been sent by the governor at Santa Elena, Parris Island in South Carolina. Capt. Juan Pardo, leader of the expedition, left about 30 soldiers at the fort while doing additional exploration. In the spring of 1568 the natives killed the soldiers and burned the fort. Introduction of European diseases and takeover by larger tribes led to Native American abandonment of the area. It was centuries before the next Europeans, English, Scots-Irish and Germans, attempted to settle here again.
Source Wikipedia

Burke County NCGenweb Site

Burke County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 661
Morganton, NC 28655

Burke County Public Library System

Burke County Historical Society
P.O. Box 151
Morganton, NC 28655

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Burke County Courthouse
200 Avery Avenue
County Government Building
Morganton, NC 28655

Census

1790 Federal Census transcription indexed by last name

1790 Federal Census transcription

1790 Federal Census Transcription – Morgan District

1800 Federal Census Index by last name only

1800 Federal Census Index
1800 Federal Census Transcription Link opens to directory with above index and text files titled by starting page.

1810 Federal Census index by last name only

1820 Federal Census Index by last name only

1830 Federal Census Index by last name only

1840 Federal Census Index by last name only

1850 Federal Census Index by last name only

Cemeteries

USGS listing of cemeteries of Burke County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Query Forums

Burke County, NC Query Forum

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

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Burke County, NC at Genforum

Cities and towns of Burke County:

Bridgewater
Brindle Town
Burkemont
Calvin
Chesterfield
Connelly Spg
Connelly Springs
Connellys Springs
Drexel
Enola
Glen Alpine
Hildebran
Icard
Jonas Ridge
Joy
Linville Falls
Morganton (County Seat)
Oak Hill
Petersburg
Pleasant Grove
Rutherford College
Salem
Sunnyside
Valdese

News related to Burke County, NC

“”burke county” nc” – Google News

Burke County mugshots (March 24-30) | News – Morganton News Herald

Burke County mugshots (March 24-30) | News  Morganton News Herald

Listed information, including addresses, has been gathered from arrest and incident reports publicly available at area law-enforcement agencies. If your name …




NCDOT lowers speed limit on I-40 in Burke County – WCNC.com

NCDOT lowers speed limit on I-40 in Burke County  WCNC.com

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — A five-mile stretch of Interstate 40 in Burke County had its speed limit reduced to 55 mph, the North Carolina Department of …




When selling was a family affair – Burke County Notebook – Morganton News Herald

When selling was a family affair – Burke County Notebook  Morganton News Herald

Mom and Pop businesses are a symbol of American entrepreneurship that is slowly disappearing. Mega companies move into small towns, and many …




Burke County mugshots (March 10-16) | News | morganton.com – Morganton News Herald

Burke County mugshots (March 10-16) | News | morganton.com  Morganton News Herald

Listed information, including addresses, has been gathered from arrest and incident reports publicly available at area law-enforcement agencies. If your name …




Burke County man arrested after investigation leads to meth charge – WBTV

Burke County man arrested after investigation leads to meth charge  WBTV

Detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office place a man in custody earlier this month after a search of his residence led to the seizure of methamphetamine.




50 Years Ago in Burke County – Morganton News Herald

50 Years Ago in Burke County  Morganton News Herald

CITY HIRES TWO NEW POLICE OFFICERS. The hiring of two new Morganton police officers was announced by Police Chief Bill J. Hamrick. Richard J. Austin …


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