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Forsyth County Genealogy

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The county was formed in 1849 from Stokes County. It was named for Colonel Benjamin Forsyth, who was killed in the War of 1812 during the battle of Odelltown, Canada. The county seat is Winston-Salem. Portions of Forsyth County are in the Yadkin Valley Wine Region (Yadkin County AVA).

Forsyth County was originally settled in 1753 by Moravians. Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg had acquired a 100,000 acre tract from Lord Granville. The settlement was called Wachovia. This name came from the Austrian estate of Austrian estate of Count Nicholas Lewis von Zinzendorf. He had been an early defender of the Moravians. Settlements were established at Bethabara and Bethania and then Salem (1766) which was the principal settlement in Wachovia.

When the county was formed, the town of Winston was named as the county seat just 1 mile north of the Salem.

One of the great attractions of modern day Forsyth County is Old Salem Museums and Gardens. From their website: “Old Salem Museums & Gardens is America’s most comprehensive history attraction. Our four museums – the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), the Old Salem Children’s Museum, and the Old Salem Toy Museum – engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South.”

Also from their website: “Old Salem Museums & Gardens is a unique community of original museum buildings, authentic craftsmen practicing their trade, fascinating collections of rare antiques, and one-of-a-kind retail shopping opportunities.
The stories and activities experienced by visitors in the museums convey a much larger aspect of early America than just the Moravians who settled in Salem, NC. The experiences are a reflection on evolving economy and diversity of lifestyles that made up the early South. Early Southerners struggled with common principles such as freedom, faith, tradition, government, segregation, and war – many of the same issues that remain relevant in today’s world.”

Source Wikipedia

Forsyth County NCGenweb site

Rootsweb Forsyth Co., NC Resource page

Forsyth County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 5715
Winston-Salem, NC 27113-5715


Forsyth County Courthouse
201 N. Chestnut 5th floor
Winston Salem, NC 27101


1850 Federal Census Index by last name only

1850 Federal Census Transcription Heads of household


USGS listing of cemeteries in Forsyth County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Forsyth County Cemetery Census

Query Forums

Forsyth County, NC Query Forum

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

Forsyth County, NC at Genforum

Cities and towns of Forsyth County:

Belews Creek
Mount Tabor
Muddy Creek
NC Baptist Hospital
Peace Haven Estates
Rural Hall
Sedges Garden
Talleys Crossing
Union Cross
West Bend
Winston Salem (County Seat)

News related to Forsyth County, NC

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