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Orange County Genealogy

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The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bladen County, Granville County, and Johnston County. It was named for the infant William V of Orange, whose mother Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain, was then regent of the Dutch Republic.

In 1771 Orange County was greatly reduced in area. The western part of it was combined with the eastern part of Rowan County to form Guilford County. Another part was combined with parts of Cumberland County and Johnston County to form Wake County. The southern part of what remained became Chatham County.

In 1777 the northern half of what was left of Orange County became Caswell County. In 1849 the western third of the still shrinking county became Alamance County. Finally, in 1881 the eastern half of the county’s remaining territory was combined with part of Wake County to form Durham County.

From the Wikipedia.

The county seat of Orange County is Hillsborough and the county is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Orange County Genealogy Resources

Orange County NCGenweb site

Orange County NCGenWeb Archives

Durham-Orange Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 4703
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4703

Chapel Hill Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 503
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0503

Hillsborough Historical Society
P.O. Box 871
Hillsborough, NC 27278


Orange County Government

Orange County Government Official Site
200 South Cameron St., PO Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278
(919) 732-8181

Register of Deeds Office – online search
228 S. Churton Street, Suite 300
Hillsborough, NC.
Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM, excluding holidays

Orange County Public Library
Orange County Main Library
137 W. Margaret Ln; Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone (919) 245-2525; Fax (919) 644-3003

Operating Hours
Monday – Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: Closed

Carrboro Branch Library
Located in McDougle Middle School
900 Old Fayetteville Rd; Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone (919) 969-3006; Fax (919) 969-3008

Operating Hours
Monday – Thursday: 3:30 pm – 8 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10 am – 2 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm

Carrboro Cybrary
100 N Greensboro St; Carrboro, NC 27510
Phone: (919) 918-7387; Fax: (919) 918-3960

New Operating Hours Beginning July 1, 2010
Monday – Friday: 9 am to 3 pm
Saturday – Sunday: Closed

Cedar Grove Branch
5800 NC HWY 86 N; Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 732-9211; Fax: (919) 732-3899

Operating Hours
Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10 am – 2 pm
Sunday: Closed


1850 Federal Census Transcription (No index?)


USGS listing of cemeteries in Orange County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Orange County Cemetery Census

Cities and Towns of Orange County

There are three incorporated municipalities located primarily in Orange County: Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough. However, parts of the City of Mebane in Alamance County are located in Orange County.

Unincorporated Places:

* Blackwood
* Buckhorn (also known as Cheeks Crossroads)
* Caldwell
* Calvander
* Carr
* Cedar Grove
* Dodsons Crossroads
* Dogwood Acres
* Efland
* Eno
* Eubanks
* Fairview, Hillsborough
* Hurdle Mills
* Laws
* McDade
* Miles
* Oaks
* Orange Grove
* Piney Grove
* Rougemont
* Schley
* Teer
* University (formerly known as Glenn)
* White Cross

Query Forums

Orange County, NC Query Forum

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

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

1flynbird on “William Gourley/Gorley/Goley”

1850 census shows him as being born in Orange County and shows his eldest son John as being born in Orange County also. Family tales say he was born in Paris, France, moved to Canada and taught in a college there before coming to settle in North Carolina (purchasing a home in the Hillsbourgh District of Coleridge, Randolph Co. NC). Going by his age in the 1850 census he would have been born abt 1795. I have his son’s John’s birth at abt 1916/1917. Which would have made William 21 when he had his first child. So, I’m thinking the birthdates are either incorrect or perhaps it was Williams father who did the immigrating. I did find a William Gorley from Orange Co. who married first a Polly Uless and then a Mary Euliss (Polly’s surname is probably Euliss also). The family story says he went to court and changed his name from Gourley to Goley. Since I’ve found no court records and no Gourley’s in the “right” areas, and his son John and one of John’s son’s used the Gorley spelling in at least one record, I think the family story might be incorrect. I have hit a brick wall with this. If anyone has any information or ideas for me…I would love having them.

lcduncan on “Duncan/Durham/Freshwater/Blalock”

I am researching these names in
Orange, Alamance, Person, Granville, Durham counties.

rodney bowers on “Britton Bowers”

Looking for info on Britton Bowers, b ca 1763 Southampton, VA, who was married to Lucretia Land and was in Orange County ca 1830. Would also like to know the names of his five children. Thanks. Rodney Bowers

Orange County, NC at Genforum

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