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Rutherford County Genealogy

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Rutherford County was formed in 1779 and was named for Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford. He had led a campaign against the Cherokee in 1776 and was in the Revolutionary War. In 1791 parts of Rutherford were used to form Buncombe County. Further land was used to create Lincoln and Cleveland Counties as well as McDowell, and Polk Counties.

The county seat of Rutherford County is Rutherfordton. The county is divided into the following townships: Camp Creek, Chimney Rock, Colfax, Cool Spring, Duncans Creek, Gilkey, Golden Valley, Green Hill, High Shoals, Logan Store, Morgan, Rutherfordton, Sulphur Springs, and Union.

Notable sites in Rutherford County are Lake Lure (Filming location of parts of the movie Dirty Dancing) and Chimney Rock (now a State Park) where parts of the 1990′s movie Last of the Mohican’s was filmed. (Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeline Stowe and Wes Studi had prominent roles in the film.)

Rutherford County Genealogy Resources

Rutherford County NCGenWeb

Rutherford County NCGenWeb Archives

Rutherford County Genealogy Site (at rootsweb)

Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County
P.O. Box 938
Forest City, NC 28043

Broad River Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2261
Shelby, NC 28150-2261
(covers Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Henderson and Rutherford Counties in NC, and a few SC counties)

Rutherford County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1044
Rutherfordton, NC 28139


Rutherford County Government

Rutherford County Government – Official site
Rutherford County Register of Deeds
229 N. Main St.
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Mailing: PO BOX 551
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: 828-287-6155
or 828-287-6195
Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm M-F

Rutherford County Library
Monday – Friday 9am – 5:30pm
Saturday 10am – 1pm
255 Callahan Koon Road
Spindale, NC 28160

Haynes Branch
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 12pm
141 N. Main Street, Suite 110
Henrietta, NC 28076

Mountains Branch
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 12pm
150 Bill’s Creek Road
Lake Lure, NC 28746

Cities and Towns:

* Alexander Mills (merged with Forest City)
* Bostic
* Chimney Rock
* Ellenboro
* Forest City
* Lake Lure
* Ruth
* Rutherfordton
* Spindale


Camp Creek
Chimney Rock
Cool Spring
Duncans Creek
Golden Valley
Green Hill
High Shoals
Logan Store
Sulphur Springs

Tax Records

1782 Rutherford County Tax List (1782.txt) (53.3 KB)


1790 Federal Census Index

1800 Federal Census Index

1810 Federal Census Index – A-K

1810 Federal Census Index – L-Z

1820 Federal Census Index

1830 Federal Census Index – A-K

1830 Federal Census Index – L-Z

1840 Federal Census Index – A-K

1840 Federal Census Index – L-Z

1850 Federal Census Index – A-F

1850 Federal Census Index – G-M

1850 Federal Census Index – N-Z

1860 Federal Census Transcription

1870 Federal Census Index


USGS listing of cemeteries in Rutherford County

Cemetery Transcriptions – part 1
Cemetery Transcriptions – part 2

Query Forums

Rutherford County, NC Query Forum

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

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

SusanKSpies on “WEEKS, Delila and sons”

Delila WEEKS had 5 children…..Harp, Quillen, Luther, Avery and Willis. All born in the 1860′s or so. But who was their father? Who were Delila’s parents? Grandparents?

If you have any answers to this mystery, I would appreciate your help.

Thank you.

Susan Cloutier Spies

Ancesterfan on “Rippy’s of Rutherford and Cleveland Counties of North Carolina”

I have much information on many of the Edward Rippy abt 1829 wife Susannah Thomas b1721. I am in need of information on James Martin Rippy, b 1793 in Rutherford County, parents, Edward Rippy b1764 and Mary Elmore b1761. This James Martin Rippy married twice, it is the first wife that I am trying to locate information. I am given several names: one is Mary Polly Arnold Holt.. another is Minirose Rippy. James married again in 1846 to Rebecca Francis. They married in Rutherford County, NC. James and Rebecca moved from North Carolinia in early 1850 I believe. I have a will dated 1854 from Bedford County, TN. The first wife, the one I am looking for, is the mother of all of his children but one. Any leads you could give me would be most appreciated. I will be happy to share any information I have that you may need.

WIFE: Mary Polly Arnold Holt or Minirose Rippy …
born abt 1785 and died after 1831.

reply to
Thank you.

Jean Fuller on “James Henderson Adair (b abt 1814-1816)”

I am Looking for father and mother and grandparents of James Henderson Adair born abt 1814 thru 1816. Father of James Sherman Adair (1863-1896). james Henderson Adair is father of two boys hung for murder in Rutherford Co., N.C. I am great great grandaughter in Michigan and need help. I am fairly new at this, I have exhausted the internet.

kevhar on “John Withrow (1719-1796)”

I am looking for information about John Withrow (1719-1796) who married Mary. His son James was a Captain in the Revolutionary War. His daughter married Robert Rankins, who was also in the War. I have found a reference that refers to John being in the War, but I can’t find proof.

I am a direct descendant of John Withrow (1719-1796) and would be happy to correspond and share information with anyone who is interested.

Kevin Harris

Rutherford County, NC at Genforum

News related to Rutherford County, NC

“rutherford county” nc – Google News

Rutherford County Zinc Plant Files for Bankruptcy – WLOS

Pittsburgh Business Times
Rutherford County Zinc Plant Files for Bankruptcy
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — One of the nation's largest zinc processing companies, Horsehead Holding, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company's president and CEO Jim Hensler said Tuesday's action will allow the company to restructure.
Horsehead's future uncertain following bankruptcy filingCharlotte Business Journal (blog)

all 57 news articles »

Zinc Plant Idled in Rutherford County – WLOS

Charlotte Business Journal
Zinc Plant Idled in Rutherford County
MOORESBORO – The nation's largest zinc processing company is temporarily idling its plant in Rutherford County, the company says. Pittsburg-based Horsehead Corporation says the shutdown comes amid a zinc price that is at a 7-year low. It also cited …
Pittsburgh's Horsehead to idle $490M local plant, lay off 200Charlotte Business Journal (blog)
Horsehead suspends operationsThe Daily Courier

all 19 news articles »

Rutherford County Man Accused of Rolling Back Odometers – WLOS

Rutherford County Man Accused of Rolling Back Odometers
FOREST CITY, N.C. — Authorities arrested a Rutherford County man for rolling back odometers. DMV investigators teamed up with the sheriff's office and local police to arrest Mitchell Padgett, who they had been investigating for a month. A DMV

and more »

North Carolina county to add ‘In God We Trust’ on the back of patrol cars –
North Carolina county to add 'In God We Trust' on the back of patrol cars
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Patrol cars in a North Carolina county will soon display “In God We Trust,” according to WLOS. Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis has been considering displaying the motto on patrol vehicles for the last several months, …
Mountain County to Add 'In God We Trust' Decals to Patrol CarsWLOS

all 3 news articles »

North Carolina sheriff orders ‘In God We Trust’ on patrol cars – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas Review-Journal
North Carolina sheriff orders 'In God We Trust' on patrol cars
Las Vegas Review-Journal
All of Rutherford County's patrol cars in North Carolina got a little makeover this week that sheriff Chris Francis said makes a big difference. "We looked at it as an opportunity to show our patriotism," Francis said. Francis is talking about the new
Rutherford Co. sheriff orders 'In God We Trust' on all patrol ca –

all 6 news articles »

Rutherford Co. Sherriff Puts ‘In God We Trust’ On Deputies’ Vehicles – WLOS

Rutherford Co. Sherriff Puts 'In God We Trust' On Deputies' Vehicles
RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. — The phrase is now in large bold letters in black over the entrance of the Rutherford County courthouse in Rutherfordton. It's on quarters, and dollar bills. And in small-town Rutherfordton next week, all 50 sheriffs deputy

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