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Wake County Genealogy

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The county was formed in 1771 from parts of Cumberland County, Johnston County, and Orange County. It was named for Margaret Wake, wife of Governor William Tryon. The first courthouse was built at a place called Wake Courthouse, commonly known as Bloomsbury. In 1771, the first elections and court were held, and the first militia was formed.

Wake County lost some its land area during the subsequent formation of other new counties. Portions were taken by Franklin County in 1787 and by Durham County in 1881 and 1911.

The earliest inhabitants of present day Wake County were the Tuscarora Native Americans. After the Tuscarora War in 1711, they were defeated and moved to New York to join the Iroquois nation.

During the colonial period of North Carolina, the state capital was New Bern. For several years, during and after the Revolutionary War, there was no capital, and the General Assembly met in various locations. In 1792, a commission was appointed to select a site for a permanent state capital. The members of the commission were leaning toward land owned by Colonel John Hinton across the Neuse River, but on the night before the final vote, the committee adjourned to the home of Joel Lane for an evening of food and spirits. The next day, the vote was in Lane’s favor.

Raleigh was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, and established on 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) purchased from Lane. Sir Walter Raleigh never set foot in the United States, but two centuries earlier he had sponsored the establishment of the first English colony on the North Carolina shore at Roanoke Island. The city of Raleigh became both the state capital as well as the new county seat of Wake County. Raleigh is the only planned state capital in the United States.

Wake County is divided into 20 townships: Bartons Creek, Buckhorn, Cary, Cedar Fork, Holly Springs, House Creek, Leesville, Little River, Marks Creek, Meredith, Middle Creek, Neuse, New Light, Panther Branch, Raleigh, St. Mary’s, St. Matthew’s, Swift Creek, Wake Forest, and White Oak.

Source Wikipedia

Wake County Genealogy Resources

Wake County NCGenweb site

Wake County NCGenWeb Archives

Wake County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 17713
Raleigh, NC 27619

Wake County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2
Raleigh, NC 27602

Apex Historical Society
P.O. Box 502
Apex, NC 27502

Cary Historical Society
P.O. Box 134
Cary, NC 27511


Wake County Government

Wake County Government – Official Site

Wake County Register of Deeds
One Bank of America Plaza
421 Fayetteville Street
Suite 300 – Floor 3
Raleigh, NC 27601
Ph: 919-856-5460
Fx: 919-856-5467

Wake County Public Libraries

Cities and Towns

* Angier
* Apex
* Cary
* Fuquay-Varina
* Garner
* Holly Springs
* Knightdale
* Morrisville
* Raleigh
* Rolesville
* Wake Forest
* Wendell
* Zebulon

Unincorporated communities

* Auburn
* Bonsal
* Carpenter
* Chestnut Hills
* Clegg
* Eagle Rock
* Falls
* Feltonville
* Forestville
* Green Level
* Kennebec
* Lizard Lick
* McCullers Crossroads
* Neuse
* New Hill
* Riley Hill
* Shotwell
* Stony Hill
* Swift Creek
* Willow Spring


Bartons Creek
Cedar Fork
Holly Springs
House Creek
Little River
Marks Creek
Middle Creek
New Light
Panther Branch
St. Mary’s
St. Matthew’s
Swift Creek
Wake Forest
White Oak.


1790 Federal Census Transcription – part 1

1790 Federal Census Transcription – part 2

1800 Federal Census Index
1800 Federal Census Index – alternate

1800 Federal Census Transcription – pages 714-745
1800 Federal Census Transcription – pages 715-778

1830 Federal Census Index

1840 Federal Census Index

1850 Federal Census Index

1850 Federal Census Transcription and Index

1880 Federal Census Transcription – Prostitutes


USGS listing of cemeteries in Wake County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Wake County Cemetery Census

Query Forums

Wake County, NC Query Forum

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Wake County, NC at Genforum

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