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Yancey County Genealogy

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Yancey County was established in 1833 from parts of Buncombe County and parts of Burke County. Independent and sturdy Scottish, English, and Irish settlers of the Carolina frontier had crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and settled the Toe River Valley by the mid-1700′s. In the year 1796, one of the early land speculators, John Gray Blount, paid for 326,640 acres (1322 km²) of land, a portion of which later became Yancey County, N.C.

In December, 1833, the General Assembly established a new western county, named Yancey, from sections of Burke and Buncombe Counties. Yancey County was named in honor of one of North Carolina’s most distinguished statesmen, Bartlett Yancey, of Caswell County. As a U.S. Congressman (1813-1817) and as speaker of the N.C. Senate (1817-1827), he was instrumental in many accomplishments that benefited the state, including the creation of an education fund that was the beginning of the N.C. Public School System. He was an advocate of correcting the inequality in representation in the General Assembly by the creation of new western counties; but he died on August 30, 1828, over five years before the General Assembly created a new county named in his honor. In Yancey’s boundaries looms Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Eastern U.S., at 6,684 feet (2037 m) above sea level.

On March 6, 1834, “Yellow Jacket” John Bailey conveyed 100 acres (0.4 km²) of land for the county seat. The town was named Burnsville in honor of Captain Otway Burns, who voted for the creation of the new western county when he was serving in the General Assembly. The grateful people named their county seat for Captain Burns, a naval hero in the War of 1812. A statue of Captain Burns stands on a 40 ton, Mount Airy granite pedestal in the center of the town’s public square, which was given the official name of “Bailey Square” by the Yancey County Board of Commissioners on September 1, 1930. The statue of Captain Burns was given to the county on July 5, 1909, by Walter Francis Burns, a grandson of the sea captain. The inscription reads:

Otway Burns – Born in Onslow County, North Carolina, 1777 – Died at Portsmouth, North Carolina, 1850. Sailor – Soldier – Statesman. North Carolina’s Foremost Son in the War of 1812-1815 – For Him, This Town Is Named – He Guarded Well Our Seas, Let Our Mountains Honor Him.

Yancey County is divided into the following townships: Brush Creek, Burnsville, Cane River, Crabtree, Egypt, Green Mountain, Jacks Creek, Pensacola, Price’s Creek, Ramseytown, and South Toe. Portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest are in Yancey County.

The County name is correctly pronounced “Yan-see” and not with a hard c as in “yan-kee”

Source: Wikipedia.

Yancey County Genealogy Resources

Yancey County NCGenweb site

Yancey County NCGenWeb Archives

Toe Valley Genealogical Society
491 Beaver Creek Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
(covers Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties)

Yancey History Association
PO Box 1088
Burnsville, NC 28714


Yancey County Government

Yancey County Government – Official Site
Yancey County Register of Deeds
Office Hours of Register of Deeds Genealogy page
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM – Monday – Friday
Mailing Address:
110 Town Square
Burnsville, NC 28714
Phone: (828) 682-2174
Fax: (828) 682-4520

Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library
Yancey County Branch
18 Town Square
Burnsville, NC 28714
Phone: 828-682-2600
Mon, Wed & Fri: 9 am – 5 pm
Tues & Thurs: 9 am – 8 pm
Sat: 10 am – 1 pm
Sun: Closed
Story Hour day: Monday

Cities and Towns

* Burnsville
* Green Mountain
* Swiss


Brush Creek
Cane River
Green Mountain
Jacks Creek
Price’s Creek
South Toe


1840 Federal Census Index

1840 Federal Census Index – alternate

1840 Federal Census Transcription – Page 1-9
1840 Federal Census Transcription – Page 10-18
1840 Federal Census Transcription – Page 19-27
1840 Federal Census Transcription – Page 28-End

1840-1880 Federal Census Transcriptions for Tolley Family

1850 Federal Agricultural Census

1850 Federal Census Index

1850 Federal Census Images

1850 Federal Census Mortality Schedule

1860 Federal Agricultural Census

1870 Federal Agricultural Census

1880 Federal Census Index Burnsville Township
1880 Federal Census Index Caney River Township
1880 Federal Census Index Egypt Township
1880 Federal Census Index Ramsey Township
1880 Federal Census Index Green Mountain Township
1880 Federal Census Index Jacks Creek Township
1880 Federal Census Index Brush Creek Township
1880 Federal Census Index Crabtree Township
1880 Federal Census Index South Toe River Township
1880 Federal Census Index Pensacola Township

1880 Federal Census Index for Images A-E Surnames
1880 Federal Census Index for Images F-L Surnames
1880 Federal Census Index for ImagesM-R Surnames
1880 Federal Census Index for ImagesS-Z Surnames

1880 Federal Census Images


USGS listing of cemeteries in Yancey County

Cemetery Transcriptions

Yancey County Cemetery Transcriptions A-L
Yancey County Cemetery Transcriptions M-Z

Yancey County Cemetery Census

Query Forums

Yancey County, NC Query Forum

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

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

kay on “David Ballew born 1796″

David and Elizabeth Ballew lived in Celo and
are buried in Ballew Cemetery. His children
married into the Gibbs and Autrey families.
Searching for their parents and birth places.
David and Elizabeth were my great, great

greene don on “John Greene (abt1762)Arthur greene (Abt 1797) families”

would like some firm data,history,photos and family members of John Greene,Arthur Greene and Robert Ditney Greene(abt 1856)All are from William Greene line (1671)
many thanks,
Don Greene

weavercat on “Honeycutt family”

Seeking anyone who has genealogy connections to the Honeycutt and/or Silvers family from Yancey County.
I have several Honeycutt ancestors who I need facts verified about their spouse/families.
Other surnames connected to these families include: Woodby/Woody, Ferguson, Davis, Hampton, Abernathy/Abernethy, Ayers/Ayres, Suttles, Howell and DuVall.

duncan on “looking for duncan family”

hello, my name is debra duncan daniels. i have just recently find out my grandfather was not born in west virginia. but born in egypt,yancey co,nc. you see my dad died when i was 6, my grandpa willard died when i was5. so i didn’t know where i come from. but found out that my grandpa willard duncan born and raise here. i would love to find out if they are any duncans still living in yancey co.and if you can add any more family history the more i find its like christmas opening a present. this is what i found so far my father: frank willo duncan 2\14\32-9\3\71 grandpa willard duncan 4\4\1903-2\1970 great-grandparents: george w. duncan2\8\1872-2\5\1942 phoebe mcintosh duncan born 1874 don’t know much about women in family just trace the men love to learn about women. great-great-grandparents david duncan 9\25\1846-7\10\1915 nancya. phillips duncan 6\11\1845-6\11\1897 great-great-great-grandparents george wahinston duncan abt 1821 jane elizabeth edwards duncan 9\4\1817-4\20\1912 also if forgot my great-great- grandfather david was married to mary “polly”king duncan 10\25\1863-12\11\1948 grandpa willard had sibling name mertle,walter,lydia,lony,achy. could be more don’t know,willard was the 5 child born. grandpa willard married lilly ledford duncan lived in yancey co. until 1926 oldest child born in nc. named bettie duncan then moved to west virginia in 1926. please if any one are kin love to hear from you.

fsadkins on “Elizabeth Stacia Hill Adkins”

I’m looking for any information about my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Stacia (Stacie) Hill, married to Wilson Adkins in Ramseytown NC 1835. She died in Wise Virginia 9 Oct 1880. Their children were Sarah Elizabeth, John M, Larkin, William Henry Harrison, Olley Parthenia Buchanan, Nancy Stanley, Mary Polly Gouge, Alexander, Martha J Davis, and maybe Polly E.
I’m going to NC next week to look for her. Any suggestions?

ken on “Swinfield Hill and Elizabeth (Underwood?)”

I am trying to get someone to get land records for this swinfield. He is living in Ramseytown precient in the 1860 Yancey County, census…his widow shows up in 1870 Johnson County, Kentucky census…I will be glad to pay someone to do this. These are my great-great-great-grandparents. I decend from Andrew Jackson Hill their son.

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