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Chatham County, North Carolina

Chatham County was created on April 1, 1771 from Orange County. This county was named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham (1708–1778), Secretary of State during the French and Indian War and was later Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Chatham County Seat is located in Pittsboro also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Chatham County are Orange County (north), Durham County (northeast), Wake County (east), Harnett County (southeast), Lee County (south), Moore County (southwest), Randolph County (west), Alamance County (northwest).

Cities and towns located in Chatham County include Fearrington, Goldston, Pittsboro, SilerCity, BearCreek, Bennett, Bonlee, Bynum, Carbonton, Corinth, Gulf, Haywood, Moncure, SilkHope, Wilsonville, Brickhaven.

Townships located in Chatham County include Albright, Baldwin, Bear Creek, Cape Fear, Center, Gulf, Hadley, Haw River, Hickory Mountain, Matthews, New Hope, Oakland, and Williams.

Chatham County vital records can be found at the North Carolina Department of Health which has copies of birth records after 1913 and death records after 1930, copies of marriage since Jan 1962 and a Divorce records since 1958. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in North Carolina for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Chatham County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or you can download an application for North Carolina Birth Certificate, Death, Divorce and Marriage Certificate Application to mail.

The North Carolina State Archives has the following vital records: Death Certificates, 1913-1975 (Statewide Index: 1913-1979); microfilmed Indexes to Births and Deaths (except Wake, Durham); Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868 (not required by law); Cohabitation Records, 1866-1867; microfilmed Marriage Registers and Indexes; microfilmed Marriage Licenses for many of the counties

Chatham County census records consists of Federal Census Schedules which can guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1790 (incomplete), 1800 (incomplete), 1810 (incomplete), 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Chatham Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Chatham Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Chatham Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. The Slave Schedules exist for 1850 & 1860. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Chatham County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Chatham County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Chatham County Courthouse and Government Records

Chatham County Courthouse

Genealogist typically forget about the importance of Chatham County court, probate, and land documents as a resource of genealogy information.

Old Chatham County Courthouse

Buried away in North Carolina courthouses and archives everywhere are often the hopes and dreams and frustrations of the many North Carolina men and women.

The possibilities are excellent that your ancestors have left a detailed record of at least some elements of their lives in the Chatham County court records. Even if your ancestors and forefathers is not referred to in a Court case, contemplate all of the other methods which may have lead to her or him showing up in court records.

The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Chatham County. The years pointed out listed below are the first noted records with this county.

Please make sure to call the clerk's dept to identify hours, mailing address, fees and other facts just before visiting or asking for information because of many times changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are available to interested parties, barring private issues. A lot of staff will assist individuals in obtaining the materials, however it's up to the individual to undertake the basic research.
  • Chatham County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 158 West Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312
    • Phone: (919) 542-7234
  • Chatham County Register of Deeds holds land and vital records if they have not been transferred to the state archives in Raleigh. Land records may include deeds, grants, plats, and other miscellaneous items. houses most birth and death records and marriage licenses for Chatham County.
    • Address: Chatham County Courthouse Annex, 12 East Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312
    • Phone: 919-542-8235
    • Birth Records:
    • Marriage Records: 1772 
    • Death Records:
    • Land Records: 1771
  • Chatham County Clerk of Court holds probate records and court records if they have not been transferred to the state archives in Raleigh. Probate records include not only wills, but also loose estates records. Court records may include apprentice bonds, bastardy bonds, and officials' or constables' bonds in addition to dockets, fee and account books, and court minutes and orders. They also have Divorce Records.
    • Phone: (919) 545-3500
    • Probate Records: 1771
    • Court Records: 1757
    • Divorce Records: call court clerk for details
  • Chatham County Tax Assessor / Collector
  • Chatham Co. North Carolina County Health Department

Chatham County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Chatham County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a payment. This is merely a directory that has been collected or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to furnish your own most popular Chatham County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Chatham Co. NC Books, Newspapers & Publications

Chatham Co. NC Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Chatham Co. NC Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Chatham Co. NC Census Records

Chatham Co. NC Cemeteries & Graveyards

Chatham Co. NC Church & Bible Records

Chatham Co. NC Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Chatham Co. NC General and History Websites

Chatham Co. NC Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Chatham Co. NC Military Records

Chatham Co. NC Schools & Directories

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