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Chowan County, North Carolina

Chowan County was created on 1668 from Albemarle Precinct (Formed as Shaftsbury Precinct about 1681, it was renamed Chowan Precinct about 1681 and declared a Chowan County in 1739.). This county was named for the Chowan Native American tribe which lived in the northeastern part of the Colony.

The Chowan County Seat is located in Edenton also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Chowan County are Gates County (north), Perquimans County (east), Washington County (west), Bertie County (west), Hertford County (northwest).

Cities and towns located in Chowan County include Edenton, Rockyhock, Selwin.

Townships located in Chowan County include Township 4, Yeopim; Township 2, Middle; Township 3, Upper; Township 1, Edenton.

Chowan 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 Chowan 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

Chowan 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.

Chowan Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Chowan Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Chowan 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.

Chowan County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Chowan County Courthouse and Government Records

Chowan County Courthouse

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

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 Chowan 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 Chowan County. The years pointed out listed below are the first noted records with this county. Some early County Courthouse records was destroyed by acting clerk in 1848.

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.
  • Chowan County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 101 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932
    • Phone: (252) 368-5000
  • Chowan 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 Chowan County.
    • Phone: (252) 482-2619
    • Birth Records: 1913 
    • Marriage Records: 1747 
    • Death Records: 1913 
    • Land Records: 1678
  • Chowan 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: (252) 482-2323
    • Probate Records: 1694
    • Court Records: 1715
    • Divorce Records: call court clerk for details
  • Chowan County Tax Assessor / Collector
  • Chowan Co. North Carolina County Health Department

Chowan County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Chowan 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 Chowan County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Chowan Co. NC Books, Newspapers & Publications

Chowan Co. NC Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Chowan Co. NC Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Chowan Co. NC Census Records

Chowan Co. NC Cemeteries & Graveyards

Chowan Co. NC Church & Bible Records

Chowan Co. NC Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Chowan Co. NC General and History Websites

Chowan Co. NC Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Chowan Co. NC Military Records

Chowan Co. NC Schools & Directories

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