Do you have ancestors who lived in Rowan County, North Carolina? Rowan County was home to thousands of 18th century ancestors who migrated westward into Tennessee and Kentucky.
Many of those early residents were Scots-Irish or Germans who first settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland, so Rowan County is a vital link connecting early families with descendants who moved on.
My husband has several ancestral links who, at one time, lived in Rowan County, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time trudging through county records.
Rowan County was formed in 1753 from the northern portion of Anson County. However, it was much larger in area back then than it is today. All, or portions, of the present-day counties of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, Yancey fell within its bounds at that time – which is most of western North Carolina!
Birth and death records weren’t kept until the 20th century, but Rowan County is nevertheless rich in early records as it has had only one courthouse fire in 1865, in which some records were lost.
Today’s GeneaGem is a terrific collection of records compiled by Mamie McCubbins and housed at the Rowan Public Library since 1954.
The best part of this collection is that not only has it been digitized and is accessible for free online, but family information has been organized with a Surname Index. It makes searching a simple task!
Some of the Rowan County names in my hubby’s family tree include Douthit, Thompson, Jarvis, Roland and Stoehr (Starr). I even have one tie to the South, through my Loyalist Dutch ancestor Philip Crouse, who can be placed in Rowan County in the 1770s.
Every one of those surnames has a folder in the McCubbin collection and has been save in PDF format.
Information varies from surname to surname. One might find correspondence with family information, handwritten index cards, typed abstracts of deeds and even war information.
The Lopp folder contained a list of Rowan County males who didn’t sign the Oath of Allegiance in 1778. Most of the images are quite legible, although my 1778 list shows faded ink.
However, my Philip “Crose” is easily read in the third column.
If you have ancestors who lived in, or even passed through Rowan County, North Carolina, the Mamie McCubbins Collection should be in your online genealogy toolbox!