State Library Web Site Redesign
The State Library is redesigning our website with the goal of creating the best possible experience for our users. Please take a moment to have a look. We welcome your feedback on the new web site.

Genealogy Research

We have extensive genealogy information on site and online. You can also contact us with genealogy questions (please consult our FAQ first).


RootsMOOC logo

RootsMOOC: An Introduction to Genealogy and Family History Research
Materials include online video tutorials and handouts for RootsMOOC, an online introductory genealogy course from the North Carolina Government and Heritage Library and Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library.

On Site

Search the catalog for specific books, journals, newspapers, and more. Popular genealogy databases, like Ancestry, may be used for free at our library.

Genealogical Microfilm

These can be used on site or borrowed by North Carolina libraries through interlibrary loan.

Indexes and Abstracts to North Carolina County Records

  • includes wills, deeds, marriages, court minutes, tax lists, estate records and more
  • primarily pre-1868
  • available records vary from county to county

North Carolina Census Records

  • federal census population census schedules:1790-1930, the 1880-1930 [varied] Soundex index, and the 1830-1940 [varied, incomplete] enumeration district maps/descriptions
  • federal census slave schedules: 1850 and 1860
  • federal mortality schedules: 1850-1880
  • federal agricultural, industrial, and social statistics schedules: 1850-1880

Organization of the Genealogy Collection

In 1963 Dorothy C. Grigg, at that time Head of the Cataloging Branch, devised a special classification scheme for genealogical source materials which needed to be arranged by place. Called the Grigg Genealogical Classification Scheme, it has since received much attention for its ease of use, even for patrons visiting the library for the first time.