Birth Certificates 1913 to current
The State of North Carolina officially began keeping birth certificates in 1913. Birth certificates contain such information as the name of the child, where the child was born, the names of the parents and their age at the time of the birth, occupations, number of children already in the household, etc.
Additional birth information is available from the:
P. O. Box 1545
Jeffersonville, IN 47131
North Carolina Vital Records can provide the necessary forms for you to obtain copies of birth and death certificates not held by this Office. Their address is:
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health - Vital Records
1930 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1930
Delayed Birth Certificates
Our office maintains delayed birth certificates for individuals who were born before birth registrations or failed to have a birth certificate. Visit the section on Delayed Births for more information.
Death Certificates 1913 to current
The State of North Carolina officially began keeping death certificates in 1913. Death certificates contain such information as the date of death, the date of birth, parents' names, and cause of death.
Keep in mind that information supplied for the death certificate is given by an "Informant" and may contain inaccuracies.
Early Death Certificates
To locate a date of death for those ancestors who died prior to 1913, you may wish to use such records as wills, headstones, and family Bibles.
A publication exists in the office (no author indicated) containing information on "Rockingham County Early Death Certificates 1909-1913" and "Additional Rockingham County Death Certificates 1914-1916." According to the publication: "In North Carolina, it was not required that Death Certificates be recorded in County Register of Deeds Offices until October 1913. However, many were filed at the NC Bureau of Vital Statistics during the four previous years. Copies of the Death Certificates are available by contacting the N. C. State Archives, 4614 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4614 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org."
For a list of those death certificates, view Rockingham County Early Death Certificates 1909-1913. According to the publication, there were additional Rockingham County death certificates filed with the Bureau of Health but not recorded in the Register of Deeds office for the period 1914-1916. To view that list, Additional Rockingham County Death Certificates 1914-1916.
List of County Cemeteries
The Board of County Commissioners are directed by statute to prepare a list of all public cemeteries in the county that are outside municipalities and are not established and maintained by a municipality, including the names and address of those in possession and control of the cemeteries [G.S. 65-111(1)].
The list must be recorded and maintained with the register of deeds and a copy must be filed with the Department of Cultural Resources and the Publications Division in the Department of the Secretary of State.
See the section below on Genealogical Research for a list of some local historical groups that have publications on cemeteries.
Early Marriage Records
Prior to 1868, there is no official public record for most marriages in North Carolina.
Instead of a special license, they were performed after banns were published three times. The publication of banns in which a marriage would be announced in church on three consecutive Sundays was the first method. If there was no objection, the couple was free to wed. A certificate was supposed to be prepared stating that this procedure had been followed, but did not have to be filed anywhere.
The second method, from 1741-1868 involved a marriage bond. The bridegroom obtained a marriage bond from the Clerk of the County Court in the county in which the intended bride resided.
The bond represented the couple’s intention to marry, not that the marriage actually occurred. Bonds contained such information as the names of the bride and groom, the name of the bondsman and of the witness (often the clerk of court), and date of bond.
Some of these pre-1868 bonds have survived for about half of the counties. The State Archives (109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601) has a microfiche statewide bride and groom index to these bonds.
In Rockingham County, the bonds (beginning in the late 1790’s) were abstracted by youths of Wake County, North Carolina, working on a National Youth Administration project, alphabetized by workers on the Historical Records Survey project of the Works Progress Administration and checked by Miss Mary Jones Jeffreys employed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in cooperation with the Historical Commission. Visit the office to view this book.
Rockingham County has marriage licenses beginning in late 1867.
The person who makes a will is known as a "testator" and the individuals who receive from the estate are known as "devisees".
An "Executor" is the person who carries out the wishes of the testator. If that person is a female, she is known as an "Executrix".
The process in which the will becomes official is known as "probate."
Contact the Clerk of Court for Rockingham County at (336) 634-6000 and ask for the Wills and Estates Department. You may write to them at:
Rockingham County Clerk of Court
P. O. Box 127
Wentworth, NC 27375
Requests For Copies
Please provide the following for uncertified copies:
enclose a check made payable to the "Register of Deeds" for $.25 for each uncertified copy requested
enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope for faster return
The Register of Deeds Office is unable to do genealogical research for you. However, the following organizations may be of assistance to you:
Rockingham County Historical Society Museum & Archives
P. O. Box 84
Wentworth, NC 27375
Some of their services include:
- Trace your family origins with help from county genealogists
- Support for genealogists by answering queries in the newsletters, sponsoring genealogy workshops, providing support to the Genealogy Collection at the Madison Branch of the Rockingham County Public Library, and help discovering lost cemeteries
- Discover this region's history and folklore
- Explore the connecting network of rivers, bridges, and towns
- Programs of local and regional interest includes: Walking Tour of Historic Madison, Colonial Pottery Making in North Carolina, Troublesome Creek Ironworks & the Revolution, Bateau Navigation on the Dan River, Archaeology of the Sara Indians, and Civil War letters
- Publications include:
Rockingham County North Carolina Marriages through 1868
Journal of Rockingham County History and Genealogy
Rockingham County Heritage
Postcards of Rockingham County
Rockingham County, a Brief History
Food for Thought (old time recipes & stories), and
The Genealogical Society of Rockingham & Stokes Counties North Carolina, Inc.
P. O. Box 152
Mayodan, NC 27027
GSRS was formed to: increase interest in and raise the standard of genealogical research and compilation by means of educational programs, workshops and the publication of genealogical material; encourage and instruct Society members in the art and practice of genealogical research and compilation; acquaint the members of the Society with sources of genealogical material and to serve as a medium of exchange of genealogical information; promote through the manuscripts, documents and other materials of genealogical value; and answer genealogical queries received by the Rockingham and Stokes Counties Public Libraries.
GSRS publishes a quarterly indexed journal which contains original material not readily available in publications or microfilm, such as abstracts of records, family histories, corrections or interpretations of published material, research sources or tips, announcements, and queries.
GSRS also publishes books of genealogical interest:
- Stokes County NC Marriage Licenses
Vol. 1, 1839-1887
- Stokes County, NC Marriage Licenses
Vol. 2, 1888-1900
- Rockingham and Stokes Counties, NC, Listing of Estates Papers: From the NC State Archives, Raleigh
- Historic Map of Stokes County
GENEALOGY ROOM - ROCKINGHAM COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Madison Public Library
140 East Murphy Street
Madison, NC 27025
(336) 548-2010 (fax)
Some of the materials available in the Madison Library include:
- Passenger Ship Lists
- DAR Index
- Family Histories
- Guide Books
- County Histories
- Researching in other countries
- Census Indexes
- Records of the Moravians
- Military Records
- Parish and Church Records
- Many books of individual county records in North Carolina and Virginia such as: wills, deeds, marriage bonds, cemetery records, census indexes, church and parish records. Their most extensive collections are on the North Carolina counties of Rockingham, Stokes, and Surry and the southern border counties of Virginia (Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, and Carroll)
- DAR Magazine
- Genealogical Helper
- North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal
- Madison Messenger (print and microfilm 1934- )
- Greensboro Patriot (January 7, 1869 - December 21, 1871, January 4, 1872 - December 23, 1874)
- Mail requests
- Historical Society Newsletters
- Family Newsletters (donated by family)
- Pension Applications
- Newspaper Clippings
- "News of Yesteryear" (Danbury Reporter)
- Family Histories
- Susie Johnson Lauten Collection
- Gwen Knight Moore Collection
- Grady Garrett Microfilm
- Rockingham County: wills, deeds, real estate conveyances, marriages, court minutes, records of settlement and church records
- Stokes County: wills, deeds, court minutes, marriages, lists of taxables
- Forsyth County: wills, court minutes, marriages
- Guilford County: wills, deeds, real estate conveyances
- Caswell County: deeds
- Federal Census microfilm are available on the North Carolina counties of Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Guilford and Forsyth ,and on the Virginia counties of Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Carroll
- The North Carolina Marriage Bonds
Genealogy Exchange Book:
- Each patron is invited to fill out a sheet on the surname they are researching and to include their name and address. This will enable those who are researching the same name to share information.
Borrowing Genealogy Books from another Library:
- Genealogy books may be borrowed from the Shawnee Library System in Carterville, Illinois. A bibliography of the Shawnee Library collection is available in the Madison Library.
Borrowing Microfilm from other Libraries:
- Genealogy microfilm may be borrowed through the library from the following sources:
North Carolina State Library: Federal census records for each county are available. Also available are county records such as wills, deeds, marriages, and court records.
Virginia State Archives: County records such as wills, deeds, marriages, court records, and real estate transactions are available.
Census Microfilm Rental Program: Federal census records for all states including slave schedules and soundexes from 1790-1910.
American Revolutionary War service records. Revolutionary War pension and bounty-land-warrant application files.
American Genealogical Lending Library: Federal census records and soundexes, selected state censuses, mortality schedules, ship passenger lists, early military records, vital records, and family histories, etc. Catalog available.
James Hunter Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Madison, North Carolina
Cemetery Records of Rockingham and Stokes County North Carolina: Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X
Greenview Cemetery, A Survey - Reidsville, North Carolina
Roselawn Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum Cemetery Survey 1821 - Ashley Loop, Reidsville, NC
Some Cemeteries of Eden, North Carolina (Woodlawn, Meeks, Overlook, and Danview Cemeteries)
Reidlawn Cemetery - Barnes Street, Reidsville, North Carolina
Rockingham County, North Carolina - Marriage License Index, White Males 1867-1899
Rockingham County, North Carolina - Marriage License Index, White Females 1867-1899
Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina
The library has an extensive Genealogy Collection located on the West Mezzanine of the Archives & History/State Library building. Beginning and seasoned researchers utilize these resources to trace families in North Carolina as well as the states from which many migrated. The collection contains family histories, published abstracts, periodicals, county histories, and reference materials. It also contains published materials for areas from which many North Carolinians came, and states to which many North Carolinians migrated. There is a large collection of census records, an assortment of electronic databases, and vast microfilm collections. For additional information about the resources available in the Genealogy Collection, view their catalog. To visit their site, http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/genealogy/index.html