Gaston County Public Library

Finding Lincoln County Ancestors

A Note about
Many of the sources given here are found on This site is continually adding new files and indexing existing files. Be sure to keep checking for new information!

Lincoln County History

Lincoln County was formed in 1779 from Tryon County (see our guide Finding Tryon County Ancestors as well). Since then all or parts of Catawba, Cleveland, and Gaston Counties have been cut out of this area.
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Did your family come from Lincoln County? Here's a list of some basic resources in our collection to get you started. For help finding more, stop by the Reference Desk at the Gastonia Main Library.

Search our library Catalog by Subject for: Lincoln County or by the name of a place, such as Lincolnton.

  • 720.9756 BRO NCC. Our Enduring Past: a Survey of 235 Years of Life and Architecture in Lincoln County, North Carolina (pub. 1986). Index only of properties listed.
  • 929.1 YOU NCC. Our Own Story: an African-American History of Lincoln County, North Carolina (pub. 1991 & 2nd edition rev. 2001). Not indexed.
  • 975.6 HAR NCC. Lincoln County, North Carolina (pub. 2000).
  • 975.6 HAR NCC. Lincoln County Revisited (pub. 2003).
  • 975.6 SHE NCC. Annals of Lincoln County, North Carolina...1749 to 1937 (pub. 1937) by William L. Sherrill. Partially indexed.
  • 975.67 HUN NCC. Sketches of Western North Carolina: Historical and Biographical, Illustrating Principally the Revolutionary Period of Mecklenburg, Rowan, Lincoln, and Adjoining Counties... (pub. 1877) by C. L. Hunter. Not indexed. Full text available for free online; simply do an internet search for the title. Circulating copy available.
  • 975.678 IN NCC. In Our Own Words: The Story of Lincoln County (pub. 2006).
  • 975.678 LIN NCC. Lincoln County, North Carolina, 1779 - 1979: Past, Present, Future (pub. 1979).
  • 975.678 LIN NCC. Lincoln Times-News: 1966 Historical. Not indexed.
  • 975.678 N NCC. History of Lincoln County by Alfred Nixon. Various editions/reprints of a 1910 article.
  • 975.6782 HER NCC. Heritage of Lincoln County (pub. 1997) by the Lincoln County Heritage Book Committee. Surname index only.

Vital Records

  • 929.1 NOR NCC. "Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Lincolnton Newspapers, 1836 - 1853". Two part article in North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal. Marriages are in vol. 2 no. 2 (April 1976), p. 62 - 84 and deaths in vol. 2 no. 3 (July 1976), p. 136 - 146.
  • 929.3 BYN NCC. Marriage Bonds of Tryon and Lincoln Counties, North Carolina.
  • 929.3 DEL NCC. Lincoln County, N. C.: Index to Vital Statistics – Deaths (4 vols in 2). 1913 - 1992.
  • 929.3 ING NCC. Lincoln County, North Carolina Marriage Records, 1783 - 1866.
  • 929.3 LIN NCC. Lincoln County, North Carolina Marriage Records (3 vols). 1868 - 1936.
  • 929.3 PHI NCC. Lincoln County, North Carolina Will Abstracts, 1779 - 1910.
  • Ancestry Library Edition includes indexes and some actual certificates for North Carolina marriages, births, and deaths. Keep in mind that the statewide birth and death registration started in 1913 in North Carolina.

County Records & Other Resources


You can search our Catalog by Keyword for: Lincoln County microform or simply ask the Reference Desk at the Gastonia Main Library for help finding records.


Digital images of many Lincoln County records can be found at

Land Records
  • 929.3756 PRU…NCC. Abstracts of Deeds. This set also contains other land related records.
  • The Gaston & Lincoln Biography Index locates biographical information “buried” in our book collection.
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See our Research Guides for detailed information on our holdings of original and transcribed census records:

  • Lincoln County Cemeteries
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City Directories

Beyond Our Library

Lincoln County Library

The Charles R. Jonas Library in Lincolnton has a North Carolina Collection with an extensive collection of surname files, Lincoln County newspapers on microfilm, directories, and other resources.
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306 W Main St
Lincolnton NC 28092
Phone: 704-735-8044

Lincoln County Historical Association & Museum

The Lincoln County Historical Association collects and preserves historical information and materials relating to Lincoln County History. You can view these items at the Lincoln County Museum of History, located in the Lincoln Cultural Center.

403 E Main St
Lincolnton NC 28092
Phone: 704-748-9090

Please call for hours.

  • HeritageQuest provides an index of genealogy and local history articles called PERSI (PERiodical Source Index).
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    • Search by Places for North Carolina “Lincoln”.
  • NC GenWeb page for Lincoln County
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  • Lincoln County NC Genweb Archives
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  • Ancestry Message Board; you don't need an Ancestry membership to use the boards.
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  • GenForum’s Lincoln County message board; this board is now read-only - no new queries may be posted.
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Research Requests

The Gaston County Public Library staff welcomes requests for specific information from those who are unable to use the collection in person.

Please contact:

NCC Librarian - Reference Services
Gaston County Public Library
1555 E Garrison Blvd
Gastonia NC 28054

Phone: 704-868-2164 ext. 2
Fax: 704-853-0609

Local researchers

The Gaston County Public Library cannot conduct extensive research on behalf of patrons. A list of researchers who will pursue larger projects for a fee is available. Please contact us for a copy of this list.

The Library cannot recommend or take responsibility for any particular researcher.

Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: Finding Lincoln County Ancestors
Revised: 13 September 2014