Finding Lincoln County Ancestors
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.
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) and 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.
- Read the full text online in HeritageQuest (available from any computer with internet access and a library card #) and Ancestry Library Edition (available only in the libraries).
- Every Name Index to Annals of Lincoln County North Carolina
- 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.
- 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.
- The Ancestry Library Edition database collection (available only in the libraries) 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
We own a large collection of Lincoln County records on microfilm, including “Lincoln County Estate Files, 1779-1925”.
- 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.
See our Research Guides for detailed information on our holdings of original and transcribed census records:
- The United States Census for Genealogists: 1790 – 1930
- The United States Census for Genealogists: 1940
- 929.1 FOO NCC. Footprints in Time. Vol. 1 (1987) – to date.
- Published by the Gaston-Lincoln Genealogical Society
- 929.1 ESW NCC. Eswau Huppeday. Vol. 1 (1981) – to date.
- The journal of the Broad River Genealogical Society in Cleveland County includes material from surrounding counties like Lincoln County.
- 929.1 BUL NCC. Bulletin of the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County. Vol. 1 (1974) – to date.
- Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County
- Note: Lincoln County was part of the old Tryon County.
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.
306 W Main St
Lincolnton NC 28092
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
Please call for hours.
- The HeritageQuest database provides an index of genealogy and local history articles called PERSI (PERiodical Source Index). It is available at all Gaston County libraries or you can use it at home with your library card number.
- Search by Places for North Carolina “Lincoln”.
- NC GenWeb page for Lincoln County
- Lincoln County NC Genweb Archives
- GenForum’s Lincoln County message board
- Ancestry Message Board; you don't need an Ancestry membership to use the boards.
- The archives of the mailing list for Lincoln County
Requests for SPECIFIC information are welcome.
We will be glad to try to answer a particular question for 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
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: 29 November 2012