Rowan County North Carolina Genealogy and History USGenWeb - Counties Formed From Old Rowan  

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This page was last updated Monday, 10-Sep-2018 14:03:14 MDT

Counties Formed From Old Rowan

Map of Old Rowan Location

This is an area roughly stretching north from the southeast corner of Randolph County to the Virginia border and west following a line roughly outlined by the southern borders of Randolph and Rowan counties into the eastern counties of Tennessee.

When Rowan County, NC was formed in 1753 from Anson County it covered most of western North Carolina and part of eastern Tennessee. The North Carolina counties that where at one time, either in part or in whole, within the original borders of "Old" Rowan are:

The above is a somewhat liberal interpretation of county formations as several were formed from multiple counties.

Click Here for Map of Old Rowan Counties (2.5MBs)

Thumbnail of West 1895 Old Rowan MapThumbnail of East 1895 Old Rowan Map
Map modified with permission of Ray Sterner from

Genealogist tracing families that resided in this region are met with some special challenges. It is not uncommon to have an ancestor remain on the same piece of land but be in up to 4 counties within their lifetime. Another common occurrence is for generations of a family to move up the river valleys. As one moves back in the genealogy of these families they most likely will find their ancestors, at some point in time, residing in some version of Rowan County. This is usually a stroke of good luck, as Rowan County is blessed with an abundance of records dating back to 1753. On the other hand, you may find your early Rowan ancestor suddenly disappear from Rowan and show up in one of the counties north and/or west of Rowan.

We have John Coates to thank for this page and also for maintaining the Rowan Co. NCGenWeb page from 1996 through most of 1997, he is also the list owner for RowanRoots-L.

The purpose of the RowanRoots-l is to provide a "gathering" place for all researchers interested in the genealogy and history of this area know as "Old Rowan." Hopefully by sharing of information we can help each other in our quest to discovery our elusive past.


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Maggie Stewart.