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Clay County, North Carolina Genealogy

Guide to Clay County, North Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Hayesville
Organized: February 20, 1861
Parent County(s): Cherokee[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cherokee  • Macon  • Rabun (GA)  • Towns (GA)  • Union (GA)
See County Maps
Location Map
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Henry Clay

County InformationEdit


Clay County is located in the southwest portion of North Carolina and shares a border with Georgia. It was named for Henry Clay (1777-1852)[2], a U.S. congressional leader and presidential candidate from Kentucky.

County CourthouseEdit

Clay County Courthouse
261 Courthouse Drive, Suite 1
Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-2300
Clay County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, death and military records from 1913, marriage records from 1879 and land records from 1870.[3]

Clay County, North Carolina Record DatesEdit

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1913 1879 1913 1868 1870 1862 1784
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1913. General compliance by 1920.

Record LossEdit

1870 Fire (not courthouse) destroyed all records of the county.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary ChangesEdit

  • 1861 Clay County was created 20 February 1861 from Cherokee County.
  • County seat: Hayesville[5]

For animated maps illustrating North Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation North Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1664-1965) may be viewed for free at the website.

Populated PlacesEdit

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities

History TimelineEdit


Bible RecordsEdit


Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit


Cemeteries of Clay County, North Carolina online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See North Carolina Cemeteries for more information


Census RecordsEdit

Church RecordsEdit

Court RecordsEdit


Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit



Land and Property RecordsEdit

Local HistoriesEdit

Maps and GazetteersEdit

Cherokee CountyMacon CountyTowns CountyUnion CountyFannin CountyGeorgiaNC CLAY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military RecordsEdit

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Clay County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Clay County:

- 5th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company G
- 7th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company B
- 7th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, Company C

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit



Other RecordsEdit

County Records


Probate RecordsEdit

Online Probate Records

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

Vital RecordsEdit





Research FacilitiesEdit


Family History CentersEdit

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.




  • Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society
    PO Box 2122
    Asheville, NC 28802-2122


  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research GuidesEdit


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Henry Clay,"
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, North Carolina. Page 506-514 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 505-509.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), North Carolina.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County, North Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_North_Carolina#Communities, accessed 11 February 2020.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at