Free Online North Carolina City Directories

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City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:

Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.

(Updated July, 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Ahoskie

Albemarle

Asheboro

Asheville

Belmont

Benson

Brevard

Burlington

Canton

Caswell County

Chapel Hill

Charlotte

Clinton

Concord

Craven County

Dunn

Dunn-Erwin

Durham

Edenton

Edgecombe County

Elizabeth City

Fayetteville

Forest City

Fuquay Springs

Gastonia

Goldsboro

Graham and Haw River

Greensboro

Greenville

Hamlet

Henderson

Hendersonville

Hickory

High Point

Jacksonville

Kannapolis

Kernersville

Kings Mountain

Kinston

Laurinburg

Leaksville

Lenoir

Lexington

Lincolnton

Lumberton

Madison-Mayodan

Marion

Monroe

Moore County

Mooresville

Morehead City

Morganton

Mount Airy

New Bern

North Wilkesboro

Oxford

Plymouth

Raeford

Raleigh

Randolph County

Reidsville

Richmond County

Roanoke Rapids

Rockingham

Rocky Mount

Salisbury

Salisbury-Spencer

Sanford

Scotland Neck

Shelby

Smithfield

Smithfield-Selma

Southern Pines

Spring Lake

Statesville

Tarboro

Thomasville

Valdese

Wadesboro

Washington

Waynesville

Whiteville

Williamston

Wilmington

Wilson

Windsor

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem City

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

​For other Free North Carolina Links, click on the category of interest:​

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