Statistical and Descriptive Accounty of North Carolina Counties — 1869

Business and Industry

New River Valley History:

New River History and Genealogy Discussion Group

For discussion of history and genealogy of the New River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia you are welcomed to join the New River History and Genealogy Discussion Group.

Click to join NRHG
Click to join NRHG

Welcome and we hope you join the discussions.


New River Notes — Complete

January 21, 2014

After about two years of work we have completed a major upgrade to New River Notes. On January 21, 2014 we switched in the last of the updated files and final page revisions.

In January 2013 we introduced the new site layout but because there were many pages left to do there was a big red Under Construction on the front page. A year later we've finished all of the pages that were on the original site. Construction is complete. We have a great looking site full of material to help you in your research and possibly entertain you.

New River Notes

January 6, 2013

New River Notes, a leading genealogy resource for the New River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia, launched its new look website today.

new river valley mapNew River Notes was originally launched in 1998 by Jeffrey C. Weaver providing New River Valley researchers with a new wealth of information and that tradition is continued today by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc.

Welcome and we hope you enjoy our new look.

Statistical and Descriptive Accounty of North Carolina Counties — 1869

  • Alexander

    This County was formed from Iredell, Wilkes, and Caldwell counties in 1846. It is in the mountain region.

    Area 300 square miles.

    Population 6,250. It is drained by the Yadkin, Mitchell and Little Rivers and several creeks.

    Farms 653; acres improved 30,000; acres unimproved 105,000.

    Annual products: Corn 165,000 bushels; wheat 10,000 bushels; rye and oats 40,000 bushels; Irish and sweet potatotes 30,000 bushels; peas and beans 3,000 bushels; butter 32,000 pounds; flax 12,000 pounds; cotton 15,000 pounds, wool, 15,000 pounds; honey and beeswax 12,000 pounds.

    Native forests: oak, walnut, beach, maple, poplar and chestnut.

    Stock: Horses and mules: 1,380; cattle, 3,599; sheep, 5,112; hogs 10,056

    Churhes 20. Schools: Cheoway Academy; York Insititute; Elk Shoal Academy; United Baptist Institute and many others. Cotton factory 1; mills 14. Tanneries, several.

    This county is surrounded by mountains and abounds in mineral springs, chiefly chalybeate and sulphur. Climate healthy. Land productive.

    Taylorsville, the county seat is 150 miles west from Raleigh.

  • Alleghany

    This county, lately formed form the eastern part of Ashe, lies between the Blue Ridge and the Virginia line.

    Area, about 290 square miles.

    Churches 16; ministers 18, Lawyer 1; College, Alleghany at Gap Civil; Schools at various points; post offices 4; mills 6; mines in numerous places.

    Farms 390

    Annual products: Corn 100,000 bushels; wheat 3,000 bushels; rye and oats 75,000 bushels; buckwheat 3,000 bushels; pease [sic] 12,000 bushels; Irish and sweet potatoes 1,500 bushels; butter and cheese 6,500 pounds; flax seed 500 bushels; flax 12,500 pounds; maple sugar 5,000 pounds; tobacco 2,500 pounds; wool 14,000 pounds; honey and beeswax 12,000 pounds; hay, 4,000 tons; fruits in value $500.

    Trees, natural growth: white, Spanish and chestnut oaks; and black and white pine.

    Mountains: Fisher's Gap, Elk Spur, Lame Spring, Peach Bottom, and Saddle.

    Rivers: New and Little

    Creeks: Crab, Glade, Prather's, Elk, Chestnut, Brush, Big Pine and others.

    Climate, cool and healthy. Soil good. Fine grazing country.

    Sparta, the county seat is about 200 miles from Raleigh.

  • Ashe

    This county, named in honor of Gov. Ashe, was formed in 1799. Population 7,000.

    Farms, 750; acres improved 50,000; acres unimproved 145,000.

    Annual products: corn, 110,000 bushels; wheat 3,500 bushels; oaths 100,000 bushels; pease, 1,500 bushels; buckwheat 5,000 bushels; Irish potatoes 2,500 bushels; butter 95,000 pounds; maple sugar 10,815 pounds; tobacco, 5,000 pounds, wool 10,500 pounds, honey and beeswax, 18,000 pounds, flax, 15,500 pounds, hay, 5,000 tons.

    Stock: horses and mules, 1,500; cattle 6,500; sheep 4,500; hogs 14,000.

    Forest: Oak, hickory, maple and walnut.

    Surface: mountainous. Soil on hill sides and valleys very productive. Climate healthy. This county is at present without railroad facilities; therefore land is cheap. A fine grazing region.

    Jefferson, the county seat is about 200 miles northwest of Raleigh.

  • Caldwell

    This county, named after Pres. Caldwell of Chapel Hill, was organized in 1841. It lies in the mountains.

    Area, 450 square miles.

    Population 4,500 [sic]

    Ministers: 19; Doctors 4; churches 20; schools, Davenport Female College at Lenoir; Lenoir Male Academy; Mount Bethel Academy and others.

    Farms 366; acres improved 25,500; unimproved 100,000.

    Annual products: corn 200,000 bushels; wheat 5,000 bushels; oats and rye 35,000 bushels; Irish potatoes 15,000 bushels; peas 2,000 bushels; butter 40,000 pounds.

    Stock: horses and mules, 1,226; cattle 4,500 sheep 4,225; hogs 11,225

    Forest: Oak, hickory, walnut, maple & c.

    This count is watered by the Catawba, Yadkin and John's rivers and by Buffalo and King's Creeks

    The county is mountainous. The farming lands are rich and productive. It contains a most excellent population.

    Lenoir, the county seat is 200 miles west of Raleigh. A favorite resort in summer.

  • Madison

    This county was formed in 1850 from Buncombe and Yancey, named after President Madison.

    Area, 450 square miles.

    Population, 6,000

    Acres improved, 32,500; acres unimproved 174,000. Cash value $750,000.

    Stock: horses, 1,200; mules 200; sheep 5,100; cows 2,100; other cattle 8,000 hogs, 15,000.

    Annual products: wheat 32,500 bushels; rye, 3,000 bushels; corn 235,500 bushels; oats, 30,000 bushels; tobacco 16,000 pounds; wool 10,000 pounds; pease, 5000 bushels; Irish potatoes, 15,000 bushels; sweet potatoes 3,000 bushels; orcharg products $12,000; butter 58,000 pounds; flax 5,000 pounds; sorghum 25,000 gallons; honey, 20,000 pounds; home manufactures, $30,000.

    Churches, 12; lawyers, 2; doctors 4; ministers 6; post offices 6; mills 10.

    Original forests: pine, ashe, elm, balsam, chestnut.

    This is a beautiful county. Surface rough and mountainous. Lands good. A splendid farming, fruit and grazing region. Lands cheap and abundant. It is spoken of as one the finest counties in the future of the transmontane region,w hen the Railroads penetrate it.

    Marshall is the county seat, about 260 miles west from Raleigh on the east side of the French Broad.

  • McDowell

    This county was formed in 1842 from Rutherford and Burke.

    Area 450 square miles

    Population, 7,100

    Farms, 600; acres improved 28,878; acres unimproved, 115,500. Cash Value $775,000.

    Stock: horses, 900; mules 600; cows 1,500; other cattle, 8,000; sheep 3,700; hogs 12,000.

    Annual products: wheat, 25,000 bushels; rye 5,500 bushles; corn 240,000 bushels; oats, 6,000 bushels; tobacco 20,000 pounds; wool 8,000 pounds, pease 7,000 bushels; Irish potatoes 9,000 bushels; sorghum 8,000 gallons; honey, 11,000 pounds.

    Churches, 20; lawyers, 8; doctors 9; academies, 4; gold mines 4; grist mills 10; post offices, 6.

    The Western Railroad passes through this county.

    Original forests: white pine, ash, oak, chestnut, laurel, balsam, &c.

    Catawba and Linville rivers, and a number of creeks water the county.

    Surface broken and mountainous. Much good farming land. A fine fruit and grazing region.

    Marion is the county seat, 200 miles from Raleigh.

  • Mitchell

    This county has recently been formed out of Yancey, McDowell, Burke and Watauga, and named after the late Rev. Dr. Mitchell of Chapel Hill.

    Being a new county its statitstics have not been ascertained.

    Its lands are good. Surface broken and mountainous.

    Wheat, corn, rye, oats, Irish Potatoes, buckwheat, cabbages, and fruits, especially apples, grow well. It is particularly adapted to stock raising and grazing.

    Much of it is in original forests, of ash, poplar, chestnut, white pine, balsalm, oak, &c.

    Iron and copper ores have been found and are believed to exist in large quantities.

    In the Northeastern part of the county, limestone, blue and white marble of fine texture are said to exist.

    The lands are very cheap and abundant. The resources of the county are yet to be developed.

    Bakersville is the county seat.

  • Stokes

    This county was formed in 1789 out of Surry county, and lies on the Virginia line.

    Area, 550 square miles.

    Population: 10,500.

    Farms; 650; acres improved 35,000; unimproved 150,000.

    Annual products: corn 250,000 bushels; wheat 20,000 bushels; oats, 50,000 bushels; potatoes 35,000 bushels; pease 5,000 bushels; butter 81,000 pounds; hay 2,000 tons; tobacco 75,000 pounds; wool 25,000 pounds; honey 25,500 pounds.

    Stock: horses and mules, 1,225; sheep 5,000; cattle 6,000; hogs 12,000.

    There are 6 iron forges; 15 grist mills; 4 saw mills; 10 tanneries; 15 tobacco factories.

    Churches: 30; several ministers, lawyers and doctors, academies, schools and post offices.

    Water courses: Dan river and its numerous branches run through different parts of the county.

    The surface is broken and mountainour.

    Soil fertile

    There are valuable deposits of iron, lime and coal in this county.

    Railroads are projected torun through this county, which will help to develop its great natural resources. It has a healthy climate and much water power. Lands are cheap.

    Danbury is the county seat, 110 miles from Raleigh.

  • Surry

    This county was organized in 1770 from Rowan County. It lies in the north western part of the State, on the Virginia line.

    Area 900 square miles.

    Population: 10500

    Farms: 1,500 acres improved, 105,00; acres unimproved 305,000

    Annual products: corn 155,000 bushels; wheat 10,000 bushels; oats 2,000 bushels; Irish Potatoes 25,000 bushels; pease, 12,500 bushels; butter 12,000 pounds; flax 35,000 pounds; tobacco 45,000 pounds; honey 35,000 pounds.

    Stock: horses and mules: 3,200; cattle 10,500; sheep 12,000; hogs 35,000

    Natural forests: mountain ash, poplar, chestnut, oak and hickory.

    Churches: 30; 10 schools; 3 cotton factories; 10 iron forges; 2 iron founderies; 10 grist mills; 12 distilleries.

    Water courses: Yadkin, Fisher's and Ararat rivers and smaller creeks.

    This county is mountainous but fertile along the valleys and water courses. Lands can be bought low.

    The celebrated Pilot mountain lies in the eastern part of the county. Iron ore is found in large quantities.

    Mount Airy is the county seat, about 176 miles from Raleigh.

  • Watagua

    This county was organized in 1849, from Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes and Yancey, deriving its name from an Indian river. It lies in the Northwestern part of the State.

    Surface mountainous.

    Soil, fertile.

    Area 500 square miles.

    Population 5,000

    Farms 500; acres improved 25,000; unimproved 145,000

    Stock: horses: 850; mules 155; cows 1,607; other cattle 3,000; sheep 6,000; hogs 12,500

    Annual products: wheat 14,000 bushels; rye 13,800 bushels; corn 110,000 bushels; oats 40,500 bushels, rice, 1,000 pounds; tobacco 10,000 pounds; cotton 500 bales; wool 12,000 pounds; pease 10,500 bushels; Irish potatoes 20,000 bushels; sweet potatoes 1,500 bushels; buckwheat 10,000 bushels; orchard produce $12,565; market gardening $13,410; butter 75,000 pounds; cheese 5,000 pounds; hay 4,500 tons; flax 25,000 pounds; maple sugar 15,000 pounds; maple molasses 6,000 gallons; beeswax 1,500 poundsw; honey 20,000 pounds.

    Churches 12, ministers 8; academies and primary schools:10; lawyers 1; doctors 3; grist mills 10; post offices 8.

    Natural growth of timber; sugar maple, elm, oak, ashe, pine &c.

    Water courses: New River, Watauga river; Elk, Cau, Neal, Camp and other creeks.

    This county lying off the line of travel and commerce, has not been able to develop its resources, like many others, but when its mines are worked, its lands cultivated, with its stock raising advantages, &c., and its mountain scenery, it will be very desirable.

    Good land from fifty cents per acre to five dollars are found in this county.

    Boone the county seat, is 240 miles west from Raleigh. It was named after Daniel Boone, the celebrated hunter.

    [Note: This figures presented in this account of Watauga County are not credible. - J. Weaver]

  • Wilkes

    This county was organized in 1777, from Surry, and named after John Wilkes, the English statesman.

    Wilkes county lies in the north-western part of the State.

    Area, 550 square miles.

    Population, 15,000

    Farms, 1,125; acres improved, 75,080; acres unimproved, 270,000.

    Natural growth of timber; white ash, sugar maple, beech, oak, gum & c.

    Stock: horses 2,362; mules 300; cows, 3,000; other cattle, 5,000 sheep; 7,874; hogs 25,000

    Annual products: wheat 55,566 bushels; rye 12,000 bushels; corn 310,000 bushels; oats 36,566 bushels; tobacco 100,000 pounds; wool 15,877 pounds; pease, 10,000 bushels; Irish potatoes 15,000 bushels; sweet potatoes; 27,000 bushels; orchard products $80,000; wine, 500 gallons; butter, 85,000 pounds; hay 500 bales; cheese 3,000 pounds; flax 18,000 pounds; flaxseed 2,000 pounds; sorghum molasses 5,500 gallons; beeswax, 36,000 pounds; honey 75,00 pounds; home manufactures $86,000.

    There are churches, 48; ministers 20; academies and primary schools, 12; teachers 15; lawyers 4; doctors 10; post offices 10.

    Factories: cotton factory, 1; linseed oil mill, 1; tanneries, 8; grist mills 12.

    Water courses: Yadkin River and Reddies River, Moravian, Lewis Fork, Roaring, Mulberry, Bugaboo, Elkin and Cub Creeks.

    Mountains: It is nearly surrounded by the Ridge and spurs of the Blue Ridge.

    It is though that there are extensive beds of iron ore in the northern part of the county.

    Lands are very cheap and abundant. On the water courses the lands are very good. Corn, wheat, rye, oats, toabacco, and fruits grow well here. There is an abundance of water power for manufactories.

    Wilkesboro is the county seat, 172 miles north-west from Raleigh.

  • Yadkin

    This county was organized in 1850, from the southern part of Surry, deriving its name from the Yadkin river.

    Area, 310 square miles.

    Population, 10,900. Acres improved, 62,000; acres unimproved, 138,000. Cash value, $1,125,000.

    Natural growth of timber: mountain ash, gum, chestnut,oak, &c.

    Stock: horses, 1,796; mules, 500; cows, 2,000; other cattle,3,000; sheep, 6,000; hogs, 16,225.

    Annual products: wheat, 67,810 bushels; rye, 6,866 bushels; corn, 300,000 bushels; oats, 50,000 bushels; tobacco, 155,542 pounds; wool, 10,000 pounds; Irish potatoes, 8,000 bushels; sweet potatoes, 20,000 bushels; orchard products $15,500; butter, 70,000 pounds; cheese, 3,250 pounds; hay, 1,500 tons; flax, 6,500 pounds; flax seed, 2,000 pounds; sorghum molasses, 3,000 gallons; beeswax, 5,000 pounds; honey, 70,000 pounds.

    There are churches, 25; ministers, 15; academies, 4; primary schools, 8; teachers, 15; lawyers, 3; doctors, 16; postoffices, 10.

    There are 15 grist mills; 3 saw mills, &c. Water courses: Yadkin river forms the north and eastboundary of the county. Deep creek and Panther creek withtheir branches spread nearly all over the county.

    This a splendid county for settlers, good churches andschools, healthy climate, good farming land and can be purchased on good terms.

    Yadkinville the county seat, 130 miles north west fromRaleigh.

  • Yancey

    This county was organized in 1833 from Buncombe. It lies on the northwestern line of the state and bounded on the west by the state of Tennessee.

    Surface generally mountainous. Soil productive.

    Area, 680 square miles.

    Population, 8,655

    Farms, 970; acres improved 46,000; acres unimproved 265,675

    Natural growth of timber: black oak; white oak, red oak, chestnut oak, poplar, sugar maple, mountain birch, mahogany walnut; cherry, locust, persimmon, balsam, pine and numerous others of small growth.

    Stock: horses, 1,674; mules 300; cows 3,000; other cattle 4,507; sheep, 6,500; hogs 25,500.

    Annual products: wheat 40,000 bushels; rye, 6,500 bushels; corn, 25,00 bushels; oats, 60,500 bushels; tobacco, 20,000 pounds; wool, 15,000 pounds, sweet potatoes 50,000 bushels.

    There are 20 ministers, 10 academies, 4 primary schools, 20 teachers, 2 lawyers, 5 doctors, 5 post offices, 18 grist mills, 6 tanneries, &c.

    Mines: gold, copper, silver, iron, copperas and black lead are found in the mines of Fork Creek, South Toe River, Egypt, Caney River and other parts of the county.

    The soil generally is highly productive and produces luxuriant crops of tobacco, wheat, oats, buckwheat, butter, honey and fruit.

    Cattle can be raised in any quantitity.

    Orchards can be made to any extent. Apples have been grown in this county weighing a pound and a half.

    Its water courses are Nalychucky river, Caney river and Toe river; Pigeon and Cat tail creeks.

    Here is the range of the celebrated Black mountain, being the highest range of mountains in the United States, east of the Rocky mountains. The sides and tops are covered with the balsam tree, the highest peak is called Mitchell's peak.

    Burnsville is the county seat, 240 miles northwest from Raleigh.