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Old Rowan County of Colonial North Carolina

Old Rowan County was formed from Anson County in 1753. Beginning in 1770, twenty-six counties were spun off from Rowan. Beginning with the western half of Guilford, North Carolina created the counties of Surry, Burke, Iredell, Davidson, and Davie. Those daughter counties later spun off additional counties. You can find an interactive map of North Carolina’s county development at NC Lost Souls Genealogy North Carolina County Formation Maps.

The county seat for Rowan County is the historic city of Salisbury. A few important places in the county are the Thyatira Church, Michael Braun’s Old Stone House, the Salisbury National Cemetery, Rowan Museum, the VA Hospital, and for genealogical research, the Edith M. Clark History Room (Salisbury Library).

The Jersey Settlement, one of the oldest of Old Rowan’s settlements (mid 1700s), and the Moravian Wachovia Tract (1750s) were part of Old Rowan, but are now in nearby Davidson and Forsyth counties.

Articles and research materials related to these counties may be accepted for publication in The Journal of the Genealogical Society of Rowan County. (See the editorial policy for additional information.)

1770 NC map
A 1770 map showing Old Rowan County from the NC Maps Collection at UNC Chapel Hill, titled “A Compleat map of North-Carolina from an actual survey”