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About Alleghany County

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northwestern North Carolina, Alleghany County is the state's fifth smallest county in land area encompassing 233 square miles and sixth smallest in population with around 10,000 residents. It is bordered by Grayson County, Va., on the north, and by North Carolina counties: Ashe on the west, Wilkes to the south and Surry to the east. Sparta, its county seat and only municipality, sits at the crossroads of US 21 and NC 18 at the county's center. 

The Crest of the Blue Ridge -- the Eastern Continental Divide -- forms the eastern and southern border and is home to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Average elevation is from 2,500 to 3,000 feet with the highest peaks of 4,000 feet or more in the Peach Bottom Mountains in the mid-section of the county. 

The word "Alleghany" is said to be derived from the Indian name meaning "fine stream," a suitable name for these scenic hills drained by the New River, the second oldest river in the world. Legend has it that the New River was discovered by Peter Jefferson, relative of Thomas Jefferson. Leading a party of surveyors, he was surprised to come upon a "new" river behind the mountains. Tools and artifacts have been found in the New River Valley dating back to the Paleo-Indian culture. Native American tribes that have occupied the area include the Cherokee and Shawnee. 

The county was settled in the late 1700's by hardworking pioneers mostly of English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent, some having migrated down the "Wagon Road" from Pennsylvania. Many of their descendants still live on land that was granted to their families nearly 200 years ago. 

The earliest arrivals were fiddle-footed hunters, but the farmers soon followed with names like Osborne, Gambill, Cox, Bryant, McMillan, Tolliver, Woodruff, Simmons, Crouse, Edwards, Pennington, Jones and Choate. Many of these family names are rare to other areas, but still common in the county today. 

Alleghany County was formed by an act of the 1858-59 session of the North Carolina legislature out of the northeastern portion of Ashe County. A surveyor was hired to locate the most central location for the county seat, but squabbling over the location and the Civil War delayed the establishment of a permanent home for county government until 1868. 

In 1870 James H. Parks, David Landreth and David Evans donated 50 acres of land for the county seat where Sparta is now located. Tradition has it that it was proposed the county seat be named after Parks, but he declined and suggested it be named after the Greek city-state. 

Source: Alleghany Chamber of Commerce


North Carolina Yearbook Index
for Alleghany County

North Carolina Vital Records

Alleghany County Rootsweb Resource Page

NCGenWeb Project
NCGenWeb County Pages
NCGenWeb Clickable County Map

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To post your Queries, Biographies, Bible Records, Deeds, Obituaries, Pensions, and Wills, please visit the Rootsweb Message Board for Alleghany County, North Carolina.

Alleghany County Message Board

Alleghany County Mailing List

Topics of genealogical and historical
significance to Alleghany County are discussed,
as well as queries of local interest.

To subscribe, send the command subscribe
(and nothing else) to
NCALLEGH-L-REQUEST@rootsweb.com.

HELLO - WELCOME!

My name is LaRae Halsey-Brooks, and my daughter,
Eireann Brooks, and I are the County Co-Coordinators
for the Alleghany County NCGenWeb Project.

I've been researching our Ashe, Alleghany and Grayson County families --
Halsey, McMillan/McLamont, Gambill, Landreth, Wyatt,
Hackler/Hechler, Grayson, Nall, Davenport, Peak, Young, Weaver --
for 30+ years, and now I take great pleasure
in transcribing and posting records for all of Alleghany County

My daughter, Eireann, is an attorney in Santa Barbara, CA.
She has been creating and maintaining USGenWeb Project pages
since she was 16, and will be doing
all web work for the Alleghany County page.

If you would like to contribute Biographical Sketches of your 
Alleghany County families to this website, please let us know. 
We will be happy to create a special page for your material 
and include any photographs, scanned documents, 
or other items you'd like to add to the page.

We also would like a list of your Alleghany County Surnames
with dates and townships. We'll include a link back 
so others researching your families can contact you. 
I'll start the page with my own families, but hope you will
each add your own surnames to the new page.

If you live in or near Alleghany County and would like to 
take digital photographs of cemeteries and tombstones, 
please let us know. 

If you have access to existing cemetery transcriptions, 
land records, tax rolls, school class rosters/photos, etc., 
we would be most grateful for any and all submissions.

If you are interested in hosting another county
in North Carolina for the NCGenWeb Project,
please visit the Adoptable Counties page.

The transcription of the U.S. Federal Census for Alleghany County
is now complete, and we recently added the records to the website.

Please check back from time to time
as we add more information to the page!

Thank you!
LaRae & Eireann

Alleghany County Co-Coordinators:
LaRae Halsey-Brooks & Eireann Brooks

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This page was last updated July 4, 2014.

1997-2014 by the Alleghany County Coordinator
for the NCGenWeb Project