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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Chamber of Commerce
Alleghany County Rootsweb
NCGenWeb Clickable County Map
To post your Queries,
Biographies, Bible Records, Deeds,
Obituaries, Pensions, and Wills, please
visit the Rootsweb Message Board for
Alleghany County, North Carolina.
County Message Board
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as well as queries of local interest.
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My name is LaRae Halsey-Brooks, and my daughter,
Eireann Brooks, and I are the County
for the Alleghany County NCGenWeb Project.
I've been researching our Ashe, Alleghany and
Grayson County families --
Halsey, McMillan/McLamont, Gambill, Landreth,
Grayson, Nall, Davenport, Peak, Young, Weaver --
30+ years, and now I take great pleasure
and posting records for all of Alleghany
My daughter, Eireann, is an attorney in Santa
She has been creating and maintaining USGenWeb
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
and include any photographs,
or other items you'd like to add to the page.
We also would like a list of your Alleghany
with dates and townships. We'll include a link
so others researching your families can contact
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
please let us know.
If you have access to existing cemetery
records, tax rolls, school class
we would be most grateful for any and all
If you are interested in hosting another county
in North Carolina for the NCGenWeb Project,
please visit the Adoptable
The transcription of the U.S.
Federal Census for Alleghany County
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!
LaRae & Eireann
© 1997-2014 by the Alleghany
for the NCGenWeb Project