Rowan County History and Information
Postcard dated around 1918 of the Rowan County Courthouse
Submitted by Steve Edgerton
County was formed in 1753 from Anson County, and was named for Matthew
Rowan (d. 1760), acting governor at the time the county was formed. The
county seat is Salisbury. Initially Rowan included the entire northwestern
sector of North Carolina, with no clear western boundary, but its size
was reduced as a number of counties were split off. The first big excision
was to create
Surry County in 1771.
Counties were formed from the western parts of Rowan and Surry in 1777 and 1778, respectively,
leaving a smaller Rowan County that comprised present-day Rowan,
Iredell (formed 1788),
Davidson (1822), and
(1836). Surry, Burke and Wilkes subsequently fragmented further as well.
Depending on where your ancestors lived, you may want to look at records
for some of these later counties also. Records of very early land grants
in the Rowan County area will be found with
A Colonial History of Rowan County, NC - 1917
A Texas Family: The Barclays from Rowan Co NC in 1756 to Tyler Co Tx
Story of Anderson Barclay, son of Walter Barkley of Rowan Co.
Melzer's site contains photographs of Organ Lutheran Church and links
to more information.
Grace Evangelical and Reformed Church
Thyatira Presbyterian Church has a couple of photos plus some info about a book
containing tombstone inscriptions.