|The first county courthouse (1747) was located near what is now Clayton, while a second was built in Smithfield in 1771. Replacement courthouses were built in Smithfield in 1786, 1843 and 1921. According to the Story of The Counties of North Carolina With Other Data, Federal troops advancing on Raleigh in 1865 threw out a number of courthouse records although very few were actually lost.
The first book of wills begins in 1760 as part of a complete set, but the entries are not in any particular order. Minutes from the county court begin in 1784, however several books are missing. Marriage bonds from 1760 to 1868 are indexed into a special book. Although missing the year 1800, deed books are complete starting from 1759.
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