Information maintained by Register of Deeds

The following records are held in the Duplin County Register of Deeds per
Davis Brinson Registrar of Deeds:

All property records from 1750-current in a paper form in 1649 books.  Property 
records from 1784-current including both indexes and images are also available 
on our website ( ).  The only property records that 
currently aren't available on our website are the ones from 1750-1784 and we 
have plans to have then on the website by the end of 2009.
My office has all birth certificates in 110 volumes.  These 68,766 (as of May 11, 
2009) birth certificates date back to Oct. of 1913 when North Carolina passed a law 
requiring all counties to keep a record of births and deaths.  Additionally, we have 
2756 birth records that pre-date Oct. 1913.  Our birth indexes are also available via 
our website but they do not include the entire date of birth just the year of birth nor 
are the images available due to identity theft and privacy concerns.
My office has all 35,274 death certificates recorded since Oct. of 1913 when North 
Carolina passed a law requiring all counties to keep a record of births and deaths.  
Our death indexes are also available via our website.  The images aren't available on 
the website due to identity theft and privacy concerns.  
My office has indexes for all 32,532 of the marriage licenses issued by this office 
since 1867.  All of the original licenses issued since 1902 survive and are on file here 
in the Duplin County Register of Deeds Office.  However, there are few of the original 
licenses that pre-date 1902 that survive.
My office has both indexes and images for 15 volumes of military discharge records 
that date back to 1898.  However, due to some of the sensitive personal information 
contained in military discharge documental a law was passed in 2003 making these 
military discharge documents public records with limited access.  Thus they can only 
be viewed by the general public if they have been on record for 50 years or more.  If 
they haven't been on record for 50 years or more then they are only accessible by the 
veteran, his/her widow, the veteran's Service Officer or a representative/agent of the 
US Dept. of Defense, an executor of the veteran's estate, the NC Division of Archives 
and History or an authorized court official.  
We also have the following miscellaneous records:
Copies of the cemetery records as they appear on the Duplin County's page within the 
ncgenweb site.
Transcriptions of the Duplin County Census records from 1870 and 1880.
Duplin County School Census Cards from the early 1900's thru the late 1960's.
Bond and Oath books for Duplin County Officials from the early 1900's thru the present.

The following types of records are maintained by most of the Register of Deeds office:

Birth Certificates
The state of North Carolina officially began keeping birth certificates in 1913. (In some outlying areas it began a bit later.) Birth certificates tell where a child was born, who the parents were and their age at the time of the birth. Other information is sometimes listed such as occupation of the father, number of children already in the household, etc.

Delayed Birth Certificates (delayed births)
If someone, somehow, escaped the notice of a birth certificate registrar or happened to be born before births were listed, they could have applied for a delayed birth certificate. To obtain such a certificate, individuals had to supply documentation, often a family Bible record.

Death Certificates
North Carolina began keeping Death Certificates in 1913. If an ancestor died before this time, one must turn to such records as wills, tombstones, and family Bibles to find the death date. Death certificates contain the date of death and birth as well as the parents' names and cause of death--and sometimes a good bit more.

One must remember that this information was not supplied by the subject under consideration. All information on a death certificate is supplied by an "informant." Informants are often family members but that does not mean that the information they supplied is 100 percent accurate.

Marriage Records
During the majority of North Carolina's history, most of its citizens got married in any manner that suited them. Ministers and magistrates were nice, but often, one concludes, not necessary. This makes the existence of public marriage records chancy at best, but some do exist.
Officially, there were two ways to get married in the state up until 1868. One was through the publication of banns whereby a marriage would be announced on three consecutive Sundays in church. If no one spoke up against the merger, then the couple was free to wed. A certificate stating that this procedure had been followed was supposed to have been created, but, of course, did not have to be placed on file anywhere.
The second method which lasted from 1741-1868 (and overlapped the period of banns) involved the issuance of a marriage bond. The bridegroom obtained these through the Clerk of the County Court. They signified nothing more than that the couple listed intended to marry. It is possible that they changed their mind later and never tied the knot. Originals to all marriage bonds--except those from Granville County which retained its copies--are in the State Archives. Bonds were filed in the County where the intended bride resided. Information on Bonds include bride and groom's names, the bondsman's name and witness (often the clerk of court). Marriage licenses existed for most of North Carolina's history but were not required to be kept until 1851. In 1868, bonds were discontinued and the Register of deeds in each County issued the required marriage licenses.

Wills are maintained by the County Clerk of Court
The person who makes a will is called the "testator" or "devisee." The folks who get the goodies are “legatees" or "devisees." The fellow who makes sure that the final wishes are carried out is the "executor." If the executor happens to be female, she is an "executrix." "Probate" is the process by which the will becomes official and the written desires are validated. There are usually three copies of a will: the original, the one copied into the county clerk's records, and the one issued to the executor. The copy that is committed to the to the county clerk's book will often contain probate information: witnesses, executor, probate dates, etc.

Back to Duplin County Vital Records Index

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