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Researching the History of Your House in Gaston County

Getting Started with Your Research

House Architectural Styles

Architectural Surveys "Since the mid-1970s, almost three quarters of the state's 100 counties have participated in comprehensive historic building surveys, and twenty-two counties have joined in regional reconnaissance surveys."

Gaston County History

To understand the style of your home and design of your neighborhood, you will need an understanding of Gaston County, NC. This is particularly true for people living in a Historic District or one of the many mill villages that are scattered throughout Gaston County.

  • 920 RAG NC. The Textile Heritage of Gaston County, North Carolina, 1848-2000: One Hundred Mills and the Men Who Built Them.
    While many of the textile mills are gone, most of the mill villages that were built around them still exist.
  • 975.677 AHE NCC. Gastonia and Gaston County, North Carolina.
  • 975.677 WIL NCC. Gaston County: A Pictorial History.
  • The Evolution of Textile Mill Villages
    Go to: http://ncpedia.org/textiles/mill-villages

Historic Properties

Gaston County


Property Records

There are a variety of records that you can use in your search for information about your house.

Original Deeds found in the Gaston County Register of Deed's Office include Records from 1845 to present.
(Prior deed records recorded in Lincoln County). 
Go to: http://www.gastongov.com/government/departments/register_of_deeds/index.php

Online Property Records

To locate a current online county property record visit the Gaston County Interactive GIS website and select "Data Search Site."
Go to: https://gis.gastongov.com/ 

At the Gaston County Interactive GIS website, you'll be able to learn:

  • Date of Construction; Tax ID #; Parcel ID #

  • Current Owners; Legal Description (Block & Lot); Acreage

  • Deed History (Previous Owners); Links to current aerial maps


Online Deed Search


Using the "Online Deed Search" at the Gaston County Register of Deeds website is much easier once you have the information provided in the online county property record, particularly Deed History (Previous Owners).
Important: Not every deed is available on Gaston County Register of Deeds website, so be sure to check FamilySearch.org
Go to: https://deeds.co.gaston.nc.us/external/LandRecords/protected/v4/SrchName.aspx


Digital images of many Gaston County land records can be found at FamilySearch.org in the following collections:

Microfilm copies of the following Gaston County Register of Deeds records are available at the Gaston County Public Library:

  • Index to deeds and mortgages: grantee, 1846-1917 [A-L,M-Z].
  • Index to deeds and mortgages: grantor, 1846-1917 [A-L,M-Z].
  • Record of deeds, 1847-1904 (vols. 1-56)
  • Record of state grants, 1845-1891.

City Directories

Gaston County is a textile county and the city directories give an insight into that phase of our history as "mill villages" appear and disappear. As the cities grew, many of these once company-owned villages were swallowed up. Some are still identifiable as communities and others only by the street names they left behind them.
Go to: http://gastonlibrary.libguides.com/city-directories


Look for newspaper articles during the time and in the region, county, or state where your house is located. Search newspaper indexes for the occupant or homeowner's name, and by the street address. Work backwards in time using the city directories to locate the house for earlier years. Remember that street names may have changed over time.

Visit our "Newspapers -- Historical Research Guide"

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

  • Access to Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for North Carolina is available via NCLive.org. Use the "Help" link to learn more about the information provided by these maps.
    • Go to: https://www.nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?rsrc=140
  • The University of South Carolina provides an online digital collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of South Carolina that you can search by keyword or browse by city, county, or year.
    • Go to: https://digital.library.sc.edu/collections/sanborn-fire-insurance-maps-of-south-carolina/
  • For more Sanborn maps, see Sanborn Maps Libguide.

Tax Records

Research Gaston County tax bills or payments. Search by Names (Last name First name), Receipt Numbers, Parcel Numbers, Bill Numbers, Owner IDs, and Addresses.
Go to: https://www.gastontax.com/#/

Older Gaston County Tax records
Go to:

Probate Records

Gaston County Estate Records, 1839 - 1928 are in this collection at FamilySearch, North Carolina Estate Files. They are searchable by name or you can browse by county. 
Go to: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1911121


See more North Carolina and Gaston County Probate Records.

Gaston County Records on Microfilm



Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: Researching the History of Your House in Gaston County
URL: http://gastonlibrary.libguides.com/house-histories
Revised: 11 May 2021

┬ęCopyright 2015, Gaston County Public Library. All Rights Reserved.