Our website is undergoing construction; some pages may not be available and some links may not work while the website is being redone.  Check back often for updates.



Welcome to the

Swain County Genealogy Society


                                      Bringing the past

                                Into the present

                                            For the future


Swain County was formed in 1871 from Jackson (formed in 1851 from Haywood and Macon) and Macon Counties.  The area covered by Swain County was once Macon County, formed in 1828 from Indian Lands.  The county was named in honor of  former  governor and University of NC president David Lowry Swain.  The first court was held at Cold Spring Meeting House, and commissioners were assigned to lay out a town to be called Charleston and to select a site for the courthouse.  In 1889 this town was renamed Bryson City (the present day county seat) in honor of Colonel Thad Dillard Bryson. In 1876, the Qualla Boundary Reservation of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee was established, part of it being in Swain County.  In 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established, with part of it also in Swain County,  Then in 1941 construction of Fontana Dam was authorized by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Today the national park, the reservation, and the TVA occupy about 280,000 acres of present day Swain County. 



The Swain County Genealogical Society

meets on the first Thursday of each month.

See new meeting place following the meeting announcement.

December 7, 2017


It's time for our annual Holiday Auction!

Please join us on December 7 at the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society Holiday Party and Silent Auction for an evening of music, fun, and holiday shopping. Among the Silent Auction items to date are: a Cataloochee Ski Package for 2, an Ancestry World Explorer Membership with DNA kit, a My Heritage Membership, a My Heritage DNA Kit, Whitewater LTD rafting tickets for 2,  a subscription to the Smoky Mountain Times, a Fire-truck Birthday Party for 20, Bob Plott's Strike and Stay--The Story of the Plott Hound, a Subscription to Smoky Mountain Living, a Swain County Heritage Book, Duane Oliver's Remembered Lives,  2 Mountain Layers t-shirts, a beautiful Hand knitted wrap,  Terrell Gerren's The Fifth Skull, a Northshore T-shirt, a Certificate for 5 dozen fresh local free range eggs, a framed cross stitch wall hanging, 1997 Renewal Basket, an oil change with Performance Automotive, and more.  Entertainment will be provided by Jesse Stephens and Friends doing live mountain music. Auction proceeds will go to offset operating expenses for the Society and to purchase needed equipment. Everyone present may participate in the auction---you do not have to be a SCGHS member to shop.  All auction items will be paid for at the time of purchase.


It's not too late to donate an item. Donated auction items are tax deductible since SCGHS is a non-profit organization. Auction items will be accepted through the morning of December 7. Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the SCGHS Library, 200 Main Street, Bryson City—above the police department. The phone number for the SCGHS is 828-488-2932. We will provide the donor with a receipt upon request. Note that items donated should be new or of a quality that you would be willing to give as a gift to someone.


Please join us for the Party and the Silent Auction on Thursday, December 7, at 6:30 at the Swain County Regional Business Education and Training Center, 45 East Ridge Drive, Bryson City, NC 28713.  East Ridge Dr. is a right turn off Buckner Branch Road. Written directions are available on our website as well as at the Genealogy Library. Come enjoy the music, good fun, good food and shopping! Refreshments will be served. This is open to the public and there is no admission charge.









The Society Office is located on the square

just across the street from the old courthouse. 

It is in the brick building upstairs over the police department.



Our Office &  Library

Library/Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8 AM - 12 PM

Telephone - (828) 488-2932

Mailing Address:

PO Box 267

Bryson City, NC 28713

e-mail: swaingenealogysociety@gmail.com


The purpose of the Swain County Genealogy Society is to aid in the preservation of Family Bible Records, Military Records, Cemetery Records and other genealogical and historical records. We want to promote interest and research in the study of History and Genealogy. To cooperate with other Societies as much as is practical and to collect and preserve data relating to North Carolina and North Carolina families, particularly, but not limited to Swain, Macon and Jackson Counties.




Swain County Genealogical Society celebrated our 30th birthday in 2014!

see the photos of our celebration


See the preview of the upcoming video by William Davis

Lost Souls of Lauda

about the North Shore Cemeteries



Site Directory

SCGS Bookstore

Publications available for sale by the society

Families of Interest***

Connect with others researching the same surnames

Membership Application

Membership information and form

Swain County Resources

Contacts for county records information

Family Reunions *** updating for 2015

Reunions of interest to folks with western NC roots

Local History & Lore

History and story links pertaining to Swain County

The Cherokee

History & Genealogy of the of the Cherokee Indians

Photo Album

Photos of interest to folks with Swain County roots

Political Graveyard

Politicians who were born and/or lived in Swain Co.


Links to Swain County marriages

North Shore Cemeteries

Schedule for Homecoming and Decorations

Graves Affected by TVA Project         

Graves in Swain area affected by Fontana Dam project - inlcudes re-interred and not moved
*** These pages are under construction and be available very soon.  Please check back often for updates.




Our Neighbors



USGenWeb Sites





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