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. 



A lot of good historical literature and research has come out of Western North Carolina. Our SCGHS wants to celebrate the people and their work by having a BOOK DAY on July 21. The event will take place from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Riverfront Park, beside the courthouse on Mitchell Street in Bryson City. This will be an opportunity for people to meet the writers, authors, and/or researches of these books, purchase autographed copies and hear some of these persons speak.  

In addition to announcing this event, we are also recruiting persons who have written/complied books with the subject matter about history, genealogy, stories, people, culture, folklore/folk stories, and/or historical fiction of WNC. Each writer/author will have space to display their books. Authors and writers will set up tables under the shelter or may bring a canopy to set up on the lawn. There is no charge for having a space and there will be no admission charge. Vendors will need to provide their own table and/or canopy.

Authors/writers may qualify to have a space by meeting any ONE of the qualifications:

1) Have written/complied/authored/researched a book with the subject/material of at least one of his/her books based (or set) in Swain County or one of the WNC counties which are Buncombe, Madison, Transylvania, Henderson, Haywood, Swain, Haywood, Jackson, Cherokee, Graham, Clay, or Macon;
or 2) Be a member of the SCGHS;
or 3) Be a native of Swain County

Please help us! Plan to attend. Bring your friends and neighbors. Mark your calendars for July 21. If you have written a book and it meets the qualifications listed, please sign up to have a space. If you know of someone who has written a book that meets the qualifications, please send them the flyer and encourage the author/writer to sign up. To sign up for a space, authors/writers may should speak with Verna at the Genealogy Library 828-488-2932, M-W, F 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Deadline to sign up for a table is July 18 or when all spaces are filled.




The Swain County Genealogical Society

meets on the first Thursday of each month.

See new meeting place following the meeting announcement.

August 2,2018


Annual Picnic


6:30 PM

August 2, 2018


Morgan Pavilion

Swain County Recreation Park


more details to follow

***Note:  This is a one-time change from our regular meeting place.***

Brett Riggs will be presenting

Brett Riggs will be presenting

Please join us at 6:30 on August 2, 2018 at the Morgan Pavilion at the Swain County Rec Park. This is free and open to the public.









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 - Wednesday, Friday 9 AM - 12 PM

Telephone - (828) 488-2932

Call for inquiries

Mailing Address:

PO Box 267

Bryson City, NC 28713



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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