Wilkes County, in Northwest North Carolina, was formed in 1777 from Surry County and the District of Washington, the act becoming effective February 15, 1778. It was named in honor of John Wilkes, a violent opponent of the Tory party in England who was not allowed to take the seat in Parliament to which he had been elected, because the Patriots in North Carolina, then fighting the Revolutionary War, believed that he was suffering in the cause of liberty like themselves.
A number of the Melungeon core families stopped off for a generation or two in Wilkes County prior to settling on and around Newman's Ridge and Blackwater Creek in what is now Hancock County, Tennessee.
To read about Wilkes County in New River Notes: Click Here.
To visit the Wilkes County Genealogical Society: Click Here.
To go to the Wilkes County GenWeb site: Click Here.