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.


January 4, 2018



Don Casada will be presenting “Sam Hunnicutt and His Hunting and Fishing Buddies” at the January 4 meeting of the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society.  Sam's companions covered the social spectrum - teachers, pastors, county sheriffs, state legislators, fellow farmers, violin makers, medical doctors, veterans of the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, blue bloods of the first rank from Newport, RI and New York City, murderers and outlaws.  The educational achievements of Sam's buddies ranged from fourth grade to PhD from Princeton. Yet, neither the backwoods where Sam was most at home nor Sam himself were respecters of persons - all were treated equally. Don’s presentation will draw from the stories  in Sam’s book “Twenty Years of Hunting and Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains.” The stories related aspects of the lives of Sam’s companions in a very straightforward, just the facts, sort of fashion was well as the nature of the terrain they traversed showing unequaled insights into the nature of society and the culture of the time.

Don, a native of Swain County has “mostly retired,” and lives in Bryson City with his Susan , in the 127-year old house on Stanley Black Hill where Don was raised.  Don is the president of the Friends of Bryson City Cemetery. He has done extensive research on the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, having located and marked the coordinates of some 600 former homesites in Swain County from Straight Fork to below Twenty mile Creek. 

Please join us for this presentation on January 4 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 which is west of Ingles.  Written directions are on the Swain County Genealogy website http://www.swaingenealogy.com . Conversation and refreshments will follow the presentation. 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 - 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





  copyright 2011 - present - Swain County Genealogical Society 

  All rights reserved