Just an FYI - I have researched the old death records extant in the Swain County Register of Deeds' office extensively. Diana Kirkland, who heads the office and is quite a history buff, let me know that many of the people in the county who died before around 1945-50 or thereabouts did not have death certificates, nor was their death necessarily recorded. It's a frustrating fact, but it is what it is.
The courthouse fire occurred in about 1908. Many old records were lost - court records and school records especially.