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This page is presented courtesy of Concord Learning Systems. We hope you enjoy these snippets about one of the original 13 colonies:
The 11th state.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
County Evolution (MAPS)

North Carolina Time Line of County Developement
Important Dates for Genealogists

The links to counties will provide a general idea of the county's location within the state. Most of the maps show today's boundaries. To see county boundaries at the time the county was founded see 'County Evolution Maps.'


1663Carolina Charter granted by King Charles II to the eight Lords Proprietor
1664Albemarle, Clarendon, Craven counties formed
1667Clarendon County abandoned
1668Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank and Perquimans precincts (of Albemarle) formed
1670Settlement of Craven Co. (on the Ashley River in SC) begins
Colony-wide General Court established
1690French colony from VA settle on Pamlico River
1696Bath County formed
1705Archdale (Craven), Pamptecough (Beaufort), Wickham (Hyde) precincts formed
1706Bath (town) becomes first incorporated town in NC
1710New Bern founded by DeGraffenreid, Swiss and German colonists
1711-1715Tuscarora War
1712Beaufort, Craven, Hyde counties names changed from Pamptecough, Archdale and Wickham
Craven County records destroyed by Indians
1722Bertie, Carteret counties formed
1725Patents issued to settle lower Cape Fear
1729Seven of the eight Lords Proprietors sell their shares to King George II, making North Carolina a royal colony
New Hanover, Tyrrell counties formed
1734Bladen, Onslow counties formed
1739-1748Spanish Alarm
1739Highland Scots settle Cape Fear Valley
Bath and Albemarle counties discontinued
1741Edgecombe and Northampton counties formed
1743Granville district boundary established
1746Granville and Johnston counties formed
1750Anson and Duplin counties formed
1752Orange County formed
Onslow County records destroyed by storm
1753Rowan County formed
Moravians from PA settle in piedmont at Wachovia
1754Cumberland County formed
District courts established in Edenton, Enfield, New Bern, Wilmington and Salisbury
1755Onslow County records destroyed by storm
1755-1763French and Indian War
1758Dobbs and Halifax counties formed
1759Hertford County formed
Halifax district court replaces Enfield
1760Pitt County formed
1762Mecklenburg County formed
1764Brunswick and Bute counties formed
1768Hillsborough District court established
Tryon County formed
1768-1771War of the Regulation
1770Bladen County courthouse fire
1771Guilford, Surry, Chatham and Wake counties formed
1774Martin County formed
1775Governor disbands court system
1776-1783Revolutionary War
1776Granville district lands confiscated
1777Burke, Camden, Caswell, Nash, and Wilkes counties formed
1779Tryon and Bute counties discontinued
Franklin, Gates, Jones, Lincoln, Montgomery, Rutherford, Randolph, Richmond, Warren, and Wayne counties formed
1781 Guilford County courthouse fire, Orange County records destroyed when buried in woods to avoid capture or destruction by Cornwallis, Wayne County records may have been destroyed in courthouse fire
1782Morganton District court established
1784Moore and Sampson counties formed
State of Franklin formed in Tennessee
1785Rockingham County formed
1786 Onslow County records destroyed by storm
1787Robeson County formed
Fayetteville District court established
1788State of Franklin discontinued
Site chosen for new capital
Iredell County formed
1789North Carolina ratified the Constitution
North Carolina ceded western lands to federal government
Stokes County formed
Hyde County courthouse fire
1791Buncombe, Glasgow, Lenoir and Person counties formed
Raleigh becomes state capital
Dobbs County discontinued
1792State capitol building in Raleigh completed
Cabarrus County formed
1795Daughters begin to inherit equally with sons
1797Lincoln County records may have been destroyed by fire in private home
1798New Hanover County courthouse fire may have destroyed some records
1799Glasgow County discontinued
Ashe, Greene, Washington counties formed
1800Bladen County courthouse fire
1806County Superior Courts formed and District Court abolished
1808Columbus and Haywood counties formed
1812-1814War of 1812
1819New Hanover County courthouse fire may have damaged some records
1822Davidson County formed
1827Hyde County courthouse fire
1828Macon County formed
1830Buncombe and Hertford courthouse fires
1832Wake County register's office fire
1833Yancey County formed
1835Montgomery County courthouse fire
1836Davie County formed
1838Henderson County formed
Trail of Tears: most of North Carolina's Cherokees are moved west to Indian Territory
1839Cherokee County formed
1840Montgomery County courthouse fire, New Hanover County courthouse fire may have damaged some records
1841Cleveland, Caldwell, and Stanly counties formed
1842Catawba, McDowell, and Union counties formed
Currituck County fire
1846Gaston County formed
1846-1848War with Mexico
1847Alexander County formed
1848Chowan County court records destroyed by acting clerk
1849Alamance, Forsyth, and Watauga counties formed
1850Yadkin County formed
1851Madison and Jackson counties formed
1854Iredell County courthouse fire
1855Polk, Harnett, Wilson counties formed
1857Pitt County courthouse fire
1859Alleghany County formed
1861-1865Civil War
1861North Carolina secedes from the union
Clay, Mitchell, and Transylvania counties formed
1862 Hertford and Jones courthouse fires, Washington County records destroyed by bombardment
1865Ashe, Buncombe, Cherokee courthouse fires, Alexander, Brunswick, Burke, Rowan records destroyed
1866Davidson County courthouse fire, cohabitation records begin for freedmen
1868North Carolina readmitted to the union upon adopting a new constitution
Many of the state's laws changed radically.
New court system established
Marriage bonds discontinued
Anson County courthouse fire
1869Washington County courthouse fire
1870 Dare County formed
Clay County records destroyed by fire
1871Swain County formed
1872Graham and Pamlico counties formed
Guilford County courthouse fire
1873Watauga County courthouse fire
1874Gaston County courthouse fire
1875Pender County formed
1876Cabarrus and Greene courthouse fires
1878Lenoir County courthouse fire
1879Swain County courthouse fire
1880Lenoir County courthouse fire
1881Durham and Vance counties formed
Washington County courthouse fire
1884Martin County courthouse fire
1886Montgomery County may have suffered record loss from courthouse fire. The clerk said that he saved the records but that they were "in a state of great confusion."
1889Moore County courthouse fire
1892Harnett County courthouse fire
1893Bladen County courthouse fire
1894Harnett County courthouse fire
1895Cherokee County courthouse fire
1898-1899Spanish-American War
1899Scotland County formed
1903North Carolina Historical Commission formed (now Division of Archives and History)
1907Lee County formed
Mitchell County records destroyed in move to new courthouse Rutherford County courthouse fire
1911Avery and Hoke counties formed
1913State law requires vital records registration
Jackson County records lost when county seat moved
1921Sampson County clerk's office fire
1926Cherokee County courthouse fire
1932Alleghany County courthouse fire, Haywood County records destroyed in move to new courthouse
1935Some Warren County records may have been destroyed
1957Brunswick County clerk's office fire
1967Alexander County courthouse fire


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