Thursday, September 20, 2007


In 1663 and 1665 England's Charles II granted to eight men called Lords Proprietors certain lands in the new world, among which is present-day North Carolina. Albemarle County, founded by 1671, included what is now the north-northeastern portion of North Carolina and was divided into Carteret, Berkeley and Shaftsbury Precincts. In about 1681 Carteret Precinct became Currituck Precinct and Pasaquotank Precinct, Berkeley was designated Perquimans and Shaftsbury was renamed Chowan Precinct. The original names were the surnames of Lords Proprietors and the later names were Indian names of local watercourses.

Although Bertie Precinct wasn't formed until 1722, the area was settled long before that date. The earliest known settler in North Carolina was there as early as 1657 when a map was prepared by Nicholas COMBERFORD from London showing the location of the home of Nathaniel BATTS on the neck of land between the mouth of the Roanoke River and Salmon Creek.

By 1722, the area was so densely populated that an act was passed to create a separate precinct: "...that part of Albemarle County lying on the west side of Chowan River to be a precinct, bounded to the Northward by line dividing this Government from Virginia, and the Southward by Albemarle Sound and Morattuck (Roanoke) River as far up as WELCH's Creek, and then including both sides of said River, and the Branches thereof, as far as the limits of this government...."

Tyrell County was formed in part from Bertie in 1729. Edgecombe and Northampton Counties were formed from Bertie in 1741. Later Granville (1746), Halifax (1758), Nash (1777), and Wilson (1855) Counties were formed in part or in whole from Edgecombe. Hertford County was formed in part from Bertie in 1759. Martin County was formed from Halifax and Tyrell in 1774. Washington County was formed from Tyrell in 1799. Orange (1752), Vance (1881) were formed in part or in whole from Granville. Franklin (1779) and Warren (1779) Counties were formed from Bute.