County Resources

county.htm_cmp_radius010_bnr
The following table lists all of the historic
counties of North Carolina. The dates by each county are the dates of Assembly
which authorized formation of the county. Some did not form, and others did not
form until later dates, but this should give you a perspective time line.
Several of the counties later were absorbed by other counties, or their names
were changed. The oldest District of permanent settlement was known as the
Albemarle District, authorized in 1663,by a Charter from Charles II, to eight
Lords Proprietors, by which he formed Carolina. This Colony was to encompass the
territory between thirty-one and thirty-six degrees, north latitude, and
extending westward from the Atlantic Ocean to the “South Seas”. In
1665, this charter was amended to extend the boundaries thirty minutes northward
and two degrees southward. There were two areas of settlement in Carolina, the
Albemarle District, which became North Carolina, and the Ashley and Cooper River
area which became South Carolina. On December 7, 1710, North Carolina and South
Carolina became separate provinces, and on May 9, 1712, Edward Hyde became the
first governor of NORTH CAROLINA. On December 22, 1789, the Legislature passed
an act ceding the western lands to the United States, and on April 2, 1790, the
United States Congress accepted these lands, and they were no longer the
property of North Carolina. These were the counties of Washington, Sullivan,
Davidson, Greene, Hawkins, Sumner and Tennessee, which were to become the state
of Tennessee. In the table below, the counties with an asterisk are the counties
as exist for present day. 1

Albemarle 
1663
Alamance 
1849*
Alexander 
1847*
Alleghany 
1859*
Anson 
1750*
Archdale 
1705
Ashe 
1799*
Avery 
1911*
Bath 
1696
Beaufort 
1712*
Bertie 
1722*
Bladen 
1734*
Brunswick 
1764*
Buncombe 
1791*
Burke 
1777*
Bute 
1764
Cabarrus 
1792*
Caldwell 
1841*
Camden 
1777*
Carteret 
1722*
Caswell 
1777*
Catawba 
1842*
Chatham 
1770*
Cherokee 
1839*
Chowan 
1670*
Clay 
1861*
Cleveland 
1841*
Columbus 
1808*
Craven 
1712*
Cumberland 
1754*
Currituck 
1670*
Dare 
1870*
Davidson,
TN  1783
Davidson 
1822*
Davie 
1836*
Dobbs 
1758
Duplin 
1750*
Durham 
1881*
Edgecombe 
1741*
Fayette 
1784
Forsyth 
1849*
Franklin 
1779*
Gaston 
1846*
Gates 
1779*
Glasgow 
1791
Graham 
1872*
Granville 
1746*
Greene,
TN  1783
Greene 
1799*
Guilford 
1770*
Halifax 
1758*
Harnett 
1855*
Hawkins,
TN  1787
Haywood 
1808*
Henderson 
1838*
Hertford 
1759*
Hoke 
1911*
Hyde 
1712*
Iredell 
1788*
Jackson 
1851*
Johnston 
1746*
Jones 
1778*
Lee 
1907*
Lenoir 
1791*
Lincoln 
1779*
Macon 
1828*
McDowell 
1842*
Madison 
1851*
Martin 
1774*
Mecklenburg 
1762*
Mitchell 
1861*
Montgomery 
1779*
Moore 
1784*
Nash 
1777*
New
Hanover  1729*
Northampton 
1741*
Onslow 
1734*
Orange 
1752*
Pamlico 
1872*
Pamptecough 
1705
Pasquotank 
1670*
Pender 
1875*
Perquimans 
1670*
Person 
1791*
Pitt 
1760*
Polk 
1855*
Randolph 
1779*
Richmond 
1779*
Robeson 
1787*
Rockingham 
1785*
Rowan 
1753*
Rutherford 
1779*
Sampson 
1784*
Scotland 
1899*
Stanly 
1841*
Stokes 
1789*
Sullivan,
TN  1779
Sumner,
TN  1787
Surry 
1770*
Swain 
1871*
Tennessee 
1788
Transylvania 
1861*
Tryon 
1768
Tyrrell 
1729*
Union 
1842*
Vance 
1881*
Wake 
1770*
Warren 
1779*
Washington
Dist.
Washington,
TN
Washington 
1799*
Watauga 
1849*
Wayne 
1779*
Wickham 
1705
Wilkes 
1777*
Wilson 
1855*
Yadkin 
1850*
Yancey 
1833*

 1
This information taken from “The
Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943
” by David Leroy
Corbitt,  Copyright 1987 by the Division of Archives and History, North
Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Title link will take you to the
State Archives Site where this book can still be purchased.