North Carolina

The Counties from 1664 to Present - In Alphabetical Order

Year 

County

Created From

County Seat

First Settled

First Settled By

Population (2000)

Notes/ Comments

1849

Alamance

Orange County

Graham

1740

Germans

130,800
 

1664

Albemarle

1st Charter

-

1650s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1689

1680

Albemarle Precinct

Pasquotank Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Pasquotank in mid-1680s

1847

Alexander

Iredell, Caldwell, and Wilkes Counties

Taylorsville

1750s

From Iredell County

33,603
 

1859

Alleghany

Ashe County

Sparta

1750s

From Surry County

10,677
 

1750

Anson

Bladen County

Wadesboro

1730s

From Bladen County, then Scots-Irish

25,275
 

1705

Archdale

Bath County

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1799

Ashe

Wilkes County

Jefferson

1773

From Wilkes County and Virginians

24,284
 

1911

Avery

Mitchell, Watauga, and Caldwell Counties

Newland

1770s

Scots-Irish

17,167
 

1696

Bath

Albemarle County

Bath

1660s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1724

1680

Berkeley Precinct

Perquimans Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Perquimans in mid-1680s

1712

Beaufort

Pamtecough Precinct

Washington

1690s

Virginians

44,958
 

1722

Bertie

Chowan County

Windsor

1690s

Virginians

19,757
 

1734

Bladen

New Hanover County

Elizabethtown

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

32,278
 

1764

Brunswick

New Hanover County

Bolivia

1713

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

73,141
 

1791

Buncombe

Burke and Rutherford Counties

Asheville

1770s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

206,330
 

1777

Burke

Rowan County

Morganton

1760s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

89,145
 

1764

Bute

Granville County

Buffalo Rice Path

1720s

From Granville County/Virginia

-
Abolished in 1779

1792

Cabarrus

Mecklenburg County

Concord

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

131,063
 

1841

Caldwell

Burke and Wilkes Counties

Lenoir

1760s

From Burke and Wilkes Counties

77,386
 

1777

Camden

Pasquotank County

Camden

1680s

Virginians

6,885
 

1680

Carteret Precinct

Currituck Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Currituck in mid-1680s

1722

Carteret

Craven County

Beaufort

~1700

From Craven County

59,383
 

1777

Caswell

Orange County

Yanceyville

1740s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

23,501
 

1842

Catawba

Lincoln County

Newton

1740s

Swiss in northern part, English and Scots-Irish in southeastern part

141,686
 

1771

Chatham

Orange County

Pittsboro

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

49,329
 

1839

Cherokee

Macon County

Murphy

1820s

From Macon County

24,298
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left

1668

Chowan

Albemarle County

Edenton

1663

Virginians

14,150
 

1664

Clarendon

1st Charter

Charles Town

1664

New Englanders, then Barbadians

-
Abolished in 1667

1861

Clay

Cherokee County

Hayesville

1830s

From Cherokee County

8,775
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left 

1841

Cleveland

Rutherford and Lincoln Counties

Shelby

1750s

From Rutherford and Lincoln Counties

96,287
 

1808

Columbus

Brunswick and Bladen Counties

Whiteville

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

54,749
 

1712

Craven

Archdale Precinct

New Bern

1690s

Virginians

91,523
 

1754

Cumberland

Bladen County

Fayetteville

1729

Highland Scots

302,953
 

1668

Currituck

Albemarle County

Currituck

1660s

Virginians

18,190
 

1870

Dare

Currituck, Tyrrell, and Hyde Counties

Manteo

1690s

Virginians

29,967
 

1783

Davidson

-

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796

1822

Davidson

Rowan County

Lexington

1740s

Scots-Irish & Germans

147,246
 

1836

Davie

Rowan County

Mocksville

1740s

Scots-Irish

34,835
 

1758

Dobbs

Johnston County

Kinston

1730s

From Johnston County

-
Abolished in 1791

1750

Duplin

New Hanover County

Kenansville

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

49,063
 

1881

Durham

Orange and Wake Counties

Durham

1740s

Germans

223,314
 

1741

Edgecombe

Bertie and Beaufort Counties

Tarboro

1720s

Virginians

55,606
 

1849

Forsyth

Stokes County

Winston-Salem

1753

Moravians

306,057
 

1779

Franklin

Bute

Louisburg

1750s

From Granville and Edgecombe Counties

47,260
 

1846

Gaston

Lincoln

Gastonia

1740s

Virginians and Charlestonians

190,304
 

1779

Gates

Chowan, Hertford, and Perquimans Counties

Gatesville

1690s

Virginians

10,516
 

1791

Glasgow

Dobbs County

Glasgow C.H.

1730s

From Dobbs and Craven Counties

-
Abolished in 1799

1872

Graham

Cherokee County

Robbinsville

1838

From Cherokee County

7,993
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left 

1746

Granville

Edgecombe County

Oxford

1720s

From Edgecombe County/
Virginians

48,498
 

1783

Greene

Washington County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796 

1799

Greene

Glasgow County

Snow Hill

1710

From Craven County

18,974
 

1771

Guilford

Rowan and Orange Counties

Greensboro

1740s

Germans, then Quakers

421,048
 

1758

Halifax

Edgecombe County

Halifax

1720s

From Edgecombe County

57,370
 

1855

Harnett

Cumberland County

Lillington

1720s

From Cumberland County

91,025
 

1786

Hawkins

Sullivan County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796  

1808

Haywood

Buncombe County

Waynesville

1784

Scots-Irish, Revolutionary War Veterans

54,033
 

1838

Henderson

Buncombe County

Hendersonville

1770

Pioneers from Rutherford County

89,173
 

1759

Hertford

Chowan, Bertie, and Northampton Counties

Winton

1680s

Virginians

22,977
 

1911

Hoke

Cumberland and Robeson Counties

Raeford

1740s

Highland Scots

33,646
 

1712

Hyde

Wickham Precinct

Swan Quarter

1690s

Virginians

5,826
 

1788

Iredell

Rowan County

Statesville

1753

Scots-Irish and Germans

122,660
 

1851

Jackson

Haywood and Macon Counties

Sylva

1796

English

33,121
 

1746

Johnston

Craven County

Smithfield

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

121,900
 

1779

Jones

Craven County

Trenton

1710

Swiss/Palatines who settled New Bern

10,381
 

1907

Lee

Moore and Chatham Counties

Sanford

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

49,208
 

1791

Lenoir

Dobbs County

Kinston

1750s

From Dobbs and Craven Counties

59,636
 

1779

Lincoln

Tryon County

Lincolnton

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

63,780
 

1828

Macon

Haywood County

Franklin

1820

From Haywood County

29,808
Treaty of 1819, Cherokees Ceded and Left

1851

Madison

Buncombe and Yancey Counties

Marshall

1784

Revolutionary War Veterans

19,635
 

1774

Martin

Halifax and Tyrrell Counties

Williamston

1720s

From Halifax and Tyrrell Counties

22,546
 

1842

McDowell

Rutherford and Burke Counties

Marion

1760s

From Burke and Rutherford Counties

42,151
 

1762

Mecklenburg

Anson County

Charlotte

1740s

Scots-Irish

695,370
 

1861

Mitchell

Yancey, Watauga, Caldwell, Burke, and McDowell Counties

Bakersville

1770s

From Watauga County

15,687
 

1779

Montgomery

Anson County

Troy

1750s

Scots-Irish

26,822
 

1784

Moore

Cumberland County

Carthage

1739

Scots-Irish

74,762
 

1777

Nash

Edgecombe County

Nashville

1730s

From Edgecombe Counties

87,385
 

1729

New Hanover

Craven County

Wilmington

1724

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

160,627
 

1741

Northampton

Bertie County

Jackson

1660s

Virginians

22,085
 

1731

Onslow

New Hanover County

Jacksonville

1705/6

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

150,355
 

1752

Orange

Johnston, Bladen, and Granville Counties

Hillsborough

1740s

Germans

115,331
 

1872

Pamlico

Craven and Beaufort Counties

Bayboro

1710s

From Craven and Beaufort Counties

12,934
 

1705

Pamtecough

Bath

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1688

Pasquotank

Albemarle County

Elizabeth City

1660s

Virginians

34,897
 

1775

Pelham

Never Established

-

1740s

Scots-Irish

-
Map-maker's attempt to curry favor with British Secretary of State for Southern Department.

1875

Pender

New Hanover County

Burgaw

1730s

Scots-Irish

41,082
 

1668

Perquimans

Albemarle County

Hertford

1660s

Virginians

11,368
 

1791

Person

Caswell County

Roxboro

1720s

Virginians from Halifax County, Virginia

35,623
 

1760

Pitt

Beaufort County

Greenville

1714

Virginians

133,719
 

1855

Polk

Rutherford and Henderson Counties

Columbus

1760s

From Rutherford County

16,324
 

1779

Randolph

Guilford County

Asheboro

1750s

From Guilford County

130,471
 

1779

Richmond

Anson County

Rockingham

1740s

From Bladen County

46,564
 

1787

Robeson

Bladen County

Lumberton

1730s

From Bladen County, Scots-Irish

123,245
 

1785

Rockingham

Guilford County

Wentworth

1760s

From Guilford County

91,928
 

1753

Rowan

Anson County

Salisbury

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

130,340
 

1779

Rutherford

Tryon County

Rutherfordton

1750s

Scots-Irish

62,901
 

1784

Sampson

Pelham or Duplin County

Clinton

1740s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

60,161
 

1899

Scotland

Richmond County

Laurinburg

1730s

Scots-Irish

35,998
 

1680

Shaftesbury Precinct

Chowan Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Chowan in mid-1680s

1841

Stanly

Montgomery County

Albemarle

1746

From Montgomery County, Germans in 1750s

58,100
 

1789

Stokes

Surry County

Danbury

1750s

Scots-Irish

44,711
 

1779

Sullivan

Washington County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796  

1786

Sumner

Davidson County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796 

1771

Surry

Rowan County

Dobson

1740s

Moravians, Germans, Scots-Irish

71,219
 

1871

Swain

Jackson and Macon Counties

Bryson City

1799

From Jackson and Macon Counties

12,968
 

1788

Tennessee

Davidson County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796 

1861

Transylvania

Jackson and Henderson Counties

Brevard

1800

From Catawba County, George Shuford

29,334
 

1768

Tryon

Mecklenburg County

-

1740s

Scots-Irish

-
Abolished in 1779

1729

Tyrrell

Chowan and Bertie Counties

Columbia

~1700

Virginians

4,149
 

1842

Union

Anson and Mecklenburg Counties

Monroe

1740s

From Anson and Mecklenburg Counties

123,722
 

1881

Vance

Granville, Warren, and Franklin Counties

Henderson

1750s

From Granville, Warren, and Franklin Counties

42,954
 

1771

Wake

Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange Counties

Raleigh

1740s

From Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange Counties

627,866
 

1779

Warren

Bute County

Warrenton

1720s

Virginians

19,972
 

1776

Washington District

-

-

1760s

From Surry County

-
Abolished in 1777

1777

Washington

Washington District

Jonesborough

1760s

From Surry County

-
Ceded to Ohio Territory in 1790, later to become Tennessee in 1796  

1799

Washington

Tyrrell County

Plymouth

~1700

Virginians

13,723
 

1849

Watauga

Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell, and Yancey Counties

Boone

1760s

Scots-Irish

42,693
 

1779

Wayne

Dobbs County

Goldsboro

1740s

Scots-Irish

113,329
 

1705

Wickham

Bath County

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1777

Wilkes

Surry County

Wilkesboro

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

65,632
 

1855

Wilson

Edgecombe, Nash, Johnston, and Wayne Counties

Wilson

1740s

From Edgecombe County

73,811
 

1850

Yadkin

Surry County

Yadkinville

1740s

From Pennsylvania

36,348
 

1833

Yancey

Burke and Buncombe Counties

Burnsville

1760s

From Burke and Buncombe Counties

17,774
 


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