North Carolina Formation Maps

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History of County Formations in North Carolina 1664-1965

(See below for:
History of County Formations in Text,
North Carolina County Abbreviations.)

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County Formation Chronology in Text

Albemarle and Clarendon formed as original counties-------------------1664
Clarendon County Settlement abandoned and county discontinued---------1667
Shaftesbury, Currituck, Pasquotank, & Berkeley formed as Precincts
   of Albemarle County------------------------------------------------1670
Berkeley name changed to Perquimans (Precinct of Albemarle County)----1681
Shaftesbury name changed to Chowan (Precinct of Albemarle County)-----1685
Albemarle County ceases to function as a governmental unit, Precincts
   of Chowan, Perquimans, Currituck, & Pasquotank continue
   to function--------------------------------------------------------1689
Bath County formed as original county---------------------------------1696
Bath County divided into Wickham, Archdale, & Pamptecough Precincts---1705
North Carolina and South Carolina made separate Provinces-------------1710
Pamptecough name changed to Beaufort; Archdale name changed to
   Craven; Wickham name changed to Hyde (all still Precincts)---------1712
Bertie Precinct formed from Chowan Precinct---------------------------1722
Carteret Precinct formed from Craven Precinct-------------------------1722
New Hanover Precinct formed from Craven Precinct----------------------1729
Tyrrell Precinct formed from Bertie, Chowan, Currituck & Pasquotank---1729
Bladen Precinct formed from New Hanover Precinct----------------------1734
Onslow Precinct formed from New Hanover Precinct----------------------1734
All "Precincts" designated as "Counties"------------------------------1739
Edgecombe County formed from Bertie County----------------------------1741
Northampton County formed from Bertie County--------------------------1741
Hyde County gained from Currituck County------------------------------1745
Granville County formed from Edgecombe County-------------------------1746
Johnston County formed from Craven County-----------------------------1746
Anson County formed from Bladen County--------------------------------1750
Duplin County formed from New Hanover County--------------------------1750
Orange County formed from Bladen, Granville, & Johnston Counties------1752
Rowan County formed from Anson County---------------------------------1753
Cumberland County formed from Bladen County---------------------------1754
Beaufort County gained from Craven County-----------------------------1757
Dobbs County formed from Johnston County------------------------------1758
Halifax County formed from Edgecombe County---------------------------1758
Hertford County formed from Bertie, Chowan, & Northampton Counties----1759
Pitt County formed from Beaufort County-------------------------------1760
Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County---------------------------1762
Brunswick County formed from New Hanover & Bladen Counties------------1764
Bute County formed from Granville County------------------------------1764
Tryon County formed from Mecklenburg County---------------------------1768
Chatham County formed from Orange County------------------------------1770
Guilford County formed from Rowan & Orange Counties-------------------1770
Surry County formed from Rowan County---------------------------------1770
Wake County formed from Cumberland, Johnston, & Orange Counties-------1770
Carteret County gained from non-county area (Ocracoke Island)---------1770
Surry County gained from Rowan County---------------------------------1773
Martin County formed from Halifax & Tyrrell Counties------------------1774
District of Washington formed from western lands (later became TN)----1776
Burke County formed from Rowan County---------------------------------1777
Camden County formed from Pasquotank County---------------------------1777
Caswell County formed from Orange County------------------------------1777
Nash County formed from Edgecombe County------------------------------1777
Wilkes County formed from Surry County & District of Washington-------1777
Washington County (later TN) formed from District of Washington-------1777
    .....(NOTE:  Even though some maps may show this new county........
    .....as Washington County, TN, THERE WAS NO STATE OF TENNESSEE.....
    .....UNTIL 1796!!!!!  It was WASHINGTON CO., NC!!!!!  Got It?).....
Jones County formed from Craven County--------------------------------1778
Randolph County formed from Guilford County---------------------------1778
Gates County formed from Chowan, Hertford, & Perquimans Counties------1778
Montgomery County formed from Anson County----------------------------1778
Wayne County formed from Dobbs County---------------------------------1779
Bute County divided into Warren & Franklin Counties-------------------1779
   Bute County ceases to exist----------------------------------------1779
Tryon County divided into Lincoln & Rutherford Counties---------------1779
   Tryon County ceases to exist---------------------------------------1779
Richmond County formed from Anson County------------------------------1779
Sullivan County formed from Washington County-------------------------1779
    .....(NOTE:  Again, even though some maps may show Sullivan........
    .....County & Washington County as being in TN, THEY WERE NOT......
    .....IN TENNESSEE UNTIL 1796!!!!!  They were still in NC!).........
Western extension of Virginia boundary surveyed------------------1779-1780
Lincoln County gained from Burke County-------------------------------1782
Davidson County formed from Washington County-------------------------1783
Greene County from Washington County----------------------------------1783
    .....(Ditto on TN vs. NC for Davidson & Greene Counties)...........
Moore County formed from Cumberland County----------------------------1784
Sampson County formed from Duplin County------------------------------1784
Washington, Sullivan & Greene Counties formed form
   provisional State of Franklin (not NC, not TN)---------------------1784

Tyrrell-Hyde County boundary established------------------------------1784
Rockingham County formed from Guilford County-------------------------1785
State of Franklin creates Caswell County from
   Greene County & "Indian Lands"-------------------------------------1785
State of Franklin creates Sevier County from
   Greene County & "Indian Lands"-------------------------------------1785
State of Franklin creates Spencer County from
  Sullivan & Greene Counties------------------------------------------1785
State of Franklin creates Wayne County from
   Washington & Wilkes Counties---------------------------------------1785
State of Franklin creates Blount County from "Indian Lands"-----------1786
   (All these "State of Franklin" counties actually functioned, for
   a while, as counties of the State of Franklin, with its capital
   in Jonesborough.)

Robeson County from Bladen County-------------------------------------1786
North Carolina reconstitutes its government for Washington,
   Sullivan, & Greene Counties, which function in parallel
   with the "State of Franklin" in those three counties.--------------1786
Hawkins County formed from Sullivan County----------------------------1787
Sumner County formed from Davidson County-----------------------------1787
    .....(Ditto on TN vs. NC for Hawkins & Sumner Counties)............
Rutherford County gained from Burke County----------------------------1787
Iredell County from Rowan County--------------------------------------1788
Tennessee County formed from Davidson County--------------------------1788
"State of Franklin" and its counties cease to function----------------1788
Stokes County formed from Surry County--------------------------------1789
Seven counties in what is now Tennessee ceded to Federal Government---1790
   .....(Some references say "Seven Tennessee counties...".............
   .....AGAIN!!!!!  They were NOT TENNESSEE COUNTIES at that time!!!!!.
   .....They were NORTH CAROLINA COUNTIES!!!!!.  North Carolina just...
   .....got tired of screwing with the recalcitrant settlers in the....
   .....area that became Tennessee and turned the whole mess over to...
   .....the Federal Government!!!!!
The Federal Government names the area that is now Tennessee as "The
   Territory South of the Ohio River".  From 1790 until 1796,that
   area was not in ANY STATE!!!!!  It was, simply, "The Territory
   South of the Ohio River.-------------------------------------------1790
Buncombe County formed from Burke & Rutherford Counties---------------1791
Dobbs County divided into Glasgow & Lenoir Counties-------------------1791
   Dobbs County ceases to exist---------------------------------------1791
Person County formed from Caswell County------------------------------1791
Buncombe, Glasgow, Lenoir, & Person Counties effective----------------1792
Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg County------------------------1792
Surry County gained from Wilkes County--------------------------------1792
Wilkes County gained from non-county area (formerly
   part of Washington County)-----------------------------------------1792
Cumberland County gained from Robeson County--------------------------1792
Iredell County gained from Burke & Wilkes Counties--------------------1793
Wayne County gained from Glasgow County-------------------------------1793
Sampson County gained from New Hanover County-------------------------1795
Surry County gained from Stokes County--------------------------------1796
Lenoir County gained from Craven County-------------------------------1798
Ashe County formed from Wilkes County---------------------------------1799
Glasgow County name changed to Greene County--------------------------1799
Washington County formed from Tyrrell County--------------------------1799
   (This is a NEW Washington County, NC, not to be confused
   with the original Washington District/Washington County
   that became Tennessee.  Those that want to confuse the two
   should study history & geography!!!!!  This new Washington
   County is way over toward the coast.  The original, of
   course, was west of present-day North Carolina.)
Greene County gained from Craven County-------------------------------1801
Edgecombe County gained from Pitt County------------------------------1801
Walton County established by Georgia in "Indian Lands" area of
   North Carolina (boundaries undefinable)----------------------------1803
Lenoir County gained from Craven & Jones Counties---------------------1804
Martin County gained from Pitt----------------------------------------1805
Columbus County formed from Bladen & Brunswick Counties---------------1808
Haywood County formed from Buncombe County----------------------------1808
Columbus County gained from Brunswick County--------------------------1811
Walton County (Georgia) abolished-------------------------------------1812
Wilkes County gained from Iredell County------------------------------1815
Duplin County gained from Lenoir County-------------------------------1819
Lenoir County gained from Craven County-------------------------------1819
Beaufort County gained from Hyde County-------------------------------1819
Columbus County gained from Bladen County-----------------------------1821
Davidson County formed from Rowan County------------------------------1822
   (This is a NEW Davidson County, NC, not to be confused
   with the original Davidson County in Washington District/
   Washington County that became Tennessee.  This new Davidson
   County is a long way from the original, which was west of
   present-day North Carolina.)
Haywood County gained from "Indian Lands"-----------------------------1822
Hyde County gained from Currituck County------------------------------1823
Macon County formed from Haywood County-------------------------------1828
Yancey County formed from Buncombe & Burke Counties-------------------1833
Davie County formed from Rowan County---------------------------------1836
Henderson County formed from Buncombe County--------------------------1838
Macon County gained from non-county area ["Indian Lands"]-------------1838
Cherokee County formed from Macon County------------------------------1839
Caldwell County formed from Burke & Wilkes Counties-------------------1841
Cleveland County formed from Lincoln & Rutherford Counties------------1841
Stanly County formed from Montgomery County---------------------------1841
Catawba County formed from Lincoln County-----------------------------1842
McDowell County formed from Burke & Rutherford Counties---------------1842
Union County formed from Anson & Mecklenburg Counties-----------------1842
Henderson County gained from Rutherford County------------------------1844
McDowell County gained from Rutherford County-------------------------1844
Hyde County gained from Carteret County-------------------------------1845
Gaston County formed from Lincoln County------------------------------1846
Alexander County formed from Caldwell, Iredell, & Wilkes Counties-----1847
Polk County formed from Henderson & Rutherford Counties---------------1847
Sampson County gained from New Hanover County-------------------------1847
Polk County abolished; area returned to Henderson & Rutherford Cos.---1848
Alamance County formed from Orange County-----------------------------1849
Forsyth County formed from Stokes County------------------------------1849
Watauga County formed from Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes & Yancey Counties---1849
   (Not to be confused with the "Watauga Settlement" or
   "Watauga Association", which was in the area of present-
   day Carter Co., TN, and was in the then Washington Co.,
   NC, until 1796, when TN became a state and Carter Co.
   was formed. 
Go here for history.)
Buncombe County gained from Yancey County-----------------------------1849
Yadkin County formed from Surry County--------------------------------1850
Jackson County formed from Haywood & Macon Counties-------------------1851
Madison County formed from Buncombe & Yancey Counties-----------------1851
Alexander County gained from Wilkes County----------------------------1851
Harnett County formed from Cumberland County--------------------------1855
Polk County formed from Henderson & Rutherford Counties---------------1855
Wilson County formed from Edgecombe, Johnston, Nash, & Wayne Counties-1855
Alleghany County formed from Ashe County------------------------------1859
Clay County formed from Cherokee County-------------------------------1861
Mitchell County formed from Watauga & Yancey Counties-----------------1861
Transylvania County formed from Henderson & Jackson Counties----------1861
Jackson County gained from Macon County-------------------------------1861
Alleghany County gained from Surry County-----------------------------1869
Dare County formed from Currituck, Hyde, & Tyrrell Counties-----------1870
Sampson County gained from New Hanover County-------------------------1870
Swain County formed from Jackson & Macon Counties---------------------1871
Nash County gained from Edgecombe County------------------------------1871
Graham County formed from Cherokee County-----------------------------1872
Pamlico County formed from Beaufort & Craven Counties-----------------1872
Sampson County gained from New Hanover County-------------------------1872
Clay County gained from Macon County----------------------------------1872
Mitchell County gained from Yancey County-----------------------------1872
Bladen County exchanged with Columbus County--------------------------1873
Cumberland County gained from Bladen County---------------------------1874
Pender County formed from New Hanover County--------------------------1875
Franklin County gained from Granville County--------------------------1875
Columbus County gained from Brunswick County--------------------------1877
Durham County formed from Orange & Wake Counties----------------------1881
Vance County formed from Franklin, Granville, & Warren Counties-------1881
Wilson County gained from Edgecombe County----------------------------1883
Alleghany County gained from Ashe County------------------------------1889
Forsyth County exchanged with Davidson County-------------------------1889
Tyrrell County gained from Hyde County (by agreement between
   counties; not validated by legislation until 1921)-----------------1890
Alleghany County gained from Wilkes County----------------------------1891
Beaufort County gained from Pamlico County----------------------------1891
Pitt County gained from Greene County---------------------------------1895
Alamance County gained from Chatham County (by Survey
   to establish previously de facto boundary)-------------------------1897
Scotland County formed from Richmond County---------------------------1899
Ashe County gained from Alleghany County------------------------------1899
Lee County formed from Chatham & Moore Counties-----------------------1907
Avery County formed from Caldwell, Mitchell, & Watauga Counties-------1911
Hoke County formed from Cumberland & Robeson Counties-----------------1911
Durham County gained from Wake County---------------------------------1911
Harnett County gained from Cumberland County--------------------------1911
Cleveland County gained from Gaston County----------------------------1921
Forsyth County gained from Davidson County----------------------------1921
Tyrrell County gained from Hyde County (finally validated)------------1921
Buncombe County gained from McDowell County---------------------------1925
Forsyth County gained from Yadkin County------------------------------1927
Moore County gained from Hoke County----------------------------------1965

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North Carolina County
Name Abbreviations

Ala-Alamance
Alx-Alexander
All-Alleghany
An -Anson
As -Ashe
Av -Avery
Bft-Beaufort
Brt-Bertie
Bl -Bladen
Br -Brunswick
Bun-Buncombe
Bur-Burke
Cab-Cabarrus
Cal-Caldwell
Cam-Camden
Car-Carteret
Cas-Caswell
Cat-Catawba
Ctm-Chatham
Crk-Cherokee
Cwn-Chowan
Cly-Clay
Cle-Cleveland
Co -Columbus
Cr -Craven
Cum-Cumberland
Cur-Currituck
Dar-Dare
Dup-Duplin
Dur-Durham
Dvs-Davidson
Dve-Davie
Ed -Edgecombe
Fo -Forsyth
Fr -Franklin
Gas-Gaston
Gat-Gates
Ghm-Graham
Gvl-Granville
Gre-Greene
Gu -Guilford
Hal-Halifax
Har-Harnett
Hay-Haywood
Hen-Henderson
Her-Hertford
Ho -Hoke
Hy -Hyde
Ir -Iredell
Ja -Jackson
Jst-Johnston
Jon-Jones
Lee-Lee
Len-Lenoir
Li -Lincoln
McD-McDowell
Mac-Macon
Mad-Madison
Mar-Martin
Me -Mecklenburg
Mi -Mitchell
Mon-Montgomery
Moo-Moore
Na -Nash
NH -New Hanover
No -Northampton
On -Onslow
Or -Orange
Pam-Pamlico
Pas-Pasquotank
Pen-Pender
Pqm-Perquimans
Psn-Person
Pi -Pitt
Po -Polk
Ra -Randolph
Ri -Richmond
Rob-Robeson
Rck-Rockingham
Rwn-Rowan
Ru -Rutherford
Sa -Sampson
Sc -Scotland
Sty-Stanly
Stk-Stokes
Sur-Surry
Sw -Swain
Tra-Transylvania
Ty -Tyrrell
Un -Union
Va -Vance
Wak-Wake
War-Warren
Was-Washington
Wat-Watauga
Way-Wayne
Wlk-Wilkes
Wsn-Wilson
Yad-Yadkin
Yan-Yancey

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