East-Central North Carolina Counties
Due to county re-structuring & changes in border alignments, it's possible that a family might have lived in four different counties from 1740 through 1800 without moving.
The initial definition of "Carolina" granted to the Lords Proprietor extended as far west as the "South Seas" (to the Pacific and beyond). However, the European settlers lived mostly along the Atlantic coast and most of those in what was to become North Carolina were concentrated in the Albemarle area. After North Carolina became a Royal Colony, the white settlers grew in number and spread.
|Twenty-year Snapshot Progression|
1740: No northwestern border
1760: Dobbs, Pitt, Johnston & Duplin created.
1780: Jones created from southern Craven & Wayne from western Dobbs
1800: Greene & Lenoir created from Dobbs
— created in 1712 from the Archdale Precinct of Bath County.
Initially, it was thought unnecessary to define a western border and Craven
included all the area that later became Carteret, Johnston, Dobbs, Pitt,
Jones, Greene & Lenoir counties.
- Carteret -- created in 1722
out of Craven.
- Johnston — created in 1746, defining
a western border for Craven. On formation, it also included the area that
later became Dobbs, Greene & Lenoir counties as well as what's now Johnston.
- Duplin — created 7 April 1750 from the
northern part of New Hanover County.
- Dobbs -- created 10 April 1759 from the
eastern portion of Johnston. It lost the area that became Wayne in 1779 and
ceased to exist when the creation of Greene (Glascow) & Lenoir divided it
into north & south.
- Pitt — created
from Beaufort County by a 1760 legislative act which became effective
1 January 1761.
- Jones — created 19 January
1779 from Craven County; a portion of Carteret County was also annexed to
Jones. In 1788, some of Dobbs and Carteret were annexed to Jones.
- Wayne — created from the western half
of Dobbs in 1779.
- Greene — created 21 Dec
1791 from the northern portion of Dobbs. Originally named Glascow County, it
was renamed in 1799 to honor Revolutionary War General Nathaniel Greene.
- Lenoir — created 21 Dec 1791 from the southern portion of Dobbs.
Apparently, the boundaries in the corner between Craven, Lenoir & Jones were not well-defined nor accurately surveyed until recent times. There was, therefore, some confusion as to just which land was in which county. Even today, the US Geological Service says that some of these boundaries are "indefinite".
Townships of Craven, Greene,
Lenoir & Pitt Counties
With surrounding counties shown