North Carolina

The Counties from 1664 to Present - In Alphabetical Order

Year

County

Created From

County Seat

First Settled

First Settled By

Population (2020)

Notes/ Comments

1849

Alamance

Orange County

Graham

1740

Germans

171,415
 

1664

Albemarle

1st Charter

-

1650s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1738

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

36,444
 

1859

Alleghany

Ashe County

Sparta

1750s

From Surry County

10,888
 

1750

Anson

Bladen County

Wadesboro

1730s

From Bladen County, then Scots-Irish

22,055
 

1705

Archdale

Bath County

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1799

Ashe

Wilkes County

Jefferson

1773

From Wilkes County and Virginians

26,577
 

1911

Avery

Mitchell, Watauga, and Caldwell Counties

Newland

1770s

Scots-Irish

17,806
 

1696

Bath

Albemarle County

Bath

1660s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1738

1680

Berkeley Precinct

Perquimans Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Perquimans in mid-1680s

1712

Beaufort

Pamtecough Precinct

Washington

1690s

Virginians

44,652
 

1722

Bertie

Chowan County

Windsor

1690s

Virginians

17,934
 

1734

Bladen

New Hanover County

Elizabethtown

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

29,606
 

1764

Brunswick

New Hanover County

Bolivia

1713

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

136,693
 

1791

Buncombe

Burke and Rutherford Counties

Asheville

1770s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

269,452
 

1777

Burke

Rowan County

Morganton

1760s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

87,570
 

1764

Bute

Granville County

Buffalo Race Path

1720s

From Granville County/Virginia

-
Abolished in 1779

1792

Cabarrus

Mecklenburg County

Concord

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

225,804
 

1841

Caldwell

Burke and Wilkes Counties

Lenoir

1760s

From Burke and Wilkes Counties

80,652
 

1777

Camden

Pasquotank County

Camden

1680s

Virginians

10,355
 

1680

Carteret Precinct

Currituck Precinct

-

1660s

Virginians

-
Renamed back to Currituck in mid-1680s

1722

Carteret

Craven County

Beaufort

~1700

From Craven County

67,686
 

1777

Caswell

Orange County

Yanceyville

1740s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

22,736
 

1842

Catawba

Lincoln County

Newton

1740s

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

160,610
 

1771

Chatham

Orange County

Pittsboro

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

76,285
 

1839

Cherokee

Macon County

Murphy

1820s

From Macon County

28,774
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left

1668

Chowan

Albemarle County

Edenton

1663

Virginians

13,708
 

1664

Clarendon

1st Charter

Charles Town

1664

New Englanders, then Barbadians

-
Abolished in 1667

1861

Clay

Cherokee County

Hayesville

1830s

From Cherokee County

11,089
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left 

1841

Cleveland

Rutherford and Lincoln Counties

Shelby

1750s

From Rutherford and Lincoln Counties

99,519
 

1808

Columbus

Brunswick and Bladen Counties

Whiteville

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

580,623
 

1712

Craven

Archdale Precinct

New Bern

1690s

Virginians

100,720
 

1754

Cumberland

Bladen County

Fayetteville

1729

Highland Scots

334,728
 

1668

Currituck

Albemarle County

Currituck

1660s

Virginians

28,100
 

1870

Dare

Currituck, Tyrrell, and Hyde Counties

Manteo

1690s

Virginians

36,915
 

1783

Davidson

Indian Lands

Nashville

1770s

Scots-Irish

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

1822

Davidson

Rowan County

Lexington

1740s

Scots-Irish & Germans

168,930
 

1836

Davie

Rowan County

Mocksville

1740s

Scots-Irish

42,712
 

1758

Dobbs

Johnston County

Kinston

1730s

From Johnston County

-
Abolished in 1791

1750

Duplin

New Hanover County

Kenansville

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

48,715
 

1881

Durham

Orange and Wake Counties

Durham

1740s

Germans

324,833
 

1741

Edgecombe

Bertie and Beaufort Counties

Tarboro

1720s

Virginians

48,900
 

1784

Fayette

Cumberland County

Fayetteville

1729

Highland Scots

-
Renamed back to Cumberland County in October 1784.

1849

Forsyth

Stokes County

Winston-Salem

1753

Moravians

382,590
 

1779

Franklin

Bute

Louisburg

1750s

From Granville and Edgecombe Counties

68,573
 

1846

Gaston

Lincoln

Gastonia

1740s

Virginians and Charlestonians

227,943
 

1779

Gates

Chowan, Hertford, and Perquimans Counties

Gatesville

1690s

Virginians

10,478
 

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

8,030
After Trail of Tears in 1838, Cherokees Left 

1746

Granville

Edgecombe County

Oxford

1720s

From Edgecombe County/
Virginians

60,992
 

1783

Greene

Washington County

Greeneville

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

20,451
 

1771

Guilford

Rowan and Orange Counties

Greensboro

1740s

Germans, then Quakers

541,299
 

1758

Halifax

Edgecombe County

Halifax

1720s

From Edgecombe County

48,622
 

1855

Harnett

Cumberland County

Lillington

1720s

From Cumberland County

133,568
 

1787

Hawkins

Sullivan County

Rogersville

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

62,089
 

1838

Henderson

Buncombe County

Hendersonville

1770

Pioneers from Rutherford County

116,281
 

1759

Hertford

Chowan, Bertie, and Northampton Counties

Winton

1680s

Virginians

21,552
 

1911

Hoke

Cumberland and Robeson Counties

Raeford

1740s

Highland Scots

52,082
 

1851

Hooper

Richmond and Robeson Counties

-

-

-

-
Voters rejected the creation of this new county.

1712

Hyde

Wickham Precinct

Swan Quarter

1690s

Virginians

4,589
 

1788

Iredell

Rowan County

Statesville

1753

Scots-Irish and Germans

186,693
 

1851

Jackson

Haywood and Macon Counties

Sylva

1796

English

43,109
 

1746

Johnston

Craven County

Smithfield

1720s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

215,999
 

1779

Jones

Craven County

Trenton

1710

Swiss/Palatines who settled New Bern

9,172
 

1907

Lee

Moore and Chatham Counties

Sanford

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

63,285
 

1791

Lenoir

Dobbs County

Kinston

1750s

From Dobbs and Craven Counties

55,122
 

1779

Lincoln

Tryon County

Lincolnton

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

86,810
 

1828

Macon

Haywood County

Franklin

1820

From Haywood County

37,014
Treaty of 1819, Cherokees Ceded and Left

1851

Madison

Buncombe and Yancey Counties

Marshall

1784

Revolutionary War Veterans

21,193
 

1774

Martin

Halifax and Tyrrell Counties

Williamston

1720s

From Halifax and Tyrrell Counties

22,031
 

1842

McDowell

Rutherford and Burke Counties

Marion

1760s

From Burke and Rutherford Counties

44,578
 

1762

Mecklenburg

Anson County

Charlotte

1740s

Scots-Irish

1,115,482
 

1861

Mitchell

Yancey, Watauga, Caldwell, Burke, and McDowell Counties

Bakersville

1770s

From Watauga County

14,903
 

1779

Montgomery

Anson County

Troy

1750s

Scots-Irish

22,571
 

1784

Moore

Cumberland County

Carthage

1739

Scots-Irish

99,727
 

1777

Nash

Edgecombe County

Nashville

1730s

From Edgecombe Counties

94,970
 

1729

New Hanover

Craven County

Wilmington

1724

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

225,702
 

1741

Northampton

Bertie County

Jackson

1660s

Virginians

17,741
 

1734

Onslow

New Hanover County

Jacksonville

1705/6

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

204,576
 

1752

Orange

Johnston, Bladen, and Granville Counties

Hillsborough

1740s

Germans

148,696
 

1872

Pamlico

Craven and Beaufort Counties

Bayboro

1710s

From Craven and Beaufort Counties

12,276
 

1705

Pamtecough

Bath

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1688

Pasquotank

Albemarle County

Elizabeth City

1660s

Virginians

40,568
 

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

60,203
 

1668

Perquimans

Albemarle County

Hertford

1660s

Virginians

13,005
 

1791

Person

Caswell County

Roxboro

1720s

Virginians from Halifax County, Virginia

39,907
 

1760

Pitt

Beaufort County

Greenville

1714

Virginians

170,243
 

1855

Polk

Rutherford and Henderson Counties

Columbus

1760s

From Rutherford County

19,328
 

1779

Randolph

Guilford County

Asheboro

1750s

From Guilford County

144,171
 

1779

Richmond

Anson County

Rockingham

1740s

From Bladen County

462,946
 

1787

Robeson

Bladen County

Lumberton

1730s

From Bladen County, Scots-Irish

116,530
 

1785

Rockingham

Guilford County

Wentworth

1760s

From Guilford County

91,096
 

1753

Rowan

Anson County

Salisbury

1740s

Germans, Scots-Irish

146,875
 

1779

Rutherford

Tryon County

Rutherfordton

1750s

Scots-Irish

69,444
 

1784

Sampson

Pelham or Duplin County

Clinton

1740s

English/Welsh, then Scots-Irish

59,036
 

1899

Scotland

Richmond County

Laurinburg

1730s

Scots-Irish

34,174
 

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

62,504
 

1789

Stokes

Surry County

Danbury

1750s

Scots-Irish

44,520
 

1779

Sullivan

Washington County

-

1770s

Scots-Irish

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

1787

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

71,359
 

1871

Swain

Jackson and Macon Counties

Bryson City

1799

From Jackson and Macon Counties

14,117
 

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

32,986
 

1768

Tryon

Mecklenburg County

-

1740s

Scots-Irish

-
Abolished in 1779

1729

Tyrrell

Chowan, Bertie, Pasquotank, and Currituck Counties

Columbia

~1700

Virginians

3,245
 

1842

Union

Anson and Mecklenburg Counties

Monroe

1740s

From Anson and Mecklenburg Counties

238,267
 

1881

Vance

Granville, Warren, and Franklin Counties

Henderson

1750s

From Granville, Warren, and Franklin Counties

42,578
 

1771

Wake

Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange Counties

Raleigh

1740s

From Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange Counties

1,129,410
 

1779

Warren

Bute County

Warrenton

1720s

Virginians

18,642
 

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

11,003
 

1849

Watauga

Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell, and Yancey Counties

Boone

1760s

Scots-Irish

54,086
 

1779

Wayne

Dobbs County

Goldsboro

1740s

Scots-Irish

117,333
 

1705

Wickham

Bath County

-

1690s

Virginians

-
Abolished in 1712

1777

Wilkes

Surry County

Wilkesboro

1750s

Germans, Scots-Irish

65,969
 

1855

Wilson

Edgecombe, Nash, Johnston, and Wayne Counties

Wilson

1740s

From Edgecombe County

78,784
 

1850

Yadkin

Surry County

Yadkinville

1740s

From Pennsylvania

37,214
 

1833

Yancey

Burke and Buncombe Counties

Burnsville

1760s

From Burke and Buncombe Counties

18,470
 


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