The Royal Colony of North Carolina

The German/Swiss (Palatine) Settlers During the Royal Period (1729 to 1775)

As described in the section during the Lords Proprietors rule (1663-1729), the first German/Swiss arrived and settled New Bern in 1710. This group was attacked during the Tuscarora War (1711-1715) and they experienced many other hardships, including having to battle the bureaucrats to eventually receive clear title to their first land grants of 1710.

In the 1740s, a few of this disgruntled group moved from the Neuse River and settled in what is present-day Duplin County.

Also in the 1740s, when the Great Wagon Road was first opened into North Carolina from Virginia, the Germans were among the first to leave Pennsylvania and make their way south into the Piedmont area of North Carolina. They settled into what are the present-day counties of Guilford, Alamance, Randolph, Rowan, Catawba, and Lincoln. A small group made their way further west and settled in what is present-day Surry County.

With increased Indian hostilites in the early 1750s, the Germans found themselves joining all the other groups leaving the frontier of Pennsylvania and western Virginia to find their way again southward to North Carolina. Small groups arrived and settled in the present-day counties of Iredell (1753), Cabarrus, Rutherford, and Cleveland counties in the Piedmont. Two other groups managed to settle further west, along the base of the Appalachian Mountains in what are the present-day counties of Wilkes and Yadkin.

Mistakenly called "the Dutch" by other groups because in their language Deutsch means German, many place-names in both North and South Carolina have "Dutch" in them - thanks to the Germans, not the Hollanders.

In the first United States census of 1790 - only fifteen years after the Royal Period - North Carolina enumerated that approximately 4.7% of its total population were of German heritage. This is virtually the same as what was found in South Carolina in 1790 - 5.0% German heritage.

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