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The History of Northampton County, North Carolina

The place is filled with the joy of the life of North Carolina. The place is Northampton County, North Carolina. Formed from a drifting island to part of the United States coast line the area of the Albermarle became the bringing of the life of the people of North Carolina. With the formation of the southeastern coastal, Northampton County was created and as towns and cities were build, it became a county of over 26,000 people.
Northampton County was created in 1741 from Bertie County, North Carolina. Bordered on the north by the Virginia-North Carolina border, on the south by Halifax County, and on the east by Bertie and Hertford County, and on the west by Halifax County, the county has become the home of many towns and cities. Garysburg, Jackson, Seaboard, Como, Wiccanee, Milwaukee, and many other cities were the heart of this small county. With the road winding from Halifax County to Bertie, and From Bertie to Edgecombe, Northampton County has been the home of the Bracy and Demory families for many years.
The families lived predominated in Garysburg, Seaboard, Jackson, and Occoneeche, the history of Northampton County has thrived with the making of one of the most extensive set of records in the State of North Carolina. Of the many family reunions, funerals, and casual conversations has allowed me to give you the history of the county that was the home of my mother's family-Northampton County. Let look at the history.

Northampton County

As a land drift in the early years of Earth, the state of North Carolina was part of an island that drifted in the Atlantic Ocean. After the Ice Age the State of North Carolina was connect to what is now the eastern seaboard. Today, the county is part of the southeastern plain. The County of Northampton was formed from Bertie County, North Carolina.
Northampton County, North Carolina is located on the north by the Virginia border. On the west and south by the County of Halifax, where my mother Bett Bynum Eley was born. On the east, Bertie and Hertford County borders Northampton. The county seat is Jackson, the home of the Jackson Memorial Library which hold information about the people of Jackson, North Carolina, preserved for President Andrew Jackson, the sixth president of the United States.
The county got it named from George, the Earl of Northampton, the brother of the Earl of Wilmington. The county has city such as Garysburg, Seaboard, Jackson, Occoneeche, Conway, Milwaukee, Potesci, and many others. See section (Cities and Towns of Northampton County. The Northampton County local government is comprised of a council/manager form of government. The voters elect five-member commission representing five voting districts. The County Manager is appointed by by the commissioner and serves as the chief administrator of 250 employees, 14 departments, and a $14,000,000 budget. The mission of the governing body is to provide and promote cost effective quality service in education, safety, public health, and welfare of the needs of the general public, in an efficient and effective way.
Although some of the names have changed throughout the years, Northampton County has become the home of people such as Governor Thomas Bragg, Jr., General Mat Ransom, Sir Archie, John Wallace Calvert, A.N. Rice, Granville H. Johnson, Mebane Holloman Burgwyn, Frederick Kell, and many others. Many places in Northampton County includes Boone's Mill House, The Elms' Dependency, Old Jackson School, the Moody House, The Commissary and Warehouse at Gumberry, Roanoke-Salem Baptist Church, Garysburg Methodist Church, The Bragg House, Bowers House, The Faison House, Cleveland Hotel, and many other places.
Northampton's heritage and tradition provides for over 21,000 homes for the people of Northampton County. It is nestled in the Roanoke River Basin and the Meherrin River Basin. The western portion of the county borders Lake Gaston, where young families and retirees enjoys a peaceful, rural setting. The industry includes manufacturing, production, agriculture, textile, lumber, and chemicals.

Early Settlers of Northampton County

Early English settler encountered Indians. The Indians were farmers, Hunters and gatherers. They had an organized way of life. The Indian communities were populated from a small to large community. In the Indian tribes, a chief or headman was the leader. The Indians had a simple life style before the coming of the White man. Some raised tobacco, grain, vegetables, fruit, along with fishing and hunting. Surplus food was stored in a storehouse for later use. According to the Roanoke-Chowan News-July 20, 1958, the Meherrin Indians came from the Susquehanna . They came to the town of Sapponic on the Meherrin River near Lawrenceville, Virginia. Some came into the Meherrin and Roanoke Rivers to be scattered by marauding Catawba Indians in 1727.
Some of the Meherrin settled in Potesci Creek, Urhaw, and Cutawhiskie Swamps. In 1775,colonial records showed 28 Indians still in Northampton County. Many mulattos, in the Winton area of Hertford and Woodland area of Northampton County had Meherrin blood. Around Woodland, the Pierce family is reputed to being the descendants of Meherrin blood.

The Cities and Towns of Northampton County


The Old Gaston, a former town in Northwestern Northampton County on the Roanoke River, is now beneath the waters of the Roanoke Rapids Lake. It was developed as the northwestern terminus of the Raleigh-Gaston Railroad chartered in 1835 and and completed in 1840. The town began to decline in 1865 after the bridge across the Roanoke River was burned. Gaston was named after Judge William Gaston of Northampton.

First called "Camp Store", in 1849, the name was changed to Gaston at the time of it corporation. It was named for the township and Old Gaston, the site five miles west. Gaston is now a residential site of the suburbs of Roanoke Rapids. A few of the names associated with Gaston are: Shaw, Camp, Jones, Grant, Jordan, Floyd, Baird, High, Moore, Hodges, King, Wilkins, Vincent, Tucker, and Allen.


Seaboard is a small town with less than 1000 inhabitants. The town is located in the northeastern section of the county, only six miles from the Virginia Border. Settlers coming across the Virginia-North Carolina border founded Seaboard. Earlier records indicate that the village of Seaboard was in existence in 1751 and was called Concord at the time. It was situated on a very important through fare between the Roanoke River and the larger towns in nearby Virginia.
According to the records of Concord Church, founded in 1793, the families of the area were pious and devoutly religious. The early emphasis was on education and continue until the present-day in Seaboard. The town was incorporated on March 7, 1877 by the North Carolina General Assembly.


One of the earliest settlements in Northampton County was Margarettsville, near the Virginia border. Settlers from Greenville and Southampton Counties, Virginia, followed the Meherrin River, finding fertile farm land, in the late 1600's. The community was officially named "Margarettsville" when an official came to inspect the railroad after the line from Portsmouth, Virginia to Margarettsville was completed. Upon learning that the community had no name, they named it after an attractive girl by the name of Margaret Jordan. The resident added "tsville" making it the longest for a postal town in North Carolina.
The plantation crossroads once had a post office, established in 1827 (said to the be the first in the county). In 1836, the name of the post office was changed to Margarettsville. In the past the community had several stores, a lumber company, and a bay-crib factory.. Today, there are many grocery stores, several factories, a gin, and three peanut buying stations.


During the early 1880's, Frederick Kell, a native of Germany, coming from Richmond, Virginia, brought a stretch of land on both sides of the Seaboard Air Line Railways in the section between Seaboard and Garysburg called Gumberry. He acquired also certain areas on which he built a railroad to Jackson. On the south side of the track, he built a sawmill, a dry kiln, a small box factory, and a mill. The town was equipped to produce a fancy boardwalk, ceiling moldings, and the like. A Commissary and warehouse was built across the railroad. The post office was established on July 15, 1889, and the named Gumberry was officially established. Mr. Kell was appointed the first postmaster.

Early Religion in Northampton County

Before the church buildings were constructed, minsters traveled the countryside staying in private homes where they preached throughout the county. Methodist preacher, Thomas Cocker, who visited the county in 1785, wrote in his diary of Bridgers Creek (which belongs to the Church of England stated "it was low country were there was an astonishing number of frogs and a high mortality rate". Roanoke-Salem, Cocker say " was "Chiefly slaves". In the early 1880's, camp meetings became popular and so until the Civil War. Carriages and wagons met riverboats to take passengers inland to the camp meetings, which lasted for several day at a time. Early meetings of the group, were help in private homes and under brush arbors when a minster came into the area.
Roanoke-Salem Baptist Church is the black church in the south end of the county. It was founded before the smoke cleared in the American Civil War. In 1866, under the arbor brush, a few members of the Elam Baptist Church withdrew from the church, and formed the church now known as Roanoke-Salem Baptist Church. Past pastors of this church included, Rev. Richard Walden, Annanias Buck, W.H. Woodard, Augustus Sheppard, J.W. Blacknall. The Church was renovated under the leadership of Rev. C.C. Staton, Sr. who took over the leadership from J.W. Blacknall.

Important Information About Northampton County

First County Officials

John Dawson-Sheriff
Public Registrar-James Dancy
Isaac Edwards-Clerk of the Court

Former Commissioners and Justice of the Peace

John Duke
William Eaton
Howell Edmunds
Drury Gee
Eaton Hayes
Bennett Hill
Hezekiah Hough
Allen Jones
Thomas Low
Charles Thompson
Lewis Williamston
Joseph Wood

Clerks of the Superior Court

Isaac Edwards (1741-1745)
Willie Jones (1745-1775)
Jeptha Atherton (1775-1785)
Eaton Hayes ((1785-1812)
James C. Harrison (1812-1823)
John W. Harrison (1823-1830)
Matt Calvert (1830)
Richard Weaver (1830-1841)

Some Northampton County Commissioners

James Newsum
Edmund Jacobs
Soloman Parker
Claiborne Faison
William Parker
R.T. Stephenson
William Grant
J.A. Buxton

Some State Senators

Samuel Lockhart
Allen Jones
Henry Cotton
William Edmunds
Henry Boone
William Lockhart
John Moody

Some State Representatives (1777-1850)

Robert Peebles
Jeptha Atherton
James Sykes
James Vaughan
Francis Bynum
R.B. Gary
James T. Haley
Thomas Bynum
Herod Faison
Samuel Calvert
Thomas Bragg, Jr.

In the American Civil War, North Carolina furnished over 125,000 troops to the Confederate Army and or these 1000 were from Northampton County. Paul Faison graduated from West Point and was Colonel of the 56th Regiment, who fought throughout the war. After his termination, he settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. Henry Burgwyn, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he was the colonel of the 26th Regiment of North Carolina. At the age of 21 was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. His body was brought back after the war and was buried in a Confederate cemetery in Raleigh.

Some Northampton County Regiments

32nd Regiment

Capt. John Moody, Capt. Joseph W. Cocker, John Ottley, M.D., L. Harris, and T.J.L. Harris.

56th Regiment, Co. D

Col. Paul Faison, Adj. John W. Faison, A. Adj. George A Barnes, Major A. Jenkins.

Joseph Lockhart, Capt. Jacob Jacobs, Lt. Cornelius Spivey, Lt. Robert Beale, and Lt. E.J. Peebles.


Mebane Holloman Burgwyn
Nancy Froelich
Hazel Griffin
Bernice Kelly Harris
Lucy Hollowell
George Moses Horton
Henry W. Lewis
Robert Glenn Moulder
Gilbert Stephenson

Former Plantations

Big Princeton
Bishop and Powell
Bull Hill
Diamond Grove
Duke Lawrence
Little Gee
Little Princeton
Mount Gallant
Mud Hole
Occoneeche Wigwam Odoms (or Yellowbies)
Old Quarter
Over-the Swamp
Roger's Quarters
Silver Hill
Thompson's (or Barrows)
White House

Some Popular Names in Northampton County


Northampton County Today

According to the Northampton County Government site on the internet, the following people are part of the Northampton County Board of Commissioners:

1. Ralph White-R.J. White
2. James C. Boone-Commissioner
3. Robert V. Carter-Vice-Chairmen
4. Henry Moncure
5. Virginia D. Spruill-Chairwoman
The County Manager is Wayne Jenkins. The City Attorney is Charles J. Vaughan. The County Clerk is Kay Flythe. There are many department in the County government such as:

The Office of the County Manager
Register of Deeds
Cooperative Extension
Office of the Sheriff
Ambulance Service/Emergency Management.
Veteran's Service Office.
Day Reporting Center.
Social Services.
Health Department and Home Health Agency.
Public Works.
Community Development.
Tax Administration
Conservation Resources.
Board of Elections.
Office on Aging.
Recreation Office.

The History of Northampton County can be found in many sources throughout the library and web sites. Northampton County has a web site called "" . In the web site you shall be introduced to the history of the county and all the public official of the County. The History of Northampton County can also Be read in a Book Entitled "Footprints of Northampton County" a collaboration of the people of Northampton County.
Since the migration of the Bracy and Demory family from Nigeria, Senegambia, England, and France and settling the Connecticut and Massachusetts, they came to Northampton County to combine these two families together through a little girl born in Weldon, Halifax County, who roots were extensive in Northampton County, North Carolina. To understand the people in this family history, you must first write a recollection of it people. The History of Northampton lead to the migration to a city about 80 miles away called Portsmouth, Virginia.

Page 156 of 225

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