Origins of Currituck and Dare Counties
written by Vicky Hagemeister
The first Europeans to settle in North Carolina migrated from Virginia; they did not arrive directly from overseas. These new settlements were created during the mid 1660s and account for the beginning of North Carolina's first county, Albemarle County, that extended from the Currituck Sound to the Chowan River. It is believed that Knotts Island was the first settled area in what later became Currituck County, dating from before 1663.
In 1668, a tract of land known as Carolina was given by the King of England to eight men who were known as the Lord Proprietors. The Lord Proprietors set up a government within the inhabited part of the tract and called it Albemarle County. The county was further divided into four precincts which were called Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimins and Chowan. These precincts were later divided over the years into other counties because the size of the original counties were too large to be manageable. Dare County, for example, was formed in 1870 with land annexed from Currituck, Hyde and Tyrell counties.
Many records are missing for some of the early years in the history of Currituck County. Changing laws as to where certain records were to be filed, the capabilities of Clerks of the Court and losses due to fire account for some of these missing documents. However, of the older counties in North Carolina, Currituck is fortunate in having so many well preserved early records. Because Dare County was not created until late in the Nineteenth Century, more of their records exist, however, for individuals looking for records prior to 1870, information would have to be secured from the counties from which Dare County was formed.