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Hyde County

Hyde County NC seal


COUNTY SEAT: Swan Quarter

FORMED: 1705

LAND AREA: 612.80 square miles

White: 70.1%
Black/African American: 26.7%
American Indian: 0.8%
Asian: 0.7%
Pacific Islander: <0.1%
Two or more races: 1.7%
Hispanic/Latino: 9.8% (of any race)

From State & County QuickFacts, US Census Bureau, 2020.


Hyde County

Coastal Plain


REGION: Coastal Plain
RIVER BASIN: Pasquotank, Tar-Pamlico, Map
NEIGHBORING COUNTIES: Beaufort, Dare, Tyrrell, Washington

Hyde County, NC

See also: North Carolina Counties (to access links to NCpedia articles for all 100 counties)

by Robert Blair Vocci, 2006

Hyde County, located in North Carolina's Coastal Plain region, was formed from Bath County in 1705. The area was originally inhabited by various Algonquian Indian tribes. The precinct of Wickham, as it was then known, was renamed Hyde in 1712 (taking its name from Lord Proprietor Edward Hyde) and became Hyde County in 1739. Over the course of the following century, the county seat was relocated from Woodstock to Bell's Bay (or Jasper's Creek) to Germantown to Lake Landing to Swan Quarter (settled ca. 1836), where it is today. Other communities in the sparsely populated county include Engelhard, Fairfield, Ocracoke, Sladesville, Panzer, Scranton, Beulah, New Holland, Nebraska, Gull Rock, and Newlands.

The islands and inlets of Hyde County greeted European explorers from the early sixteenth century through the seventeenth, as colonies were first established in the New World. For a time, particularly in the early eighteenth century, the region's port communities and sea vessels were terrorized by pirate raids, including those led by the notorious Blackbeard. In 1845 Ocracoke Island-which, up until that point, had been part of Carteret County-was annexed to Hyde County. Today the island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

During the early 1900s, a massive land reclamation and drainage project was undertaken at Lake Mattamuskeet (North Carolina's largest natural lake) in order to pump fresh water from the lakebed out into the Pamlico Sound. With public funds and investments from private individuals (who organized themselves as the Southern Land Reclamation Company), canals were dredged and a pumping plant was built to house the largest centrifugal pumps ever designed. Plans to develop the newly drained lakebed were abandoned, however, and the area instead became a national wildlife refuge. Canals were again dredged through the mainland in the 1920s for the creation of the Intracoastal Waterway. The heretofore isolated Ocracoke Island, meanwhile, began to emerge as a tourist destination with the establishment of a ferry system in the late 1950s.

Other Hyde County natural and cultural attractions include the Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge, the Ocracoke Lighthouse (1823), and the Ocracoke Museum. Festivals such as Hyde County Farm Days, Swan Days, and the Fairfield Heritage Bass Tournament are held annually in the county. The estimated population of Hyde County in 2004 was 5,600.

Annotated history of Hyde County's formation:

For an annotated history of the county's formation, with the laws affecting the county, boundary lines and changes, and other origin information, visit these references in The Formation of the North Carolina Counties (Corbitt, 2000), available online at North Carolina Digital Collections (note, there may be additional items of interest for the county not listed here):

County formation history:

Index entry for the county:


Morgan H. Harris, Hyde Yesterdays: A History of Hyde County (1995).

Hyde County History: A Hyde County Bicentennial Project (1976).

Additional resources:

Corbitt, David Leroy. 2000. The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943 (accessed June 20, 2017).

Hyde County Government:

DigitalNC, Hyde County:

North Carolina Digital Collections (explore by place, time period, format):

Image credits:

Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.

Origin - location: 


I am looking for info on Old Hinson Cemetary Old Lick, Stanly, NC. My 7th or 8th Greatgrandmother died on April 30, 1853. She was buried in this cemetery. She was a Cherokee Indian & was married to Samuel H. Hinson. They had 7 children. I would like to find & visit this place. Thank you very much.


I have 2 suggestions. 

1. try searching 

2. you might be able to find a cemetery listing at - Scroll down to cemetery records, then the county the cemetery was in. you should also be able to search by surname and although you have it as the Old Hinson Cemetery, it may have a different name in the cemetery surveys. 

Hope that helps, 

Erin Braford, Government and Heritage Library

I'm looking for any information on the below
My great-great-grandfather, Charles Gibbs was a slave on the Gibbs' Plantation Salisbury, NC, along with his son Henry Gibbs, Sr. They were sold then ended up on the Rose then later named Martin Plantation in Clay County, West Point, MS. David & Elsie moved from Pulaski came to develop & oversee the plantation, the plantation was owned by a Tennessee banker Thomas Martin.

I was looking for information on the history of my community. I noticed that it is misspelled here. The neighborhood you list as Panzer is actually Ponzer.

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and taking time to share that information. I passed it along to our NCpedia folks to correct.   

Kelly Eubank

Government and Heritage Library

I grew up in Hyde Co. and was 6 years old in 1942 when the highway across Lake Mattamuskeet was completed. I would be interested in finding out who built it.
Was it the CCC which was dissolved in 1942? Where did the builders get the soil
and stone for the foundation? I have been unable to find this info. Thank you for any info you may provide.

Hello and thanks for contacting NCpedia. As far as I can tell, it was created by what is now the NC Department of Transportation Division of Highways. The area you are talking about is part of Highway 94 that was started in 1930. It appears that the segment in 1942 was the last section added. Take a look at

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

My Family resided in hyde /swanquarter...I'm looking for info on the first Whitney's or the slave masters who owned them!

Hi April,

Thanks for submitting your question.  I am forwarding it to our reference department for additional information.

Good luck with your research. 

Carla Morris, Government and Heritage Library

I'm looking for Cemetery Surveys done in Hyde County, perhaps between 1940-1970.
There is an Eason Cemetery and I believe survey listed who was buried there. Thank You.

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