Spouses, First Ladies and Gentlemen of North Carolina's Governors

From colonial times to the present day, many women -- and one man -- have occupied the role of "first lady" or "first gentleman" to North Carolina's governors. And in a few cases where a wife predeceased her husband, a daughter assumed the role of first lady or "little mistress of the mansion" to her father the governor (see Helen Fowle and Angelia Morrison). No two of these spouses lived similar lives or inhabited the role of first lady or first gentleman in the same way - their stories are as individual as they were. 

This page gathers the names and years of these "first spouses" and includes links to an NCpedia biographical essay, where available. These biographies tell the stories of these individuals as they lived life for a time in the spotlight as the spouses of governors and politicians. The stories also give a sense of their lives "behind the scenes", as they went about everyday life, often in difficult times, many raising families, having careers and interests of their own, and making their own marks on their local communities and on North Carolina history. Each story is unique and also helps provide historical context, particularly for the women, on the role and lives of women during the eras when they lived.

This collection will continue to grow as more biographies are researched and written.

See Also: North Carolina Governors, History of Governorship in North Carolina

North Carolina Governors

First Ladies/Gentlemen/Spouses

Governor

Years in Office

Kristin Cooper Roy Cooper 2017 - present
Ann Gordon Sturgis McCrory Patrick McCrory 2013 - 2016
Robert W. Eaves Jr. Beverly Eaves Perdue 2009 - 2012
Mary Easley Michael F. Easley 2001 - 2009
1993 - 2001; 1977- 1985
Dorothy Ann McAulay Martin  James Grubbs Martin 1985 - 1993
Patricia Ann Hollingsworth Holshouser James Eubert Holshouser, Jr. 1973 - 1977
Jessie Rae Osborne Scott  Robert Walter Scott 1969 - 1973
Jeanelle Coulter Moore  Dan Killian Moore 1965 - 1969
1961 - 1965
1954 - 1961
1953 - 1954
1949 - 1953
1945 - 1949
1941 - 1945
1937 - 1941
1933 - 1937
1929 - 1933
1925 - 1929
1921 - 1925
1921 - 1925
1917 - 1921
1913 - 1917
1909 - 1913
1905 - 1909
1901 - 1905
1897 - 1901
1893 - 1897
1891 - 1893
1889 - 1891
Catherine Bullock Henderson Scales
1885 - 1889
Mary Woodson Jarvis
1879 - 1885
Harriett Newell Espy Vance
1877 - 1879; 1862 - 1865
 
1874 - 1877
Miverva Ruffin Cain Caldwell
1870 - 1874
Louisa Virginia Harrison Holden
1868 - 1870; 1865
Martitia Daniel Worth
1865 - 1868
Mary Weeks Parker Hargrave Clark
1861 - 1862
Mary McKinley Daves Ellis
1859 - 1861
Isabella Cuthbert Bragg
1855 - 1859
 
1854 - 1855
Henrietta Williams Settle Reid
1851 - 1854
Charity Hare Haywood Manly
1849 - 1851
Susannah Sarah Washington Graham
1845 - 1849
Ann Eliza Lindsay Morehead
1841 - 1845
Elizabeth Henry Haywood Dudley
1836 - 1841
 
1835 - 1836
Eleanor White Swain
1832 - 1835
Rachel Montgomery Stokes
1830 - 1832
Lucy Ann Brown Owen
1828 - 1830
Frances Johnston Treadwell Iredell
1827 - 1828
Sarah Wales Jones Burton (Joyner)
1824 - 1827
Mary Smith Hunter Holmes
1821 - 1824
Maria Perkins Franklin
1820 - 1821
Elizabeth Foort Branch
1817 - 1820
Lydia Anna Evans Miller
1814 - 1817
Ann Swepson Boyd Hawkins
1811 - 1814
Sarah Rhett Dry Smith
1810 - 1811
Hannah Turner Stone
1808 - 1810
Elizabeth Chauncey Jones Williams
1807 - 1808; 1799 - 1802
Margaret Polk Alexander
1805 - 1807
Ann Cochran Turner
1802 - 1805
Sarah Jones Davie
1798 - 1799
Elizabeth Jones Merrick Ashe
1795 - 1798
Mary Jones Leech Spaight
1792 - 1795
 
1789 - 1792; 1782 - 1785
Frances Cathcart Johnston
1787 - 1789
Sarah Heritage Caswell
1784 - 1787; 1776 - 1780
Mary Freeman Burke (Doherty)
1781 - 1782
Mary Whitting Jones Nash (Witherspoon)
1780 - 1781

North Carolina Colonial Governors       

Elizabeth Martin Josiah Martin 1771 - 1775
  James Hasell 1771
Margaret Wake Tryon William Tryon 1765 - 1771
Justina Davis Dobbs (Nash) Arthur Dobbs 1753 - 1763
Elizabeth Rowan Matthew Rowan 1753 - 1754
Mary Bursey Rice Nathaniel Rice 1752 - 1753; 1734
Frances Button Johnston (Rutherford) Gabriel Johnston 1734 - 1752
Penelope Golland Maule Lovick Phenney Johnston Gabriel Johnston 1734 - 1752
  George Burrington 1731 - 1734

North Carolina Lords Proprietors

Susannah Kidder Everard Richard Everard 1725 - 1731
  George Burrington 1724 - 1725
Jane Reed William Reed 1722 - 1724
Esther Wilkinson Pollock Thomas Pollock 1722; 1712 - 1714
Penelope Golland Eden Charles Eden 1714 - 1722
Catherine Rigby Hyde Edward Hyde 1711 - 1712
Catherine Glover (Knight, Porter) William Glover 1706 - 1710
Mary Davis Glover William Glover 1706 - 1710
  Thomas Cary 1705 - 1711
Martha Wainwright Daniel Robert Daniel 1703 - 1705
Ann Lillington Walker (Moseley) Henderson Walker 1699 - 1703
Ann Dobson Archdale John Archdale 1695 - 1696; 1683 - 1686
Sarah Catherine Laker Harvey (Gale) Thomas Harvey 1694 - 1699
Frances Culpeper Stephens Berkeley Ludwell Philip Ludwell 1690 - 1691; 1692 - 1693; 1693 - 1695
  Thomas Jarvis 1690 - 1694
  John Gibbs 1689 - 1690
Anna Willix Riscoe Blount Sothel Seth Sothel 1682 - 1689
Joanna Jenkins (Harvey) John Jenkins 1680 - 1681; 1676 - 1677; 1672 - 1675
  Henry Wilkinson 1680
Dorothy Tooke Harvey John Harvey 1679
  Thomas Miller 1677
  Thomas Eastchurch 1675 - 1676
  Peter Carteret 1670 - 1672
Frances Culpeper Stephens (Berkeley, Ludwell) Samuel Stephens 1667 - 1669
Sarah Prescott Drummond William Drummond 1664 - 1667

Governor of the County of Clarendon

Margaret Foster Berringer Yeamans (Walley) John Yeamans 1665-1667

Commander of the Southern Plantation

Frances Culpeper Stephens (Berkeley, Ludwell) Samuel Stephens 1662 - 1664

Original Virginia Colony

Tomasyn Cooper White [not known to have been on Roanoke Voyage]

John White 1587
 

Ralph Lane

[not known to have married]

1585 - 1586

Comments

Comment: 

On this page entitled, Spouses, First Ladies and Gentlemen of NC's Governors, the years of office of James Holshouser are listed as 1973 - 1997. Should it not be 1973 - 1977 ? Thanks, and I enjoy reading NCPedia.

Comment: 

Dear Dave,

Good catch! Thank you for the heads-up. We've made the correction.

Thank you.

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library

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