History of Wake County, N.C.

In researching Wake County, N.C., we might also want to check Cumberland, Johnston and Orange counties.

The following information has been extracted from:

"...Wake County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2007, the population was 832,970,[1] making it the second most populated county in the state after Mecklenburg County. Its county seat is Raleigh,[2] also the state capital...

"Early history
The earliest inhabitants of present day Wake County were the Tuscarora Native Americans. After the Tuscarora War in 1711, they were defeated and moved to New York to join the Iroquois nation.

The county was formed in 1771 from parts of Cumberland County, Johnston County, and Orange County. It was named for Margaret Wake, wife of Governor William Tryon. The first courthouse was built at a place called Wake Courthouse, commonly known as Bloomsbury. In 1771, the first elections and court were held, and the first militia was formed.

Wake County lost some its land area during the subsequent formation of other new counties. Portions were taken by Franklin County in 1787 and by Durham County in 1881 and 1911.

During the colonial period of North Carolina, the state capital was New Bern. For several years, during and after the Revolutionary War, there was no capital, and the General Assembly met in various locations. In 1792, a commission was appointed to select a site for a permanent state capital. The members of the commission were leaning toward land owned by Colonel John Hinton across the Neuse River, but on the night before the final vote, the committee adjourned to the home of Joel Lane for an evening of food and spirits. The next day, the vote was in Lane's favor.

Raleigh was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, and established on 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) purchased from Lane. Sir Walter Raleigh never set foot in the United States, but two centuries earlier he had sponsored the establishment of the first English colony on the North Carolina shore at Roanoke Island. The city of Raleigh became both the state capital as well as the new county seat of Wake County. Raleigh is the only planned state capital in the United States..."

Wake County is divided into 20 townships: Bartons Creek, Buckhorn, Cary, Cedar Fork, Holly Springs, House Creek, Leesville, Little River, Marks Creek, Meredith, Middle Creek, Neuse, New Light, Panther Branch, Raleigh, St. Mary’s, St. Matthew’s, Swift Creek, Wake Forest, and White Oak.