Craven County, North Carolina Genealogy

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Craven County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Craven County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
Location of North Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1705
County Seat New Bern
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United States  Gotoarrow.png  North Carolina  Gotoarrow.png  Craven County

County Courthouse

Craven County Courthouse 
406 Craven Street
New Bern, North Carolina 28560
Phone: 252-636-6617

Register of Deed has birth and death from 1914
Marriage and land records from 1700
Clerk Superior Court has divorce records from 1915;
City Clerk has burial records[1]

Craven County created from Archdale Precinct of Bath County

Craven County Courthouse.jpg

For wills and estate records contact:

Estates Division
Craven County Clerk of Court
302 Broad Street
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 639-9004

For Vital Records (births, deaths, marriages) and Land Records contact:

Craven County Register of Deeds
226 Pollock Street
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 636-6617
Online indexes available at


1.) Craven County one of three counties (Albemarle and Clarendon being the others) set up in 1664 by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Its territory embraced what later became South Carolina. 2.) Craven County was established in 1705 as Archdale Precinct of Bath County, although there is evidence that an Archdale County existed as early as 1696. The name was changed to Craven County about 1712. 3.) Craven County included the Ashley River settlement known as Charles Town (Charleston, South Carolina).

Parent County

1705--Craven County was created 3 December 1705 from the Archdale Precinct of Bath County. Bath County was abolished in 1739.
County seat: New Bern [2]

Boundary Changes

1722--Carteret County was formed from Craven in 1722, with several boundary changes through the 1880s.
1729--New Hanover County was formed from Craven in 1729.
1746--Johnston County was formed from Craven in 1746.
1757--Part of Beaufort County was annexed to Craven in 1757 and 1801.
1764--Part of Craven was annexed to Dobbs County in 1764.
1778--Jones County was formed from Craven in 1778.
1787--Parts of Craven were annexed to Pitt County in 1787; Lenoir County in 1798, 1804 and 1819; and Greene County in 1801.
1872--Pamlico County was formed from parts of Craven and Beaufort Counties in 1872, and part of Craven was annexed to Pamlico in 1875.[3]

Record Loss


Populated Places

  • Bridgeton (2001 population: 201)
  • Cove City (2001 population: 425)
  • Dover (2001 population: 443)
  • Havelock (2001 population: 22,463)
  • New Bern (2001 population: 23,415)
  • River Bend (2001 population: 2,918)
  • Trent Woods (2001 population: 4,186)
  • Vanceboro (2001 population: 892)[4]

Neighboring Counties


African American


Individual cemeteries:


For tips on accessing Craven County, North Carolina Genealogy census records online, see: North Carolina Census.




Local Histories


  • Craven County maps - more than 40 maps from the North Carolina State Library's NC Maps website


Early migration routes to and from Craven County for European settlers included:[5]


Civil War
Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battles were fought in Craven County.

Map showing Civil War battles in North Carolina.

Civil War Confederate units

Brief history, counties where recruited, etc.

-2nd Regiment, North Carolina Infantry
-5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry


The first newspaper in North Carolina was published in New Bern, N.C., by James Davis in 1751. The North Carolina State Archives has microfilmed copies of many New Bern newspapers. A list of North Carolina Newspapers, including Craven County can be found at the North Carolina Newspaper Index page of the North Carolina Newspaper Project. Craven County newspapers begin on page 37 of the index.


Vital Records

Birth and death records from 1913 can be found at the Register of Deeds Office for Craven County at 226 Pollock Street, New Bern, NC 28560. An online index is available at Uncertified copies can be ordered for a small fee.  Please see Register of Deeds website for more information.


Societies and Libraries 

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Craven County, North Carolina. Page 508 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. David L. Corbett, The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943 (Raleigh: State Dept. of Archives and History, 1950), 74-79.
  4. The Directory of Municipal Officials & Buyers' Guide, 2004 (Raleigh, N.C.: NC League of Municipalities, 2004).
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  6. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 8 August, 2012)
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August, 2012)