North Carolina Map & Atlas Guide

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Any Historical North Carolina Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

Solving Research Problems with a North Carolina Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify North Carolina city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because North Carolina historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a North Carolina map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in North Carolina.

North Carolina Map of Counties

North Carolina Map of Counties

Choosing the Best North Carolina Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.

You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation.

Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

Excellent maps, atlases, and gazetteers for North Carolina are readily available. There are several excellent atlases and map guides available for North Carolina.

North Carolina Map of County Formations For The Years 1664-1965

These North Carolina maps shows the historical changes to counties from 1664 to 1965.

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North Carolina Map Abbreviations
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed

Ala - Alamance
All - Alleghany
Alx - Alexander
An - Anson
As - Ashe
Av - Avery
Bft - Beaufort
Bl  - Bladen
Br  - Brunswick
Brt - Bertie
Bun - Buncombe
Bur - Burke
Cab - Cabarrus
Cal - Caldwell
Cam - Camden
Car - Carteret
Cas - Caswell
Cat - Catawba
Cle - Cleveland
Cly - Clay
Co  - Columbus
Cr  - Craven
Crk - Cherokee
Ctm - Chatham
Cum - Cumberland
Cur - Currituck
Cwn - Chowan
Dar - Dare
Do  - Dobbs
Dup - Duplin
Dur - Durham
Dve - Davie
Dvs - Davidson
Ed  - Edgecombe
Fo  - Forsyth

Fr  - Franklin
Gas - Gaston
Gat - Gates
Ghm - Graham
Gre - Greene
Gu  - Guilford
Gvl - Granville
Hal - Halifax
Har - Harnett
Hay - Haywood
Hen - Henderson
Her - Hertford
Ho  - Hoke
Hy  - Hyde
Ir  - Iredell
Ja  - Jackson
Jon - Jones
Jst - Johnston
Lee - Lee
Len - Lenoir
Li  - Lincoln
Mac - Macon
Mad - Madison
Mar - Martin
McD - McDowell
Me  - Mecklenburg
Mi  - Mitchell
Mon - Montgomery
Moo - Moore
Na  - Nash
NH  - New Hanover
No  - Northampton
On  - Onslow
Or  - Orange
Pam - Pamlico
Pas - Pasquotank
Pen - Pender
Pi  - Pitt
Po  - Polk
Pqm - Perquimans
Psn - Person
Ra  - Randolph
Rck - Rockingham
Ri  - Richmond
Rob - Robeson
Ru  - Rutherford
Rwn - Rowan
Sa  - Sampson
Sc  - Scotland
Stk - Stokes
Sty - Stanly
Sur - Surry
Sw  - Swain
Tra - Transylvania
Ty  - Tyrrell
Un  - Union
Va  - Vance
Wak - Wake
War - Warren
Was - Washington
Wat - Watauga
Way - Wayne
Wlk - Wilkes
Wsn - Wilson
Yad - Yadkin
Yan - Yancey

North Carolina Maps & Atlases

North Carolina MapThe David Rumsey Historical North Carolina Map Collection is scanned from original copies so you can see North Carolina as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some North Carolina map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the North Carolina researcher.

North Carolina D.O.T. County Road and Highway Maps

County DOT MapThe North Carolina Department of Transportation is pleased to provide highly detailed county maps online. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries. In each county, sheet number “MAIN” always shows the entire county. Each supplemental sheet shows area insets, usually congested areas. A sheet key is shown for any county that requires more than 2 sheets.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. These Maps are Free to Download

External Links for North Carolina Maps

U.S. State Map Guides