The mysteries of William Churton and his map of North Carolina

William Churton (1710 – c1767/8) was one of the pre-eminent surveyors in North Carolina during the 18th century. Unfortunately, very little is known about him.  He was born in London on April 5, 1710. He was in North Carolina by 1749, but when he arrived is unknown. His professional career in North Carolina predominantly pertained to surveying tracts of land in the Granville District. At the time of his death (late 1767 or early 1768), William Churton had nearly completed a map of North Carolina. Circumstances of Churton’s death and the fate of his manuscript map remain mysteries to us. Continue reading

You survey mine and I’ll survey yours

In 1767, portions of the South Carolina frontier were surveyed by a party of North Carolinians, led by none other than the North Carolina Governor himself, William Tryon.  A year or two later, a substantial portion of the frontier of North Carolina was surveyed by James Cook, a South Carolinian, at the request of his government. Why couldn’t each province survey its own lands? Continue reading