From 1667 to 1725, a few Englishmen attempted to settle in Brunswick County. One of them was Thomas James who was granted 1000 acres on the west side of the Cape Fear River in 1714. The settlement was disastrous as he was found murdered the following year by local Indians. The earliest legal grant was to Landgrave Thomas Smith on May 8, 1713, with the conveyance of Smith Island (now Bald Head Island). During 1725 a number of land grants were issued to prospective settlers. In 1726 Brunswick Town was settled which became known as the county seat. In April of 1733, James Wimble began selling lots on the east side of the Cape Fear River, called New Carthage. Subsequent names for it was New Liverpool, New Town, or Newton . Newton was incorporated as the Town of Wilmington on February 25, 1740 and designated as the new County Seat. This infuriated those settlers residing on the west side of the Cape Fear River, and they commenced plans to secede from New Hanover County. Brunswick county was officially formed in 1764 from parts of Bladen and New Hanover Counties. It was named after the old the colonial port of Brunswick Town (now in ruins) which was named for the Duchy of Brunswick-Luneburg, was held at the time by the British kings of the House of Hanover.
The images digitized for this site are on microfilm with the Secretary of the State of North Carolina and were combined into three volumes, beginning with the earliest date of 1764. It is not known whether any other records exist.