Durham's Creek, NC
History & Genealogy

Durham's Creek from Bonnerton Bridge

Durham's Creek from Bonnerton Bridge.
[photo by Ron Dailey]


Durham's Creek as a community no longer exists.  It was formed in the early colonial period in NC.  Before the Civil War, it was the center of the Federal census district bearing its name, in the southeast portion of Beaufort County, NC.  After the Civil War, that census district became known as Richland Township.  Many times when you are doing genealogical research in this area, you will find references to Richland Township and/or Durham's Creek.  They are the same place.

In 1905, the town of Bonnerton was established and the community of Durham's Creek, for the most part, assumed that identity.  Today, Bonnerton is only a crossroad with a sign telling of its existence.  There are only six families living on Durham's Creek.  The vast majority of the adjoining land is owned by Weyhauser Lumber Company and lies vacant.  [map]

This website is dedicated to the families that once peopled the shores of Durham's Creek, much the same way we today live around our streets and roads.  In its heyday, the creek was the main street of the Durham's Creek community.  Even to the point where everyone's house faced the creek, not the roads around the creek.  The primary transportation was by water, down the creek and into Pamlico River.  And then, through the Pamlico Sound and into the Atlantic Ocean to ports all over the world.

The scope of interest on this site will include all of that portion of the census district, which goes beyond just the community of Durham's Creek.  It includes those portions of the town of Aurora, Edwards, and Blount's Creek that lie within the boundaries of the Durham's Creek/Richland Township Census District of Beaufort County, NC.  And, in some instances, it may include items included in other areas.  For example, in the 1840 Census, much of the Durham's Creek area, for some reason, was mistakenly included in the South Creek District enumeration.

Remnants of old Bonnerton School, built around 1905

Remnants of old Bonnerton School, built around 1905.
[photo by Ron Dailey]


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Genealogically Oriented Pages

Birth, Death, & Marriage Records

If you are searching for birth, death, or marriage information for any area in North Carolina, you should be aware of the information maintained by the North Carolina Vital Records Office.

[Wills & Deeds]  Wills & Deeds

[Surname Register]  Surname Register

[Queries]  Queries at:   

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[Books for Sale & Lookup] Books for Sale & Lookup

We welcome offers to lookup references in privately held books or other Publications.  Please email me with any such offers.  Meanwhile, please check out what's already been offered.

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Historical & Background Items of Interest

Durham's Creek History

Name:  The name for Durham's Creek came from Richard and John Durham, who lived on the eastern side of the mouth to the creek - now called Garrison Point.  During the Tuscarora Indian War in 1713, there was a fort there named Fort Reading.  This fort was used to help defend the Town of Bath, across the river.  Over the years the name evolved to Garrison Point.  Similarly, the main tributary of Durham's Creek, Porter's Creek, derived its name from the Porter Family that lived at its mouth.
  [Source: Ysobel Litchfield as published in Washington and the Pamlico by Ursula Loy and Pauline Worthy, page 489.]

Note:  Often the name of "Durham's Creek" is expressed without the apostrophe, i.e., "Durhams Creek".  Today, on maps & charts, the name of the creek is "Durham Creek".  The dropping of the apostrophe "s", or simply the "s", was the result of a decision by the U.S. Geological Survey to eliminate such marks from all geological map features in the entire country.  Many people felt that such terminology was generally too costly.  [See, USGS Fact Sheet 099-02 (Sep 2002) - Using Maps in Genealogy]  It is kept here, on this website, because that is the way it was always referred to by those living there.  It is still done that way today, by the local folks (& those of us that have roots there).

Maps:  The below listed maps are the most significant historical maps of the Durham's Creek region.

Note:  Many more maps of this region can found at the Beaufort County NCGenWeb Map Page.  The changes to the map boundaries in the region around Durham's Creek can be found in the article The Formation of Beaufort County, N.C. compiled by Joyce Bell.

Bonnerton:  Small town to the east of Bonnerton Bridge.  Founded in 1905, the town of Bonnerton has been synonymous with the community of Durham's Creek.  Today, Bonnerton is only a crossroad with a sign telling of its existence.  Where the Bonner Store once stood, there is now only a vacant Lot.  Only a few houses are around the crossroads.

Bonnerton Landing:  Located at the east end of Bonnerton Bridge.  This is where many of the ships tied up and took on cargo, or off loaded cargo.  One of those that frequented Bonnerton Landing was the floating theatre James Adams.

James Adams Historical Marker in Bath

James Adams Historical Marker in Bath.
[photo by Ron Dailey]

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[ECU Joyner Library - NC Collection - Genealogy & Local History]  ECU Joyner Library - NC Collection - Genealogy & Local History
[Greenville Susanna Coutanch Evans Chapter of the North Carolina
        DAR]  Greenville Susanna Coutanch Evans Chapter of the North Carolina DAR

[Social Security Death Index]  Social Security Death Index

[North Carolina Historic Sites]  North Carolina Historic Sites - many are near Durham's Creek (one is the Historic Town of Bath just across the Pamlico River from the mouth of Durham's Creek).  These sites can provide info about life in the early times of our region.

[Historic Bath County Genealogy]  Historic Bath County Genealogy - my new Bath County Genealogy site.  
[Historic Bath County NCGenWeb]  Historic Bath County NCGenWeb - my former Bath County Genealogy site.  Now belongs to Kay Sheppard.
[Beaufort County NCGenWeb]  Beaufort County NCGenWeb - Kay's & my former Beaufort County site (only briefly).  Now totally Kay's.  She had the site prior to me (along with John McGowan, who started the site).  Most of the content was done by John & Kay.  My contribution, during my brief stint there, was to re-organize the site some and add the search engine.
[Pitt County Genealogy]  Pitt County Genealogy - my new Pitt County Genealogy site.  
[USGS Fact Sheet]  USGS Fact Sheet 099-02 (Sep 2002) - Using Maps in Genealogy - this fact sheet contains many very good references for genealogical research.


[Mayflower Soceity]
North Carolina Mayflower Society

Northeast Colony - comprising the 21 counties in northeastern North Carolina.  Many families in eastern North Carolina, including Durham's Creek, migrated to the area from New England in the early 1700's, during the time of Durham's Creek heyday.  Others have come in more recent times.

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Genealogy Quotes


From Psalm 103:                    [As taken from the Charles Dowty Family Bible published in New York by American Bible Society, in 1829]

"15  As for man, his days are as grass:
        as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

 16  For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
        and the place thereof shall know it no more."

- My thanks, for reminding me of the above passage, to Duke Doughty (Editor, The Doughty Tree). - RBD      [Doughty Tree]


From Ecclesiastes Chapter 1:                    [Ernest Hemingway's book titled The Sun Also Rises (1926) comes from this passage.]

"4  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh:
        but the earth abideth forever.

 5  The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down,
        and hasteth to his place where he arose."



From How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn:

"I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come.  I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.

And their eyes were my eyes.

As I felt, so they had felt and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever.  Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line that stretched from Time That Was to Time That Is, and Is Not Yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father."

- My thanks, for reminding me of the above passage, to the late John McGowan (Webmaster, Hyde County NCGenWeb).  John was not only my friend & my cousin, but also my mentor & role model when I first became a webmaster many years ago.  This quote is dedicated to his memory.   - RBD

    [Hyde County]




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since March 22, 2006.  -- Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Durham's Creek.  If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you just want to say hello, please email me.  If you found any links not working, please let me know.  URL's change from time to time, and sometimes I don't hear about it.

Last Updated:  January 23, 2016

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