New Hanover County

New Hanover County was created from Craven County in 1729. According to The Formation of North Counties, 1663-1943, by David Leroy Corbitt, “It was named in honor of George I, King of England, who came from Hanover.”

Compliments of the New Hanover County Public Library
Historic Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina on the Cape Fear River.

If you’re not familiar with New Hanover County, North Carolina it is known as the Cape Fear Region because of the Cape Fear River that separates New Hanover County and Brunswick County. The Cape Fear River has a deep history as ships sailed up the Cape Fear into Wilmington as a port of call. Rail lines ran along the river front in downtown Wilmington. Goods would be transferred to and from the ships to the rail cars. Tracks from the old railroad can still be seen today along the riverfront.

Information for Genealogical Research

and Visiting New Hanover County, NC

North Carolina Room is the Local History Room

You won’t want to miss this video tour of the New Hanover County Public Library and what resources are available for genealogists. I’ve created a series of nine short clips to give you a sense of what is there, to get you up to speed quickly.

Wilmington History Documentary – We produced this documentary about Louis T. Moore who was an author, historian and photographer.  This documentary is both about Wilmington, North Carolina and about Louis T. Moore’s life, what he experienced growing up, and helped visualize some of the stories he wrote about in his book “Stories Old and New of the Cape Fear Region, as told by Louis T. Moore.”  This documentary is full of Wilmington history.  Information and the 45 minute documentary are at this link. Or jump straight to the documentary below.

Check out these books I found on New Hanover County Genealogy. Full disclosure, I get a tiny commission for any books purchased, but does not cost you any extras. Thanks for your support.


U.S. Enumeration Maps 1900-1940 for this county can be found on FamilySearch in the unindexed files.  Here is a direct link to this North Carolina county’s Enumeration Maps. 

There are several maps, make sure to scroll forward and backward from this starting link. For more information about these maps go here.

You will need a free account at to access these images. If you already have an account, this link should direct you to login first.


New Hanover Count, North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1779-1868 (NC Series), by Iberian Publishing Company.

New Hanover County, North Carolina Inferior Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 1738-1785, (Vol. #1&2), by Southern Historical Press.

A History of New Hanover County (North Carolina), and the Cape Fear Region, 1723-1800, by Heritage Books, Inc.