The History and Geography of the Home of the Luptons

From the September 1930 North Carolina State Highway Map

Below are some brief descriptions of the counties that are the home of the Luptons. Along with each county discussed are maps produced in the 1930's that may be downloaded for viewing on your computer. These are large, detailed maps that include the names of all the small communities that have long since disappeared. These maps can be very helpful to anyone who is not intimately familiar with the areas.

Beaufort County

Download a detailed 1936 map of Beaufort County

Numerous towns, some of historic notability, can be found in Beaufort County. Washington, the county seat, is named in honor of President George Washington. It once had a thriving shipbuilding trade and a busy port. Washington remains the cultural and economic center of the county. Bath, established in 1705, is the state's oldest town, first capital, and was a port of entry during the early-eighteenth century. The town of Chocowinity served as the railroad hub of the Norfolk Southern Railway starting in 1910. Other towns located in Beaufort County include Aurora, Belhaven, Pantego, River Road, and Washington Park.

The flatlands and bodies of water that characterize most of North Carolina's Coastal Plains region exist in Beaufort County as well. Washington is located at the intersection of two rivers, the Tar and the Pamlico. The county's entire eastern border is shared with the Pamlico Sound, one of two sounds that separate the state's mainland from its Outer Banks region.

Carteret County

Download a detailed 1938 map of Carteret County

Carteret county was the home of the first of the North Carolina Luptons, Christopher Lupton. To this day, Carteret county is home to many of his descendants.

Beaufort, Carteret's county seat, is the third oldest town in North Carolina. It was first known appropriately as Fishtown because the fishing industry was and has been an important part of the county's history.

Carteret County participated in global trade almost from its beginning. Plantations produced goods such as tobacco, grains, and salted meats and fish to export to England. Lumber was also a major export due to the area's vast forests. The most significant commercial industry was naval stores - tar, pitch, rosin, and turpentine.

Portsmouth and Beaufort served as the county's major ports. Ships landed in Portsmouth, and workers transferred cargo to smaller boats for transport to the mainland. However, as its depth decreased, Portsmouth harbor declined as a port of entry, and the town was abandoned.

Formal education was not a priority for the early settlers of Carteret County. Most children were preoccupied with working on the farms. Wealthier families usually sent their children outside the colony for advanced training. In the community of Hunting Quarters, however, the Scotch-Irish established the area's first school; it became the first accredited high school in the county.

In Carteret county, war has been witnessed in its residents' backyards. Constructed between 1826 and 1834, Fort Macon was the site of a major battle during the Civil War. On April 25, 1862, Confederate troops surrendered the fort, and the Federal Government used Fort Macon as a prison following the war.

Although most of the settlements in the county were developed prior to the Civil War, Morehead City was not established until 1858. It started as a railroad town and eventually attracted tourists. Today, tourism has replaced agriculture and exporting as Carteret County's largest industry.

Craven County

Download a detailed 1938 map of Craven County

Craven county was one of the first few counties in North Carolina having been formed in 1705. Well before Christopher LUPTON was born, New Bern was already an important city. However, after the American Revolution, New Bern lost much of its prestige due to no longer being the seat of government in the state.

Although Craven county doesn't border the Pamlico Sound it does have the Neuse River running through it from top to bottom. In early North Carolina, the Neuse was a major means of transportation remaining easily navigable past what is now Kinston.

For your webmaster, one of Craven county's biggest claims to fame is the invention of Pepsi-Cola in New Bern back in the 1890's.

Hyde County

Download a detailed 1938 map of Hyde County

Sparsely populated, Hyde County might be North Carolina's least known yet most historically important county. Since its establishment, no county in North Carolina has experienced more boundary shifts than Hyde County.

The county contains nine townships and cities, with its county seat located at Swan Quarter. The eight other townships or cities are Engelhard, Fairfield, Germantown, Last Chance, Nebraska, Ocracoke, Scranton, and Stumpy Point. Though the populations of these townships are rather small (Swan Quarter's population according to the 2000 Census was 958), they are frequently visited by North Carolinians and out of state tourists.

Hyde County is also known for its national wildlife refuges. There are four refuges located in Hyde County (Alligator River, Mattamuskeet, Pocosin Lakes, and Swan Quarter), while part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is contained within the county's boundaries.

Pamlico County

Download a detailed 1938 map of Pamlico County

One of North Carolina's youngest counties, Pamlico county, wasn't formed until the year 1872. Since the area had been populated by Lupton's much earlier, many of our forefathers were actually born in what was then Craven or Beaufort counties - parts of these counties having been used in the creation of Pamlico county.

Pamlico county seems to be surrounded by water, it's a peninsula extending into Pamlico Sound. It is bounded on the north by the Pamlico River and on the south by the Neuse River. An arm of Pamlico Sound called Bay River penetrates to the county's interior. Water is a way of life in Pamlico county. For generations the county's residents have been fishermen. Travelling all of Pamlico Sound and even through the inlets of the Outer Banks into the Atlantic Ocean in search of fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, and other seafood.

Over the years, inhabitants of Pamlico also have tilled the black-loam soil, which predominates in the tidewater portion of the coastal plain. At various times Pamlico farmers have grown the standard North Carolina crops--cotton, corn, tobacco, Irish and sweet potatoes. Additionally wildlife--ducks, geese, upland birds, deer, bear, squirrel, raccoons, foxes, and the like--abound in the natural habitat.

In recent years vacationers, sailing enthusiasts, sportsmen, and some developers are being lured by the beauty and isolation of Pamlico. Today, tourism is Pamlico's primary industry, as many fishermen and sailors visit the county during the summer months to enjoy the natural resources of the area. The small town of Oriental is known as the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina". Every year numerous regattas, or boat races, are performed in Pamlico, and one of the most popular races is the Oriental Regatta.

The discovery of Pamlico county as a vacation destination is altering the county's basic character. Despite the natural beauty that draws outsiders and stirs the hearts of long-time residents, Pamlico County's history is far from idyllic.

Generations of its people have experienced struggle and hardship, sometimes in an effort merely to survive. They have suffered hurricanes, floods, disease, economic depression, and all the physical and cultural disadvantages of isolation. This adversity has, however, produced a stubborn independence and sense of self-sufficiency in the residents, who traditionally have been slow to accept social or political change.