First Deed, First House Were Batts’s

The Batts Deed. Image from N.C. Historical Publications.On September 24, 1660, King Kiscutanewh sold Nathaniel Batts a tract of land in what is now Pasquotank County. The deed, recorded in a Chesapeake, Va., deed book, included all land southwest of the Pasquotank River from its mount to the head of Begin Creek. Batts was the earliest-known white settler and owner of the earliest-known house within what is now North Carolina. His house, built in 1654 or 1655, is shown on the 1657 Nicholas Comberford map.

Nathaniel Batts was a large property owner in southeastern Virginia and divided his time between his holdings there and the property in what is now northeastern North Carolina.  A witness to the deed was another early North Carolina European-settler, George Durant. Batts would also acquire a small island in the nearby Yeopim River that eventually came to be named for him.  The northeastern region of the state still has place names that honor Batts and Durant.

The discovery of the 1660 deed in 1966 made newspaper headlines.

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