New Book: William Churton—Colonial Surveyor of North Carolina—His Life History

I am pleased to announce a new book on a surveyor’s life history – during Colonial North Carolina history. William Churton was a surveyor for the Granville District Land Office in Edenton, NC. His first permanent residence was in Hillsborough in the early 1750s. Then later in life he moved to Edenton, purchasing a house June 19, 1763 on Water St. Although he begins as a surveyor in the eastern counties of the state, he moved quickly to become an expert in the western portion, as he and another surveyor extend the State line with a VA commission (Fry/Jefferson) in 1749.

This book includes documents from Gov. Johnston about the State boundary survey, never published before, found in the castle near London (Longleat). This was followed by his extensive work with the Moravians in the western part of the state (at that time). Now, for the first time, his life history is well documented using primary references together with other sources to document his amazing career. Surveying over 689,000 acres of land, his work shifted to cartography as he finishes his life with an accurate map of N.C. which included his personal field work/notes.

Unfortunately, his early death in 1768, impacted this draft-map, thus Collet will publish his work instead (minus Churton’s personal field notes). However, his manuscript map was located in the London Library of maps, which portions are used as illustrations in this book.

Lastly, I would like to announce, that during my research and writing of Churton’s efforts, I stopped to apply to the State of N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources, applying for a State Historical Road Marker for William Churton. My application was approved, and the marker is scheduled to be unveiled in Hillsborough, NC Saturday November 4 at 10am.* I believe this is the first surveyor ever recognized with a State Marker!

*Note, this is a scheduled date, and probably will be altered. As this date gets closer the Dept. of Cultural Res. might improve that date.

This 166-page book is soft-cover, perfect bound, B&W (8×10) – is available on, or from Raleigh publisher, – $22.95 – ISBN 978-1-365-82322-0. Virtually every page is illustrated with charts, maps, graphs, and other images to assist the reader in understanding Churton’s life work. Also included are a number of original survey’s by Churton, which are not that well known (housed in the N.C. State Archives).

Stewart Dunaway
2221 Mandy Ln.
Hillsborough NC 27278