In 1791, David Vance and William Davidson presented to the North Carolina House of Commons a "petition of the inhabitants of that part of Burke County lying west of the Appalachian Mountains praying that a part of said county, and part of Rutherford County, be made into a separate and distinct county." It was named for Edward Buncombe, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War from Tyrell County.
Buncombe County's territory originally extended to the Tennessee line and in 1792 approximately 1,000 people lived in the county.
In 1808 the western part of Buncombe became Haywood County. In 1833 parts of Burke and Buncombe were combined to form Yancey County, and in 1838 the southern part of Buncombe became Henderson County. In 1851 parts of Buncombe and Yancey were combined to form Madison County, and finally, in 1925, the Broad River township of McDowell County was transferred to Buncombe County.
Madison, Yancey, McDowell, Rutherford, Henderson and Haywood counties.
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