New Hanover was formed from Craven Precinct in 1729, and became a precinct of Bath County. In 1734 parts of New Hanover Precinct became Bladen Precinct and Onslow Precinct. With the abolition of Bath County in 1739, all precincts became counties.
in 1750 the northern part of New Hanover County became Duplin County. In 1764 another part of New Hanover County was combined with part of Bladen County to form Brunswick County. Finally, in 1875 the northern portion of New Hanover County was taken to form Pender County.
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