Chatham County History

Map - NC/Chatham County


       The bill for establishing Chatham County was introduced in the Colonial Assembly, held at New Berne, December 5, 1770. But the bill was not ratified until January 26, 1771 and became effective the first day of April in 1771. The county was named for the first Earl of Chatham - William Pitt, 1708-1778).  According to history, the Earl of Chatham was a true believer in the right of America and defended these rights in the British Parliament. Perhaps that zeal of patriotism transmitted itself to the inhabitants of Chatham County, because the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions struck the customary extolling of the King and his titles, in 1773, long before the first shot rang out  in New England. Even though Chatham was a Crown Province of North Carolina until statehood was established on July 4, 1776. The county seat of Pittsboro was named for William Pitt, the younger, who was the youngest prime minister of Great Britain. He was 24 years of age, at the time.
    Chatham was created from Orange County whose area was ten times what it is now.  Because of political factions and difficulty in holding court and recording documents, the distance being so great,  the counties of Guilford, Wake and Surry were created at the same time as Chatham. As a deterent to the meeting and assembly of these factions and to facilitate the governing of them. Chatham is in the center of the state, in the hilly, timber covered section of the state. The counties that are neighbors are: Almance, Durham, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Randolph and Wake.

Chatham County Courthouse
P.O. Box, 369, (12 East St.)
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Phone No. (919) 542-3240
Certified copies of documents are $2.00 for the first page, .25 for additional pages.
Uncertified copies are $1.00 for the first page and .25 for additional pages.

Pittsboro Memorial Library
158 West St.
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Library Hours:

Monday, Wednesday & Friday : 9 am to 6 pm
Tuesday & Thursday : 9 am to 8 pm
Saturday : 9 am to 5 pm

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