Irish Named Counties In North Carolina

I’m not Irish, and I don’t look good in green (or anything else for that matter), but I did want to make a contribution in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

According to the The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society (1911, Vol. X, pp. 324-329), there are six North Carolina counties named for a person of Irish descent. They are:

Burke County (named for Edmund Burke, “illustrious Irishman and orator”)
McDowell County (named for Colonel Joseph McDowell, whose ancestors were Irish)
Moore County (named for Alfred Moore, associate judge of the US Supreme Court)
Rowan County (named for Matthew Rowan)
Rutherford County (named for Brigadier-General Griffith Rutherford, “who was born in Ireland”)
Wayne County (named for General Anthony Wayne, “whose ancestors fought at the battle of Boyne for what they believed the liberty of their native land.”

However, I see some problems with the Journal‘s facts: 1) Burke County was named for Dr. Thomas Burke, former governor of NC; 2) the Journal has “Colonel Joseph McDowell,” while William Powell’s North Carolina Gazetteer only has “Major Joseph McDowell.”

Any other problems that I’m missing?

One thought on “Irish Named Counties In North Carolina”

  1. That’s Associate /Justice/ of the Supreme Court Alfred Moore. His family homestead is the historic Moorefields property in Hillsborough. Moore was cited by Bernard Schwartz as the worst Justice ever to have served on the US Supreme Court. But since it’s St. patty’s day, I guess we’ll let it slide . . .

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