March 27, 2012. HISTORY OF KNOTTS ISLAND by Hal Bonney Jr.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
November 12, 2010.
From Brenda Twiford. Here is some information that I have from a book called "Knotts Island Bay".
Knotts Island History
While the English may claim to have discovered Knotts Island, Native Americans had lived there at least 600 years before. It is said that in 1594, Captain James Knotts named the area for himself after sailing to it through a cut in the coastline of North Carolina. The cut or inlet is marked at 36 degrees 30 minutes as "Caratuck" on a map dated about 1685. The 1657 map of Comberford indicates "Knot Ile" and by 1685 a map showed the spelling as "Knotts Island." Settlers who later moved into the area were blessed with productive salt marshes, large oyster beds, and fish such as mullet and flounder. The "old" inlet at 36 degrees 30 minutes was almost closed by 1728 when William Byrd wrote about it in his diary. Byrd also mentions discovering that the island is actually a peninsula and predicted the success that landowners of the future might have by ditching and draining the land.
It was discover'd, by this day's Work, that Knot's Island was improperly so call'd, being in Truth no more than a Peninsula. The NW Side of it is only divided from the Main by a great Marsh . which is seldom totally overfow'd. Instead of that, it might, by the Labour of a few Trenches, be drained into firm Meadow, capable of grazing as many cattle as Job, in his best Estate, was master of. In the Miry Condition it now lies, it feeds great Numbers in the Winter, tho', when the Weather grows warm, they are driven from thence by the Mighty Armies of Mosquetas, which are the Plague of the lower Part of Carolina. William Byrd II, 1728.
Comment Jane Brumley: There are many spellings of Knotts Island. Much of them depends on the time frame they were written. All old documents have varied spellings; sometimes within the same document. What comes to mind without digging thru files are as follows: Notts, Knot, Knotts, Neitsland, Knott's, Knot Isle. I made a file of them many years ago and gave them to the Currituck Library. Knotts Island may be named for a James Knott but there is no evidence that he was ever here. Much land was granted without owners every seeing it. I don't know of any Island native tracing to a Knott ancestor.
Comment Virginia Fentress: Jack's mother, Roxie Fentress, always called it "Knotts Ile." How 'bout that ?
Comment Frank Jennings: As a humorous story. Back when I was a student pastor at Knotts Island I answered the door at the parsonage to meet a middle aged women from Ohio named Edwyna Knott. She had seen Knott's Island on a map and had driven to find possible relatives. I said, "I am sorry to inform you Ms. Knott, but there is NOT a Knott on Knott's Island." Her face showed the greatest disappointment and disbelief after driving so far. Thus continues the question of where did all the Knotts go. Maybe to Ohio.
November 12, 2010. Comment Melinda Lukei: From the research, I have done, the article that Brenda quoted is correct. It was named for James Knott and I found no evidence that he lived on the island. However, I found the first land grants dated 1680, a lot of folks could have come and gone from 1594.