It’s named for Brunswick Town, a colonial settlement dating from the 1720s but largely abandoned not long after the American Revolution. You can see the ruins at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site, 8884 St. Phillips Road SE, Winnabow [Map this], located just next to Orton Plantation off N.C. 133.
Brunswick Town, in turn, was named for King George I, who was the German Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg. (See, Queen Anne died without an heir, and George, as the great-grandson of King James I, was the nearest relative who was Protestant — a big consideration back then. It gets complicated.)
“Brunswick” incidentally, is the English-language approximation of German city and state of Braunschweig.
Brunswick County was created in 1764 from parts of Bladen and New Hanover counties.
George I’s first family, by the way, was known as the House of Hannover. (While waiting around to become king, he became Prince-elect of the German state of Hannover in 1708.) That’s a big reason the neighboring county to the east is called New Hanover.
Date posted: March 4, 2009