The Outer Banks Gazetteer

The History of Place Names from Carova to Emerald Isle

By Roger L. Payne

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 maps, 1 table, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6228-2
    Published: March 2021
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5958-7
    Published: February 2021
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6227-5
    Published: March 2021
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-6229-9
    Published: February 2021

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The rich history of North Carolina’s Outer Banks is reflected in the names of its towns, geographic features, and waterways. A book over twenty years in the making, The Outer Banks Gazetteer is a comprehensive reference guide to the region’s place names—over 3,000 entries in all. Along the way, Roger L. Payne has cataloged an incredible history of beaches, inlets, towns and communities, islands, rivers, and even sand dunes. There are also many entries for locations that no longer exist—inlets that have disappeared due to erosion or storms, abandoned towns, and Native American villages—which highlight important and nearly forgotten places in North Carolina’s history. Going beyond simply recounting the facts behind the names, Payne offers information-packed and entertainingly written stories of North Carolina, its coastal geography, and its people.

Perfect for anyone interested in the North Carolina coast, this invaluable reference guide uncovers the history of one of the most-visited areas in the Southeast.

About the Author

Roger L. Payne is executive secretary emeritus of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.
For more information about Roger L. Payne, visit the Author Page.


"Payne weaves relevant information about geography, history, nature and economics, along with understanding of the local culture, in with the results of his research and analysis. . . . This is the sort of book anyone who loves the Outer Banks can pick up from time to time, always sure to find something worth reading. It’s also the sort of book that will provide valuable history for generations to come."--Linda Brinson, Greensboro News & Record

“As a lifelong resident of the Outer Banks, and one who has studied and written about its history, I value those who have taken the time to dig deeper into the history, geography, and folklore of the region to present accurate evidence of where we lived, how we lived, and why we named places based on our knowledge and experiences at the time. The detailed information in The Outer Banks Gazetteer has never been more needed.”—Alton Ballance, author of Ocracokers

“Roger Payne can rightfully claim to be the expert on toponyms of the Outer Banks, and perhaps for the United States as a whole. Payne has created a historical geography of sorts that is organized by place names with a wealth of information about a variety of topics, such as whaling, shipping, real-estate development (past and recent), and military defense. Readers will appreciate Payne’s scholarship, rich in its mix of archival evidence and appreciation of local history.”—Mark Monmonier, author of How to Lie with Maps