Bertie County


Divided from Chowan County in 1722, Bertie originally contained Tyrrell, Edgecombe, Northampton, and Hertford counties. It wasn’t until 1780 that the county reached the boundaries it retains today. The county gets its name from James and Henry Bertie, brothers and Lords Proprietors who came from a prominent British military family. The county seat of Windsor gets its name from Windsor Castle.

The county is the 16th largest in terms of area and also the 16th least populous in the state. Like neighboring counties, Bertie is known for its large swamps known as pocosins, which lends itself to ideal agricultural conditions. Bertie ranks 10th in the state for cash receipts from livestock and brings in $300 million annually in total agricultural revenue.

The county ranks 1st in the state for peanuts, producing 46 million pounds of peanuts, 3rd in cotton with over 70,000 bales produced each year, and 5th in the state for broilers at over 44.5 million broilers produced annually. In spite of its agricultural strength, Bertie is still considered a Tier 1 county and ranks 7th in the state for most distressed.

Bertie remains home to several historical sites and houses. One of which, the American Windsor Castle, was built in 1858 by Patrick Winston and modeled on the British namesake for the town. The estate was the homestead of the Winston family of whom children George, Francis, and Robert would go on to serve in prominent state positions. George Winston served as president of UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and the University of Texas. Francis Winston was a judge and held the office of Lt. Governor at the turn of the 20th century. Robert Winston was a judge and biographer.

A favorite among Kayakers, the Cashie River winds throughout the county and is 60 miles of blackwater, though only roughly a third of that can be navigated. The river is home to one of the last operational two-car ferries in the state, the Sans Souci Ferry, which while operated by the NCDOT is not part of the state’s ferry system.

Situated in the northeastern part of the state that is increasingly trending more favorable to Republicans, Bertie County has historically been a solid county for Democrats. The county has a majority of Black voters, comprising 57% of the electorate, and is the second-highest share of Black voters in the state. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama carried the county by more than 30 points. Over the last decade or so, the Democratic presidential margins have decreased on average by 10 points. While the county still supports Democrats, it will be a county to watch over the next decade.


County Seat: Windsor
Biggest Cities:
  • Windsor
  • Aulander
  • Lewiston
  • Woodville
  • Kelford
  • Powellsville
Media Market: Greenville/New Bern

Elected Officials

County Data