This small quaint seaport has roots back to April 7, 1730 when Isaac and Jonathan Green Sr. purchased from Ebenezer Harker "a certain plantation and track of land containing by estimation 441 acres situate lying and being in ye Carterett in ye county of province of aforsaid being ye west side of ye mouth off White Oak River." By 1771 Theophilus Weeks started a town on his plantation, laying out a plat and selling lots. Formerly known as Bogue, Week's Point, The Wharf and New Town, the town was officially designated by the North Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 1783. Above photo (from North Carolina State Archives) courtesy Jack Dudley, as included in Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute

Benjamin Weeks - Story and Will

Moseley's 1733 Map - Great Western Ocean
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Benjamin Weeks and Mary Chase: Pioneers
Attached to Benjamin Weeks Tree on
Added by Raymond Booth on 12 Sept 2008

Benjamin Weeks was born on 4 April 1685 in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and as an adult operated the ferry between Falmouth and Martha's Vineyard. He married [second wife] Mary Chase (born in Tisbury, Ma., on 17 January 1687) at Martha's Vineyard on 14 January 1704. The ancestry of Benjamin and Mary is still open to question though it is certain that they count among their forebears the early Pilgrim and Puritan settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

As more settlers flocked to the Bay area good arable land grew scarcer, forcing the children and grandchildren of the original colonists to look elsewhere for a means with which to support their families. The newly-established Carolinas answered this need with the promise of plentiful land and a gentler climate to those of an ambitious and pioneering spirit. Benjamin and Mary were among such a group of kinsmen and neighbors from the Falmouth region who migrated together to the White Oak River area of eastern North Carolina.

Court records first indicate the presence of Benjamin and Mary in the area in 1741 (though it is believed that they had arrived as early as 1730.) The Weeks family obtained land in Carteret County on Hadnots Creek at its confluence with White Oak River and set up housekeeping. Their grown children and other relatives and former Falmouth neighbors were soon established on lands of their own on both sides of the river. Benjamin died in 1744 and left the following will. All the children named in the will were born in Falmouth.


In the Name of God Amen, ys. Ninth Day of November in the Year of our Lord, One thousand, seven hundred & Forty Four. I, Benjamin Weeks, of Cartwright County, in North Carolina, being of sick and weak Body, but of Perfect Mind & Memory, Thanks be given unto almighty God for it, & Knowing it is appointed for all Men Once to Die, do make & ordain this to be my last Will & Testament, that is to say; First of all I give my Sole into the Hands of God that gave it; & for my body, I recommend to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like manner at the Discretion of my Executors, Nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I shal receive the same again by the mighty Power of God that gave it; And as for Touching such Worldly Estate wherewith if has pleased God to bless me with, I give & Dispose of the same in the Manner & form following.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my two sons, Isaac Weeks & Jabas Weeks, the Tract of Land that I now dwell on with the March thereunto belonging, to be Equally divided between them and their Heirs & Assigns for Ever. That is to say, my son Jabas to have that Part of the Land that the Plantation & Houses is on, and Isaac to have the other Part with half the Marsh.

Item, I give to my Son, Theoflis Weaks, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Son, Archelas, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Son, Bingman, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Daughter, Lidde Witton, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Dafter, Mary Williams, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Dafter, Christian Weake, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Dafter, Thankful Hicks, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, I give to my Dafter, Elizabeth Weake, One Shilling, Sterling. Item, my Will & Desire is for my Wife to have the Plantation in her Lifetime. Item, my Will and Desire is that my two Sons, Isaac & Jabas, do Each of them pay unto my Grand Son Edward Weaks, the Sum of Ten Pounds, current money of Carolina, & upon Failure thereof to be Dispossessed of the Land before given.

Item, I give unto my well beloved wife, Mary Weake, Two Beds & Furniture, Two Cows & Horses, and all other Household Goods & all the Remaining Part of my Estate that is not yet given During her Widowhood, She Paying all my Lawful Debts. I also Depute and apoint my sd. Wife to be my whole & sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament, Ratifying and alowing this & no other to be my last Will & Testament, Disanulling all other Wills formarly by me made. In Testimony hereunto I have Set my Hand & Seal the year and date written above.
His Mark Signed: BENJAMIN (B) WEEKS

Among the Falmouth neighbors who participated in the move to North Carolina were Jonathan and Grace Green who established a plantation on the Onslow County side of the White Oak River not far from Bogue Inlet. Jonathan Green died a premature death and Benjamin Weeks' son, Theophilus, then married Grace, gaining in the bargain ownership of the riverside plantation. His proximity to Bogue Inlet and, doubtless, his demonstrated ability and honesty, earned Theophilus the appointment as Customs Inspector, a responsibility that entailed inspecting the cargoes of ships entering and leaving the inlet. To perform these duties, Theophilus constructed a wharf at his plantation and later a tavern nearby to slake the thirst of the transient seamen.

The bustle of activity surrounding the wharf inspired Theophilus to subdivide his plantation into town lots which he sold to those of his neighbors who preferred the urban life. First called Weeks Wharf, the community was eventually renamed Swansboro. A plaque in Swansboro Park honors Theophilus for his role in founding the town.

In time Weeks descendants would own most of the land bordering the White Oak River. The end of the French and Indian Wars in 1763 had a profound effect on the lives and fortunes of the Weeks family. At the ensuing peace conference, France ceded Canada and Florida to the victorious English who immediately took steps to populate and control the new territories. The Crown offered generous land grants to veterans of the recent war and to eastern seaboard residents who were willing to homestead in British West Florida as the recent acquisition was called. It comprised parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. On the White Oak River history repeated itself as Weeks family members and neighbors responded to the call by trekking off to East Florida and British West Florida to seek their fortunes, no doubt spurred on by the same population pressures that had influenced their Falmouth forebears.

Those so far identified as homesteading in British West Florida were Christine Weeks* and her husband Abel Goffigon, Theophilus Weeks (thought to be the son of Silas and Zillar Weeks) and his wife Ann Osteen, and John Hewitt, a cousin of Christine. No doubt there were others. Theophilus would later move to East Florida. As a result of these migrations both Florida and Louisiana possess well-populated branches of the Weeks family. After the Revolutionary War, the migration of Weeks descendants followed the pattern established by other southern Americans as they spread westward across the gulf states into Texas and beyond so that today descendants of Benjamin and Mary Chase Weeks reside from coast to coast.

*Benjamin Week's daughter Christine married Abel Goffigon in Swansboro and moved to Louisiana where she left a large descendancy. - Descendant Jim McLoughlin, The Woodlands, Texas

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