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Hunting Quarters is the original name for the area of eastern North Carolina in Carteret County currently known as the towns of Sea Level and Atlantic (primarily Atlantic). The region, originally settled by the English in the early 1700s, was named Hunting Quarters because many local Coree Indians originally dwelled there, living on the plentiful game, fish and oysters. Around 1910, the name Atlantic was used to describe the extreme eastern part of the area (beyond Styron's Creek).
John NelsonBirth1675in St. Gregory, Norwich, Norfolk, England Deathmar 1759in Hunting Quarters,Carteret, NC
"The Lords Propritors" had advertised in England offering fifty acres of land to the provider of passage for each colonist brought to North Carolina. Thus on October 28, 1702, Captin John Nelson owner and operator of his own ship filed what was called an "Entry to Land" which gave him title to six hundred acres of land in what is now Sea Level, Carteret, North Carolina. In order to keep his land he was required to oppupy and use the land or it would be forefeited, thus"Hunting Quarters Plantions" was born. Captin John and his wife Ann Bell, daughter of Joseph Bell and Margaret---acquired large tracts of land on the north and south side of the Neuse River where they raised their children. They planted a number of orchards on the plantations and well as the usual crops. They remained active with the sea as well. the main plantation was on the north side of the Neuse River and a smaller plantation was on the south side near the present day site of Garbacon Creek. He owned property in Craven, Careret (Hunting Quarters, Sea Level, Merrimon, Adams Creek and on Core Banks) and Hyde Counties.
When their son Thomas died in 1750 leaving his wife and two sons, Thomas Jr. and John, Captain John transferred 540 acres to the boys appointing his son James as overseer and instructing him that the widow Elizabeth was to receive one third of the profits of the orchards and the grounds for her lifetime. When young Thomas Jr. became of age in 1759, he gave his younger brother John 450 acres of this area as well as 120 acres in Hunting Quarters for "his better mantenance and livelyhood". It appears that John married and died in his forties. Thomas Jr. died after 1800 and had apparently built a very good shipping business with his ship the "Hunter" as well as having a very properous plantation. After Ann died Captain John married Mary Lewis Taylor. He provided for Mary by giving her a slave and rights to one half of his Hunting Quarters property for her life time. They had no children but Mary had three from and earlier marriage. John died in 1760 and Mary in 1799.
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