Guilford was formed in 1771 from Rowan and Orange. The act creating Guilford became effective April 1, 1771. It was named in honor of Francis North who was Earl of Guilford. He was the father of Lord North who was Prime Minister under George III during the Revolution. Lord North afterward succeeded his father as Earl of Guilford. It is in the north central section of the State and is bounded by Alamance, Randolph, Davidson, Forsyth and Rockingham counties. The present land area is 649.42 square miles and the population was 421,048. The first court was ordered held at the home of Robert Lindsay and provided for the commissioners to buy the land of John Campbell for the courthouse site. In 1785 Martinsville was laid out as the courthouse. It was named in honor of Alexander Martin, governor of North Carolina, 1782-1785 and 1789-1792. The courthouse had been called Guilford Court House until the passage of this act. Commissioners were named by the act of 1807 to select a place at the center of the county for the erection of a new courthouse, as the old one was badly in need of repair and not conveniently located. Commissioners were also named to purchase 30 acres of land and have the new courthouse erected. They were to sell the old courthouse. In 1808 the new county seat was named Greensborough in honor of Nathaniel Greene. Today Greensboro is the county seat.