Swansboro is a small community, population 1,426 as of 2000, in Onslow County.
Onslow was formed in 1731 from New Hanover. It was named in honor of Arthur Onslow, who for more than thirty years was speaker of the House of Commons in the British Parliament. It is in the south eastern section of the State and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Pender, Duplin, Jones and Carteret counties. The present land area is 766.82 square miles and the 2000 population was 150,355. The act creating the county ordered the justices to select a site for a courthouse. The act also validated all acts of the court held in accordance with a commission, issued (November 23, 1731) by Governor Burrington for that purpose. From July, 1734, to January, 1735, court was held "at the court house on New River." In January, 1735, it was held at Joseph Howard's. In July of that year it was held at Christian Heidleberg's and from then until 1737 it was held at Joseph Howard's. After April 1737, it was held "at the courthouse on New River." The courthouse was burned between January and April 1744. Between April, 1744, and January, 1753, court was held "at Johnston on New River." Johnston was established in 1741. It is evident that for a while court was held in private homes, as James Foyle and Thomas Black were paid for allowing the court to sit at their homes. In January, 1753, the court met at Jonathan Melton's on North East New River, a storm having destroyed Johnston in September, 17O2. In July, 1757. court was held at the new courthouse at Wantland's Ferry on New River. In 1819 a new courthouse was authorized to be established within one-half mile from the old courthouse and on the same side of the river. In 1842 Jacksonville was authorized, but it was not laid out until after 1849. It is the county seat.