Hyde County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,810, making it the second-least populous county in North Carolina. Its county seat is Swan Quarter. The county was created in 1705 as Wickham Precinct. It was renamed Hyde Precinct in 1712 and gained county status in 1739.
The county was formed December 3, 1705, as Wickham Precinct, one of three precincts within Bath County. The name “Wickham” was derived from the manor of “Temple Wycombe” in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, the family home of John Archdale, Governor of North and South Carolina from 1695 to 1696. In 1712 it was renamed Hyde Precinct, for Edward Hyde, Governor of North Carolina from 1711 to 1712. In 1739 Bath County was abolished, and Hyde Precinct became Hyde County.
Various boundary adjustments followed. In 1745 Lake Mattamuskeet and its adjoining territory were transferred from Currituck County to Hyde County. In 1819 the part of Hyde County west of the Pungo River was annexed to Beaufort County. In 1823 the part of Currituck County south of New Inlet was annexed to Hyde County. This area included the present day Hatteras Island. In 1845 Ocracoke Island was transferred from Carteret County to Hyde County. In 1870 Hyde County was reduced to its present dimensions, when its northeastern part was combined with parts of Currituck County and Tyrrell County to form Dare County. Since its creation, the boundaries of Hyde County have changed more than those of any other county in North Carolina.