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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Durant (Duren), John

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1986

26 Dec. 1662–January 1699/1700

John Durant (Duren), North Carolina Council member and General Court justice, was the son of George and Ann Marwood Durant, early settlers and leaders of the colony. The younger Durant probably was born at his parents' plantation on the peninsula now called Durants Neck in Perquimans County. He was the third of nine children and the second of three sons, of whom the eldest died in childhood.

By January 1693/94 Durant was a member of the North Carolina Council and ex officio justice of the General Court. He held those offices through October 1695. Most likely he was also a member of the Assembly in that period, as he sat on the Council by vote of the Assembly. In November 1697, he again became a justice of the General Court, which was then composed of justices appointed by the Council instead of the Council members themselves. He held that appointment the remainder of his life.

Durant married Sarah Cooke (rendered Jooke by J. R. B. Hathaway) on 9 Apr. 1684. The bride was the daughter of Thomas and Ann Cooke of the North Carolina colony. About the time of the marriage John's father gave him a plantation in Perquimans Precinct, on which no doubt the couple settled. The children born of the marriage were George, Ann, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary.

After Durant died, his widow married William Stephens on 1 Jan. 1703/4.


Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys, 1681–1706 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Colonial Council Minutes, Wills, Inventories, 1677–1706 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Durant Family Bible, 1599 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

J. R. B. Hathaway, ed., The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, 3 vols. (1900–1903).

Mattie Erma E. Parker, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, Higher-Court Records, 1670–1696, vol. 2 (1968), and 1697–1701, vol. 3 (1971).

Perquimans County Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Flesh Marks, 2 vols. (1659–1739, 1701–1820) (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 1 (1886).

Additional Resources:

North Carolina. Secretary of State. North Carolina wills and inventories copied from original and recorded wills and inventories in the office of the secretary of state. Raleigh, Edwards & Broughton printing company, printers. 1912. (accessed April 2, 2013).

Hathaway, James Robert Bent. The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, (accessed April 2, 2013).

The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1, edited by James Robert Bent Hathaway, Google e-book.


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