Piver Family


Piver's Island across from the west end of Beaufort - Late 1800s
This is the earliest known photograph in existence showing the point at Duncan's Green looking westward. The image was scanned from Beaufort, An Album of Memories by Jack Dudley.

Transcribed from an article written by:
Edward Lee Piver, Heritage of Carteret County 1982
The Pivers are descendants of 16th and 17th centuries French Huguenots. Their civil rights in France were guaranteed to them by the Edict of Nantes. This official decree of religious tolerance was signed by King Henry IV of France on April 13, 1598.

In 1685, the intolerant King Louis XIV revoked this edict and issued a new one which withdrew all their civil and religious liberties. The Huguenots were faced with danger to both person and property, and thousands of them fled to new homes in England, Brandenburg and the Low Countries. From these European countries they then migrated to America and settled in the Carolinas, Virginia and New York. The Huguenots that did remain in France did not receive their religious and political freedom until the time of the French Revolution.


However, the ones that remained suffered, survived and become very prosperous tradesmen in Europe and exported their manufactured products to America. The L.T. Piver Cosmetic Company, Paris, France, is an example of a prosperous Piver firm. The cosmetic products were shipped to America in the early 1900s. Local persons remember the newspaper ads and used the cosmetics.


Peter Piver, Sr.* came from England to Carteret County, North Carolina in 1708/1709 and first settled on the North River. Later, it is said he was given a land grant by Lords Proprietors which gave him title to many acres of land in Beaufort Township.


Jelly Rolls and a Model-T 
Edward Warren Piver

Edward Warren Piver, born October 30, 1869, married Martha Duncan Longest. Edward Warren Piver’s jobs of life varied with the seasons of the year. During the spring and summer months he farmed and bought clams from clammers for 30 cents per bushel to re-bed in North River’s sandy reef opposite where he lived. Later, in the fall and winter months, the clams were removed, packaged 250 per grass bag and shipped by railroad freight and then in the late twenties by over-the-road highway truck to sell on the Fulton Fish Market in New York City. From 1910 and until the late 1920s, the clams were transported from North River by motor boat to freight depot in Beaufort for shipment.


On some of the boat trips Edward W. took his son, Edward Lee, with him. When a load of clams was placed in the freight car and he started back home, he would stop at the business section of Beaufort, go to Clawson’s Bakery, buy several dozen of different kinds of warm mid-afternoon baked goods to eat on the way home and also take some to the rest of the family. The warm jelly rolls were delicious.


He also enjoyed an after-supper smoke outside the house. His corncob pipe was so strong with nicotine, he agreed to leave it at a given place on the back porch. It and the can of Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco were always there for his use and enjoyment. Another luxury he enjoyed was a short nap after the midday meal. For this rest period, a couch was place in the dining room for his use.


The farming operation was performed with a pair of mules. It provided food for family and for livestock. In addition to using the two mules for the farm operation, they were often hitched to the wagon or buggy and driven on a 5 to 8 mile journey rather than walk the muddy or sandy road.


After a devastating hurricane in the 1930s, Edward W. experimented with the fast-growing loblolly pine trees to re-forest his wood lots. The project was successful and he was invited to North Carolina State College to share his know-how with students in the Forestry Department. He was unable to accept the invitation.


After 1910, to provide a better education for his children than the one-room-one-teacher school, a 1914 Motel-T Ford was purchased in 1916 for his two daughters and one son to drive eight miles per day to attend St. Paul’s School in Beaufort—and later [to attend] the public school. The car was capable of traveling the hub-deep mud road which is currently Highway 70 East.


Throughout his life Edward W. Piver manifested his love and concern for his family.

*HISTORY NOTE: Peter Piver served under the command of Colonel Thomas Lovick during the 1747 Spanish attacks. Peter and Lydia Piver’s son, Jesse, married Elizabeth Paquinet June 19, 1817. It is believed that Jesse was the Piver who purchased, from the state of NC, what was then known as Still Island just opposite the western “Town’s End.” After dredging improvements to deepen the channel, the island became known as Piver’s Island. Peter Piver and his descendants built many houses in Beaufort. Several Piver families and descendants still call Beaufort home.