Updated June 6, 2011.
June 3, 2011. CURRITUCK GUNNING AND FISHING CLUB 1923 survey from Rod Mann
I was reminded that a few years ago I discovered a surveyor's map done in 1923 for the Currituck Gunning Club which became the Currituck Hunting and Fishing Club and was bought and owned for a few years by Okie and Kate Morris of the Moonrise Bay Winery. The survey was done from a time when the club still owned a lot of property including many of the marshy islands at the north end of Knotts Island Bay. I think it was probably the biggest hunting club on the island for many years. Down in the bottom corner the map shows where the old club was originally on the beach before it was wiped out by storms.
What caught my attention were the names, Manns Island and Manns Channel because that is my family name. I knew there had been Manns on the island in the 19th century because of Melinda Lukei's "Gravesites" book and the Mann family of Mann's Harbor area had been prominent near the coast.
The only USGS map of the area I had seen named the dual island, Mon Island, and I see you have one up that calls it Mounds Island. Anyway I wrote to the USGS in early 2001 and was referred to Roger Payne at the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. Fortunately he was very interested in my discovery of the 1923 surveyor's map because he suspected there was something wrong with the name attributed to that island. He had done a book in the mid-eighties called, "Place Names of the Outer Banks" which tries to include all our little islands in Knotts Island Bay. He happened to grow up in North Carolina. He had seen a 19th Century map that called a group of islands in the north part of the bay, Manns Islands and put that in his book on page 123, but he also had Mon Island listed seperately. Anyway, he started the process of the name change from Mon (or Mounds) Island to Manns Island and it went through. So the USGS info online is corrected. All you have to do is Google, Manns Island. We are only a mile or so from the only Manns Island in the in the US and I had no idea it was out there when I moved here in 1971.
The other possible connection for the map (which is in the courthouse) is that it was done the same year as the survey for Joseph Knapp that includes the fort feature near the mouth of Indian Creek that Sam Sumner says could be connected to the Lost Colony. I wonder if it was done by the same surveyor, David Cox. It would have made sense to do all the work he could while he was here on the island. Reading about Mackay Island it appears that 1923 was a year of much land acquistion by Mr. Knapp, which would explain his need for new surveys.
June 6, 2011. On the Manns or Mauns Island name issue, I interviewed Edmund White, who used to fish out there, saying it was one of the best fishing spots in the channel and he said, yes it was Manns Island, but the local people pronounced it Mon or Mons......including himself. If that is all you ever heard, it would be easy to think it was spelled Mauns or Mons or even Mounds. Edmund was a Knotts Island native, whose family of watermen went back a long way, who said it was Manns. He expressed no doubts about it.