Albemarle is the county seat of Stanly County, North Carolina. The population was 15,680 at the 2000 census. It is governed by Mayor Elbert L. "Whit" Whitley, Jr. (who was re-elected in 2005 after a 28-year hiatus from the same position) and a seven-member City Council.
This place-name is derived of the English noble surname Albemarle, which is the French version of the medieval latinization Albamarla of the town Aumale in Normandy, France. From Vulgar Latin alba "white" and margila "marlstone". The word root can be explained entirely with two Celtic words : alba "white", later "heaven" (Cf. Albion), the Latin word alba would be a Deckname for it and margila, which derives of Celtic marga. The Latin expression albamargila would be an exact loan translation of the Celtic one glisomarga "white marl".
The site of modern-day Albemarle was originally peopled by small tribes of hunter-gatherers and Mound Builders whose artifacts and settlements have been dated back nearly 10,000 years. Large-scale European settlement of the region came in the mid-18th century via two primary waves: immigrants of Dutch, Scots-Irish and German descent moved from Pennsylvania and New Jersey seeking enhanced religious and political tolerance, while immigrants of English backgrounds came to the region from Virginia and the Cape Fear River Basin in Eastern North Carolina.