Hertford is a town in Perquimans County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,185 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Perquimans County. Hertford is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region and is part of the Elizabeth City Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is named after the county town of Hertford, England.
Hertford was originally incorporated in 1758 as the county seat for Perquimans County, first inhabited by the Yeopim Indians. County records show that the Yeopim chief, Kalcacenin, sold land to a George Durant at the river mouth in March 1662, adjacent to land he had already sold to Samuel Pricklove. The area was settled soon afterwards, and its first building, the Newbold White House, is thought to be the oldest structure in the state.
Through the first part of the 20th century, Hertford thrived as a lumber town, making good use of the nearby river. The original bridge that spanned the river was a floating bridge, made of steel and wood. When a boat came near and wanted passage, the bridge would be unhooked from one bank and allowed to float out of the way. Then, when the boat had passed, lines were used to haul the free end of the bridge in and reconnect it. Today, an S-shaped swing bridge is in use, the only one of its kind in the United States.