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Eelbeck, Montfort

by Ruth L. Barrett, 1986

d. 1790

Montfort Eelbeck, county official and planter, for thirty-five years held civil office in Edgecombe and Halifax counties, appointed in turn by governor and council, Provincial Congress, and state senate and house. He was perennially a justice of the peace from his earliest known appointment to that office in 1754. From 1770 through 1772 he was sheriff of Halifax County. He also held the posts of "Receiver of Impost," Edgecombe County (1752); commissioner for repair of the Halifax County jail (1773); judge of the Court of Oyer and Terminer (appointed 1777); and entry taker for Halifax County (resigned 1785).

Eelbeck married Mary Rogers, one of the two daughters of Emanuel Rogers of Bertie Precinct who died in 1729. In 1742, Montfort and Mary Rogers Eelbeck and John and Elizabeth Rogers Hubbard joined in partitioning the more than 6,000 acres that the sisters inherited. Of Mary's part, the Eelbecks retained 1,730 acres, which were the nucleus of the estate of over 4,000 acres—largely on Quankey Creek—bequeathed in Montfort's will. Although he rarely sold land except to purchase other suitable tracts to consolidate his holdings, in the three years before his death he sold three tracts totaling 1,100 acres to three friends and neighbors, John Kinchen, William R. Davie, and Willie Jones, who was one of the executors of his will.

Montfort and Mary Eelbeck reared nine children. Their sons were Henry (m. Jane Lane), Montfort, Jr. (m. Susannah Elbank), and John (wife's name unknown). Their daughters were Ann (m. Richard Howson), Elizabeth (m. James Shine), Penelope (m. David Day), Anna Maria (m. Dr. Mungo Ponton), another daughter (m. Thomas Frohock), and Dorothea Miriam (unmarried).

In his will Eelbeck stated that he considered "an entertainment at a funeral a gross piece of nonsense," but specified that "on the occasion" of his own a sermon was to be preached in the town of Halifax by a minister of the Church of England.


Deeds, Wills, and Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1784–87, of Halifax County (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

J. Bryan Grimes, ed., Abstracts of North Carolina Wills (1910).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 5 (1887).

Additional Resources:

Edenton (N.C.) Papers, #1910, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (accessed July 18, 2013).

"Chapter XXX.An Act for repairing the Gaol for the District of Halifax, in the Town of Halifax." The State Records of North Carolina.volume 23. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1904. 927. (accessed July 18, 2013).

"Chapter I. An Act for Licensing Traders, Peddlers, and Petty Chapmen, and granting to his Majesty an Impost or Duty on Goods, Wares, and Merchandize, to raise Supplies for defraying the necessary Charges of Government." The State Records of North Carolina.volume 23. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1904. 373. (accessed July 18, 2013).

Barrett, Ruth Leslie. "Montfort Eelbeck."  The Fenner forebears of Samuel Fenner Leslie, 1877-1969
their lives, their descendants, their kin in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas
. Windom, Tex.:R.L. Barrett. 1987. 225.

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