William Burt and Martha Elizabeth Eelbank?

Family of William Burt and Martha Elizabeth Eelbank

One difficulty researching the Burts of Halifax County has been the occurrence of several William Burts in that location. Richard Burt and Rebecca Stephens had a son William whom we suspect was the William Burt Sr. of Halifax County who died in 1824. Another William Burt, whose wife was Elizabeth [-?-], died in 1804. Joseph Burt Sr. had a son named William Burt, possibly born about 1775 and alive in 1812, about whom we know nothing more.

The following William Burt could have possibly been that son of Joseph Burt Sr., or yet another William Burt. This William Burt lived in the town of Halifax.

Book 17, p. 728, 27 Oct 1794
Elizabeth Eelbank to William Burt, both of Halifax Co., for 128 pounds current money, 256 acres on the waters of the Marchs Swamp along Harris, John Lindsey, John Hargrove, John Wood, Charles Blanton.
Signed: Eliza Eelbank
Wit: H. [Hance] Bond, Mary Davis, Sarah Bond, presented Feb 1795 Ct.

On 12 October 1797 in the town of Halifax where they both lived, William Burt was married to Mrs. Martha Bond [2]. Born in 1764 or 1765, Martha Elizabeth (nee Eelbank) Bond was the daughter of John Eelbank and Elizabeth [-?-] [3]. She was first married to Hance Bond [3], who died ca 1796 [7].

Halifax Co., NC WB 3:335
Elizabeth Elbank 24 June 1798/Feb Ct 1800
Daughter Martha Elizabeth Burt negroes and at her death the sd. negroes to be divided between Elizabeth Constantia Bond and Harriott Davis Bond my reason for leaving them only for her life is that William Burt has enough and them poor children has nothing. Wit: Mary Davis. Extr: Goodrum Davis
Halifax Co., NC
WB 3:573 Mary Davis, widow and relict of Goodrum Davis
30 June 1809/Aug Ct. 1815
nephew William S. Burt son of William Burt land in Northhampton Co. and will therewith and if he dies under 21 the same to go to my niece Harriott E. Eppes wife of Richard Eppes and Maria Burt dau. Of the sd. William Burt in trust for the sd. Harriott wife of the sd. Richard house and lot I occupy at present in the town of Halifax and also the lot I purchased of the late William Barksdale dec'd, nieces Harriott and Maria Burt (dau. Of sd. Wm.) negroes each, my negro fellow Jim who was manumitted, freed and liberated by order of the Worshipful Court , my lot #1 in the Town of Halifax and the circumjacent land and the sd. Negro to have a free gift of his wife Rina and his 2 sons Joseph and Jim and their sd. Father should have the sd. Sons freed when they are 21. Wit: William Drew, Robert Johnston Extr: my friends William Burt and Richard Eppes esquires of the town of Halifax. Codicil this 30 Jun 1809 - niece Martha Burt wife of William Burt, my negro Adam as a gardener. Richard Eppes [6] of the town of Halifax, Merchant, the residue of my estate.
WB 3:598
James Davis. ww 2 Jan 1817 wp Feb Ct 1817
Names: wife Rina and all my children she now has or may have my right, be held in trust by William Burt of Halifax Town and he to use all Lawfull means to have my wife and Children liberated and set free.
Wit: Thomas Buirges & Edmund Andrews
Ex: William Burt

While it is difficult to distinguish between the numerous William Burts found in Halifax County deeds, the following transactions [1] may have referred to this William Burt:

Book 17, pp. 369, 22 Feb 1792
William Branch Junr to Thomas Ames and Stephen Burt, all of Halifax Co., NC
Two lots or half-acres of land #66 and #83 in town of Halifax, being the lots which Charles Gilmour, now deceased, purchased of Allen Jones and Anthony Hart
Signed: William Branch
Witnesses: William Burt, presented to Feb 1792 Ct.
Book 17, p. 888, 5 Jan 1796
Thomas Peete adm of Saml Peete of Southampton Co. Va to Sterling Marshall and William Burt of the town of Halifax, NC for 600 Spanish milled dollars, to lots of land in the town of Halifax #70 and 87 formerly owned by the late Saml Peete which he purchased from John Kinchen and also an additional parcel of land in the town of Halifax, about a lot and a half, adjoining several streets and Mrs. Eliz. Elbeck.
Signed: Thos. Peete, adm of Saml Peete
Wit: Jesse Rhymes, [Mingo?] Pont[en?], presented Feb 1796 Ct.
Book 18, p. 365, 20 Jun 1798
Starling Marshall to William Burt, both of Halifax Co., for 700 Spanish milled dollars, lots 70 and 87 in town of Halifax, purchased by Marshall and Burt from Thomas Peele adm of Samuel Peele.
Signed: Starling Marshall
Wit: Jesse Burt Jr., presented Nov 1798 Ct.
Book 18, p. 421, 16 Jan 1799
William Gilmour to William Burt, both of town of Halifax, for 20 pounds current money, land adjoining lot #70 on Kings Street, along William Gilmour, William Burt's stable on lot #70. Signed: Wm. Gilmour
Wit: Henry Joyner, Junr., presented Feb 1799 Ct.
Book 21, p. 504, 28 Jan 1811
Isaac Hilliard to William Burt (residences not given), for 200 dollars, two lots in town of Halifax, #110 and 111, also four acres of land adjoining said [lots?]
Signed: Isaac Hilliard
Wit: Saml. McMahon, Feb Ct. 1811
Book 21, p. 513, 12 Sept 1810
Benjamin McCulloch of Rutherford Co., Tennessee to William Burt of town of Halifax, NC., for 806 dollars, 344 acres in Halifax Co. bounded by n. side Little Swamp, Marsh Swamp, Jesse Rhymes.
Signed: Benjmain McCulloch
Wit: James Johnston, Feb Ct 1811.
Book 21, p. 517, 11 Oct 1810
Benjamin McCullock of Rutherford Co., Tennessee to William Burt of the town of Halifax, for 138 dollars, land in Halifax Co. bounded by Burt's corner, Little Swamp, 56 acres.
Signed: Benjamin McCullock
Wit: James Johnston, John Archer, Feb Ct. 1811.
Book 21, p. 814, 6 July 1807
Allen Jones of Northampton Co. and Willie W. Jones of Halifax Co. to William Burt of the town of Halifax, for ten pounds Virginia currency, lot #108 in the town of Halifax.
Signed: Allen Jones, Willie W. Jones
Wit: Thomas Hall, A. D. Davie, Feb Ct. 1811.
Book 22, p. 375, 8 Apr 1812
Walter Bell to William Burt, both of town of Halifax, for 250 dollars, one lot or half acres of land in town, #109.
Signed: Walt. Bell
Wit: Richard Eppes.
Book 23, p. 307, 10 June 1811
William Burt to Thomas Bray Burt, "I have sold to Thomas Bray Burt all my right and title to the within lots and land but am not bound to warrant and defend against any person only those claiming under me and mine. Halifax June 10, 1811.
Signed: Wm Burt
Wit: Richard Eppes.

Martha Elizabeth Burt appears to have died in November or December of 1814: the Raleigh North Carolina Star on 9 Dec 1814: "[died] in Halifax, Mrs. Martha R. Burt... consort of Wm. Burt, Esq. [5]

Book 24, p. 123, 18 Jul 1817
Mark H. Petway, Sheriff of Halifax Co., to William Burt, at public sale 25 Oct 1816, lots in town of Halifax to satisfy judgement of William Boylan against Tippoo[?] S. Hammons belonging to estate of Hammons' father, for twenty dollars.
Signed: M. H. Petway, Shff.
Wit: Richard Eppes, Aug. Ct. 1817

William Burt died 13 June 1823 in Halifax; the Raleigh North Carolina Star which reported his death referred to him as "one of the oldest inhabitants of that place." [4]


  1. William S. Burt
    b. between 1800 - 1809 [10]
    m. [Priscilla Williamson 23 May 1823 Northampton Co., NC?]
  2. Maria Louisa Burt
    m. Henry Garrett by 1823 [9]


  1. Halifax County, NC deeds (microfilm copy), abstracted by Barbara Goodson, 1997.
  2. "North Carolina Journal", Monday, October 16, 1797, as found in Abstracts from the North Carolina Journal, Halifax County, North Carolina Vol II 1795-1797 by Raymond Parker Fouts.
  3. Records of Estates, Halifax County, North Carolina, vol I: Extant Loose Records 1816-1823; 1865-1903 by David Gammon: EELBANK, JOHN A petition for division of the estate (Oct., 1785) by the heirs of the dec'd, reveals he died in 1764 leaving two daughters and his wife Elizabeth Eelbank who was pregnant at the time. The two elder daughters were Ann Eelbank (who married James Turner and died leaving an infant son John Turner) and Susanna Eelbank (who married Montfort Eelbeck). Another daughter, Martha Elizabeth Eelbank (who married Hance Bond) was born posthumously. The said petition was granted Oct., 1787.
  4. Abstracts of Vital Records from Raleigh, North Carolina Newspapers Vol 1820-1829 compiled by Lois Smathers Neal, 1979.
  5. Abstracts of Vital Records from Raleigh, North Carolina Newspapers 1799-1819 compiled by Lois Smathers Neal, 1979.
  6. Richard Eppes was the husband of Harriet Davis Bond. From [5]: M. [married] at Halifax, a few days ago, Mr. Richard Eppes, to Miss Harriet Bond, both of that place. Appeared in the Raleigh Recorder Monday 18 Nov 1805.
  7. Administration of his estate was granted to Elizabeth Elbanck November 1796. [8]
  8. Records of Estates, Halifax County, North Carolina Vol II Extant Bound Records 1765-1770, 1771-1779, 1784-1787, 1796-1802, 1822-1824, 1828-1835 by David Gammon.
  9. Halifax County Deed Book 27, p. 14 (transcribed August 1997 by Barbara Goodson):
    Know all men by these presents that I Wm. S. Burt for and in consideration of a relinquishment made to me bearing date 22nd day of December 1823 by Henry Garrett and Maria Louisa his wife of all their right title interest and claim to Lot No. 70 to Lot No. 87 and to Lot No. 88 lying and being in the Town of Halifax belonging to the estate of Wm. Burt dec'd have [remised?] released and relinquished and by these presents forever quit claim unto the said Henry Garrett and Maria Louisa his wife all my right title and interest to the tract of land and premises situate lying and being in the County of Halifax on the Marsh Swamp belonging to the estate of Wm Burt dec'd whereon the said Hnery Garrett and Maria Louisa now lives and I the said William S. Burt do by these presents do hereby [remise?] release relinquish and quit claim unto the said Henry Garrett and Maria Louisa his wife all my right title interest and claim of and to the said tract of land and premises. In witness whereof I the said Wm. S Burt have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of Dec 1823.
    Signed: W. S. Burt
    Wit: Richard Eppes, attested 12 Dec 1825.
  10. 1830 Federal Census Halifax County, North Carolina by Stephen E. Bradley, Jr.:
    #1089 William S. Burt FW: 1m 20-30, 1f 0-5, 1f 20-30 SL: 1m 55-100, 2f 36-55, 1m 55-100

This page last updated on: 7 August 1997

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