Tracing the Ancestry of Strachan Monk (1787 – 1850/1860) to Northampton County, Virginia: William Monk (d. 1716)

Northampton County, Virginia, Courthouse, 1731
Northampton County, Virginia, courthouse (built in 1731), with yours truly standing beside it, 1991.

Or, Subtitled: A World of Goodwives and “Hay Dogg, Hay Dogg”

In my previous posting, I explained why I’m confident that a William Monk and William Monk Jr. who witnessed the will of Samuel Palmer in Northampton County, Virginia, on 19 February 1708/9[1] are a father and son, and why I’m also confident that William Jr. is the man of that name who died in 1750 in Northampton County with wife Elizabeth, daughter of William and Mary Nottingham. To review my reasons for reaching these conclusions, please click the link I’ve provided and read my previous posting.

The Estate Records of William Monk, Northampton County, Virginia, 1716

That posting also tells you that the older William Monk died intestate in Northampton County sometime before 17 July 1716, when his widow Catherine was appointed administratrix on behalf of herself and her children. The estate was appraised by Richard, Joseph, Robert, and John Nottingham. On 31 July 1716, Richard, John, Joseph, Robert, and Benjamin Nottingham signed the estate inventory.[2]

Beyond these 1716 estate documents, I have very little information about William Monk elder. As my previous posting notes, since the younger William appears to have been of age when he witnessed Samuel Palmer’s will, an 8 December 1710 entry of William Munk’s mark for hogs and cattle in Northampton County could point to either of the two Williams.[3]

Though the account of the estate of William Monk (d. 1716) in Northampton County Order Book 15 does not name a list of his heirs other than wife and administratrix Catherine (her appointment as administratrix on 17 July 1716 does state that she was acting on behalf of herself and her children), it provides strong clues linking this William Monk to the younger William (d. 1750) whose wife was Elizabeth Nottingham. As I’ve noted, William Monk’s estate was appraised by Richard, Joseph, Robert, and John Nottingham, with Richard, John, Joseph, Robert, and Benjamin Nottinghamon signing the estate inventory on 31 July 1716.

These Nottingham men were all close relatives of Elizabeth Nottingham who married William Monk the younger. Richard (1652-1729), Benjamin (1656/7-1716), and John (1668-1719) were her uncles, all sons of Richard Nottingham (1621-1692) the immigrant ancestor. Joseph (bef. 1684-1721) was the eldest son of Elizabeth’s uncle Richard. The appearance of these close relatives of Elizabeth Nottingham Monk in the estate records of William Monk elder add more weight to the conclusion that he is father of the William Monk who died in 1750. (It’s also worth noting here that the William Monk who died in 1750 named a daughter Catherine, something we know from his will.)[4]

At the same court session at which Catherine obtained letters of administration for the estate of William Monk — 17 July 1716 — Robert Howson gave oath that he had seen William Monk Sr. sign as a witness to the will of John Sanderson.[5] As I pointed out to you previously (see the link at the head of this posting), Robert Howson witnessed Samuel Palmer’s 1708/9 will along with William Monk and William Monk Jr., and after Palmer died, Howson married Palmer’s widow Sarah Custis. Howson owned a portion of the tract of land in Northampton County originally patented by William Stone within which Elizabeth Nottingham Monk’s father William Nottingham also owned land that he willed to his daughter, which then passed to her son Nottingham Monk.

On 25 August 1716, Catherine presented an inventory of William Monk’s estate to the court.[6] On 16 October the same year, Robert Howson filed suit against the estate — evidently to recover a debt William Monk owed him — and Catherine was ordered as  administratrix to pay 24½ bushels of corn to Howson.[7] This is the last document I have found for William Monk’s estate. I have no document on which to make a well-grounded estimate of his year of birth. As I noted in my last posting, it appears his son William would have been born around or before 1690, per his witness to Samuel Palmer’s 1708/9 will. His wife Elizabeth Nottingham was born in 1700, according to a deposition she made in the Kendall v. Mapp case in 1742 in Northampton County.[8]

Elizabeth’s father William Nottingham gave his age as 24 in a February 1693 deposition in February 1693.[9] This establishes his year of birth as 1669. If William Monk was of roughly the same generation as his son’s father-in-law, then it appears he may have born in the 1660s.

William and Edward Monk, Immigrants to Northampton County by 1640/1

I have not been able to carry the Monk line from which Strachan/Strahon Monk descends any further back than the William Monk who died in Northampton County by 17 July 1716. It appears to me likely — but I have no proof of this — that he was the son of either yet another William Monk or an Edward Monk, both of whom appear in a list of those imported by William Stone to Northampton County, for which Stone claimed headright grants 11 January 1640/1641.[10]  This is the same William Stone who was later governor of Maryland, who patented an extensive tract in Northampton County, on part of which William and Elizabeth Nottingham Monk lived, and where Elizabeth’s father William Nottingham held land he willed to her.

It’s possible that William Stone transferred his headright claim for William Monk to John Savage, since Savage claimed an importation headright for William Monk in Accomack County, Virginia, on 16 August 1664.[11] Stone may also have assigned the headright claim for Edward Monk to William Britingham, since Britingham claimed a headright in Accomack County for the importation of Edward Monke on 16 August 1667.[12]

The William Monk who was in Northampton County by 1640/1 seems to have died there in 1655, when his estate was inventoried.[13] About Edward, who may well have been a relative of William, since William Stone claimed headrights for both men in the same 11 January 1640/1641 headright list, there is more information in Northampton records.

Edward seems to have come to Virginia indentured, since a 1642 Northampton case concerns Edward Muncke’s indenture to John Holloway. On 18 July 1642, Edward swore that in or about April 1641, Holloway, a surgeon, offered Moonnck’s indenture to Thomas Wyatt and Wyatt refused.[14] The court judged on 18 July 1642 that Holloway was unjustly detaining Monk’s indenture by claiming that Wyatt had not bought the indenture. Holloway was ordered to pay Monk three barrels of corn.[15]

On 21 August 1642, John Beedle, aged 22, swore that Edward Monnck had told him that Thomas Wyatt had bought him from his master John Holloway. [16] The same day, John Barnaby testified that Thomas Wyatt did, in fact, buy Edward Monk’s indenture from Holloway.[17] On 29 August, the court judged that, after the affidavits of Beedle and Barnaby, it appeared that Thomas Wyatt, a deceased blacksmith, had bought Edward Monnck from John Holloway and that Monnck had served his time with Wyatt. Alexander Williams, husband of Wyatt’s widow, was ordered at the coming of the first ship into the colony to pay Monnck a new kersey shirt, a pair of new shoes and stock, a good lockrum shirt, and three barrels of corn.[18]

Edward Monk is mentioned in records of another Northampton County case involving runaway hogs in July 1644. On 28 July 1644, Rowland Vaughan testified that on or about 18 July, he had been working in Mr. Taylor’s field when he heard hogs crying in John Charles’ field. Going to look and fearing that the hogs were Mr. Drewe’s, Vaughan met Goodwife Windley with the hogs. Returning to his work, Vaughan asked Thomas Church if the hogs really belonged to Goodwife Windley. As the two men spoke, a hog continued crying in John Charles’ field, so Vaughan returned to the field, with a hog and dog following him. According to Vaughan, Edward Monk followed him on the other side of the swamp, calling “Hay dogg, Hay dogg,” and then going away. Eventually, it was determined that the missing hogs belonged to Goodman Standley.[19]

On 3 July 1645, Edward Monk witnessed the deed of enslaved people by Capt. William Hawley of Northampton County to Argoll Yeardley of the same.[20] A 1655 notation in Northampton’s record books notes that Edward Monk departed the county on or by 29 May 1655 — for what destination, and temporarily or permanently?[21]

If I had to hazard a guess — and this is only a guess — I’d reckon that either William or Edward Monk was the father of the William Monk who died in Northampton County in 1716. I’d be inclined to choose William as the likelier candidate, since neither William Monk (d. 1716) nor his son William (d. 1750) named a son Edward.

Disparate Notes about Other Monk Men in Early Northampton and Accomack

I have disparate notes about other Monk men found in Accomack-Northampton records in the second half of the 17th century and early 18th century, though I have no information to connect any of these men to the William Monk who died in Northampton in 1716. On 17 September 1672, Daniel Jenifer was granted a headright for importing John Muncke to Accomack County.[22] This may be the John Monk who, along with Roger Churchill, both indentured to Thomas Teackle, murdered Thomas Hall in Accomack on 28 March 1669.[23] By 1670, a John Monk begins appearing in Northampton records, but I suspect he’s a different man than the one found in Accomack records.

A Henry Monk appears in Accomack records as early as 1667 associated with William Britingham as Britingham transported individuals to Virginia, and a Rowland Monk is also there in the same period, associated with Col. Edmond Scarborough, who was also transporting persons to the colony. As noted previously, William Britingham claimed a headright grant in Accomack County for the importation of Edward Monke on 16 August 1667. The common tie to Britingham may link Henry and Edward Monk in some way and indicate that they were related to each other.

A Robert Muncke appears in a list of those for whom William Kendall — a name we encountered in our discussion of the life of William Monk (abt. 1690-1750)— received headrights in Northampton on 28 August 1678.[24]

Finally, one George Monk died testate in Northampton between 9 March 1743/4 and 14 August 1744, with his will naming daughters Rachel, Mary, and Easther, and sons Jacob and Isaac, all of whom appear to have been minors at the time. The will also mentions Thomas and Sarah Warren, and makes Matthew Warren Monk’s executor.[25]

George’s son Jacob Monk administered the estate of Henry Warren on 11 March 1760, along with William Dolby.[26] We met the surname Dolby previously in connection with William and Elizabeth Nottingham Monk, who brought suit against Thomas Dolby in Northampton County on 4 December 1722.

Jacob Monk also witnessed the will of George Powell on 13 January 1764.[27] By 12 February 1771, Jacob had died, since an appeal to administer his estate was filed on that date.[28] It seems to me likely that George Monk was related to the William Monk who died in Northampton in 1716, but, if so, I have not yet found documentation to explain the connection.

[1]Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories 27-R, #19, p. 531. See James Handley Marshall, comp., Abstracts of the Willis and Administrations of Northampton County, Virginia, 1632-1802 (Camden, Maine: Picton, 1994), p. 191. The spelling used in the will is “Munk.”

[2]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 15, pp. 258, 343; see Marshall, Abstracts of the Wills and Administrations of Northampton County, p. 197.

[3]As I noted in my last posting, I have the original source recorded as Northampton County, Virginia, Record Bk. 5, p. 159, but this book number does not correspond to the date of this record: Record Bk. 15 is more likely. My source for this record is undoubtedly Frank V. Walczyk, Cattle Marks of Northampton County, Virginia, 1665-1742 (Coram, NY: Peter’s Row, 1999).

[4]Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories 27-R, #19, 1740-50, p. 531.

[5]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 15, pp. 258.

[6]Ibid., p. 264.

[7]Ibid.

[8]Kendall v. Mapp, Northampton County, Virginia, Loose Court Records, packet 28: see Jean M. Mihalyka, Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases, Northampton County, Virginia, vol. 2 (Eastville, VA: Hickory House, 2000), p. 157.

[9]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 13, p. 263.

[10]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, p. 27; see Susie M. Ames, ed., County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia, 1640-1645 (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of VA, 1973), p. 56. The headright list spells both men’s names as Muncke.

[11]Accomack County, Virginia, Order Bk., 1663-1666, p. 72; see Stratton Nottingham, comp., Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, Virginia, 1663-1709 (Onacock, VA; 1929), p. 10. Nottingham transcribes the surname as Muck.

[12]Accomack County, Virginia, Order Bk., 1666-1676, p. 36; see Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, p. 36.

[13]See Clayton Torrence, Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800 (Baltimore: Geneal. Publ. Co., 1981), p. 297.

[14]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, pp. 101-2: see Ames, County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, p. 92.

[15]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, pp. 101-2: see Ames, County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, p. 93; and Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, pp. 183-4.

[16]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, pp. 101-2: see Ames, p. 98.

[17]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, pp. 101-2: see Ames, County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, p. 95; and Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, pp. 186-7.

[18]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, pp 101-2; see Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack Countyp. 198.

[19]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, p. 201; see Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, p. 374.

[20]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 2, p. 240, recorded 27 Oct. 1645; see Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, p. 459.

[21]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 5, p. 146.

[22]Accomack County, Virginia, Order Bk., 1666-1676, p. 132; see Nottingham, Certificates and Rights, Accomack County, p. 50.

[23]Accomack County, Virginia, Order Bk., 1666-1676, p. 115.

[24]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 10, p. 274.

[25]Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories, 27-R, #19, p. 143; see Marshall, Abstracts of the Willis and Administrations of Northampton County, p. 314.

[26]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 25, p. 218; see Marshall, Abstracts of the Willis and Administrations of Northampton County, p. 382.

[27]Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories, 27-R, p. 69; see Marshall, Abstracts of the Willis and Administrations of Northampton County, p. 41.

[28]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 25, p. 427; see Marshall, Abstracts of the Willis and Administrations of Northampton County, p. 409.

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