An Account of the Life of George Monk (abt. 1707-1744), Northampton County, Virginia

Northampton County Courthouse
The 1899 Northampton County Courthouse (left) and earlier 1732 Courthouse on the historic court green in Eastville, Virginia; by JodyMBrummage, who has kindly uploaded the photo to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to….

With my last posting, I told you I had finished sharing what I know of my Northampton County, Virginia, Monk line back to William Monk, who died there before July 1716. I also stated that I was now going to trace the Nottingham line that intersects with my Monk line in Northampton County, and I began that series by telling you what I know of William Nottingham (1669-1719), whose daughter Elizabeth (1700-1749/1750) married William Monk (abt. 1690-1750).

In my series on my Northampton County Monks, I have traced that line back to the father of William Monk who married Elizabeth Nottingham. He, too, was named William, and is the man who died before July 1716 in Northampton County. I have suggested to youthough this is only a guess!— that this William Monk might be the son of either Edward or William Monk, both immigrants to Northampton County by 1640/1. The immigrant William died by 1655 in Northampton County, and he seems to me the likelier candidate to be the father of the William Monk who died in 1716, and who was born in the 1660s, it appears.

On the Miles Files and Their Importance for Researchers of Eastern Shore Families

I thought I had finished sharing what I know of this Monk line in Northampton County when I began tracing the Nottingham family line in Northampton County. Then M.K. Miles, who maintains the MilesFiles that I’ve previously recommended to you — they’re online at the website of the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation — generously shared with me an extensive amount of material about another early Monk figure in Northampton County, George Monk (abt. 1707 – July 1744). M.K. Miles has now uploaded this material to his MilesFiles site, and what I’m sharing with you now depends almost completely on the extensive research about George Monk he has made available there.[1]

When I recommended the MilesFiles to you previously, I told you that they contain numerous well-documented lineages of early families of the Eastern Shore of Virginia (i.e., Northampton and Accomack Counties). As the link provided above to the MilesFiles’ main page tells you, M.K. Miles lives on the Eastern Shore in Saxis, Virginia. The page contains contact information for him and invites researchers to email or telephone him. M.K. has done an invaluable service to all of us descending from early families of the Eastern Shore by making so much well-documented information about these families available online. He has done far more research regarding George Monk than I’ve done. He deserves all the credit for what I’m now going to share with you.

I mentioned George Monk to you in my previous posting about the William Monk who died in 1716. I noted that he’s one of several Monks I find in early Northampton County records that I have not been able to connect to that William Monk. M.K.’s research suggests that it’s very likely George was a son of William Monk (d. 1716), and therefore a brother to my ancestor William Monk (abt. 1690-1750). As you’ll recall from the posting I’ve just linked, when William’s widow Catherine appealed to administer his estate, the court record of her appeal states that she was acting on behalf of herself and her children, but no document I’ve found names those children. Here’s what M.K. Miles knows of George Monk’s history:

What We Know About the Life of George Monk

George Monk was born about 1707, probably in Accomack County, Virginia.[2] He was definitely of age by December 1725 when Severn Eyre sued him in a Northampton County case of debt, with the case record noting that George Munk was of Accomack County.[3] The 1726 tithables list in Northampton County includes him as George Munke, age 16-21, under John Dolbe on Devorax Godwin’s list. George Monk is listed under John Dolbe in this tithables list.[4] As M.K. Miles notes, since this was the first appearance of George Monk on a tithables list, it’s possible that he had recently turned 16, and this would imply a birthdate of about 1710 for him, though his listing on the 1728 Northampton tithables list (see below) implies he was born about 1707.

The fact that George Monk is listed here under John Dolbe is worth noting. As I have noted previously, George Monk’s will (which I’ll discuss in a moment) named a son Jacob who administered the estate of Henry Warren in Northampton County in 1760, along with William Dolby. As I have also noted, William and Elizabeth Nottingham Monk brought suit against Thomas Dolby in Northampton County on 4 December 1722.

In July 1726, George Monk appears in another Northampton County lawsuit in which Gertrude Harmanson sued him (the name is given as George Munk) for 7 yards of linen and 30 pence per 210 pounds of tobacco.[5] The following year in 1727, he appeared again (as George Munk, aged 16-21) on the Northampton County tithables list under John Dolby, in Matt. Harmanson’s list of tithables.[6]

The 1728 tithables lists for Northampton County have further important information about George. In 1728, he’s shown on one tithables list as George Monke, aged 21 or over (implying a birthdate of about 1707), and is listed next to John Dollock on Michael Christian’s list — which also includes William Monke and John Sanderson.[7] John Sanderson’s name and his proximity to William Monk on the 1728 tithables list stand out, since, as previously noted, William Monk elder (d. 1716) witnessed the will of a John Sanderson, a planter of Hungars Parish, who died, as William Monk himself did, sometime before 17 July 1716 in Northampton County.[8]

I haven’t done any research to speak of on this Sanderson family, but would be inclined to think that the younger John Sanderson listed near William Monk on the 1728 tithables list is closely connected to the older man of the same name who died in 1716. It’s also worth noting that there was some connection of the older John Sanderson to the Nottingham family into which the younger William Monk of the 1728 tithables list married: in 1707, John and Sarah Custis — names we’ve met before in discussing the Northampton County Monk family — sold 180 acres in Northampton County to Benjamin Nottingham and John Sanderson. Benjamin was an uncle of William Monk’s wife Elizabeth Nottingham.[9]

George Monk also appears on another 1728 tithables list in Northampton County. In this list, he is in the district of John Haggoman and Robert Nottingham (as George Monk, aged over 21) next to John Dolbe. William Monk and a John Saners (age 16-21), who is evidently John Sanderson, are listed under him.[10] Note that the repeated proximity of George Monk to William Monk on tithable lists in Northampton County in the 1720s strengthens M.K. Miles’ conclusion that they are probably brothers, both sons of William Monk (d. 1716).

In 1729, George Monk is shown (as George Munk, aged 21 or over) on the Northampton County tithables list in John Haggoman and Clark Jacob’s list. He is enumerated next to John Isdell, with William Monk and John Sanderson nearby.[11] On the 1729 Northampton tax list, George appears as George Munk (aged 21 or over) next to John Isdell in Michael Christian’s district, with William Monk and John Sanders again nearby.[12] Again, I think that John Sanderson/Sanders/Saners are all the same man.

About 1730, George Monk married Elizabeth, widow of John Warren (1685-1729), who was a son of an older John Warren and Elizabeth Patrick of the Homeset plantation on Governor Hawley’s Creek in Savage Neck, Northampton County.[13] John Warren’s mother Elizabeth Patrick was the daughter of Richard Patrick and Susan Godwin; Susan was a daughter of Devorax Godwin (1600-1676). Susan’s half-brother Joseph Godwin married Mary Patrick, and they were the parents of the Devorax Godwin (abt. 1664-1726/7) on whose tithables list George Monk appears in 1726. Devorax Godwin (abt. 1664-1726/7) married Susanna, daughter of William Kendall and Ann Mason.[14]

In 1731, George Munk (Munk (aged 21 or over) is in Michael Christian’s portion of the Northampton County tithables list, with William Williams (aged 16-21) under him and John Isdell next to him, with William Widgen (age 16-21) under Isdell.[15] In February 1733, Monk petitioned in Northampton County for guardianship of Tabitha Wilson, with the court record noting that Monk was also requesting an order for the estate that was in the hands of Abigail Wilson.[16]

The following year in 1734, George Monk appears on Joseph Godwin’s list of Northampton tithables, again with Jacob Williams (aged 16-21) under him. He is enumerated again next to John Easdill (Isdell), who had Agrull Easdill (age 16-21) under him.[17] In 1735, Monk is listed on both Joseph Godwin’s tax and tithables list next to John Esdill (Isdell) and Henry Warren who had Mathew Warren (age 16-21) under him.[18]

In 1737, George Monk is enumerated on Hilary Stringer’s tithables list in Northampton, a page apart from William Monk and Howsen Mapp; Mapp has Nottingham Monk (aged 16-21) under him and enslaved persons named Harry, Sarah, and Hannah.[19] The next year, George Monk is again on Hilary Stringer’s list, this time with John Nellson (aged 16-21) under him.[20]

In 1739, George Monk appears on Major Peter Bowdoin’s Northampton tithables list with Richard Sanders (aged 16-21) under him.[21] In 1741, George Munk is on John Custis’ list with Annabell Smith (aged 16-21) under him, and the following year he is shown as George Munk on John Savage’s list, with Nottingham Munk (aged 16-21) under him.[22] The fact that George Monk is associated with William Monk’s (abt. 1690-1750) son Nottingham Monk here reinforces the judgment that George and William are very likely brothers.

The Will of George Monk and Land Causes About the Homeset Plantation

In 1743, the year before his death, George Munk is enumerated on John Savage’s Northampton tithables list with George’s step-son Thomas Warren (aged 16-21) under him.[23] George made his will on 9 March 1743/4 in Northampton County, and it was proven 14 August 1744 at Northampton County court.[24] Since his wife Elizabeth had died just over a week before the will was made (something stated in October 1745 and April 1746 land causes that will be discussed in a moment), she is not mentioned in the will. The will names daughters Rachel, Mary, and Easther, and sons Jacob and Isaac. To Jacob, George leaves his sword, an interesting detail, since, as we’ve seen previously, the 18 September 1749 Northampton will of the William Monk who appears to be George’s brother leaves to his son Nottingham Monk William’s small sword.[25]

George’s will states that his five children are to be bound as law directs. The will also bequeaths to his step-children Thomas and Sarah Warren a cow each. The will names Matthew Warren executor, and is witnessed by John Marshall, Matthew [X] Warren, Mary [X] Wedgen, and Frances Warren.27

As we’ve just noted, information about George Monk and his wife Elizabeth appears in two land causes in Northampton County, dated by 8 October 1745 and 8 April 1746.[26] The first is the case of Matthew Warren v. Henry Warren, and the second is the case of Thomas Warren, Infant, by Bartholomew Pettitt, his guardian, vs. Henry Warren. At his MilesFiles page providing information about George Monk and wife Elizabeth, M.K. Miles provides transcripts of both case files. For readers who want more information about them, I’d like to direct your attention to valuable material at the link I’ve just provided.

The case files provide an interesting account of how the Homeset Plantation on Governor Hawley’s creek descended from Richard Patrick (abt. 1635-1675), its original owner, and the grandfather of John Warren, the first husband of George Monk’s wife Elizabeth, through the hands of several members of the Patrick and Warren families until its 200 acres of land and appurtenances ended up with George and Elizabeth Monk — an outcome challenged in a May 1739 suit filed in Northampton County by Henry Warren. As the land causes in 1745-1746 indicate, this dispute dragged on following the death of George Monk and after the court found in 1739 in favor of Henry Warren.

Among the useful pieces of information found in the court documents generated by these land causes is the statement that George Monk’s wife Elizabeth died about the first of March 1744, and that George Monk survived her until July of the same year. These land cause documents are a rich genealogical resource not only for Northampton County Monk researchers, but also for those researching the Patrick, Godwin, and Warren families with ties to the Monks.

[1]See MilesFiles, p. 1011.

[2]See John B. Bell, Northampton Co, Virginia, Tithables, 1720-1769 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994), pp. 105, 137, 163-4.

[3]See Jean M. Mihalyka, Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases, 1628-1731, Northampton County, Virginia, vol. 1 (Eastville, VA: Hickory House, 1997), p. 121.

[4]Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 1720-1769, p. 105.

[5]See Mihalyka, Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases, 1628-1731, p. 133.

[6]Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 1720-1769, p. 128.

[7]Ibid., p. 137.

[8]Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 15, pp. 258; and James Handley Marshall, Northampton County, Virginia, Abstracts of Wills & Administrations, 1632-1802 (Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1994), p. 207.

[9]See Vivian Davis Bornemann, The Batson Family in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Related Families, etc. (priv. publ., New Orleans, 1959), p. 15.

[10]Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 1720-1769, pp. 163-4.

[11]Ibid., pp. 193-4.

[12]Ibid., pp. 197-8.

[13]Stratton Nottingham, Northampton County, Virginia, Land Causes 1731-1868, and Lancaster County, Virginia 1795-1848 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1991), p. 44. See also the MilesFiles, p. 643.

[14]See MilesFiles, p. 643. On the Warren family, see also Lloyd E. Warren, “The Warrens of Northampton County, Va.,” William and Mary Quarterly 8,3 (July 1928), pp. 187-193.

[15]Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 1720-1769, p. 225.

[16]Jean M. Mihalyka., Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases, 1732-1744/5, Northampton County, Virginia, vol. 2 (Eastville, VA: Hickory House, 2000), p. 17.

[17]Bell, Northampton County Tithables, 1720-1769, p. 241.

[18]Ibid., p. 250.

[19]Ibid., pp. 259-260.

[20]Ibid., p. 281.

[21]Ibid., p. 287.

[22]Ibid., pp. 323, 339.

[23]Ibid., p. 355.

[24]Marshall, Northampton County, Virginia, Abstracts of Wills & Administrations, 1632-1802, p. 314.

[25]On swords as prized and often quite imposing family possessions and heirlooms and as cherished property bequeathed in wills in Virginia in the colonial period, see Philip Alexander Bruce, Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry Into the Religious, Moral and Educational, Legal, Military, and Political Condition of the People Based on Original and Contemporaneous Records,vol. 2 (NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1910), pp. 53-4.

[26]Nottingham, Northampton County, Virginia, Land Causes 1731-1868, and Lancaster County, Virginia 1795-1848, pp. 40-44.

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