Halifax County, North Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2020)



George Montagu-Dunk,
2nd Earl of Halifax


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1730s / Settlers from Edgecombe County

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Historical Post Offices

American Revolution

American Civil War

Significant Education Events

Alphabetical / Date Started

Battles & Skirmishes / Militia

Battles & Skirmishes / Camps & Forts / Troops

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Airports in Halifax County

Maps of Halifax County

Books About Halifax County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Halifax County

The Clerk's Office - Built in 1832

The first court was held in Enfield, which had been established in1740. Halifax was made the County Seat in 1758.
April 12, 1776, the date commemorated on the North Carolina state flag, signifies the Fourth Provincial Congress's adoption of the "Halifax Resolves," during a meeting held in Halifax. With that action, North Carolina became the first colony to take a bold, official step toward declaring independence from England. You can step back in time in historic Halifax and experience the lifestyle of those early revolutionaries. A Visitor's Center/Museum offers free guided tours and a unique archaeological exhibit.

Between 1776 and 1782, nearly every session of the North Carolina General Assembly was held in the town of Halifax. Halifax has given North Carolina more governors, members of congress, attorneys general, and brigadier generals than any other county in North Carolina. Halifax County was formed in 1758 and was named for George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax. He was, at the time, President of the Board of Trade in London.

Much of Halifax County - its geography and its history - was defined by the Roanoke River, which today forms its northern boundary. The great Roanoke has played a major role in the county for more than two centuries. Today, the Roanoke River is considered by many to have the best fishing in the country. Halifax County takes pride in its rich history and invites you to experience it first hand.

The Historic Halifax Visitor's Center offers an audio-visual presentation, exhibits, guided tours, and displays depicting the history of the town. Several historic structures are open on the site including the Sally Billy House, the Burgess House, the Halifax County Jail, and the Owens House. The Montfort's house, with exhibits and walkways over foundations exposed by the scholar's spade and trowel, portrays the lifestyle of this wealthy resident of early Halifax.

In 1758, the residents of Edgecombe County petitioned the governor and the colonial assembly requesting that the parish of Edgecombe be granted the status of an individual county - having functioned along with St. Mary’s Parish as the two original Edgecombe County parishes since its creation in 1741 from the southwestern section of Bertie County. Halifax County was established in the existing Edgecombe Parish - St. Mary's Parish was retained with what was left of Edgecombe County.

Bertie County was formed from the western extension of Chowan Precinct (west of the Chowan River) in the year 1722, and was even earlier, an undefined part of the now-extinct original Albemarle County 1664-1668. All territory within the boundaries of Edgecombe County north of the Fishing Creek and Rainbow Banks on the Roanoke River - approximately 711 square miles - was officially designated as Halifax County on January 1, 1759.

Halifax County is located in the northeastern area of North Carolina and is bordered on all sides by seven neighboring NC counties. As suggested by Governor Author Dobbs, Halifax was named for George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, first Lord of the Board of Trade and Plantations. The county seat, also named Halifax (town) had been established in 1757 on the Roanoke River. Located on the fall line of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, the county has an interesting mixture of flat and hilly terrain and an excellent climate for agricultural pursuits. The original residents of this area along the southern banks of the Moratuck [Roanoke] River and Quankie Creek were the Tuscarora Indians.

In 1917, Milton Whitney, Chief of Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture submitted an official report to the U.S. Government in which he stated that the early settlers of the Halifax County area came mainly from the British Isles. Many of them settled first in New Jersey and other northern states and then migrated to this county. Others came directly to Halifax County.

The first settlements in Halifax County were apparently made near the watercourses. The first crops grown were corn, peas, potatoes, flax, and various vegetables. Livestock was brought in at an early date, and gradually increased in number. Flax was spun and woven into garments for home use. Considerable wool was produced and made into clothing at home. Tanneries were in operation at an early date, and furnished leather for making shoes. Nearly every settler grew tobacco for domestic use. Cotton was grown in small patches and made into homespun garments, the lint being separated from the seed by hand.

The town of Enfield was established in 1740, and had earlier been the County Seat of Edgecombe County. The town of Littleton was founded before the Revolutionary War and named for William P. Little, whose parents built Mosby Hall. When founded, Littleton was first in Bute County, until 1779 when Bute County was split into Warren County and Franklin County, and Bute County was abolished. In 1840, Littleton was considered to be in Halifax County.

Roanoke Rapids Hospital - 1920

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