The first recorded settlements in what is now Halifax County were made around 1711 on the south bank of the Roanoke River near the present village of Tillery. The first grants of land were on the Roanoke River and near the mouths of Kehukee and Quanky creeks in1720. These grants were located on the "south side of Morotuck river," which seemed to be the favorite localities for settlements, until some ten or fifteen years later when some grants were located on Fishing Creek, showing the gradual movement of population southward. From 1720 to 1740, there was a steady migration into this area from the lower Virginia counties, particularly Surry and the Isle of Wight.
In the latter part of 1757, Governor Arthur Dobbs and his council heard the petition of the residents of the parish of Edgecombe for the formation of a new county to be composed that part of Edgecombe County north of Fishing Creek and Rainbow Banks on the Roanoke River. Early in the next year, the petition was granted and confirmed by the Colonial Assembly, the parish of Edgecombe becoming Halifax and the parish of St. Mary's Edgecombe. The town of Halifax was selected as the county seat.
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