Note: r of Astwood in Feckenham and Ursula Woodcock, but this is far from being proven. While there is some evidence to suggest that the name of Henry's father was John, it has not been possible to prove that this John was the one just mentioned. But he seems to be a good candidate, since he was the right age to have been Henry's father, was known to have been abroad from England, and belonged to a family with other connections in Virginia.
It has also been suggested that Henry might have been a son of [R:00004], brother of the above John the Merchant. Although several of Thomas's children are known from baptismal records in England, one cannot necessarily conclude that the list of known children is a complete list, since neither Thomas nor his wife left a will.
It is also possible that Henry might be related to [R:00005] who signed the Third Virginia Charter in 1612.
A fourth possibility is that Henry of Lower Norfolk was the [R:00006] baptised in Westminster Parish, at Saint Margaret's Church, London, England, 20 Feb 1632, the son of [R:00010], whose further ancestry is unknown. At one time it was speculated that William may have been a member of the Bedgebury Culpepers. [R:00007] of the Bedgebury family was buried at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, London, in 1708. The given names used in the Bedgebury branch of the family are similar to the names used in early Virginia, such as Henry, James, Thomas, William, Elizabeth, Mary, and so forth.
If William Culpeper were one of the Bedgebury Culpepers, then all four of the possible fathers for Henry would have been related, with their most recent common ancestor being [R:00009].
DNA testing has proven that the Culpepers of Barbados, the Culpepers of Puerto Rico, the Colepepers of South Africa, and the Culpepers of India and Australia are all closely related to each other, but they are not related to the American Culpeppers, for whom Henry is the progenitor. Further, the Culpepers of Barbados have been proven through traditional genealogical research to be descendants of [R:00008], a great-grandson of Walter Culpeper of Goudhurst et al.
Thus, the only known way at this time to explain the genealogical and DNA evidence is to say that either: (a) There is false paternity between Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk and one of his English ancestors, (b) Henry descends from some other unidentified English Culpeper who was not related to the famous Culpepers of Bayhall, Bedgebury, Preston Hall, Wakehurst, Leeds Castle and Hollingbourne, or (c) Henry was the individual baptized at St. Margaret's London, but his father William of London was not a Bedgebury Culpeper.
Whatever his ancestry might have been, Henry was probably born in England, perhaps around 1633, and came to Virginia as a young man, in May 1653 or prior. One cannot be certain of the exact date of his arrival, as Henry apparently paid for his own voyage, and then sold his claim to 50 acres of land (his headright) to Captain Nathaniel Hurd. He might have arrived some time prior to selling his headright, perhaps even years earlier. There is no evidence that Henry paid for his voyage by becoming an indentured servant to Captain Hurd. Only five years later (1658) Henry is mentioned as a Planter, and so seems to have been someone of means.
On 7 Dec 1658, "Henry Colepepper, Planter" sold a cow in Lancaster Co., VA (Virginia County Court Records: Deed & Will Abstracts of Lancaster County, Virginia, 1654-1661, p. 94). The fact that Henry was listed as a "Planter" indicates that he had chosen to make Virginia his home, that he owned land, and that he was apparently making a living raising cattle. Exactly what land he owned, where, and how and when he acquired it, has not been determined. A check of early Lancaster County tithable records does not reveal anyone named Culpeper, Culpepper, or Colepeper. This does not mean that Henry did not live in Lancaster County, just that he was not taxed for being a property owner.
On 14 Sep 1659, a "John Colepeper" was also noted in Lancaster Co., VA deed records witnessing a deed which set parish boundaries (Recorded 9 May 1660, p. 374. See Virginia County Court Records: Deed & Will Abstracts of Lancaster County, Virginia, 1661-1702, p. 88)
This same document is also referenced in Beverly Fleet's Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 1, Lancaster County, Record Book No. 2, 1654 - 1666. John Colepeper served "as a witness to a meeting of the parishoners of Lancaster Parish and Pieankitank for the final ordering of all differences betwixt the 2 parishes concerning the bounds of the sd parishes should be and extend according to an order of the County Court bearing date 10th day of Sept 1657." This meeting was recorded on 20 May 1660.
The area of discussion at the meeting is the part of Lancaster County across the Rappahannock River in what is now Middlesex County. Middlesex County was formed from Lancaster County in 1673. The Pianketank River (just mentioned) divides present Middlesex County from Mathews County. The records of Mathews County were burned during the Civil War, but Middlesex County, on the other hand, has excellent records, including the Christ Church Parish records. The Middlesex records are probably too late to be of much use.
Lancaster County records have survived, for the most part, from the beginning of the county in 1652, and should be studied further. Lancaster County, at the tip of the Northern Neck, was a home base of the Northern Neck Proprietary. Bill Russell has suggested that [R:00004], son of John of Feckenham, may also have lived in the Lancaster County area from 1649 until his death in 1652. For most of this time the area would have been in Northumberland County, the parent county of Lancaster County. Thomas was one-seventh proprietor of the Northern Neck under the charter of 1649.
A Henry Culpeper and a John Culpeper were both listed as "Shippers by the Defence," which was bound from London for New England 10 May 1664 - 30 June 1664. Also mentioned was Sir William Peake, who was perhaps the Sir William Peake who was Lord Mayor of London a few years later, in 1667. (The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699, p. 64 by Peter Wilson Coldham, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc).
It is difficult to say which John Culpeper this might have been, who was traveling with Henry. There were as many as three Johns in Virginia and neighboring Albemarle, NC, about this time: John (born 1606), John (born 1633, son of Thomas and Katherine), and John (born 1640's, of Albemarle). But it doesn't necessarily matter which John it was, as all three may have been related, and this record seems to connect Henry to this branch of the family, which is the descendants of John Culpepper of Feckenham (born 1565) and and his wife Ursula Woodcock.
No record has been found of Henry's marriage to Elizabeth. But evidence suggests that her maiden name was probably Greene.
By 1667 or prior, Henry had moved to Lower Norfolk County, VA. The deeds set out above are what we have been able to glean about him from the early Lower Norfolk records. It is important to note that Henry signed all of the above deeds with a distinct handwriten or script "H," suggesting that he was literate, and probably educated abroad. There are no further deeds in Lower Norfolk County signed with this mark after 1675. This writer has found that each of the first three Henry Culpeppers in Lower Norfolk / Norfolk County used a distinct mark in signing his deeds, and has used these marks to distinguish between the three men.
There are no further records on this Henry Culpepper or his wife Elizabeth in Lower Norfolk County after 1675, and he is assumed to have died in the few years following that date.
In 1691, Lower Norfolk County was split into Princess Ann County, and Norfolk County. The land where Henry and Elizabeth Culpepper had lived fell into Norfolk County.
Note: Henry may have been the son of [R:00003], who was the son of John Culpepe
Note: Probably in England
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