The Humphrey BELT Mystery

The following information on Humphrey Belt is the current best efforts to locate information on Humphrey Belt in Virginia and Maryland.  The main reason we were looking there is that there has been little success on finding him in English Records. Other than his boarding the Ship AMERICA in London, England there has been little (no) success at locating him there. It is also felt that that Humphrey is NOT the son of Sir Robert BELT and Grace FOXCROFT.   Any CLUE to Humphrey's English identity would be appreciated.  The author would be delighted to eat crow on Sir Robert and Grace WITH EVIDENCE. Since it isn't yet know where he was born, do not be persuaded that he must have been born in England.  It may have been Scotland or Wales or somewhere else.  Let us know if you can provide PROOF.

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Compiled by Walter E. Belt
03 October 2000

1635: On 23 June 1635. Humphrey Belt, at age 20, boarded the ship AMERICA, William Barker, Master, at Gravesend,(London) England "under the protection of Wm. Clarke" and landed on Jamestown Island, Virginia, probably about September, 1635.

"Under the protection of Wm. Clarke” meant that Humphrey had contracted to serve as an Indentured Servant to Wm Clarke and his heirs or assigns-- usually for a 7-year period at that time and place.
We do not know any of the background of Humphrey prior to the time he boarded the ship AMERICA. A group of BELT descendants are now engaged in a serious effort to determine that background, including assistance from professional family history researchers in England and North America.
REFERENCE #1:Page 95-96 of "The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, etc. Who Went From Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 by Jon Camden Hotten, Editor-- (hereafter this Hotten report will be referred to as "Hotten’s LISTS").
REFERENCE#2: "The Complete Book of Emigrants" by Peter W. Coldham.
REFERENCE#3: "A List of Rebbels Transported-- Early Settles of Maryland: By Gust Skordas, Editor (Skordas in Greek means Garlic).
REFERENCE#4: " Passengers for Virginia 1635" by Horatio G. Somerby, New England Historical and Genealogical Register 2: 1 January 1848, pages 111-113.
REFERENCE #5: Thomas Langford, 1925 Cave Creek Rd., #8, Phoenix, AZ. 85024-2418, (602) 569-5182
Mr. Thomas Langford is owner and WEB master of The American Plantations and Colonies WEB page which appears to be defunct.
NOTE: William Barker was Master (Capt.) of the ship AMERICA. Also on the ship's passenger list for Humphrey's trip was a HENRY BARKER, age 18. Was this a son or brother of master Barker? Significant? I doubt it.
Also on the ship's list were passengers, Lawrence Farebaern, Launcelot Jackson and Symon Richardson who will be discussed later. The ship carried 88 passengers, 74 male and 14 female.
The following is an exact copy of The English "License To GO BEYOND THE SEAS”, found among English Archives, and printed in "Hotten's Lists":
" 23 JUNE 1635, Theis (spelling not corrected) underwritten names are to be transported to Virginia in the America, M-r p. cert. From the Minister of the town of Gravesend of their conformities to the orders and discipline of the Church of England"…NOTE: This License included the name of HUMFREY BELT.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT WM CLARKE?--Humphrey's master for 7 years.--and the Contract of Indenture?

The records show that Wm. Clarke was in the business of transporting 'servants" from England to the Colonies in return for obtaining their free service, generally for 7 years, PLUS he received land(Headrights) for importing them. So his "INTERLOCKING" business was to obtain free land and the servants to cultivate the land for simply paying their transportation costs from England to The Colonies.
The following is from pages 14 and 15 of "COLONISTS IN BONDAGE_ White Servitude and Convict Labor in America 1607-1776 by Abbot Emerson Smith:
" What conditions may have generally been offered to prospective settlers (Indentured Servants) we do not know, but from the papers of one of them comes the first genuine servant's indenture contract which has survived. Four gentlemen who had been granted the right to establish a community to be known as Berkeley Hundred made on September 7, 1619, the following agreement with one Robert Coopy, of North Nibley, in Gloucrestershire: (Spelling as in the original)
The said ROBERT doth hereby covenant faythfully to serve the said S Willm, Richard, George and John for three years from date of his landing in the land of Virginia, there to be imployed in the lawful and reasonable workes and labors of them… and to be obedient to such governors his and their ASSISTANTS AND COUNSELL AS THEY…SHALL FROM TYME TO TYME APPOYNT AND SET OVER HIM. In consideration whereof, the said S Willm Richard George and John do covenant with the said Robert to transport him (with gods assistance) with all convenient speed into the said land of Vi at their costs and carges in all things, and there to maintayne him with convenient diet and apparell meet for such a servant, And in the end of the said terme to make him a free man of the said Cuntry theirby to enjoy all the liberties freedomes and priviledges of a freeman there, And to grant to the said Robert thirty acres of land within their territory or hundred of Barley…."
1688 saw the First Anti-Slavery Protests by White Abolitionists. "The first protestof importance against American slavery by white abolitionists was made by members of the Religious Society of Friends in Germantown, Pennsylvania. = QUAKERS. They met to protest the "traffic in the bodies of men" and discussed the question of the "lawfulness and unlawfulness of buying and keeping Negroes". QUAKERS was a Christian movement founded by George Fox in England in the early 1650s. They opposed central church authority, advocated sexual equality and in one instance boycotted products made by slave labor.
In the nineteenth century Quakes were involved in the Underground Railroad helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the northern states and Canada. Quaker Lucretia Mott became a leader in the movement for women's rights.

Marilyn Roth advised: " The word INDENTURE (as in Indentured Servant) is related to the terms DENTAL and INDENT. A paper called an indenture was a sheet with two copies of the same information cut into two pieces with a unique jagged/toothed edge between the two halves. Each party to the transaction was to receive his half. If there was any question about the transaction, the two pieces were to be brought and the edges placed together to show that this was the agreement. Thus many Indentures were not recorded because the paper was the necessary proof".

The following is a portion of a discussion of the social level of Indentured Servants in Colonial Virginia:

SEE: Land Grants in Virginia 1607-1699, By EW. Stitt Robinson, Jr., University Press of Virginia. Only a portion of page 36 is repeated below:
"indentured servants were not slaves but were servants during the specified period of the contract. While the laws of the time did make a distinction in the severity of the penal code as applied to servants and to freeman, still indentured servitude did not have the stigma of bandage or slavery; and many servants upon completion of their term of service rose to positions of social and political prominence in the history of the colony. In 1676 the Lords of Trade and Plantations expressed concern over the use of the word 'servitude" because of the implications of slavery, and they preferred " to use the word service, since those servants are only apprentices for years".
"At expiration of term of service, the servants usually received equipment and supplies necessary to start them as freemen. They received grain enough for one year, clothes, and in some cases a gun and a supply of tools. As to receipt of land, the policy varied from one colony to another, and at times there was uncertainty within one colony about obligations to freedmen".  In VIRGINIA the indentured servants did not usually receive land at the end of service unless he had insisted that a specific provision be included in the contract to include the award of 50 acres as "freedom dues".
1636:The following from, " Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants", Vol. ONE 1623-1666 by Nell Marion Nugent, page 49:
(This is the land grant (Headright) that Wm. Clarke received for transporting 9 persons INCLUDING HUMPHREY BELT);
"WILLIAM CLARKE, 450 acs. Henrico Co. (Virginia) 29 Sept. 1636, p. 392. In Apamattruck Riv. On the Swift Cr., beg, at a little Cr. Lying N.E. thereupon & S. E. into the river, N. W. into the maine woods; 50 acs. Thereof being allowed for a small island therein with a Swamp & Marsh thereunto belonging. Trns. Of 9 pers: Ellins Burkett, Allen Tucker, Symon Richardson, Lawrence Farbarne, Hump Bell (THIS IS HUMPHREY BELT), Laur/ Jackson, Elizabeth Collins, Nicholas Browne, Samuel church."
As noted earlier Symon Richardson, Lawrence Farbarne and Launcelot Jackson were shipmates with Humphrey on The AMERICA. (Significant?)
1638: William Clark received additional land in 1638 for transporting 4 persons.
From "Cavaliers", page 70 Volume ONE 1623-1666:
" WILLIAM CLARKE, 200 acs. Chas. Riv. Co., 18 Feb. 1638, p. 610. E. upon the new Poquoson, bounded n the W. with the longreach of sd. River & on then. E. with the Oyster Cr. &c. 100 acs. Graunted 21 Aug. 1637 & with the other 100 acs. is due for trans. of 4 pers; Gerard Cooke, Sarah Coggin, John Morgan. George Robison."
QUESTION: What was Humphrey's relationship, IF ANY, to Wm. Clarke in England before the 1635 transportation- Indentured Service Agreement? Where and when did Wm. Clarke die? Where is he buried? Was his estate probate handled in England or Virginia?  Would any of these answers give a clue to Humphrey’s homeland? We know that Wm. Clarke died before 16 July 1639 based on the following land grant to his widow: (From "Cavaliers") Vol. One page 117):
1639:DOROTHY CLARKE, Widdow, 800 acs., Henrico co., Jly 16, 1639, page 689. Beg. At a cr. formerly called Powells Cr., W. towards Sizemore Cr., S. towards the main river.  550 acs due by assignment from Roger Davis & due sd. Davis fort trans. Of 11 pers. whose names are not given, & 250 acs. By right of trans. Of 5 pers. BY HER LATE HUSBAND WLLIAM CLARKE, DECEASED; Thomas Banister, John Grane (or Grave), Richard Davye, Georg Blankes, Jane Foster.


1637:WILLIAM BARKER, Master of the ship AMERICA received considerable acreage in return for transporting individuals to Virginia from England.  From "Cavaliers" Volume One page 70:

"William Barker, Marriner, 600 acs. Chs. Citry co., 29 Aug. 1637, p 475. Being a point of land called Bikers which was formerly bounded in Capt. Nathaniel Powells devdt. Lying S. Ely. In the woods & Wly. Upon Chapmans devdt. Trans of 12 pers*
1638: William Barker, Mariner, 1850 acs.  Also this involved his merchants group. See "Cavaliers" Volume one, page 100.
     Portions of the following reference are inserted here below:  "WILLIAM BARKER and wife FRANCES WARD", By LaVere Peters, 14 December 1994 taken from the following WEB location by Geoff Monument: (since Barker was Capt of the ship that brought Humphrey Belt to Jamestown Island we hope information on Capt. Barker might reveal a clue to Humphrey’s English ID)
     William Barker was born in England about 1595.His wife Frances Ward was born in England, the daughter of James Ward, in about 1599. William and Frances were married before 1623, probably in England. William had died by 1655.
     William was Capt. And Master of the ships AMERICA and YE MERCHANTS HOPE. In his numerous Virginia land transactions he is referred to as William BARKER, Marriner. Most of his land acquisitions were "payment" in headrights for transporting colonists to Virginia. William was in the Virginia Colony as early as 1625.
     June 23, 1635 William BARKER, master of the AMERICA embarked from Gravesend, Kent, England to Virginia with 87 passengers, including Henry BARKER, age 18 (AND OUR HUMPHREY BELT).
     On November 16, 1635 1250 acres was granted to William BARKER & Associates, John Sadler, Richard Queyning (Quiney), Merchants. The land was in Charles County, Virginia and was called Merchants Hope.

     John Sadler was brother in law to John Harvard -the founder of Harvard College--University-- and his sister married Richard Quiney, whose brother was married to William Shakespeare's daughter, Judith. John and Richard were both grocers in London.

     On May 11, 1639 William BARKER acquired 1300 acres that became the home of William BARKER and his family.

     The "William Barkers" who appear on headrights on patents in various Virginia counties from 1654 to about 1665 are probably different persons.

     William BARKER represented Charles City in the House of Burgesses in 1645. William was of the group to found the parish that built the Merchants Hope Church in what is now Prince George's County.

     The land acquired by William BARKER was located contiguously on the south side of the James River and north of the Blackwater.

FOLLOWING IS A SUMARY OF PERSONS WHO TRAVELED FROM ENGLAND TO THE AMERICAN COLONIES WITH THE SURNAME BELT, BELL, BETTS, BELK, BEST, etc., ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT ONE OR MORE OF SUCH SPELLINGS MAY HAVE TRULY BEEN A BELT. --In addition to Humphrey Belt. Are one or more of these immigrants a relative of Humphrey?  Were they acquainted? Did they come from the same area?

1635: WILLIAM BETT,  (Not Belt) at age 21 arrived in Virginia (Jamestown Island?) on 24 October 1635 from London on the ship CONSTANCE, master Clement Campion, as part of 85 listed passengers. See "Hotten’s Lists" pages 136-137.

QUESTION: Is this the WILLIAM BELT reported in The Washington Star newspaper 05 June 1939 as having been on Kent Island with William Claiborne in 1630, according to Belt descendants living in Washington DC in 1939. I think not.

     This newspaper report has several errors including a report that "SIR" Humphrey Belt arrived in Anne Arundel County, Maryland on 30 June 1630 on the ship ARK, from Gravesend, England.  In my opinion Humphrey probably arrived in Maryland in 1663 BUT via water from Lower Norfolk County, Virginia.

     If there was a William Belt on Kent Island in 1630, (and I do not believe so,) where did he come from, on what ship, when, and who paid his transportation? What happened to him thereafter? We have not found records naming him at that time or thereafter.

     There are also unproven reports that Humphrey Belt came to Virginia with two brothers. That one died and one returned to England.  There are also reports from Belt descendants in Ohio that two BELT family members were members of William Claiborne's Kent Island Colony and trading post in about 1634. The names were reported as Benjamin and Humphries (Not Humphrey) Belt, both of East Riding, York, Yorkshire UK and that Benjamin returned to England after a short stay leaving Humphries-who died---when, where?  While I doubt both of these stories we DO have evidence that a THOMAS BELT was on Kent Island with William Claiborne before and on 16 April 1647. See reference 6 below;

REFERENCE #6: "Old Kent" The Eastern Shore of Maryland" introduction by George A. Hanson, page 12:

1647:  "The most of Clayborne's adherents fled to parts unknown, an act thought to be acceptable to God, not displeasing to his Majesty, and an assured happiness unto this colony."

     Some few, however, remained, took the oath of fealty, and were pardoned, the 16th of April 1647. Their names were Thomas Bradno, Edward Comins, John Meham, Thomas Belt, Robert Short, Francis Lumbard, John Ayres, Zachary Wade, Richard Catesford, Edward Lannin and Walter Janes."

1635: ISACK BELT, at age 23, was one of 144 passengers, departed London for St. Christopher on the ship WILLIAM & JOHN, Rowland Langham, master, on 02 September, 1635.

"Hotten's Lists" pages 127-129 also see the Langford URL.

     One report suggested that Isack Belt may have been a brother to Humphrey Belt and that Isack Belt died in St. Christopher.

Where is St. Christopher?

     Mr. Payne at The U. S. Geological Survey at:  Rpayne@USGS.GOV  Reported - "St. Christopher (SAINT KITTS and NEVIS) are located in the northern part of the Leeward Islands of the lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean."
1671: ELIAS BELT: In "English Convicts in Colonial America, Volume II London 1656-1775, compiled by Peter Wilson Coldham, ELIAS BELT (not Isack) is shown as being a convict transported to Barbados, reprieved for transportation, and pardoned June 1671. Elias was held in Newgate prison in London. To view NEWGATE Prison (Old Bailey's Web site). (Includes a picture and story of Newgate Prison - Executions at Tyburn - And an incomplete list of Newgate prisoners--does not include Elias Belt.)
     Dione Coumbe feels that the crime of Elias Belt must have been minimum in that he was pardoned.
QUESTION: Could Isack and Elias BELT be one and the same person?  NOT in my opinion. Is he or they related to Humphrey Belt?


1635: THOMAS BELK (Not Belt) on 10 August 1635 boarded "The Safety", John Graunt, Master, in London an departed for Virginia as one of 144 passengers. SOURCE: "Hotten’s Lists" pages 121-123 also see "Langford URL"

1635:THOMAS BEST (Not Belt) on 21 August 1635 boarded THE GEORGE, Jo. Severn, master, as one of 152 passengers, in London and departed for Virginia. SOURCE: "Hotten’s Lists pages 124-126.

1636: THOMPSON BELT arrived in Virginia in 1836 from Gravesend, England on the ship_____________ as an Indentured Servant of "patentee" Wm. Clarke of Henrico County, Virginia. SOURCE: " Early Virginia Immigrants" by George Cabell Greer.  TO D: Double check to see if he boarded the ship at Gravesend. Check Hotten's Lists and other sources to verify all in this entry.

NOTE: the same Wm. Clarke who paid passage for HUMPHREY BELT--and arrived in the Virginia Colony only a short time later than Humphrey paid the passage of the above THOMPSON BELT. SO, In my Opinion Thompson Belt is our best chance of any Belt that we know of in this time period for a close family relationship to Humphrey Belt.

   The Thompson Belt shown above in "EARLY VIRGINIA IMMIGRANTS" to have traveled to Henrico County, Virginia. We know that Wm. Clarke received land in this county for paying passage for several people including Humphrey Belt--Therefore, as an Indentured Servant, Thompson Belt may have worked on land of Wm. Clarke that Clarke received for transporting Humphrey Belt the year before. . Significant?

SEE: "Cavaliers and Pioneers", by Nell Marion Nugent, Volume Two; 1666-1695, page 135: Phil Watkins, Tho.Watkins and Wm. Rickets on 6 march 1673 received 850 acres of land in New Kent County--then to Thomas Brewerton same 850 acres plus 50 acres for transporting several people including "THO. BELT".

NOTE: The first Thompson Belt arrived in 1636 while this later Tho. Belt apparently arrived much later but prior to 1673.

1635: THOMAS BELL (Not Belt) at age 17, boarded the ship "Thomas & John", Richard Lambard, master, asone of 105 passengers, in London, on 06 June 1635 bound for Virginia. Se "Hotten's Lists" pages 83-85 and The Langford URL.

     This THOMAS BELL (1618-1678) married Mary, daughter of Capt. John Neale. SEE "Immigrant Ancestors - A List of 2500 Immigrants to America Before 1750"-Volume VII, Comp. Of Amer. Gen., Baltimore, 1963. By Frederick A. Virkus, Editor.

     See Peter Wilson Coldham’s, " Complete Book of Immigrants" for much information on Capt. John Neale as a significant Virginia Colony planter and landowner.

1635: WILLIAM BETT (Not Belt) at age 21, boarded the ship THE CONSTANCE, Clement Campion, master, as one of 85 passengers, in London on 24 October, 1635, bound for Virginia. See "Hotten's Lists" pages 136-137 and The Langford URL.

1654: RICHARD BELT Arrived in Virginia from _________________on the ship _______________ as an Indentured Servant to SARAH HANCOCK of Lower Norfolk County,Virginia…See "Early Virginia Immigrants" by George Cabell Greer.

   The following is from "Cavaliers": SARAH HANCOCK of LynHaven Parish, Low. Norf. Co., 300 acs., 29 Nov. 1654. P.321. 200 acs. Beg. At the head of Mr. Moseleys land near the head of Faram Cr. & c., running n. N. E. etc. to Turkey ridge. & towards john Cara ways land; & 100 acs. Bought of Thomas Holt, which was granted to him 22 May 1637. 200 due for trans. Of 4 pers: Mary Stout, RICHARD BELT, John Browne,and William Piggett. Assigned by Mr. Emperor, assignee of Lt. Col. Lloyd.

NOTE: In this same year of 1654 Humphrey Belt was a successful tobacco planter in this same Linhaven Parish of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia. In 1649 Humphrey had married Mary Cragges in this same Linhaven Parish. Could this Richard Belt be a relative of Humphrey Belt? Could Humphrey have arranged for Richard's transportation with Lower Norfolk County landowner SARAH Hancock??


 1.  He arrived on Jamestown Island in the late summer or fall of 1635.

 2.  Upon arrival he was subject to an Indentured Servants contract to Wm. Clarke --probably for 7 years.

 3.  30 March 1639/40 (Lower Norfolk Court Session): A Court order directed HENRY RUTKINS to pay the " cuntrey duties" for the last year for Humphrey Best (Belt) who was then his servant. From this we must assume the service contract was assignable and that Wm. Clarke had assigned it to Henry Rutkins. (From Report by Donald W. Moore June 2000)

The below is from "LOWER NORFOLK COUNTY, VIRGINIA COURT RECORDS BOOK A 1637-1646 by Alice Granberry Walter:
"It is thought and fit and so ordered that Henry Rutkins shall pay the countrey duties which were due the last yeare for one Humphrey Best, (Belt) who was then his servant.
 4.  Same court ordered on 15 March 1640/41 directing JAMES WARNER to provide, " cloathes and necessaries" for Humphrey Best (Belt) for completing the full term of his indenture. Therefore, Henry Rutkins had assigned Humphrey's Service contract to James Warner and that Humphrey had completed his full 7-year service contract. I have not seen evidence that Humphrey was given land at this time? (from Report by Donald W. Moore June 2000).
SEE: 'The New England Historical and Genealogical REGISTER" VOL. XLVII-January, 1893;
Page 63 titled, " Certificates of head Rights, Va."
"26 May 1642 TO JAMES WARNER (17) hath due 250 acres for Trans. Of theise persons whose names are here under written---HUMPHREY BELT, Darmer Flashallon, John Hamon, Christopher Pettyface, Stephen Block.
NOTE: At first glance this indicate there was another Humphrey Belt who was brought over in 1642--however, our research has shown much lack of truth in the claiming and awarding the 50 acre Headright earned for each person transported to the Colony. Additionally there are several connections in the record between Humphrey Belt and this James Warner.  Wm. Clarke received land for transporting Humphrey Belt to the colony in 1635 and, in my opinion, Humphrey Belt untruthfully, but successfully, allowed his name to be used for an additional, or 2nd.  50 acre Head Right claim-- by his record associate James Warner.
From page 61 of the above reference: " Many abuses of the privilege granted occurred, and on 9 December, 1712, a proclamation was issued by Gov. Spotswood, ordering all certificates to be examined and e-affirmed.
The following entry will serve a fair example of the methods combatted:-"Certificates granted to __________ ________ for 200 acres of land for his own transportation into the Colony four times."

FROM MARILYN ROTH: (E mail of 29 August, 2000)

"JAMES WARNER was from the same Maryland area as Humphrey Belt, first at "Warners Neck"… WARFIELD'S "Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland lists MR. JAMES WARNER as church warden of Elizabeth River Church, VA. (in 1649) before migrating to Maryland.

MOSS' "Providence says JAMES WARNER had "Warner's Neck" 20 Nov. 1651; on the south side of the Severn on Middle Neck, next to the plantation of Peter Porter. On 19 Jan. 1661, JAMES WARNER and Henry Ridgely received "Wardridge" across Middle Neck almost straight west and a bit south of JAMES WARNER'S first land.

The below is from "LOWER NORFOLK COUNTY, VIRGINIA COURT RECORDS BOOK A", same as above reference:

"Whereas it appeareth to this Court by specialty that HUMPHREY BEST (Belt) hath served James Warner the full term according to his indenture and that he hath not received any cloathes of the said James Warner according to the custome of the country. It is therefore ordered that the said James Warner shall within ten days or 14 days at the farthest provide for the said BEST (Belt) cloathes and necessaries according to the custome of Virginia otherwise exection to be awarded."
NOTE: We see now that in 1642 JAMES WARNER claimed land for transporting 5 people including HUMPHREY BELT. HOWEVER, in the year before--1641-- the court ordered the same JAMES WARNER to pay Humphrey Belt" cloathes and necessities" in that Humphrey had completed his indentured sevants contract. (7 years?)


There was MALARKEY in The Colony>>>>>>>

 5.  There is in Lower Norfolk Count, Virginia Records, a deed from Humphrey Best (Belt) to Abraham Thomas dated 14 January 1647 for 150 acres of land formerly belonging to Henry Nichols. When did Humphrey purchase/ receive this 150 acres?? This reference shows that he was a free man in 1641 and by some time prior to 1647 he was capable of land purchase. (The below gives a bit different land ownership history)
The following is from "Cavaliers":
THOMAS WATKINS, 300 acs. Low. Norf. Co., (no date), p. 467 (569). 150 acs. Beg. On Swd. Side of the E. br. Of Eliz. Riv. &c. joyning land of Jno. Godfry, W. N. W. &c.; 150 acs. Adj. the same, beg. On S. end of his land, running S. &c. 150 acs. Granted to HENRY NICHOLS 10 Aug. 1646 & sould to Humphrey Belt (or Bett), who sould to Thomas Cartwright, who sould to Abram Thomas, who sould to sd. Watkins & by him sould to Thomas Steere."
 6. 1649: Humphrey Belt paid passage to Virginia for Margery Cragges as evidenced in " Lower Norfolk County. Virginia Court Records Book B, 1645-1651/2, page 72, by Alice Granbery Walter as follows:  Later a certificate for 50 acres of land was granted to Humphrey Belt due him for transportation of Margery Cragges, HIS WIFE. (See NU 289). (NU 289 refers to "Cavaliers and Pioneers " by Nell Marion Nugent)
NOTE:Did Humphrey pay passage from England to Virginia for Margery Cragges?
NOTE: NU 289  A reference to page 289 of "Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666" by Nell Marion Nugent. The page 289 shown the patent of the original land patent for____acres to Humphrey Belt on___________________.
In 1654 The above "certificate" was matured to a patent in favor of Humphrey Belt dated 06 June 1654 land Office Patents and Grants 1652-1655, Vol. 3, p. 238, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, as follows:
To all etc. Whereas etc. Now Know ye that I the Sd Richard Bennett Esq. Etc. give and grant unto Humphrey Belt two hundred and twenty Acres of Land lyeing in Linhaven Parrish in ye County of Lower Norfolk beginning at a small Creek called Tho. Matins Creek and running a long by ye Eastern branch of Elizabeth river west by So to a marked Oak joyning to Goldsmith land thence running South by east 320 poles thence East by North 110 poles and So along by Mr. Sidneys land North by West 320 poles to ye first station. The said 220 acres of land being due unto the said Humphrey Belt by and for the Transportation of five persons into this Collony etc. to have and to hold etc. Yeilding and paying etc. which payment is to be made etc. dated ye 6th of June 1654.
Mary Cragges John Cooper    Geo. Gay
Randall Hewett  Simon Robinson
COMMENT: The original 1649 certificate was for 50 acres for transporting Margery Cragges. This patent, however, is for 220 acres for transporting 5 persons INCLUDING Margery Cragges.
NOTE: Did Humphrey receive acreage TWICE for transporting Mary Cragges?
 7.  In 1649 Humphrey (age 49) married Margery Cragges in October. In a letter 17 September 1994 Evelyne Keith advised, “The County Court Notebook by Milnor Ljungstedt mentions a marriage between Humphrey Belt and Margery Cragges in Lower Norfolk, Virginia."  "The record is shown at Volume B Page 123. A copy of This County Notebook is in The Newberry Library n Chicago, Illinois."


 8. 1652: (Age 37) Proof that Humphrey Belt was a Lower Norfolk land owner in 1652 follows: from "Cavaliers"

TO THOMAS CARTWRIGHT, 300 acs. Low. Norf. Co., dec.1652, p. 183. Near the Eastern branch of Eliz. Riv. beg. at miles end of John Porter near the main swamp, running W. by S. by HUMPH. BELTS  &c Trans. of 6 pers: Matthew Hones, Huldy Chase, Robert Lushby (For Lashby). Wm. Nicholson, John Taylor, Eliza Collins."
 9. 1654: Thomas James vs. Humfrey Belt (Often spelled Humfrey or Humphrey), 15 March 1654, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia WILLS and DEEDS 1651- 1656, p. 136, Microfilm Reel 44, No. 13847, Sargeant Memorial Room. Kirn Memorial Library. Norfolk Virginia (From Report of Donald W. Moore of July 2000). As follows:
"Whereas Mr. Thomas Jaymes hath made it appeare to this Cort. That there is due to him three hundred thirty and Eight pounds of tob. (?) Caske from Humfrey Belt it is therefore ordered that the Said Belt make payment thereof unto the said Jaymes or his assignes with Cort. Charges (?) Execution".
COMMENT: Proof that Humphrey was a successful tobacco planter in 1654. (IMO)


(From Donald W. Moore) " The last reference to Humphrey Belt in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia is dated 15 March 1654/5. There are no further references from that time through the year ending 1664. Sometime during that period Humphrey Belt probably migrated to Maryland"

"Quakers were being arrested and fined during this time in Virginia. If Humphrey Belt was a Quaker (IMO he was) this activity may have motivated his move to Virginia"--in that Maryland, at that time, was offering a welcome hand to Quakers as a policy of religious freedom (I need source help on the Maryland freedom policy).

From The Hall Family of West River and Kindred Families by Thomas John Hall, 3rd, Page 213, “ Various deeds and references show that Humphrey Belt was located in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, where Puritan thought was strong and where the exodus (By Quakers) to the Severn River in Maryland began in 1649".

Researcher Donald W. Moore has suggested the possibility hat Humphrey Belt was move from Virginia to Maryland by one of the ships owned by Symon Overzee, a prominent merchant and ship owner of the time whose name and many activities are listed the records

NOTE: The Quaker calendar was changed in 1759/1760. (Get more explanation here of differences in the calendars).

1690: The following described 450 acres is said to be owned by Humphrey Belt, HOWEVER, by 1663 Humphrey was a resident of Maryland.

Did he continue non-resident ownership of this (and other)?
"Lower Norfolk County, land? Could be? Or was the description out of date? Probably?
The following is from, ": Cavaliers"
JOHN SURLEY, 450 acs. Low. Orf. Co., Lynhaven, Par., 21 Apr 1690, p. 68.  300 acs. Adj. John Porter & HUMPHREY BELT; granted to Tho. Cartwright. 21 Ju. 1664. Who sold to sd. Shurley; 150 acs. Adj. Capt. Robinson, etc. Imp of 3 pers: Richard carver; Nick & David, Negroes."
From Donald W. Moore Report of August 2000: " Humphrey Belt left no recorded will in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia for the period 1642-1663 and during that time Humphrey Belt was not listed as a grantor or grantee of any deed."


In 1635 all passengers on the ship AMERICA, including Humphrey Belt, before leaving the port of Gravesend for Virginia, were required to take an oath of fidelity to the Church ofEngland. I have the feeling (Feeling) that Humphrey's dedication to this religion, even at that time, was lukewarm at best (??)…. Consider that Humphrey chose to leave Virginia, for Maryland, when Quakers became unwelcome in Virginia where he was a long time successful landowner and tobacco planter/grower from sometime after 1641 until 1663 when he moved, along with Children John, Anne and Sarah, to Maryland. --at a time when Virginia was hostile to Quakers. I know of no proof that Humphrey was a Quaker, BUT we have adequate proof that his son JOHN BELT was a significant, very active Quaker.



1663: from Maryland Office liber 5, folio 373, Annapolis, Md., AND from Early settlers of Maryland by Gus Skordas, as follows:

" On June 30, 1663 HUMPHREY BELT appeared at His Lordship's land Office in St. Mary's City, (Maryland) and proved his rights to 200 acres of land for his emigration and transportation of three members of his family". The following is an exact copy of the record:  " 30 June 1663 HUMPHREY BELT, Enters Rights for himself, JOHN BELT, ANNE BELT and SARAH BELT, and demands land Vizt 200 acres. Warrant to sur v-Gen-1 lay out for HUMPHREY BELT 200 acres, return 30 December next."'
Where was this land located? Where is the later patent?
IMO Humphrey’s wife Margery Cragges was the mother of children John, Anne and Sarah, and Margery died, perhaps in childbirth, before the move to Maryland from Virginia (NO PROOF).


1698: (Age 83)

From "Colonial Families of the US by Hardy:" Humphrey Belt died, testate, at age 83 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. No records have been found, (to my knowledge,) to show the administration or distribution of his estate". COMMENT: Perhaps his estate distribution was handled by Quaker meetings and thus not reflected in public records?????

COMMENT:  We have no Maryland record of Humphrey Belt other than his appearance in St. Mary's City, Maryland in 1663 and his death in Maryland in 1698.

There MUST be additional Maryland records (Quaker only?)
What is the practical manner in which to cover all potential records sources for Humphrey during this period. The records WERE MADE, --were they saved??? Where are they???
Will they help determine Humphrey’s European roots?
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