YEAR 1615 AGE: 0 (ref:1)
Born in ? Durham County, Yorkshire or London England as these were places where Belts were known to have lived in the 1600s.
The Scottish Question. (ref:1)
Dione Coumbe, English genealogist did extensive research on the Humphrey. Although her search in England did not find any records of Humphrey's birth in England, Scotland, or Wales. However in an email, 9 October 2000 Dione ended with " I also feel it can safely now be concluded that Humphrey was not born in Scotland."
Were Robert and Grace Humphrey's parents? (ref:2)
Diones research rules out the possibility that he was the son of Sir Robert and Grace Belt of Yorkshire, England. Dione believes that Humphrey was of the extended Belt family, but not from a monied branch of the Belt family, or he wouldn't have been transported as an indentured servant to the Colonies. The way the hierarchy system worked then, tends to suggest he was a younger son of a younger son, because only the oldest inherited the estate. Despite lack of money, he may still have been literate and would have had potentially useful business contacts through the extended Belt family in Durham County and London. Tobacco imports were a great money earner for the Crown with the Taxation laws. The trading pattern of Virginia, London, York, Newcastle (County Durham) is identical to the known places where Belts were in business in the 17th century during Humphrey's lifetime. It would have been smart business for Captain Barker to transport men, including Humphrey, who were friends and acquaintances who he knew would be trustworthy to fulfill the indenture contracts in Virginia. Sir Robert Belt's son, Daniel (ref:3) (Daniel Belt, born August 6th.1615 at All Hallows York), owned a grocery store in London, where most of the tobacco deals with Virginia suppliers were made with Merchant Adventurers. His store was probably an outlet for the tobacco. The Belt family and Captain Barker and his partners all had common business interests with Humphrey Belt, making researchers think he was somehow related to the Bossall Belts.
YEAR 1635 AGE: 20
HUMPHREY BELT immigrated from Gravesend, England, arriving in September of 1635 (ref:4). Humphrey's certificate from Gravesend, England, was dated 23 June, 1635, for transportation to Jamestown, Virginia. On the certificate HUMPHREY promised to follow conformity to the orders and discipline of the Church of England (ref:5). This would have been mandatory in order for Humphrey to travel to Jamestown. He sailed on the ship, AMERICA, transported by Master (Captain) Barker. Humphrey was brought from England under the protection of William Clarke as one of 5 men he paid to transport as indentured servants. The ship AMERICA carried 88 passengers, 74 men and 14 women (ref:6). The following is an exact copy from LICENSES TO GO BEYOND THE SEAS, found among the English archives, and printed in Hotten's List of Emigrants:
23 June 1635, THEIS underwritten names are to be transported to Virginia inbarqued in the AMERICA, William Barber, M-r p. cert. from the Minister of the town of Gravesend of their conformityies to the orders and discipline of the Church of England.
On September 29, 1636, William Clarke (he paid Humphrey's passagge) was granted 450 acres of land in Henrick County, Virginia, on the Appomattox River for the transportation of nine persons among whom was HUMPHREY BELT. (ref. 7). Various deeds and conveyances show that Humphrey Belt located in Lower Norfolk, Virginia, for on August 10, 1646, he purchased from Harry Nichols 150 acres of land in Lower Norfolk County which had been patented by the said Nichols. Humphrey later sold this land to Thomas Cartwright who sold to Abram Thomas who in turn sold to Thomas Watkins. (ref. 8)
YEAR About 1649 - AGE : Around 33 Humphrey married Margery (Mary) CRAGGES. Before 1 October 1649 (ref:9). The County Court Notebook by Milnor Ljungstedt (ref:10), lists the date that Humphrey was given land for having transported, Margery Cragges (his wife). It was not a marriage record, but a land record naming Margery as Humphrey's wife. Volume B page 123. The County Notebook is at Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois". Orginal document in the DAR Library here in Washington has a slightly different source, but the same material.
NB: Could this be Margery (Mary) Cragges? "Mary Scragges, Christened 26 May 1611 at St.Giles Cripplegate IGI Batch number C022432. Her father's name was given as Edward, no mother mentioned''
The plantation of HUMPHREY BELT lay on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River as is shown by the following patent to Thomas Cartwright. The said Thomas Cartwright receiuved on Decem ber 1, 1652, in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, 300 acres of land " near the Eastern Branch o f the Elizabeth River, beginning at MILES END of John Porter near the main swamp running west by south by HUMPHREY BELT'S. (ref.11).
YEAR 1654 AGE 39
On June 8, 1654, HUMPHREY BELT received 220 acres of land lying in Linhaven Parish of Lower Norfolk, Virginia, beginning at Thomas Matin's Creek running along by Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River adjoining to Goldsmith's land and by Mr. Sydney's land for the transporting of five persons into Virginia (in 1649), namely, Mary Cragges (his wife), Randall Hewett, John Cooper, Simon Robins on and George Gay (ref: 12)
YEAR 1663 AGE 48:
Moved to Anne Arundel County, Maryland. On June 30, 1663. HUMPHREY BELT appeared at His Lordship's Land Office in St. Mary's City and proved his rights to 200 acres of land for his emigration and transportation (from Virginia) of three members of his family. (ref.13). The following is an exact copy:
30 June 1663. HUMPHREY BELT Enters Rights for himself, JOHN BELT, ANNE BELT and SARAH BELT , and demands land Vizt 200 aacres. Warrant to surv-v Gen - 1 lay out for HUMPHREY BELT 200 acrers, return 30 December next.
Humphrey would have had to go to Maryland from Virginia by ship since there were no established trails at the time he moved there.
YEAR After 1663
Humphrey died some time after 1663. This is the last found reference of him (ref:13), in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. No records are available to show the administration or distribution of his estate.
Reference, 1: Coumbe, Dione, Professional Genealogist, Kent, England, e-mail "Subject: The Scottish Question, 9 October 2000"
Reference, 2: Coumbe, Dione, Professional Genealogist, Kent, England, e-mail Oct 28, Dec., 2002
Reference, 3: Coumbe, Dione, Professional Genealogist, Kent, England, e-mail subect: Seeking Humphrey 13 April 2000. "Inhabitants of London" handwritten index of Boyds Collection of the same name; presented to SOG by Percival Boyd Esq., MA, FSA, FSG and was bound in 1955. Refs. from this are below.
Daniel Belt, born August 6th. 1615 at All Hallows York. Parents Sir Robert Belt, Mayor or York and Grace Foxcroft of Halifax, the daughter of Daniel Foxcroft. Became a citizen of London and Grocer and attended All Hallows Church in Bread Street, in the City of London (one square mile in the heart of London).
Reference, 4: COMPLETE BOOK OF EMIGRANTS BY Peter W. Coldham, showing passengers to be transported to Virginia on the ship AMERICA on June 23,1635. Humphrey is listed (Humfrey) at age 20
Reference, 5: Hotten, ORIGINAL LIST, 95-96
Reference, 6: Nugent, Nell Marion, CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, ABSTRACTS, Vol I, 70, 100.
Reference 7: Virginia Magazine of History
Reference, 8: Patent Book No. 5, folio 569, Land Office, Richmond, Va.
Reference, 9: Deeds, Liber B, folio 122, Portsmouth Courthouse, Va.
Reference, 10: The County Court Notebook by Milnor Ljungstedt
Reference, 11: Patent Book No. 3, folio 183, Land Office, Richmond, Va.
Reference, 12: Patent Book No. 3, folio 268, Land Office, Richmond, Va.
Reference, 13: EARLY SETTLERS OF MARYLAND by Gust Skordas, Land Office, Liber 5, folio 373, Annapolis, MD
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