Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA

Male, #1, (say 1633 - after 1675)
DNA He has been proven by the Culpepper Y-DNA test project to be the progenitor of about 80% of American Culpeppers.1 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Birth*say 1633 Henry was born say 1633. Probably in England. 
Probate29 Sep 1658 He served as security for William White Clerk's estate on 29 Sep 1658 at Lancaster Co., Virginia
Deed7 Dec 1658 He was granted a deed on 7 Dec 1658 at Lancaster Co., Virginia,

7 Dec 1658, "Henry Colepepper, Planter" sold a cow in Lancaster Co., VA.2 
Marriage*say 1660 He married Elizabeth Green say 1660. 
Birth of Sonsay 1664 His son Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA was born say 1664 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia
Deed1667 He was granted a deed in 1667 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

1667 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 25. Henry Culpepper from Thomas Fulcher (hard to read.) 
Deed1668 He was granted a deed in 1668 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

1668 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 24a. Henry Culpepper for payment of 355 pounds of tobacco. (hard to read.) 
Deed*8 Jan 1668 He was party to a deed on 8 Jan 1668 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

Jan 1668 -- Deed Bk E, p.23. At a court held 8 Jan. 1668. Whereas Henry Culpepper stands indebted to James Ship a cow and calf which he/ alledged he hath [?] to deliver but Susan Hickes [?] he now preferred to/ deliver any sufficient cow wherefore it is ordered that James Johnson and William/ Greene viewe the cows which the said Culpepper alledged he hath shewed and if they/ find any one to be sufficient that that the said Hickes take that & pay of suite/ and if they be found insufficient then that he deliver a cow and calf and pay for suite/ by Saturday next. Ref: Lower Norfolk Book E, f. 23. (Transcribed by James White.) 
Probate*7 Apr 1668 Henry was one of the appraisers of the estate of Richard Russell:
"Wee the Sub-Scribrs being by ordr of Lower Norfolk County Court ordered to Appraizer the Estate of Richard Russell decd have accordinly to the best of Or Judgmts appraized Soe much as was Shewed to us to ye Som of Seaventeen thousand Eight hundred & Sixty pnds of Toba & Caske whereunto wee have Sett or hands this 7th April 1668. This is a true Inventory of my husband Richard Russells Estate to the best of my Knowledge. Sign, Anne Russell, Wm WA Andrews, Wm Green, Jno Lownes, Henry H Culpeper (The editor noted that the WA in the name Andrews and the H in the name Culpeper were their marks)
     An cco of debts due to the Estate
          Mr ffrancis Sayer, by bill     1638
          Jno White by bill          1650
          Batt. Ingobritson by bill     2600
          Batts bill 4 barrell Ind Meale     5888
Juriat in Cur 16th Jany 1668, Test Jno Okeham Cl Cur.3 
Deed*Jun 1669 He granted a deed to Elizabeth Culpeper in Jun 1669 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

Jun 1669 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 51. "I Henry Culpepper do ordaine & make my loving wife Elizabeth my attorney to...." (hard to read.) 
Birth of Sonsay 1669 His son Henry Culpepper Jr. of Norfolk Co., VA was born say 1669 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia
Deed6 May 1670 He granted a deed, witnessed by Bartholomew Ingolbritson on 6 May 1670 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

6 May 1670 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 77. Henry Culpepper sold ewes to Edward Brown. Wit: Henry Brown, Bartholomew Ingolbertson. Signed: Henry Culpepper (hard to read.) 
Deed14 Dec 1670 He granted a deed to Elizabeth Culpeper, witnessed by Bartholomew Ingolbritson and John White on 14 Dec 1670 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

14 Dec 1670 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 132. Know all men by these presents that I Henry Culpepper of the County of Lower Norfolk doe [?] ordayne & appoint my loving wife Eliza Culpepper my true & lawfull attorney to ans. to any action or actions that shall be commenced agt me, and for what she shall doe or cause to be done in and concerning the promises I shall by these presents lett [?] and allow to bee as fine and valued in the law as if I myself same & personnaly present, granting unto my sd. attorney to make or imploy one or more attorneys under her as she shall find fitt as witness my hand & seale the 14th day of December 1670. Witness Henry IB Culpepper, Bartholome Ingelbritson, John IW White.4 
Deed15 Apr 1671 He was granted a deed by John White on 15 Apr 1671 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

1671 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 90. To all people to whome these presents shall come I John Whyte sends greeting & know you that I the sd John Whyte for and in consideration of the some of twenty five hundred pounds of good tobacco & cask for which I have recd. good caution for payment have bargained aliened sould enfeofed and confirmed & by these presents doe bargain alien sell enfeofe and confirm unto Henry Culpepper a parcel of land abt. Two hundred twenty & five acres more or less situate lying and being upon the north side of Little Creek joyning upon the land of Tho: Everidge wch said land was in the possesion of my father Tho: Whyte. To have and to hould the sd land wth all priveleges and immunitys whatsoever unto the sd. Henry Culpepper his heyres or assigns for ever & I the said John Whyte do bind me my heyres executors or adminstrators in the full vallue there of that the sd Culpepper his heyres or assigns shall quietly occupie possess and enjoy the sd land without any lett trouble or hinderance from the the sd Whyte or any one by or from under me and doe hereby warrant the [?] of the sd land unto the sd Culpepper his heyres & assigns for ever and shall for ever defend the same. In witness whereof I have herunto sett my hand & seale this 15th day of April 1671.
Signed sealed & delivered, John IW Whyte & seale
in the presence of us, John Ferebee, Jas. Edwards.4 
Deed16 Jun 1671 He was a previous owner in the deed granted by Bartholomew Ingolbritson to Henry Culpepper Jr. of Norfolk Co., VA on 16 Jun 1671 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

16 Jun 1671 -- Deed Bk E, p 97. Bartholomew Ingolbertson to Henry Culpepper, "out of love & affection I have unto my loving god son Henry Culpepper Jr. do freely give unto him my said god son a heifer of two years old which I purchased of Henry Culpepper Sr. & living now with his father & of ye same marking his cattle & of to have & to hold of said Heifer with all her female increases to ye said Henry Culpepper Jun. his heirs & assigns forever & his father to have ye male increases & to have ye keeping of the said Heifer with her increases until my said god son is of age. (This is the first reference to Henry Culpepper Jr. in Lower Norfolk County records.
Deed16 Oct 1671 He granted a deed to John Etheridge on 16 Oct 1671 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

16 Oct 1671 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 103:

… Henry Culpeper and Elizabeth my wife do for our heirs, Executors or Administrators; assign over all our Rights interests and title of ye said mentioned bill of sale of land … unto John Everidge his heirs Executors administrators or assignees according to all intents and purposes as John mentioned, Jn witnessed the … of .. Law ... unto ... our lands and …. Ye 16th day of October 1671.
… Jno. Ferebee
Richard Ashall

Acknowledged ... 16:8 lbs

Signed: Henry (mark “H”) Culpeper
     Elizabeth (mark “O”) Culpeper

Since Elizabeth also signed the transaction, this land may have belonged to her from an inheritance prior to marriage, or from a previous marriage.5 
Deed1672 He granted a deed to Richard Philpott in 1672 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

1672 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 158. Henry Culpepper to Richard Philpott, 100 a. in consideration of ye land of 1145 pounds of tobacco... to Richard Philpott... land called Broad Neck along Church Creek.. to run into ye run toward ye swamp... whereas said Culpepper with the consent of his wife Elizabeth. Signed: Henry Culpepper. Since Elizabeth had to consent, this land probably belonged to her from her previous marriage. 
Will21 Mar 1673 He witnessed the signing of a will of William Greene on 21 Mar 1673 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia
Deed*14 Jun 1673 He was party to a deed on 14 Jun 1673 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

14 Jun 1673 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 145. Henry Culpepper to William Green. "Appoint William Green my attorney acting between John Adams & myself." Signed: Henry Culpepper. 
Deed15 Apr 1675 He granted a deed on 15 Apr 1675 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

15 Apr 1675 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p 183. Henry Culpepper to Robert Spring, 375 a. on mouth of Western Branch of Elizabeth River... One grey gelding about four years old called by ye name of Jack... 44 head of cattle young & old & a grey gelding. Signed: Henry Culpepper. 
Deed16 Apr 1675 He granted a deed on 16 Apr 1675 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

16 Apr 1675 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk E, p. 185. Henry Culpepper to Henry Spratt & Henry Holmes. Signed: Henry Culpepper. 
Deed16 Aug 1675 He granted a deed on 16 Aug 1675 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia,

16 Aug 1675 -- Lower Norfolk Co. Deed Bk 4, p 2. Henry Culpepper of Western Branch of Elizabeth River in Virginia, planter, to Thomas Hollowell Jr. ... said land being granted.. said plantation or tract of land above sd. was assigned to me by Henry Culpepper by Thomas Fulton as may largely upon record ... Apr 1667. (This is the last deed for the Henry Culpepper who signed with a script capital "H".) 
Death*after 1675 He died at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, after 1675. 
Biography He is referenced in a biographical note for John Culpeper the Merchant.6 
Biography He is referenced in a biographical note for John Culpeper son of Thomas & Katherine.7,8 
Biography He is referenced in a biographical note for John Culpeper of Albemarle NC
Biography* Henry may have been the son of John Culpeper the Merchant, who was the son of John Culpeper 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 Thomas Culpeper of the Middle Temple, 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 Sir Edward Culpeper of Wakehurst, Knight who signed the Third Virginia Charter in 1612.

A fourth possibility is that Henry of Lower Norfolk was the Henry Culpeper of London baptised in Westminster Parish, at Saint Margaret's Church, London, England, 20 Feb 1632, the son of William Culpeper of London, whose further ancestry is unknown. At one time it was speculated that William may have been a member of the Bedgebury Culpepers. Col. Thomas Culpeper 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 Walter Culpeper of Goudhurst, Bayhall & Hardreshull.

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 William Culpeper of Hunton and Wigsell, 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 Thomas Culpeper of the Middle Temple, 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.9,6 
Research note18 Aug 2011 He is referenced in a research note for Susanna Culpeper of Connecticut


Elizabeth Green (say 1640 - say 1676)
Marriage*say 1660 He married Elizabeth Green say 1660. 
ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
LWG / Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper Griffin (Lew Griffin's gtgm): Ancestral Chart
WLC / Warren L. Culpepper Ancestral Chart
Last Edited16 Jul 2015


  1. Culpepper Project at FamilyTreeDNA.com, http://gen.culpepper.com/dna/results.htm[:WEB]
    As of July 10, 2011, the Y-DNA of 117 Culpepper males has been tested, and 80% are closely related. Based upon tradtional genealogical research, we have determined that Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk, VA is the most recent ancestor that the 80% all have in common, and thus Henry has been proven to be the progenitor of most American Culpeppers.
  2. Virginia County Court Records: Deed & Will Abstracts of Lancaster County, Virginia, 1654-1661, p. 94.
  3. E-mail written 1999-2011 to Culpepper Connections from William A. 'Bill' Russell, Alexandria, VA, e-mail address (Sep 2011).
    The last part of a document pertaining to the estate of Richard Russell contained in The Lower Norfolk County Virginia Antiquary, Peter Smith, NY, 1951, Vol. 4, pp. 112-113.
  4. E-mail written 2004-2008 to Lew Griffin from Jim White, http://jimserver.net, e-mail address.
    Transcribed deed.
  5. Research (See: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/va/norfolk1661-1724.htm) conducted in 2012 for Warren L. Culpepper by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, Dominion Research, PO Box 1273, Orange, VA 22960, Phone 540-832-3473, e-mail address.
  6. Lewis W. Griffin Jr. (#47), e-mail address.
  7. Fairfax Harrison, The Proprietors of the Northern Neck - Chapters of Culpepper Genealogy, Richmond, VA: The Old Dominion Press (Privately printed), 1926, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Film #929429. Transcription available online at: http://gen.culpepper.com/historical/nneck/default.htm.
  8. Warren M. Billings, compiler, The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605-1677, Richmond, Virginia: Library of Virginia, 2007.
  9. Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Former publisher of Culpepper Connections, e-mail address.