Four Johns vs. a Full House
A Review of the 17th Century John Culpepers
of Virginia and the Carolinas
By Bill Russell, 21 Nov 1998
Subsequently edited by Warren Culpepper, 1999-2011
Which John Culpeper belongs to which specifically dated fact the we have?
Many of these are overlapping in time and geographic locations which has caused
a great deal of confusion when dealing with several people of the same name. The
scope of this is limited to the John Culpepers of 17th Century Virginia and the
The various records associated with these Johns have now been
sorted between four distinct individuals:
- John Culpeper of Accomack
Co., Virginia in 1635-1645.
- John Culpeper the Merchant,
baptized at Harrietsham (son of John Culpeper of Astwood and Ursula Woodcock) who had business dealings with Virginia and
New England during much of the middle years of the 17th Century.
- John Culpeper, son of Thomas and Katherine,
b.c. 1633, nephew
of John, the Merchant (#2) above, and brother of Alexander and Frances Culpeper.
John (#3) came to Virginia with the rest of his family, he was only
18 when he left England. He could, of course, have had some training
at law in Virginia by reading law - serving as an attorney's clerk
while learning the law. He was at least literate enough to serve as
clerk and sheriff. It is not clear one way or the other whether or
not he was acting as an attorney - he may well have been.
- John Culpeper of Albemarle
NC, b.c. 1644 who was the so-called "Carolina
Rebel." Most likely he was the son of John, the Merchant (#2)
Other John Culpepers identified as living in this era appear to be
one of the above. Specifically:
John Culpeper of Northampton,
the sheriff and clerk of court in Accomack and Northampton
Counties (Eastern Shore) of Virginia, c. 1671-1675 and died there c. 1674. Most
likely he is John, son of Thomas and Katherine (#3) above.
- John Culpeper of a variety of court actions in Albemarle, New England, and Virginia,
including land transactions involving headrights. Most likely he is
a combination of the first four Johns above.
- John Culpeper of Lancaster, whose name appears in documents to divide parishes in Lancaster
Co., Virginia, 14 Sep 1659. Most likely he is John, the
Merchant (#2) above
Finally, there are various John
Culpepers of Barbados, and they are separately covered.
02 Jan 2015