Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA

Male, #834, (say 1664 - circa 1742)
Father*Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA (s 1633 - a 1675)
Mother*Elizabeth Green (s 1640 - s 1676)
DNA* Robert has been proven by DNA and genealogical research to be a descendant of Henry Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, VA, the American Culpepper progenitor.
(In Y-DNA tests of descendants of Robert, using 111 separate Y-DNA markers, their marker values are generally the same as those of Robert's father, Henry, with the exception that in all of Robert's descendants, DYS 442 = 13 and not 12.).1,2 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpeper. 
Birth*say 1664 Robert was born at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, say 1664. 
Death of Mothersay 1676 His mother Elizabeth Green died say 1676 at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia
Marriage*say 1687 He married Unknown wife of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, say 1687. 
Note*1691 In 1691, Lower Norfolk County was split into Norfolk County, and Princess Ann County. The area where the Culpepper family lived remained in Norfolk County. 
Deed16 Jun 1692 He was granted a deed by Thomas Greene Jr. and Elizabeth Greene, witnessed by Henry Culpepper Jr. of Norfolk Co., VA on 16 Jun 1692 at Norfolk Co., Virginia,

16 Jun 1692. Deed Bk 5, p 167. Thomas Green to Robert Culpepper. I Thomas Green of the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River... planter... in consideration of 2,000 lbs. of tobacco to Robert Culpepper of the same place, planter. 50 acres, part of a patent of 575 a. beginning at a point on the eastward side of a creek commonly called Loyd Creek to a gutt or branch of the said creek... thence down the said gutt to a creek dividing this land from the land of John ... and so down the said creek to the first above mentioned point at the creek's mouth. Wit: Henry Culpepper Signed: Thomas Green, Elizabeth Green (This is the first deed for the Henry who signed with two or three vertical bars and one horizontal bar, like an "H", or with three horizontal bars and one vertical, like an "H" on its side. This mark consists of straight lines rather than a script "H" as before, and apparently is the less well schooled son of the previous Henry.). 
Birth of Sonsay 1694 His son Robert Culpepper Jr. of Lower Norfolk Co., VA was born say 1694 at Norfolk Co., Virginia
Birth of Sonsay 1696 His son Joseph Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC was born say 1696 at Norfolk Co., Virginia
Birth of Sonsay 1698 His son Benjamin Culpepper son of Robert was born say 1698. 
Will25 Jul 1698 Robert named as heir(s) in the will of Henry Culpepper Jr. of Norfolk Co., VA at Norfolk Co., Virginia, on 25 Jul 1698.3 
Will4 Jul 1705 He witnessed the signing of a will of Richard Bunting on 4 Jul 1705 at Norfolk Co., Virginia.4 
Deed12 Feb 1710 He witnessed a deed grant by Thomas Green III to Richard Bunting Jr. on 12 Feb 1710

12 Feb 1710 -- Thomas Green of western branch of Elizabeth River Parish & heir at law to Thomas Green late of the same parish to Richard Bunting (Weaver) of the same place for 2250 lbs of tobacco & also in consideration of the vast expense and charge that hath bin in a suite of law between the said Richard Bunting & John Willis, Guardian to the said Green, about a certain tract and dividend of land, wherefore the said Green being come to age to avoid further charge about the land doth give & confer to the said Bunting this indenture & release 200 acres on south side of west branch of Elizabeth River known by the name of Fishey Neck, being that land which Peter Smith late of this county, dec'd, patented and after sold to the same Bunting which said land was and is within the bounds of the said Green & his patent, bounded etc. Witnesses: Robert Culpepper, James Sabord?, John Portlock.5 
Probate21 Aug 1713 He authenticated the validity of the will of Richard Bunting. On 21 Aug 1713 at Norfolk Co., Virginia,

     Will of RICHARD BUNTING, Book 9 p. 269, dated 4 July 1695, proved 21 Aug. 1713, by Robert Culpeper.
...unto my Son Wm. Buntin all the plantation which I now live upon...
...unto my Son Richard Bunting fifty Acres of land Lying at the head of a Creek in Newbys Neck Joyning upon John Joyce...
...unto my Son John Bunting fifty Acres of Land where my houses and Clear ground is in fishey Neck...
...unto my Son Thomas Bunting fifty Acres of Land Joyning John's...
...unto my Son Henry Bunting fifty acres of Land out of the Same pattent of fishing Neck
...and In case that Either of them ... my Said Sons ... Decease without such heirs ... that my Son Mathew Shall have the fifty ... of Land given the Deacesed as aforesaid
...It Shall and my be Lawful for any of my Sons to Dispose and Sell there Land to Each other butt not to any body else...
...wife Anne Bunting. Loveing Brother Wm Wallice and my Loveing wife Anne Bunting, Sole Executor & Executrix...
witnesses: Eleazar Tarte, Robert Culpeper, James Smyth, his mark, Mary Smyth, her mark
the marke of Richard Bunting & Seale.

Note: There were two Eleazer Tarts, father and son. This Eleazer Tart was probably the son of Eleazer Tart, Sr. Eleazer Tart, Jr, married Robert Culpepper's daughter, Mary.6  
Will*29 Oct 1715 He witnessed the signing of a will at Norfolk Co., Virginia, on 29 Oct 1715.

Will of William Dale, dated 29 Oct 1715 and proved 17 Feb 1715/6. Various bequests. Witnesses included Robert Culpepper and Edward Lewelling. (Richard Dale later witnessed Robert Culpepper's will.).7 
Deed*1727 He was granted a deed by John Winfield Jr. in 1727 at Western Branch District, Norfolk Co., Virginia,

In 1727, Robert Culpepper bought 50 acres on the West Branch of the Elizabeth River from his cousin Jonas Winfield, for £10. (See will of Jeane Greene, Robert's grandmother).8 
Will*16 Oct 1739 He made a will at Norfolk Co., Virginia, on 16 Oct 1739, naming as executor(s) Eleazer Tart Jr., naming as heir(s) Robert Culpepper Jr. of Lower Norfolk Co., VA, Joseph Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC, Benjamin Culpepper son of Robert, Rachel Wilder, Ann Wilder, Elizabeth Ward, Mury Green, William Culpepper of Warren Co. GA and Mary Tart. It was witnessed by Henry? Green.

Robert's will, written in 1739 and proven in 1743, is important, as he and his brother Henry are the ancestors of most of the American Culpeppers. It is necessary to look at a copy of the actual document and not the abstract, to note that Robert had a son, Robert, Jr., to whom he gave his great Bible, his "lancets, horse flemes, and other instruments of iron for the use of horses." A fleam was a surgical knife, as was a lancet.
     Robert gave five Shillings each to his sons Joseph and Benjamin Culpepper, who by this time were in Edgecombe County, NC.
     He gave half a Crown each to his daughters Rachel Wilder and Ann Wilder. These small gifts of money indicate that Rachel and Ann had moved away from Norfolk County, and had probably already had some help along the way from Robert.
     He gave his daughter Elizabeth Ward, wife of John Ward, an ewe and a lamb, suggesting that she still lived nearby in 1743.
     And daughter Mury Green must have been nearby in 1743, as she received an ewe as well. Mury's husband may have been Henry Green (see below). At the moment, descendants of Mury Green are unidentified. However, there were folks named Green in early Edgecombe County, NC records.
     Robert Culpepper made a point of mentioning his grandson, William Culpepper, in his will. William got a cow and calf, and an ewe and lamb. Robert must have been particularly fond of William, since William got more live stock than Robert's daughters, Elizabeth Ward, and Mury Green. This was probably his grandson William, son of Robert Culpepper, Jr.
     Robert gave all his land in Norfolk County to "his loving daughter Mary Tart," and appointed her husband, Eleazer Tart, as his sole executor. Henry Green, John Joyce, and Richard Dale witnessed the will.9 
Death*circa 1742 He died at Norfolk Co., Virginia, circa 1742. 
Probate*21 Jan 1743 Probate action was taken on Robert's estate on 21 Jan 1743 at Norfolk Co., Virginia
Biography* Robert Culpepper's ancestry was long the subject of speculation. However, DNA testing reveals that 80+% of the mainline Culpeppers descend from sons of Robert, and that the balance, with only a minor genetic difference, descend from the sons of Henry Culpepper, Jr. The most logical conclusion from traditional genealogical research and DNA testing is that Robert and Henry Jr. are sons of Henry Culpepper (Sr.) of Lower Norfolk Co., VA. and his wife Elizabeth.
     Robert was probably born around 1664 but it is not known if he was born in England or in Virginia.
     He probably married his wife around 1690. She may have been named Sarah, but her maiden name is not known. She was probably a daughter of one of the neighboring families along the West Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk Co., VA. She and Robert had sons named Joseph and Benjamin, and Robert, Jr. Robert, Jr. was obviously named after his father.
     But the names Joseph and Benjamin were not used by Robert, Sr.'s brother, Henry, and so might be clues to the identity of Robert's wife. These were family names in the local Richardson, Powell, Hodges, and Hollowell families, among others, all of whom lived nearby. According to "The Hollowells," by Lucy E. Hollowell, the Hollowells were Quakers, and none of the Hollowell daughters from this time period is known to have married a Culpepper.
     Robert finally emerges in Norfolk County records in 1692 when he bought 50 acres from Thomas and Elizabeth Green, for 2,000 pounds of tobacco. (Records on the Culpepper family in Norfolk County in the early 1700's are scarce, and all of the ones that we have found, including this one, are recorded above.)
     Robert Culpepper died circa 1742. He was close to 80 years old, which was well above average for his day and age.
     One could suspect that Robert's daughter Mary was the one who was looking after him in his old age, and so she was the one who was rewarded with Robert's land in his will. 
Research note*2 Mar 2014 From: Alice Jones
Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lew, I remember your telling me to let you know if I was able to join
Colonial Dames, 17 Century and Daughters of American Colonists.
I have been accepted into both organizations on theCulpepper line.
John Culpepperin N.C. forDaughters of American Colonists and
that 1691 deednaming Robert Culpepper was the proof for Colonial
Dames, 17th Century.
Alice Jones.10 


Unknown wife of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA (say 1666 - before 16 Oct 1739)
Marriage*say 1687 He married Unknown wife of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA at Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, say 1687. 
ChartsThe 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
Henry 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 Edited2 Mar 2014


  1. Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Publisher of Culpepper Connections, See link below for e-mail address.
  2. Culpepper Project at,[:WEB].
  3. Norfolk Co., VA, Deed Book 6, p. 155.
  4. Norfolk Co. VA Wills; (n.p.:
    Will Book 9, page 267.
  5. Norfolk Co, VA Deeds, .
    Deed Book 9, p. 5.
  6. Norfolk Co, VA Deeds, .
    Deed Book 9, p.269.
  7. Norfolk Co, VA Deeds, .
    Deed Bk 9, p 460.
  8. Norfolk Co, VA Deeds, .
    Deed Book G, page 60.
  9. Norfolk Co. VA Wills; (n.p.:
    Will Book H, page 19.
  10. E-mail written Jul 2012 - Feb 2014 to Lew Griffin from Alice (Wingate) Jones (Mrs. Frank Vernon Jones), 186 Pearson Road, Sylvester, GA 31791, Phone (229) 777-9590, e-mail address.