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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The present generation of the Belknap family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Belknapp, in the county of Warwickshire.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Belknap include Belknap, Bellknap, Belknape, Belknappe, Bellknappe and many more.

First found in Warwickshire, at Griff, a hamlet, in the parish of Chilvers-Coton, union of Nuneaton, Atherstone division of the hundred of Hemlingford. This hamlet was held by the Giffard family since the reign of Elizabeth I and later passed to the Newdigates, of Arbury. [1] According to Duchesne, in his publication "List of Conquerors of England," Belknape was one of the companions to William the Conqueror and is listed on the Roll of Battle Abbey. [2] However, little else is known of the family in earlier times. The next earliest record of the family was found in the hamlet of Griff as a birth record of Sir John Belknap (1309-1367.) He was father of Sir Robert Belknap (1339-1399) who was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in England. His son was Hamon Belknap (1394-1429), also known variously as Bealknap and Beltoft. One of his sons was Henry Belknap, Lord of Oston (1435-1488.)


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belknap research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1388, 1428, 1420, 1404, 1471 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Belknap History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belknap Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Belknap were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Belknap Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Belknap who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1620
  • Abraham Belknap, the scion of the family from Warwickshire, also settled in Lynn in 1637
  • Abraham Belknap, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637

Belknap Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mr. Belknap, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • D P Belknap, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • D H Belknap, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Hugh Reid Belknap (1860-1901), U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • Daniel Belknap (1771-1815), American farmer, mechanic, militia captain, poet and one of the first American composers
  • Anna Belknap (b. 1972), American actress, best known for her role as Detective Lindsay Monroe on CSI: NY
  • William Worth Belknap (1829-1890), American Army general, and 30th U.S. Secretary of War (1869-1876)
  • Jeremy Belknap, American clergyman and historian
  • George Belknap (1832-1903), United States Navy Rear Admiral
  • Charles E. Belknap (1846-1929), United States Army Civil War officer and politician from Michigan
  • William G. Belknap (1794-1851), United States Brigadier General
  • Reginald R. Belknap (1871-1959), United States Navy rear admiral and son of George Belknap


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Belknap Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Belknap Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 March 2016 at 11:06.

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