Belnap History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Belnap is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Sussex, at "Knelle, in the parish of Beckley, and Sir Hamon is mentioned among the captains in the retinue of the Duke of Bedford at Agincourt. He was the son of Sir Robert Belknap, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in the time of Edward III., and one of the Judges called before the King at Nottingham." [1]

Early Origins of the Belnap family

The surname Belnap was first found in Warwickshire at Weston, where Edward Belknap held lands up to the 16th century. [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 in Warwickshire 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. [3] 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.)

"There had been a Kentish branch of the Belknaps, seated at the Moat, near Canterbury; of whom Philip was Sheriff of Kent in 1456, and Mayor of Canterbury in 1458. His only child, Alice, married Henry Finch of Netherfield; and the Moat afterwards became the residence of her descendant, John, Lord Finch of Fordwich, the Lord Keeper by whom (according to Clarendon) the 'errors and mischiefs of the Star Chamber were introduced in the time of Charles I.' "

"The manor of Belknap in Wiltshire must owe its name to this family, though I can find no record of its having been in their possession. That of Belknap in Essex was, according to Morant, 'probably acquired by marriage into the family of Somery.'" [1]

Early History of the Belnap family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belnap research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1374, 1388, 1428, 1420, 1404, 1471 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Belnap History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belnap Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Belnap family name include Belknap, Bellknap, Belknape, Belknappe, Bellknappe and many more.

Early Notables of the Belnap family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belnap Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Belnap family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Belnap surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas Belknap who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1620; Abraham Belknap, the scion of the family from Warwickshire, also settled in Lynn in 1637. They became one of America's distinguished families..


Contemporary Notables of the name Belnap (post 1700) +

  • Gilbert Belnap (1821-1899), Canadian-born, American Mormon pioneer, LDS Church leader, and an early colonizer of Ogden, Utah
  • David Foster Belnap (1922-2009), American award-winning journalist, foreign correspondent
  • Arias Guy Belnap (1893-1974), American politician from Utah, leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Nuel D. Belnap Jr. (b. 1930), American logician and philosopher
  • N. P. Belnap, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1908
  • E. Darwin Belnap, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Ogden, Utah, 1985, 1987 (primary)


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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