Captain James Blount

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Captain James Blount

Also Known As: "Jim", "James Blount"
Birthplace: Astley, Worcestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: July 17, 1686 (61-70)
Chowan Precinct, Albemarle County, Province of North Carolina, Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of James Blount and Anna Blount
Husband of Rebecca Blount; First Wife of James Blount and Anna Lear
Father of James Blount, III; Thomas Blount, I; Anne Slocumb; John William Blount and Elizabeth Hawkins
Brother of Walter Blount; Thomas Blount; John Blount and Edmond Blount

Managed by: Private User
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About Captain James Blount

Capt. James Blount came to Virginia from England by 1655. He moved to Chowan County, North Carolina thereafter. He was the progenitor of the Carolina Blounts.

Capt. James Blount's great grandfarther, Robert Blount of Astley, was first cousin to Elizabeth Blount, consort of Henry VIII, King of England.

He was of the Astley Blounts, who were an offshoot of the B lounts of Kinlet.

The question of James Blount's parentage has been a sourc e of great confusion, due primarily to a "genealogy" prepar ed for one Frederick Speight Blount in 1872. This bogus study purports to connect Capt. James Blount the immigrant wit h Sir Walter Blount who was made a baronet during the reign of King Charles I in 1642. The study says that three of Sir Walter's sons "emigrated to Virginia and North Carolina. " Attached to the report was an "American Genealogy," copied from a Memorandum of the Blount Family made by John Bonne r Blount, A.D. 1823. The first paragraph of the "American Genealogy" reads as follows:

"James Blount, who by tradition was a Captain in the King o f England's Life Guards, and a younger son of Sir Walter Bl ount, Member of Parliament, and created a Baronet by Charle s I., emigrated to Virginia, (which then extended as far south as Albemarle Sound), with many other persons. There were several persons of the name of Blount who, either persona lly or by reference to Captain John Smith's History of Virg inia, will more fully apear. There is no doubt, however, th at a certain James Blount, who brought over with him a copp erplate of the armorial bearings of his family, now in my p osession, which, by comparing with the heraldry of England , quarters the arms of the former or present Duke of Devons hire, particularly as to their representation of clouds; o n or about 1669, (the particular day will appear by referen ce to records) entered a tract of land on Albemarle Sound , a greater part of which is now, at the present day, in po ssession of one of his immediate descendants, Clement H. Bl punt."

The problem is that Sir Walter Blount, Baronet, did not have a son named James Blount. See Alexander Croke, The Genealogical History of the Croke Family, Originally Named Le Blo unt, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1823), II, 145-146.

However, the myth that Capt. James Blount was a son of Sir Walter Blount has continued in numerous publications. In addition, it has been asserted that Thomas Blount, who died in 1706 was the brother and not the son of Capt. James Blount. See Marcus T. Wright, Some Accounts of the Life an d Service of William Blount (1740-1800) (1884); John H. Whe eler, Reminiscences of North Carolina and Eminent North Car olinians (Columbus, OH, 1884), lvii-lix, 130; Zella Armstro ng, comp., Notable Southern Families (Chattanooga, TN, 1918 ) I, 32-37; Alice Barnwell Keith, ed., The John Gray Bloun t Papers, Volume One 1764-1789 (Raleigh, NC, 1952), xiv, no te 4; Wiliam H. Masterson, William Blount (New York, 1954) , 1-3. Hathaway's North Carolina Historical and Genealogica l Register and Worth S. Ray's Index and Digest to Hathaway' s North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register (Aust in, TX, 1945), 19-20, confuse the matter even further. As l ate as 1974, one Sherman Fields prepared a chart on the Blo unt family, a copy of which is at the North Carolina Stat e Library. The familiar errors that James was a son of Si r Walter and that Thomas was a brother of James appear on t he chart.

Standing against all of this is the work of the late Hele n M. Blount Prescott, who spent many years from the 1890s u ntil the 1940s, working on the Blount family history. Mis s Prescott's famous Blount and Blunt Chart (1902, 1930) sho ws that Capt. James Blount, the immigrant, was the son of J ames and -------- (Clare) Blount. It also shows that Thoma s Blount, who died in 1706, was the son of Capt. James Blou nt. Prescott's papers are housed at the Southern Historica l Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chape l Hill. The key to establishing Capt. James's parentage an d background is the will of Charles Blount, uncle of Capt . James. Charles Blount's will, dated Dec. 19, 1655, includ es the following bequest: "I give and bequeathe unto my coz en James Blount one of the Sonnes of my late brother Jame s Blount Esquire deceased the summe of fiftie pounds in cas e he be liveinge or such returned from beyond the seas wher e now he is to demand the same." This will was filed in th e Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Folio 172, and is indexe d in Vol. 54, Wills 1653-56, PCC, Public Record Office, Lon don. Genealogist Marilu Burch Smallwood accepted the Presco tt version of Capt. James' lineage in her book Related Roya l Families (Gainesville, FL, 1966), 360. One interesting re cent source is C. Sylvester Green's Blounts of Pitt County , NorthCarolina (Greenville, NC, 1978). He accepts the Pres cott Chart but tries to have it both ways regarding Thomas , son of James. In establishing the background of the Pit t County Blounts, Green sometimes says that they were desce ndants of Thomas, brother of James and at other times, desc endants of Thomas, son of James. See pp. 14, 25, 33, 38, 42 , 47. Virginia (Watkins) Westergard and Kyle S. VanLandingh am in their book, Parker and Blount in Florida (Okeechobee , FL, 1983), accept the Prescott version.

Regarding the controversy over the different Thomas Blounts , Mattie Erma E. Parker, in her biographical sketch of Thom as Blount in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vo l. 1, p. 82, summed it up very well:

"Most writers on the Blount family have confused three indi viduals bearing the name Thomas Blount. The three are (1) t he subject of this sketch, (2) his son Thomas, and (3) a pu tative uncle of the subject of this sketch, said to have se ttled in North Carolina in the 1670s, but of whom this writ er finds no trace in North Carolina records." The James Blount Coat of Arms is found in Wheeler's Reminis cences, lvii:

"His Coat of arms engraved on a copper plate, which he brou ght with him, was in the possession of his descendants unti l about the year 1840, when it was destroyed by its possess or, the late James B. Shepard of Raleigh. A cut of it is gi ven above, taken from an impression of the original plate."

The coat of arms is impaled with the arms of the Clare fami ly, that of his mother. The Clare arms include three chevro ns on a shield. The coat of arms is reportedly shown on th e seals attached to the wills of John Blount, son of James ; and John's son, John Blount, Jr. According to the France s B. Claypoole Notes, the "[s]eals used by John Blount I and John Blount II in signing their wills distinctly show a m eteor and not a sun." See Robert F. Pfafman, Ancestry and Progeny of Capt. James Blount, Immigrant (1983).

The Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, Episcopal Bishop of No rth Carolina, was very interested in the Blount genealogy . He sent a copy of the James Blount Coat of Arms to one Ch arles Dexter Allen of Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Allen replie d to Bishop Cheshire on February 26, 1906, and stated tha t the "arms on this plate are quartered with another coat : but no tinctures are shown." Allen remarked that book pla te was of the Chippendale design, after 1750 and represente d the Chippendale design of a "late period." This indicate s that the copy of the arms shown in Wheeler was modified s omewhat from the original, since James Blount died in 1686 . See Joseph B. Cheshire Papers, 1724-1932, Correspondenc e 1905-October 1906, PC 183.45 NCA, North Carolina State Ar chives.

The following biographical sketch of James Blount is by Mat tie Erma E. Parker.

See William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Bi ography (Chapel Hill, NC, 1979), I, 178-179. "Blount (Blunt), James (d. spring or summer 1686), colonia l official, and leader in Culpeper's Rebellion, moved to th e Albemarle colony from Isle of Wight County, Va., betwee n 1660, when the family was still in Virginia, and 1669, wh en Blount was a member of the Albemarle council. Presumably , the title captain, applied to him by his contemporaries , indicates his rank in either the Virginia or the Albemarl e militia, or both. "By 21 Apr. 1669, Blount was a council member in the Albema rle colony. He was also on the council in 1672, 1679, 1681 , 1684, and perhaps also in years not indicated in survivin g records. In 1677, and apparently in earlier years, he wa s one of the burgesses representing Chowan Precinct and sa t on the council by vote of the assembly, which then chos e some of the council members. "Although Blount participated in the government over whic h the controversial Thomas Miller presided in the summer an d fall of 1677, he was one of the leaders in the overthro w of Miller in December of that year. Not only did he hel p lead the upheaval, subsequently called Culpeper's Rebelli on, but he became a member of the rebel parliament and th e rebel council that governed the colony until 1679, when t he proprietors reestablished government under their own aut hority. "After the restoration of de jure government, Blount serve d on the council at least in the years 1679, 1681, and 1684 . He was a justice of the county court of Albemarle in 168 2 and 1683. "Blount lived in Chowan Precinct, where he owned 300 acre s of land in the 1670s. His holding was enlarged by a gran t of 660 acres in 1684 [Mulberry Hill]. "Blount was married twice. His first wife, whose name is no t known, was the mother of at least five of his children: J ames, Thomas, John, Ann and Elizabeth. Apparently, James an d Thomas, if not the other children, were born before thei r parents moved to Albemarle. They proved their headright s and were granted land in 1680, by which time both were ma rried. Blount's first wife died between 27 Sept. 1670, whe n she was a witness in court, and 13 June 1683, by which ti me Blount's second marriage had taken place. The second wif e was Anna Riscoe, widow of Robert Riscoe of Albemarle an d daughter of Belshassar Willix of Exeter, N.H. She and Blo unt probably were married shortly before 13 June 1683, whe n Blount obtained administration of Riscoe's estate 'in rig ht of his wife.' If children were born of the second marria ge, they apparently died in infancy. "Blount died between 10 Mar. 1686, when he made a codicil t o his will, and 17 July, when the will was proved. By tha t time his two daughters were married and each had at leas t one child. They were referred to in the will as Elizabet h Hawkins, who had a son named John, and Ann Slocum, who ha d a daughter named Ann. "Blount's own son, John was still a minor when his father d ied. John's brother, Thomas became his guardian, but the gu ardianship lasted less than a decade, as John was married i n 1695 to Elizabeth Davis, daughter of John and Mary Davi s of Henrico County, Va. Thomas himself was married to hi s second wife, Mary Scott, about the time of his father's d eath, in the spring of 1686. James, Jr., gave his wife's na me as Elizabeth in listing his headrights and also in his w ill. "Blount's widow, Anna, whom he called in his will, marrie d Seth Sothel, then governor of the colony and one of the p roprietors of Carolina. After Sothel's death, she married J ohn Lear, a prominent Virginian." The following excerpt is from Peter Wilson Coldham, The Com plete Book of Immigrants 1607-1660 (Baltimore, MD, 1987), 2 95-296: "13 September. [1655] The following bound to James Blunt, p lanter, to serve in Virginia: Thomas Taylor of Lugwardine , Heref., labourer, for 6 years; Rebecca Davis of Grosmont , Monmouth, spinster, for 3 years; and Anne Morgan of Rowls tone, Heref, spinster, for 3 years. Mary Jones of Crickhowe ll, Monmouth spinster, and Markes Thomas of Crickhowell bou nd to Joseph Curtis of Bristol, shipwright, to serve 3 year s in Virginia. (BRO)." The following entry is found in North Carolina Historical a nd Genealogical Register 3 (January 1903), 146: "Henry White aged about fifty seven years, upon oath declar ed that he knew Samuel Davis deceased, that he lived in th e Pascotank in this Government, and that he knew the said S amuel Davis when he lived in Isle of Wight when he was an a pprentice to his father, Henry White, of the Isle of Wigh t county afsd. Cooper, and that after he was out of his tim e he married one Ann, a servant to Captn. James Blount, an d afterwards about the year 1660, he, the sd Samuel and Ann , his wife removed themselves into this government, where t he deponent knew them to live several years & had several c hildren and that Samuel Davis Junior is the eldest son &c." Capt. James Blount was one of the leaders of Culpeper's Reb ellion in 1677. "The chief cause of unrest in the decade of the 1670s was t he attempt of the English Parliament to regulate the tobacc o trade and to curb smuggling by passage of series of navig ation acts. The Act of 1660 stated that certain enumerate d articles, including tobacco, could be traded only to Engl and. The New Englanders, engaged in the intercolonial coast al trade, tried to circumvent the requirements of the law b y landing tobacco in another colony before selling it abroa d. To stop such illegal trade, Parliament passed the Planta tion Duty Act of 1673, which required a tobacco duty of on e penny per pound to be paid at the port of purchase. Becau se they were dependent on the New England mariners for th e marketing of their tobacco, the Albemarle planters were t hreatened economically by the new regulations and duty." Se e Lindley S. Butler, North Carolina Genesis: Seventeenth-Ce ntury Albemarle County (Hertford, NC, 1989), 12. In the fall of 1679, the "popular faction" which included J ames Blount took control of the colony. In the "Representat ion to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina Concerning the Reb ellion in that Country, to be made use of in Further Examin ations," the role of James Blount is mentioned: "Capt: James Blount, although one of the Great Councill o r Assistant to the Deputies is one of the chief persons amo ngst the Insurrectors, and although I wrote to him, the spe aker and rest of the Burgesses of Chowan Precinct, yet whe n the Sheriffe of Chief Martiall came with my letter and en deavoured to raise Posse Comitatis for keeping the peace an d securing of that your Lordships Country, he the said Blou nt with one Captain John Vernham took the Martiall and hi s men Prisoners and raised forces against the Government. " See William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of Nor th Carolina (Raleigh, NC, 1886), I, 259. "During the height of Culpeper's Rebellion in December 1677 , the most irregular judicial proceeding of the entire peri od occurred when the arrested acting governor Thomas Mille r and other government officials were brought before a rebe l assembly at George Durant's house. The assembly, led by s peaker Thomas Cullen, who had formerly been outlawed for il legal Indian trade, selected 'ye supream Court' of chief ju stice Richard Foster and associates John Jenkins, William C rawford, James Blount, Patrick White, and Valentine Bird, a ll of whom where influential planters and merchants. Free-f lowing rum contributed to the unraveling of the proceedings . Although George Durant, serving as attorney general, an d John Culpeper were advising the grand jury, their indictm ent was returned endorsed as a 'Bill of Error' rather tha n Billa Vera (true bill). According to Miller, the 'stark d runk' sheriff was unable to impanel a petit jury to procee d against him, but he remained in fear for his life unti l a proclamation from Governor Eastchurch condemning the re bellion arrived from Virginia and broke up the proceeding. " See North Carolina Genesis, 23. "Culpeper's Rebellion, the most significant of the upheaval s in Albemarle County, was certainly an outgrowth of the in ternal struggle for power triggered by the effect of the to bacco duty of 1673. Unrest festered in the isolated frontie r colony, exacerbated by proprietary neglect, uncertain lan d policy, and the ambiguity of the proprietary relationship ....The Carolina rebellion was not surprising, given the po wer struggle within the feeble proprietary government, fo r which the Lords Proprietors must bear full responsibility . The uprising had indeed tested the proprietors, who wer e found wanting. The Albemarle planters had learned from th e outset to rely on their own resources, and after years o f contention, the popular faction had earned the right to g overn the colony. The success of the government establishe d by this faction was best described by the proprietors the mselves, when in 1680 they admitted that all was 'quyet,' w ith the customs fees being 'quyeyly paid by the People. ' " See North Carolina Genesis, 15. The original will of James Blount is in the Southern Histor ical Collection of the University of North Carolina. It i s laminated and in very good condition. In May 1999, Kyle S . VanLandingham examined the will and made a photocopy. Th e following transcription is from the original: "In the Name of God Amen I James Blount of Chowan Precinc t In the County of Albemarle In the Province of Carolina Es q. & well knowing the uncertainty of this Life doe make Ord ain & Appoint this to bee my Last will and Testament hereb y Revoeking & adnulling all former Wills by me Made & thi s Only to be taken & reputed as my Last will. "Imp. I Bequeath my Soule to God who gave it & my body to t he Earth to be Decently Enterred & as for that Worldly Esta te which it hath pleased God to bestow upon me in this lif e my Just debts funeral Expenses & Legatyes being first pai d I give and bequeath as followeth--- "Item. I give unto my Sonn James Blount one Shilling in Cou ntry Comodities to be paid him by my Executrix hereafter na med within one year after my Decease. "Item. I give unto my Sonn Thomas Blount & to my two Daught ers Ann Slocumb & Elizabeth Hawkins Each of them twelve pen ce apiece in Country Comodities to be paid them within on e year after my Decease. "Item. I give & bequeath unto my Grand Children James Sara h Blount the children of my Sonn Thomas Blount & to Ann Slo comb the child of my Daughter Ann Slocomb & to John Hawkin s ye Son of my Daughter Elizabeth Hawkins Each of them a Co w & a Calfe to be paid to their severall parents within thr ee years after my Decease in some sort of Stock to runn fo r ye use and behoofe of the Said children till they Several ly Come of age, or Marriage Capacitated to receive the Same. "Item. I give & bequeath all ye remainder part of my Estat e Reall & personall whether it Consist in Lands, houses, Ne groes, Servants, Stock, household goods, or any other kin d of specie whatsoever, unto my Loving wife Ann Blount fo r her to have hold occupy & Enjoy During her naturall Liff e without Loss or Controule & at her death to dispose of th e Same to ye Value of Sixty pounds in Country Comodities t o Whoever she Shall think fitt, And after her my said Wife s Decease, I give ye whole remainder of my Estate to my So n John Blount & his heirs forever; & I do hereby appoint e & ordaine yt my said Sonn John Shall be Decently maintain ed out of the Estate during his minority. and in Case my sa id Wife Ann should Live till after my Said Sonn John Shoul d come of Age then if he should happen to marry or to goe t o Live in some other place from said Wife; then She to pa y him thirty or forty pounds (which She pleaseth) in Countr y Comoditites. Turns Over James Blount "Lastly I appoint my Loving Wife, Ann Blounte my whole & So le Executrix of this my last will & testament desiring he r to be careful in every article & Clause thereof & for Con firmation of ye Same I have hereunto set my hand & Seale th is Ninth day of July in the year of our Lord God One Thousa nd Six Hundred Eighty and five. March ye 10th 1685[/6]. "Before signing sealing or Publication I doe hereby Appoin t that in Case my Son John Shuld Dy without heirs male the n I give & bequeath all my lands & houses to ye heirs Mal e of my sonn Thomas Blount & so successively doe Entaile th e same on their heirs male of my said Thomas forEver: but i n case the heirs male of my Said son John & Thomas should b oth faile then I Entaile the Same on the heirs Generall o f my Sonn John first then of my Son Thomas. and if both sho uld faile then of the heirs of my Daughter Ann Slocumb an d Elizabeth Hawkins. James Blount (Seal) Signed, Sealed & Published as his last will and testament in presence of her Jane X Miller mark John Hall William Dobson John Wettinhall This will proved by John Hall and Jane Miller on the sevent h day of July 1686 and by William Dobson on the 11th day o f July 1686 who uppon their oaths (before me) duely adminis tered did attest that they see the testator above named Jam es Blount signe & seale & heard him declare the above writt en to be his last will and testament. Seth Sothell Recorded J? N. Chevin, Clk --- Chow." Grimes' NorthCarolina Wills, 54, states that the will was r ecorded in Will Book 1, p. 120, Office of Secretary of Stat e.

SOURCE: William LaMartin - y/blount.htm (also has excellent documented descendancy o f James Blount)

•Note: (Research):see: mesBlount-_-AnnaWillixRiscoe.htm

  • The Lincolnshire origin of some Exeter settlers by Sanborn, V. C. (Victor Channing), 1867-1921; Hall, Virginia S Published 1914.  Hall, Virginia, "The Daughters of Balthazar Willix of Exeter." page 18
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Captain James Blount's Timeline

Astley, Worcestershire, England
Age 28
Age 30
Sodington, Worcestershire, England
Age 48
Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colony
September 16, 1669
Age 49
Province of North Carolina
July 17, 1686
Age 66
Chowan Precinct, Albemarle County, Province of North Carolina, Colonial America
February 4, 1967
Age 66
March 21, 1967
Age 66