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Richard Burt Notes

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Richard Burt (bef.1583-bef.1647)


Dorchester? Devon?

His WikiTree profile once reported Richard was born at Dorchester, Devon, England, but there is no such place. Dorchester is located in Dorset.

There are two theories about how he may have become a man of "Dorchester, Devon."

(a) Cutter's 1913 sketch remarked that some of the early Taunton settlers came from Dorchester, Massachusetts. The theory being that someone morphed the Massachusetts location into the English location.
(b) In 1899, someone published a notice that there were arms for "Birt, Burt (Candell-Marsh, Devon co., Eng.)." The theory being that someone conflated the place "Dorchester" into a place at Devon

Notes and Queries, 1925

Notes and Queries: for Readers and Writers, Collectors and Librarians [Seventy-Sixth Year], 148 (14 February 1925):119; digital images, GoogleBooks. Quoting,

Richard Burt--Copied from the Index to Herald's Visitations, British Museum, by R. Sime:--"Birte of Candell Marche" ---888 fo. 546.
Copied from Harley's Visitation of Dorsetshire, 1565, 1046, p. 182:--"John Barte of Caundall m. from Doset, Gent. Mar. Margarett, dr. to Fry of Caundoll, make the said county and by the same issue: Henry Byrte, John Byrte, William Byrte, Richard Byrte, Jane Byrte." [GJ Note--No James.]
I have copy of eldest son, Henry Burt's line. I would like any information in regard to Richard Burt's line.
"Richard Burt buried at Caundle Bishop, 18th Jan." 1591/2. Is the above Richard the son of John Burt of Caundlemarsh?
"Richard Burt had ten acres of land in Barbadoes, 1638. He was in Barbadoes one year."
From what was the above record copied?
I should be glad to know of a book of reference that will guide me in regard to "Ten acre men of Barbados." I have never seen lists of those in Barbados, in 1638. I am sure there is a record somewhere. ---D. I. T.

GJ Notes.

See also Charles Bridger, An Index to Printed Pedigrees : Contained in County and Local Histories, the Heralds' Visitations, and in the More Important Genealogical Collections" (London : J. R. Smith, 1867). 28 (Byrte of Candel Marsh)/Dorsetshire, 58 (Burt/Byrt)/Kent; digital images, Hathi Trust.
  • Dorset index is Byrte of Candel Marsh)/Dorsetshire, ii 211; 2 ed. iii 166; reference is to John Hutchins, The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset &c. 2 vols. (London, 1774) 2nd ed. 1796-1816, 4 vols. folio; 3rd ed. Vol. I .(in progress); see [Hathi Trust.
  • "Histories and Antiquities" gives this lineage:
John Byrt m. Margery Fry (Caundel Marsh) and had children Henry, John, William, Richard & Jane. Henry was heir, he married Agnes Snowke and had John, Reginald, William, Thomas & Bartholomew, Christiana & Jane.
  • ii 211 is perhaps the chart at p. 342; InternetArchive.
  • iii 166 -- did not locate this reference.
  • Kent index Burt, or Byrt, 40; reference is to William Berry, County Genealogies. Pedigrees of the Families of Kent (London, 1830)]; see Hathi Trust.
  • For William Berry, County Genealogies. Pedigrees of the Families of Kent (London, 1830)], see FHL Digital Collection, 8087137, image 393 of 709. These carry later dates. 1745+.

Ten-Acre Men, 1885

Sam Briggs, "A List of the Names of the Inhabitants of Barbadoes in the Year 1638, Who Then Possessed More than Ten Acres of Land," The Narragansett Historical Register 3 (1885): 230-236, 282-288. at 232 (Richard Burte); digital images, Hathi Trust.

Alternate Biographical

The text below originated as part of the profile narrative titled, "entered before 10 August 2020."

Richard Burt was born in 1600 in Kings Hill, Staffordshire, England or Dorchester, Devon, England.[1] He was christened 27 Oct 1605 in Cuckfield, Sussex County, England.[2][3]

Richard emigrated from England to Barbados, West Indies.[citation needed]

Richard married Jane Adams (1592-1614) in on 21 Nov 1624 at St Mary, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, Middlesex, England.[4]Their children were:[citation needed]

  1. Henry Burt (1620– )
  2. James Leonard Burt (1622–1680)
  3. Rachel Burt (1625– )
  4. John Leonard Burt (1627–1730)
  5. Richard Burt (1629–1685)
  6. Katherin Burt

Richard was one of the original purchasers of Cohannet in Plymouth Colony in 1638.[5] He owned eight shares in the company, and was doubtless accompanied by his family, but he has left only a few leaves for a biography.[6] We may be reasonably sure that he and his son Richard, born in 1629, were living in this place March 3, 1639-40, when the Plymouth Court passed the brief order, "That Cohannet shall be called Taunton."[7]He was probably older than 60 years in 1643 since his name is not on the list of those subject to military duty.[8]

Richard Burt died previous to October 26, 1647,[9] at which time his minor son Richard, made an application for his uncle, James Burt, to serve as his legal guardian.[10]Richard's brother, James Burt, was early living in Taunton, although he was not one of the first purchasers.[11]

Wills of Burt men from UK National Archives

These wills have been read attempting to find possible matching family structures, no good matches have been found yet. There were Burts near Sherborne, Dorset about 90 miles west of London and all within about 30 miles of each other and mentioning property or residence at Yetminster, at Wimborne Minster, Walton, Stoney Stoke and within about 30 miles of Bishop's Caundle. The last two (mariners assigned to Navy ships) are not necessarily linked at all except that of Edward lists property in London where some Burts were known to live including the John (poulterer) listed here and others who lived near St. Mary Whitechapel based on other court documents found at the Archives.

Unfortunately none listed a Richard Burt other than the 1614 testator and we are looking for a set of brothers Richard & James Burt who were probably born in the 1580s. John Burt of Gussage (1626 testator of PROB 11/149/469) did bequeath to a brother James and son James and his brother James' un-named children, leaving the possibility that those children could have included Richard and James but this is complete speculation. Those two testators (Richard and John) were about 25 miles apart.

  • Title: Will of Richard Burt of Kingston Wareham Dorset Catalogue reference: PROB 11/124/206 20 Jul 1614...40m SE of Yetminster on the coast...bequeath to wife Jane Burt, to Susan & Alice Burt the daughters of William Burt (relationship not specified), seems like to second son John Burt so married twice most likely, to son Thomas, to eldest daughter Catherine Burt, to daughter Johane Burt, to daughter Alice Burt, to youngest daughter Jane Burt
  • Title: Will of John Burt, Yeoman of Gussage All Saints, Dorset Catalogue reference: PROB 11/149/469 26 Jun 1626...90m w of London, 30m e of bishop's caundle..occupation not stated...bequeaths to wife Christian Burt, to brother James Burt, to eldest son James, to son Edmund (under 21), son George (under 21), son John (under 21), son William (under 21), to "my brother and sisters children" (no names), to cozen William Ringe...possibly the 1601 marriage of John Burt & Christian Wyse 10 Aug 1601 at Southampton, Surrey about 20 miles east of Gussage, 90m west of Cuckfield
  • Title: Will of John Burt Catalogue reference: PROB 11/253/744 31 Mar 1656...-of Wimborne Minster, Dorset; 35m se of Yetminster, 15m N. of Kingston Wareham...occupation not stated, bequeaths to un-named wife, to son Thomas, to Thomas' son William, son Thomas as executor, witnessed by Anthony Burt...proved 31 Mar 1656 at London by William Burt, son and sole executor
  • Title: Will of John Burt, Poulterer of London Catalogue reference: PROB 11/303/26 4 Jan 1661...wife Elizabeth executor, after her death to Francis "Bensley" son of testator's sister Elizabeth Bensley, to "my wife and her heirs forever" so she brought children from prior marriage?...left her property he bought of Thomas Stanley Esquire, house at Dummings Alley without Bishopsgate, various other property including what looks like Sherborne (near yetminster but this is uncertain), also land at Walton and "Stoney" which might be Stoney Stoke both near Sherborne, forgiving debts owed by brother in law James Bensley (so the husband of testator's sister Elizabeth Burt who it seems may be dead), to children Elizabeth & James Bensley of the same couple i.e. Francis' siblings, to some servants and a god-daughter, no other family mentioned, proved by relict Elizabeth Burt
  • Title: Will of Thomas Burt, Yeoman of Yetminster, Dorset Catalogue reference: PROB 11/180/295 25 May 1639...of Chetnole about 130 miles west of London, near Taunton, next to Bishop's Caundle...occupation not stated...bequeaths to wife Beatrice (spelled Betteris), sons George & William (under 21), daughter Elizabeth (under 16), daughter Beatrice the wife of William Dabys/Danys and their five children, no other family members listed.
  • Title: Will of Edward Burt, now belonging to His Majesty's Ship Trident Prize Mariner Catalogue reference: PROB 11/442/231 7 Dec 1697...-makes friend Edward Williams, victualler of St. Mary, Newington Butts "Surry" (would seem to be Newington Butts London?) his attorney, owned messuages at London Town, also bequeathed all to Edward Williams
  • Title: Will of John Burt, belonging to Her Majesty's Ship Newark Catalogue reference: PROB 11/525/272 8 Feb 1712...-bequeathed to wife Elizabeth, also executor, no specific land or property listed

Research Notes

  • The name does not appear (primary or secondary in any spelling variation) in the 1623 Visitation of Dorset.
  • The name appears secondarily in the Visitation of Surrey when Catherine Burt, daughter of Thomas of Reigate married Thomas Bennet of Buckstead, Sussex. Note that Reigate is 20 miles south of London and about 10 miles east of Dorking, Surrey. They had a grandchild 25 years old in 1623 (b. 1598) so assume this marriage was around 1565.[12]
  • The birth dates of his son's children are found reportedly here: see at archive.org
  • Regarding the Cuckfield connection from the alternate biography, as documented on the FSP for "Jane Adams" here there was a Burt family of Cuckfield about 20 miles south of Dorking, Surrey (the origin of PGM immigrant Hugh Burt. The Richard of Cuckfield married a Jane Abat in 1616, had children there, was a butcher and tanner and took on an apprentice in 1643 meaning he was almost certainly not in Barbados in 1638 nor had rights to land in Taunton, Plymouth colony in that same year. Whether the Burts of Cuckfield were related to those of Dorking, or to the Richard Burt who ended up in Taunton in New England is unknown at this time. Note that parish and legal records for Burts in Horsham, West Sussex near Dorking and Cuckfield and 30 miles from London are also easily found.
  • Regarding the St. Mary Whitechapel marriage, there was at least one family of Burts in that area in London in the mid 1600s and early 1700s. The UK National Archives Reference C 11/2626/4 reveals a lawsuit between John & Thomas Burt, citizens and weavers of London and executors of the estate of Hannah Bouts against Alice Bouts, widow in 1716 (earlier records for John & Thomas appear as well). Whether these Burts were related to those living 30 miles south in Dorking, Horsham and Cuckfield is not known.


  1. Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts, from its settlement to the present time (Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., 1893), 34; digital images, Hathi Trust argues that he must have been over 60 when the list of those eligible to bear arms was compiled in 1643.
  2. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQC4-ZRH : 11 February 2018, Rychard Burt, ); citing item 2, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 2,142,086.
  3. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NYPR-DVJ : 11 February 2018, Rychard Burt, 27 Oct 1605); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 526,492.
  4. John V. L. Pruyn, "Weddings at St. Mary, Whitechapel, London ..." The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 23 (1891):47, in particular part; digital images, Hathi Trust.
  5. Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts, from its settlement to the present time (Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., 1893), 28, 29, 34. 35; digital images, [ Hathi Trust].
  6. #Burt: Burt, Henry Martyn & Burt, Silas Wright. Early Days in New England: Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield, C. W. Bryan Company, printers, 1893 On Archive.org
  7. Colket, Meredith B., JR. Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657. Cleveland: General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, 1975. 366p.
  8. Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts, from its settlement to the present time (Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., 1893), 28, 29, 34. 35; digital images, [ Hathi Trust].
  9. Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts, from its settlement to the present time (Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., 1893), 28, 29, 34. 35; digital images, [ Hathi Trust].
  10. #PCR Note: No other children are mentioned in the court order. Apparently Richard Jr's. mother was already dead or unable to act as guardian.
  11. Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts, from its settlement to the present time (Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., 1893), 28, 29, 34. 35; digital images, [ Hathi Trust].
  12. The visitations of the county of Surrey : made and taken in the years 1530 by Thomas Benolte, Clarenceux king of arms ; 1572 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux king of arms ; and 1623 by Samuel Thompson, Windsor herald, and Augustin Vincent, Rouge croix pursuivant, marshals and deputies to William Camden, Clarenceux king of arms by Benolt, Thomas, d. 1534; Cooke, Robert, d. 1592; Thompson, Samuel; Vincent, Augustine, ca. 1584-1626; Camden, William, 1551-1623; Bannerman, W. Bruce (William Bruce), 1862-1933; College of Arms (Great Britain) Publication date 1899 Publisher London : Ye Wardour Press p. 206

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I put notes about Edward Burt of Charlestown, Mass on the FSP for Richard's brother James but didn't want to duplicate it all here. That Edward (no profile on WT) is son of Hugh Burt-178 of Dorking, Surrey. Hugh was son of John and also had a brother John (deceased in 1661). Hugh's son Edward owed 7,200 pounds of Moscado sugar (from Barbados) to Daniel Stone of Cambridge, Mass in 1655 but no direct proof of a family/Burt connection.
posted by Brad Stauf