The parentage of Richard BELDEN (d. Aug. 1655, Wethersfield, Hartford Co., CT) has not been absolutely proved. The 'traditional' viewpoint is that he was the son of Sir Francis BAILDON and Margaret GOODRICK who was baptized May 26, 1591 at Kippax, Yorkshire, England. However, there is no documentary evidence identifying Richard BELDEN of Westhersfield as the Richard BAILDON baptized at Kippax. Researcher Paul C. REED has written a two part article published in The American Genealogist in January and April 2001 in which he concludes, "Richard BAILDON, the son of Sir Francis BAILDON, died in England. He was not the New England immigrant," and that "The best deduction that can be made is that Richard Belden, born about 1598-99, was the eldest son of Lawrence Beldon, baptized shortly before the commencement of the Heptonstall registry." Each of these alternatives, together with a summary written in 1980 by Stanley R. BELDEN and Elvera K. BELDEN, are discussed in earlier articles reproduced below.
The Family History of Judge Ellsworth
B. Belden and Collateral Families
by Stanley R. Belden and Elvers K. Belden
Racine, WI - 1980
CHAPTER I - BELDEN EMIGRANTS
.... During the Great Migration between 1630 and 1643, some 20,000 souls embarked for New England, leaving an England beset with poor economic conditions.
Among those people were five with the name of Belden (Baylden, Baildon or Belding) namely, Richard, Henry, William, Samuel and John. While ships' lists are not available, it is believed they came sometime between 1636 and 1640. There is no documentary evidence to show the relationship which might have existed between them, except concerning Samuel as the son of Richard....
Henry Belden came to Watertown, Massachusetts, and established himself at Woburn in 1641, but nothing further has been found concerning him.
William Belden, of Wethersfield, died in 1655. His will dated 27 March 1655, may be found in Hartford County Probate records, in the Particular Court for the years 1650-1663, volume II, on pages 69-70. No land records have been discovered for him although he is mentioned in several records.
Descendants believe William to be the first son of the emigrant Richard, and that he was born about 1622.
In the Parish Registers of Heptonstall, by Edith Horsfall (Yorkshire Register Society 1925) as cited by Donald E. Poste, there is a William baptized 23 April 1609, shown as a son of Lawrance Beldon of Ayringden.
In this same Register, a Richard Beldon is mentioned although his birth is not shown. William and Richard have been shown as brothers, father and son, and also as cousins. A research agency, in 1935, wrote that they were distant cousins, that William Belden came to America in 1646 and established a home in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where he married Thomasine Allen(?). The researcher (name and address now lost), as well as others, made the statement that all Beldens were descended from the large family of the name living in York County, England.
Most writers have seemed inclined to accept as fact that Richard Belden was the son of Sir Francis Bayldon. Particularly in view of the English history of a Yorkshire manor and family, Baildon and the Baildons [by Wm. Paley Baildon, ed. by Francis J. Baildon], we used the same assumption in our Family History of Judge Ellsworth B. Belden (1969).
If Richard Belden was the son of Sir Francis Baildon (Bayldon), then William Belden, of Wethersfield, was not his brother. As Richard was the only one named in Wethersfield records as having a house or land, we have place William as Richard's first son.
Perhaps, as Mr. Poste wrote in The American Genealogist, more research in England is needed to clarify for future generations, the antecedants of Richard Belden, the Settler, of Wethersfield.
English Origin of the Beldens of Wethersfield
by Donald E. Poste, Buffalo, NY
The American Genealogist, Vol., 45, pp. 135-138
For many years the problem of the ancetry of the Beldens of Wethersfield has been periodically debated. In general, the "family genealogists," descendants of the Beldens, seem inclined to accept as fact the proposition that Richard Belden of Wethersfield was a son of Sir Francis Bayldon of Kippax, Yorkshire, by his second wife, Margaret Goodryck, and several times an extensive pedigree, shorn of all qualifications such as "probably," "perhaps" or "possibly," has been published presenting an ancestry of considerable distinction. Unfortunately, no documentary evidence has been found to prove the identity of Richard, son of Sir Francis, with Richard Belden (and many other spellings) of Wethersfield. Neither has any documentary evidence appeared to show conclusively whether or not William Belden of Wethersfield, Richard's contemporary, was his son.
Genealogists from Hinman (1846) onward until Charles C. Whitney in "Some Belding Genealogy" (1896), when postulating any relationship between Richard and William seem universally to have speculated that they were brothers. Whitney appears to be the first to propose that William was Richard's son (omitting John, almost universally received as a son of Richard by the earlier genealogists) and assigned to them, without documentation, a Staffordshire origin.
In 1898 the Kippax ancestry appeared, and, thereafter, as Stiles pointed out in his "History of Wethersfield" (2:76), even presumtive acceptance of this record must make William, not a brother, but a son of Richard, although no one has apparently stated that he might have been a cousin or simply that there was no relationship or possibility of relationship at all.
Two records have been found which may provide some clue to the Belden ancestry: First, the "deposition of John Belding, aged about 27," taken at Wethersfield 16 Feb 1661 (C.J. Hoadley, "Records of the Colony or Jurisdiction of New Haven" (1858), p. 444); second, "BELDEN", p. 332, Wethersfield, 1658. Samuel ae 26 years, married," in "Genealogical Items from the Medical Journal of John Winthrop" (TAG, supra, 9:56). Thus, John was apparently born ca 1635, Samuel ca 1632. The ancestry of the Drapers, traced to Heptonstall, Yorkshire, might lead one to suppose that they did not come alone, and in expectation that this might prove true, I checked the printed parish register thoroughly for other ancestors of mine and found the following entries, which, while not conclusive, seem to be more reasonable than anything else I have seen. I shall not be able to perform further research on this subject but present these clues in the hope that someone else may be able and willing to follow through.
Edith Horsfall, "The Parish Registers of Heptonstall" (Yorkshire Parish Register Society 1925), indicates that the ancient chapelry of Heptonstall included the town of Wadsworth, Midgley, Warley, Stansfield, Erringden (Ayringden), Langfield, Sowerby and Rishworth, all covered by this parish register. The pertinent records appear to be:
114 30 Dec 1627 Grace (daughter of) Richard Beldon (of) Wad. (bapt.) 141 25 Oct 1606 Joh'es fil. Lawrence Beldon (bapt.) 88 1 Nov 1622 Uxor Lawrence Beldon (of) Lang. (bur.) 147 23 Apr 1609 Willm fil Lawrance Beldon (of)Ayr. (bapt.) 156 17 June 1604 Susan fil Lawrenceij Beldon (of) Ayr. (bapt.) 163 6 Dec 1611 Luke file Lawrance Beldone (of) Ayr. (bapt.) 195 22 Nov 1601 Mary fil Larance Beldon (of) Ayr. (bapt.) 20 9 Dec 1622 Richard Beldon and Margaret Ackrenden (mar.) 193 17 July 1625 Mary fil Richard Beldon (of) Wad, bapt. 119 2 May 1630 Sara, (daughter of) Richard Beldon (of) Wad. (bapt.) 104 16 July 1631 Susan Belden (of) Ayr, Buryed at home 190 16 Nov 1623 Susan fil Richard Beldon (of) Lang. (bapt.) 82 7 May 1619 Richard Bealden (of) Lang. (buried) 208 3 Apr 1638 Alice Balden de Hep. (buried) 29 23 Apr 1640 James Balden and Ann Varley (mar.) 213 4 Mar 1640 Infans James Baldon de Ayr (bur.) 126 4 May 1634 Sara fil John Balden de Ayr (bapt.) 127 8 Feb 1634 John (son of) Richard Balden de Wad. (bapt.) 31 1 Feb 1641 Thomas Rigg (and) Martha Balden (mar.) 123 16 Sept 1632 Samuell fil Richard Balden de Wad. (bapt.) 210 11 July 1639 Sara Balden de Hep (bur.) 240 6 Nov 1642 Mary filius Thome Rigg de Hept (bapt.)
(All entries under the name were copied whether directly connected with the particular families being studied or not.)
From these records tentative family groups may be constructed as follows:
LAWRENCE BELDON of Langfield had wife whose name is unknown but she was buried 2 Nov. 1622.
Children: all Beldon except Luke: Beldone
RICHARD BELDON married 9 Dec 1622, Heptonstall, Margaret Ackrenden.
Children: first four Beldon
It is tempting to propose that Richard was an elder son of Lawrence, William, his younger brother, and that both came to Wethersfield. Unfortunately, there is nothing but common residence in a rather large parish to indicate that this may be so. It seems more realistic to search in the documents of the region of amplification of the record as well as to continue to search in the documents of Connecticut for further information concerning the Wethersfield Beldens.
It might seem that this record would help to dispose of Sir Francis Bayldon and Margaret Goodryck but, unfortunately, it does not, for it is noted among the documents cited in full in "Baildon and the Baildons", the will of Sir Francis mentions his land in Ayringden Park in the Heptonstall Byroim (3:64). Further, objection to "Bayldon" because of its spelling is somewhat lessened upon examination of the published Kippax register in which the entries concerning the family of Sir Francis and his kindred appear: Baldon, 16 times; Baildon, 6: Bayldon, 3: Bayledon, 2; Baldon, 1; Baldons, 1; Baidon, 1. The problem of spelling of the name can be debated endlessly, but it will be noted that in the adjoining parish of Halifax, the registers of which were published in 1910 by the Yorkshire Parish Register Society (vol. 37), the following records are found:
1:17 Robtus fil Nicholai Beldon de Sowthorp xix Julii 1541 (baptized)
2: 1 Nicholaus Beldon de Ottelay (Otley) et Sibella Watrhowse
isti(us) p(ar)och(iae)(invicem mrioiri(a bad garble for matrimonium?--Ed)
contraxer(u)nt sexto d(ie) mens(is) eiu(s)dem) (Maii 1539).
(All this means that Nicholus Beldon and Sybil Waterhouse, both of Otley, were married 6 May 1539--Ed.)
2:62 Richardus Mane et Agneta Bailedone xxviii Maii 1570 (married)
By reference to "Baildon and the Baildons," Robert and Nicholas will be found in the main line of the family, yet both are here called Beldon. It should be noted also that seldom in common speech has the name Belden been pronounced precisely as "Bell" + Den:" as in "liberty bell" and "den of the thieves" but, rather some-what elided, emerging as "bal" pronounced rapidly + "dun" or even "dn".
There is no Lawrence in the family of Sir Francis, however, and the mere fact that Sir Francis owned land in the vicinity does not prove a thing. It is mentioned only to keep the record straight.
It appears reasonable that Richard Belden of Heptonstall parish and Richard Belden of Wethersfield were identical; that that Samuel and John were his sons. Although it is not impossible that William, son of Lawrence, was identical with William of Wethersfield, and it appears William of Wethersfield was considerably older than John and Samuel, there is a question in my mind whether he was likely to have been quite this old, that is born about 1609. There has been quite enough speculation about this family's ancestry, so that we need no more adding of two and two, so that no one, without further proof, ought to assume from this record that it is proof of a connection, still less cite me as an "authority" for some remotely possible ancestry extending back to the Saxons.
Traditional Baildon Ancestry in England
The following lineage from Cutter's Connecticut Families is provided for its interest and to suggest a possible ancestry of Richard BELDEN of Wethersfield, CT. Another listing extends the line back 16 generations to Osmund, a King's Thane in 1066 A.D., and differs from this lineage by adding an additional generation between John and George BAILDON, namely Robert and Margaret (MIRFIELD) BAILDON, and by giving the parents of Walter BAILDON as Robert BAILDON (1420-1473) and Amice CALVERLY. Differences between various sources and a signed statement by Richard BELDEN that he was nineteen years of age on Mar. 26, 1613 cast a shadow across this line. No claim is made for the accuracy of the following.
Bayldon or Baildon Common is a chapelry in the West Riding of Yorkshire, situated on an eminence overlooking the river Aire. Baildon was in the Angle kingdom of Deira, A.D. 550, whence came the immortal youths seen by Gregory at Rome, and it has been the seat of the Baildon or Belden family since the time of King John. Baildon Hall is still in a good state of prservation. Some alterations were made in 1660 by Francis Baildon, cousin of the American immigrant, and the cornice of the drawing room bears his initials. The hall was built some time during the fifteenth century. The coat-of-arms of the Bayldons of Bayldon is describer: Argent, a fesse between three fleur-de-lis, sable. The simplicity of the arms indicates great age.
The following Rawson-Goodrick lineage was received from a correspondent, and is based partly on Visitation sources (Flower, Dugdale, and Glover). Again, no claim is made as to the accuracy.