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Samuel Eldridge died bef 1665

Nathaniel Hood and Elizabeth



A little about 
"Justinian Cooper"

If you study Samuel Eldridge you will notice that he and others are constantly 
getting grants of land for transporting people. (To Virginia) In the next website 
address George Archer was brought to Virginia by Justinian Cooper.
Archer, George;   Brought to Virginia in 1636 by Justinian Cooper, 
Warrasquinock Co. 
Archer, George;   Brought to Virginia in 1642 by Justinian Cooper, 
Isle of Wight Co.

Justinian Cooper may have worked for the Warrasquinock Co. which later 
changed its name to the Isle of Wight Co., but he and others probably just 
took advantage of the new law making it possible for them to gain more 
grants of land. There was a promise of 50 acres of land waiting for them 
when they got them there. 

ELDRIDGE Samuel   In Virginia Patents, Book No. 2, p. 240, there is a grant 
dated Augst 20, 1650, of 560 acres in Isle of Wight Co. to Robert Blake and 
Samuell Eldridge for headrights on eleven persons.  From the latter part of 
this patent the name is spelt Eldridge.

What are Headrights? 

ELDRIDGE Samuel   In Virginia Patents, Book No. 2, p. 240, there is a grant 
dated Augst 20, 1650, of 560 acres in Isle of Wight Co. to Robert Blake and 
Samuell Eldridge for headrights on eleven persons.  From the latter part of this 
patent the name is spelt Eldridge.

From the Library of Virginia

In order to encourage immigration into the colony, the Virginia Company, meeting in a Quarter Court held on 18 November 1618, passed a body of laws called Orders and Constitutions which came to be considered "the Great Charter of privileges, orders and laws" of the colony. Among these laws was a provision that any person who settled in Virginia or paid for the transportation expenses of another person who settled in Virginia should be entitled to receive fifty acres of land for each immigrant. The right to receive fifty acres per person, or per head, was called a headright. The practice was continued under the royal government of Virginia after the dissolution of the Virginia Company, and the Privy Council ordered on 22 July 1634 that patents for headrights be issued.


From The McGeehee Clan      [The term headrights in connection with a patent for land has been subject 
to no little misunderstanding. Elucidation is therefore in order. For the purpose
of stimulating immigration and the settlement of the Colony, the London 
Company ordained that any person who paid his own way to Virginia should 
be assigned 50 acres of land ‘for his owne personal adventure,’ and if he 
transported ‘at his owne cost’ one or more persons he should, for each person 
whose passage he paid, be awarded fifty acres of land.].”

The Headright System

Business and Industry, Colonial Virginia

The early inhabitants of Jamestown were employees of the Virginia Company and were supposed to direct their labors toward the production of profits for the investors. It quickly became apparent that gold and silver did not exist in appreciable amounts in eastern North America, a fact that left the colony without a cash crop and the resultant threat of bankruptcy.

The advent of the tobacco economy in the 1610s changed the course of Virginia’s development. Tobacco production required large tracts of land and many workers. The company held title to tremendous amounts of land, but had few workers at their disposal.

In 1618, the headright system was introduced as a means to solve the labor shortage. It provided the following:

  • Colonists already residing in Virginia were granted two headrights, meaning two tracts of 50 acres each, or a total of 100 acres of land.


  • New settlers who paid their own passage to Virginia were granted one headright. Since every person who entered the colony received a headright, families were encouraged to migrate together.


  • Wealthy individuals could accumulate headrights by paying for the passage of poor individuals. Most of the workers who entered Virginia under this arrangement came as indentured servants — people who paid for their transportation by pledging to perform five to seven years of labor for the landowner.

The ability to amass large plots of land by importing workers provided the basis for an emerging aristocracy in Virginia. Plantation owners were further enriched by receiving headrights for newly imported slaves.

The implementation of the headright system was an important ingredient in Virginia’s success. Land ownership gave many people a reason to work hard, with the assurance that they were providing for their own futures, not that of the company.