Leif Ericson, the Norwegian mariner, was the first to explore the North American continent. He made a voyage in about A.D. 1,000 to a land he called Vinland because of the large number of grapes he saw growing there. Bjarni Herjolsson may have discovered Greenland in A.D. 986, geologically a part of North America, but credit is given to the Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, who discovered America in 1492 while in service for Spain.
Thorpinn Karlsefni led the most extensive Viking expedition to the New World in A.D. 1003. This was almost five hundred years before Columbus “discovered” it. Settling in a place he called Straumfjord, lying on the northwest shore of Hudson Bay, he and his company remained on the North American continent for approximately three years, until hostilities with the natives forced them to abandon the colony in A.D. 1006.
This is reported in some medieval literature, showing clearly the discovery of America in the fifteenth century was not new to history, but only to the men of Columbus' day. It had already been discovered by the Norsemen, adventurers and sea raiders from Scandinavian regions who, from the eighth century, began to terrorize much of civilized Europe. They had made repeated voyages to America between A.D. 986 and A.D. 1347, and even established settlements, but these were gone and forgotten by the dawn of the Age of Discovery.
The Renaissance which helped to bring Europe back to life gave birth to America. In the vigorous surge of the new intellectual life, men began to apply their scientific ability to nature and the universe. No less interested in the rest of the world than the scientists were the merchants and the traders. Their land routes to the Far East cut off by the Turks, they eagerly sought new ways of access to riches of the Orient.
The voyage of Columbus was very different from the age of the Norsemen. Officially sponsored by powerful monarchs, he traveled in an age when news was beginning to spread rapidly. Immediately after his return, the word of what he had found–or understood he had found–reached the other great powers.
Columbus died believing he had reached Asia, and those who followed him sought fabled cities, gold, silver, and even fountains of youth. Although the fountains of youth were never found, precious stones were discovered; but it was a long time before the explorers realized that they had discovered an undeveloped wilderness, even a whole continent. Even then, they regarded it as merely an obstacle to be overcome on their route to the Far East.
Balboa's crossing of the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific in 1513 fostered the theory that the new land was not very wide and probably could be traversed easily by simply following the eastern rivers to their sources, then descending the mountains to the other side. This idea was followed for years, with the explorers fully convinced that each mountain range would be the last.
The Spanish, by virtue of discovery and their supremacy at sea, laid first claim to the New World. Large groups of soldiers and adventurers, well equipped with horses and weapons with Catholic priests as companions, assaulted the wilderness with a courage that was admirable. After conquering Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Mississippi, the Spaniards set out from Mexico traveling into the deserts of Arizona and Colorado in a search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola.
Meanwhile ships had sailed around the world, enabling the Spanish to establish a spice route across the Pacific to India. The fruits of Spain's conquests in Mexico and Peru gave reality to the legends of the New World's treasures. Spanish galleons laden with silver and gold sailed back across the Atlantic to the Old World.
In 1497, John Cabot sailed from Bristol seeking a more direct crossing to eastern Asia, and thus began the English exploration. England was not strong enough, however, before the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 to vie with Spain for a place in the New World.
The Englishman, Sir Walter Raleigh, spent his own fortune in several unsuccessful attempts to settle English colonies on the middle Atlantic coast, and his military commander, Captain John Smith, made detailed explorations from Virginia to New England.
The French, also desirous of a share in the new land, concentrated their attention on the North. In 1534 Jacques Cartier sailed from France, discovered Quebec, and began exploring the Great Lakes.
The colonization of the North American continent was delayed at first because of the seemingly wild nature of the land and the hostility of the natives; but as the explorers went farther inland, they observed the rich vegetation and abundance of game, saw the picturesque and luxuriant waters of the lakes and rivers, and realized that the North American continent must have been a great discovery.
After further migration, the pioneers who roamed the hills of Virginia began to realize that it was a land of wealth and opportunity. The New World was truly the dream of a life that was far better than the lives that the early immigrants had ever known before.
The city of Jamestown, a small
village established on an Island named Jamestown in 1607, survived for
nearly seventy years. An uprising in 1676 resulted in the burning of the
village and the destruction of Jamestown. It's possible that John
Baggott and his family lived in Jamestown before the Rebellion. He
lived in nearby Surry County in the 1680s.
It is apparent that the Baggett family was among those few who came to America in its earliest settlement period. They were here more than a century before the United States became a nation and were among those who fought for its independence and helped propel this country from a wilderness to a preeminent world power. The original Coat of Arms claimed by the Baggett family in Burke's General Armory:
In the 1700s they continued to push forward in the wilderness to other frontiers. They traveled far to explore the hills in North Carolina, moved into South Carolina and Georgia, and later into Florida.
In the early 1800s they began to travel west, and many of them settled in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Some families came in contact with hostile Indians, loosing their lands. There were reports that some lost their children. In spite of this they would move to a new location, proving their pioneer spirit.
The family is one of the few who can claim an ancestor who was in America more than a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence came into existence. The family of Baggetts remained truly pioneers, making their way in the wilderness, helping to open up new frontiers, and leaving to their posterity a new sense of freedom.
The history of the Baggett family in America began in the seventeenth century. There was a John Baggott who lived in Surry, a county in Virginia just across the James River from Jamestown. Surry was just above Isle of Wight, with both bordering the James River. Jamestown is in James City County, which joins Surry in the center of the James River.
This John may be the father of Nicholas Baggett of Isle of Wight. If he is his father, he is probably the progenitor of the family in the United States. John was evidently born in ca. 1613, and is believed to have been living with his daughter in 1683 at about age 70, after his wife's decease. He is found in the household of Sam Swann in Surry County, VA in 1683. He was subject to tithes in this period, and to be subject to tithes or taxes, it was an indication that he owned property, either land or personal valuables, there in Surry County, VA. Nicholas Baggett above is found in deeds in Isle of Wight County, VA.
Nicholas Baggett is found as a witness to deeds in Isle of Wight County, VA in 1673. An Abraham Baggott is found there in the early part of the next century. There is another Abraham who is found later in North Carolina. He is found on the jury list in Bertie County in 1739 as Abraham Baggott. The Nicholas Baggett mentioned above may have been the first to own land in the section of Isle of Wight County, VA that became Bertie County, NC. The latter Nicholas Baggett may have used a portion of this land where the Baggetts had lived to pay his import to America from England in 1715.
There is no evidence that Nicholas Baggett lived anywhere other than Isle of Wight, but it is very likely that he first settled in Jamestown. This conjecture will probably never be confirmed since Jamestown was utterly destroyed along with all its records in 1676.
Nicholas is found at least twice in the 1670s in Isle of Wight County as planter. It is presumed that he owned a plantation there. No doubt this Nicholas Baggett of Isle of Wight in the 1670s is a close relative to the many lineages of Baggetts found in America in the next century. He is definitely believed to be related to Abraham mentioned above and to the Nicholas Baggett who made a will in 1753, but anyone who tries to prove an unbroken line beyond the latter Nicholas Baggett, his efforts shall definitely end with him being in a state of sheer bewilderment.
It may be that the old Nichoas Baggett's son Nicholas went back to England for some reason; maybe to pick up some possessions belonging to that particular family. They may have sold their possessions such as houses, land, etc. Then the young Nicholas came back to America in 1715. We have proof of his ship passage at that time.
The name Baggett has always been unique among the names of families found in the world. In its original form, it stood out among the many names as a unique and uncommon one, and the name has been easily distinguished from all the others. Although it has many variants, it can be easily traced, and does not present any indistinguishable characteristics, as do Smith, Jones, Taylor, Stephens, Robertson, etc.
According to a survey made in 1980, about four one-hundredths of one percent of the population of the American people share the unique family name. According to the survey, and because of the large number of households known to be overlooked in the survey, it appears that there are more than 25,000 persons living in the United States who share the name Baggett. A copy of wills and deeds in America is shown here:
The record below is from the Virginia State Library. Nicholas Baggett I and his son Abraham are found in Isle of Wight County, and Nicholas' father John Baggott is found in Surry County.
VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY
Isle of Wight, Record of Wills & Deeds
1, Part 1, 1662-1750.
Reel 22, page 302. Indenture of Edmond Palmer, planter, and wife to Ambrose Hadley wherein 100 acres are transferred on 7 March 1673, recorded 9 March 1673.
Page 303. Indenture of Edward Palmer and his wife to John Portis of a parcel of land beginning at Nicholas Cobbs. . . . from there to Thomas Tooks; dated 10 (?) August 1673; recorded August, 1673.
The above instruments were both witnessed by Nicholas Baggett and others.
CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS
John Watts, 65 acres (N. I.) Isle of Wight County, Virginia; north side of the Maherin River, 23 March 1715, on page 259. For the importation of two persons: Bartholomew Highsmith and Nicholas Baggett.
COLONIAL RECORDS, Volume 4
Lawnes Creek Parish Tithables, 1683
SURRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA
John Baggott - (62) 0 and Sam Swann - (62) 2.
(The (“0”) refers to persons obligated to pay tithes on the same plantation or household. It appears that the household shown here is designated as  2, belonging to Swann.)
1 | HISTORY 1b | HISTORY
1ba | HISTORY 1bb | HISTORY
1c | HISTORY 2 | HISTORY 2b
HISTORY 3 | HISTORY 4 | HISTORY 5 | HISTORY 6 | HISTORY 6b | HISTORY 7 | HISTORY 8
Baggott | Hervey Baggott |
Baggott | Nicholas Baggett I
| Nicholas Baggett II |
Baggett | Abraham Baggett I | Joseph
Baggett I | Barnaby Baggett
Thomas Baggett I | Nicholas Baggett III | John Baggett | Hardy Baggett | Grandberry Baggett | Abbots Bromley | Bagots at Pool Park Hall | Silas Baggett Historic Home
Alexander Baggett | Irish Baggotts | Austrlian Baggotts | English Baggotts | Ele Baggett Historic Home | Battle Abbey | John Baggett Analysis | Union Baptist Church
Lord William Bagot | Averett Baggett | Photo Galary 1 | Photo Galary 2 | Photo Galary 3 | Photo Galary 4 | Photo Galary 5 | Great Grandfather of William Riley Baggett Descendants of Machael Baggett | Maury Former Home | Historic Buildings | Historic House | Ephraim Baggett Family | Historical Home | It's Christmas | Silas Baggett
Cemetery | English Map | Levens Scenery | Ancestors of Lord William Bagot | They Passed Bagots Bromley | The Creation | Ele Bright Baggett | Winter Snow Flacks
Silas Baggett | Bagots Blithfield View From The Air | Irish Data | Irish Legal | Bagot Special Breed of Goats | Zion Baptist Church | The Duncan line | Bagots Bromley
The Rev. Burrell Camp | Bagod d' Arras | English Baggott Descendants | Bagot Pype Hayes Park Hall | Civil War and Its Links | Historical Store | Bagot Blithfield Hall
Baggett Name Origin Certificate | Descendants of Andrew B. Baggett | Conecuh County Alabama History | Joseph Williams Family | Historical Homes | Allen Baggett
Baggett History 1 | Baggett History 1b | Baggett History 1ba | Baggett History 1bb | Baggett History 1c | Baggett History 2 | Baggett History 2b | Baggett History 3
Baggett History 4 | Baggett History 5 | Baggett History 6 | Baggett History 6b | Baggett History 7 | Baggett History 8 | Elizabeth Baggett Home Place | Wills & Deeds
High Shoals Falls | The Jacob Baggett Family, Father of Stephen Z. Baggett | Family Connections; The James Connection | Family Connections; The Hardy Family
Nicholas Grandberry Baggett | Rev. Ned Grandberry Baggett | Saint-Omer Castel in Flanders | Stephen Baggett - Sikes | Hervey and Millicent Stafford | 1899 Ballard
Bagots of Levens Hall Park | Delicious Home Recipes - Casseroles | Delicious Home Recipes - Cakes | Delicious Home Recipes - Pies | Christian Nation in Danger
Descendants of Burl Baggett | Uzziel Baggett Descendants | Rev. Ned Baggett and Wife | Present Dangers of Atheism | Baggett Proof of Descent in Origin Section
James Baggett I Descendants | James Baggett II Descendants | The Baggett Family in Belgium | The Baggett Family in France | Jesse Baggett and Wife, Zilla Godwin
Joseph Baggett I last Will and Testament |Thomas Baggett I last Will and Testament |Thomas Baggett II last Will and Testament |Descendants of Solomon Baggett
Nicholas Baggett III Last Will and Testament | An Indian Raid in Texas | Descendants of Joseph Baggett I | Descendants of Jesse Baggett | Baggett Family Pedigree