Heart of a Southern Woman

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Genealogical Ties to Two Ampthill Plantations in Colonial America Highlights Intermarriages Among First Families

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(this post was first published in “Worldwide Genealogy – A Genealogical Collaboration, 30 Jan. 2018)

 

photo of Amphill Plantation in Chesterfield County, Virginia–from Wikipedia Commons

This is the story of two plantations in Virginia, USA, which were both called Ampthill Plantation at one time.  More so, it is about the discovery of these two homes both still standing in Virginia today, and realizing that the owners and families involved were all wealthy, influential, aristocratic First Families of Virginia and all related at least distantly to this author.  How exciting to.find information like this, facts that breathe life into old homes and broaden our understanding of our ancestors. One of these homes has become a Bed and Breakfast—I can hardly wait to stay in it and experience the very atmosphere of my ancestors! 
While working on my family tree on Ancestry, I had come across a picture of the first Ampthill Plantation built about 1730 in Colonial Virginia by our Great Uncle Henry Cary, 1675-1749.  When I posted the picture on my family tree on Ancestry, a knowledgeable woman named Margaret wrote me a kind note letting me know there were two Ampthill Estates! I was very surprised to learn that there was another Ampthill Plantation House in Virginia, and even more sothat it had also been owned by more of our own family’s ancestors 
 
The Cary’s Ampthill Plantation was originally located in part of the Henricus Settlement of Colonial Virginia, which became Chesterfield County in 1749.  The house was built by Henry Cary Jr. our eighth great –uncle, whose father, Henry Cary, Sr. our 8th Great -Grandfather, was an architect who designed many famous buildings in Colonial Virginia, including the Capital Building at Colonial Williamsburg.  The Cary Ampthill home was inhabited for many years by Henry Jr.’s son, our first cousin and a Revolutionary War hero, Col. Archibald Cary among others of the well-known Cary family.  Later the house was physically relocated into the city of Richmond, Virginia near Cary Street named for the family. As a child growing up in Richmond, Virginia, my mother worked as a realtor in an office on Cary Street.  We often saw this first Ampthill Estate home on our local travels. Unfortunately, at that time we did not know of our kinship.
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This is what Wikipedia says about the Cary Family’s Ampthill Plantation:  
“Ampthill Plantation pictured above) was located in the Virginia Colony in Chesterfield County on the south bank   of the James River about four miles south of the head of navigation at modern-day Richmond, Virginia.[1] Built by Henry Cary, Jr. about 1730, it was just upstream of Falling Creek.[2] It was later owned by Colonel Archibald Cary, who maintained a flour mill complex and iron forge at the nearby town of Warwick.  Mary Randolph was born there in 1762. 
In 1929, Ampthill House, the manor house of Ampthill Plantation, was dismantled, moved to a site on Cary Street Road in the West End of Richmond, and reassembled where it sits today. Although it is not open to the public, Ampthill House is a noteworthy local landmark, and is marked by a Virginia Historical Marker.[4] 
The former plantation property on the James River near Falling Creek is occupied by the Spruance Plant and related industrial complex of the DuPont Company.”—from Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampthill_(Chesterfield_County,_Virginiahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampthill_(Chesterfield_County,_Virginia)
Ampthill Estate in Cartersville, Virginia–from Wikimedia Commons
The second Ampthill Plantation is located in the town of Cartersville, in Cumberland County, Virginia.  I call it the second Ampthill because it wasn’t named Ampthill until the early 1800’s, almost 100 years after the Cary’s Ampthill Estate. However, the land began to be developed about the same time as the first Ampthill—in the early 1700’s.
According to Wikipedia,“Ampthill is a plantation located in Cartersville, Cumberland County, VirginiaUnited States, roughly 45 minutes west of Richmond, and just over an hour south of Charlottesville. The property is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
In 1714 Charles Fleming took on a land patent of 670 acres (2.7 km²) with an intent to cultivate it. The land, however, “lapsed,” and was later granted to Thomas Randolph in 1722. This area was later included in a tract made up of 2870 acres (11.6 km²), which later came to be known as “Clifton.” But it was this initial purchase of the 670 acres (2.7 km²) that would form “The Fork,” known for its position on the James and Willis Rivers. It would later become Ampthill. In 1724, Randolph sold the site to Robert “King” Carter, then the wealthiest landowner in Virginia.
In his will dated 22 August 1726, King Carter willed the 2870 acre (11.6 km²) tract to his then unborn grandson, with the stipulation that the child carry the Carter name. Some time later, Anne Carter and Major Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley Plantation, christened a son, Carter Henry, who later become the owner of the property known as “Clifton,” in Cumberland County, Virginia.
Carter Henry Harrison moved to Clifton upon graduation from law school. There he raised his family and wrote the Cumberland Resolutions, which were presented to the community from the steps of the Effingham Tavern. These resolutions were later incorporated into the Virginia Resolutions, which were the basis for the Declaration of Independence, written by Harrison’s nephew, Thomas Jefferson.
Ampthill
Carter Henry Harrison died in 1793. In his will, Carter Henry willed Clifton to his son, Randolph, and The Fork to his son Robert. Robert sold The Fork to Shadrack Vaughan in 1804. Randolph later repurchased the property in 1815. The Fork was a clapboard structure of no more than three bedrooms. In 1815, the decision was made to add an addition to the existing manor. Randolph called upon his cousin, Thomas Jefferson, to design the brick addition that exists today. These plans exist today on file with the University of Virginia. The addition began its first phases of construction in 1835 and was completed in 1837. The two “houses” were separate for a number of years until a one-story passageway was built to connect the two. After the construction of the brick addition was completed the structure was renamed Ampthill.[3]
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
In 1998, the property was purchased by George Costen of Charlottesville. Beginning in 1999 and for a number of years that followed, Ampthill went under a major historic restoration.
Ampthill becamebed and breakfast and enjoys the prestige of being the only privately owned Jeffersonian property in Virginia. Her windows are the original glass. Ampthill exists today on 60 acres (240,000 m2) of the original 2870 acres (11.6 km²), is the home to 40 head of cattle and includes the manor house, four outbuildings and the barn, which dates to 1920, by far the youngest standing structure on the property.”  —https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampthill_(Cumberland_County,_Virginia)
Wow, that is a lot of information, and it looks like the property moved through a lot of different families—however, let’s look a bit more closely through the eyes of a descendant, who is learning through genealogy!  Remember also, I have just learned of this estate, although it belonged to my ancestors, I never knew of it until recently.
Charles Fleming originally owned the land that became the second Ampthill Estate in 1714. The Wikipedia author states that Fleming’s grant lapsed and the land was then given to Thomas Randolph in 1722. However, I wonder if he realized  that Thomas Randolph’s wife was the daughter of Charles Fleming, Judith Churchill Fleming, 1689-1743!  She could not legally own property in Virginia, so I wonder if Charles Fleming willed it to his son-in-law perhaps. Thomas Randolph, 1683-1729 of Virgina, 2nd owner of the 2nd Ampthill, was my family’s ninth cousin. 
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–all family trees are the  personal work and property of Helen Y. Holshouser
 In 1726, only four years after receiving the land, Thomas Randolph sold it to the fifth Governor of Virginia, Robert “King” Carter, my family’s 9th Great Uncle!  Nothing like keeping it in the family! Thomas Randolph died in 1729, so he may have known he was not able to care for the land
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Robert “King” Carter, 1663-1732, Public Domain
Robert “King” Carter’s father, John Carter, was our 9th Great Grandfather. Robert “King” Carter willed the land to his grandson Carter Henry Harrison (our 2nd cousin), through Robert’s daughter Anne Carter (our 1st cousin) and her husband Benjamin Harrison IV, the grandparents of our 9th President of the US, William Henry Harrison! Carter Henry Harrison willed the land to his sons, Robert and Randolph Harrison.  Randolph Harrison (our 3rd cousin 7 times removed) ended up purchasing all of the property by 1815, where two clapboard houses stood, one  named the Clifton and the other The Fork. But wait– who was the wife of Carter Henry Harrison and the mother of Randolph Harrison?  None other than one Susannah Randolph, 1738-1779, our 10th cousin! Yes, she is related to us and is the niece of the original Thomas Randolph who owned the property on which the second Ampthill Estate was built!  Amazingly, she married a second time to Thomas Fleming, the grandson of the original owner of the 2nd Ampthill property, Charles Fleming!  Wow! In fact, Susannah Randolph’s father is Isham Randolph, who is the brother of Thomas Randolph, 1683-1729, the 2nd owner of the 2nd Ampthill. Isham and Thomas Randolph’s  parents were  William Randolph, 1651 of England who immigrated to Virginia, and his wife Mary Royall Isham.  
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That is not all of the important connections for this amazing family—and we haven’t even talked about their many roles in shaping the new country of the United States—but Isham Randolph b. 1685 and his wife Jane L. Rogers had eleven children including Susannah Randolph of course, and they also had her sister Jane Randolph, 1720, who married Peter Jefferson b.1708 and became the parents of our President, Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826.  As you read above in the article from Wikipedia, Thomas Jefferson designed the second Ampthill Estate for his Uncle, Carter Henry Harrison who was also the Uncle of President William Henry Harrison!  Wow, simply amazing! As the article stated, the Ampthill Estate in Cartersville is the only privately-owned Thomas Jefferson designed home in Virginia and it is now a bed and breakfast! I can hardly wait to visit this home and walk and sleep where my ancestors slept and worked 200-300 years ago! 
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Thomas Jefferson in 1791 at 49 by Charles Willson Peale–Public Domain, Wikipedia 
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William Henry Harrison, Daguerreotype of an oil painting depicting William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States. Public Domain, Wikipedia
Albert Sands Southworth (American, 1811–1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, 1808–1901). Edited by: Fallschirmjäger –The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession number: 37.14.44. Search for “William Henry Harrison” on the museum’s site.
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Just to add other amazing discoveries (amazing to me) let’s look at the mother of Susannah Randolph b. 1738, for a minute. Married to Isham Randolph, her name was Jane Lilburnie Rogers, 1692-1760, and she was the 2nd great granddaughter of Thomas “The Pilgrim” Rogers, 1586-1621, who came to Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower! Not only is Thomas Rogers my own tenth great grandfather, he is my husband Max Holshouser’s eleventh great grandfather!  Yes, it makes us distant cousins! 
Other very interesting information about the Randolphs is that my sister Anne is married to Joseph Prince, who is also related to the same Randolph family of Virginia, making them distant cousins like Max and I are. What a small world native Virginians make! 
Through my DNA testing on ancestry, I have discovered other cousins also related to the Randolphs, Carters, Carys, Harrisons and Jeffersons.  One of the DNA cousins I met is Pam Maudsley Cooper, a dear cousin whom I have come to admire greatly, and who lives in Queensland, Australia!   I was born in Virginia, but have lived in the State of North Carolina in America since 1980. Thanks to the internet, Pam and I can work together often on the genealogy we both enjoy and enhance our cousinship! Different continents, but we share13th great grandparents in William Carter, 1475-1521 and his wife Alice Croxton, 1478-1525 of England. Again, I say totally amazing! 
Then there is this information tying the families of the two Ampthill Estates together:  the 3rd owner of the 2nd Ampthill in Cartersville, Virginia was Robert King Carter, fifth Gov. Of Virginia and our ninth great- Uncle, who received the land in 1726He willed the land to his daughter Anne Carter Harrison’s son Carter Henry Harrison—although it was not called Ampthill until 1835.  MeanwhileHenry Cary Jr. built the first Ampthill Plantation in Chesterfield County, Virginia about 1730. Henry Cary Jr.’s sister, Anne Cary, my 7th great grandmother, was married to Maurice Langhorne,whose mother, Anne Cary’smother-in-law, was none other than Rebecca Carter, our eighth great grandmother, and a member of the same Carter family of Colonial Virginia.  Even closer perhaps, Colonel Archibald Cary of Ampthill in Chesterfield County, married Mary Randolph, 1722-1781.  She belongs to this very same famous Randolph family
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If all of these intermarriages make you dizzy, I surely understand. However, as you get to know the individuals and the immense contributions they made to the founding of America, I imagine you will admire them as I do. There is a book written by Robert K. Headley, Jr. titled Married Well and Often, Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800. While it is a book of valuable marriage records, the title always makes me smile especially when I read of the many inter-family marriages that were common in the colonial days of Virginia.  
 
I do love family history!  Until next time, I am wishing you the very best,  Helen Holshouser 

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Peyton Randolph, — Marked for Death by the British for His Role in the Continental Congress–52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, #26

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Peyton Randolph held so many leadership roles in Colonial America that his name appeared on a list obtained from the British of people to be captured and hung until dead! This was war after all, and Peyton Randolph was an outspoken leader! It has been said he was the real “Father of our country” and /or “the Father of the Revolution.”  When you study his life and accomplishments, you can’t help but be impressed and realize how blessed we were to have such  intelligent, proactive men in the colonies. 

Peyton Randolph was born about 1721 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was the second son of John and Susannah Beverly Randolph. This placed him in one of the wealthiest, most powerful planter families in Virginia! His father died when he was only 16, but he was already focused on attending William and Mary College and becoming a lawyer. He went back to England for law school, and upon returning to Virginia in 1744, was asked by Governor William Gooch to be the attorney general for the colony. By 1746 he had married Elizabeth Harrison and by 1749, Peyton had served as a vestryman for Bruton Parish Church, a representative in the House of Burgesses, and a Justice of the Peace–I wonder if he realized he was just beginning his life’s work! 

In 1753, when Peyton was only 32 years old, he was hired as an attorney to represent the House of Burgesses! He was sent to England to basically ask the King to veto the Governor of Virginia–Gov. Robert Dinwiddie ‘s new practice of charging a “tax”- a fee  for certifying land patents.  Going over the governor’s head was unheard of! However, London officials supported Peyton and the Gov. rescinded his tax and reinstated Peyton to his office from which he’d been fired! Talk about fireworks! Do you think those English officials were really mad they had supported Peyton Randolph as he moved on to support the revolutionary movement?!

Always active in colony leadership, things really heated up in 1764. As colonists learned more,  they became infuriated by The Stamp Act and conflict with England and the crown itself became more overt. Peyton was directed by the Virginia House of Burgesses to draft a set of protests to the King and Parliament! In 1766, Peyton was elected Speaker of the House of Burgesses. In 1769, Peyton and Patrick Henry, who had disagreed before, came together to work on passing resolves against the Towshend Duties. The Governor –Gov. Botetourt, however, disagreed with them, and dissolved the House of Burgesses! According to an article written in the online resources of Colonial Williamsburg  re. Peyton Randolph,  “The “former representatives of the people,” as they called themselves, met the next day at the Raleigh Tavern with Speaker Peyton Randolph in the chair. They adopted a compact drafted by George Mason and introduced by George Washington against the importation of British goods. Speaker Randolph was the first to sign.”  Obviously the House of Burgesses was reconvened in the next few months, and the Townshend Duties were repealed  except for that on tea! By 1773, the colonists were all upset with England again over the Boston Tea Party and its continuing conflicts. In 1774 the House of Burgesses passed a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson that said, 

“This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile Invasion of the City of Boston, in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts bay, whose commerce and harbour are, on the first Day of June next, to be stopped by an Armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the Members of this House, as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the divine interposition for averting the heavy Calamity which threatens destruction to our Civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one heart and one Mind to firmly oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American Rights; and that the Minds of his Majesty and his parliament, may be inspired from above with Wisdom, Moderation, and Justice, to remove from the loyal People of America, all cause of danger, from a continued pursuit of Measure, pregnant with their ruin.” (Colonial Williamsburg ref. cited previously)

In response,  “Governor Dunmore summoned the House on May 26, 1774 and told them: “Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, I have in my hand a paper published by order of your House, conceived in such terms as reflect highly upon His Majesty and the Parliament of Great Britain, which makes it necessary for me to dissolve you; and you are accordingly dissolved.”  

Again, the burgesses gathered at Raleigh Tavern and the very next day at Peyton Randolph’s house.  They planned a Virginia Convention that would take place prior to the Continental Congress which their group had proposed just the day before! (If you’d like, you can see a newspaper article written about one of the meetings of the Virginia Conventions in my blog post on William Langhorne, my 5th great-grandfather who took part.) On September 5, 1774, Peyton Randolph was unanimously elected Chairman of the First Continental Congress in the colonies! From then on he was accompanied everywhere he went by voluntary armed militia! They had learned that there was a list  for the execution of “rebel leaders” which included Peyton Randolph. In the Continental Congress meetings, the leaders of the thirteen colonies, with Georgia not participating until late in the second congress, It became increasingly clear that the colonies needed to make a “Declaration of Independence” and form their own government! The United States Declaration of Independence was formally approved on July 4, 1776, a date we continue to  celebrate today! The Articles of Confederation weren’t passed until November 1777. The Revolutionary War is generally considered lasting from 1775-1783. The defeat of the British at Yorktown, Virginia, with the French helping the Americans capture over 7000 British soldiers, effectively ended the war. The Treaty of Paris officially ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States of America in 1783! (Another blog post re. Yorktown is: Nicholas Martiau, Ancestor of George Washington and My 9th Great Grandfather — 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks)

Peyton Randolph continued to lead and inspire in the third Virginia convention! Unfortunately, on October 23, 1775  on a Sunday evening, Peyton had a stroke and died immediately. While he was first buried at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, in 1776 he was brought home to Williamsburg and his “remains interred in the family crypt in the Chapel at the College of William and Mary.” ibid. How sad that he died before Independence was gained after working so hard for it. However, he has truly gone down in history for his leadership and contributions. 

Peyton Randolph was my second cousin! Since learning about him , and researching so man y illustrious ancestors in our family’s past, I have looked at current  family members with different interest, analysis, and respect perhaps. The characteristics of strong opinions, leadership, activism, and outspokenness can be interpreted many ways. Historically, we look back and usually admire the men and women who were our leaders, especially the ones who took us in brave new directions. But in the midst of making history, many hard feelings are often created. Peyton’s brother John was a loyalist to the crown, so he ended up leaving his brother and moving back to England, disgusted with what he saw as his brother’s treasonous behavior–the results of which we are celebrating today! Currently in our country,  we have a huge split between conservatives and liberals about how to run our country. The anger and rhetoric are not unlike that expressed by the citizens of our country at the time of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the time of Civil Rights–especially the 1960’s.  Maybe there comes a point where people must take a stand, where there is no room to compromise. I don’t like to think that, but we all have different ideas about what is “right”. Peyton Randolph had his ideas, and he was willing to put his life on the line, and he did, to support his beliefs. What a wonderful week to remember this ancestor–the week of July 4th, 2014! 

 

Peyton Randolph (1721 – 1775)
is your 2nd cousin 6x removed
mother of Peyton Randolph
father of Susannah Beverley
father of Col Peter Beverley
daughter of Maj. Robert Beverley Sr.
son of Mary Beverley
daughter of Maurice Langhorne
son of Elizabeth Langhorne
son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne
daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne
daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne
daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins
You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

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