Markham of Chesterfield
      Ancestors and Descendants of John Markham

Bio: Archibald Markham


According to the Will of John Markham of Chesterfield county Virginia, he had a son Archibald Markham. The Will was written in October 1770 and probated in Chesterfield county Virginia in February of 1771, when John Markham was about sixty to seventy years old. There is no evidence in county records or family papers that Archibald Markham lived to adulthood and acted on his own account. But, his presence among the Markham children raises a few interesting thoughts and questions.

In John Markham's Will, Archibald Markham is always listed last among the six Markham sons, suggesting that he was the youngest son. We have very little solid evidence to indicate the birth years for the Markham children, but I have assumed they were born in rather typical succession, at two to three year intervals, between 1735 and 1760. This dating has always brought the identity of the mother into question because Catherine Mathews, identified wife of John Markham, was probably born between 1700-1710. Question - Was Catherine Mathews Markham the mother of Archibald Markham?

John Markham's Will names nine children living at the time of his death. Eight of these children marry, and as far as is known, they produce fifty-two grandchildren for John Markham. Thirty-five of those grandchildren receive recognizable Markham family names. But, not a single grandchild is named Archibald Markham. Question - Why was Archibald Markham's name not honored among his siblings?

I have long wondered if Archibald Markham might have a different mother than the rest of the Markham children. Unlike the other Markham children's names, the name Archibald seems to pop up out of nowhere. I have no clear evidence of the name ever being used in the Markham or Mathews family previously. The name Archibald does appear between 1750-1770 in Chesterfield county Virginia; Archibald Cary, and Archibald Brady. Question Was Archibald Markham named for one of these men?

Archibald Markham's name appears in several places in the 1770-1771 Will of his father, John Markham. Each time he is included in a list of the four younger sons of John Markham who are not married at the time of writing the Will:

. . . But in case of the death of one of my daughters Rebecca or Judith before arrive of lawfull age or marry, then my desire is that their parts be equally devided by my Executors one half to go to the surviving sister Rebecca or Judith, and the other half to be equally devided between my four sons, John, Vincent, George and Archibald, but in case of the death of both of my said daughters before they arrive of lawfull age or marry that then the whole of their parts be equally devided between my sons aforesaid.

Item- I give and bequeath unto my four sons, John Vincent, George and Archabald my negroes, York, Toby, Wiggom, Tom, Silvie and Aaron to be equally divided between them, to them and their heirs forever.

All the rest of my estate both real and personal of every kind whatsoever I give and devise to my Executors hereafter named (except my land and Ferry opposite to Warwick in Henrico County) in Trust to be by them sold for the best price . . equally divided between my four sons aforenamed John, Vincent, George and Archibald or so much thereof as will make their proportions of my Estate with what I have already given them amount to the sum of two hundred fifty pounds current money. My lands house and Ferry opposite to Warwick in Henrico County as aforesaid I give and devise to my Executors hereafter named to be rented for the best price that can be got and the money arising from such rent I give to be equally divided between my sons John, Vincent, George and Archibald aforesaid . . and in case the legacies which I have given my sons John, Vincent, George and Archibald should no amount to the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, then I desire it may be made up out of the money arising from the sale of the said Land and Ferry . .

Following the death of John Markham in 1771, there are documents related to the settlement of his estate. Most of these involve his older sons, Bernard, Vincent, and George Markham, selling off his property. His son-in-law, Francis Smith, also purchases a portion of John Markham's property. The two youngest daughters, Judith and Rebecca Markham, are put under the guardianship of their older brother, Bernard Markham. But, there is never any mention of Archibald Markham. Question - Did Archibald Markham die between the October 1770 writing of John Markham's Will and the February 1771 probate, or perhaps within a few years after the death of his father?

No further evidence of Archibald Markham, son of John Markham and Catherine Mathews, has been collected. His name on the list of Markham children does generate interest.


Do you want to know more?
Link to Archibald Markham
Sketch: A Wife for John Markham
Sketch: The Question of a Second Marriage for John Markham

Follow up note by Pam Garrett: I have done research on a Marcum (Markham) family, headed by John Marcum and his wife Sally. This family was first in Virginia and then Wayne county Kentucky. They had a son Archibald Marcum, born about 1780 in Virginia, who married Nancy Kelly in Wayne county Kentucky. Several people have explored the idea that this might be Archibald Markham, son or John Markham of Chesterfield county Virginia. My research convinces me that there is no connection between the two families.

Bio for Archibald Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.