Bio: Bernard Markham
Bernard Markham, youngest son of George Markham and Sarah Hill, was born on the 4th of December 1782, probably in Chesterfield county Virginia. His mother
died when he was a young boy, and his father was secondly married to Mary Osborne in 1789. From this second marriage Bernard Markham gained four younger
half-siblings. When Bernard Markham was about eighteen years of age, his father died. He was noted in his father, George Markham's Will:
I give to my son Bernard five hundred pounds three negro boys Hannibal, George and Elleck and one young black mare.
The monee given to my three children Judith, Rebecca and Bernard are to be paid to them in two years after they are of age respectively and in the mean time
they are to be supported out of my estate.
(Note from the Will of George Markham; 1800; Chesterfield county Virginia)
Following his father's death a guardian was choosen: Bernard Markham, orphan of George Markham, chooses Archer Traylor as his guardian.
[source] Chesterfield county Virginia Court Order Book #14; December Court 1800.
Archer Traylor was married to George Markham's sister Judith Markham, and was thus Uncle to Bernard Markham. About one year after George Markham's death,
Archer Traylor sought out an apprenticeship for his nephew, Bernard Markham:
This Indenture made this 28th day of Oct in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one between Bernard Markham and Arch Traylor, his guardian, both
of the County of Chesterfield of the one part and Joel Brown of the Town of Petersburg of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Bernard Markham of his own
free will and by and with the consent and advice of the said Archer Traylor, his guardian, ...by his signature hereto, hath put and bound himself apprentice unto
the said Joel Brown untill he shall arrive at the age of twenty one years, which will be on the fourth of December in the year of our Lord 1803 during all which
time he the said apprentice shall his said master truly and faithfully serve his secrets keep, his carefull command at all times and everywhere obey he shall
not play at cards, dice or any other unlawful game he shall not frequent taverns,...or other...Houses he shall not contract matrimony, or by other means absent
himself from the ... of the said master during his apprenticeship--he shall do no damage to his said master, or suffere it to be done by others without... or
giving notice thereof to his said master but shall in all things do the duty of an apprentice and the said Joel Brown on his part doth agree and by these presents
bind himself his heirs executors...to furnish to the said apprentice good...sufficient meat, drink, .. and lodging during the said term and to ... his contract
endeavor to teach or cause to be taught the apprentice the art and mystery of ... chair maker and in all things to do his duty to the said apprentice as assigne
in this contract. In witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their hands and seals this day and year above written.
Bernard Markham, Archer Traylor, Jr, Joel Brown
witness: Archer Brown, William West.
[source] Deeds of Chesterfield county Virginia; Deed Book 16 pg 17-19; 28 Oct 1801.
It is unknown whether Bernard Markham completed his apprenticeship, or pursued the "art and mystery of chair making". He probably did not follow through on
the stricture, "he shall not play at cards, dice or any other unlawful game he shall not frequent taverns . . "
In the Spring of 1807 Richard Ligon obtained two judgements against Bernard Markham, one for a wager on a horse race, and the other related to the purchase of
a boat. Bernard Markham, along with Henry Branch (his brother-in-law), was held responsible for a debt of 115 pounds. Bernard Markham did not agree that the
debts were owing and brought suit against Richard Ligon. The record of this suit in the Chancery Court of Amelia county Virginia is held at the Library of
Virginia, and is now available online thru the Virginia Memory website. The plaintiff, Bernard Markham, and the defendant, Richard Ligon, both gave written
accounts. Two affidavits were also taken. The affidavits were particularly interesting in their mention that Bernard Markham was residing at the home of
Thomas Colley (his brother-in-law), and that the statement of James Kerr was to be taken at "Thomas Colley Tavern in Cartersville in Cumberland County". Prior
to Markham's suit being brought to court he was required to give security, along with Francis Osborne, in the amount of "double the judgement". The original
"conversation" about purchasing a boat took place about 1803. The presentations from both sides were pretty weak - Bernard Markham claiming that he was
underage when the "boat conversation" took place, that he was joking, and that the boat had never been delivered to him. Richard Ligon indicating that he
took seriously Markham's offer to purchase, and had left the boat available to Markham. From the records, I was unable to determine who won the suit. Chancery
Court records are available online at the Library of Virginia. (Chancery Court of Amelia County Virginia; Bernard Markham vs Richard Ligon; 1807-011)
On the 28th of February 1808, Bernard Markham married Elizabeth Osborne in Chesterfield county Virginia. In less than a year after their marriage, Bernard
Markham was dead. His brother-in-law, Henry Branch, administored the estate. Inventory of his estate was taken on the 18th of January 1810 in Amelia
county Virginia. I have not had the opportunity to review this inventory, but several abstracts I have come across list an estate of "about 46 pounds; the
greatest items were 41 barrels of corn at 10 shillings each, 31 gallons of brandy at 5 shillings, and a sorrel black mare worth 4 1/2 pounds."
Bernard Markham's widow, Elizabeth Osborne Markham was secondly married to Jacob Roberts on the 3rd of October 1810 in Chesterfield county Virginia. There is
no evidence that Bernard Markham and Elizabeth Osborne had children. Nothing further known.
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Link to Bernard Markham
Bio for Bernard Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.