Markham of Chesterfield
      Ancestors and Descendants of John Markham

Bio: Elizabeth "Betsy" Markham


Elizabeth "Betsy" Markham was the daughter of Vincent Markham and Elizabeth Harris. She was born about 1775, probably in Cumberland county Virginia. Her home in Cumberland would soon fall into the new Virginia county of Powhatan. Family records indicate that she was the only child of her parents, but there is some hint that she may have had a sister (or cousin) named Rebecca Markham who lived in the Vincent Markham household. (See further discussion under Rebecca Markham, daughter of William Markham and Mary Wathen.)

On the 6th of January 1794, Betsy Markham married Francis Lewis in Powhatan county Virginia. In the marriage license she is identified as daughter of V Markham. Abner Crump serves as surety and Richard Crump as witness. I have not yet recognized the parents of Francis Lewis, but I suspect that he is the son of Joseph Lewis, and the brother of William Lewis who married Judith Hardaway and resided in Powhatan county Virginia.

Francis Lewis and Betsy Markham set up housekeeping in Powhatan county Virginia. There are a few questions related to their children. The Markham genealogy written by Liddie Rivers claims, "Elizabeth Markham married Mr Lewis and had five children: Joseph, Vincent, Ann, Sarah and Mary." Another article written by a Markham cousin states, " . . . Vincent Markham, lived and died in Powhattan County, Va, leaving one child, Betsy, who married a Lewis and was left a widow with two sons, Joseph and Vincent and two daughters Mary and Sarah." Notice of these children in Virginia records is scant.

The daughter Ann, mentioned in Liddie Rivers' genealogy, was Ann Eliza Lewis. She married in 1809 to Abner Early Callaway of Bedford county Virginia. I have long wondered if she might be a daughter of Francis Lewis by an earlier unidentified marriage, and not the daughter of Betsy Markham Lewis. (See further discussion under Ann Eliza Lewis.)

A second question arises about the daughters Mary and Sarah Lewis. An 1821 deed in Powhatan county names property assigned to Vincent M Lewis (son of Francis Lewis and Betsy Markham), bounded by Callaway (?Ann Lewis Callaway), Mary and Ellin Lewis. I wonder whether Ellin Lewis might be the same as the Sarah Lewis of the family records.

It also seems likely that Francis Lewis and Betsy Markham had another daughter, not mentioned in the family records. From Selected Marriages of Powhatan County Virginia: "Martha R Lewis married Bolling Jordan; 7 November 1823; daughter of Francis (deceased) and Elizabeth, mother and guardian."

Francis Lewis died sometime before December of 1818, when his widow, Elizabeth Markham Lewis, sought to authorize ". . . sale of a tract of land, in the county of Powhatan, near Genito, of which the said Francis Lewis died seised, for the payment of his debts . ."

In the 1820 Census of Powhatan county Virginia, Betsy Markham Lewis and her younger children are living in the household of her widowed mother, Elizabeth Harris Markham.

Little further evidence has been found on Elizabeth "Betsy" Markham Lewis. Among the Claiborne family papers at the Library of Virginia there is mention of correspondence by Elizabeth (Markham) Lewis to the firm of Griswold and Claiborne of Richmond Virginia. No specific date is given, but general dates are 1841-1859. It is possible that Betsy Markham Lewis survived into the 1840's or later. It would be of interest to locate this correspondence if possible.


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Link to Elizabeth "Betsy" Markham

Bio: Elizabeth "Betsy" Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.