Bio: Judith Markham
Judith Markham, daughter of William Markham and Mary Wathen, may have been born about 1780 in Virginia. There are a number of questions related to her identity! There are some helpful
clues in a newspaper clipping written by her unidentified granddaughter. The clipping details that the writer's "grandmother was a Markham . . Her father was a Revolutionary soldier,
who sickened and died in Yorktown during the siege . Her mother, who was a Wathen, took small pox, from a sick soldier whom she entertained, as he was returning home from Yorktown,
and died leaving three children, a son and two daughters. Her uncle Bernard took my grandmother, who was then ten years old." Note the disperity in a birth year of 1780, being orphaned
about 1781-82, and being taken in by her uncle when she was ten years old.
We do not know for certain what happened to this Judith Markham. The name of Judith was very popular in the Markham family, coming down through the family from Ireland. Four sons of the
immigrant John Markham named daughters Judith Markham. The four Judith Markhams were born between about 1780 and 1795. Only one of these Judith Markhams has a clearly identified
marriage, the other three remain in question. It seems likely that one of these remaining three Judith Markhams was married to Cheadle Burch of Amelia county Virginia. In this database
I have speculated that this Judith Markham, daughter of William Markham and Mary Wathen, married Cheadle Burch. This is not certain! There are a number of reasons why the other Judith
Markhams are also possible candidates as the wife of Cheadle Burch.
At present, in this database, I have assumed that this Judith Markham, daughter of William Markham and Mary Wathen, is the same as Judith Markham who married Cheadle Burch. Her birthdate,
given as 30 March 1780, is questionable. But if it is correct, her father would have died when she was about eighteen months old, and her mother shortly thereafter. She must have grown
up in the household's of her extended family members in Chesterfield and Powhatan counties of Virginia.
It is not known when (or if) Judith Markham married Cheadle Burch, but it may have been around the year 1795. There is an 1806 deed in Amelia county Virginia that identifies Cheadle Burch
and his wife Judith.
A deed of particular interest appears in the Amelia county Virginia Court Records of 1812:
1812; This Indenture made and entered into this fifth day of August in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve Between Jacob Roberts Austin Seay Samuel Ford & John
Chappel Commissioners appointed by the County Court of Amelia to sell one half of the Mill seat late the joint property of the Orphan children of William Clement decd and Cheadle Burch
of the one part and Thomas Powell of the second part all of the County of Amelia . . .
The commonwealth of Virginia to William Meriwether & Samuel Ford Gentlemen justices of the County of Amelia greeting whereas Jacob Roberts Austin Seay Samuel Ford and John Chappell and
Cheadle Burch by their certain Indenture of bargain and sale bearing date the 5th day of August 1812 have sold and conveyed unto Thomas Powell the fee simple Estate of and in forty two
acres of land with the Mill seat and othe appurtenances thereunto belonging lying and being in the County of Amelia And whereas Judith Burch the wife of said Cheadle Burch cannot
conveniently travel to our County Court of Amelia to make acknowledgement . . And when you have received her acknowledgment and examine her as aforesaid . . . Witness John T. Leigh
Clerk of our said Court this 8th day of August 1812.
[source] Deed Clement and Burch to Powell; 1812, Amelia county Virginia, Deed Book 23, pages 588-590; transcript by Marna L Clemons, 2001.
It may be that prior to this 1812 transaction the Mill was in ownership of Thomas Powell, Cheadle Burch and William Clement, and now it goes fully into the hands of Thomas Powell. Thomas
Powell was married to Rebecca Markham in 1803, Amelia county Virginia. Rebecca Markham Powell is another Markham daughter who has been difficult to identify. In this database she has
been placed as the daughter of George Markham and Sarah Hill. If Rebecca Markham's placement is correct, and Judith Markham is correctly placed as the daughter of William Markham and
Mary Wathen, then the two women are first cousins.
Another person of interest in the 1812 deed is Jacob Roberts who was married in 1810 Amelia county Virginia to a Markham widow. Elizabeth Osborne was first married to Bernard Markham, son
of George Markham and Sarah Hill. He died shortly after the marriage, and his widow secondly married Jacob Roberts.
Census records suggest that Cheadle Burch died sometime between 1810 and 1820 when his wife appears as a widow in Giles county Tennessee. I was most fortunate to come across mention of his
death in a deposition taken for the 1856 Virginia Chancery Court Case of Louisa Ford Taylor. In the deposition of James Chappell the plaintiff's attorney asks - "When did Cheadle Burch
die?", to which Chappell replies, "He died the 4th Saturday of April 1815." So, Judith Markham Burch was left a widow of about age thirty-five with several children to raise. What
inspired her to move to Giles county Tennessee is not known for certain. Her aunt Rebecca Markham Patteson was making the move to Tennessee in about the same time frame, so perhaps she
accompanied the Patteson family, seeking a fresh start.
Three children of Cheadle Burch and Judith Markham have been identified - Mary C Burch, born about 1804, Bernard Markham Burch, born about 1806, and Judith Virginia Burch, born about
1811. There may have been others.
The 1810 census of Amelia county Virginia suggests the following family makeup:
Cheadle Burch, born before 1765
Judith (Markham) Burch, born 1765-1785
male Burch, born 1785-1795
female Burch, born 1795-1800
male Burch, born 1800-1810; possibly Bernard Markham Burch
female Burch, born 1800-1810; possibly Mary C Burch
female Burch, born 1800-1810;
female Burch, born 1800-1810
The 1820 census of Giles county Tennessee suggests the following family makeup:
Judith (Markham) Burch, born 1775-1795
male Burch, born 1805-1810; possibly Bernard Markham Burch
female Burch, born 1805-1810; possibly Mary C Burch
female Burch, born 1810-1820; possibly Judith Virginia Burch
Judith Markham Burch continues as head of household in the 1830 Census of Giles county Tennesse, with her son and younger daughter still in the home. Then in 1850, Judith Burch age
seventy-two, appears in the household of her son, still in Giles county Tennessee. In 1854, David Neal (Neil) left three hundred dollars to Mrs Judith Burch in his Giles county Tennessee
Will. The nature of their relationship is not known.
Mrs Judith M Burch died at residence of B. M. Burch, Pulaski, Tenn., Feb. 14, 1855 aged 76 years.
[source] Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, The Louisville and Nashville Christian Advocate and the Nashville Christian Advocate 1852 - 1856; Jonathan KT Smith, 1997.
I still don't feel completely certain that I have "Mrs Judith M Burch" correctly tied with her parents, her spouse, and her children. But each new piece of evidence seems to give better
support to the theory. I continue to contemplate the identity of the grandaughter who wrote the Judith Markham biography. The information I have gathered on her children suggests that her
son Bernard Markham Burch had seven sons and no daughters. Her oldest daughter Mary C Burch married Dr John Edwards of Comersville in Giles county Tennessee. They were the parents of an
only child, Sarah Antoniette Edwards who married Ancenol Cox. Finally her youngest daughter and namesake, Judith Virginia Burch, married James K White of Giles county Tennessee. They had
seven children, including three daughters - Mary, Sarah, and Marion White.
Do you want to know more?
Link to Judith Markham
Sketch: The Judith Markham Story from an Old Clipping.
Sketch: A Markham Wife for Cheadle Burch.
Sketch: Mrs Sallie Birch – Please Stand Up!
Biography of Judith Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.