Markham of Chesterfield
      Ancestors and Descendants of John Markham

Bio: Martha Markham


According to the Markham Family Bible entries that appear in Liddie River's Markham genealogy, "Martha Markham, daughter of Bernard and Mary Markham, was born the 28th day of February, 1768. She married Mr. Efford Bently, 1782, died at Wintington, where she was interred, Ano. Do. 1791."

The Douglas Register gives further evidence in this entry, "Barnard Markham and Mary Harris, a daughter named Martha, born feb: 28, 1768. Baptized Ap: 3 1768." The 1782 marriage date is questionable. It was not common for Markham daughters to marry extremely young (age 14). The youngest brides usually married between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. It seems more likely that the date of marriage for Martha Markham and Efford Bently would be about 1788. No legal document has been found.

One account of Efford Bentley names him as Peter Efford Bentley, son of Samuel Bentley. According to DAR records Efford Bentley served as a minuteman and gave three tours of duty between 1777 and 1780. He was a sergeant at the battles of Camden and Petersburg. He was surely a seasoned soldier when he settled to marriage and family.

There is record of only one child for Martha Markham and Efford Bentley, Bernard Bentley. He was named in the Will of his grandfather, Bernard Markham, in 1800 in Chesterfield county, Virginia. He was probably about ten or twelve years old at that time. He was to receive three hundred acres of land, and a number of slaves, ". . . expecting that his grandmother will support him, this legacy is not to be received until he is twenty six years old, should he die before that time the land I give to my son George in the manner his other lands will be given . . ."

Martha Markham Bentley died in 1791, probably when her son was very young. She was buried at Wintington, which was perhaps in Amelia or Chesterfield county Virginia. Her widowed husband was secondly married to Elizabeth Gay about 1794 (1796?), and they went on to have nine more children. Family records suggest that Bernard Bentley "died young" and, as he does not appear again with his father's family, it seems likely that he died in his teenage years.


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