Bio: Rebecca Markham
Rebecca Markham was probably born between 1750-1760 in Chesterfield county Virginia. It is presumed that she is the youngest daughter of John Markham and
his wife Catherine Mathews. Questions surrounding the birthyear of Catherine Mathews Markham make if difficult to be certain that she is the mother of John
Markham's younger children. See further discussion under Catherine Mathews.
Rebecca Markham's father, John Markham, died in 1770 and his Will is of record in Chesterfield county Virginia. No wife is named in the Will and it is
assumed that he was widowed at the time of his death. Rebecca is mentioned in her father's Will:
First, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Rebecca one Negro fellow named Bristol with his wife Lucy and their two sons Jerry and Dublin with all their
future increase to her and her heirs forever, also one feather bed and furniture at her brother Bernards . . . 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
. . . and if there should be any overplus after paying my four sons the legacies aforesaid, then I give to my daughters Rebecca and Judith as much as will
make their shares of my Estate with what I have already given them, amount to the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, and in case there should anything remain
after paying the legacies aforesaid, I desire the same may be equally divided between all my children.
Judith, Rebecca and Archibald Markham were probably in their teens when they were left orphaned at the death of their father. In September of 1771, Bernard
Markham is appointed guardian for his two youngest sisters, Rebekah and Judith. (Chesterfield county Virginia Order Book 5, page 35). It seems likely that
they went to live with Bernard Markham, his wife Mary Harris Markham, and their busy family.
Rebecca Markham was married to Nelson Patteson on the 3rd of May 1783 in Chesterfield county Virginia. He was the son of James Patteson and Mary Nelson.
Like Rebecca, Nelson had been orphaned in his teenage years and was first placed under the guardianship of his uncle, David Patteson. But in 1779, Nelson
Patteson chose as his guardian, Vincent Markham. Four years later he was married to Vincent Markham's younger sister.
The young couple began life together in neighboring Cumberland county Virginia. Several deeds place them there in the 1790's. Just before his marriage,
Nelson Patteson had petitioned to build a grist mill on the Appomatox River. In the year 1800 Nelson Patteson bought a considerable piece of property in
Giles county Tennessee. At that time he was styled as being of Giles co, but in the year 1803 there are still several deeds identifying him as of Cumberland
William Anderson to Nelson Patteson of Giles co. Land in Giles co, (formerly Maury) 640 acres in the second district on Eastern waters of the Richland branch
of the Elf River for $1800; 17 Apr 1800.
[source] Deeds of Giles county Tennessee; Deed Book A, page 39.
It is probably in the year 1803 that he finally sells off the balance of his Virginia property and moves his family to Giles county Tennessee. In James
McCallum's sketch of Early Giles County Tennessee in indicates, "Col. Nelson Patterson with his sons, James and Bernard M., came in the latter part of
1808, and settled the Patterson place one mile east of Pulaski. They raised corn in 1808." Nelson Patteson was among the first trustees of the Pulaski
Academy that was chartered in 1809.
Nelson Patteson and Rebecca Markham were the parents of six identified children: James Patteson, Mary A Patteson, Alfred S Patteson, Catherine Patteson,
Bernard Markham Patteson, Nelson Anderson Patteson. Their daughter Mary Patteson died in childhood. Three of their children lived to adulthood, but died
young without issue. Their son Bernard Markham Patteson did marry and live out a long life, but he did not have children. So, all of the Patteson descendants
come from their oldest son, James Patteson who married Sarah McCormack.
I am not clear about when Nelson Patteson died. This database indicates that he died on the fourth of March 1824. I have note of a court order, dated May
1824 in Giles county Tennessee, that states,
The Last Will and Testament of Nelson Patterson, dec'd was produced in Court and proved by German Lester and Thomas Martin, two of the subscribing
witnesses thereto, and the codicil thereto . . by the oath of Aaron V Brown a subscribing witness and said will with codicil was ordered to
I have not been successful in locating this Will. I also have note of a record in Chesterfield county Virginia, dated 8 November 1824, that
records, "Archer Traylor administrator of Nelson Patteson, decd". The 1824 date also appears on his tombstone.
Patteson descendant and researcher, Brian Bivona, has done extensive and well documented work on his Patteson family. He indicates that Nelson Patteson
died, "Apr 1828, Ohio River, Near Paducah, Christian County, Kentucky." Brian has written a fascinating account of Nelson Patteson's life, explaining
that he operated businesses in New Orleans and Kentucky, had a law office in Nashville, was a friend to Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, and was the "prime
mover" in the Texas Association. Brian Bivona has clear evidence of Nelson Patteson's sad demise, by suicide in 1828. It leaves me wondering about the 1824
Rebecca Markham Patteson died on the 15th of August 1827. She was buried, along with her husband and several children, in their family graveyard near
Pulaski, in Giles county Tennessee. Today the family is recorded as being buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in the town of Pulaski. Researcher Regina
Roper explains (1994):
The Patteson Cemetery . . was a "homeplace cemetery" made at the house like so many were. It fell into disrepair, and the historical society stepped
in and decided it wanted to salvage the large, ornate handsome stones, which were deteriorating in the elements. They removed the stones to the Maplewood
Cemetery in Pulaski, but not the bodies.
Do you want to know more?
Link to Rebecca Markham
Sketch: Notes on the Patteson Graveyard, near Pulaski in Giles County Tennessee.
Bio forRebecca Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.