Markham of Chesterfield
      Ancestors and Descendants of John Markham

Bio: Thomas Bernard Markham


Thomas Bernard Markham was born on the 1st of March 1800 in Pittsylvania county Virginia. To family he was known by the name Bernard. He was the youngest child of his parents, John and Mary Markham. His father died, probably before his first birthday. He remained under the care of his mother and oldest brother, Peter Markham, until his mother's death in 1809. After that time he appears under the guardianship of his brothers-in-law, James Callaway and Elisha Burch. It seems most likely that, as a young boy, he was taken into the home of one of his older, married sisters.

In December of 1812 the court records of Pittsylvania county Virginia show that Elisha Burch received monies related to the care of Thomas Bernard Markham between the years 1810-1811. The expenses included board, clothing, tuition, paper and a cyphering book, together amounting to $50.00. These probably represent the local education of a young boy.

In 1817 a deed appears in neighboring Amherst county Virginia which mentions a "1/2 acre of land on Lynch Road where Thomas B Markham lives". He was living near, or with, his older brother William H Markham. They may have been operating a small business in Amherst county Virginia. Shortly after, William H Markham opened a Tannery in Pittsylvania county Virginia and perhaps his young brother worked with him.

As a young man Thomas Bernard Markham found the opportunity to further his education in Hopkinsville, Christian county Kentucky. This was probably sometime between the years 1820-1825. I have not been able to identify a school of higher learning in Hopkinsville during that period, but there may have been an academy that trained young men for the ministry. Family members recall that Thomas Bernard Markham "could read and write Latin and Greek." He was ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville Kentucky and was sent out as a circuit-rider and missionary in Missouri.

On the 13th of September 1825, in Clay county Missouri, Thomas B Markham was married to Sarah "Sally" Jones. Family researchers indicate that she was the daughter of John Jones and Sarah Fletcher, who migrated from Caroline county Virginia to Jefferson county Kentucky, where their daughter Sarah Jones was born in 1807. My efforts to identify this Jones family and confirm Sarah's relationship have not been successful.

The young couple first set up housekeeping in Clay county Missouri where Thomas B Markham had secured farmland. They appear there in the 1830 census with three young children. By 1840 they are recorded in neighboring Platte county Missouri with three sons and three daughters. Family records identify eleven children for Thomas Bernard Markham and Sarah Jones: William Jones Markham, Mary Jane Markham, Angeline Mathis Markham, Thomas Coke Markham, John Simeon Markham, Sarah Elizabeth Markham, Caroline Thompson Markham, Thomas Francis Markham, Angeline Coke Markham, James Fletcher Markham, and Margaret Virginia Markham. I have seen mention of a Bible Record that records dates of birth and death for this family, but I have never seen an actual transcription of the record. Three of the Markham children died during childhood, and four more died in young adulthood. At the time of Sarah Jones Markham's death in 1875, only four of her children were living - John Markham, Thomas Markham, Fletcher Markham and Margaret Markham Colville.

Township maps for Platte county Missouri show two farms for Thomas B Markham, located near each other just east of the Missouri River. The first was purchased in 1843, located TS 53 North, Range 36 West, Section 8. The second, larger farm was purchased in 1844, located TS 54 North, Range 36 West, Section 29. This was probably the family homestead.

Thomas B Markham was active in ministry and missionary work all through the 1830's and 1840's. Platte county Missouri rests on the Missouri - Kansas border and Thomas B Markham primarily served the Delaware and Wyandote people of the area. "The mission among the Delaware Indians was opened in 1832 by the Reverend William Johnson and the Reverend Thomas Markham, appointed by the Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church to take charge."

The Markham family remained in Platte county Missouri, and in 1852 Thomas B Markham wrote a Will. He died in April of 1855 and his Will was proved and recorded in Platte county Missouri in September of 1856. I have not had the opportunity to see this Will.

1856; Thomas Bernard Markham; will dated 14 Nov 1852; names wife Sarah and her children; wit - George W Scott, LK Robbins, James Smith; recorded 13 Sep 1856; Bond B185.
[source] Platte County Missouri, Abstracts of Wills and Administrations; Hodges, 1969.

By 1860, Sarah Jones Markham appeared across the border in nearby Shawnee county Kansas. She was a widowed, head of household, with three teenage children, and a young granddaughter in her household. She survived her husband by about twenty years, dying in Cass county Missouri in 1875. She was buried in the Wills Cemetery, Pleasant Hill, Cass county Missouri.


Do you want to know more?
Link to Thomas Bernard Markham
Sketch: The Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Sketch: Preaching to the Wyandots, Thomas Bernard Markham.

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