Bio: John Markham
When William Markham and his wife, Mary Wathen, died around 1781 and 1782, they left "one son and two daughters." Their son, John Markham, was a boy of about twelve or thirteen years. He
was probably taken in by one of his Markham uncles who were living in or around Chesterfield county, Virginia. The only living member of his mother's family was her sister, Rebecca Hudson
Wathen Farrar. She had married John Farrar in 1775 and they were living in Chesterfield county, Virginia. It is possible that young John Markham lived with their family.
At Chesterfield county, Virginia's June Court of 1783, "John Markham, orphan of William Markham, to be bound by Churchwardens of Manchester." Nothing further has been found of this
John Markham's grandfather, Robert Wathen had died about 1766. He left considerable property in Bedford county, Virginia to his two daughters, Mary Wathen Markham and Rebecca Hudson
Wathen who later married John Farrar. When John Markham came of age in the late 1780's, he began to take responsibility for a portion of this property which then fell in the bounds
of the newly formed Campbell county, Virginia. In October 1792 and January 1793, the deed books of Campbell county, Virginia show John Markham acting as attorney for himself and John
Farrar and his wife Rebecca. He is leasing out the same properties where his father and mother had lived in Bedford county, Virginia years before. This relationship with his Farrar
aunt and uncle continued over a number of years.
In the biography of Judith Markham, sister to John Markham, the author indicates that, "Her brother, when grown, went to Alabama." It is unknown when John Markham went to Alabama or where
he might have lived. A search has been made for Markhams in Alabama between 1790 and 1820 but, no trace of him has ever been found there.
The last record we have of John Markham appears in January 1809 in Chesterfield county, Virginia. It gives the information that John Markham is of Manchester, Chesterfield county,
Virginia and he is leasing land in Campbell county, Virginia to Daniel Weisiger as collateral for monies he owes to Nathaniel Childress. The land was descended to him "as heir at law
of his deceased mother, Mary Markham, daughter of Robert Wathen." At this point John Markham would be about forty years of age. This 1809 deed leaves several questions. Did John Markham
go to Alabama "when grown" and then return to Chesterfield county, Virginia? Did John Markham remove to Alabama after 1809? Or, is the memory of John Markham's move to Alabama in error?
Perhaps it is a memory of one of his cousin's children who settled in Alabama in the 1840's and 1850's.
There is no clear picture of a John Markham in the 1810 census. We have no record that he married or had children. His story remains incomplete.
Do you want to know more?
Sketch: The Judith Markham Story from an Old Clipping.
Link to John Markham
Biography of John Markham; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.