Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not-So Boring Genealogy Stuff.....My Famous Ancestor

I wanted to talk about one of my ancestors today.
Her name is Mary Hunt and she is my 7x Great Grandmother.

She was born about 1695 in Charles City County, Virginia.
Charles City was one of the original incorporated areas created in 1619 by the Virginia Company, making this area one of the oldest governmental entities in the US.
It was named for King James' son, Charles, who later also became King of England.
James of course was the reigning monarch in 1619.

The Charles City Courthouse is one of only five such courthouses that has been in continuous judicial use since before the Revolutionary War.
Charles City County was located on the James River, upstream from where Williamsburg was located and east of where Richmond was eventually founded.  It's an area on the eastern 'burbs of present day Richmond(near City Point and Hopewell).

My ancestor, Mary Hunt was married at least 3 times during her lifetime.
Back then it was very common for someone to lose a spouse at an early age, thus there were a lot of widows with children to support in an age when women didn't hold down jobs(other than the ones they labored at in the home).  Thus it was common for women to marry frequently and often once their husbands died.

Mary Hunt's first husband was Robert Harrison Minge(often pronounced Min-gay)whom she married in 1716.
There are 3 known offspring from this union; John, Martha and Tabitha.
He died in 1720, aged about 30 yrs., leaving Mary a young widow at 25.

Mary married again quickly in 1721 to William Allen.
I guess having inherited her husband's estate made her an attractive catch, even with 3 young children in tow. ;-)
William was also a widower with at least 4 children; Hannah, Joyce, Samuel and Judith, so he needed a new mother for his brood.

Mary and William went on to have an additional 8 known children; Ann, William, John, Valentine, Susannah, George, Mary and Phillip.
If you are keeping score and are doing the math, that makes 15 children combined from 3 different marriages.  Mary gave birth to all but her second husband's first 4 children.

Their marriage lasted about 31 years, until William's death in 1752.
At that time, Mary Hunt Minge Allen was about 57 years old.

 Her last child, Phillip, was born in 1740, when she was about 45 years old.  At her second husband's death, Mary had 3, children still under the age of 21, thus not "of age" and still dependent on her.  (Also, if any of the female offspring were "of age" but still unmarried at this time, they would have also have been dependents of their parents.)

My direct ancestor via Mary Hunt was her 8th child, Susannah Allen, born 1732, my 6 x Great Grandmother.  She was about 21-22 years old when her father William Allen died.

Susannah Allen married in 1751 and had her 1st child in 1752, the same year her father died.

But I digress.....

Though advanced in years(for that time), Mary Hunt Minge Allen married a third time in Oct. of 1753, about 18 months after the death of her second husband.

Her new husband was named Field Jefferson.
Field Jefferson was the 3rd child(second son)of the 6 children born to Captain Thomas Jefferson and Mary Field.
He was the older brother of Peter Jefferson.

Peter Jefferson was the father of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States.
Which means my 7 x Great Grandmother married the Uncle of  President Thomas Jefferson and became Tom's Aunt.
It also means that my 6 x Great Grandmother was Tom's cousin by marriage.
Now ain't that a kick in the head?

It's interesting that Mary Hunt Minge Allen and Field Jefferson signed one of the first surviving prenuptial agreements ever recorded in America before their marriage 31 October 1753.  I suspect they both had quite the inheritances to protect for their respective biological children upon their deaths. (Field and his 1st wife, believed to have been named Mary Frances Robertson, had 9 children.)
 Mary Hunt and Field were married for 10 years.  Field Jefferson passed in 1765, out living my 7 x Great Grandmother, who died in 1763, by 2 years.

It is said that Thomas Jefferson, the president, resembled his mother's side of the family, the Randolph's, thus we have no idea what Field Jefferson looked like, as no portraits of the Uncle of the writer of the Declaration of Independence survive to this day.  The only evidence of Field's appearance are descriptions that he was a man, large of stature.  No portraits can be found of his second wife, my Mary Hunt Minge Allen Jefferson either.

Though they did live to see Thomas graduate William & Mary College in 1762,  neither Field or Mary Hunt Minge Allen Jefferson lived to see their nephew go on to blaze a trail in American history.

And it's kind of cool that I can count Mr. T. Jefferson as one of my extended family of ancestors.




  1. Wow, that's pretty cool. Great discovery. Too bad you can't get an autograph. That'd be worth some coins.

  2. That is quite interesting. You are amazing in your search results.

  3. I have no idea what I just wrote. I am recovering from anesthesia, so, well, if it makes no sense or is strangely worded, I am not responsible.

  4. AWESOME POST!!! We're practically related. My forebears lived in VA for years and years! So cool!

    Peace <3


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment.
All Anonymous commentors will be deleted.
Please include your name in your comment, or choose the 'Name' option and put your name or whatever you call yourself, in the box. Thank you.

Though I moderate it's partly to keep trolls at bay but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.