Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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Grindall, administered the estate of Benjamin Wheeler the father
of Frances Helen. Michael Francis went to St. Mary's Seminary,
Baltimore, developed a vocation for the priesthood and was
ordained by Bishop Marechal in 1820.

His labors as a missionary priest were not unlike those of

tj A

St. Paul the Apostle. Perhaps the greatest monument to his


memory, is the Convent of the Visitation of Georgetown, to
which noted Institution he brought the first Sisters from France
in the days when crossing the ocean was fraught with discom-
fort and peril as, being before the days of steam navigation, the
voyage had to be made in small sailing vessels. Rev. Michael
Francis was spiritual Director at Georgetown Convent and it
owes to his unceasing efforts the position it has attained as an
Institution of Learning, where many of the most prominent wo-
men in America and Europe both Catholic and non-Catholic have
been educated. After a life of strenuous labor for the salvation
of souls, Father Wheeler fell a victim to the scourge of cholera,
in Baltimore in 1832.

Thomas Wheeler, son of the second Benjamin, was the father
of Ellen Wheeler who married John Gibson Grindall, grandpar-
ents of Doctor Charles S. Grindall.

Among those of note in the family are: Francis Wheeler,
Archdeacon of Salop in 1684; Benjamin Wheeler, Fellow of Ox-
ford, Regius Professor of Divinity in 1676 ; Sir Charles Wheeler,
Baronet, Burgess of Cambridge 1680; Robert Wheeler, Preben-
dary of Wedmore 1737.

In the Yorkshire Inquisitions into the extent of lands,
Thomas de Geuendale and William de Geuendale are men-
tioned in 42, Henry III (1257) and "Dominus Walterus de
Grendall" in 19, Edward I (1290) as also Margaret Grendall.
The examination of the records shows the identity of the families,
and that the patronymic is one of the so-called place-names. The
origin of the family has not been further traced. Among the
later distinguished scions of the Grindall race was James, Pre-
centor of London in 1560 ; Edmund Grindall, S.T.B., Precentor of
London, resigned in 1554, when he became Bishop of London.
He was transferred to the archbishopric of York in 1570, and
made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1575. He was born at Saint
Bees in Cumberland in 1520, and died in 1583. It is written of
him : "Worldly wealth he cared not for, desiring it only to make
ends meet, and as for the little that lapped over, he gave it to
pious uses in both universities, and the founding of a free school
at Saint Bees, the place of his nativity."


The first mention of the name found in America is that of
Edward Grindall in James City in 1623.


JAMES M. C. LUKE, son of Isaac Virginius and Elizabeth
Holland Luke, was born in Nansemoud County, Virginia.
His grandfather, William Luke, was a native of Scotland,
born in 1738, and as William is an oft recurring Christian
name in the Luke family of England, no doubt the family was
originally seated there; some of the younger branches scattering
to Ireland, Scotland, and Wales particularly in the last-named
principality, in Cornwall-by-the-Sea.

The families of Luke and Boase were nearly connected by
marriage, and, according to the Boase or Bowes family records,
the Lukes settled in the sixteenth century in Paul and Madun,
Cornwall. It was related that in 1779 a Mr. Luke had offices in
Penzance, where Boase had "better opportunities for self-in-
struction than were available at his home in Gear Culval."

The name of Luke was first prominently known as that of
the evangelist, who, a native of Antioch, the capital of Syria, was
of Greek extraction. He was converted by St. Paul, was his dis-
ciple and companion in his travels, and fellow-laborer in the min-
istry of the Gospel. He was a physician and a painter, and wrote
his "Gospel" in Greek, about twenty-four years after the ascen-
sion of our Saviour. The name probably is derived from Lucania,
in Greece.

In this country, Elias Luke was registered as having twenty
acres of land and three negroes he was living in St. James'
Parish in Barbados in 1679. This is the first Luke found in Vir-
ginia records, but later on, among others, most prominent in 1690,
in Westmoreland County, Virginia, was George Luke, son of
Oliver Luke, Esquire, of Woodend, Bedfordshire, England.

This George Luke, after settling in Virginia, married Mrs.
Smith, widowed sister of William Fitzhugh, through whose ad-
vice and suggestions George had been sent to Virginia by his
father, Oliver. He came in 1690 or perhaps a little later.

The first of the Luke family given in English pedigrees is
Sir Walter Luke, of Cople, Bedfordshire, a judge of the King's
bench, who was grandfather of John Luke, of Woodend, in the
Parish of Cope. The son of the latter, ^Nicholas Luke, married
Margaret, daughter of Sir John of Bletshoe, and died in 1613.
His son, Oliver, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of
Sir Valentine Knightly, of Faw r sley, Northamptonshire, and was




the father of Sir Samuel Luke, who is supposed to be the hero of

Sir Samuel served in the Long and Short Parliaments, and
took active part on the popular side; served with distinction in
the Parliamentary Army, 1643, when, being a Presbyterian he was
retired by the Leef Denying Ordinance ; was a member of the Con-
vention of Parliament in 1660, and died in 1670.

George Luke, of Virginia, was a grandson of Sir Samuel, and
it is thought that he is the George who was buried at Cople in
1732. George was the son of Oliver, Sir Samuel's oldest son, and
Elizabeth Winch, of Emerton, Bedfordshire. He was styled the
"Last Luke of Woodend," in the inscription on his tomb, but it is
probable that some of the family early settled in Scotland, and
that the subject of this sketch is descended from that branch;
since the William born in Scotland in 1738 must have been the
William Luke who married Sarah Murray, May 11, 1771, as shown
by the Lower Norfolk County Records. David Murray was a wit-

In the Lower Norfolk Antiquary Records is a permission
granted by Isaac Luke, in October, 1782, to Mr. William Porter
to take out a marriage license to marry his daughter Elizabeth.
The marriage bond was issued to William Porter and Miss Eliza-
beth Luke and witnessed bv William Porter and Paul Dale Luke,

f 7

the last names showing that the Dales and Lukes had intermar-
ried as early as the middle of the sixteenth century.

One of Mr. James M. C. Luke's ancestors was the first settler
of Portsmouth, Virginia, and either his great-uncle or grandfather
had a child who married one of Commodore Dale's children.

Commodore Dale, whose Christian name was Richard, was
born near Norfolk, Virginia, November 6, 1756, and died in Phila-
delphia, February 26, 1826.

He was only twelve years of age when he entered the Mer-
chant Service, and six years later was made commander of a ship.
He became a lieutenant in the Virginia Navy, in 1776, and was
shortly afterward captured and kept on board a prison-ship.
While there, some royalist schoolmates persuaded him to join an
English cruiser. He did, but was wounded during an engagement
with an American fleet, and swore, during convalescence never
again to put himself in the way of the bullets of his own country-

After the Revolution, L>ale served on the brig "Lexington,"
was captured with its crew and officers, thrown into prison, es-
caped and was recaptured, but finally, disguised as an English
ofilcer, managed to get to France where he joined John Paul
Jones and served with distinction on the "Bon Homme Richard."

Dale was warmly praised by Lord Nelson, who is known to
have predicted that in Commodore Dale's handling of the trans-

536 .IAMKS M. C. Ll'KK

Atlantic squadron, a storm of trouble was brewing for the navy
of Great Britain. Two of Commodore Dale's sons held commis-
sions in the navy.

In IT;")!', Portsmouth, Virginia, was laid off from a farm be-
longing to Mr. Crawford. Norfolk was the county seat until 1789,
when Powder Poini, now called Berkeley, became the temporary
Court House. Twelve years later the county government was
removed to Portsmouth. In the Clerk's office there, almost un-
broken records are to be found, from the year 1630 to the present
time, if we exclude the period of the Revolutionary war.

Among the marriage bond extracts of Norfolk County in the
year 1771), Isaac Luke is a witness to George Dyson and Sarah
Hilton. In 1780 a marriage bond was issued to Isaac Luke and
Sarah Carbery, witnessed by Isaac Luke and the George Dyson
above mentioned. Two years later, in 1782, when a list was made
of the whites and blacks, "On the south side of the Western
Branch as far as New Mill taken by William Booker," Mr. Isaac
Luke had in his family ten white and thirteen black individuals.
Isaac and William Luke appear to have been brothers.

There were registered in the same year, in Lower Norfolk
County, James Dale, with four white members of his family, and
John Dale, with one.

The first Dale mentioned in reference to the early settle-
ments in this country was Sir Thomas, who came in 1611 with
three hundred and fifty men, sailed up the James River and
founded the city of "Henricopolis," named in honor of Henry,
son of James I.

In 1615, through the efforts of Sir Thomas Dale, the Virginia
Company of London agreed to give to each colonist fifty acres of
land in fee simple, if he would clear the said land and settle upon
it: a nominal yearly rent to be paid to the Crown.

Sir Thomas returned to England in 1616, and it is more than
probable that the Dales of Virginia are descended from this fam-
ily. The Dales of Scotland at that time were settled in Ayrshire,
where they had been prosperous farmers for centuries.

In 1739, Mr. William Dale, a merchant and wholesale grocer,
was living in Stewarton. He married twice. By his first mar-
riage he had two sons, David and Hugh ; by the second, one son,
James Dale, Esquire, whose son was a prominent merchant in

The Dales of Scotland were linen and cotton merchants as
well as bankers, ministers and magistrates.

Edward Dale, of Lancaster County, Virginia, gentleman, was
a brother-in-law of Sir Grey Skipwith, Third Baronet of Prest-
would, Leicestershire, both of whom settled in Virginia Edward
Dale was appointed Clerk in 1655, holding the office until May,
1674. He was Justice from 1669 to 1684 ; Sheriff in 1670, '71, '79,


? SO, and member of the House of Burgesses in 1677-1682. In the
several records of the County, Dale is referred to as Edward
Dale "Gentleman," or "Major" Edward Dale. His w r ill was re-
corded in 1695, but the original is not to be found.

The Lukes, spelled Louk in the Laing Charters, were
sheath or scabbard makers in Bristo or Potterow (1598), Wil-
liam Luke was a Notary in Forfar (1671), as shown by their
being witnesses to charters granted. These Laing papers
were bequeathed to the University of Edinburgh by the well-
known David Laing, LL.D., who died in 1878.

Kobert Luke was named Alderman of Penzance in the char-
ter of 1614. Stephen Luke and William Luke's wife and the
widow Luke had seats in Peuzance church in 1674.

Mr. James M. C. Luke's mother was Elizabeth Holland. The
Hollands are mentioned by Bishop Meade in his "Old Churches
and Families of Virginia," as being among the very early settlers
of the Virginia State.

Samuel Holland, who was in Virginia in 1638, was the son
of Joseph Holland, citizen and clothmaker of London.

The Holland family is essentially English. George Holland
is named among others who in 1775, sent a letter from Louisa
County where his home was, to the Gentlemen of the Convention
meeting at Kichmond, March 20, protesting against the gaming
going on in their district, and suggesting that if it were stopped,
such persons as were indulging, would employ their time and tal-
ents in some more useful manner.

Mr. Luke's education was entirelv academic, but he became a


successful merchant, and for twenty-five years followed the call-
ing of a Baptist minister; serving many churches throughout
Virginia and North Carolina. He endeared himself to all with
whom he came mentally or spiritually in contact.

During the Civil War, he acted as Chaplain, and also served
as Captain of Company B Seventeenth North Carolina Kegi-
rnent. He was w r ounded and retired a year before the war ended.

In 1852, Mr. Luke married Catherine Hannah Holland, pre-
sumably a cousin, daughter of Augustus Holland and Annie Win-
burn, of Nansemond County, Virignia. After her death he mar-
ried the widow, Mary Francis. His children were: Alice Luke,
Isaac Augustus Luke, William Kobert Luke, and Myrtle Annie
Luke by his first wife; James M. C. Luke was the son by the

Alice Luke, who was graduated from the Baptist Female
College, Murphreesboro, North Carolina, married Tiberius Con-
stantine Sykes, of Norfolk County. Her children are : Zoe Sykes
who married Gilbert Welden ; Lois Catharine Sykes who married
Christie de Camps, and Grover Sykes, who married Margaret


Isaac Augustus Luke married Jessie Holland. Their child-
ren are: Howard Luke and Isaac A. Luke, Jr.

William Robert Luke married Lucy Wilson, and they have
one son, William Robert Luke, Jr.

Myrtle Annie Luke married John B. Brockett, and her child-
ren are: John Byron Brockett, Flora McMullen Brockett, Guy
Brockett. Gladys Brockett and Clyde Brockett.

There is still preserved in the Luke family a handsome ma-
hogany desk which came from Scotland. The name of the maker
and the date, 1769, are carved on the back of one of its drawers.

There were estates belonging to the family in Scotland which
could have been saved to the family, but the Civil War broke out
just about the time of the inheritance, and Mr. Luke, true to his
country's call, not being able to go back to his fatherland, lost the
money and lands, as they reverted to the Crown after a certain
stated time, and the family has not attempted to regain the lost

The Sykes family, into which Mr. Luke's daughter Alice mar-
ried, comes also of good old English stock.

Mr. Sykes, of Leeds, Clothier, a younger son of Richard
Sykes, of Sykes Dane, near Carlisle, had son Richard Sykes who
married Sibil Rene, who was buried at Leeds, October 11, 1576.

This family was remarkable for the number of their children,
and the men held high positions of honor and trust. Some were
mayors, some were ministers, and many of their graves are in the
churchyard of St. Peters at Leeds.

William Sykes of this family, originally from Salford, near
Manchester, England, was a merchant and died in Maryland,
(date of death not given) but his father, Samuel, died in 1703,
and it seems natural that if he came to this country, it was after
the parent's death. His wife was either Mary Kirkman, of Bolton,
County Lane, or Susanna Hickman, daughter of William Hick-
man, of Hemsworth Hall, County Lancaster.

There was a Major Luke whose personal name is not given,
serving in the Continental Army in 1779, from Virginia, as George
Foster, Major commanding the Twenty-first Regiment, sent a let-
ter to Major Luke, assuring him that no more deserters would be
allowed to regain their places in the army.

Sir Thomas Dale was fitted out with three ships, men, cattle,
and many provisions, and all arrived safely in Virginia, May 10,
1611. Writing back home of the new colony, Sir Thomas said:
"Take four of the best kingdoms in Christendom and put them
all together, they may in no way compare with this country,
either for commodities or goodness of soil." He was one of the
loftiest and purest of men who ever lived in the colony. Poca-
hontas became a Christian under his direction, aided by Rever-
end Alexander Whitaker. In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale. "Knight,


Marshall, and Deputie Governour," wrote a lengthy account of
the "lawes, orders Divine and Political," as well as martial for the
Colony of Virginia. The minister of each parish was required
to read all the laws to the congregation before services, under pain
of losing "his entertainment checkt for that weeke."

Thus, the Luke family of North Carolina and Virginia possess
an ancestry at once distinguished and worthy, and it is only rea-
sonable to expect its members to be included amongst those who
by right living and industry are doing so much to increase the
influence and prosperity of the Nation.


IN the College of Arms at Dublin, is a pedigree of the Sheri-
dan family, which, though lacking dates, carries it back to
the days of the Irish chieftains. Oscar O'Sheridan of Castle

Togher, County Cavan, who married the daughter of
O'Rourke, Prince of County Leittrim, is the first of the long line.
In the eleventh generation, direct descent, is Denis, who married
Jane Atkinson. He was cousin to the Reverend Denis Sheridan,
who renounced his faith under the influence of Bishop Bedell,
joined the Church of England, married and became the head of a
long line of brilliant and capricious descendants scholars, bar-
risters, politicians, writers and orators.

Thomas Sheridan, a person of distinguished ability and
marked character, in repudiating a charge of disloyalty to the
King, says : "In clearing myself of this aspersion, I must say
something, which nought but necessity, that knows none and
breaks all laws, can excuse from vanity, in that I was born a gen-
tleman of one of the ancientest families in Ireland. My father,
left an orphan at the beginning of King James' reign, soon found
himself dispossessed, and exposed to the world, that whole
county, with five others in Ulster, being entirely escheated to the
Crown. My parents, Protestants, my mother a gentlewoman
of England, of good fortune, a Foster, who for my father's sake
quitted her country and relations both famous for honesty, for
their loyalty and suffering in the late rebellion, when my father
escaped narrowly with his life, and at last was forced to fly, for
relieving and protecting very many English."

This was the beginning of the breaking up of the family in
County Cavan, though his father, Denis was P. P. in Kildrum-
perton. The branch of the family from which Richard Brinsley
Sheridan descended, the original line, was that of Patrick Sheri-
dan of Togher, described in the pedigrees as "a near relative of
Reverend Denis." His son, Thomas, the friend of Swift, was sent
to college by Doctor Patrick Sheridan, Bishop of Coloyne, which
would seem to indicate close relationship. The family has an al-
most unbroken line of conspicuous representatives the Bishops
of Coloyne and Kilmore ; Doctor Thomas Sheridan ; Thomas Sheri-
dan, the actor; the famous Richard Brinsley Sheridan, British
dramatist, orator and politician ; Tom, the son of Richard Brins-
ley, who became a person of social prominence, and Tom's daugh-
ters, the three beautiful and clever sisters, Mrs. Norton, Lady



Dufferin (afterwards Lady Gifford), and the Duchess of Somer-
set the famous Queen of Beauty at the Eglinton Tournament.
It is a curious fact, that in almost every generation, each Sheri-
dan married a lady of another nation.

As troubles arose in Ireland, due to disturbances between
church and state, an Irish colony under James Pringles, in the
year 1732 petitioned the government for grants of land in America.
The penal laws of England were responsible for much of the emi-
gration from Ireland and Scotland. Some of the Catholics and
Presbyterians who came to this country, settled first in Pennsyl-
vania, and, after the defeat of Braddock in 1755, pushed on fur-
ther to the South and West.

The Sheridans coming from County Cavan, Ireland, settled
in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and there in 1766 or 1767 Dr.
Hugo Grotius Sheridan was born. As Berks County w r as a con-
tinuous contributor to the Colonial Army it is very probable,
that whatever Sheridans were of a fighting age, took part in the
struggle for freedom, although none of the name are recorded on
the Kevolutionary Kolls. Hugo Grotius, a lad of ten years during
the great and final revolt of the Colonies, became a famous sur-
geon. He went abroad in 1812 and on one occasion was taken
prisoner. Through the influence of his kinsman, Kichard Brinsley
Sheridan, the doctor was released, and on parting, the great
dramatist gave to Doctor Sheridan a gold medallion containing
his portrait, which is still preserved in the family.

After leaving Europe, Dr. Sheridan went first to Bermuda,
then it is thought, to Cuba, and, after spending some time in
Georgia, finally settled in Colleton District, fifty miles from
Charleston, South Carolina. Here in 1809 he was a practicing
physician, enjoying wealth and prominence.

Dr. Sheridan was married three times. His third wife, Mrs.
Catherine Spears Liston, whom he married in 1830, was the
mother of Hugo G. Sheridan. He w r as born at Eound O, Colleton
District, South Carolina, May 5, 1833. Little is recorded of his
very early years, but he was prepared for college, at the famous
ante-bellum institution, Cokesbury Conference School, and about
the year 1856 was graduated from the University of South Caro-
lina. He then studied law and practised for some time in Walter-
boro. Later he Avas elected to the Legislature from the Colleton
district. He was wealthy and a large land and slave owner.

In Orangeburg County, on January 24, 1856, he married
Sarah Ann Dantzler, daughter of Peter and Sophie (Houser)

The first Dantzlers emigrated from Germany in 1739 and
settled in Orangeburg County, where they were identified with
both public and private enterprises.

When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Sheridan organized a

544 iirc;o GROTU's SIIEIUDAX

company at once, ami served as its captain through the four years
of the struggle. He was slightly wounded at one time and on an-
other occasion was captured but effected his escape on the way to
prison camp. 1 hiring this period General Sheridan, of the Union
forces, hearing from a captured soldier, that another Sheridan
was commanding a troop of Confederates nearby, released the
prisoner with a message for Captain Sheridan, inviting the latter
across the lines to talk over family histories. Before the time
appointed for the interview, a battle took place ami the two
Sheridans never met.

General Sheridan, called ''Fighting Phil," came from Ohio.
Although a distant relative of the South Carolina branch, he came
of the line that had remained faithful to their religion, the Ro-
man Catholic, and as Mr. Hugo Sheridan's ancestors had joined
the Church of England, it was only natural that the families
should have drifted apart.

When Sherman started on his march to the sea, Mrs. Hugo
Sheridan returned to her old home in Orangeburg County, fearing
that the Union troops would pass Colleton on their way to
Charleston. This accounts for the family having been resident in
Orangeburg after the war. Mr. Sheridan's estate at Colleton was
almost useless to him, his slaves having been freed by the defeat
of the Confederacy. After Lee's surrender, and when the schools

t/ /

reopened, Mr. Sheridan commenced his career as teacher, continu-
ing in that profession until 1894, five years before his death. His
first position was at Haighler Academy, then at St. Matthews.

People may ridicule heredity if they will, but it is an irrefut-
able fact, that certain characteristics are handed down through
the generations in many families. Thomas Sheridan, in 1769, pub-
lished a masterly discourse on the "Education of the Young Nobil-
ity of Great Britain." It contained a plan for boarding schools by
which each boy would be trained in preparation for the par-
ticular profession for which he was best adapted. Hugo Grotius
Sheridan, following in his estimable footsteps, and realizing that,
"Every summit won, unveils a 'farther on,' Alps rise o'er Alps,
and more must yet be done," founded the well-known Sheridan


Classical School of Orangeburg, South Carolina. He later became
Superintendent of City Schools of Orangeburg, and finally first
headmaster of the Carlisle Fitting School of Barnberg, a branch
of Wofford College. He was in some ways a wonderful teacher
and an exceptional disciplinarian. Appealing first to the boys'
sense of honor, he endeavored to train them "in the way they
should go," but when milder methods failed he did not hesitate to
use the hickory rod. Even the worst of his pupils, knowing his

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 41 of 48)