in this Nelson report ; but these exhibits constitute only a very
small part of the whole.
It has been my intention, since Mr. Nelson submitted his re-
port, to prepare for publication a resume of the result of his find-
ings ; but, although I know that Mr. Nelson's work was most cons-
cientiously performed, I thought (for his sake as well as for my
own) it might be as well to have his work verified by two of the
best expert authorities known to me before making such publica-
tion. I therefore submitted his report to the X'irgiiiia Historical
Society at Richmond, \^irginia, and later sent the same report to
the President of the William and Mary College at Williamsburg,
Virginia, an acknowledged expert on such matters, and I quote be-
low from their letters to me concerning the matter submitted to
them, viz : —
The Virginia Historical Society
Richmond. Va., March i. 1915.
Mr. Atwood Violett,
20 Broad Street,
Dear Sir: —
We have just received your letter and the typewritten copy of
the Nelson work of the Surry Washingtons and Laniers. More
than 20 years ago I found this line on an examination of the Surry
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
records, and shortly afterwards, Mr. Tyler, President of the William
and Mary College, discovered the same facts from these records
and published the information in the William and Mary Quarterly.
Of course, no one before Mr. Nelson, went so thoroughly into this
Lanier family history, and his work is very well done. ... I
cannot see that it requires any other comment than the compliment-
ary one I have expressed.
(Signed) Yours truly,
Wm. G. Stannard, Corresponding Secretary.
Richmond, Va., March 6, 1915.
Mr. Atwood Violett.
Dear Sir: —
Mr. Nelson states specifically, that the John Washington he
writes of is of Surry, and this John Washington is identical with
the John Washington of Surry I wrote of. Mr. Tyler and I found
our information in exactly the same Surry records used by Mr.
(Signed) W. G. Stannard.
62 Washington- Lanier Family— A Genealogical Discovery. [Jan.
WiixiAM AND Mary College
Lyon G. Tyler, LLD., President,
April 8, 1915.
Mr. ATWOOD VlOLETT,
My Dear Sir: —
I thank you very much for the opportunity of examining your
Washington papers. I think the work of Mr. Nelson is very care-
fully done and that his deductions are perfectly sound. . . .
I am, Yours sincerely,
(Signed) Lyon G. Tyler.
The following Exhibits are taken from the report of Mr. Nel-
son and furnish the proof that the Lanier- Washington family con-
nection in this country is derived from John Washington of Surry
Co., Virginia, and not from John Washington of Westmoreland
Exhibit "A." John Washington of Surry County, Va.
It is now an established fact that, in addition to the John Washington,
who, with his brother Lawrence, came to America about 1657 and settled
in Westmoreland County, Virginia, — there came another John Washington,
quite as early, if not prior to 1657, who settled in Surry County, Virginia.
The former John Washington has been fully traced as the great-grand-
father of George Washington "the Father of his Country."
John Washington of Surry, so called to distinguish him from the other
John Washington of Westmoreland, was in Surry County, Va., as early as
"the 15th of Sept., 1658" on which date he subscribed to a contract of
marriage with one "Mary Fford, widow," whom it is seen, upon the full
reading of the marriage contract, had also been the widow Blunt prior to
her marriage with Charles Fford ; since the marriage contract makes pro-
vision for a settlement of personal property placed in the possesssion of a
trustee for the use of "Tho. Blunt, sonne of ye said Mary" and to be de-
livered to him when he attains the age of ten years.
Exhibit "B," — The marriage Contract of John Washington and Mary
Fford is recorded in Book No. I, Page 126, Surry County, Virginia.
Exhibit "C," — No record is yet discovered to fix the dates of death of
John Washington, or of his wife Mary.
There is a land patent dated 29th April, 1682, of record in the Land
Office in Richmond, Virginia, issued to Thomas Blunt and Richard Wash-
ington for three hundred and thirty acres of land, which on 17th September,
1686, Thomas Blunt conveys "to my brother Richard Washington all my
right title and interest in the patent and the land therein mentioned, three
hundred and thirty acres in Surry County, Virginia, dated 29th April, 1682."
This fixes the fact that Richard Washington of Surry, was the son of
John Washington of Surry, and his wife Mary Fford widow, who had also
been the widow Blunt.
Exhibit "D," — In 1654 there is a John Washington mentioned in the
record of the administration of the estate of Theodore Pargiter in London,
in which he is called "cozen John Washington now in the Barbadoes."
This John Washington is doubtless the son of Sir John Washington, who
married Mary, daughter of Phillip Curtis, who was his first wife, his
second wife being Dorothy, daughter of William Pargiter. If it is possible
to assemble proof identifying John Washington of Surry in 1658 with the
"cozen John Washington now in the Barbadoes" in 1654 — four years
earlier, the relationship between the two John Washingtons in America
would be apparent. They would be first cousins.
19 16.] Washington-Lanier Family — A Genealogical Discovery. 63
There were a large number of persons in the country bordering on
and south of James River, prior to 1700. who came into Virginia evidently
from the Barbadoes. No systematic examination of records known to
exist there has ever been made with a view of gathering historical data
from that source bearing upon tlic history of the people who emigrated to
and settled in- Virginia from the Barbadoes. It is a virgin field for very
important historical research.
Exhibit "E," — Relative to Richard Washington, son of John Wash-
ington and his wife Mary( ) Blunt-Fford, widow first of-
Blunt ; and, at time of her marriage to John Washington, widow of Charles
The first mention of Richard Washington of Surry which we find in
the records, is on page 348 Surry County Order Book 1671-1690 as follows:
"At a Court held at Southwark, County of Surry, 6th July, 1681 — Rich-
ard Washington being of full age, this day appeared in Court and signed
a deed fur a parcel of land transferred to Rolicrt Ruffin, administrator of
the Estate of John Goring, deceased." The Order Book further says
"Ordered to be placed on record," but search fails to discover this deed of
record, hence we can only surmise that the transaction covers property very
likely that belonged to his father John Washington of Surry and which
he, Richard, as the heir at law, could only legally transfer when of "full
age." It will thus be seen that the son of John Washington, Richard
Washington was of full age prior to 6th July, 1681, and was born shortly
prior to the same date 21 years before, or about July in 1660, and a year
and a half after the date of the marriage contract between John Wash-
ington and Mary Fford. widow. From this time on the name of Richard
Washington, as a party to numerous transactions, shows that he became
prominent in both a public and private capacity.
Exhibit "F," — Richard Washington and Elizabeth Jordan, his wife,
both lived their entire lives in Surry County, Virginia and in the par-
ishes as they may have been constituted on various dates, viz.: "Ye Upper
Parish," "Southwark Parish," etc. They raised a family of twelve children,
all of whom perhaps are named in the wills of their father and mother.
The inventory and appraisement of his Estate is recorded in Surry
County Book 1715-1736, pages S93-4-5. and from it wc infer that he was a
merchant. His estate was a very large one for that day. His wife sur-
vived him ten years.
The mention of Sampson Lanier and Robert Lanier, each of whom
married a daughter of Richard Washington and Elizabeth Jordan, will be
conclusive enough to set at rest forever any former statement or belief that
in any way differs therefrom and hy whomsoever made, as to the connection
between the Washington and Lanier families of this period of Virginia
Exhibit "G," — Will of Richard Washington, which is recorded in the
Surry County Clerks' Office in Deed Book No. i, p. 583.
He bequeathed land and slaves to each of his twelve children. His
daughter Elizabeth, who married Sampson Lanier, he mentions as follows : —
"I give to my daughter Elizabeth Lanier, two hundred acres of land
lying on the west side of the Mill Branch that is the land whereon she now
lives, the said land I give to my said daughter and to her heirs forever, I also
give her and her heirs privilege to get any sort of timber out of any
part of the swamp for the plantation use.
I give to my son in law. Sampson Lanier, two hundred acres of land
lying in the He of White County, on the East side of the Haggy run bound-
ing on the West side of Croft Branch running up to Robert Rixes line the
which parcel of land I give to my said son in law Sampson Lanier and
to his heirs forever."
Exhibit "H,"— Sampson Lanier, son of John Lanier and his wife.
Sampson Lanier first appears in contemporary record as "a tithable
in the upper end of Surry County above the Stony Run" in 1701. This
Washington- Lanier Family — A Genealogical Discovery. [Jan.
would place the date of his birth at least twenty-one years before that
The date of Sampson Lanier's marriage with Elizabeth Washington is
not known but at least six of their children were born before gth No-
vember, 1724, the date of Richard Washington's will, who evidently men-
tioned therein all the grandsons he had at that time.
Sampson Lanier had a warrant for one hundred and fifty acres of land
from the Land Office 12th July, 1718, (later within the borders of Bruns-
wick County) which is probably the same that he leaves in his will to his
Two hundred acres, which he received by the will of his father-in-law
Richard Washington, located in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, he
sold 23rd March, 1734, to the Vestry of Nottaway Parish. This tract is
described as part of twelve hundred and forty acres by Richard Washing-
ton, i6th December, 1714.
The WILL OF SAMPSON LANIER is recorded in Brunswick County,
Virginia, Will Book 2, page 52.
The chidren of Sampson Lanier and Elizabeth Washington are therein
named, — seven in all. The fourth child was Sampson, born about 1712,
who married Elizabeth Chamberlin.
Exhibit "I," — ^John Lanier.
John Lanier, whose son Sampson Lanier, married Elizabeth Washing-
tun, had five children; he was born before 1655 and died in 1719, in Prince
George County. Virginia.
The earliest mention of the name of Lanier in Virginia, that has come
to the notice at this time is as follows : "In April, 1676, John Lanier and
John Woodlief were sent by men of Charles City County (afterwards
Prince George County) to ask Sir William Berkeley for a commission to
go against the Indians. This was the Indian outbreak that preceded the
famous Bacon's Rebellion. It will be a reasonable claim that John Lanier
was at this time at least twenty-five years of age, and from the fact that we
find a sword in the inventory of his estate forty-three years later, it is
reasonable to presume that he was prominent in affairs, even as a young
The name Lanier in Virginia begins with this John Lanier, and it is
from his four sons and their fifteen known children (his grandsons) that
all bearing the name Lanier in America, have sprung, prior at least, to
the period of the American Revolution.
The name Lanier was also found in the Barbadoes. Hotten in his
original lists of persons of quality who were emigrants from Great Britain
to the American plantations between 1600 and 1700, record that Clement
Lanier, son of Robert and Rebecca Lanier, was baptized 21st August,
1678, in the Parish of St. Michaels, Barbadoes. He also shows that Rob-
ert Lanier and wife with three hired servants were among' the inhabitants
of the town of St. Michaels, Barbadoes, in 1680.
Exhibit "J," — Will of John Lanier is recorded in Prince George County,
Virginia, Vol. i, p. 304.
He had six children, and all named in his will, with a bequest to each.
Exhibit "K," — From the first home in America of the original emi-
grant John Lanier, whose home was located perhaps upon, certainly not far
from the southern banks of the James River at a point only a few miles
above the first settlement at Jamestown. — his grandchildren carried the
name westward into Sussex, Brunswick and other counties of southern
Virginia, and into western North Carolina. Others can be traced down
the Blackwater River into eastern North Carolina, and thence the more
restless united with other kin-folk further west and pushed on together
into the then American wilderness to find homes in Alabama, Georgia, Ten-
nessee and Kentucky. In every County and State where the Lanier name
has been carried is also found the name Washington carried there by the
male issue of Richard Washington and his wife Elizabeth Jordan.
1916.] Washington Lanier Family — A Genealogical Discovery. 65
Exhibit "L," — There are fifteen known male descendants — grandsons —
of the emigrant John Lanier, traced into this third generation, all of whom
were born between 1700 and 1730. These fifteen persons would therefore,
be brothers to all in their own family group and cousins to all the others.
It is from these in this generation and born, therefore, between 1700 and
1730, that all bearing the name of Lanier in America, arc derived.
Exhibit "M," — Sampson Lanier, (son of Sampson Lanier and Elizabeth
Washington) who married Elizabeth Chamberlin.
The date of birth of Sampson Lanier can only be given approximately
and based uptJn calculation from other known dates applicable to his life.
This date is not long prior to 1712. His first land warrant is dated 17th
March, 1736, at which time he was doubtless "of age." It does not ap-
pear that he married as early as was customary at that time, as his marriage
with Elizabeth Chamberlin, daughter of Samuel Chamberlin, took place
about 1742, hence all of their children were born between this time and
Sampson Lanier's death in 1757. He is referred to as Sampson Lanier,
Vestryman of the Parish of Saint Andrews, one of the Gentlemen Justices
of the County Court and High Sheriff of Brunswick County, Virginia.
He left no will and his estate was settled by administration as is shown
in the records quoted from the Court Order Book of Brunswick County
as follows: "2nd September, 1757, at a Court held in Brunswick County,
Virginia, — on motion of Elizal)eth Lanier, widow of Sampson Lanier, de-
ceased, who made oath according to law, administration of all and singular
the goods and chattels, rights and credits of the said Sampson, is gn'anted
"23 July, 1759, at a Court held in Brunswick County, Virginia, — Report
of the Commissioner assigning dower to Elizabeth, widow of Sampson
Lanier, returned and ordered to be received."
"5th September, 1759. settlement of accounts in the Orphans' Court,
Brunswick County, Virginia, in which Lemuel Lanier was appointed guar-
dian of Burwell Lanier, Buckncr Lanier, Winnifred Lanier, Martha Lanier
and Anne (Nancy) Lanier, orphans of Sampson Lanier." '
Exhibit "N," — Will of Samuel Chamberlin, recorded in Brunswick
County, Vii^inia, Will Book 3, Page 84.
" .... I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Lanier and
to her heirs, all that tract and plantation I now live on. I likewise give
and bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth all the remainder of my
estate be it of what sort soever real and personal, to her and her heirs
And I do desire that my Estate may not be appraised. And lastly I do
constitute and appoint my son in law Sampson Lanier to be whole and
sole Executor of this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking and
making void all other wills by me \n any manner heretofore made."
This will was presented in Court and made oath to by Sampson Lanier,
Exhibit "O," — Will of Henry Lcdbetter, recorded in Will Book No.
3, on page 13, Brunswick County, Virginia.
" .... I give and bequeath to my son Drury Ledbetter. one negro
boy named Daniel, and one negro girl named ••Vnnaca, with all her in-
creases to him and his heirs or assigns forever. I also give him two hun-
dred and four acres of land by patent whereon I now live, and a survey of
four hundred acres joining to it. to him and his heirs or assig^ns forever,
leaving my loving wife Edith Ledbetter the use of it during her life or
Henry Ledbetter married Edith Williamson. Had four children; one
daughter and three sons, all mentioned in this will. One of the sons, (lol.
Drury Ledbetter, as shown, married Winnifred Lanier, the daughter of Samp-
son Lanier and Elizabeth Chamberlin.
66 Washington- Lanier Family — A Genealogical Discovery. [Jan.
The preceding Exhibits show one line of the Washington-
Lanier Ancestry as established by the report of Mr. Nelson, down
to and including the marriage of Winnifred Lanier to Col. Drury
Ledbetter. The records of my family (i. e. the Violettt family)
showing this connection have always been complete, so there was
no necessity for Mr. Nelson to pursue his investigations beyond
One of the children of Colonel Drury and Winnifred (Lanier)
Ledbetter was Susan Washington Ledbetter. She married Major
Thomas Martin of Albermarle County, Virginia, a distinguished
officer of the Revolution.
"Major Martin was a member of the Ninth Virginia Con-
tinental Infantry, and at the battle of Germantown, October 4th,
1777, the Ninth Virginia was actively engaged, and in the dense
fog, pressed forward so vigorously, that when the fog suddenly
lifted, if found itself completely surrounded by General William
Howe's army, and was captured to a man."
Lieutenant Martin (as he was then) was first sent to Phila-
delphia, and then to confinement in the Provost — the old Hall of
Records, City Hall Park, New York (demolished in 1903, at the
time of building the subway station there).
He was an original member of the Society of The Cincinnati,
in the State of Virginia."
The above is a part of the record furnished me many years
ago, by Colonel Asa Bird Gardiner, Secretary-General of "The
Cincinnati," in which Society I represent Major Martin as his eld-
est male surviving descendant.
In 1803, an army post was first established at Newport Bar-
racks, Kentucky, opposite Cincinnati, and Major Martin became
its first Commandant, and remained so until his death in 1819.
There is in my possession one of three portraits of Major
Martin painted while in command of Newport Barracks. It is one
of the by no means numerous portraits of original members of
"The Cincinnati," and the badge of the Society, appears con-
spicuously in the lapel of the coat. (See portrait.). It was at
Newport Barracks that the daughter of Major Martin and Susan
Ledbetter — Eliza Washington Martin — married Captain Richard
Oldham, of Kentucky, — and they were my grandparents. Cap-
tain Oldham's regiment was stationed there, and in 1808 — five
years following the Louisiana Purchase — the entire garrison was
ordered to New Orleans. The only water transportation at that
time was by flat boat, and in my young days, I never tired listening
to the interesting events related by my grandmother of this many
weeks' voyage down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers (which voy-
age she said was made with comfort and enjoyment), and also the
description of the stirring events of the return trip overland, be-
cause of being constantly in contact with various tribes of the In-
1916.) Waskin^on-Lanier Family — A Genealogical Discovery. 67
A part of the army service of Captain Oldham, is the follow-
ing, taken from the War Department records at Washington :
"Richard Oldham, of Kentucky, was appointed ist
Lieutenant, "th U. S. Infantry, May 3, 1808; was promoted
to be Captain December i, 1809, and to be Major, April
9th, 1814, and was honorably discharged, on the reduction
of the Army, June 15th, 1815. He served with his regi-
ment in Louisiana from June, 1808, to May, 181 1 ; on leave
and on detached duty at Newport Barracks and at Louis-
ville, Ky., to December, 181 1, when he returned to duty
with his regiment in Louisiana, and served with it until
On the death of Major Martin (his father-in-law).
Major Oldham was appointed to succeed him in command
at Newport Barracks on May 9th, 1819, and was honor-
ably discharged as such June ist, 1821.
(Signed) W. M. Carter,
Ass't Adjutant General."
One of the children of Richard Oldham and Eliza Martin
was my mother, Penelope Abigail Oldham, who married Wil-
liam Alfred Violett, of Alexandria, V'irginia, who in early man-
hood removed to Pittsburgh, Penn., where he secured employ-
ment with the firm of Atvvood, Jones & Co., the then leading
iron house West of the Alleghenies, and my father was sent
by them, to New Orleans, in the year 1838, as their representative
there. A few years later, 1842, he entered into business on his own
account, as W. A. Violett & Company, and became one of the
most eminent and successful merchants of the City of his adoption.
Richard Oldham, was the son of Colonel William and
Penelope (Pope) Oldham of Kentucky. Colonel Oldham was
of Nelson's Independent Rifle Company, and he is to-day repre-
sented in the Rhode Island Slate Society of The Cinciimati, through
a great grandson. In 1788, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel
of the Kentucky Militia, and three years later was killed while in
command of his regiment, at St. Clair's Defeat, near Fort Recovery,
Ohio, December 4th, 1791 — one of the many engagements of the
several French-Indian Wars of the Far West, of those days.
WASHINGTON-LANIER ANCESTRY OF ATWOOD
The first five generations established by the report of Mr. Nel-
son and rest of the line established by family and official records
as here above set forth, viz : —
\. John Washington married Mary Ford, of Surry County,
2. Their son Richard Washington, married Elizabeth Jordan,
68 New York Marriage Licenses. [Jan.
3. Their daughter Elizabeth Washington, married Sampson
Lanier, of Virginia.
4. Their son Sampson Lanier, married Elizabeth Chamberlin,
5. Their daughter Winnifred Lanier, married Col. Drury
Ledbetter, of Virginia.
6. Their daughter Susan Washington Ledbetter, married Ma-
jor Thomas Martin, of Virginia.
7. Their daughter Eliza Washington Martin, married Cap-
tain Richard Oldham, of Kentucky.
8. Their daughter Penelope Abigail Oldham, married William
Alfred Violett, of Virginia.
9. Their son Atwood Violett, married Olga Quentell, of New
Orleans. ^ 1
The report of Mr. Nelson also corrects the Lanier line as set
forth by Albert Welles in his Pedigree and History of the Wash-
ington Family, p. 112.
NEW YORK MARRIAGE LICENSES.
Contributed by Robert H. Kelby, Librarian New York Historical Society.
(Continued from Vol. XLVI, p. 342, of The Record.)
171 Harrington, Silvester, N. Y., shipcarpenter, and Mary
Jones, N. Y., widow.
171 Harris, John, surgeon in the General Hospital of His
Majesty's Army, and Ann Harlin, N. Y., widow.
172 (insert) 1775, Jan. 19. Harris, John, N. Y., mariner, and
Mary West, N. Y., spinster.
172 (insert) 1774, April 11. Harris, William, N. Y., mariner,
and Hester Willson, N. Y., spinster.
172 Harrison, Samuel, N. Y., innkeeper, and Sarah Priscilla
Freeborn, N. Y., widow.
172 for 1780, April 20, read 1780, April 11. Harrison, William,
waggoner to His Majesty's Royal Artillery, and Sarah
Bennet, N. Y., spinster.
172 Hart, Elizabeth, N. Y., widow, and Christian Smily, N. Y.
173 Hart, Mary, NY. ., spinster, and Patrick McDermott, N. Y.,
173 Hartley, Hannah, N. Y., widow, and William Pyles, N. Y.,
174 Hatfield, John, Captain 3rd Battalion Jersey Volunteers,
and Mary Lockerman, Staten Island, spinster.
174 for Hausser, Nauchey, and Homes Hayes, read Hawsser,
Anne, N. Y., spinster, and Thomas Hayes, N. Y., wheel-
iyi6.j New' York Marriage Licenses. 6q
74 Hawking, Deborah, N. Y., spinster, and Adam Watson,
N. Y., mariner.
75 Hawkins, John, N. Y., merchant, and Martha Hildreth,
N. Y., spinster.
75 Hawkins, Richard, Ensign, 27th Regiment of Foot, and
Elizabeth Alsop, late of Nottingham in Great Britain,