Harriet Weeks Wadhams Stevens.

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V; r



Preceded by a Sketch of the Wadham Family In England






Forty-Second Street Building

New York




R 19'3 L

Copyright, 1913, by
Frank Allaben Genealogical Company


In the well known Hyde Genealogy, compiled b}- Chan-
cellor Walworth, is a short sketch of the Wadhams Fam-
ily tracing it back to the settler, John Wadham, of
Wethersfield, Connecticut. The data for this sketch
was furnished by my uncle, the Right Reverend Edgar P.
Wadhams. Later he obtained some further data and,
on his becoming Bishop of Ogdensburg, he gave this ma-
terial to me with the request that I continue the work.
During the past twenty-five years, but more especially
during the past five years, I have pursued the task of
obtaining all available information relating to those of
the name of Wadhams in America and elsewhere. Not-
withstanding my best endeavors it is probable that a con-
siderable number of those who should have been included
in the work have not been found. The lineage of a few
families by the name of Wadhams has been traced to a
certain extent, but their connection with the main branch
of the family has not yet been established. The records
of these will be found in the Unconnected Lines.

In the preparation of the work I have freely consulted
and availed myself of information from a considerable
number of genealogical works to which I am much in-
debted. To the menibors of th'e fc-miiy in all parts of our
country who have sc kindly responaed to the requests for
data for this genealog-y I v/ish to return sincere thanks.
To my husband. Doctor George Thomas Stevens, I make
grateful acknowledgement for h's svmpathetic aid which
has made this work possible. I wish also to thank my
son. Doctor Charles Wadhams Stevens, who has efficient-
ly aided me both in research and in preparation of the

Harriet Weeks Wadhams Stevens

t c *cc « ,


Preface 5

The Wadham Family in England 11

First Generation 15

Second Generation 21

Third Generation 27

Fourth Generation 37

Fifth Generation 57

Sixth Generation 97

Seventh Generation 187

Eighth Generation 337

Ninth Generation 481

Tenth Generation 529

Unconnected Lines 535

Wadham Lines from England 573

Index 583


Portrait of Harriet Wadhams Stevens ii

Portrait of Nicholas Wadham x

Portrait of Dorothy Wadham i

Branscombe Church 2

Pedigree of Wadham 4

Monument in Branscombe Church to John Wadham

of Merefield and Edge, his wife, Joan Tre-

garthen and her first husband. John Kaeway. . . 7
Sir WilHam Wadham and his mother, Joan Wrothes-

ley 9

Wadham College, Oxford, England 10

Brasses in Ilminster Church of the Founder and

Foundress of Wadham College, Oxford 12

Wadham Coat-of-Arms 14

Residence of Seth and Ann Catlin Wadhams. built

1778 56

Wadhams Falls, Wadhams, New York 142

Portrait of William Luman Wadhams 266

Residence of William Luman Wadhams. Wadhams.

N. Y 268

Portrait of Rt. Rev. Edgar P. Wadhams, Bishop of

Ogdensburg, New York 270

From the picture in the Bodleian Gallery, Oxford

THE ^^'^^







the picture

in the Bodleian Gallery, Oxford


The Wadham Family in England was one of great
wealth and distinction as early as before the middle of
the fourteenth century, when we have the mention of
Sir John Wadham, who had come into possession of a
manor in Knowston, near South Molton, in the north of
Devon, known as the manor of Wadeham or Wadham,
so called by its former owner, Ulf, the Saxon, in whose
family, according to Lyson, in his "Magna Britannia," it
had been "held in demesne ever since the time of Edward
the Confessor (1042), and that it was not improbable
he, Ulf, might have been the ancestor of the family of
Wadham, of whom this was the original residence."

Whether on taking possession of this manor the new
owner also assumed the name Wadham — literally, "home
by the ford," — is not known.

During the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), Sir John
also became the possessor of the estate of the ancient fam-
ily Branscombe, which, like Knowston, was situated in
the romantic and picturesque county of Devon. It is
quite probable that both these fine estates, which re-
mained in their possession for nearly three hundred years,
were occupied by the family at different seasons, though
Prince states that they "migrated" to Branscombe, which
is by the sea. Since they continued, however, to reside at
East and West Wadham, in the north of Devon, it is
more than likely that each of these estates was occupied
alternately as the family seat.

The memory of the members of the family from gener-
ation to generation has been preserved in the churches at
Branscombe, Whitechurch-Canonicorum, Ilton and II-
minster, for these gentlemen seem to have been noted for
their piety, as were their wives for their large families.
The men appear to have rejoiced in erecting or enlarging
churches, while the women took a laudable pride in the


Wadiiams Genealogy

number of tlieir offspring. A family of from ten to a
score of sons and daughters seems to have been about the
standard for these notable dames.

The earliest mention of a Wadham of Wadham Manor
is that of Sir John Wadham, who was probably descended
from William de Wadham, said by Pole, in his Disserta-
tion on Devon, to have been a freeholder in the time of
Edward I (1272 to 1307).

1 iransconilie Church

At Ilminster. a town now of about seven thousand
inhabitants, situated in Somersetshire, is the fine old par-
ish church. The beautiful north transept, the Wadham
aisle as it was called, is said to have been erected by the
Wadhams, and was for many generations their burial
place. This transept, which is a fine example of the Per-
pendicular, and still contains two statelv tombs of the

Wadham Family in England 3

Wadham family, dates from the middle of the fifteenth
century. The earlier and grander of the two is a large
altar tomb supporting a marble slab on which are the
brasses. The inscription, now nearly effaced, is supposed
to be in memory of Sir William, the father of Sir John.

The son of this Sir John was also Sir John, otherwise
known as "The Judge," who was King's Sergeant and
one of the Justices of the Common Pleas during the reign
of Richard II (1377 ^o 1399). Little is known of him,
though he is said to have been a man of pleasant de-
meanor and of good judgment. This last would seem to
be confirmed by the statement of Pole (Sir W. Pole,
Dissertation on Devon), that he "added considerably to
the family estate and laid the foundation of their social
importance." '

Naturally these men of great estates formed desirable
alliances by marriage, for, as stated by Prince in his
Worthies of Devon : "Five of these were knights who
matched with divers daughters and heirs and became al-
lied to many great and noble houses, as Plantagenet,
Worthesly, Bridges, Popham, Strangways, Tregarthain,
etc., as may further appear from this pedigree thereof."
(Prince, Worthies of Devon, p. 588, folio ed. 1701.) The
acquisition of landed estates appears to have been a char-
acteristic procedure with the people of this name in these
early times, for we are told that, in addition to the estates
at Wadham and Branscombe, that of Redworthy in
reigny was, 1411, granted by Thomas Nithev/ay to Sir
John Wadham and Jane his wife, with remainder to
Thomas, his son. Also William Burleston conveyed to
the same Sir John (the Judge) and his wife Jane the
manor of Lustleigh. But beyond these estates the Judge
purchased "The whole of the manor of Silverton, sithens
which tyme it has contynewed" in their possession down
to the time of Nicholas W^adham. the Founder. (Pole,
quoted in Rogers" Memorials of the West, England.)
This second Sir John, the Judge, married Joan, daughter
of Worthesly (pronounced Risley), and his death oc-
curred, according to Prince, at the end of the reign of
Henry IV. but Rogers (Ibid, p. 156) says that it must

4 Wadhams Genealogy

have been later; while Prince asserts that "He lieth in-
terred, most probably in the aisle belonging to the family
at Branscombe," but Rogers remarks that this is con-
jecturi.', since there is no aisle to the church at Brans-
combe. Hut he adds that the north transept may have
been his Inirial place, where the monument to the Found-
er's mother was first erected.

Sir John, the second, left two sons, William and Thom-
as, the latter of Redworthy in Ashreigny. Sir William,
Sheriff of Devon, married Margaret, daughter of Wil-
liam Cheselden. His heir was John, who became Sir
John, third, who married Elizabeth, one of the four
daughters of Stephen Popham, the representative of an
ancient Hampshire family as well as of Merefield, in
llton near Ilminster. This John left two sons, John and
Edward, also a daughter, Alice, who married Nicholas
Stukeley, of Affeton, North Devon. This latter John
also became Sir John, the fourth of the name and title,
and he married Elizabeth, who was daughter of another
Stukeley, Hugh, of Affeton. The heir of this fourth Sir
John was Nicholas, and another son was William. Nich-
olas, like his ancestors, was knighted. He married first,
Joan, daughter of Robert Hill, of Halsway, and his heir
was another John. Nicholas and Joan had also other
children : Andrew ; Giles, who married Agnes, daugh-
ter of Clauson of Barton ; Mary, who married Sir Richard
Chudleigh of Ashdon ; and Elizabeth, who married first,
Sir Edward Bampfield, and second, Richard Warr.

Nicholas, four times married, took for his second wife,
Margaret, daughter of Sir John Seymour, who was aunt
of Queen Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VHI and
sister also to the Protector, Edward, Duke of Somer-
set. The children of Nicholas and Margaret Seymour
were Nicholas and a daughter, Jane. Nicholas
was knighted in 1494 "at ye creacion of Prince Henry,"
then two years old, to be Duke of York. In 1498 he,
Sir Nicholas, was made Captain of the Isle of Wight.
He was also Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset about 1502.

We have already said that the eldest son and heir of
this Sir Nicholas was John. He was known as John


gm, Uklbrrl. Cullim, M^aiung and Biajr, Aubrey. He!

Sir Juhn W^hain, t-r tdsc Ucvon. c- 1360-

Sir Jf>hn. Ju«icc of Cummnn ncaa.ssjoan WroehcJcy. Ituned
13B&-IV7. Mill living in 1411-12. I at lliniiutcr.

Sir John. oC^ Eloabrth, d
Mcrificld. I and co-h.
I of Stephen

Eliza bcih=:
Suwcl, fit


Umry » W. MonU-
tvu. of



1, KnL^a. Kliiabctli,
I da. of Hugh
I Siukdcy.

Edward, of
Pule .\n-



Nii'hoUv *■"!

Hody. or
Chief Barun
..f the Ei-

William, at = J jne. <1. and fw-h. -.f
Cflther- ' William Payne, of
•tone. [ Coiheruonc, Ilur>

E- EIiuiI(cih.da.and
1 c<-h.ofSicplitn
\ TytM. tif 1-yll-


.Mice, da. ol Juhn .
Siourton. of Pre«-
Ion, Somerset, wnd {
rcljei f f William i
i>aubeny. 1

uinof the
of WIgbt, H-
Will proved
Jan. 30, 154a.

i>,ai=p3- MargATci, vMcr:
,Cap- ..r Sir Ji.l.n bcy-
El,"i^ moor. Knt. and

Jane; biined

=3. luabeU. d. of=
T. b«>nani. of
Clouceate rehire
And reltet of Sir
Cilc3 Bridge*.

,. Joan, da. of
Kichanl Lyte,
widow of WiU
I lain Walton .uf
biinon. Will


3. EliutKth, da
of Cru»r. ..f
Cr\i«e More-


John. ft. and h.-



I. Laurence,

Wilt p/iwed '
Mar, 15. 157:; '
buncd at II-

|uAn. da. and
of Cornwall,

wid. pf John
Kclluway, of


3. Giles, uf— AgnchdA. Andrrw.

= 1. Edw.
a. John

J.ihn, of Caihersion, Captain of
d. i|^), buried al Whitrliunh
Cani'iiKonim. I lit will incniiun*
3 ton* imi » Uauifhtcrs.

Mai-»r«.da.cJ"=Edwa«l,c.fMcf«.= Ai;re, da.of Dorothy = Hiimphrey

Joliii Yuung. ro. Swnerset Carcw. co. Worth.

Wilt proved IJevon.
Jan- 17, i6it.

Mcnfkld and
K*lgc. Founder
; urVVariliam Col-
lege. &)

arned 1
.p. Oct.


X>orolhv. da. of -Sir

of IllgBlCM'mc,

iviio, Gertrude,
da. of .Sir jJin
TirrtU; dii<l at
Edcf^. 16 May.
tf^ih. irtat 8+. bu-
ried at llininsicr.

i.SirGIeft^a. Sirjoho
Strang- i Young.

MjUTSwrdv Nicholas Hartin,
I of Atliclham))-
( Mon, IferMt.
I He died before

-, ; Nicholas Wad-

rearct. 1 ham.

Bartiara. da. ofv Sir Wadhaiti Wyndtiam,
Sir Ocorgc ; llieir gih «>n, one of the
Clarke. Juilgca of the Kiug*


r John Brunc.
of AthcUvamp-

Amtiuny, and !.

! Jnhi) Lallon.nrKintrt'Xi^Kalherine.d.and

t Bagpui^c, CO. Berks, j ccfh.

3^ »on, llxnus, l.xjrd
Chatirellor .jf Irelaud,
1737. Created Lord
Wvmlhain. 1731 : <>->-p-

Wilf*. who ufw
ripre»eni the

John l-atton, Em)., of Eabcr; d. 1727, xt. 64-



Wadiiam Family in England 5

VVadham, Esq., of Edge and Merefield, and he married
Joan Tregarthen, daughter of an old Cornish family and
widow of John Kaleway. The Tregarthens were an
ancient family, who were reported to have "royal blood
in their veins." Joan had had by her first husband four-
teen children, and after her marriage to John Wadham of
Edge she was blessed with six other children, of whom
Nicholas, the eldest, was destined to become the most
illustrious of the line, for it was he who became the
Founder of Wadham College at Oxford.

Since the family reached its climax with Nicholas, the
Founder, and since also he had no issue, we may here
recall the genealogy of this distinguished family from the
first of the name of whom we have knowledge. To this
end I here reproduce a genealogical chart from T. G.
Jackson's Architcctnyal History of Wadham College.

In the will of John of Catherston (see chart) he men-
lions three sons, George. John and Nicholas.

In the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist in Westmin-
ster Abbey may be seen the tomb of Mrs. Anne Kirton,
the granddaughter of George Wadham. who died in
1603. It is opposite the monument of Sir John Franklin
and next to that of Sarah, Duchess of Somerset, who died
in 1692. The inscription reads:

"Anne Kirton
"To the memory of the virtuous and deare beloved
wife Anne Kirton, daughter of Henry Bodenheim
in the town of Wiltes, Esq. By Katherine, Daught.
of George Wadliam of Cathersto in the Coun. of
Dor. Esq. Her sorrowful husband James Kirton of
Castell Gary in the Coun. of Som. Gent, in regard of
her virtues and his love erected the monument."

At the top of this slab is carved in the marble an eye
from which fall carved tear drops at intervals all over
the inscription.

Returning now to the monuments in the churches of
Branscombe, Ilminster and at Whitechurch-Canonicorum
we find in the latter church, remaining to the present


time, Ljraven on a plate of brass, the epitaph of a John
\\"adham of Catlierston, who died in 1584. The inscrip-
tion on the brass reads :

"Here lyeth John W^adhani of Catherston, Esquyer,

who decessed the xiii of Marche in Anno Dni 1584,

who was dewring his life time

Captayne of the Queens Alai'ties Castell of Sondesfote

besides \^^eymouth in the Countye of Dorsett,

and also Recorder of Lyme-Regis ;

Whos soule Grod rest in pese."'

It is a monument of late Gothic and the arms and
shields have been torn away.

In the same church is also a monument to Master
Hitchings, William by name, whose daughter Dorothy
was married to George Wadham. This monument is thus
described by Rogers :

"It is at the east end of the north aisle of this spacious
church, and consists of a large raised tomb, with blank
shields below, and above a cunningly-carved reredos of
slate, containing at the top kneeling effigies of himself in
half-armour and his wife with cap and ruff, and below,
what is evidently intended to represent his only daugh-
ter, Dorothy, wife of George Wadham, also kneeling,
with her ten children, five sons and five daughters, also
kneeling behind her." Rogers adds that George Wad-
ham's grave stone (he died 7 Sept., 1606) is now in the
floor immediately in front of this monument, having been
moved up to its present position from further down the
aisle when the church was restored a few years since.

In the old church at Branscombe is found the monu-
ment to Joan, mother of Nicholas, the Founder of Wad-
ham College. It is in the north transept, which was not
its original place, for about 1830 it was removed from
under the window of the south transept where Joan was
probably interred. Quoting again from Rogers' Memo-
rials of the West :

"The memorial consists of a pediment ( in the center of
which is the rose of Wadham), supported on a base rus-

Wadham Family in England

ticated at the sides. On its face in alto-relievo, are — first,
two male figures, kneeling on cushions, facing each other,
with their hands joined in prayer, and between them is a

Monument in Branscombe Church to John Wadham of

Merefield and Edge, his wife, Joan Tregarthen

and her first husband, John Kaleway

hehiiet and a pair of gauntlets, apparently intended to be-
long to the effigy on the right. The figure on the left is
attired in a ruff and an academic gown ; that on the right

8 Wadhams Genealogy

in complete armour, with sword and ruff. Behind each
of these j::^entlcmfn is the much smaller figure of a lady,
both exactly alike and evidently meant for the same per-
son. At the rear of the lady, on the left, are fourteen little
figures, five boys and nine girls — her children by her first
husband : and. again, behind her on the right, are six
children, her issue by her second spouse, four boys and
two girls. Below these figures is a black panel, now de-
nuded of its original inscription ; only a trace of a gilt let-
ter or two remains." Prince records a copy of it :

'"Here lieth entombed the body of a virtuous
and antient gentlewoman descended of the an-
tient house of the Plantagenets, sometime of
Cornwall, namely, Joan, one of the daughters
and heirs unto John Tregarthin, in the Coun-
ty of Cornwall, Esq. She was first married unto
John Kelleway, Esq., who had by her much
issue ; after his death she was married to John
Wadham of Aleryfield, in the County of Som-
erset, Esq., and by him had (six) children.
She lived a virtuous and godly life, and died

in an honorable age, Sept. : in the year of

Christ, 1 58 1."
But at llminster we find, perhaps, the earliest memo-
rials of this family, and doubtless the beautiful north
transept of this fine old structure, one of the best of the
older examples of the Perpendicular, was erected by the
Wadhams. The structure dates from the middle of the
fifteenth centur\-.

I'he following is extracted from a letter written quite
recently by one who had just visited the church (Mrs.
Ladd, the daughter of the compiler) :

"The brasses we went to see are in the 'Wadham Chan-
try,' a small chapel back of the organ, which is at the
east side of the choir. There are two tombs there,
that of Nicholas and Dorothy, and a much older
one of Sir William Wadham. The brasses, about four
feet long, the figures of a man and woman, are very fine
and are set into a stone slab which forms the cover of the
tomb. This tomb of Sir William and his mother has a






•kL ^:

Vent! fiittfjuij Dslrt to uil non pittt filfi
ai an m:* irtii ftmljtii Sunt iiitoiitai

, I ! Sairiitt kinr iutitr Una tanrt tonus :

3(jim Siwn mttra flu n-iwtta




Sir William Wadham and his mother, Joan Wrothesley
Brasses, in Ilminster Church, 1452

10 Wadhams Genealogy

suggestion of two beautiful arches in the so-called
decorated style over their heads in brass and the decora-
tions on the body of the tomb are quite elaborate, probably
from stones taken from the tower of the church, set in
when both tower and tomb were restored."

This brings us, last of all, to the marble and alabaster
altar-tomb of the Founder and Foundress of Wadham
College. On this, too, is the broad, massive table of
marble with the brasses bearing the effigies of Nicholas
and Dorothy inlet. The inscriptions are too lengthy for
our use here. They recount the virtues and the achieve-
ments of the illustrious pair whom they commemorate.

We may well conclude this sketch of the Wadham fam-
ily by a brief notice of the life and work of the worthies
who are better commemorated by the character of their
deeds than by their pretentious monument.

Nicholas Wadham was born in 1532; he was educated
in Oxford either at Corpus Christi or at Christ Church
College. "At the age of twenty-three he married Dorothy
Petre. She was two years younger than her husband,
born in 1534, the daughter of Sir William Petre of Writ-
tie in Essex, near which much of the College property
now lies. * " * The young couple were wealthy and
lived their lives in state at Merri field, where they kept
an open house, 'an inn at all times for their friends, and
a court at Christmas.' Yet, owing probabl}- to the man-
agement of Dorothy, a notable and prudent wife, they
saved money, and the childless pair determined to devote
their wealth to 'the purposes of religion, learning, and
education.' " ( The Life and Times of John Wilkius, by
P. A. Henderson, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford,
1910.) This led to the founding of the college at Ox-
ford which, bears their name. Only the moat and some
portions of a wall of massive masonry mark the place
where Merrifield once stood.

Nicholas Wadham was a squire "of good estate and of
high degree." That he was interested in the welfare of
liis fellows is shown b\- the fact that he established, at
Ilton, an almshouse, endowing" it with "a piece of land or
p'cle of land contayning by cstimac'on fower acres, called

WAHIIAM cnTJ.RC K. i ).\ K« ) KI ). KX< i 1-A XD

Wadham Family in England ii

or known of Preihayes." In the houses on this land his
executors were to permit not less than "eig'ht poore peo-
ple" to dwell and an annuity was provided sufficient to
support the little colony.

Nicholas had arranged for the building of the col-
lege at Oxford, but he did not live to carry out this not-
able undertaking, his death occurring in October, 1609,
at the age of seventy-seven. He was buried in "Myne
He at Ilminster where myne ancestors lye interred." The
task of completing the work was wisely committed to his
excellent and very able helpmete, Lady Dorothy, who was
philanthropically inclined and who continued loyal to the
wishes and plans of her husband after his death. She
purchased from the citizens of Oxford the site of the
ancient Priory of the Augustine Friars, which was found-
ed in 1268, and suppressed in 1540, and proceeded to
erect upon it the buildings which still stand there, and
"which form perhaps the most uniform and perfect speci-
men of collegiate architecture in the University." (The
Registers of Wadham College, by Rev. Robert Barlow
Gardiner, London, 1889.) Wadham college enjoys the
honor of being the cradle of the Royal Society.

Much might here be said concerning the character and
energy of Dorothy Wadham did space permit, but it is
only necessary to say that her letters, which have been
preserved and published, show her to have been a woman
of unusual strength of purpose, clearness of mental vision
and of fine accomplishments. These published letters
were written from Edge and from Merri field during the
years 1613 to 1618. It was in the latter year that she died
at the age of eighty-four.

For a further description or history of the splendid
foundation laid by this generous and far-sighted pair,
I must refer my readers to the many excellent histories
of the colleges of the University of Oxford.

The compiler of this work has made diligent and per-

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