Col William Randolph, II

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William Randolph

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Morton Hall, Morell, Warwickshire, England
Death: Died in Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia
Place of Burial: Randolph Family Cemetery Presque Isle, Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Randolph and Elizabeth Randolph
Husband of Mary Royal Randolph
Father of Councilor William Randolph; Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe; Col. Isham Randolph; Col Richard Randolph "of Curles"; Henry Randolph and 6 others
Brother of Dorothy Randolph; Mary Randolph; Richard Randolph, Jr.; Thomas Randolph; John Randolph and 2 others

Occupation: of "Turkey Island, " Henrico County, Va., referred to as the "Adam and Eve of Virginia", founder of the College of William and Mary, Colonel
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Randolph

William Randolph was a colonist and land owner who played an important role in the history and governement of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He moved to Virginia between 1669 and 1673, and married Mary Isham. His descendants included several prominent political figures, including Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall. Genealogists have taken an interest in him for his progeny's marital alliances, referring to him and Mary Isham as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia."

Colonel William Randolph , the first of the family in Virginia , was born on 7 Nov 1650 in Morton Hall, Morell, Warwickshire, England. He was christened on 7 Nov 1651 in Morrell Parish, Warwickshire, England. He died on 11 Apr 1711 in Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia. He was the son of Richard Randolph (1621–1678) and Elizabeth Ryland (1625–ca. 1669). His father was originally from Houghton Parva, a small village east of Northampton, where his father was a "steward and servant" to Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche (1556–1625). His mother was the daughter of John Ryland of Warwick. William was the second of seven Randolph children, all born in Morteon Morrell between 1647 and 1657. At some point in the 1660s, his parents moved to Dublin, where they both died, his mother around 1669 and his father in 1671, so William may well have spent the bulk of his formative years in Ireland.

We next hear of William Randolph in 1672, in Virginia, where he appears in the record as witness to a land transaction. By 1674 he had acquired enough money to import 12 person into the colony and thereby earned his first of many land patents (Between 1674 and 1697 he imported 72 servants and 69 slaves for which he collected patents for more than 7000 acres). In later years Randolph became a merchant and a planter, partnering with others in the ownership of several ships on which to transport tobacco to England and goods back to Virginia and helping to establish several of his sons as merchants and ships captains.

He settled on Turkey Island Plantation on the James river, in Henrico county. He was able to purchase the forfeited land of rebel Nathaniel Bacon. He owned at one time the whole of Sir Thomas Dale 's settlement containing five thousand acres of land. The plantation called Varina, which continued to be in the possession of the Randolph family longest, was so called from a place in Spain, because the tobacco raised at both places was similar in flavor.

William served in the colonial milita, rising to the rank of colonel. He was clerk of Henrico County from 1683 to 171. He was member of the House of Burgesses, representing Henrico County, from 1685 to 1699 and from 1703 to 1705, and again in 1710; Speaker of the House, 1690; Clerk of the House, 1702; Attorney General, 1696, and a member of the Royal Council. There is on file at Henrico Court House a paper dated 1698 bearing signature and a fine impression of his arms-"Gu, upon a cross or, fin mullets gu." He fell ill in August of 1702 and his son, William, took his place. Randolph resigned the clerkship completely in March of 1703.

A proponent of education, Randolph was also one of the founders and first trustees of the College of William and Mary. Six sons attend this college and were among the schools early graduates.

William married Mary Isham on Nov. 13, 1678 in Henrico County, Virginia.. Mary was born in 1653 in Bermuda Hundred, Henrico, Virginia. She died on 25 Dec 1735 in Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia,. She was the daughter of Henry Isham I and his wife, Catherine. When her brother Henry II died, she inherited a huge estate.

Children of William Randolph and wife Mary Isham: Nine children are known to have reached adulthood. There may have been more, who died in childhood. Dates of birth are disputed between various sources, but, as near as I can tell, these are the most accurate dates.

  • 1. William, called "Counsellor" Randolph , born 1681; married in 1705 to Elizabeth Beverly. He inherited Turkey Island.
  • 2. Thomas, born 1683, was owner of the plantation 'Tuckahoe.' He became the Governor of Virginia.
  • 3. Isham, born 1684, resided for a time in England, where he married Jane Rogers, of London. He returned to Virginia and resided at 'Dungeness.'
  • 4. Richard was born on 2 May 1686. He died on 17 Dec 1748. He resided at Curles.
  • 5. Henry , born October, 1687 .
  • 6. Sir John was born April, 1689 and married Susanna Beverly. They lived at 'Tazewell.' He was a lawyer and speaker of Virginia House of Burgesses. He was knighted in 1732.
  • 7. Edward was born October 1690 and married Miss Grosvenor. He lived in London.
  • 8. Mary, born 1692, married Captain John Stith.
  • 9. Elizabeth, born 1695, married Richard Bland

The following inscription was copied from his tombstone at Turkey Island, by Dr. Robert C. Randolph, of New Market, Clarke Co., Va.: Col. William Randolph of Warwickshire, but late of Virginia, Gent., died April 11, 1711. William and his wife are both buried at the Randolph Family Cemetery in Henrico County, Virginia

Many thank to all the Geni members who helped to build this profile and who contributed to this overview. I have consolidated their data in writing it. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 9/8/2011.

Links to additional information:

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From Barbara Pixley: For a story about the Randolphs and our cousin Thomas Jefferson who grew up with the children of ancestor William Randolph at Tuckahoe Plantation-go to the website: pixleyblair.tribalpages.com and scroll to the bottom of the homepage to 'Stories' and click on: 'Our Randolphs and Cousin Thomas Jefferson'. You can type in a name in the upper right 'Find' box for a particular ancestor. My entire Gedcom can be found on Ancestry.com under the pedigree tree name of: Pixleyblair.tribalpages.com

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Col William Randolph, II's Timeline

1651
November 7, 1651
Morell, Warwickshire, England

My 9th great grandfather.

Reference: Wikipedia. (I have seen his date of birth both as 10/24/1658 and 11/7/1650. I tend to lean toward 1650, which is the date referenced by Wikipedia.)

William Randolph was a colonist and land owner who played an important role in the history and government of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He moved to Virginia sometime between 1669 and 1673, and married Mary Isham a few years later. His descendants included several prominent political figures, including Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall. Genealogists have taken an interest in him for his progeny's many marital alliances, referring to him and Mary Isham as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia".

William Randolph was born in Morton Morrell, Warwickshire, England, to Richard Randolph (1620-1671) and Elizabeth Ryland (1625-1699). Like several other immigrants from the English gentry, he was a second son. William was educated at home, concentrating his studies on Greek, Latin, and law. He was also the half-nephew of English poet Thomas Randolph.

His uncle, Henry Randolph, emigrated to North America in 1642 and rose to the position of Clerk of the Colony. Henry paid a visit to England in 1668 and may have encouraged his nephew to emigrate. Henry died a few years after William arrived in Virginia.

After his arrival in Virginia, Randolph began working as an "undertaker" (building contractor), before turning to tobacco farming. Even after he had acquired property, a tax roll refers to him as "William Randolph, Merchant". At some point he owned a ship which traveled between Bristol, England and his dock at Turkey Island.

By 1674 he had amassed enough wealth to buy 591 acres (2.39 km2) of land on Swift Creek, south of the James River in Henrico County. In 1676, the colonist Nathaniel Bacon rebelled unsuccessfully against the colonial government, and his estate, Curles, was forfeited. Randolph made an assessment of the estate for Governor Berkeley and was allowed to buy it for his estimated price, adding 1,230 acres (5.0 km2) to his land holdings. This conflict of interest was criticized by his neighbors.

Then, after the capital of Virginia moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg in 1699, Randolph was able to use his political power and influence to acquire almost 10,000 acres (40 km2) of land in the vicinity of Richmond; a 3,256-acre (13.18 km2) tract at Tuckahoe Creek and a 5,142-acre (20.81 km2) plot at Westham.

William Randolph owned a considerable number of slaves. This reflected the rise of slavery during his business career. When he came to Virginia, indentured servants far outnumbered slaves. But as the supply of indentured servants declined late in the 17th Century, the planters turned to slaves for work in the labor-intensive business of tobacco culture.

As a “privileged gentleman,” Randolph held multiple official appointments. He became clerk of Henrico County Court in 1673 and held the position until he was asked to serve as a justice of the peace in 1683. He also served as sheriff and coroner.

In addition, Randolph represented Henrico County in every assembly of the House of Burgesses from 1684 to 1698, was the Speaker of the House of Burgesses in 1698, and was the Clerk of the House from 1699 to 1702. He fell ill in August of 1702 and his son, William, took his place. Randolph resigned the clerkship completely in March of 1703.

Randolph was also one of the founders and first trustees of the College of William and Mary. His son, John Randolph, was awarded a knighthood on a trip to London to secure a royal charter for the College.

He built a mansion on the Turkey Island plantation on high ground overlooking the island and the river. It featured a ribbed dome and was known as the "Bird's Cage".

The total number of William Randolph's children is not certain because of deaths in infancy and the tendency to name children after their deceased siblings. However, it is known that at least nine children survived into adulthood. The sons of William Randolph were each distinguished by the estates left to them.

Early generations of Randolphs married into several other gentry families, including Beverley, Fleming, Byrd, Carter, Cary, Harrison and Page. Later affiliations included members of the Lewis, Meriwether and Skipworth families.

With William Randolph as its patriarch, the Randolph family became extremely well-respected in Virginia. Randolphs and close relatives formed the predominant political faction in the colonial government during the 18th Century, with many members of the elected House of Burgesses and the appointed, and more exclusive, Council. The Randolphs, like the rest of the Virginia gentry, strongly supported the Revolution.

William Randolph is buried on Turkey Island.

November 7, 1651
Morell Parish, Warwickshire, England
1655
1655
Age 3
United States
1673
1673
- 1674
Age 21
to the Colony of VA, and settled at Turkey Island below what is now Richmond, VA
1678
November 13, 1678
Age 27
Henrico, Virginia
1681
November 6, 1681
Age 29
Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia
1683
June 6, 1683
Age 31
Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia
1683
- 1692
Age 31
Henrico, Virginia, United States
1685
February 24, 1685
Age 33
Turkey Island, Virginia Colony
1686
May 2, 1686
Age 34
Henrico, Virginia