John Wayles (1715 - 1773) MP

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Birthplace: St. Mary's Parish, Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Charles City, Virginia, United States
Occupation: Planter, Lawyer
Managed by: Wilbur Elliott Gravley
Last Updated:

About John Wayles

John Wayles was Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson's father, Thomas Jefferson's father-in-law. He was born in Lancaster, England, on 31 January 1715. At some point he emmigrated to Virginia. His home was The Forest, in Charles City County. His first wife was Martha Eppes, born at Bermuda Hundred on 10 April 1721; they married on 3 May 1746. Martha gave birth to twins on 23 December 1746, a boy and a girl; according to Thomas Jefferson's notes, the girl was stillborn and the boy lived only a few hours. Almost two years later, on 31 October 1748, Martha Wayles gave birth to her only surviving child, also named Martha. She died less than a week later, on 5 November 1748, at the age of 27.

Wayles' second marriage, according to Jefferson's notes, was to a woman of the Cocke family (no first name is given). The first child of this marriage, Sarah, did not survive to adulthood. The second child, Elizabeth, was born 24 February 1752; Tabitha was born 16 November 1753; and Anne was born 26 August 1756. Jefferson notes that Wayles' second wife died, but not the date; obviously sometime between August 1756 and 26 January 1760, when Wayles married his third wife, Elizabeth Skelton (incidentally the widow of Reuben Skelton, brother of Martha Wayles' first husband Bathurst Skelton). Elizabeth Skelton Wayles died a little more than a year after her marriage to John Wayles, on 10 February 1761; they had no children.[1]

After the death of his third wife Wayles took his slave Elizabeth Hemings as his mistress, according to several sources. He was the father of her children Robert, James, Peter, Critta, Sally, and Thenia Hemings.[2]

Wayles died on 28 May 1773, leaving substantial property and debt which took years for Thomas Jefferson and the other co-executors of Wayles' estate to deal with. The majority of Wayles' papers and financial records do not survive, having disappeared from Eppington in the mid-nineteenth century.

All of the above information comes from a memorandum by Thomas Jefferson in the Edgehill-Randolph Papers at the University of Virginia.

   2. Isaac Jefferson, Memoirs, 4; Madison Hemings, "Life Among the Lowly," Pike County Republican, March 13, 1873. A December 20, 1802 letter from Thomas Gibbons, a Federalist planter of Georgia, to Jonathan Dayton states that Sally Hemings "is half sister to his first wife." Similarly, a letter from Thomas Turner in the May 31, 1805 Boston Repertory states, "an opinion has existed . . . that this very Sally is the natural daughter of Mr. Wales, who was the father of the actual Mrs. Jefferson."
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attorney, slave trader, business agent for the Bristol-based tobacco exporting firm of Tarell & Jones, wealthy plantation owners in Charles City County, Virginia. [1]

Her father was born in Lancaster, England and emmigrated alone to Virginia in 1734, at the age of nineteen, leaving family in England. He became a lawyer. Martha's mother was a daughter of Francis Eppes of Bermuda Hundred and was a widow when Wayles married her. As part of her dowry, Martha's mother brought with her a personal slave, Susanna, who had an eleven-year-old daughter by the name of Elizabeth Hemings (Betty). John and Martha's marriage contract provided that Susanna and Betty were to remain the property of Martha Eppes and her heirs forever or be returned to the Eppes family should there be no heirs. This is how the Hemingses came into the custody of Martha Wayles. Martha's mother died when Martha was three weeks old.

A genealogy of the wives of the American presidents and their first two ... By Craig Hart

http://books.google.com/books?id=TOae78XVP0kC&pg=PA137&lpg=PA137&dq=Susannah+Isham&source=bl&ots=CCXU44eoLG&sig=n3K1owaDwAyuI72NvTqCnrPjw7A&hl=en&ei=tOXQTPRyj8SwA9DdjMgL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CCUQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=Susannah%20Isham&f=false

Pg.136-139

Martha Wayles, b. October 19, 1748, Chesterfield Co., Va.; d. September 6, 1782, Monticello, Charlottesville, Va., m.(1) Bathurst Skelton, m(2) January 1, 1772, Thomas Jefferson, b. April 13, 1743, Virginia; d. Monticello

G-1

John WAYLES, b. January 31, 1715, Lancaster, England; d. May 23, 1773, Charles City Co., Va., m. May 3, 1746, MARTHA EPPES, b. April 10, 1712, Chesterfield Co., Va. November 5, 1748, Va.

G-2

Francis Eppes, b. 1685, Henrico Co., Va.; d. November 7, 1733 or 1734, Nottoway Co., Va., m. Sarah Kennon, b. 1689, Chesterfield Co., Va.; d. 1746, Charles City Co., Va.

G-3

Francis Eppes, b. 1659, Shirley Hundred, Va.; d. 1718 or 1719, Henrico Co., Va., m. Anne Isham, b. Henrico Co., Va; d. Va.

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John Wayles was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England January 31,1715. John died 23 May 1773 in The Forest, Charles City Co., Virginia, at 57 years of age.

He married three times. He married Martha Eppes in Henrico County, Virginia, ca 1746. Martha is the daughter of Col. Francis Eppes. He married Tabitha Cocke. There is some question as to the surname of Tabitha. Bear in his "The Hemings Family of Monticello" says that her surname was Cocke , but in his book The Slave Children of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel H. Sloan says that it is more likely Cooke.

He married Elizabeth Lomax 1760. Elizabeth died 10 Feb 1761. In addition to being Sally Hemings' father, he was also her owner. John Wayles was a slave owner who fathered six children with his slave, Elizabeth "Betty" Hemings.

John Wayles and Martha Eppes had the following child:

2 i. Martha Wayles was born in Charles City Co., Virginia 19 Oct 1748. Martha died 6 Sep 1782 in Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, at 33 years of age.  She married twice. She married Bathurst Skelton 1766.  Bathurst was born Jun 1744.  Bathurst died bef 1 Sep 1771.  His will was proved in Charles City County, Virginia on 1 September 1771.  

She married Thomas Jefferson in The Forest, Charles City Co., Virginia, 1 Jan 1772. Thomas was born in Shadwell, Goochland, Virginia 2 Apr 1743. Thomas was the son of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. Thomas died 4 Jul 1826 in Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, at 83 years of age.

John Wayles and Tabitha Cocke had the following children:

Elizabeth Wayles. She married Francis Eppes. Francis is the son of Richard Eppes.

Tabitha Wayles.

Anne Wayles. She married Henry Skipwith in Charles City Co., Virginia, 7 Jul 1773.

John Wayles and Elizabeth Hemings had the following children:

Robert Hemings was born 1762. Robert died 1819 in Richmond, Virginia, at 57 years of age. He married Dolly bef 1794. Robert was freed upon the death of his master 1794.

James Hemings was born 1765. James died 1801 at 36 years of age. James was freed upon the death of his master 1796. His death was a result of suicide and there is conjecture that heavy drinking was involved, based on a letter from William Evans to Thomas Jefferson in which Evans verified for Jefferson the way James died.

Thenia Hemings was born 1767. Thenia died aft 1795.

Critta Hemings was born 1769. Critta died aft 1827.

Peter Hemings was born 1770. Peter died aft 1827.

Sally Hemings was born in Guinea Plantation, Cumberland, Virginia 1773. Sally died 1835 in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, at 62 years of age.

After the death of his first wife, Martha Eppes (the mother of Mrs. Jefferson), John Wayles married two more times; he married secondly to Mary Cocke by whom he had one [name unknown] daughter who died young; John Wayles married a third time, on 3, January 1760 to Elizabeth Lomax, with whom he had three daughters. After the death of Elizabeth Lomax (28 May 1763), Wayles took the half-black half-white slave Betty Hemings as his concubine and had six children by her. Betty Hemings was mentioned in the will of John Wayles, thus providing evidence that she really was his mistress and not merely his slave.

 

The first husband of Elizabeth Lomax was Reuben Skelton - he was the brother of Martha Jefferson's first husband, Bathurst Skelton; thus Martha Wayles Skelton's brother-in-law was her stepmother's first husband.

 

Ancestry: English; Martha Jefferson's father was an English immigrant. Her maternal great-great grandparents Francis Eppes and his wife Frances emigrated from England to Virginia sometime before 1659.

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John Wayles was Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson's father, Thomas Jefferson's father-in-law. He was born in Lancaster, England, on 31 January 1715. At some point he emigrated to Virginia. His home was The Forest, in Charles City County. His first wife was Martha Eppes, born at Bermuda Hundred on 10 April 1721; they married on 3 May 1746. Martha gave birth to twins on 23 December 1746, a boy and a girl; according to Thomas Jefferson's notes, the girl was stillborn and the boy lived only a few hours. Almost two years later, on 31 October 1748, Martha Wayles gave birth to her only surviving child, also named Martha. She died less than a week later, on 5 November 1748, at the age of 27.

Wayles' second marriage, according to Jefferson's notes, was to a woman of the Cocke family (no first name is given). The first child of this marriage, Sarah, did not survive to adulthood. The second child, Elizabeth, was born 24 February 1752; Tabitha was born 16 November 1753; and Anne was born 26 August 1756. Jefferson notes that Wayles' second wife died, but not the date; obviously sometime between August 1756 and 26 January 1760, when Wayles married his third wife, Elizabeth Skelton (incidentally the widow of Reuben Skelton, brother of Martha Wayles' first husband Bathurst Skelton). Elizabeth Skelton Wayles died a little more than a year after her marriage to John Wayles, on 10 February 1761; they had no children.[1] After the death of his third wife Wayles took his slave Elizabeth Hemings as his mistress, according to several sources. He was the father of her children Robert, James, Peter, Critta, Sally, and Thenia Hemings.[2]

Wayles died on 28 May 1773, leaving substantial property and debt which took years for Thomas Jefferson and the other co-executors of Wayles' estate to deal with. The majority of Wayles' papers and financial records do not survive, having disappeared from Eppington in the mid-nineteenth century.

All of the above information comes from a memorandum by Thomas Jefferson in the Edgehill-Randolph Papers at the University of Virginia.

2. Isaac Jefferson, Memoirs, 4; Madison Hemings, "Life Among the Lowly," Pike County Republican, March 13, 1873. A December 20, 1802 letter from Thomas Gibbons, a Federalist planter of Georgia, to Jonathan Dayton states that Sally Hemings "is half sister to his first wife." Similarly, a letter from Thomas Turner in the May 31, 1805 Boston Repertory states, "an opinion has existed . . . that this very Sally is the natural daughter of Mr. Wales, who was the father of the actual Mrs. Jefferson." John Wayles was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England January 31,1715. John died 23 May 1773 in The Forest, Charles City Co., Virginia, at 57 years of age.

He married three times. He married Martha Eppes in Henrico County, Virginia, ca 1746. Martha is the daughter of Col. Francis Eppes. He married Tabitha Cocke. There is some question as to the surname of Tabitha. Bear in his "The Hemings Family of Monticello" says that her surname was Cocke , but in his book The Slave Children of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel H. Sloan says that it is more likely Cooke.

He married Elizabeth Lomax 1760. Elizabeth died 10 Feb 1761. In addition to being Sally Hemings' father, he was also her owner. John Wayles was a slave owner who fathered six children with his slave, Elizabeth "Betty" Hemings.

John Wayles and Martha Eppes had the following child:

2 i. Martha Wayles was born in Charles City Co., Virginia 19 Oct 1748. Martha died 6 Sep 1782 in Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, at 33 years of age. She married twice. She married Bathurst Skelton 1766. Bathurst was born Jun 1744. Bathurst died bef 1 Sep 1771. His will was proved in Charles City County, Virginia on 1 September 1771. She married Thomas Jefferson in The Forest, Charles City Co., Virginia, 1 Jan 1772. Thomas was born in Shadwell, Goochland, Virginia 2 Apr 1743. Thomas was the son of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph. Thomas died 4 Jul 1826 in Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, at 83 years of age.

John Wayles and Tabitha Cocke had the following children:

Elizabeth Wayles. She married Francis Eppes. Francis is the son of Richard Eppes.

Tabitha Wayles.

Anne Wayles. She married Henry Skipwith in Charles City Co., Virginia, 7 Jul 1773.

John Wayles and Elizabeth Hemings had the following children:

Robert Hemings was born 1762. Robert died 1819 in Richmond, Virginia, at 57 years of age. He married Dolly bef 1794. Robert was freed upon the death of his master 1794.

James Hemings was born 1765. James died 1801 at 36 years of age. James was freed upon the death of his master 1796. His death was a result of suicide and there is conjecture that heavy drinking was involved, based on a letter from William Evans to Thomas Jefferson in which Evans verified for Jefferson the way James died.

Thenia Hemings was born 1767. Thenia died aft 1795.

Critta Hemings was born 1769. Critta died aft 1827.

Peter Hemings was born 1770. Peter died aft 1827.

Sally Hemings was born in Guinea Plantation, Cumberland, Virginia 1773. Sally died 1835 in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, at 62 years of age.

After the death of his first wife, Martha Eppes (the mother of Mrs. Jefferson), John Wayles married two more times; he married secondly to Mary Cocke by whom he had one [name unknown] daughter who died young; John Wayles married a third time, on 3, January 1760 to Elizabeth Lomax, with whom he had three daughters. After the death of Elizabeth Lomax (28 May 1763), Wayles took the half-black half-white slave Betty Hemings as his concubine and had six children by her. Betty Hemings was mentioned in the will of John Wayles, thus providing evidence that she really was his mistress and not merely his slave.

The first husband of Elizabeth Lomax was Reuben Skelton - he was the brother of Martha Jefferson's first husband, Bathurst Skelton; thus Martha Wayles Skelton's brother-in-law was her stepmother's first husband.

Ancestry: English; Martha Jefferson's father was an English immigrant. Her maternal great-great grandparents Francis Eppes and his wife Frances emigrated from England to Virginia sometime before 1659.

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His estate near Williamsburg called 'The Forest', was amoung the biggest and most productive in all of Virginia.

Married three times.

  • 1. Martha Eppes Wayles who died within three weeks of her daughter Martha's birth.
  • 2. A Miss Cocke who bore four daughter, three of whom, Elizabeth, Tabitha and Anne who grew to maturity.
  • 3. Elizabeth Lomax, widow of Reuben Skelton, who survived only eleven months after her marriage to John Wayles.
  • Also fathered Sally Hemmings 1773 by a slave mistress Elizabeth 'Betty' Hemmings after his wife died.

Links

-------------------- John Wayles emigrated to Virginia in the 1730's. With his partner, Elizabeth, they had six children: Robert, James, Critta, Thenia, Peter and Sally Hemings.

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John Wayles of "The Forest"'s Timeline

1715
January 31, 1715
St. Mary's Parish, Lancaster, Lancashire, England
1738
1738
- present
Age 22
Green Springs Plantation, Virginia
1741
1741
- present
Age 25
1746
May 3, 1746
Age 31
Charles City, Virginia, United States
1748
October 30, 1748
Age 33
Charles City, Virginia, Colonial America
1749
1749
Age 33
Henrico, VA
1749
Age 33
Henrico, Virginia, United States
1752
February 24, 1752
Age 37
Virginia
1753
November 10, 1753
Age 38
Charles City, VA
1753
Age 37
Charles City, VA, USA