Alice Burnham / Corbin (Eltonhead)

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Alice Corbin / Burnham (Eltonhead)

Also Known As: "Alice (Eltonhead) Burnham Corbin Creek", "Burnham"
Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Eltonhead, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Middlesex, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Richard Eltonhead and Anne Stanley Eltonhead
Wife of Captain Rowland Burnham and Henry Corbin, of Rappahonack River
Mother of John Burnham; Thomas Burnham; Eleanor Burnham; Francis Burnham; Laetitia "Lettice" Lee (Corbin) and 7 others
Sister of Richard Eltonhead; William Eltonhead; Katherine Meers; Elizabeth Parham; Eleanor Carter and 3 others
Half sister of Martha Conway

Managed by: Private User
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About Alice Burnham / Corbin (Eltonhead)

in 1645, the sibling quintet of Jane, Agatha, Martha, Eleanor and Alice emigrated to America and their Uncle William was charged with finding them suitable husbands. This he dutifully did within the states of Virginia and Maryland. However, as the grooms were middle-aged, most of the young sisters were widowed within ten to fifteen years.

The youngest of them, Alice Eltonhead, is said to have waited until her sixteenth birthday in order to marry wealthy, middle-aged tobacco planter Rowland Burnham, who owned a large tract of land within Middlesex County. Burnham died in 1656 after Alice had given him three sons and a daughter. She quickly married Henry Corbin (pictured left) who was killed during an Indian uprising in 1676 and Alice remarried again in 1677.

There have been many notable descendants of the five Eltonhead sisters from Sutton. Politician James Madison {1751-1836} is often considered the "father of the constitution" and was the great-great grandson of Martha. In 1809 Madison (pictured right) became the fourth American president and is to this day remembered through Madison Avenue and Madison Square Gardens in New York City, James Madison University in Virginia and by countless counties and towns in the United States that also bear his name.

Confederate general Robert E. Lee {1807-1870} was a descendant of Alice and the present US president, Barack Obama {1961- }, can also claim his lineage from the Eltonheads. President Obama, who between 1992 and 2004 taught constitutional law and General Lee, who rebelled against the American constitution, are fifth cousins, eight times removed.


Alice Eltonhead was born at Eltonhead in 1630. She was married to her first husband, Virginia planter Rowland Burnham long enough to have three sons and a daughter. Rowland made out his will in 1655 when he was planning a voyage to London. On 25 July 1656 his 26-year-old widow married Henry Corbin, third son of Thomas Corbin and Winifred Grosvenor Corbin of Hall End in Warwickshire, England. The Maryland Provincial Court Records for 1654 show Henry Corbin trying to collect two debts -- one for 1,200 pounds of tobacco and the other for 1001 Musk Ratt skins. He was using skins to make hats in London -- where he called himself a draper.


  1. Magna Carta Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor. 2nd edition, 2011), vol. 2 p. 123


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Alice Burnham / Corbin (Eltonhead)'s Timeline

Eltonhead, Lancashire, England
Age 19
Age 21
Age 23
Age 25
August 25, 1657
Age 30
Stratfordshire, England
February 14, 1660
Age 33
Christ Church Parish, Middlesex, Virginia
November 3, 1662
Age 35
Christchurch, Middlesex, Virginia