Dr. Wilson Cary Selden

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Wilson Cary Selden

Birthplace: Loudon County, Province of Virginia
Death: March 14, 1835 (70-78)
Exeter, Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Wilson Cary Selden and Elizabeth Selden
Husband of Mary Mason Selden; Eleanor Selden and Mary Bowles Armistead
Father of Wilson Cary Selden; Lucian Cary Selden; Elizabeth Armistead Selden; John D Selden and Wilson Cary Selden
Brother of Ann Breckinridge; Sarah Cary Selden; Mary Selden; Elizabeth Selden; Rebecca Selden and 2 others

Managed by: Jacomina Pieternella de Regt
Last Updated:

About Dr. Wilson Cary Selden

Will written 26 Mar 1831, probated 12 May 1835; surgeon in Virginia Artillery Regt. in Revolutionary War; captured at St. Eustatia and remained a prisoner until 1782; purchased the Buckroe estate from his father in 1790 though later sold it; memb. of the Virginia Assembly 1793; vestryman at Leesburg; later lived at Gloucester then at "Exeter", Loudoun Co.


From the English Wikipedia page on Exeter, his home:


Exeter was a late 18th century Georgian house near Leesburg, Virginia, that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places from 1973 to August 1980, when it was destroyed by fire and subsequently de-listed from the National Register. The house and its dependencies were unusually elaborate for northern Virginia.


The house was built about 1790 by Dr. Wilson Cary Selden on a property that he had inherited from his first wife, Mary Mason Selden, who was a niece of George Mason. Selden and his second wife, Eleanor Love Selden, expanded the property as the centerpiece of a plantation. In 1835 Selden's son Wilson Cary Selden, Jr. inherited the property, but sold in 1846 to General George Rust, who expanded the house to the rear. The property played a role in the American Civil War when the Battle of Ball's Bluff was fought on the plantation's lands, with Confederate General Jubal Early using the house as a headquarters. The house had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s, and was destroyed by fire in August 1980.[2][3]


Exeter was a seven-part house. It was dominated by a two-story tetrastyle Ionic portico with Chinese Chippendale railings on the upper level, added in the 1830s to replace a one-story pedimented portico. The portico was flanked by single recessed bays, then by hyphens recessed farther back, and finally by small pavilions on either end.

The mass of the house was reduced by a gambrel roof on the upper story. The interior featured an entrance hall with a stair hall behind, with a parlor to the south and a dining room to the north. Three main bedrooms were upstairs.

The house retained most of its original woodwork. An 1850s addition housed additional rooms to the rear. A number of outbuildings surrounded the house, one of which has been restored as a community center.[3] A barn was demolished to construct the bypass for U.S. Route 15.[2]

Exeter was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973 and was de-listed after its destruction by fire in August 1980.[1][4]


  • 1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  • 2. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (January 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Exeter". National Park Service. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  • 3. ^ "About Us". Exeter Homeowner's Association. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  • 4. ^ "Properties Removed from National Register Listing". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 15 September 2011.


  • Seldens of Virginia and allied families Volume 1. by Kennedy, Mary Selden
  • https://archive.org/details/seldensofvirgini01kenn
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/76/mode/1up
  • .... etc.
  • 42 DR. WILSON CARY4 SELDEN (Cary3, Joseph2, Samuel1) was born in 1761. He married, first, Mary
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/77/mode/1up
  • Mason4 Selden (Samuel3, Joseph2, Samuel1), his first cousin (see Number 91), widow of Mann Page, by whom she had three children, William Byrd Page, John Byrd Page, and Jane Byrd Page. Doctor Selden was their guardian. (See Page Family, No. 24). She was born in 1754 and died in Winchester, September 17, 1787. He had no children by his first wife. He married, second, 1794-5, Eleanor Love, by whom he had one child. Eleanor Love was born in 1772, and was the daughter of Samuel Love, of Salisbury, Fairfax County, Virginia, and his wife, Ann Jones, of "Cleandrinking," Montgomery County, Maryland. She died April 16, 1816. Doctor Selden's third wife was Mary Bowles Armistead, daughter of Bowles and Mary (Fontaine) Armistead, and widow of Charles Alexander (See Armistead Family, No. 41 and Alexander Family, No. 6). Doctor Selden was also the guardian of the children of his third wife by her first husband, viz. : William Fontaine Alexander, who married Maria Washington ; Laura Alexander, who died at the age of fifteen; Louisa Alexander, who married Wilson Cary Selden Jr. ; Frances Mary Alexander, who married Rev. Edward Russell Lippitt; and Alfred Alexander who died young.
  • Doctor Wilson Cary Selden was born at Buckroe, the ancestral home of the family. He was educated by his brother-in-law, Doctor James McClurg, and in 1779 was appointed mate in the Marine Hospital at Hampton. In June, 1780, he was appointed surgeon of a Virginia Artillery Regiment, marching to South Carolina, where he was present at the defeat of General Gates. After a dangerous illness, Doctor Selden was advised by the medical and other officers of the army to make a sea voyage, and, three weeks after embarking on a letter of marque owned by his brother, was captured off the Island
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/78/mode/1up
  • of St. Eustatia, and carried to Antigua, where he was confined in prison until 1782, when he was paroled, but at the termination of the war, had not been exchanged. (See Toners "Medical Men of the Revolutionary Army.") The records in the War Department at Washington show that one Wilson Cary Selden served as a surgeon's mate in Edmond's Command of Virginia Artillery, Revolutionary War. His name appears on a general abstract of pay due the Virginia Artillery, on the southern expedition. This abstract, for the months of April and May, 1780, and dated June 12, 1780, bears entries relating to Selden as follows : "Time of service, two months ; pay per month, 50 ; Subs, per mo., 100 ; pay and subsistence, 300; lawful money £90." "Pensions 7443, 7444 and 7445, issued to Dr. Wilson C. Selden for services performed by Dr. Wilson C. Selden, as a surgeon in the State line for three years in the Revolutionary War," are recorded at Richmond. Another record is of an "Indenture made May 13, 1795, between Wilson Cary Selden, of Loudoun, Gent, and Nellie, his wife, of the first part, and Joseph Meredith, of the town of Hampton, of Elizabeth City County, of the second part * * *."
  • In 1790 he bought Buckroe from his father. In 1793 he was a member of the Assembly, and for many years, was a vestryman of the Episcopal Church in Leesburg. After leaving Hampton County he lived in Gloucester, and afterward at "Exeter," in Loudoun County. Doctor Edward Russell Lippitt, who was his step-grandson, wrote the following: "Exeter was named, I think, from the town or city of Exeter in England. Doctor Selden built it between 1796 and 1800. Doctor W. C. Selden (grandpa, as we called him), I remember well. He would give me his finger and lead me to his closet, where he
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/79/mode/1up
  • seemed always to have a supply of raisins or something a little child would like. I remember when he died and the funeral. He was buried at Belmont, Loudoun County. * * * I remember hearing the significance of the Selden crest spoken of * * * The Selden crest is a hand grasping a swan's neck. * * * This crest was lost by Wilson Cary Selden, Junior, in the Potomac River, near Mount Vernon, the family tradition being that this had been the seal worn by Mr. John Selden of England, the celebrated John, who was born in 1584, and died in 1654."
  • Wilson Cary Selden had, by his second marriage to Eleanor Love, one son, Wilson Cary Selden, Junior, of Loudoun, and by his third wife, Mrs. Alexander, nee Armistead, he had two sons and one daughter. His second marriage took place some time between September, 1794, and May, 1795. At this time. Doctor McClurg, in a letter to his Brother-in-law, James Breckenridge, 'says, "Wilson's wife has been with us some time. We are all very much pleased with her. She is his full match in point of size, and we may expect from them a race of gigantic order." She died at Coton, Loudoun County, Virginia, April 16, 1816, in the forty-fourth year of her age, leaving one son, Wilson Cary Selden, Junior. Her father, Samuel Love, received his estate at Salisbury, in Fairfax County, Virginia, from Queen Anne, in 1736. He and his wife, Ann (Jones) Love, had the following children: (1) Nellie (Eleanor), born 1772, died April, 1816, married Doctor Wilson Cary Selden; (2) Mary, married R. M. Scott; (3) James, married Ann ( ?) Forest; (4) Elizabeth, married John ( ?) Watson; (5) Harriet married Mr. Simmes, died without issue; (6) Ann, born in 1780, died at Keys Farm, Rose County, Ohio, October 15, 1832, aged fifty-two; married John Gaile Scott; (7) Charles married
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/80/mode/1up
  • —— Dixon, had children, and went to Nashville, Tennessee; (8) Richard, of Fairfax County, married in 1811, Eliza Matilda Lee, daughter of Ludwell and Flora Lee, born September 13, 1791, died January 22, 1875; he had six children, of whom Thomas Ludwell died young, Richard, U. S. N., born in 1815, died in 1855, married Martha Ann Pearson, Cecelia Matilda, born in 1823, died in 1850, married, in 1844, Major Lewis Addison Armistead, U. S. A.; and (9) General John, U. S. A. Eleanor (Love) Selden was buried at "Belmont," the home of Ludwell Lee (see Lee Family, Number 5).
  • Mary Bowles (Armistead) Selden, third wife of Doctor Selden, at the marriage of her step-son, Wilson Cary Selden, Junior, to her daughter by her first husband, Louisa Elizabeth Fontaine Alexander, removed from Exeter, to Mount Ida, near Alexander, where she died March 2, 1846.
  • The following is copied from the old family Bible of Mrs. James Breckenridge, of Grove Hill, Botetourt County, Virginia, in April, 1893, by Mrs. Sorrel, of Roanoke, Virginia.
  • "Departed this life Saturday, March 14, 1835, at his home Exeter, near Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, Dr. Wilson Cary Selden.
  • ... etc.
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/81/mode/1up
  • Children (by second wife):
    • 43 i Wilson Cary, married, first, Louisa Alexander, second, Elizabeth Armistead Lee.
  • (By third wife) :
    • ii Lucian Cary, b. May 29, 1818 ; d. Sept., 1850.
    • 44 iii Eliza Armistead, married John J. Lloyd.
    • 50 iv John, married, first, Annie Rebecca Kennedy, second, Sarah P. Dandridge Kennedy.
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/82/mode/1up
  • 43 WILSON CARY5 SLEDEN (Wilson Cary4, Cary3, Joseph2, Samuel1) was born in 1796. He was a planter in Loudoun County, Virginia. He married, first, December 20, 1822, Louisa Elizabeth Fontaine, daughter of Charles and Mary Bowles (Armistead) Alexander (see Alexander Family, Number 6). They were married by Reverend John Dunn. Her mother, Mrs. Alexander, had married, when a widow, Doctor Wilson Cary Selden (see Number 42). In 1835 "Exeter" became the home of Wilson Cary Selden, Junior. Louisa Elizabeth Fontaine (Alexander) Selden died October 28, 1826. .... etc.
  • Wilson Cary Selden married, second, Elizabeth Armistead, daughter of Ludwell and Elizabeth (Armistead) Lee (see Lee Family, Number 5). She was born in 1804, and died in 1887. They had no children. At Belmont, near the tomb of his first wife, she erected a tomb to the memory of her husband, who died in 1845. It is inscribed as follows :
  • "Sacred to the Memory of Wilson Cary Selden, Junior, Who departed this life on the 24th of March, 1845, aged forty-nine years.
  • .... etc.
  • Children, (by first wife) :
    • i Molly, born April 9, 1826; died 1831.
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/83/mode/1up
    • ii Eleanor Love, married John Augustine Washington. (See Washington Family, No. 8).
  • 44 ELIZA ARMISTEAD5 SELDEN .... etc.
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/347/mode/1up
  • .... etc.
  • 8 JOHN AUGUSTINE8 WASHINGTON (John Augustine7, Corbin6, William Augustine5, Augustine4, Augustine3, Lewrence2, John1) was born May 3, 1820. He mar-
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/348/mode/1up
  • ried February 10, 1843, Eleanor, daughter of Wilson Cary Selden, of Exeter, Loudoun County, Virginia. (See Selden Family, Number 43.) She was born April 12, 1824. .... etc.
  • https://archive.org/stream/seldensofvirgini01kenn#page/353/mode/1up
  • Children :
    • 9 i Louisa Fontaine, married Roger Preston Chew.
    • ii Jean Charlotte, married Nathaniel H. Willis (see Willis Family, No. 25-b).
    • iii Eliza Selden, married Maj. Robert W. Hunter (see Hunter Family, No. 20).
    • iv Anna Maria, married Rt. Rev. Beverley Dandridge Tucker (see Tucker Family, No. 37).
    • 10 v Lawrence Washington, married Fannie Lackland.
    • 12 vi Eleanor Love Selden, married Julian Howard.
    • 14 vii George, married Emily Serena Porterfield.


DAR Lineage Book, Vol. 32 page 56 & 57 -

Cary Selden, his son Dr. Wilson Cary Selden married Eleanor Love. (She is the daughter of Samuel Love, Jr. and Elizabeth Coats Jones.) Their son, Wilson Cary Selden, married Louisa Elizabeth Fontaine Alexander in 1821. Their daughter, Eleanor Love Selden (b. 1822-d.1860) married in 1843 John Augustine Washington.

Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families, page 114 -

Dr. Wilson Cary Selden first married Mary Mason, the widow of Mann Page, in 1782.

The eBook version of Seldens of Virginia, volume 1, page 77 states that there were no children by his first wife. In 1794 or 5, he marries Eleanor Love. He had one child by Eleanor Love. His third wife was Mary Bowles Armistead, the widow of Charles Alexander. He became the guardian of the issue of Mary and Charles Alexander.

eBook page 79 states "Samuel Love ...and his wife, Ann (Jones) Love, had the following children: Nellie (Eleanor) born 1772, died April, 1816, married Doctor Wilson Cary Selden..."

eBook page 82 states "Wilson Cary Selden (Wilson Cary, Cary, Joseph, Samuel) was born in 1796." He first marries Louisa..Alexander in December 1821. His second marriage is to Elizabeth Armistead Lee, daughter of Ludwell Lee and Elizabeth Armistead. No children from this marriage.

The children of Wilson (the son) and Louisa were Molly (b. 1826, d. 1831) and Eleanor Love, married John Augustine Washington. [Her vital information is apparently given at his listing.]

To confuse things more, eBook Seldens..., volume 1, page 85 to 87 states that John (son of Dr. Wilson Cary) .... had a son Wilson Cary Selden who married 1st Elizabeth Catherine Deimer and 2nd Anne B. Days. This Wilson Cary Selden was born 3/22/1846 in Jefferson county, West Virginia.


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Dr. Wilson Cary Selden's Timeline

Loudon County, Province of Virginia
Age 35
March 29, 1819
Age 58
March 24, 1820
Age 59
February 24, 1822
Age 61
Loudoun, VA, United States
March 14, 1835
Age 74
Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, United States