Is your surname Jefferson?

Research the Jefferson family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

John Jefferson

Birthplace: Pettistree, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Death: circa 1671 (57-66)
Dullingham House, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Samuel Jefferson, I and Elizabeth Jefferson (Carr)
Brother of Samuel Jefferson, II; Richard Jefferson; Thomas Jefferson and Susan Jefferson

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Jefferson

The family also spelled their surname Jeaffreson or Jeafferson. They had been local landowners in Suffolk for several generations by 1600 although some say their origins were Welsh.

In 1624, John Jefferson's father left England with his older brother, Lt. (later Colonel) John Jefferson II, for the West Indies. The two men were by that time mariners (merchant sailors). They were led by a close family friend, Sir. Thomas Warner, a friend of King James I and known English explorer.[1]

Within 4 to 5 years, Colonel John and Samuel Jefferson had made their fortunes on the island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts), in the Leeward Islands, having established the first permanent English colony in the Caribbean. Samuel Jefferson then had his wife and two oldest sons: Samuel Jr. and John brought from England to live on their "Red Door" plantation, St. Kitts, British West Indies. John Jefferson was about 20 years old when he left England for his father's tropical tobacco plantation. His older brother had already married, in Suffolk, England, and took his bride with him.

John Jefferson spent the next 15 or so years in the Leeward Islands, no doubt helping his father run their mercantile enterprises there and perhaps also becoming a mariner himself. Unlike his older brother, he decided not to live his life in the Caribbean or North American colonies and so at some time, before 1650, he returned to England. There, he became the confidant and companion to his now-well-known uncle, Colonel John Jefferson II, who, despite his age (he was 65+) commanded the merchant marine vessel "William & Mary" with over 140 men aboard, during the 1st Anglo-Dutch War in 1653.

John Jefferson married a woman named Sarah (Unknown), most likely in Suffolk, England. When his uncle, already in his 60's, had a son, Christopher (after their Caribbean island), in 1650, he named his nephew: John Jefferson as the boy's guardian and keeper of his estates, should he die before the child reached his majority. Col. John Jefferson II died in 1660 and his nephew, John Jefferson, assumed his guardianship, living at Dullingham House, Newmarked, Cambridge-shire, Col. Jefferson's primary estate. He also inherited a sizeable property known as Roushall, in the Parish of Clopton, Suffolk, England from his uncle.

John and his wife Sarah lived at Dullingham House for the rest of their lives. His cousin and ward, Christopher Jefferson (who spelled his name "Jeaffreson"), lived with them there until 1667 when, in accordance with his father's wishes, he was apprenticed to "a man of good condition and conversation". He then was sent to France for 2 years to complete his education in business training.

Christopher's guardian, John Jefferson, died in 1671 when his ward reached his majority. A year later, at 22 years old, the young man married the daughter of a neighboring gentleman, Col. George Gamiell, but alas, his wife died shortly after their wedding, having had no children. So Christopher, in turn, left England in 1676 bound for the Leeward Islands that had inspired his name. Although their names are not known, as Christopher Jefferson died without issue, his English properties were inherited by his cousin and guardian, John Jefferson's children, as it's reported there was still a "Jeaffreson family" related to Christopher, living at Dullingham House in the 18th Century.

view all

John Jefferson's Timeline

December 24, 1609
Pettistree, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Age 61
Dullingham House, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, England