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Lucy Nelson's Geni Profile

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Lucy Nelson (Grymes)

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Middlesex, Virginia
Death: Died in Hanover, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Doswell, Virginia, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Col Philip Grymes and Mary Grymes
Wife of Gen. Thomas Nelson, Jr., signer of the "Declaration of Independence"
Mother of William Nelson; Thomas Nelson, Jr; Philip Nelson; Francis Nelson; Judge Hugh Nelson and 7 others
Sister of John Grymes; Philip Ludwell Grymes; John Randolph Grymes; Charles Grymes; Susanna Burwell and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lucy Nelson

Birth: Aug. 24, 1743 Middlesex County Virginia, USA Death: Sep. 18, 1830 Hanover County Virginia, USA

Patriot, wife of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Family links:

 Philip Grymes (1720 - 1768)
 Mary Randolph Grymes (1729 - 1768)

 Thomas Nelson (1738 - 1789)

 Thomas Nelson (1764 - 1804)*
 Philip Nelson (1766 - 1851)*
 Francis Nelson (1767 - 1833)*
 Hugh Nelson (1768 - 1836)*
 Elizabeth Nelson Page (1770 - 1853)*
 Mary Nelson Carter (1774 - 1803)*
 Robert Nelson (1778 - 1818)*
 Susan Nelson Page (1780 - 1850)*
 Susannah Nelson Page (1780 - 1819)*
 Judith Nelson Nelson (1782 - 1869)*
  • Calculated relationship

Inscription: In Memory of Lucy Nelson, Wife of Gov. THomas Nelson, Died 9/18/1830; 87 yeras old, wife of a signer of the Declarationof Independence 1743-1830

Note: Based on the calendar and the date of birth I have, it should read 25 days. Thus if anyone has a different opinion on the birth date it would be welcomed. If the number is 14 then the birth date would have been Sept. 4.


Burial: Fork Episcopal Church Cemetery Doswell Hanover County Virginia, USA Plot: 2 graves over from the large flat monument which is also to a Lucy but very hard to read


A Very interesting story I found on findagrave today about Lucy from one of her close family descendants. Thought I would share it with you about this remarkable women from that era. We women now days have no idea how are for mother lived in years of our past. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "This is a quote from Bishop William Meade's "Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia" The books in two volumes are now available for fee on Google Books. This selection is found on pages 423-424 Volume II "I must also add a few words concerning the widow of General Nelson. The old lady (who was blind for the last seventeen years of her life, and who lived a much longer period than that in Hanover) was an example of the sweetest piety. We have said on a former occasion that we often administered the Holy Communion to her and numbers of her descendants in her room, and on one occasion to more than forty, in that and the passage adjoining, nearly all of whom were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I omitted to mention one constant recipient of the sacrament,- her old and venerable servant, the only property she had in the world, for the house in which she lived, humble as it was, was not her own, and the small funds she annually received were the interest of a few thousand dollars which at her death belonged to some kind creditors of General Nelson, who allowed her the use of it during life. This servant was a member of the Baptist Church, who thought the rule which forbade intercommunion with others was more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Having been taught to read, and reading well, she was a great comfort to her mistress, and read to her all the best books on religious subjects as they appeared, during many of the last years of her life. At her death, she bequeathed to this servant all she had to bequeath, -her freedom,-well knowing that the whole family would see that freedom should not become poverty and want to her. There was, indeed, one small legacy she had been saving; it was twenty dollars, which was found carefully enfolded, with a direction that it be given to her minister. In proof of the rigid economy she had practiced, and the strict principle on which she had practiced it, it is not unworthy of being told, that only a few nights before her death, and when a number of her children and descendants were sitting around the fire, and supposing she was asleep, the silence was broken by her saying, "Don't bury me in my new gown," to which one of them playfully replied, "Oh, no; don't be troubled: we will put all the old rags around you that we can find." Her remains lie buried at the east end of the Old Fork Church in the midst of a number of the family." This footnote follows: "In connection with old Mrs. Nelson, the following circumstance deserves to be mentioned, not more to show the patriotic spirit which animated the breasts of young and old at the breaking out of the war, but chiefly to illustrate the parental authority and filial submission which characterized the days of our forefathers. When the British were about landing on James River, and Yorktown was peculiarly exposed, General Nelson, then in arms against them, was obliged to send Mrs. Nelson, with an infant three weeks old, to the upper country. When near Williamsburg she met a company of youths, some of them mere boys, armed with their guns, and marching down to fire at the enemy. On meeting the well-known old English coach, they halted and presented arms to Mrs. Nelson, wishing to show her all honour. She received their salutation very courteously, but, perceiving among them two of her own sons, mere boys at the preparatory school, she directed the coachman to stop, and, opening the door, requested them to enter the carriage. Mortifying as it must have been to them, they were too much accustomed to obey to think of refusing. Taking them with her, she sent them to Philadelphia to complete their education, placing them under the care of Mr. Rittenhouse. One of these youths, Mr. Thomas Nelson, was afterward private secretary to General Washington while President, and a great favourite with him and Mrs. Washington. This is only one of a thousand instances which might be adduced to prove that, however we may in some respects have improved on the manners and habits of our ancestors, we certainly have not in the prompt submission to the will of parents and authority of teachers. The Revolution, with all its blessings, has nevertheless been attended with one evil,-that of insubordination to those in authority, whether parents or others. I shall have occasion to speak of one of the old clergy, who, though importuned to resume the office of teacher after the establishment of our independence, could not be prevailed on to undertake it, saying that it was hard enough to govern boys before, but as for these little democrats he would have nothing to do with them. So important do I deem this subject, that, at the risk of seeming to be very egotistical, as I must have often done already, I add the following. Soon after my father's death my mother sent me to Princeton College. While there, the great rebellion took place, in which one hundred and fifty out of two hundred took part, and for which they were all sent home. Being among the dismissed, and returning home and unable to justify the act, my mother, who was of the old Virginia school, hesitated not to send me back again, with acknowledgment of error and promise of future good behaviour. Nor did I hesitate to obey, for the habit of submission to her authority had been established from my earliest years. There were fifty other sons at that time whose parents or guardians adopted the same course. I fear that it would be difficult now to find many who would follow their example, even in relation to the misconduct of boys at a high-school, so independent have our sons become. I am not given to croaking, or to complaining that "the former days were better than these," as I believe the contrary to be true; but in this respect I believe there is a deterioration. It is due to those who were concerned in the above mentioned rebellion, to say that, with a few exceptions, there probably never was a collegiate outbreak in which there was less guilt than in this, by reason of misunderstanding and the artful imposition of some ringleaders. Still, it was hard to retract and ask pardon." - Andy Keller

Added: Jan. 30, 2012

Hugh Nelson (Find A Grave Memorial# 7787236) was also a son but has to be linked by FindAGrave. - Andy Keller

Added: Dec. 25, 2011 "

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lucy Grymes Nelson

                   Lucy Grymes became the wife of Thomas Nelson, of York who signed the Declaration of Independence.  She was the daughter of Philip Grymes, Esquire, of Middlesex County, Virginia, and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir John Randolph of Williamsburg.  Lucy was considered to be "a beautiful girl of refined manners and retiring nature when she married Thomas on August 29, 1762.
                   The union of Lucy and Thomas was considered to be very appropriate and fitting.  Lucy was a little younger than Thomas.  She was the daughter of a wealthy planter who was "prominent in the business and political life of the Province" as well as being "noted for his public spirit and hospitality.  She was also related, through her mother, to "many of the notable families of Virginia."
                   Thomas descended from Thomas Nelson who moved to Virginia in the early 1700s.  According to Bishop Meade's Recollections, the elder Thomas Nelson "founded the town of York …, established a mercantile business, and [became] wealthy."  Thomas's family married into other York County families and had strong connections there.  Thomas received his education at Trinity College in England and returned to America about a year before he married.  He lived in York in "much style and hospitality."
                   Soon after Thomas married Lucy, he was elected to the House of Burgesses where he began his lifetime public service.  He was also a militia colonel, brigadier-general of the Virginia troops, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and governor of Virginia.  He was a very active patriot in the American cause of liberty and donated much of his fortune to aid the cause.  Governor Thomas Nelson was one of the sons of Virginia who was well known for supporting the struggle for independence from England, and he did so with the full support of Lucy.
                   Thomas and Lucy were parents of eleven children:  William (born 1763; married Sally Burwell, eldest daughter of Governor John Page); Thomas Nelson, Jr. (born 1764; married Frances, also a daughter of Governor John Page); Philip Nelson (born 1766; married Sarah N. Burwell of Clarke County); Francis Nelson (born 1767; married Lucy, youngest daughter of Hon. John Page of Gloucester {now Matthews} County); Honorable Hugh Nelson (born 1768; married Eliza, daughter of Francis Kinlock of South Carolina); Elizabeth Nelson (born 1770; married Mann Page, eldest son of Governor John Page); Mary Nelson (born 1774; married Robert Carter of Shirley); Lucy Nelson (born 1777; married Carter Page of Cumberland County as his second wife); Robert Nelson (born 1778; married Judith Carter, youngest daughter of Governor John Page; was Chancellor of William and Mary College where he was Professor of Law for many years); Susannah Nelson (born 1780; married Francis Page of Hanover County, son of Governor John Page); Judith Nelson (born 1783; married Captain Thomas Nelson of Hanover County).  Five of the children married five of the children of Governor John Page, and two of them married children of Honorable John Page of Gloucester County.
                   Thomas died on January 4, 1789, at age fifty, and Lucy lived to be eighty, surviving him by many years.  According to Bishop Meade, she left "twenty dollars to her minister and freedom to her [only] servant…."
                   Thomas' biographer wrote "he descended into the grave honoured and beloved, and alas! of his once vast estates, that honour and love was almost all that he left behind him.  He had spent a princely fortune in his Country's service; his horses had been taken from the plough and sent to drag the munitions of war; his granaries had been thrown open to a starving soldiery and his ample purse had been drained of its last dollar, when the credit of Virginia could not bring a sixpence into her treasury.  Yet it was the widow of this man who, beyond eighty years of age, blind, infirm, and poor, had yet to learn whether republics can be grateful."
                   Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers:  The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 250-254.

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Lucy Nelson's Timeline

Middlesex, Virginia
August 9, 1763
Age 13
Yorktown, VA, USA
December 27, 1764
Age 14
Yorktown York County Virginia, USA
March 4, 1766
Age 16
Yorktown, VA, USA
June 25, 1767
Age 17
Yorktown, York, Virginia
September 30, 1768
Age 18
Yorktown, VA, USA
December 26, 1770
Age 20
Yorktown York County Virginia, USA
December 19, 1774
Age 24
Yorktown, York County, Province of Virginia
Age 24
Virginia, United States