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Cavendish Descendants of West Virginia - Virginia

Updated September 5, 2000

************ MOST WANTED ANCESTOR ************
********** WILLIAM Hunter CAVENDISH **********
He is my Gr-gr-gr-gr-Grandfather. I am particularly interested in information about William Hunter (Henderson, some say) CAVENDISH, born circa 1740 in Ireland. He was thought to belong to the famous Dukes of Devonshire CAVENDISH family of England, though this has yet to be documented.
The story is that William came to America with his mother and two sisters cir. 1756. Apparently mother (Margaret) had been sent to Ireland (from England) prior to William's birth so that, if a male child, he would be eligible for the House of Parliament
as one born in Ireland. However, William grew up with such strong Irish sympathies it was thought best to send him out of the country.
He married and settled on the James River near Lexington, VA, and this spot is still known as the Cavendish Farm. During the Revolutionary War William was a quartermaster general 1778-82. In 1796 he was appointed to the first Board of Visitors of Washington College (now Washington and Lee) in Lexington, VA. Proof of this is contained in the Laws of Virginia, p. 44, ch. 41, "An act for erecting Liberty Hall Academy into a College." This act was passed December 21, 1796 and includes William H. CAVENDISH of Greenbrier among the Board of Visitors. The duties of the Board of Visitors were to appoint the president and professors, remove and suspend same for good cause, fix salaries, make inspections, and control all property belonging
to the college. William served in the Assembly of Virginia 1802-1805, excepting two years he stood as Sheriff of Greenbrier County, VA, at which time he lived in Lewisburg.

W.H. Cavendish apparently had two wives, (1) Jane Murphy, who was probably the mother of most, if not all, of his children, and (2) Alice Mann, widow of McClintic.


If you are interested in joining the CAVENDISH email list to share information with others interested in this family, send a message to me at <> for details.
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Frances Cavendish Dorman

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A-United States

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