Notes for Thomas Jefferson II: Thomas Jefferson II, the son of Thomas Jefferson I and Mary Branch, was born about 1677 at Jefferson's Landing (later renamed Osborne's), in Henrico Co. Virginia, where he lived out his life in the Curles of the James River.
Thomas II was about 20 years old when his father, Thomas Jefferson I, died in 1697 leaving him one third of his estate valued at 97 pounds exclusive of Negro slaves and crops. His mother served as executrix of the estate as decreed in Henrico Court on December 1, 1697 when it ordered the division of the estate as specified in the will between Mary Branch Jefferson, Thomas II and younger sister Martha.
By the beginning of the eighteenth century Thomas Jefferson II had acquired the status of a gentleman. His friends included the aristocratic land-rich Randolphs, and he was the first Jefferson to make a family connection with them. His 1697 marriage to Mary Field was from both a financial and social standpoint of view an advantageous alliance. Mary Field was the daughter of Maj. Peter Field and Judith Soane (widow of Henry Randolph), herself daughter of a former Speaker of the House of Burgesses. One mark of his entry into the gentry class was ownership, just prior to his marriage, of a racing mare called Bony, who won at least one high-stakes race. On April 1, 1698 one such race ended up in the law courts. Jefferson's mare, Bony, had run against a horse named Watt for a wager of five pounds, quite a substantial sum at that time. Bony won, but the owner of Watt refused to pay up. Whereupon young Jefferson entered suit at the Varina Courthouse and won his case.
On April 1, 1701, three years after his fathers death, his widowed mother Mary Branch Jefferson married Joseph Mattox of Charles City County.
Like many Virginia planters, he received large grants of the colony's open lands for importing laborers. At first they were white indentured servants who paid off their ship's passage to America and received small farms from the colony in exchange for seven years of hard labor. According to the quitrent rolls of 1704, Captain Jefferson owned 492 acres in Henrico County: October 20, 1704 Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Harris, Matthew Branch, and Thomas Turpin patented land in Henrico Co., Virginia for 628 acres on the South side of the James River, beginning at a poplar in a branch of Lucy's Spring for the transportation of 13 persons to Virginia. (Patents 9, p. 627.)
He became a captain of the county militia and, after musters, dined with the other militia officers. At one roast-beef dinner at his house, on October 2, 1711, Jefferson played host to the wealthiest men in Virginia, including Col. William Byrd of Westover, owner of some 170,000 acres (recorded in Byrd's Diary).
In 1714 came his appointment as a "gentleman justice" of Henrico County. He held the position of Justice of the Peace for almost 20 years.
Living in Henrico Southside in the Curles at Osborne, he was very active in the life of the county. He and Mary became parents of six children between 1698 to 1714. Each of their births were recorded in the Jefferson family bible. In 1707 Mary's father, Maj. Peter Field, died leaving her land on the Roanoke River which was later deeded to second son Field Jefferson for his future. Engaged in numerous land transactions after the manner of the enterprising planters of the day Jefferson received several grants of land; one in 1715 of 1,500 acres on Fine Creek above the Falls he later willed to his son Peter, father of the President.
Mary Field Jefferson died in August 1715 leaving Thomas with six children at home; Judith, the eldest was 17, Thomas III almost 15, Field 13, Peter 8, Martha 4, and Mary about one year. Only eldest son, Thomas Jefferson III, received a quality education as he was expected to inherit the bulk of his father's estate. Third son, Peter Jefferson, eager to learn, became largely self taught.
By 1718 Thomas Jefferson II had acquired enough social status to be elected sheriff of Henrico County, a position he held for at least two years, and was once recompensed for extraordinary services. There can be no question of official standing or sense of public responsibility. In this society the two were inseparable.
July 12, 1718 Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Turpin, John Artcher, and Robert Eseley pantented land in Henrico Co., Virginia for 1500 acres at a place called Fine Creek; beginning above the upper fall of the said creek, to a branch of the upper Monakin Town Creek; to mouth of Spring Run, for three pounds and the importation of 18 persons. This land was also later willed to son Peter Jefferson. (Patents 10, p. 378.)
In late 1720 the Jefferson family suffered a substantial financial loss due to a fire. On December 8, 1720 Captain Jefferson presented a petition to the Virginia Assembly "setting forth his great loss sustained by fire and praying relief thereon." It was not stated where the fire occurred or what damage was done, nor does the record disclose what disposition was made of his petition. Later when he could not honor a debt of 6,480 pounds of tobacco, the specie of the colony, the Henrico County Court attached his plantation for debt.
In Henrico County, May 1721 court: Thomas Jefferson vs Thomas Pruit and Mary (his wife; Mary Chastain Ducray Pruett) for debt of 3 pounds 16 shillings. He settled for 15 shillings and 10 pence.
A few years after the death of his first wife, Thomas Jefferson II remarried to Alice Aisley Ward. Alice Jefferson is listed in land sale records in which she released her dower rights in 1721 and 1723. It is believed that Alice Jefferson died soon after (between 1723-25) since she was not listed in her husbands will, written in 1725. Tragically in 1723, eldest son, Thomas Jefferson III, perished at sea "he being on a voyage on board the Williamsburg," commanded by Capt. Isham Randolph (father of Jane Randolph who would marry Peter Jefferson and become mother of President Thomas Jefferson).
In 1723 Captain Jefferson supervised the building of a church in Bristol Parish, long called "Jefferson's Church."
On March 15, 1725 Thomas Jefferson II wrote his will in Henrico County. In it he made several bequests to his daughter Judith Farrar, who married George Farrar about 1717, among them a share in the proceeds from the sale of his "half of Gilly's Mill, the land mortgaged by (Mr. Richard) Grill," etc. Later on November 4, 1728 (the year following the sale of Farrar's Island to the Randolphs) Thomas Jefferson II won a law suit against Matthew Ligon for rightful possession of this land, being 150 acres the upper half of a tract taken up by Richard Grills in 1710 and deeded to Thomas Jefferson September 12, 1717. Mathew Ligon was then ordered to turn the property over to "George Farrar and his heirs forever." This transfer recorded at Varina Court, 1st Monday in April 1729. Already having willed part of this property to Judith Farrar, Thomas Jefferson II, after winning the suit, decided to give her the whole plantation in his lifetime and thus deeded it to her in the name of her husband George Farrar. The eldest surviving son, Field Jefferson, had already received a tract of land which had been left to his mother by Major Peter Field and is thought to have received the property at Osborne's by law of primogeniture explaining its omission from the will.
Thomas Jefferson II died on February 18, 1731 at the age of 53.
WILL OF THOMAS JEFFERSON II, written March 15, 1725. Recorded April 1731
In the Name of God Amen. I THOMAS JEFFERSON being in Health and perfect Memory, do make this my last Will and Testament in Manner and form following. Imprimis: I give unto my son FIELD JEFFERSON a Mourning Ring of the Value of twenty Shillings.
ITEM. I give unto my son PETER JEFFERSON and to his Heirs forever all my land on Fine Creek and on Manakin Creek, but if my said Son should die before he be Twenty One Years of Age, then I give my Land aforesaid to be equally divided between my Three Daughters JUDITH, MARY, and MARTHA and their heirs forever. I also give unto my Son PETER my Chest and Wearing Cloathes with the Cloth and Trimming that is in the Chest, my Cane, Six Silver Spoons, which I bought of Turpin, two Horses named Normand Squirrell, my Trooping Arms and Gunn I had of Joseph Wilkinson, two Featherbeds, Ruggs and Blankets, one Suit of Curtains and Vallains, a Diaper Table Cloth and six Napkins, two Iron Potts and Hooks, one large and one small, A brass Kettle I had of Thomas Edwards, the Couch standing in the Hall and the two Tables standing there, six Leather Chairs, half my Stock of Cattle, Sheep and Hogs, on condition my Son PETER live to be Twenty One years old, but if he die before he arrive to that age then I give the said two Negros and all the Things aforementioned to be equally divided between my two daughters MARY and MARTHA and their Heirs for ever.
ITEM. I give unto my Daughter MARY a Rush Leather Trunk marked MI and Six Silver Spoons, Six Leather Chairs.
ITEM. I will and direct that my one half Part of Gilly's Mill, the Land I lately bought of George Carter, the Land mortgaged by Grill and all the remaining part of my Estate (except my Two Negros Jenny and Nanny) be sold by Major William Kennon and Henry Wood and that Ten Pounds of the Money (after my just Debts are first paid and discharged) be given unto my Daughter JUDITH FARRAR and the remaining Part be equally divided between my Two Daughters MARY and MARTHA.
ITEM. I give unto my Daughter JUDITH FARRAR my Black Walnut Safe and Silver Tumbler and Three Silver Spoons.
ITEM. I give unto my Daughter MARTHA and to her Heirs for ever my Negro Girl Nanny. I also will that the Labour of my Negro Woman Jenny shall be towards the maintaining my Daughter and that when my said Daughter shall be sixteen years old I will and devise my said Negro Jenny and all her increase to be equally divided between my Daughters MARY and MARTHA and their Heirs for ever.
ITEM. I desire my Sister MARTHA WINN to take care of my Daughter MARTHA and I desire Capt. Henry Randolph to take care of my Daughter MARY.
ITEM. My will is that if my Daughter MARY or MARTHA die before they are of Age or married that then the several legacies hereby bequeathed be and remain to the Survivour of them. If they both die then that every Thing given them in this Will be equally divided between my Son PETER and my Daughter JUDITH FARRAR and their Heirs.
ITEM. My Will is that if my Son FIELD or his Heirs shall recover the Money I received for those Negros that were hanged that the same be equally paid out of what I have given my Son PETER and two Daughters MARYand MARTHA.
ITEM. I constitute and appoint my Son PETER Executor of this my last Will. Witness my Hand and Seal this 15th Day of March 1725.
Witnesses: Benj: Branch (signed) THO. JEFFERSON (Seal) Henry Moody
Proved in Henrico County Court, First Monday in April 1731 by PETER JEFFERSON.
Test Bowler Cocke, Clerk ****** After their fathers death Field Jefferson and younger brother Peter (Executor of the will- who had been living in a cabin at Fine Creek) remained at Osborne's. Together they operated a ferry across the James River for which the parish duly paid them in pounds of tobacco, the legal tender of the time. Field also received payment for "Sitting up horse blocks at the Church." But neither stayed on in the place they were born and raised. Field moved to Lunenburg County and became a justice of the peace, while Peter returned to the lands at Fine Creek he'd inherited from his father.
Sources: "Some Farrar's Island Descendants" by Alvahn Holmes. "Thomas Jefferson A Life" by Willard Sterne Randall. "Thomas Jefferson A Biography" by Nathan Schachner Book: Cavaliers and Pioneers
More About Thomas Jefferson II and Mary Field: Marriage: October 20, 1697, Henrico Co. Virginia.
Children of Thomas Jefferson II and Mary Field are:
+Judith Jefferson, b. August 30, 1698, Osbornes, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. November 1786, St. James Parish, Mecklenburg Co Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson III, b. September 24, 1700, Osbornes, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. February 14, 1722/23, Died at Sea.
Field Jefferson, b. March 16, 1701/02, Osbornes, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. February 10, 1765, Mecklenberg Co. Virginia.
+Peter Jefferson, b. February 29, 1707/08, Osbornes, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. August 17, 1757, Shadwell, Goochland Co. (now Albemarle Co.) Virginia.