Evelyn Family

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson

MY SOUTHERN FAMILIES, by Hiram Kennedy Douglass

(1967: World Nobility and Peerage, The Blackmore Press, Gillingham, Dorset)

Title page markings:
Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Jul 30 1993


Date Microfilm 5-15-72
Item on Roll 1
Camera No. SLC 3
Catalogue No. 89563

Source information courtesy of Janice LaFountain. Scanned and edited by Stephen M. Lawson.

Refer to the original for narrative on other connected family lines, including Harden, Kennon, Munford, Pettus, Shelburne, Walker, Worsham, and Wyatt.

Pages 153-57.


Arms: Gules, a griffin passant or, on a chief of the second three mullets sable.
Crest: A demi-hind ermine vulned on the shoulder gules.
Seats: Wotton House, Surrey County, England (near Dorking), Evelynton Manor, Maryland.

THIS long-established and prominent family has lived in the environs of London or within twenty-five miles of the center of London, for five hundred years; two brothers were in Virginia as early as 1634 and two years later one of these, George Evelyn was at the Isle of Kent and was one of the first gentlemen to be favored with a manorial grant in the Colony of Maryland Their father, Robert Evelyn was a member of the Virginia Company in 1609 and his name appears in the list of Adventurers in 1618 and 1620.

They have been staunchly loyal to the Crown and Church, even during the regime of Cromwell; the social position has been the best, short of the peerage, being listed for several generations among the county gentry. In 166o and again in 1763 members of the family received a baronetcy; the Earls of Rothes have Evelyn blood. The family became famous by the rare talents of some sons of the family--of the name and others-in scientific, literary and governmental activities, both in England and in America. It is then, an honored name and family.

Robert Evelyn's very early connection with Virginia make his descendants eligible to the Order of First Families of Virginia and George Evelyn's being Lord of the Manor of Evelynton made his descendants eligible to Descendants of Lords of the Maryland Manors; I have the honor to represent the family in the last-named. Society.

1. William Evelyn of Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, died in 1470.

2. Roger Evelyn, died in 1490, married Alice daughter and heir of _________ Ayleward.

3. John Evelyn of Kingston, died in 1520, married a daughter of David Vincent, Esq.

4. George Evelyn of Long Ditton, near Surbiton in Surrey, was the first member of the family to be seated at Wotton; he was buried in 1603 in the chancel of Wotton Church. He made his name by being the first in England to bring the art of making gunpowder to perfection. He was twice married: first to Rose daughter of Thomas Williams, brother and heir of Sir John Williams, Knt. and second to Joan ________.

5. An elder son inherited Wotton House, had a son named Richard who was the father of John Evelyn, born October 31, 1620 at Wotton House. John was at Balliol College, Oxford in 1637, started on his extensive continental travels in 1643; in 1646 he was in Paris were,. he met Mary daughter and heir of Sir Richard Browne and married her in June of the next year when she was twelve years of age. He was a devout communicant of the English Church, a friend of Charles II with whom he kept in. contact by code during the Commonwealth. He was a promoter of the Royal Society and in 1662 Charles II made him a member of its council; he lived in the favor of the court until his death at Wotton in 1706; he had gone there in 1694 to live with his brother whose heir he was He is remembered chiefly by his Diary which began in 1640 and continued until his death.

5. Robert Evelyn, third son of Geoorge Evelyn, was born at Wotton House ca. 1570 and died in 1639 at Godstone, Surrey, married on Monday, October 19, 1590, Susan daughter of Gregory Younge of Yorkshire and sister of Captain Thomas Younge. He and his brother John with others received a grant in 1609 to make gunpowder for ten years and had the sole right. His interest from 1599 in the Virginia Colony and his being an Adventurer, as stated above, established the family on this side the Atlantic.

6. Robert Evelyn, younger son, born 1606, Captain, was in Virginia as early as 1634, employed by the King with his uncle Capt. Thomas Younge to explore the Chesapeake parts of the North Atlantic Coast. He was surveyor General of Virginia and a member of the Council in 1637. He died in 1649.

6. George Evelyn, son and heir of Robert Evelyn, Sr. was born at Godstone, Surrey, January 31, a Monday, 1592 and was baptised February 11, at St. Peter's Church, Cornhill, London, where his parents had been married. He married Jane, daughter of Richard Crane of Dorset. He entered the Middle Temple October 24, 1620 and was in Virginia as early as December 16, 1634 when Governor John Harvey entrusted him with a letter to Secretary Windebank. In 1636 he appeared on the Isle of Kent as an agent for Clobery and, Company, the English concern interested in establishing trading posts in the upper Chesapeake--this island is due east of Annapolis and so a considerable distance from Virginia. On December 30, 1637 the Governor of Maryland, Leonard Calvert, appointed his "good friend, Captain George Evelyn, Commander of the Isle of Kent and its inhabitants". After completing his mission there he moved onto the mainland of Maryland, received a considerable grant and became Lord of Evelynton Manor, being one of the first so favored. In 1649 on one of his visits to England he visited his cousin, John Evelyn the diarist.

7. Montjoy Evelyn married Dorothea Robins and died before 1662 leaving a son, George. His father bought 650 acres in James City County, Va: in 1649 which he gave his son Montjoy the following year.

7. Rebecca Evelyn was left over five hundred acres of land in James City County by her first husband, Bartholomew Knipe and was married by 1658 to Daniel Parke who had arrived in Virginia by 1650; he was Burgess from York County in 1666, member of the Council and secretary of Virginia, 1678-9 and a vestryman of Bruton Parish Church. The memorial plaque there says he died in 1679

8. Christopher Knipe, born ca. 1634, who fell heir to the James City estate of his father.

8. By her second marriage, Evelyn, Rebecca, Jane and Daniel Parke. The last was born before 1670 and lived about forty years when he was killed in a riot at Antigua in December 1710. He was born in York County, was a member of the Council in 1692, went to England and fought at the Battle of Blenheim and was appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands. He married Lucy Ludwell.

9. Lucy Parke, married Colonel William Byrd II of Westover, Charles City County, founder of Richmond, Va: From them descended, among others, Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd and Senator Harry Flood Byrd.

9. Frances Parke, married John Custis of Williamsburg.

10. Daniel Parke Custis who died in 1757 married as her first husband Martha Dandridge who married second Gen. George Washington.

11. John. Parke Custis, married Eleanor Calvert, a descendant of Lord Baltimore, in 1774.

12. Elizabeth Parke Custis, married Thomas Law.

12. Martha Parke Custis, married Thomas Peter; they built Tudor Place in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

12. Eleanor Custis, married Lawrence Lewis, a nephew of Gen. Washington, at Mount Vernon; they built Woodland.

12. George Washington Parke Custis, founder of Arlington, married in 1804, Mary Lee daughter of Wm. Fitzhugh of Chatham, and died in 1857.

13. Mary Ann Randolph Custis, married in 1831, General Robert Edward Lee.

7. Bridgett Evelyn, married Colonel Bridges Freeman who was at Elizabeth City, Va: by 1623; he patented land on the Chickahominy River, James City County Dec. 1, 1635. He was dead by 1664. She was "of Chickahominy River in James City Co." in 1686 when she deeded land she had inherited from her father, George Evelyn. Bridges Freeman deposed in 1629 he was aged twenty-six or thereabouts, making his birth in or about the year 1603. He transported many persons to Virginia and made further patents of land:

August 11, 1637  900 acres  West side of the Chickahominy River 
August 3, 1640   100 acres  James City County
March 1643       400 acres  at mouth of the Chickahominy River
ca 1654         1325 acres  south side of the Chickahominy River, which included
                            the 900 acres of the 1637 patent.

He represented Chickahominy in the House of Burgesses in 1632; as Captain Bridges Freeman he was a member of the Governor's Council in April 1652 and as Colonel Bridges Freeman in 1655; that is the last record of him as he did not attend the Legislature when it met in December 1656. He was married by 1632. His Will is not extant.

8. Bridges Freeman, Jr. was born ca. 1635 and was living November 10, 1682 in James City County when he was paid by the Legislature 464 lbs. of tobacco "for ferrying on ye publique accompt" (journal of House of Burgesses, p. 174). The records of James City County being entirely lost there is no way of knowing whom he married, or the names of his children.

9. A daughter, probably named Anne, born ca. 1665, married David Walker, Sr. born ca. 1650, of James City County. See the Walker Family.

The conviction that this marriage took place was reached after collecting all extant records and studying them thoroughly; the following factors contributing to the drawn conclusions;
1. The families were of the same social status to have contracted marriages with one another.
2. They lived in the same neighborhood and the fact that the population was small and by the smallness of population narrowed the possible marriages to a limitation.
3. The family name of Freeman appearing as a Christian name, as is shown below.
4. The age brackets fit perfectly. Between the birth of Bridges Freeman in 1603 and the estimated birth of 1719 for Amey Walker there are 116 years and five generations, making a generation interval of 23 years which, is possible and logical when one is reckoning with the marriages of two maidens.
5. No negative factors have been found to disprove the inheritance.

10. David Walker, Jr. baptised Feb. 25, 1699/00 (he was probably not an infant at the time of his baptism) married ca. 1718, Mary Munford. Their eighth and last child was Freeman born in 1734; their eldest was

11. Amey (or Anne) Walker born ca. 1719 married November 19, 1735 Thomas Pettus born Dec. 25, 1712; she died Oct. 22, 1778 and he died March 8, 1780 in Lunenburg County, Va: He was Burgess from Lunenburg County from 1769 to 1775.

The parents of Amey Walker Pettus are proved by an old Bible originally owned by her son, David Walker Pettus, which states "Thomas Pettus the Burgess married Nov. 10, 1735, Amey the daughter of David and Mary Walker." For their family see, the Pettus Family.

12. Anne Pettus, born Jan. 31, 1749, married Sept. 22, 1765, James Shelburne born in James City County, Nov. 29, 1738, died in Lunenburg Co. March 6, 1820; she died March 9, 1831. For their entire family see the Shelburne Family.

13. Samuel Shelburne, born in Lunenburg Co. Feb. 4, 1769; Will signed Jan. 24, 1833 and probated in Lauderdale Co., Alabama May 12, 1838. He was married three times; his third wife was Peggy Harden, daughter of Presley and Susannah Harden whom he married in Williamson County, Tenn: Sept. 25, 1812.

14. Nancy Taylor Shelburne, born 1821 in Williamson County, Tenn: died in Texas near Plano Jan. 21, 1887, married first in Lauderdale Co., Ala: in 1844, Josephus Williams, 1817-1847. Their only heir.

15. Rebecca Jane Williams, born in Lauderdale Co. Aug. 23, 1845, died in Florence Jan. 12, 1901, married March 28, 1861, Dr. James A. Douglass, born in Lauderdale Co. November 14, 1840, died Sept. 22, 1898 on his Lauderdale Co. plantation.

16. James Josephus Douglass, born Dec. 26, 1866, died June 10, 1933, married June 25, 1890, Mary Sue daughter of John Jesse Westmoreland Brookes and his wife Olive Elizabeth Kennedy, born Jan. 9, 1869 on the Brookes Plantation in Lauderdale Co. and died April 10, 1947 in Florence.

17. Hiram Kennedy Douglass. [AUTHOR]

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