John Preston 1699-1747
John Preston, son of Archibald Preston, the first of the Smithfield Prestons, came to
America in 1738. John was born in Lima-Vady, a small town in Northern Ireland near
Londonderry. John was employed by Henry Patton, ship builder and owner. John married Henry Patton's daughter, Elizabeth Patton (1700-1779) in
about 1723. Henry's son, James Patton held office in the Royal Navy and was held in high
esteem by the King. As a result of this, the King gave James
Patton a grant of 120,000 acres in the Colony of Virginia, to be anywhere he so
desired west of the Blue Mountains. (Different sources report varying numbers of acres,
but the fact is they were granted land, probably several grants.) They were to establish
settlements for British subjects. Hence, John Preston, his wife Elizabeth Patton Preston,
his four children, his sister Mary and his brother-in-law, Col. James Patton (all born in
Ireland) came to America. It is believed they sailed on the ship "Walpole" owned
by James Patton. Not confirmed but believe the ship sailed from Whitehaven on 16 March
1737/38. (Another source indicates they arrived at Belhaven, near Alexandria on the
Potomac on August 26, 1738. Passage isn't that long so this may have been two different
voyages.) The "Walpole" made this journey as many as 20 times. His first
residence was at Spring Hill, Augusta Co. After John's death, his wife Elizabeth moved to
Greenfield where she remained until her death.
We know nothing about Archibald Preston, but some theorize that he was possibly from
the family of "Valley Field" Prestons, a branch of the Prestons of
Preston-Richard in the north of England.
There are many references in the literature indicating that the Walnut Grove Prestons
were cousins of the Smithfield Prestons but I do not have information on the connection.
The Walnut Grove line came to America about 30 years after the Smithfield line, and there
were several inter marriages. Virginia Tech's original name was Preston and Olin
Institute; the Preston was William Preston of the Smithfield Prestons.
John Preston and Elizabeth Patton Preston had five children, four girls and one boy.
- Letitia Preston
(1728-1798) who married Col. Robert Breckenridge. They had five children, four sons and
one daughter. They moved to Kentucky to live. Col. Breckenridge had been married before
and had two sons, Robert and Alexander. Col. Breckenridge and his second wife, Letitia,
had 4 sons and 2 daughters.
- Margaret Preston (1730-1802) who married Rev. John Brown, a Presbyterian Minister. They
also moved to Kentucky and had six children who reached maturity.
- Elizabeth Brown married Rev. Thomas B. Craighead, a well-known Presbyterian minister of
Tennessee and they had seven children. The children were:
Joseph Craighead, a physician and
planter, m. Phoebe Whyte, dau. of Judge Robert Whyte of Tennessee. They had 6 children, 3
of which died young. The remaining 3 were:
- John B. Craighead, was a planter of Iberville Parish, Louisiana. He married first Mrs.
Jane Dickerson, dau. of Col. Joseph Erwin of Louisiana and second Mrs. Beck, dau. of Gen.
James Robertson. He left two sons by his first marriage:
Thomas Craighead m. Miss Tennessee Johnson and they had one daughter:
- William Craighead died in the Confederate Army.
- Charles Craighead was a planter in Louisiana, unmarried.
- Jennie Craighead unmarried.
Jane Craighead, died unmarried>
David Craighead a lawyer and planter in Arkansas m. Mrs. Goodloe, nee Mary Macon, and
they had 5 children:
- Virginia Craighead, unmarried>
James B. Craighead m. Miss Ellen Erwin, dau. of James Erwin,
Esq., merchant of Nashville, TN. They had 2 children:
- Elizabeth Craighead died in youth.
- Mary Craighead married her relative, Thomas Preston of Walnut Grove, VA who was later
killed in the battle of Shiloh. They left one son:
- David C. Preston who lived in Nashville, TN.
Joanna Craighead m. James Ellis of Nashville, TN. They had 3 daughters who all died in
Thomas Craighead m. Miss Carter and resided in Nashville, TN. No children.
- Mary Craighead
- Erwin Craighead
James B. Craighead married his
relative, Miss Jane Preston of Walnut Grove, VA. He was a lawyer and afterwards a planter
of Marengo County, Alabama. They left six children:
- Alexander Craighead died unmarried.
- William Craighead died unmarried.
Thomas Craighead, lawyer, died unmarried.
John Brown was born in Rockbridge Co., Va, was a lawyer and statesman, represented
Kentucky as a district of Virginia in the Virginia legislature, and in Congress, the old
Congress, 1787-88. He was the first senator in Congress from Kentucky, and was twice
elected United States Senator. He was a warm personal friend of Thomas Jefferson. He
married Miss Margaretta Mason, dau. of the Rev. John Mason and sister of the Rev. John
Mason, illustrious Presbyterian minister of New York. They had two sons:
Mason Brown was a judge and
secretary of state of Kentucky. He married first Miss Judith A. Bledsoe, dau. of Hon.
Jesse Bledsoe; and second, Miss Mary Yorder (Yoder), dau. of Capt. Jacob Yorder
(Yoder) of Spencer Co., Ky.
- Daniel Craighead.
- John Craighead.
- Jennie Craighead.
- James Craighead.
- Preston Craighead.
- Thomas Craighead.
Orlando Brown was a lawyer and journalist. He married first his cousin, Mary W. Brown,
and second Mary C. Broadhead (formerly Miss. Price). He had three children by Mary Brown.
- Benjamin Gratz Brown, son of Mason Brown, went to Missouri. Great great grandson of John
Preston, was a senator from Missouri and Democratic candidate for Vice-President on the
ticket with Horace Greely, another Irish American.
- John Mason Brown, son of Mason Brown, a prominent lawyer of Lexington, married Mary
Owen, dau. of Major William Preston of Louisville.
- Mary Y. Brown, dau. of Mason Brown, married W. T. Scott of Lexington, a Col. of Kentucky
Volunteers in the United States Army.
Mary Brown married Dr. Alexander Humphrey (Humphreys ?) of Staunton, Va. After her
husband's death Mary removed to Kentucky with her family of seven children. Her son, John
B. Humphreys married Miss Kenner of Louisiana and left six children.
James Brown married Ann Hart, daughter of Col. Thomas Hart and sister of Mrs. Henry Clay
of Kentucky. He was a lawyer and first Secretary of State of Kentucky, went to Louisiana,
and was for many years senator of the United States from that state, and was United States
minister to the Court of France. He died in Philadelphia and unlike most of his kindred,
left no issue.
Samuel Brown was a distinguished
practitioner and professor of medicine. He married Miss Perey of Alabama. His issue:
- Mason P. Brown was for sometime treasurer of Kentucky.
- Orlando Brown Jr., was a lieutenant colonel in the Kentucky Volunteers and a farmer near
Preston (12/25/1730)(1783) married Susanna Smith
(1739-1823) of Hanover Co. Virginia. She was the daughter of Francis Smith and Elizabeth
Waddy. They had twelve children.
Mary Preston (1732-1814) married John Howard of Virginia. They had
- James P. Brown a lawyer and planter in Mississippi, married Miss Campbell of Nashville,
Tenn. His son George Campbell Brown married Miss Susan Polk, dau. of Gen. Lucius Polk of
- Susan P. Brown married Charles Ingersoll of Philadelphia. His daughters:
- Adela Ingersoll m. John M. Thomas a Philadelphia lawyer.
- Ann W. Ingersoll m. James H. Hutchinson of Philly.
- Betsy Ingersoll m. Arthur Amory of Boston and New York.
- Kate M. P. Ingersoll m. Dr. Francis Maury formerly from KY later Philly.
- Elizabeth Howard married Edward Payne, of Fayette Co., Ky. Among their children were:
Mary Howard married Alexander
Parker of Lexington, Ky. One of their children:
- Edward G. Payne, lawyer and farmer in Kentucky.
- Daniel McCarty Payne, lawyer in Lexington, Ky who had eleven children. Some of whom:
- John Brackenridge Payne was also a lawyer in Lexington.
- Mary Payne married J. H. Neville, professor of Greek at Univ. of Kentucky.
Benjamin Howard, third child of
Mary Preston and John Howard, married a Miss Mason in Virginia. He was a member of
Congress from Kentucky, 1807-1810, Governor of the Territory of Indiana, 1810, and
brigadier general in the war of 1812. He was also Governor of Missouri Territory.
Margaret Howard married Robert
Wycliffe, lawyer and statesman of Kentucky. They had 7 children of whom:
- Mary W. Parker married Thomas Turpin Crittenden 1788-1832, circuit Judge and
Secretary of State of Kentucky. Thomas was the son of Major John Crittenden. They
had 6 children, of whom:
- Mary Judith Crittenden 1814-1883 married Tod Robinson, a judge of the
Supreme Court of California and of their children:
- Mary Howard Robinson married in 1867 Felix Mercado, of San
- Cornelius Robinson was a lawyer in San Francisco.
- Alexander Parker Crittenden, second child of Mary Parker and Thomas Crittenden, was a
lawyer in San Francisco. Of their children:
- Laura Crittenden married Mr. Sanchez of San Francisco.
- James L. Crittenden was a lawyer in New York City.
- Thomas S. Crittenden Jr. was a brigadier general and a lawyer in Washington and a member
of Congress from Missouri.
Sarah Howard never married.
Ann Preston or (Elizabeth Ann
Preston) (1739-1813). Apparently the only child born in this country (although there are
conflicting birth dates in various sources). She married Col. Francis Smith of Virginia.
Col. Francis Smith was the brother of Susanna Smith. They too moved to Kentucky and had
two sons and four daughters.
- Sally Howard Wycliffe, married Aaron K. Wooley, a circuit judge and member of the
Kentucky legislature. They had 8 children, of whom the eldest, Robert W. Wooley, a lawyer
in Louisville, was secretary of the U. S. legation to Spain and Col in the Confederate
- Mary H. Wycliffe married John PRESTON, formerly of Arkansas, afterward of Trimble
- Margaret H. Wycliffe married her cousin William PRESTON of Louisville, member of
Congress and United States Minister to Spain. His daughter Mary Owen Preston married her
relative, John Mason Brown, lawyer of Louisville.
William Blair, second child of
Elizabeth Smith and James Blair. His son, Patrick M. Blair was a lawyer in Illinois and
married Miss Harriet M. Hall of Derbyshire, England.
Susannah Blair married first Abram Ward and second Joe Stephenson.
Their fourth child, ? Blair, married Nathan Speer.
John Smith, second child of Ann
Preston and Francis Smith, married Miss. Chenoe Hart, daughter of Nathaniel Hart, a
Kentucky pioneer. She was the first white child born in Kentucky ?? and her name, Chenoe,
is Indian for Kentucky. Col. John Smith, husband of Chinoe Hart, is buried in
Memphis as the only Revolutionary War soldier known to be interred there. They had seven children, the eldest of whom, William Preston Smith,
took, by legislative enactment, the name of PRESTON, married Miss Hebe Grayson, and was a
farmer in Henderson Co., Ky. His daughter married H. Harrison of Lexington, Kentucky and
Chicago, IL. Another daughter of Chenoe Hart and John Smith, Sarah Smith, married Rev. A.
W. Young of Memphis and their son, John Preston Young was a lawyer in that city. John
married Mary Jones and became a well known judge. He wrote"A History of
Memphis". Info in bold by Beth Powel bpowel2915@aol..com.
Susannah Smith married William
Trigg of Frankfort, Kentucky, son of Col. Stephen Trigg, a noted pioneer of Kentucky, who
was killed at the battle of Blue Licks.
Jane Smith married George Madison, Governor of Kentucky . Their child Myra Madison
married Andrew Alexander of Woodbury County. The eldest of their four children (Andrew and
Myra's), Appoline Alexander, married Major Gen. Francis P. Blair.
William Preston Smith was a Captain in the regular army and died unmarried.
Agatha Smith married Louis (Lewis)
Marshall of Woodford County, KY, and they had seven children.
- Elizabeth Smith married James Blair, a lawyer, and attorney general of
Kentucky. They had four children:
- Francis Preston Blair Sr. was a distinguished journalist, editor of the Washington
Globe, the organ of Gen. Jackson. He married Miss Eliza Gist, dau. of Gen. Nathaniel Gist
and they had four children.
- Montgomery Blair was Post-Master General in President Lincoln's Cabinet. He married
first Caroline Buckner of Virginia and second Elizabeth Woodbury, dau. of Levi Woodbury,
Governor of New Hampshire. He had five children, one of whom, Elizabeth Blair married Gen.
Comstock of the U.S. Army.
- James Blair, second child of Francis P. Blair and Eliza Gist, a lieutenant in the U.S.
Navy, married Miss Mary, daughter of Gen. Thomas Jessup, of the U.S. Army and they had
- Francis Preston Blair Jr. married his cousin Appohil Alexander. He was a lawyer, member
of Congress, Senator from Missouri, a Major-General and a Democratic candidate for
vice-president on the ticket with Horatio Seymors. He left 6 children.
- Elizabeth Blair married S. P. Lee, Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
- Thomas F. Marshall, graduated from Yale, was Judge of a Louisville Court, and was the
celebrated orator and member of Congress from Kentucky, 1841-43. He fought a duel with
James Watson in which Watson was wounded.
- William L. Marshall a lawyer in Baltimore, married Miss Ann Carter Lee, sister of Gen.
Robert E. Lee.
- Alexander K. Marshall was a member of Congress from Kentucky, 1855-57, married Miss
McDowell of Jessamine Co., Ky.
- Agatha Marshall married Caleb Logan, Chancellor of Kentucky and had five daughters.
- Edward Marshall was member of Congress from California, 1851-53, married Miss Josephine
Chalfont of Cincinnati and had three children.
The source of most of the details on this page is "The Preston Genealogy" by
L. A. Wilson and William Bowker Preston, pub. in the Deseret News, 1900.
Mary Preston, sister of John Preston, married Phillip Barger.
Was there another sister of John on the ship, Jane Preston Breckenridge ????
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