Judith J.

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JUDITH JEFFERSON,

was born August 30, 1698 in Osbornes, Henrico Co., Virginia and died November 1786 in St. James Parish, Mecklenburg, Virginia. She married George Farrar, Sr. Abt. 1716 in Henrico, Virginia. George Farrar Sr. was the son of William Farrar and Priscilla Baugh. Judith Jefferson was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Jr. and his wife, Mary Field.

Judith Jefferson, aunt of the President Thomas Jefferson, had a much finer heritage than political propaganda about her illustrious nephew would indicate. Through her grandmother Mary Branch her descent has been professionally traced to royalty; her mother's father Major Peter Field was a leading citizen of Henrico County who had held a number of important offices, among them High Sheriff in 1683 and that of justice for 24 years until his retirement. Judith Jefferson's grandfather Henry Soane was Speaker of the House of Burgesses.

George and his siblings were among the last to be born and raised on Farrar's Island. The Farrar's, along with many other families who played prominent roles in the 1600's, were being supplanted by more politically powerful and wealthy families, like the Randolph family. From 1627-28, George's older brothers (William IV, Thomas, and John) sold their shares of the Farrar's Island estate to the Randolph's. George lived on his share of the estate until about 1760, when he sold it and moved to a part of Lunenburg County which was later added to Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Captain John Farrar, George's son, fought in the Revolutionary War as an officer in the Virginia Militia. As documented on the "Order Books of the Revolutionary War Records of Mecklenburg County," John was took the oath as a Second Lieutenant on Feb 8, 1778, and took the oath for promotion to Captain on June 9, 1783.

George Farrar, a son of Major William Farrar III and Priscilla Baugh, was born about 1695 at his father's plantation on Farrar's Island; his will dated 12 October 1772, Mecklenburg County, Virginia. It was once-thought William Farrar IV, older brother of George and the last Farrar to own Farrar's Island was the husband of Judith Jefferson but a thorough study of records was made by descendant, James Walter Allen, Historian, National Society Sons of the American Revolution (Tyler's Quarterly Magazine XIII, pages 58-60); by Landon C. Bell in "Judith Jefferson's Husband" (11 E [2] 3 July 1931) and by the late Herbert Hutchinson, Clerk of Mecklenburg County, Virginia Court, also a descendant. This research shows clearly Judith Jefferson married George Farrar, and finally in invaluable proof came to light in the obituary of George Farrar's son Thomas in Franklin County, Georgia, stating he was a cousin of President Jefferson (Warren, M. B.: Marriages and Deaths in Extant Georgia Newspapers, 1763-1831, page 35; Athens, Georgia Express 9 September 1809; Augusta, Georgia Chronicle 10 September 1809).

This obituary substantiates the statement of the late Judge F. H. Farrar, quoted in the Farrar Excursions (9 V 326). Judge Farrar was a grandson of Thomas Farrar and Elizabeth Howard and great grandson of Thomas's older brother George Jr. who married Elizabeth Howard's mother, Mrs. Diana Howard. As they were doubly descended from the Howards as well as the Farrars, tradition in this brilliant branch of the family was strong.

(9 V 324): "Judge Farrar, a gentleman of the highest standing, wrote in a letter dated Bayou Sara, Louisiana, 26 June 1894, he was paternally a grandson of two brothers; his uncle (his father's brother) when 83 years old told him Judge Farrar's great grandfather (and grandfather of the uncle referred to) owned Farrar's Island on the James River in Virginia, he married Judith Jefferson, a sister of President Jefferson's father (Peter Jefferson) and his (his uncle's) father was born on Farrar's Island and removed first to Mecklenburg County, and afterwards to Georgia."

Thomas Jefferson II in his will, dated 15 March 1725 (Henrico County, Deed Book 1735-37, page 293) made several bequests to his daughter "Judith Farrar" among them a share in the proceeds from the sale of his "half of Grill's Mill, the land mortgaged by Grill."

Later, on 4 November 1728 (the year following the sale of Farrar's Island to Thomas Randolph), Thomas Jefferson II won a lawsuit against Mathew Ligon (Henrico County, Deed Book 1725-37: No. 1, Part 2, pages 226-7) for rightful possession of land. Mathew Ligon was then ordered to turn over the property to "George Farrar and his heirs forever". This transfer recorded at Varina Court, first Monday in April 1729 (Deeds and Wills, No. 1 Part 2, pages 226-7; The Ligon Family, pages 375-6; Tyler's Quarterly Magazine, Vol. XIII pages 59-61).

Having willed part of the property to Judith Jefferson Farrar, it is evident her father decided to give her the whole plantation in his lifetime and deeded it to George Farrar because he was her husband. The obituary of their son Thomas Farrar, who was co-executor of George Farrar's will, also verifies this marriage and relationship.

The plantation was in Henrico Southside (the area became Chesterfield County 1749), on the south side of Swift Creek near Curlews, on John and Frederick Baugh's line. It was also in the neighborhood of the Jefferson, Branch and Batte families and near where Judith's grandparents (Chesterfield County Deed Book 3, 1725-29, pages 329-31), Major Peter and Judith Soane Randolph Field had lived.

George and Judith Jefferson Farrar occupied this land for about 30 years during which he was active in the life of the colony, serving on the jury and acting as an appraiser and processioner of land in 1736 (Fleet: Abstracts of Henrico Southside, Henrico Deed Book 1737-47). He witnessed the will of Henry Clay in Chesterfield County (4 W [2] 129).

In 1759 and 1761 George Farrar sold his property and moved to Mecklenburg County, Virginia, where Field Jefferson, Judith's brother, had established a large estate on the north side of the Roanoke River near the Howards, where he operated a ferry for years (shown on Peter Jefferson's Map of Virginia). His nephew George Farrar was taxed with him in 1748. Other nephews soon followed and patented a good deal of land. There are many court records in Mecklenburg County showing the relationship of the two families.

In 1729, Thomas Jefferson deeded to son-in-law George Farrar the plantation "Gilly's Mill," which George and his wife Judith occupied for the next thirty years. Miss Alvahn Holmes wrote in "Some Farrar's Island Descendants" that "the deed describes the plantation as being in Henrico County Southside (which later became Chesterfield County), south side of Swift Creek, both sides of Reedy Run, near Curles... Described as on John and Frederick Baugh's line, it was also in the neighborhood of the Jefferson Plantation." During the time  he lived at Gilly's Mill, George Farrar was active in the community, serving on the jury, acting as appraiser and processionar of land in 1736.

More About George Farrar , Sr.:

Dwelling: Grill's Mill, willed to Judith Jefferson Will Probated: 12 Oct, 1772, Mecklenburg Co., Virginia Will Written: 16 Mar, 1772 Captain in Revolutionary Army