no image

Martha (Henry) Fontaine (1755 - 1818)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Martha "Patsey" Fontaine formerly Henry
Born in Pine Slash, Hanover County, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married (to ) in Hanover County, Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Leatherwood Plantation, Henry County, Virginia, United States of Americamap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 2,364 times.

Dandridge was listed as another mother before merge on 2013-12-08[1]



Martha (Patsey) was born in 1755 at "Pine Slash," Hanover Co., VA, the oldest of six children and three daughters of Patrick Henry and Sarah Shelton. (Her father married a second time and had eleven more children.) She passed away in 1818. [2][3]
Her father Patrick Henry had been given 300 acres at "Piney Slash" and six slaves as the dowry for his bride, Sarah, from her father, John Shelton a wealthy landowner and owner of Hanover Tavern.
It is Martha Henry who oversees the care of her ill mother and her five siblings while the family live at Scotchtown.
The letters between Martha Fontaine and her father are very tender and show a special bond between them. It is easy to see how the great patriot came to rely on his oldest child in the care of his ill wife in particular She was also close to Dorothea Dandridge Henry, second wife of Patrick Henry. Martha and Dorothea were both the same age, each born in 1755. Martha Fontaine will name her last child, Dorothea in honor of her stepmother. (bio by: deegraver)


Name: Martha Catherine Henry
Given Name: Martha Catherine
Preferred Name: Patsey


Birth Date: Jun., 1755[4]
Birth Place: Hanover County, Virginia [4]

Parents and Siblings

Patrick Henry married Sarah Shelton in 1754 at "Rural Plains", Hanover County, Virginia, and had the following children:
  1. Martha Catherine Henry
  2. John Henry
  3. William Henry
  4. Anne Henry
  5. Elizabeth Henry
  6. Edward Henry

Marriage and Family

On 2 Oct 1773, when she was eighteen, Martha married John Fontaine (born 1750 at Beaverdam, Virginia, died at “Leatherwood” in 1792 of malaria). Martha, widowed at 37, managed Leatherwood plantation and administered the wills both of her husband and of her brother William.[2]
In the early 1770s Martha meets a local young man, John Fontaine[,] who was born at Beaverdam, Hanover County, Virginia in 1750. His family were French Huguenots who fled France after the St. Barthomew's Day Massacre of 1572. Martha Henry and John Fontaine marry on October 2, 1773 at Scotchtown.
Martha and John Fontaine will live at "Leatherwood" Plantation, a portion of which John Fontaine bought from his father-in-law in 1779.
John Fontaine served as a Captain in the Henry County Militia and fought during the Siege of Yorktown, where he contracted Malaria. He died from the disease in 1792. Martha continued to live at "Leatherwood" for 26 more years. She died at the age of 63 in 1818, and is buried beside her husband.
Husband: John Fontaine
Wife: Martha Catherine Henry
Marriage Date: 1773
Marriage Place: Hanover Co., Va.
  1. Patrick Henry Fontaine b. 1775, married Nancy Miller, children, moved to Mississippi, died 1852, age 77; Patrick and Nancy buried in Pontotoc City Cemetery, MS..[2]
  2. Edward Winston Fontaine, b. 1776, died 1792, age 16, at Hampden Sydney College, Prince Edward Co., VA.v
  3. Charles Fontaine Dr. Charles de LaBoulay Fontaine , b. 1779, married Ann Mayo Carrington, died 1818, age 39, in Halifax Co., VA, no children..[2]
  4. William Winston Fontaine b. 1786, married Martha Dandridge, children, died 1816, age 30, enroute home from Alabama, buried in unmarked grave near Abingdon, VA..[2]
  5. John I. Fontaine Rev. John James Fontaine, b. 1787, married Mary Carr Redd, children, died 1852, age 64, in Henry Co., buried in “Bellview” cemetery, Henry Co., VA..[2]
  6. Martha H. Fontaine b. 1781, married Nathaniel W. Dandridge II, children, moved to Mississippi, died 1845, age 64, Martha buried in Pontotoc City Cemetery, MS.[2]
  7. Dorothea Spotswood Fontaine, b. 1791, died 1793, age 2..[2]


She died in 1818, at age 63 at Leatherwood, in Henry County, Virginia. Both she and her husband are buried on the plantation.
Sadly, the Leatherwood property will pass from the Fontaine/Henry family; in modern day it will be developed into a shopping mall- the graves of Martha and John Fontaine lie in what was once Leatherwood Plantation, now an asphalt covered parking lot, near Martinsville, Va. Their burial sites are unmarked.
Death Date: Oct., 1818[4]
Death Place: Henry County, Virginia, USA. [4]
Burial: Leatherwood Plantation, Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia, USA[4]


  1. entered by Michelle
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Edith C. Poindexter. "Patrick Henry's Family," Revised Oct 2010 URL: Accessed 2 July 2017 by Patricia Prickett Hickin.
  3. Entered by Janice Hardin, Nov 28, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 P Fazzini, Maintained by: deegraver, "Martha "Patsey" Henry Fontaine," Record added: Jun 04, 2010. URL: Martha Patsy Henry Fontaine: Memorial ID: 5322386 Accessed 26 June 2017 by Patricia Prickett Hickin


More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Martha by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Martha:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Michelle Brooks, Vicki Norman, and Sean McClanahan. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

Martha is 20 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 17 degrees from Katy Jurado and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

H  >  Henry  |  F  >  Fontaine  >  Martha (Henry) Fontaine