James Madison Sr.
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James Madison Sr. (1723 - 1801)

Colonel James Madison Sr.
Born in Port Conway, King George County, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 11 Sep 1749 in Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 77 in Montpelier Plantation, Orange County, Virginia, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 12 Nov 2008
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Father of James Madison, 4th President of the United States


James Madison, Sr. (March 27, 1723 – February 27, 1801) was a prominent Virginia planter, who served as a colonel in the militia during the American Revolutionary War. He inherited Mount Pleasant, later known as Montpelier, a large tobacco plantation in Orange County, Virginia and, with the acquisition of more property, had 5,000 acres and became the largest landowner in the county. He was father to U.S. President James Madison, who inherited what he called Montpelier.[1]


James Madison, Sr, was the son of Ambrose Madison and his wife Frances Taylor, and was born in 1723 (March 27, 1722[2] in Orange County, Virginia. When he was nine, his family moved to their new plantation of Mount Pleasant in 1732. His father had hired slaves and an overseer to clear it, work that had been going on for five years to establish cultivation. That summer (1732) his father died at age 36 in August after a short illness.[1]


Madison married Nelly Conway (Port Conway, Caroline County, Virginia, January 9, 1731 – Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia, February 11, 1829), also of the planter class (her birthplace was named after her family). They had twelve children.

Husband: James Madison Sr
Wife: Nelly Conway (17131-1829)
Marriage Date: Sept 11, 1749[2]
  1. James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836)
  2. Francis Taylor Madison (June 18, 1753 – 1800)
  3. Ambrose Madiso n (January 27, 1755 – October 1793); married Mary Willis Lee (27 May 1755 – 14 March 1798), daughter of Hancock Lee II & Mary Willis
  4. Catlett Madison (February 10, 1758 – March 18, 1758)
  5. Eleanor Nelly Conway Madison (February 14, 1760 – December 24, 1802)
  6. William Taylor Madison (May 5, 1762 – July 20, 1843)
  7. Sarah Catlett Madison (August 17, 1764 – 1843)
  8. unnamed child (1766–1766)
  9. Elizabeth Madison (February 6, 1768 – May 1775)
  10. unnamed child (1770–1770)
  11. Reuben Madison (September 19, 1771 – May 17, 1775)
  12. Frances Taylor Madison (October 4, 1774 – October 1823)


Death Date: February 27, 1801
Death Place:
Montpelier Estate National Historic Site [3]
Place: Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, USA
Plot: Located at Montpelier

Letter from Edmund Pendleton

There is a letter from Edmund Pendleton, attorney (later Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of Virginia) to James Madison (father of the President) dated January 15, 1762 that is lodged in the Gilder Lehrman Collection of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of the New York Historical Society, item # GLC00099.017.

"... I am of the opinion that on the marriage of one of the children of Mr. Ambrose Maddison the estate lent his wife til that time should have been divided according to the Act of Distributions, the law the testator refers to, that is one third of the slaves to the wife for life & one third of the personal estate as her absolute property. The other two thirds of the slaves descended to the son he paying his sisters each a third of the value thereof as appraised, and the two thirds of the personal estate was to be equally divided between all the children. At the death of the mother her slaves descended to the son without his paying anything for them. Then in my opinion the estate should have been divided, but it seems it was not for at the time appointed the mother took a fourth part only and the residue slaves as well as personal estate was equally divided between the three children and now the mother is dead intestate...." [4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia: [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume 4 By Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Edward Jaquelin, found at Google Books: Some Prominent Virginians: James Madison Sr
  3. FindAGrave: James Madison Sr: Memorial #: 8358563
  4. Gilder Lehrman Collection of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of the New York Historical Society, item # GLC00099.017.
  • Probate: "Virginia, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1900"
    Index to Wills, 1734-1947 ; Will Books, 1735-1906; Author: Virginia. County Court (Orange County); Probate Place: Orange, Virginia
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 62347 #514401 (accessed 1 June 2022)
    James Madison probate. (Image 318)

See also:

  • Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.


  • Madison-415 was created by Amy Wilson through the import of 2014_MASTER.ged on Sep 24, 2014.

Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with James by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with James:

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

Comments: 5

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Madison-415 and Madison-2 appear to represent the same person because: suggested by another user
posted by Amy Wilson
Based on death date, I think this was intended to be his father That would make having a child born a year after this person's birth seem reasonable
posted by Robin Lee
Madison-1 and Madison-415 appear to represent the same person because: There is something wrong here. The birth dates are the same but the death dates are different.
posted by Vic Watt

Rejected matches › James L. Madison Sr.James Madison