Isham Randolph
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Isham Randolph (1685 - 1742)

Colonel Isham Randolph
Born in Turkey Island, Henrico County, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 26 Jul 1717 in St Botolph, Bishopsgate, City of London, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 57 in Dungeness, Goochland County, Virginiamap
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Grandfather of Thomas Jefferson 3rd US President

" As a young man, Isham Randolph (1686-1742), third son of dynasty founder William Randolph I, rejected Virginia plantation life for what neighbor William Byrd II called Randolph's "own element, the Sea." Byrd was instrumental in 1710 in winning for him command of the Henrietta, a merchant ship with a ten-man crew and four guns. In the same year Randolph sold his Virginia land and took a house in London. For the next decade he worked the tobacco trade on the James River that he had sailed as a child. In 1717 he married Londoner Jane Rogers. By 1720 he quit the sea and was listed as a London merchant. Around 1725, he resettled in Virginia his growing family of three, soon to be nine, children. Before leaving England, Randolph apparently sat for this portrait. Though its surface is now abraded, the painting displays a quality of conception and execution that suggests the hand of a London-trained artist of talent.
The impression (protrait at Virg. Hist. Soc. web site) generated by this image is a sense of the sitter's sophistication, proper rearing, and confidence. This portrait and Randolph's biography give credence to the statements of 1724 by historian Hugh Jones that at least some prominent Virginians by then had markedly "improved in wealth and polite living" and "live[d] in the same neat manner, dress[ed] after the same modes, and behave[d] themselves as the gentry in London...
Randolph's daughter Jane would marry Peter Jefferson; [President] Thomas Jefferson was their son."


The following is taken from "Genealogies of Virginia Families", as found in "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography", in an article entitled "Lilburne-Randolph-Jefferson", pp. 53-61.[1]

The will of Isham Randolph of "Dungeness", Goochland County, Virginia, dated 6 April 1741 contains a reference to a leasehold interest in some property which came to his wife, Jane, through the estate of William Lilburn, Esq., deceased of Durham, together with a sum of money as a legacy from Elizabeth Lilburn both payable when the estate "Kenton" is sold. Evidently Jane Rogers was the daughter of Charles Rogers and his wife, Jane, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Nicholson) Lilburn(e).

The famous radical "Freeman" John Lilburn was a native of Durham, and it was remarked when Isham's will was first published, that it would be an interesting fact in heredity if a kinship between John Lilburne and Thomas Jefferson (grandson of Isham and Jane Randolph) existed. John was born about 1614 at Greenwich and was apprenticed to a London merchant between 1630-36. In 1638 he was find £500, placed in stocks, whipped, and imprisoned until made to confess. The charge was contumacy (contempt of orders or authority) to the Star Chamber. The provocation had been that he had circulated Puritan books. When the English Civil War broke out he entered the Parliamentary Army as a caption, fought at Edgehill, was captured at Brentford, exchanged in 1643, became major and then lieutenant colonel, but retired in April 1645 because he would not take the Covenant. He opposed alike the claims of Parliament and Cromwell to supreme power and suffered a long imprisonment for attacking what he regarded as an unjust decision against his uncle George Lilburne in a case involving coal lands. He died a prisoner at Eltham on 29 August 1657.

The "Dictionary of National Biography" says: "Lilburne's political importance is easy to explain. In a revolution where others argued about the respective rights of king and parliament, he spoke always for the rights of the people. His dauntless courage and his powers of speech made him the idol of the mob. With Coke's Institutes in his hand he was ready to tackle any tribunal. He was ready to assail any abuse at any cost to himself".

There was a John Lilburne of Thickley Punchardon, County Durham, who married Isabelle Wortley and they had at least two sons:

i. Richard, of Thickley Punchardon, m Margaret, daughter of Thomas Hixon, yeoman of Wardrobe to Queen Elizabeth; d 1657; had 3 sons: Robert, John (became known as "Freeman" John), and Henry * ii. GEORGE LILBURN, of Sunderland-by-the-Sea; (source says b 1585; but seems questionable); m Jane Chamber of Cleydon, Durham; had: 11 children, two sons were: i. John, m Isabelle Quiney, niece of Thomas Quiney [whom Judith, d/o Shakespeare - look up again] * ii. WILLIAM LILBURNE, b 1636 of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; d 17 Jun 1681 (or '82) was the maternal grandfather of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.

Born on the Turkey Island plantation in Henrico County, Virginia, he was the son of William Randolph and Mary Isham.

He married Jane Lilburne Susan Rogers at St. Paul's Church in the Shadwell parish of England (today East London).

Parents: William Randolph (1651 - 1711) Mary Isham Randolph (1659 - 1735)

Spouse: Jane Liburne Rogers Randolph (1692 - 1760)*

Children: Jane Randolph Jefferson (1720 - 1776)* Mary Randoph Lewis (1725 - 1788)* Susannah Randolph Harrison (1738 - ____)*

He died in 1742, leaving a will.[2]

Burial: Randolph Family Cemetery, Presque Isle, Henrico County, Virginia, USA

Monument in Randolph Cemetery inscribed: “This was erected to the memory of Isham Randolph (illegible word) in Goochland County, Adjutant General of this colony. He was the third son of William Randolph and Mary his wife. The distinguishing qualities of eminence, he possessed in the most eminent degree, to justice, proprity and honour so firmly attached that no views of secular interest of worldly advantage, no discouraging frowns of fortune, could alter his steady purpose of heart. By an easy compliance and obliging deportment he knew no enemies but gained many friends. Thus in his life meriting an universal esteem. He died as universally lamented. Nov. 1742. Age 57 years. Gentle Reader: Go and do thou likewise.”[3][2]


Col Isham Randolph
Birth: 24 Feb 1685 Henrico County, Virginia; Death: 2 Nov 1742 (aged 57) Goochland County, Virginia; Burial: Randolph Family Cemetery Presque Isle, Henrico County, Virginia, USA. Memorial #: 16714439.
Bio: Sacred to the memory of COL. ISHAM RANDOLPH of Dungness in Goochland County, Adjutant General of this Colony. He was the third son of William Randolph and Mary his Wife. The distinguishing qualities of the gentleman he possessed in the most eminent degree to justice probity and honour so firmly attached that no view of secular interest or worldly advantage no discouraging frowns of fortune could alter his steady purpose of heart. By an easy compliance and obliging deportment he knew no enemies but gained many friends thus in his Life meriting in universal esteem. He died universally lamented Nov. 1742 aged 57. Gentle Reader go and do thou likewise.
Son of Col. Wm. Randolph and Mary (Isham) Randolph who built up a large estate near tidewater of James River, and became one of the most influential political leaders of his generation. By the time of the father's death in 1711, he had established a leading dynasty and was able to bequeath thousands of acres of land to his children. Taking advantage of opportunities in the interior, his sons moved further upriver: Richard settled at Curles Neck, Thomas far beyond the falls at Tuckahoe (the first great plantation on the upper James), and Isham further upriver still. As a young man Isham had gone to sea, become a successful merchant, and lived for many years in London, serving as an agent for Virginia affairs. In 1718 he married Jane Rogers and three years later their daughter, Jane, was baptized at St. Paul's Church, Shadwell. Jane Randolph, Thomas Jefferson's mother, was English by birth and spent her childhood in London surrounded by the busy streets and docklands of the East End, before moving to her father's plantation at Dungeness in the frontier county of Goochland.
Family Members: Parents: William Randolph (1651-1711), Mary Isham Randolph (1659-1735); Siblings: Richard Randolph (?-?), Elizabeth Randolph Bland (1680-1720), William Randolph (1681-1742), Thomas Randolph (1683-1729), Elizabeth Randolph (1685-1685), Mary Randolph Stith (1686-1742), Edward Randolph (1690-1737), John Randolph (1693-1737); Children: Jane Isham Randolph Jefferson (1720-1776), Mary Isham Randolph Lewis (1725-1803), Susannah Randolph Harrison (1738-Unknown).[4]


  1. "Lilburne - Randolph - Jefferson", in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 26, no. 3 (Jul 1918), p. 321.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Journal of the Council", in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 14, no. 3 (Jan 1907), p. 226, footnote.
  3. Henrico County Cemetery Records]: Randolph Graveyard
  4. Kaaren Crail Vining (11705756), “Col Isham Randolph,” Record added 19 Nov 2006. URL: Accessed 29 April 2018.
  • Daniel Almen Breene, Jr., Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #1060, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Feb 1, 1999.
  • E. Jay Stith, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 1, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #5156, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Feb 2, 1999.
  • Randolph, Robert Isham. "The Sons of Isham Randolph of Dungeness", in V.M.H.B, Vol. 45, no. 4 (Oct 1937), p. 383.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Isham 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 Isham:

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

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His wife's Will, Jane Randolph of Goochland County, dated 5 Dec 1769 names children:

- son Isham Randolph - son William Randolph - son Thomas Randolph - daughter Elizabeth Raley - daughter Dorothea Woodson - daughter Ann Pleasants - daughter Susannah Randolph

posted by Stephen Strauss
found an entry for birth of Susannah Randolph in Saint James Northam Parish, Goochland County, Virginia (September 25, 1736) to Capt. Ish. Randolph & Jane Rogers.

see p 34 in the parish register:

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Randolph-1564 and Randolph-3 appear to represent the same person because: same name, birth date, parents & siblings - please merge
posted by Valerie Willis

R  >  Randolph  >  Isham Randolph

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