This is one of the most illustrious families of America. Elizabeth Landon Carter, daughter of Thomas Landon of Herefordshsire was the Fore-Mother of a true American dynasty. Her descendants helped to shape the very pattern of our country. There seemed to be a comfortable understanding that the children of these families would marry other movers and shakers. Looking through the descendants and in-laws, you will find mention of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Zebulon Pike and many other less-known but important founders of our country.
The descendants include the names of two United States Presidents and possible relationship with yet a third -- but President Jimmy Carter's ancestors have not been definitely traced into the original Virginia Carter families. Discussion about his ancestors is found in the Briggs book, THE CARTERS OF VIRGINIA.
We begin with Thomas Landon, a member of the English Landon family shown in the article by LaDean Lee.
1. THOMAS LANDON born 1648, Credenhill, Herefordshire, perhaps married (1st) by 1667, to MARY ST.LEGER, who perhaps died soon after Aug 1677 Thomas married (2nd) after 1677, MARY DE LAVAL, daughter of Thomas DeLaval, a merchant of New York. Thomas died 1701, Middlesex Co, Virginia.
Children perhaps by Mary St.Leger:
i William Landon baptized 10 March 1667, Credenhill, Herefordshire.
ii Mary Landon baptized 20 Feb 1669, Credenhill.
iii Thomas Landon baptized 16 Jan 1671, Credenhill.
iv Silvanus Landon baptized 21 Jan 1673, Credenhill.
v Roger Landon baptized 14 Mar 1674, Credenhill.
vi Ann Landon baptized 14 Apr 1676, Credenhill.
vii John Landon baptized 22 Aug 1677, Credenhill.
Children by Mary DeLaval: viii St.Leger Landon born about 1681, perhaps at Credenhill, Herefordshire. Lived in Virginia at least from 1696 to 1701. There is no baptism record at Credenhill, Herefordshire for St.
Leger. Perhaps he was born in London since his father had important positions there.
ix (2) Elizabeth Landon.
The following is quoted from: THE ANCESTRY OF BENJAMIN HARRISON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1880-1893 . . . , by Charles P. Keith, published 1893 at Philadelphia, p. 88. "The Thomas and Mary Landon mentioned on the tombstone of Betty, second wife of 'King Carter', as her parents, were perhaps the Thomas Landon of Credenhill, gentleman, eldest Groom of His majesty's Buttery, and Mary called 'his now wife' in the will, dated Feb. 6, 1679, of his kinsman, Thomas Landon, who styles himself 'of Monington Stradell, in the parish of Vowchurch in County Hereford, gentleman, yeoman to the Buttery of King Charles I, and now in the same office to King Charles II'.
"Betty was born after the will was made. Credenhill is the birthplace intended on Betty Carter's tombstone. Thomas of Credenhill aforesaid was the son of Silvanus Landon of St. Martin's in the Fields, Middlesex, gent., whose will also was executed prior to Betty's birth. Sylvanus' second wife was Frances, born Scott, widow of Sir Anthony St. Leger.
"Thomas, son of Sylvanus, had a son Thomas, and it is possible that he took a wife named Mary, lived at Credenhill, and was father of Betty. Among the manuscripts of Sir Hans Sloane in the British Museum is a letter addressed to him by a Mary Landon dated Aug 24, 1716, expressing a design 'to spend her days in the service of God and the study of philosophy'.
NOTE: By 1716 the Thomas Landon family had all moved to America and Thomas died there in 1701. So this Mary Landon had to be from another family -- unless, after the death of her husband in Virginia, Mary DeLaval Landon returned to England and decided to spend the rest of her days in a convent.
"From the Credenhill branch of the family descended Letitia Elizabeth Landon, who wrote over the initials L.E.L.
"After figuring out the children that King Carter had by Judith Armistead, the tombstone giving the number of them, I am obliged to contradict the Carter Family Tree, and place Anne, wife of Benjamin Harrison among the children by Betty Landon."
NOTE: If the above sounds familiar, it is because the author of the published Landon Genealogy, used it almost verbatim in his book without giving credit to his source.
English records specifically name the wife of Thomas Landon as Mary St. Leger. How can this be reconciled with the American records that say his wife was Mary DeLaval? Since Thomas Landon's mother was first married to a St. Leger, it is possible that Thomas married a relative of his mother's first husband. There seems to be a break in birthdates after son, John, was baptized at Credenhill in 1677. Perhaps this is significant. Thomas may have married twice -- first to Mary St.Leger and second (after 1677) to Mary DeLaval who became 'his now wife' by 1679. The next son born after 1677 was named "St.Leger". This may have been in honor of the first wife's family. All speculation, of course.
Thomas came to America and arrived first in New York according to a letter I received from Dale Landon on 1-20-93: "Thomas Landon, father of Elizabeth Carter, came to Virginia from New York. "Thomas Landon was the attorney for his brother-in-law, John DeLavall, 'now overseas' who was the executor of Thomas DeLavall (his father). Will proved 7 February 1682/3 in the city of New York. Thomas DeLavall had land in Harlem upon the island of New York, all that island by the name of great Barnes Island, a mill and land at the Esopus, a mill called Younkers Mill, lying in the Hudsons River, land and houses at Gravesend upon Long Island and land beyond Smiths Fly in New York."
Note: When Thomas DeLaval died in 1683 in New York, Thomas Landon was still living in England with his family (since his daughter's baptism is recorded at Credenhill on 17 May 1683). If he was the attorney when the Thomas Delaval will was settled, then he was the one who was 'now overseas'. It must be presumed that Mary (DeLaval) Landon received a part of her father's huge estate in the area of New York. Perhaps this is the event that brought the family to America.
Thomas Landon left New York and settled in Middlesex Co, VA near Chesapeake Bay. He lived across the river from "King" Carter, his daughter's husband. Thomas died there in 1701, the same year that Elizabeth was married to Robert Carter.
LANDON RESEARCH, Vol II, Issue 1, p.20 has this information furnished by Dave Skinner, which comes from CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, VIRGINIA LAND GRANTS AND PATENTS, by Nell M. Nugent, pub 1963, Vol III, p.504:
"In March 1663, George Gill received acreage for transfer of 8 persons including DAVID LANDON." (Who is he? He was perhaps a close relative of Thomas Landon and since he was in Virginia since 1663, this may explain why the Thomas Landon family moved to Virginia. More research is needed to find information about this David Landon. It is even possible that he is the ancestor of the Maryland Landons.)
"In May 1705, John Hay and Christopher Robinson received acreage for transfer of 66 persons including --THOMAS LANDON, ROGER LANDON, SELENGER (obviously ST. LEGER) LANDON, THOMAS LANDON, MARY LANDON, and BETTY LANDON."
Putting all of this together: Thomas Landon and family came to New York sometime after 1683. Apparently, the reason they went to New York is that her father and brother had been living there and Mary may have inherited property there from her father's estate.
We know that Robert and Elizabeth were married in 1701 so the Landon family came into Virginia at least by that time. It seems that son, St. Leger Landon, was in Virginia at least by 1696 so this may be the date of their move from New York to Virginia.
2. ELIZABETH LANDON was baptized 17 May 1683, at Credenhill, Herefordshire. Elizabeth Landon married (1st) Richard Willis. She married (2nd) 09 Apr 1701, ROBERT CARTER, born 1663, (son of Col. John Carter and Sarah Ludlow) who died 04 Aug 1732, Middlesex Co, Virginia. Elizabeth died 03 Jul 1710, Middlesex Co, Virginia, buried: Christ Church, Irvington, Virginia.
Robert "King" Carter was President of the Council of Virginia and in 1726-27, was Governor of Virginia. At the time of his death, he had 44 tobacco plantations of 300,000 acres and over 1000 slaves. In any time period he would be considered an extremely wealthy man.
Robert Carter married 1st in 1688 to Judith Armistead, b. 1665 in Lancaster County, Virginia and d. 23 Feb 1699 in Virginia. Since I haven't yet found birthdates for most of the children, she may be the mother of several of them. It is known that she was the mother of Elizabeth Carter who married Nathaniel Burwell. Elizabeth was born in Gloucester County, VA. Judith was buried at Old Christ Church. She was the daughter of John Armistead and wife, Judith Robinson. Judith's tombstone gives the number of her children but does not give their names, so there is some question as to which children were hers and which were born to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Landon married Robert Carter in 1701 when she was eighteen years old. She died only nine years later in 1710 so she may have had 8-9 children. She died at 27 years.
Robert Carter was born in 1663 so was twenty years older than Elizabeth when they were married. Elizabeth died in 1710 and Robert lived until 1732. Perhaps he may have married a third time.
Children by Judith:
i John Carter: probably born about 1689/90. He was a Barrister in London, England but returned to Virginia in 1723 when he was appointed Secretary of the Colony of Virginia.
ii Elizabeth Carter married (1st) Nathaniel Burwell, married (2nd) Dr. George Nichols.
iii Judith Carter married Mann Page.
Children probably by Elizabeth:
iv (3) Ann Carter.
v Robert Carter.
vi Sarah Carter died young.
vii Betty Carter died young.
viii Ludlow Carter died young.
ix Charles Carter.
x Landon Carter married Judith Fauntleroy. (They had a son, Moore Fauntleroy Carter.).
xi Lucy Carter married Henry FitzHugh.
xii George Carter.
3. ANN CARTER married Col. BENJAMIN HARRISON.
i Anne Harrison md. William Randolph, born of Wilton.
ii Elizabeth Harrison married Peyton Randolph. (He was President of the First Contentinental Congress.).
iii (4) Benjamin Harrison born 05 Apr 1726.
iv Carter Henry Harrison.
v Henry Harrison died young.
vi Charles Harrison md. Mary Claiborne.
vii Nathaniel Harrison md. Ann Gilliam.
viii Henry Harrison md. and had children.
ix Robert Harrison md. ___ Collier.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
THE ANCESTRY OF BENJAMIN HARRISON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1880-1893 . . . , by Charles P. Keith, published 1893 at Philadelphia.
(Contains complete family charts).
BURKE'S LANDED GENTRY, and BURKE'S PRESIDENTIAL FAMILIES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE CARTERS OF VIRGINIA, by Noel Currier-Briggs (good photos)
CARTERS OF VIRGINIA, by Dorothy Wulfeck
LANDON FAMILY RESEARCH, Vol II, Issue 1, Jan 1993
THE VIRGINIA DYNASTIES, by Clifford Dowdey