Facts and Events
John Preston was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
According to the following record in Orange County, Virginia, John Preston acquired land on the Calf Pasture prior to this deed recorded in July 1745:
According to the following Chalkley's references, John Preston was living in the "Calfpasture" area of Augusta County, prior to his death in 1747:
According to "Annals of Bath County, VA":
Record of Importation to Augusta County, VA
Biography of John Preston
In one of the passages in 1738, James Patton and his wife Mary, and his two daughters, Margaret and Mary, along with John Preston, his wife Elizabeth Patton Preston, their children Letitia, about 10 years old, Margaret, about 8, William, about 7, and Mary Preston, about 6, along with John Preston's sister, Mary Preston, who later married Phillip Barger, and supposedly another of John's sisters, Jane Preston Breckinridge and her husband, Alexander Breckinridge, arrived in Belhaven, near Alexandria on the Potomac on August 26, 1738. One of James Patton's settlements was known as "Drapers Meadows," located at the present site of Blacksburg, Virginia. One sunny Sunday morning on July 8, 1755, Indians wiped out much of the settlement including James Patton. James and his wife Mary Borden had two daughters and no sons. He adopted (officially or unofficially?) William Preston, son of John Preston. Margaret "Peggy" Patton married John Buchanan. John's sister, Martha Buchanan married a cousin newly arrived in America, another John Buchanan. His other sister, Margaret Buchanan, married Maj. Charles Campbell, parents of Gen. William Campbell. Mary "Molly" patton (1728-1778) married capt. William Thompson. They had 10 Children.
Since John Preston had not been a landowner in Ireland, he was willing to take chances with his brother-in-law in at least acquiring a homestead in the New World. In proving his importation into the colony of Virginia, he said that he had come to America at his own charge "in order to partake of his Majesty's bounty for taking up land." He made this declaration in 1746 and died in 1747. He was satisfied with only a few tracts of land for which titles were later made to his son, William. His home was on Lewis Creek near Beverley's Mill Place. The family consisted of his wife, Elizabeth, his son, William, and his daughters, Mary, Lettice, Margaret, and Ann.
information on John Preston
John Preston 1699-1747 Smithfield Prestons
John Preston, son of Archibald Preston, the first of the Smithfield Prestons, came to America in 1738. John was born in Lima-Vady, a small town in Northern Ireland near Londonderry. John was employed by Henry Patton, ship builder and owner. John married Henry Patton's daughter, Elizabeth Patton (1700-1779) in about 1723. Henry's son, James Patton held office in the Royal Navy and was held in high esteem by the King. As a result of this, the King gave James Patton a grant of 120,000 acres in the Colony of Virginia, to be anywhere he so desired west of the Blue Mountains. (Different sources report varying numbers of acres, but the fact is they were granted land, probably several grants.) They were to establish settlements for British subjects. Hence, John Preston, his wife Elizabeth Patton Preston, his four children, his sister Mary and his brother-in-law, Col. James Patton (all born in Ireland) came to America. It is believed they sailed on the ship "Walpole" owned by James Patton. Not confirmed but believe the ship sailed from Whitehaven on 16 March 1737/38. (Another source indicates they arrived at Belhaven, near Alexandria on the Potomac on August 26, 1738. Passage isn't that long so this may have been two different voyages.) The "Walpole" made this journey as many as 20 times. His first residence was at Spring Hill, Augusta Co. After John's death, his wife Elizabeth moved to Greenfield where she remained until her death.
We know nothing about Archibald Preston, but some theorize that he was possibly from the family of "Valley Field" Prestons, a branch of the Prestons of Preston-Richard in the north of England.
There are many references in the literature indicating that the Walnut Grove Prestons were cousins of the Smithfield Prestons but I do not have information on the connection. The Walnut Grove line came to America about 30 years after the Smithfield line, and there were several inter marriages. Virginia Tech's original name was Preston and Olin Institute; the Preston was William Preston of the Smithfield Prestons.
John Preston and Elizabeth Patton Preston had five children, four girls and one boy. They were:
Elizabeth Brown married Rev. Thomas B. Craighead, a well-known Presbyterian minister of Tennessee and they had seven children. The children were: John B. Craighead, was a planter of Iberville Parish, Louisiana. He married first Mrs. Jane Dickerson, dau. of Col. Joseph Erwin of Louisiana and second Mrs. Beck, dau. of Gen. James Robertson. He left two sons by his first marriage: Joseph Craighead, a physician and planter, m. Phoebe Whyte, dau. of Judge Robert Whyte of Tennessee. They had 6 children, 3 of which died young. The remaining 3 were: William Craighead died in the Confederate Army. Charles Craighead was a planter in Louisiana, unmarried. Jennie Craighead unmarried. Thomas Craighead m. Miss Tennessee Johnson and they had one daughter: Virginia Craighead, unmarried> Jane Craighead, died unmarried> David Craighead a lawyer and planter in Arkansas m. Mrs. Goodloe, nee Mary Macon, and they had 5 children: Elizabeth Craighead died in youth. Mary Craighead married her relative, Thomas Preston of Walnut Grove, VA who was later killed in the battle of Shiloh. They left one son: David C. Preston who lived in Nashville, TN. James B. Craighead m. Miss Ellen Erwin, dau. of James Erwin, Esq., merchant of Nashville, TN. They had 2 children: Mary Craighead Erwin Craighead Joanna Craighead m. James Ellis of Nashville, TN. They had 3 daughters who all died in early childhood. Thomas Craighead m. Miss Carter and resided in Nashville, TN. No children. Alexander Craighead died unmarried. William Craighead died unmarried. James B. Craighead married his relative, Miss Jane Preston of Walnut Grove, VA. He was a lawyer and afterwards a planter of Marengo County, Alabama. They left six children: Daniel Craighead. John Craighead. Jennie Craighead. James Craighead. Preston Craighead. Thomas Craighead. Thomas Craighead, lawyer, died unmarried. John Brown was born in Rockbridge Co., Va, was a lawyer and statesman, represented Kentucky as a district of Virginia in the Virginia legislature, and in Congress, the old Congress, 1787-88. He was the first senator in Congress from Kentucky, and was twice elected United States Senator. He was a warm personal friend of Thomas Jefferson. He married Miss Margaretta Mason, dau. of the Rev. John Mason and sister of the Rev. John Mason, illustrious Presbyterian minister of New York. They had two sons: Mason Brown was a judge and secretary of state of Kentucky. He married first Miss Judith A. Bledsoe, dau. of Hon. Jesse Bledsoe; and second, Miss Mary Yorder (Yoder), dau. of Capt. Jacob Yorder (Yoder) of Spencer Co., K Benjamin Gratz Brown, son of Mason Brown, went to Missouri. Great great grandson of John Preston, was a senator from Missouri and Democratic candidate for Vice-President on the ticket with Horace Greely, another Irish American. John Mason Brown, son of Mason Brown, a prominent lawyer of Lexington, married Mary Owen, dau. of Major William Preston of Louisville. Mary Y. Brown, dau. of Mason Brown, married W. T. Scott of Lexington, a Col. of Kentucky Volunteers in the United States Army. Orlando Brown was a lawyer and journalist. He married first his cousin, Mary W. Brown, and second Mary C. Broadhead (formerly Miss. Price). He had three children by Mary Brown. This site shows the Orlando Brown home and gives some history. Mason P. Brown was for sometime treasurer of Kentucky. Orlando Brown Jr., was a lieutenant colonel in the Kentucky Volunteers and a farmer near Frankfort, KY. ??? William Brown. Mary Brown married Dr. Alexander Humphrey (Humphreys ?) of Staunton, Va. After her husband's death Mary removed to Kentucky with her family of seven children. Her son, John B. Humphreys married Miss Kenner of Louisiana and left six children. James Brown married Ann Hart, daughter of Col. Thomas Hart and sister of Mrs. Henry Clay of Kentucky. He was a lawyer and first Secretary of State of Kentucky, went to Louisiana, and was for many years senator of the United States from that state, and was United States minister to the Court of France. He died in Philadelphia and unlike most of his kindred, left no issue. Samuel Brown was a distinguished practitioner and professor of medicine. He married Miss Perey of Alabama. His issue: James P. Brown a lawyer and planter in Mississippi, married Miss Campbell of Nashville, Tenn. His son George Campbell Brown married Miss Susan Polk, dau. of Gen. Lucius Polk of Tennessee. Susan P. Brown married Charles Ingersoll of Philadelphia. His daughters: Adela Ingersoll m. John M. Thomas a Philadelphia lawyer. Ann W. Ingersoll m. James H. Hutchinson of Philly. Betsy Ingersoll m. Arthur Amory of Boston and New York. Kate M. P. Ingersoll m. Dr. Francis Maury formerly from KY later Philly.
Elizabeth Howard married Edward Payne, of Fayette Co., Ky. Among their children were: Edward G. Payne, lawyer and farmer in Kentucky. Daniel McCarty Payne, lawyer in Lexington, Ky who had eleven children. Some of whom: John Brackenridge Payne was also a lawyer in Lexington. Mary Payne married J. H. Neville, professor of Greek at Univ. of Kentucky. Mary Howard married Alexander Parker of Lexington, Ky. One of their children: Mary W. Parker married Thomas Turpin Crittenden 1788-1832, circuit Judge and Secretary of State of Kentucky. They had 6 children, of whom: Mary Judith Crittenden married Tod Robinson, a judge of the Supreme Court of California and of their children: Mary Howard Robinson married in 1867 Felix Mercado, of San Francisco. Cornelius Robinson was a lawyer in San Francisco. Alexander Parker Crittenden, second child of Mary Parker and Thomas Crittenden, was a lawyer in San Francisco. Of their children: Laura Crittenden married Mr. Sanchez of San Francisco. James L. Crittenden was a lawyer in New York City. Thomas S. Crittenden Jr. was a brigadier general and a lawyer in Washington and a member of Congress from Missouri. Benjamin Howard, third child of Mary Preston and John Howard, married a Miss Mason in Virginia. He was a member of Congress from Kentucky, 1807-1810, Governor of the Territory of Indiana, 1810, and brigadier general in the war of 1812. He was also Governor of Missouri Territory. Margaret Howard married Robert Wycliffe, lawyer and statesman of Kentucky. They had 7 children of whom: Sally Howard Wycliffe, married Aaron K. Wooley, a circuit judge and member of the Kentucky legislature. They had 8 children, of whom the eldest, Robert W. Wooley, a lawyer in Louisville, was secretary of the U. S. legation to Spain and Col in the Confederate Army. Mary H. Wycliffe married John PRESTON, formerly of Arkansas, afterward of Trimble County. Margaret H. Wycliffe married her cousin William PRESTON of Louisville, member of Congress and United States Minister to Spain. His daughter Mary Owen Preston married her relative, John Mason Brown, lawyer of Louisville. Sarah Howard never married.
Elizabeth Smith married James Blair, a lawyer, and attorney general of Kentucky. They had four children: Francis Preston Blair Sr. was a distinguished journalist, editor of the Washington Globe, the organ of Gen. Jackson. He married Miss Eliza Gist, dau. of Gen. Nathaniel Gist and they had four children. Montgomery Blair was Post-Master General in President Lincoln's Cabinet. He married first Caroline Buckner of Virginia and second Elizabeth Woodbury, dau. of Levi Woodbury, Governor of New Hampshire. He had five children, one of whom, Elizabeth Blair married Gen. Comstock of the U.S. Army. James Blair, second child of Francis P. Blair and Eliza Gist, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, married Miss Mary, daughter of Gen. Thomas Jessup, of the U.S. Army and they had three children. Francis Preston Blair Jr. married his cousin Appohil Alexander. He was a lawyer, member of Congress, Senator from Missouri, a Major-General and a Democratic candidate for vice-president on the ticket with Horatio Seymors. He left 6 children. Elizabeth Blair married S. P. Lee, Admiral in the U.S. Navy. William Blair, second child of Elizabeth Smith and James Blair. His son, Patrick M. Blair was a lawyer in Illinois and married Miss Harriet M. Hall of Derbyshire, England. Susannah Blair married first Abram Ward and second Joe Stephenson. Their fourth child, ? Blair, married Nathan Speer. John Smith, second child of Ann Preston and Francis Smith, married Miss. Chenoe Hart, daughter of Nathaniel Hart, a Kentucky pioneer. She was the first white child born in Kentucky ?? and her name, Chenoe, is Indian for Kentucky. They had seven children, the eldest of whom, William Preston Smith, took, by legislative enactment, the name of PRESTON, married Miss Hebe Grayson, and was a farmer in Henderson Co., Ky. His daughter married H. Harrison of Lexington, Kentucky and Chicago, IL. Another daughter of Chenoe Hart and John Smith, Sarah Smith, married Rev. A. W. Young of Memphis and their son, John Preston Young was a lawyer in that city. Susannah Smith married William Trigg of Frankfort, Kentucky, son of Col. Stephen Trigg, a noted pioneer of Kentucky, who was killed at the battle of Blue Licks. Jane Smith married George Madison, Governor of Kentucky . Their child Myra Madison married Andrew Alexander of Woodbury County. The eldest of their four children (Andrew and Myra's), Appoline Alexander, married Major Gen. Francis P. Blair. William Preston Smith was a Captain in the regular army and died unmarried. Agatha Smith married Louis (Lewis) Marshall of Woodford County, KY, and they had seven children. Thomas F. Marshall, graduated from Yale, was Judge of a Louisville Court, and was the celebrated orator and member of Congress from Kentucky, 1841-43. He fought a duel with James Watson in which Watson was wounded. William L. Marshall a lawyer in Baltimore, married Miss Ann Carter Lee, sister of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Alexander K. Marshall was a member of Congress from Kentucky, 1855-57, married Miss McDowell of Jessamine Co., Ky. Agatha Marshall married Caleb Logan, Chancellor of Kentucky and had five daughters. Edward Marshall was member of Congress from California, 1851-53, married Miss Josephine Chalfont of Cincinnati and had three children. The source of most of the details on this page is "The Preston Genealogy" by L. A. Wilson and William Bowker Preston, pub. in the Deseret News, 1900.
Mary Preston, sister of John Preston, married Phillip Barger.