Elizabeth Bankhead Magruder died at Charlottesville, Virginia, August 19, 1849, at the age of 71.
She was born 11/5/1778 at Port Royal, Caroline County, Virginia. She was the daughter of James Bankhead and Christian Miller, both of Port Royal, and sister of James Monroe Bankhead and Janet Bankhead Dunlop (married William Dunlop, a merchant, in 1799).
At the time of her birth, Caroline County was one of the most populous and affluent counties in Virginia and Port Royal, on the Rappahannock, was a primary port for shipping tobacco to Britain. During Elizabeth's life at Port Royal (and until the coming of the railroads in 1853) the riverfront town served as a warehouse center and moved grain, freight, and passengers on 3 masted schooners.
Elizabeth married Thomas Magruder, originally from Prince George's Co.,Maryland who's Scotland born ancestors had been prosperous tobacco planters in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Thomas and Elizabeth married at Port Royal about 1798. Historian Ralph Emmett Fall identifies Thomas as a food merchant, and as Port Royal Postmaster from 1794 - 1804. He identifies their 1817 home as near the thriving riverport along "the highway to the old Ferry and Tannery." Paul D. Casdorph, in his history of Elizabeth's son John Bankhead Magruder, identifies Thomas as a respected lawyer in Caroline County. The personal memoirs dated 1893 of a Caroline County resident states, "The gentleman farmers--the Pendletons, Taylors, Turners, Corbins, Hoomeses, Magruders, and many others--resided on large estates and were noted for their profuse living and lavish hospitality."
Elizabeth, Thomas and children are present in Caroline County censuses for 1810, 1820 and 1830 (1790 and 1800 censuses were burned) and are the only Magruders listed in these censuses. They disappear from Caroline County censuses after 1830. In 1841, their son, Allan B. Magruder appears in Charlottesville records when James W. Goss sells 2 lots of land in Charlottesville to "Allen B. Magruder of the Town of Charlottesville." About this time (exact date unknown at this time), Elizabeth's daughter Janetta marries Robert H. Poore of Fluvanna--a county near Charlottesville. Perhaps Elizabeth arrived in the Charlottesville area at the same time as Allan and Janetta. Research has not revealed if Thomas was alive in 1841 or if he accompanied them to Charlottesville, although a genealogy published on the internet states THOMAS MAGRUDERis buried at Maplewood (the author was contacted but could not remember the source of this information) and Elizabeth's obituary in The Fredericksburg News does not preface its reference to Thomas as "the late." A Mutual Assurance policy issued in Port Royal in 1817 identifies him as Thomas C.
Elizabeth and Thomas had (at least) eight children:ELIZA: Eliza B. married John Lewis Pendleton of Port Royal 5/26/1820 at Port Royal, Caroline County
George Allen Magruder [Sr] "Captain USN, married and later moved to England after the War Between the States. Appointed Midshipman in the United States Navy from Port Royal, VA, January 1, 1817. Commissioned a Captain September 14, 1855. Served as Chief of Ordnance and Hydrography until April 23, 1861. Resigned on May 15, 1861, as of April 22, 1861."Paul D. Casdorph in Prince John Magruder, His Life and Times adds:
“Although there is no indication that sixty-one-year-old Commodore George A. Magruder embraced the Confederacy, he did tender his resignation from the navy on April 22, two days after his brother [John] gave up the Washington army garrison. “You are hereby detached from the Bureau of Ordinance and Hydrography, “Lincloln’s secretary of the navy, Gideon Welles, informed him one day after his resignation. A second letter, assuring the administration “that under no circumstances could I be induced to bear arms against the constitution and Flag I love,” brought a return letter from Welles, dated May 13: “By direction of the President your name has been stricken from the rolls of the navy.”
From History Central on the WWW: John was born in Port Royal VA in 5/1/1807. John received his early education at the Rappahannok Academy at Port Royal and attended the very first session of the University of Virginia in 1825.He did not finish his studies at the University; instead, he entered West Point on 7/1/1826. He graduated in 1830. John married the heiress of a sizable Baltimore forture, Henrietta VanKapff of Baltimore on 5/18/1831. She was the daughter of Bernard J. Von Kapff, a native of the German duchy of Lippe-Detmold, served as consul at Baltimore, and founded “Von Kapff & Anspach, one of the largest wholesale and tobacco importing businesses in the city. The marriage produced three children but did not fair well. Henrietta and children spent most of their time living in Europe while John served in assignments throughout the U. S. From 1866 and until John's death in 1871 they did not see each other at all. John graduated from West Point in 1830, fought in the Seminole and Mexican Wars, commanded Fort McHenry in Baltimore and while in command of the Washington garrison was responsible for the protection of the newly arrived President Lincoln. He was 6 ft 4 inches tall, spoke with a lisp, and his drinking often concerned his superiors. Nicknamed "Prince John," he was fond of lavish living, fashionable military dress and courtly behavior. In 1861, after 35 years of service to the United States Army, John resigned his commission and offered his services to the Confederacy. He led gallently at Big Bethel, fell into disfavor at Malvern Hill and redeemed himself at the recapture of Galveston in January 1863. After the war, he refused to apply for parole, and fled to Mexico when the war ended. In Mexico, he fought under Maximilian, then settled in Houston, Texas when Maximilian was defeated. He died in Houston on February 18, 1871.
Allan was a lawyer and resident of Charlottesville from abt 1838 until abt 1861. Allan purchased the Magruder family section at Maplewood and according to newspaper obituaries for his wife Sarah and daughter Julia, Allan also is buried in this family section.JANETTA (Born about 1823): Janetta married Robert H. Poore of Fluvanna County, Virginia. Robert, a major in Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's Division, 14th Virginia, was wounded at Gettysburg and died of his wounds 7/3/1863. The 1860 Fluvanna Co. Palmyra district census lists the following children: Eliza B. age 7, Anna T. Age 5, Julia B. Age 3, William Age 3 [twins?], and Virginia M. Age 1. Robert is identified as a Lawyer with $4000 valued real estate and $4450 valued personal property. Also on this listing is Julia A. Magruder Age 40, probably Janetta's sister. Janetta's daughter Julia B. later married Edwin L. Loving. Their son, Julian, and Edwin are buried at Maplewood in this family section.
It is my wish that all my just debts be paid and then any property whatever I possess should be equally divided between my single daughters and if one should marry it should all to the single one, if both married it should be equally divided between those two and Eliza Pendleton & Henrietta Turner. July 17, 1849 Elizabeth Magruders Witness: Last Will & Testament J. W. Poindexter St. G. Tucker George E. Saunders [Henrietta??? Turner--This will transcribed from a copy and not the original...and now has me scratching my head]
Special Thanks to Brian M., who relentlessly "reminded" the city of Charlottesville of its obligation to repair Elizabeth's stone AND Jim of Haymarket, VA, who volunteered time for "look ups" in the Fredrickburg Library archives.