A family in England bearing the name of de Isham or Isham has existed over a period of eight hundred and fifty years. For about three hundred and forty years the line is somewhat uncertain, but from the year 1424 to the present time the family may be definitely traced in its ancient home in Northamptonshire, England. In the sixteenth century the fortunes of the family began to improve and in 1627 the then representative of the family was made a baronet, a title which has continued to the present time, although not in the direct line. The account of the Isham family is based upon the researches of the Rev. Henry Isham Longden, who was born at Lamport, the seat of the baronets Isham, and who had the use of the very extensive archives and family papers there preserved. Other families bearing the name are found in Shropshire and Somersetshire.
Henry Isham of the ancient house of Pitchley emigrated to Virginia.
Who his first wife was is unknown: several references to her suggest
her name to Elizabeth. Phoebe Isham is a daughter from this marriage
and a son, Edward or Edmund.
He had no surviving son by his second wife Kathrine:(Henry jr. died at an early age), daughters Mary and Ann Isham from this marriage.
"The Virginians themselves are inclined to suspect that Henry had more children by his first wife Elizabeth???
son Henry by his second wife mentions only his immediate family in his will. Philip Alexander Bruce says there is a
possible daughter who married a Cherstain--otherwise he cannot account for an Isham Cherstain, except as a fancy name.
Phoebe, that married Robert Belcher, shows up in Virginia b: 1649-50 there in Henrico county, the only possibility of being Henrys daughter
,the other daughters and son henry were not born til around 1660. Katherine out lived henry and married again and had other children this leads us to believe Henry was older and Katherine Younger.
when he married her, giving rise to the fact he was married before.
Edward Isham a son by the first marriage:
John Isham in Henry County in Nansemond,
further west toward Kentucky--he very likely from Edward; Ann Isham Gordon as late as 1796
(will) of Prince George county, near Bermuda Hundred.
15. EUSEBY ISHAM (Sir Euseby, Gregory, Euseby), baptized Mar.
20, 1586-87 at Braunston; married Susan, widow of Daniel Kechen.
In 1630 he was dwelling at Pytchley. No issue.
16. WILLIAM ISHAM (Sir Euseby, Gregory, Euseby), baptized Mar. 20,
1587-88 at Braunston; married at Toddington, county Bedford, Aug. 15,
1625, Mary Brett, sister of Sir Edward Brett of Bexley in Kent, knight, serjeant-porter to the king, whose will of Dec. 22, 1682, proved Mar. 17, 1683-84, mentions his Virginia nephew, Henry Isham (Henry sr's son by Katherine), deceased, and his two daughters.
16. WILLIAM, bapt. Mar. 20, 1587-88; m. Mary Brett; was
Euseby, bapt. June 7, 1626, at Pytchley; d. Jan. 30, 1653-54,
and was buried at Wroxton near Banbury in Oxfordshire,
with an inscription on a small brass.
The inscription is as follows: Heare lyeth the body of Euseby Isam sonne of William Isam of Pichly in the conty of North-hampton, esquire, buryed the 31 day of Ianuary anno domini 1653. "The family had no connection that I know of with Wroxton, and there was no reason why he should have been buried there, unless the young man (he was only twenty-seven) in the troubles of the time fell in some skirmish or brawl. The register of the church is badly kept, and makes no mention even of his burial, nor does the name of Isham occur in it. I conclude he was almost without doubt unmarried."
24. Henry, of Bermuda Hundred upon James River in Henrico
county, Virginia;m#1 Elizabeth Anne. #2 m: Katherine Banks
17. THOMAS ISHAM (Sir Euseby, Gregory, Euseby), baptized Dec. 20, 1600; died Feb. 6, 1669-70, and was buried at Wheatfield, where his monument remains; married at Pytchley Aug. 28, 1628, Elizabeth Denton, baptized at Stowe May 6, 1610, daughter of Sir Thomas Denton of Hillesden, Bucks, knight. She died Sept. 20, 1667, and was buried at Hillesden, where her monument remains.
Thomas Isham resided at Radclive, county Buckingham, and at Wheatfield, county Oxford. He and his wife are often named in the well-known letters of the Verney family and he was fined œ10 in 1649 by the parliamentary committee, having compounded, on June 28 of that year, lest his estate should be sequestrated for anything said or done by him during the first civil war. His wife's Buckinghamshire connections may have been the reason for his keeping house at Radclive, but he was of Wheatfield, Feb. 1, 1669-70, when he made his will.
Euseby, d. in infancy and was buried Aug. 2, 1629, at
Thomas, b. at Wheatfield, where the registers are lost;
d. unmarried July 17, 1676, and was buried at Hillesden,
with a monument. He matriculated at Merton College,
Oxford, Mar. 31, 1664, being then aged seventeen and
received B.A. June 20, 1667; barrister-at-law of the
Middle Temple in 1675. By his will of June 13, 1676,
he gave œ400 in trust, to be paid to the heir apparent
or heir male of the body of his cousin german, Henry
Isham of Virginia, if such heir should come to reside
in England for one whole year. He gave to his uncle
Denton, a doctor of physic œ100, and other sums to
his cousins Alexander Denton, a doctor of the Middle
Temple, George Nicholas of Covent Garden and Anne
his wife and Robert Dormer, a barrister of Lincoln's
Inn, but all his lands and real estate he gave to his
friend and cousin, Francis Drake of Stratton Audley.
By a codicil of July 17, 1676, he gave his law books and
notes to Nicholas Page and his best piece of plate to
"my cousin Anne Woodward, my dear Franck Drake's
mother." A memorandum added to the will, which was
proved July 20, 1676, by Francis Drake, the executor,
explains that a reason for the Virginian legacy was,
that Sir Edward Brett might be encouraged to be very
kind to the Virginian cousin "and therefore I begg his
kindness for his kinsman and mine."
Anne, buried at Hillesden Sept. 9, 1632, an infant.
18. SIR JOHN ISHAM of Lamport (Thomas, John of Lamport, Euseby), born on Friday July 27, 1582, according to father's notes; died at Lamport July 8, 1651, and was buried the next day at Lamport under a tombstone of black marble; married at Brixworth Oct. 19, 1607, Judith Lewin, born about Oct. 31, 1590, died June 25, 1625, in thirty-fifth year and was buried at Lamport, a tablet of black marble over the altar describing her as "Daughter to learned William Lewin." She was the youngest daughter of William Lewin of Otteringden in Kent, a doctor of the civil law and a judge of the prerogative court.
Sir John's godfathers were John Isham his grandfather, then sheriff of Northamptonshire, and his great-uncle Henry Isham, citizen of London and controller of the Custom House and his godmother, Alice, wife of Thomas Aldershawe.
On May 30, 1627, he had a patent of a baronetcy from King Charles II. He added to the family estates by buying from Francis Saunders, esquire, the manor of Shangton in Leicestershire on Apr. 15, 1637, for a sum of œ12,225, but his sympathy for the royal cause impoverished the family, the king borrowing money of him and the parliament sequestrating his estates.
Elizabeth Isham the wyfe & widow of Thomas Isham Esquire my loving and religious mother daparted this lyfe on the 9th day of August being Thursday betweene the houres of 9 & 10 of the clok in the forenoone Anno Domini 1621 and was buried on the Saturday following she having lived in the worlde 69 yeares wanting 7 weekes, Shee kept
24. HENRY ISHAM (William, Sir Euseby, Gregory, Euseby), date of birth and death unknown; married #1 unknown #2 Katharine Banks, daughter of (???) Banks of Canterbury. Her will was proved Dec. 1, 1686, in Virginia. She had married second, Joseph Royall or Ryal, and perhaps had issue by him.
As Captain Harry Isham of Bermuda Hundred, he is named in the will of John Smith of Bristol in 1676, and he was also a legatee in the will of Sir Edward Brett of Bexley.
Worthy to note here:
Henry is reputed to have had other Children by his first wife:
Several sons and a daughter:
Many genealogies have Phoebe Isham listed as the first daughter born:
This Phoebe Isham was married to Robert Belcher.
She was not mentioned in her stepbrothers will nor was any other earlier children of Henry's.
Children of Henry and Katherine Banks Royall:
Henry, of Henrico county in Virginia, to whom Thomas
Isham of the Middle Temple, his cousin german once
removed, gave a legacy in his will of June 13, 1676, on
condition that he should come back to spend a whole
year in England. This legacy was a fatal one for he d. on
his voyage from England to Virginia after the completion
of the year. His will of Nov. 13, 1678, was proved
in London June 5, 1680, and in Virginia Feb. 1, 1678-79,
by William Randolph the executor. He gave legacies
to his half-brother, Joseph Ryalland to his mother,
Mrs. Katharine Isham. His plantation, called Doggams,
in Charles City county in Virginia, he bequeathed
to his sisters Mrs. Mary Randolph and Mrs. (i.e. Mistress,
now Miss) Anne Isham, and the residue of his
estate in Virginia and England to Mr. William Randolph.
He was never m. and was probably the last male of the
elder line of the Ishams of Pytchley.
Mary, m. in or before 1678 to William Randolph of Turkey
Island in Virginia.
Anne, unmarried at the date of her brother's will of 1678.
In 1685 she was m. to Francis Eppes, Jr.
The ancestry of Henry Isham of Virginia has become known through the researches of Rev. Henry Isham Longden, who was born at Lamport, and is a distinguished antiquary and genealogist of Northamptonshire families. He was M.A. of Keble College, Oxford and rector of Heyford, county Northampton, and later of a parish of Northampton itself. In 1898 he published a book having the title: Some Notes on Sir Euseby Isham of Pytchley in the County of Northampton with special reference to his Virginian Descendants. London: Mitchell and Hughes, 140 Wardour Street, 1898. He gave me a copy of this rare work in 1908, which is now given to the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford, Conn. I give the gist of his researches in his own words:
I have not given all the Randolph particulars in this pedigree, but I must just say that Richard Randolph is given two brothers, Thomas Randolph the Poet, and Henry Randolph of Randolph's River, near Apomatocks, who left issue. Their father's habitation was Morton Hall in or near Warwick; but in these particulars there is not complete accuracy.
Some further notes there are, written about the manuscript probably by the person who handed in the Pedigree.
To enquire after the estate of Sr. Eusebius Isham of Pitchley in Northampton, and another estate of his named Isham; endeavor to see will.
Mrs Isham's estate in Gloucestershr, she was dau'r in Law to Christian Policy Clerk in the same County.
The estate of Sr Edward Brett in Kent known by the name of Blendome (on) Hall (in Bexle parish Dec. 22, 1682, probate Mar. 17, 1683, codicil Nov. 7, 1683), his will dated 1684.
The Family of Wathews
Banks in Kent.
Hare 27, Mar. 27, 1684.
a son of William Isham and Mary Brett, who were married at Toddington, where many of the Brett family occur in parish registers.
Henry, the only son, died as a young man. His will (P. C.C., 81 Bath), dated 13 November 1678, was proved in Virginia 1 February 1678-9 and in London 5 June 1680 by William Randolph his executor. After bequests to his half-brother Joseph Royalland others, he leaves to his honoured mother Mrs. Katherine Isham one-third of his estate "both of what is in Virginia and England"; to his sister Mrs. Anne Isham a third; and his plantation in Charles City County in Virginia, commonly known as Doggams, equally between his two sisters Mrs. Mary Randolph and Mrs. Anne Isham. Mr. William Randolph to be his residuary legatee and sole executor. Mary Isham had married Col. William Randolph, and on the latter's monument she is described as daughter
"Victoria History of the Counties of England" and a work on "Northamptonshire Families," edited by Oswell Barron.