About Lucy Marks

Elizabeth Thornton Meriwether (1713/17 - 1774)

Elizabeth Thornton (b. 1713 or 1717) was the daughter of Francis (1682-1737) and Mary Taliaferro Thornton (1686-1780) of Snow Creek, Spotsylvania County. She married Thomas Meriwether in 1735. The Taliaferro (pronounced Toliver) family was one of the families that moved to Virginia in the 17th century. The origin of Taliaferro was Florentine. (Fischer, p. 216)

Her sister, Mildred (1721 - 1778) first married Nicholas Meriwether, uncle of Thomas. After his Nicholas’ death, she married Dr. Thomas Walker, the most prominent citizen of Albemarle County, thereby furthering the connections of the family. Mildred inherited the “Castle Hill” property from her first husband, but it was her second husband, Dr. Thomas Walker, who built the house known as “Castle Hill.”

Elizabeth’s niece, Mildred, married a brother of George Washington, Samuel Washington who died bankrupt. (Anderson, p. 221, Flexner, p. 185)

Thomas Meriwether’s early death (1756) left Elizabeth with ten children, none of whom had reached 21 or married. The executors of his will had guardianship of the three sons, leaving seven daughters in her care. Thomas gave Elizabeth full possession of his entire estate (he received 1,270 acres from his grandfather, Nicholas II and he bought 850 acres of adjoining land on the eastern slope of the Southwest Mountains for a total of 2,120 acres) as long as she remained unmarried and until each child qualified for their share of the estate. In 1759, Elizabeth Thornton Meriwether and Col. Robert Lewis drew up a prenuptial agreement signifying their intention to be married and the marriage is thought to have taken place in 1761. Robert Lewis’ first wife, Jane, was an aunt of Thomas Meriwether; thus, his widow married his aunt’s husband. Lucy Meriwether was nine when her mother remarried, and the family probably went to live in the Lewis home, “Belvoir.” Nine or ten years later, Lucy married her much older step-brother, William Lewis who was also her first cousin once-removed. (Meriwether Connections, Vol. XV, No. 4)

Patricia Zontine, April 2009