Was Gary’s Great Grandmother Related to Chief Justice John Marshall?

My friend Gary recently sent me a question. He was wondering if his great grandmother was related to Chief Justice John Marshall? He also sent a link to findagrave.com:

Gary’s Maternal Side

I already have a tree for Gary’s side, but Mary Jane Marsh is on his maternal side. I’ll need to build that tree out and figure out Justice Marshall’s tree.

Here is Gary’s mother. That’s all I have so far. Here is Sylvia in 1940.

She shows as John Evans Aunt which is interesting. The 1930 Census is also a bit confusing:

Why would Sammy have a son with a different last name?

Also Sylvia’s last name is given as Marsh not Marshall, but there are Marshall’s close by:

I guess the Marshall comes in earlier. Amanda Marsh was an Evans and her mother was a Marshall.

Amanda Jane Evans Clayton Marsh

So, if Amanda was a Clayton, then these other children were hers from a previous marriage. That makes sense. Here is Amanda in 1910:

Amanda’s husband was a dredger.

Here is Amanda in 1910:

This shows that Amanda’s mother Mary was born in Maryland, but that her father was born in Virginia. Amanda’s father was lister as a ‘Sailor’.

Chief Justice John Marshall

Here is what Wikipedia has:

I bring this up now because Justice Marshall was from Virginia. That means that we are at least headed to the right location with Amanda’s mother. Also Justice Marshall had a lot of sons. If he had no sons, we could stop here.¬†

Mary Jane Marshall

Let’s see if Mary Jane Marshall leads us to Chief Justice Marshall. Here is a record that ties Amanda Evans back to Mary Jane Marshall:

Here is Ewell, Maryland:

Here is some more on Amanda:

I’m not sure how the half siblings fit in. Between findagrave.com and Social Security, we seem to be on the right track. Here is Mary J in 1880 with her family:

The Census shows that Mary’s father John was born in Virginia as was his father and mother.

John W Marshall

Based on the 1880 Census, John was born around 1840 in Virginia. Here is John 10 years earlier in 1870:

John must have moved to Maryland around 1865 – an interesting year.

John was in Accomack, Virginia in 1860:

He was also born in Accomack:

Here is part of a death record for Hettie L Barnes. She is probably the Hester L Marshall who shows up in the 1880 Census:

If correct, this gives her mother’s name as Julia Anne Tyler.

Summary to this Point

So far, I have have traced one of Gary’s lines back to John W Marshall. He was born in Accomack County, Virginia in about 1839. The question is whether this John W Marshall descends from Chief Justice John Marshall. Chief Justice John Marshall was born September 24, 1755 in Fauquier County, VA which is to the West of Washington, DC.

I did find a book from 1890:

This book has Chief Justice John Marshall in it, but I didn’t see any John W Marshall at least in the index.

Back to John W Marshall

At this point I am going to Ancestry Tree hints for John W. Ancestry has 10 trees for John W.

The eight trees that have parents for John W Marshall have these two parents. As I have no other ready clues, I’ll go with John Taffy as the father of John W.

Another web page has this information:

It would be nice to find this family in the 1850 Census.

I did find a John T Marshall on an agricultural Census. That John was also a slave holder and corresponds to this John:

However, the other names don’t match well.

John Taffy Marshall

Here is John in 1860:


John is listed as a Sailor. That could explain the difficulty in finding the family in 1850? Rachel Evans is listed as being from Maryland. This could be Eleanor’s mother. Perhaps the family was in Maryland in 1850.

Going Back Further Using Other People’s Trees

There are 10 trees for John Taffy Marshall:

They all have the above parents.  However, two trees mention Germantown, Virginia. In one tree John A was born there and died and in Accomack. In the other tree he was born in Germantown and died in Accomack. My guess is that these two occurances of Germantown are not correct and are an attempt to link the family to Chief Justice John Marshall.

John A Marshall Born 1775

This John was born in an interesting year. There are also 10 trees for John A Marshall.

These trees have as a father Samuel Marshall born 1745.

Samuel Marshall  Jr Born 1745

Here is Somerset County. Ancestry trees have Samuel born here:

This seems a likely place for Samuel based on the geography of the area. Assuming these trees are correct, that rules out Chief Justice John Marshall as Gary’s ancestor and rules in Samuel Marshall.





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