Pendleton Pedigree in America


The oldest immediate and authenticated ancestor of the American Pendletons who look back to Colonial Virginia for the beginning of their family in this country – and it is thought, and is probably true that all of this name in America are from the same that source – was Henry Pendleton, Gentleman of Norwich, England, who lived in the generation preceding the date of 1674, when his two sons (or two of his sons), Phillip and Nathanial, emigrated to Virginia, United States of North America.

In an existing record which is stamped with the family arms, this Henry Pendleton, Gentleman of Norwich, is spoken of as being descended from Lancashire and of the Lancashire Pendletons. Records at Eccles, near Manchester, go back to about the year 1400. (There is also in the neighborhood the town of Pendleton, but it is not so old as Eccles, and the chapel records do not go back so far) Going back in the records to the year 1400, the name Pendleton then shows evidence of having made entries in the register of “Pende-Hulton”, “Pendulton”, “Pendle”, and “Pendeltune” is mentioned in Doomsday Book, the census taken of the Anglo-Saxon on early English families by order of William the Conqueror, the date of whose conquest of England is A.D. 1066.

From this it is thought that the name “Pendleton” is not of Norman-French origin, “which seems to have been something of a tradition, or theory at least, with some members of the family in the immediate past,” but is of aboriginal English or Celtic origin. From all records connected with the subject, the family seems to have had its beginning in the neighborhood of “Pendle Hill”, a large hill in Lancashire visible from the sea, from which circumstances it probably took its name “pen” in the Celtic meaning “herd”, i.e. the high hill, a promontory, or headland in appearance from the sea. The idea has been advanced that the “Pendletunes” (afterward “Pendletons”) owned that hill upon their estate, hence its name, but it is perhaps more probable that the first men of the name were so called from the hill, as it was common at that day for names to be taken from natural objects. The Virginia Historical Magazine says “Two Gaelic words, “pendle” and “dun” meaning top or summit, and hill, respectively.”

Our authenticated ancestor, Henry Pendleton, Gentleman of Norwich, thought to have been (and probably was) that Henry Pendleton of Manchester, of whom it is recorded that in 1653, he deeded Jesus Chapel, Manchester, to the parish, which chapel is now Manchester Chapel. It is stated that of the six chapels belonging to this cathedral, five are owned (or were donated) by one Lord Derby, and called after men of rank. The sixth, which was the beginning of the cathedral, is owned by the parish, and is called after no one, but would be called after Henry Pendleton of Manchester, had he not formally made a free gift of it 232 years ago to the Manchester parish. It is supposed that he gave it up when he went to live at ___________, not caring to keep a chapel for burying his dead in Manchester.

Only 23 years after the date of this deed, two sons of the Norwich Henry Pendleton came to Virginia. It was therefor entirely possible for these two men of the same name (and presumably the same position in life, as to contemporary time at least) to have been one and the same, and since our Norwich ancestor, Henry Pendleton, is recorded as having come from Lancashire (wherein is Manchester), there can be little doubt of this.

Henry Pendleton of Norwich, Norfolk County, England, was the son of George Pendleton of Manchester, England, and his wife, Elizabeth Pettingale (whose father was John Pettingale, Gentleman of Swardiston, Norwich, England).

REFERENCE Harlein, 1552, folio 241 & 246,Visitation of Norfolk, 1613, Harleian Society, volume 32, page 219.

An elaborate family tree was drawn up in the year 1840 by Judge Emund Pendleton. A copy of this family tree is in the hands of Miss Charlotte Pendleton and her mother (1522 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) who are respectively step-sister and step-mother to ex-Senator George R. Pendleton (Cincinnati, Ohio) of “civil service reform” fame, and who has just been appointed by President Cleveland as American Minister to Germany. From this Miss Pendleton (whose grandfather, Judge Nathanial Pendleton, at one time of Georgia, was the first cousin of the grandfather of Phillip and Edmund of Georgia) was obtained a good deal of the information contained in regard to the family as it existed in England. She has made researches in England and secured many interesting facts. She verified at the College of Heraldry in London, the authenticity of the Pendleton Coat of Arms, which comes down to us through the two and a half centuries from Henry Pendleton, Gentleman of Norwich, having been in the family (and was made use of by Judge Edmund Pendleton in Colonial Virginia days) during the two centuries of the existence in this country. She has also in her possession a copy (or notes giving them substance) of the births and deaths, etc., of the Lancashire Pendletons made in the register of Eccles Chapel (before referring to) going back to the dawn of the 15th century. The Christian names of the Pendletons, with the addition of an occasional Robert and William (and one or two others), are the same and have been repeated so often in the American family during the past 200 years.

One of these Pendletons is spoken of as a Fellow in Oxford College, (or maybe grandson) of a Cracton who married a Miss Pendleton “heiress” is spoken of as Governor of Chester for the Parliament. There is one of the names referred to as a merchant, but most of them have the simple word of “Gentleman”, a qualifying suffix of their names, and as everybody knows “Gentleman” at that day in England did not mean the vague moral something only, which is the present signification with us in America. It was a distinctive title naming the bearer of it as completely disconnected with the lower classes as the titled nobility themselves. It is to be stated here that the fringes on the chapeau in the crest of our family arms shows a Baron’s rank at one period. (The shells on the Coat of Arms denotes the bravery of some ancestor in the Crusades.)
In this chronicle of our forefathers in Lancashire, there is much talk of their wills and their estates and heirs, showing them to have been (if no more) landed gentry of dignity and distinction. Our far-away cousin was assisted in her researches by an interesting and valuable letter from Canon Raines, historian (Heraldic – See Canon Raines: Lancashire Chantrys), who having married a Pendleton (English), made an investigation from personal interest in the subject.

The above information was kindly ferreted out and written for our special benefit by Lewis B. Pendleton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. March 31, 1885.

The following was copied from the Virginia Historical Magazine, July 1931.

In Lancashire the name appears as early as 1246, when Siward de Pendleton, deceased, was mentioned. The same year, in the Assise Rolls of Lancashire, mention was made of Thomas de Parva Pendleton, who was surety for Adam, Richard and Roger de Pendleton, sons of Matilde de Pendleton, who was probably the widow of Siwarde de Pendleton. In 1332, Adam de Pendleton paid taxes in Salford, and Robert and Thomas de Pendleton of Penholton paid taxes there. The town of Pendleton was a portion of Saldfordborough. It is a town in Lancashire, near Manchester, England. In 1469, Thomas Pendleton was living in Lancashire, in which county he held lands. At the same time were two brothers, William and Robert Pendleton, who were probably his sons.

Another member of the family was the Rev. Henry Pendleton, Sr., who lived in the town of Pendleton during the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509). Thomas Pendleton, who died in 1534, was a nephew of the Rev. Henry Pendleton, and he had five sons Edward (who died in 1576, married Anne Newton and had four children Edward, Francis, Thomas and Elizabeth), William, Henry and Francis Pendleton, who married Cecily Beck (a daughter of Thomas Beck and his wife, Isabel Beswicke [daughter and heiress of Richard Beswicke, Jr., who was the founder of Jesus Chantry, Manchester, and he married Joan, sister of Bishop Oldham of Exeter, who died in 1519 and was buried in the Cathedral Chantry]), and they had (along with three daughters) a son, Henry Pendleton, who was a grandfather of Henry Pendleton, Gentleman, living in Manchester in 1635.

George Pendleton, Esquire, Sr., of the town of Pendleton, was living in the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547). George Pendleton, Jr., was born about 1558 and died in 1603, and is buried in St. Stephen’s, Norwich, on October 27, 1603 (the family having moved to Norfolk). He was married in St. Peter’s, Mancroft, Norwich, July 29, 1579, to Elizabeth Pettingale, daughter of John Pettingale, Gentleman of Swardiston, Norwich. She died in 1625 and was buried at St. Stephen’s, Norwich, on January 27, 1625.

The following was written by Idabel Amanda Gibson Williams, probaby around 1975.


George Pendleton, Jr., Gentleman of Manchester (the son of George Pendleton, Esq., Sr., of the town of Pendleton) was born 1553 and died 1603. He was buried in St. Stephen’s, Norwich, October 27, 1601, the family having moved to Norfolk. He was married in St. Peter’s, Mancroft, Norwich, July 29, 1579, to Elizabeth Pettingale, daughter of John Pettingale, Gentleman of Swardiston, Norwich. (She died in 1625 and was buried at St. Stephen’s, Norwich, on January 27, 1625.)

REFERENCE Harlein, 1552, folios 241 and 246, Visitation of Norfolk, 1613. Harliean Society Vol 32, page 219)

Henry Pendleton, Gentleman of Norwich, England, “descended from Lancashire”, (son of George Pendleton, Gentleman Jr., of Manchester, and his wife Elizabeth Pettingale) was born August 12, 1580, died 1635, and was buried at St. Stephen’s, Norwich, July 15, 1635. Henry married Susan Camden, daughter of Humphrey and Cecily Pettus Camden (granddaughter of Sir Thomas Pattus, Mayor of Norwich, 1591.

Henry Pendleton, Jr., son of Henry and Susan Camden Pendleton, was born 1614, and died 1682. He was baptized at St. Stephen’s, Norwich, on December 26, 1614. He married twice. The first time was in 1636, to Hanna ____, who died April 15, 1648, and was buried at St. Peter’s, Mancroft, Norwich. His second wife was Elizabeth Douglas (?), whom he married in 1649. She probably died about 1708. She survived him and was granted administration of his estate, December 20, 1682, in Norwich. Henry and his first wife, Hanna, had four sons. By his second wife, he had two sons, Phillip and Nathanial. Nathanial was born March 31, 1650, and was an A.B. of Corpus Christi in 1672. On September 20, 1673, he was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Norwich. He became Curate of Badwell Ask in Suffolk, in 1674. He came to Virginia with his younger brother, Phillip, in 1674.

Phillip Pendleton, (first generation in America) son of Henry Pendleton, Jr., of Norwich, was born in Norwich, England, March 26, 1654, and baptized at St. Peter’s, Mancroft, Norwich, England, April 2, 1654. He came to America in 1674, at the age of 20, with his brother, Rev. Nathanial Pendleton (who died without issue). In 1677, he was Deputy Clerk of Rappahannock County, Virginia. Phillip went back to England in 1680, according on one record (another says he went back at the time of his father’s death in 1682), returned shortly afterward, and married Isabella Hurt, sometime between 1680 and 1682. Both brothers lived in Essex County, Virginia, and later moved to Kings and Queens County, Virginia (also called New Kent and later called Carolina County, Virginia). Phillip had three sons and four daughters. One authority speaks of him as a lawyer, another as a schoolmaster. He died on November 9, 1721. He owned 300 acres of land in Kings and Queens County, Virginia, and his son, Henry, was taxed for 700.

Henry Pendleton, (second generation in America) oldest son of Phillip and Isabella Hurt Pendleton, was born 1683 and married Mary Taylor in 1701. He was 18 years old, and she was 13. They had five sons and two daughters (Isabella, who married William Gaines; and Mary, who married James Gaines, William’s brother). Henry died very young, in May 1721, the same year as his father. Mary Taylor, his wife, was born 1688. After his death in 1721, she married Edward Watkins, whom she survived. She died at the age of 82, in 1770. She was the daughter of James Taylor.

Phillip Pendleton, (third generation in America) son of Henry and Mary Taylor Pendleton, was born 1704 (or 1705), and died in 1770 (although one record says 1775). He married his cousin, Martha Pendleton. They had five daughters and one son, Micajah (our Revolutionary War ancestor). Phillip’s brothers were James, the eldest, Nathanial (from whom is descended the statesman, George H. Pendleton), John and Edmund.

Book no. 22, page 49-410, Essex County, Virginia, October 18, 1742.Phillip and John Pendleton, sons of Henry Pendleton, deceased, of the Parish of St. Stephen’s, King and Queen County, to Nathaniel Pendleton of south Farnham Parish, Essex County, 200 acres of land conveyed to the said Phillip and John by Edward Watkins and Mary, (Mary Taylor Pendleton Watkins) his wife by deed of gift.

Extracts from the Vestry Book of Stratton Major Parish, King and Queen County, Virginia.
April 21, 1767

Order that the Church Wardens apply to Captain John Pendleton whether he will undertake on behalf of the administrators of John Robinson, Esquire, to finish the present building of the above mentioned church of this parish as the administrators are answerable to the parish for 270 pounds which was levied by the parish on the tithables for the first payment for building the said church and the Vestry house and collected by him, the said John Robinson, deceased.
December 11, 1767
Pews allotted to families, all in the new church, viz No. 9 – John Pendleton, Francis Gaines and several other gentlemen. No.8 – John Pendletonís wife and eight other women.
April 1768
Churchwardens certify that the church has been finished and that it is agreeable for Captain John Pendleton to pay the builders 250 pounds.

(Copied from Virginia Historical Magazine, January 1934)

Micajah Pendleton, (our Revolutionary War ancestor) son of Phillip and Martha Pendleton, born in Buckingham County, Virginia, 1758. He lived in Buckingham County until 1800, then Amherst and Nelson Counties, Virginia. He married Mary Cabell Horsely (daughter of William Horsely of Amherst County, Virginia) in 1779. They had three sons and four daughters Joseph (born about 1780), who married Elizabeth Riley, Edmund; Elizabeth, who married Thomas F. Emmett; Edmon, who married Dabney Gooch; Martha, who married Hudson M. Garland; Robert, who married Mary Tallesfarro; and Lettia, who died young.

Joseph Pendleton, (Rev. Joseph Pendleton, Methodist minister) son of Micajah Pendleton and his wife, Mary Cabell Horsely. Born 1780, Married Elizabeth Riley, November 6, 1801. Lived in Washington County, Virginia, and died in 1840. Elizabeth Riley was born about 1780 and died in 1825.

James Vance Pendleton, son of Rev. Joseph Pendleton and his wife, Elizabeth Riley. Born February 28, 1816, married Ann Maria Murphy (daughter of Pleasants Murphy and Ann Robertson Shelton) of Tazewell County, Virginia, May 20, 1842. Lived in Giles County, Virginia, and Sullivan County, Tennessee. Died 1870. Ann Maria Murphy was born 1822 and died February 22, 1909, in Bristol, Tennessee, at the home of her son Bascom W. Pendleton. She is buried in Bristol, Tennessee. They had two daughters and seven sons Albert G.; Bently Gains (who died in infancy); William H.; Murphy N.; Bascom W.; Wirt Wentworth; Lesli Wirt; James L.; Albert Hodges; Wentworth; Frank Leslie (father of cousin Myrtle Pendleton Hodges and Herbert Ellsworth Pendleton and Leslie Wirt Pendleton and James L. Pendleton); Ann Elizabeth Pendleton; and Letitia Virginia Pendleton.

 Click here to see the original document, Pendleton_Pedigree_in_America


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