Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead[1] (1791–1826), Thomas Jefferson’s eldest grandchild and the daughter of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, was born at Monticello on 23 January 1791. On 19 Sept. 1808 she married Charles Lewis Bankhead,[2] the son of Mary Warner Lewis Bankhead and one of her grandfather’s closest friends, John Bankhead. Three sons and a daughter from this union reached adulthood. In 1811 the Bankheads purchased Carlton, an 800-acre farm adjacent to Monticello. Charles Bankhead proved to be alcoholic, abusive, and improvident. Trustees managed his estate after 1815, when Jefferson sought to ease a financial crisis by adding 130 acres to the couple’s holdings. Ann Bankhead died of complications following childbirth five months before her grandfather, on 11 February 1826,[3] and was buried in the family graveyard at Monticello.

Primary Source References

1797. June 12. (Mary Jefferson to Jefferson). "...Mr. Randolph and the children arrived last Tuesday all in perfect health. Anne and Jefferson grown so much as to amaze us, Anne seems to promise more everyday of ressembling [sic] her mother. Her disposition is the same allready [sic]."[4]

1801 February 5. (Martha Jefferson Randolph to Jefferson). "...I have formed a different judgment [sic] of both Anne & Jefferson from what you do; of Anne positively...I think her apt, intelligent, good humored and of soft and affectionate dispositions and that she will make a pleasant, amiable and respectable woman."[5]

1811 May 7. (Eliza Trist to Catharine Bache). "Bankhead has given up the scheme of going to Bedford and has made a purchase of the Farm adjoining Monticello...I fancy it is a great disappointment to Mr. jefferson who pleased himself with the Idea of Ann; living in Bedford as he shou'd be a great part of hit time there...Ann notwithstanding she will be so near her family regrets the change as she thinks it will not be so much for their interest to be so near Charlottesville..."[6]


  1. Others (including Thomas Jefferson) often spelled Ann's name "Anne," but she herself seems to have preferred "Ann."
  2. Vogt, John and T. William Kethley Jr., Albemarle County Marriages, 1780–1853 [1991], 2:602.
  3. TJ to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 11 Feb. 1826
  4. Family Letters, 147.
  5. Ibid, 195.
  6. Catherine Wistar Bache Papers.American Philosophical Society

Further Sources