Talk:Judith Jefferson Farrar
From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia
The attribution of George Farrar as the husband of Judith Jefferson is wrong. The source for this error is a book, "Some Farrar Island Descendants" by Alvanh Holmes, it is not a reliable source. The book has some serious errors, because it was constructed in response to input and arguments by personages who had personal agenda's to join organizations such as Colonial Dames, First Families of Virginia.
Mrs Holmes based much of her work on the early Virginia Colony on the more reliable and academic and dispassionate Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, however when it came to creating genealogies, she obviously succumbed to influences from others. Her work is invaluable but it is not without error, and it is only a starting point, not an authoritative source.
According to the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, page 323 Volume IX, 1901 the husband of Judith Jefferson was William Farrar 4, I quote: "This reference as to the facts stated is entirely competent, and as William 4 Farrar was the only one who owned Farrar's island at the period referred to, there can be no doubt that he was the husband of Judith Jefferson".
I strongly caution against using Alvanh Holmes as an authoritative reference. Interesting yes, Useful yes, a starting point yes, but fraught with errors, and heavily influenced by political and personal needs and agenda's, not just hers but others seeking to join organizations and establish a pedigree.
- I take your point about relying on Holmes (and other secondary works). They do have their uses, however, and I must say that I find the evidence that Holmes offers in support of George Farrar as Judith's husband more convincing than Judge Farrar's statement in VMHB. Holmes states in Some Farrar's Island Descendants: "Since the review of the Farrar family in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1901, records have been found which settle the question of which Farrar married Judith Jefferson, aunt of the President. It was once thought that William Farrar IV, last owner of Farrar's Island, was her husband; however, the deed of sale of Farrar's Island to Thomas Randolph, Jan. 1727, is followed by a Henrico Court record dated 2.3.1727, stating that "Sarah Farrar, wife of the said Farrar," relinquished her dower rights. (See the author's book: Holmes, The Farrar's Island Family, p. 147.)"
- Holmes goes on to list various people who have investigated the issue and/or are Farrar descendants and have decided or were told that George was the husband of Judith Jefferson, not William, which isn't terribly useful. She also mentions a parcel of land in which Judith Jefferson was given a partial share by her father, Thomas Jefferson. In resulting litigation involving said piece of land, the previous owner was ordered to cede the property to "George Farrar and his heirs forever" - "transfer recorded at Varina Court, 1st Monday in April 1729 (D & W No. 1, Pt. 2, 226-7)". (p. 139) This of course is not proof either, but is suggestive.
- At any rate, without looking at all the primary evidence myself and without any irrefutable proof of Judith's husband's name, I would hesitate to make this determination myself. For now I've left the first name of Judith's husband out of the main article and am simply referring readers to all the published material to be had on this family. If anything else pertinent comes to light, please do let us know. --ABerkes 15:34, 28 April 2009 (EDT)