The Gordon Family History

By Christina Wiles
May 3, 2002

From Some Colonial Families of Virginia by Alexander Gordon, Jr. in "Gordon Family Files", April 29, 2002

According to the text, the progenitor of the Gordon family in Scotland was Sir Adam de Gordon, who came to Scotland from Normandy during the reign of David I of Scotland (1124-1158). The Gordons of Virginia descended from the second son of Sir Adam de Gordon, Sir William de Gordon. Sir William received the barony (political division of a county) of Stichell and Glenbens in Kirkcudbright, which was comprised of Kenmuir (believed to be the name from which "Kenmore" was derived), Lochinvar, and Galloway.

There are gaps in the genealogy, but the text, as well as other sources, state that it was Sir John Gordon, Laird (Laird is not a title of nobility, but simply denotes one whose family has long resided on an estate. It is equivalent to the term squire.) of Lochinvar and later elevated to Viscount Kenmuir and Lochinvar by Charles I in 1633, from whom the Gordons of Virginia and Maryland descended. The Gordon family primarily lived in the lands of Galloway, Scotland.

According to the text, the first of the Gordon family documented was Samuel Gordon (1656-1732). He married Margaret McKinnell and lived in "Stockerton" in the parish of Kirkcudbright. His son, John Gordon, married Grace Newell and died in 1738.

Samuel Gordon, the first of Lochdougan, was born in 1722 and married to Nichola Brown in 1748. They had six children: John (1756), Samuel (1759), Alexander (1761), Grizzle (1763), Nicolas (1765), and Bazil (1768). Samuel Gordon died in 1799 and his eldest son, John, inherited Lochdougan.

1. John married his cousin Marian Brown in 1782 and died in 1812. He had four sons and two daughters: Samuel, Jr. (1785), Nicholas (1787), William (1789), John (1792), Bazil (1794), Margaret (1796), and Alexander (1798).

2. Samuel Gordon's third son, Alexander, emigrated to Virginia. He was a merchant and never married, although he did have a family (not a legitimate family). He returned to Scotland and died there in an unknown year.

3. Nicholas Gordon (female) married John Heron, Esq. of Ingeston in Galloway and died leaving one son.

4. Grizzle Gordon married John Bell, Esq. of Gribdae in Galloway and died about 1820, leaving two sons and four daughters.

5. Samuel and 6. Bazil, along with their nephew, Samuel Gordon, Jr., came to America and settled in Falmouth, VA in 1786. Bazil started a small store in Falmouth, which grew into a large importing and exporting enterprise. Large quantities of tobacco from the plantations along the Rappahannock River were exported to England. Bazil made profits of a million dollars exporting and is believed to have been America's first millionaire. All three of the Gordons married sisters, who were the daughters of William Knox of Culpeper County, VA and Susannah Stuart Fitzhugh (a great granddaughter of Colonel William Fitz Hugh, who came from Bedford, England in 1670).

Samuel Gordon* married Susannah Fitzhugh Knox* in 1798. According to the Kenmore chain of title, he purchased Kenmore from John and Susan Thornton in 1819. They named it "Kenmore", which was used to name many properties and was sometimes spelled Kenmuir. Samuel and Susannah Gordon had six sons and three daughters: William (1799-1886), Mary (1801-1877), Samuel (1804-1890), Susan (1808-), Bazil (1806-), John (1810-), Wellington (1812-1881), Alexander (1815-1861), and Agnes (1817-). Kenmore was given to his wife Susannah and eldest son William at the time of Samuel's death in 1843. William Gordon and his wife, Eliza Fitzhugh, sold the property to Franklin Slaughter in 1859.

The children of Samuel and Susannah Gordon (from "Genealogy of the Gordon Family in Virginia, or that branch of it which settled in Fredericksburg..." written by William Gordon in 1860):

1. William Knox Gordon* married Eliza Fitzhugh*, daughter of Bolling Fitzhugh, Esq. of Belle Air in Stafford County. They had seven children.

2. Mary Gordon married Dr. John Wallace of Fredericksburg in 1828. They had seven children.

3. Samuel Gordon married a relation, Patsy Fitzhugh, daughter of Battaile Fitzhugh of Santee in Caroline County. They had eight children.

4. Bazil Gordon married Lucy Penn Taylor, daughter of Dr. John Taylor of Prospect Hill in Caroline County, and granddaughter of John Taylor of Caroline Co., statesman and patriot of the American Revolution.

5. Susan F. Gordon married first her cousin, Alexander Gordon, who died in 1832. She married Mr. James Ryan of Baltimore in 1843.

6. John Montgomery Gordon married Emily Chapman, daughter of distinguished physician Dr. Chapman of Philadelphia. They had two daughters.

7. Wellington Gordon married Fanny Powell, of Louden, daughter of Cuthbert Powell, member of Congress from Virginia. They had four children.

8. Alexander Gordon* married first, Margaret McKim of Baltimore, who died. They had three children. He later married Betty Harrison, the daughter of Randolph Harrison of Elk Hill in Goochland County. They had four children.

9. Agnes Campbell Gordon married Hughes Armistead Esq. of Baltimore. They had six children.

Bazil Gordon married Anna Campbell Knox in 1814. They had seven children, four of which, Susan, William, Virginia Fitzhugh, and Agnes Somerville, died during a storm when a huge branch from a tree fell on them. The three remaining children were:

1. Bazil Brown Gordon who married Eliza Bolling Skipwith of Baltimore. They had two sons, Basil and Henry.

2. Douglas Hamilton Gordon (1817-1883) married Ellen Clarke of Gloucester Co., VA, in 1845, who died three years later leaving him with one daughter, Ellen Douglas Gordon. He married Anne Eliza Pleasants, daughter of John Hampden Pleasants, editor of the Richmond Whig, in 1857. They had three children, Basil, Douglas, and Mary Rose, who married a Haxall.

3. Anne Campbell Gordon (1819-1886) married Dr. John Hanson Thomas of Baltimore in 1837. They had two daughters and five sons.

Bazil and his wife, Anna, are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Fredericksburg.

* Denotes this person is buried in the Gordon family cemetery

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