Gideon Macon

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Gideon (or Gedeon) Macon (c. 1648–1702) was an early American settler.[1]

There are conflicting theories regarding Gideon Macon's lineage. The one which has been commonly set forth is that his parents were from Loire, France, but Gideon had to have either been born in England or have become an English citizen to have been permitted to come to Virginia since only English citizens could live in the colony at the time. Since his family was believed to have been Huguenot or of Huguenot descent,[2] they may have lived for a time in England. Many Huguenots fled France during the French Wars of Religion.

A second theory is that Gideon Macon is the son of William Macon and Ann Garland. William was born in Nottingham, England in 1615 and sailed to Virginia Colony aboard the Merchant Ship "Bonaventure" in 1634.[3] There, William held a Royal Patent for 400 acres in the Powhatan County (Land Office of Patents and Grants of Virginia). William also owned a Tavern House in James City. Following Bacon's Rebellion, he leased the Tavern House to the Colonial Government of Virginia because their office buildings had been burned down during the rebellion. Upon William Macon's death, income from the building was paid to his widow, Ann (Garland) Macon. Upon her death in 1699, her will left items to Gideon Macon and his children. This will provides additional evidence as proof that Ann (Garland) Macon was the mother of Gideon Macon. Similar evidence is unavailable to prove that Gideon Macon is of Huguenot descent.

Gideon Macon came to Virginia sometime before 1672.[1]

York County[edit]

Secretary to Governor William Berkeley[edit]

Macon served as Secretary to Sir William Berkeley[1] who was appointed Governor of Virginia by King Charles I for two nonconsecutive terms. Berkeley's first term was from 1642-1652. In 1652 Berkeley was forced from office by a fleet of British warships sent by Oliver Cromwell, but he remained in the colony. Gideon was Secretary during the Governor's Second Administration (1660–1677).

Additional roles[edit]

From 1671 to 1681, Gideon was also an attorney in York County, Virginia.[1] He was a sub-sheriff of York County in 1672,[1] under Daniel Wild, who was by some accounts his brother-in-law.[1] He had land patents in the counties of New Kent for 545 acres (2.21 km2), Henrico for 148 acres (0.60 km2), and two grants in King and Queen county for 172 and 425 acres (1.72 km2).[1]

He also served as a vestryman of Bruton Parish in 1678.[1]

Move to New Kent County[edit]

New Residence at Mount Prospect[edit]

New Kent County (established in 1654 from York County) was where Gideon Macon built his home in 1680 on Macon's Island. He named his estate Prospect Hill or "Mount Prospect". In 1680, Gideon was given the title of Colonel as the Commander in Chief of the New Kent County Military.

Shortly thereafter, he married Martha Woodward, daughter of William Woodward,[4] interpreter to the Pamunkey tribe.

Martha's father, William Woodward, owned a large tract of land along the Pamunkey River above Johns Creek which his two daughters inherited.[4]


In 1684 William Macon (Gideon's father) died and on November 14, 1684 Gideon Macon left "a large sum" of money to the church. In the same year, he was named Churchwarden in St. Peter's Parish and was actively involved in managing affairs in that post until the time of his death.[1] He was also commander-in-chief of the military in New Kent County.

The vestry would have the duties of appointing the clergymen, investigating cases of suspected moral delinquency, and to set and collect the parish levy to cover expenses.[1]

The members of the vestry would rotate in the position of the churchwarden. The two churchwardens would be the representatives of the vestry. They would ensure that the church was properly maintained, collect and may the ministers dues, and keep all of the church accounts. It was also their responsibility to ensure that illegitimate children were provided for, that indigent orphans were indentured, and that the sick and elderly were lodged and boarded at the parish's expense.[1]

House of Burgesses[edit]

Gideon Macon quickly became prominent in the affairs of New Kent County, and he was elected to the General Assembly and served as a Burgess in the House of Burgesses in 1693 and 1696 to 1702.


There are conflicting reports regarding Gideon Macon's burial. One report states that Gideon Macon is buried at the foot of the chancel in Bruton Parish Church. Another report states that he was buried in the family plot on Macon's Island, and that the gravestone was destroyed by the Federal Army in 1862 during the American Civil War 160 years after his death.

Macon was an early Vestryman at Bruton Parish Church, and a brass tablet marks a pew in his name.

Other notable facts[edit]

Gideon Macon was the father of Martha Macon, who was the mother of Frances Jones. Frances was, in turn, the mother of Martha Dandridge (wife of George Washington).

He was also the great-grandfather of Nathaniel Macon, who was both the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1801–1808 and Senator from North Carolina from 1815-1828.

Upon Gideon Macon's death in 1702, his widow, Martha Woodward Macon, married Captain Nathaniel West who was also a representative in the House of Burgesses. Captain Nathaniel West and Martha Woodward had two children, and their daughter, Unity West, married Frances Jones's brother-in-law, William Dandridge.


Gideon Macon married Martha Woodward in 1680. They had eight children:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Cabell, James Branch. "The Majors and Their Marriages 1915" The W.C. Hill Printing Co., 1915
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kennedy, Mary Selden. "Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families 1911" Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1911
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Fleet, Beverley. "King and Queen County Records Concerning 18th Century Persons, 4th Collection 1961" Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co. 1961
  5. ^ Whitley, Edythe Rucker, "One Branch of the Macon Family in America" 1981 ( Copy on file DAR Library, Washington, D. C.).
  6. ^ Virginia, "Vestry Book of Saint Peter's Parish - New Kent County, VA,1682-1758.", (The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, Richmond, 1904. Clearfield Co. Inc., Baltimore, MD 1989, 1996.), p. 25


  • Warren, Charles. A History of the American Bar. New York: Cosimo, 2006. Print. "Thus in York County Records, of the names of thirteen men who appeared on the docket as attorneys between 1640 and 1675, with the exception of William Sherwood (who was a trained lawyer) and John Holdcraft and William Swinnerton, all were either planters or merchants prominent in the community: Francis Willis, James Bray, Thomas Bullard, John Page and Daniel Parke becoming members of the Virginia Council; William Hockady, Thomas Bushrod, Dr. Robert Hllyson, Gideon Macon being at different times members of the House of Burgessess and Karby Kiggars. (See William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. VIII.)
  • The Edward Pleasants Valentine Papers. Richmond, Va.: Published by the Valentine Museum, 1927. Print. "Capt. John Lydall and Mr. John Parke succeeded as Church Wardens by Mr. Gideon Macon and Mr. Wm. Clopton Apr 10, 1696." P. 25.
  • Cabell, James Branch. The Majors and Their Marriages,. Richmond, Va: W.C. Hill Printing, 1915. 50-52. Google Books. Web. 10 July 2010 <>
  • Hatcher, William E., and Virginia D. Cox. The Sneads of Fluvanna. Fork Union, Va.: Sneads of Fluvanna, 1959. Print. 99, 101
  • Harris, Malcolm Hart. Old New Kent County: Some Account of the Planters, Plantations, and Places. Vol 1. Baltimore, Md.: Reprinted for Clearfield by Genealogical, 2006. Print.

External links[edit]