I’m sprinting down the final stretch towards my last exam, but in the meantime I’ve needed a few, ahem, study breaks…as they say, “if you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”
So, in my study breaks, I’ve done a little more research about “our” history. Here is the Cliff’s Notes of where we left of last time:
Edge Hill: Native Americans –> Joist Hite –> Daniel Holman –> 92 Years of Holman Progeny –> James Madison Hite Beale
I wanted to dig a little deeper into J.M.H.B.’s past, and found some neat connections. J.M.H.B.’s dad was Colonel Taverner Beale (owner of Mt. Airy, across the river), whose dad was Captain Taverner Beale, whose dad was Thomas Beale.
Turns out Colonial America was a small place. Capt. Taverner (Grandpa) was married to a woman named Fanny Madison; her nephew was an overachiever: he drafted the Constitution AND became President AND has a university named after him 20 minutes from our hourse. Geeze, way to make everyone else look bad (he also had a pretty cool house – Montpelier, not too far down the road).
Soooo…that means, President Madison was Col. Taverner’s (dad, owner of Mt. Airy) first cousin, and thus President Madison was J.M.H.B.’s (our guy) first cousin once removed. Any other genealogy nerds out there getting goosebumps?
Turns out good ol’ Fanny had longevity genes – she outlived her first husband, Capt. Grandpa Taverner, and remarried a man named Jacob Hite. Jacob’s dad was Joist, the original land grantee, who sold the Edge Hill grant to Daniel Holman.
Okay – buckle your seat belts:
Joist –> son Jacob -m- Fanny Madison (President Madison’s aunt)
Joist –> son Isaac -m- Nelly Madison (President Madison’s sister)
Woah. Isaac and Nelly built Belle Grove Plantation outside of Winchester, Virginia, which can be seen from I-81; it is still one of best preserved pieces of architecture from early America.
Okay, here we go again:
Capt. Taverner -m- Fanny Madison (first marriage) –> Col. Taverner –> J.M.H.B.
Jacob Hite -m- Fanny Madison (second marriage)
Jacob already had a daughter when he married Fanny; her name was Elizabeth Hite. And, keeping it in the family, guess who fell in love: Fanny’s step-daughter Elizabeth, and her son from her first marriage, Col. Taverner! So:
Capt. Taverner -m- Fanny Madison –> Col. Taverner -m- Step-Sister Elizabeth Hite –> J.M.H.B.
Thus, Joist Hite is J.M.H.B.’s maternal grandfather and the man who helped begin the settlement of Edge Hill, which would later become J.M.H.B.’s home place.
We also found another cool connection: Tim McGraw.
No, I promise this isn’t a typo! In my expert research (read: Googling), I found a few links mentioning both Joist AND this country legend. Bizarre. It turns out that Tim was on the reality series Who Do You Think You Are?, which helps celebrities trace their family roots. I suspect you can guess where Tim’s search took him… You can see the episode on YouTube in parts:
There’s a lot of really neat information about Joist’s journey to America, his rise to fortune, and what the wilderness of young America was really like. And, it turns our, Joist is an adaptation of the German name “Justus,” and would’ve been pronounced “Yoast.” Go figure. Also, a 16 year-old George Washington traveled throughout the Shenandoah Valley on a surveying trip and mentions the hospitality of the Hite Family – George Washington surveyed our land!!! Another tie to great American history!