White Genealogy
Jeremiah White (1695-1776) & Mary Martin of Virginia

Historical Narrative
Descendant Listings
Documentary Sources
Discussion Groups
Other Links
DNA Research


This web site is intended to be a compendium of the research done on Jeremiah White and Mary Martin and their descendants. Much has been published on this family in various Virginia historical books and family histories, some of it accurate, some not so accurate. As is often the case with family histories, once something is in print, it often is considered to be "gospel". It is my hope that this web site will facilitate a critical examination and discussion of the facts, legends, and myths surrounding this White family and to allow us White researchers and descendants to learn more about our origins and our relatives' contributions to early America. The best way to separate fact from fiction and to resolve conflicting information is to go back to the primary sources (see Documenting Your Genealogy Research - Guide to Citing Sources). These include records of marriages, births, deaths, and burials, census listings, Bible records, tax lists, probate and land records, etc. The information in the descendant listings on this web site will include documentation of the primary sources as much as possible, and transcriptions of many of those sources will be presented in links below. This is a working document and not necessarily definitive, since much of it is based upon information found on the Internet or in published secondary sources. It will be modified and (hopefully) improved as more researchers provide input and, most importantly, evidence.

Historical Narrative

Jeremiah White was born in what is now Albemarle County, Virginia in 1695. He was a son of John White and Mary Elbert. (The White ancestry is supposedly traced back to a Peter White, born about 1530 in England. Although this ancestry has been published in several genealogical journals, the primary sources are not well documented and I can't vouch for the accuracy of this White lineage at this time.)

On 23 October 1726 in present-day Albemarle County (which was formed from parts of Goochland and Louisa Counties in 1744), Jeremiah married Mary Martin, who was born in New Kent (later Hanover) County, Virginia to John Martin and Letitia Lewis on 19 April 1709. Jeremiah and Mary remained in Albemarle County for the remainder of their lives and had 11 children (including triplets - Daniel, Reuben, and Ann, born 19 June 1746). Several of Jeremiah's children, including John Martin, Daniel, and Reuben, moved from Albemarle County, Virginia to Elbert County, Georgia in the late 1700s.

Jeremiah White left a will in Albemarle County in 1774 and died there on 25 November 1776.

Albemarle Co., Will Book 2, pp. 354-355, Will of Jeremiah White:
"In the name of God Amen The Twenty Seventh Day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred & Seventy four I Jeremiah White of the County of Albemarle and parish of St Anne's, being very Sick & weak of body, but of perfect & Sound memory, Thanks be to God for the Same, and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make ordain this and no other (to be) my last will and testament and as touching such worthy Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this Life, I give desire & dispose of the Same in the manner & form follow-ing that is to Say, in the first place I will & Order that all my Lawful debts be paid. Item I give & bequeath to my Eldest Son Jeremiah White, my great Bible and a Trunk Covered with Seal Skin. Item I give to my Son John Martin White one feather Bed & furniture, one young Cow and a Smoothe Bor'd Gun which he now has in Custody. Item I give & bequeath to my son Daniel White, One feather Bed with its furniture & one young Cow, Item I give & be-queath to my youngest Son Reuben White One feather Bed & furniture, one Cow & her In-crease, which bed & Cow he now has in his possession, Also one Smoothe Bor'd Gun his Choice of the guns I now have. Item I Leave to my Dear & well beloved wife Mary White all the Remainder of my Estate, One Black mare & yearling Colt, Land and Moveables during her natural Life or widowhood, and at my Said Wifes death or Marriage, the above said Mare & Colt, Land & Premises, which Land Contains One hundred & Seventy five Acres, it being the land whereon I now Live, I give & Bequeath to my Son Reuben White and his heirs & assigns for Ever. Item I Leave to my daughter Letty Melton five Shillings & nine Pence. Item I give to my daughter Betty Kidd One feather bed & furniture at my wife's decease, and to my Daughter Mary Martin One Chest & to my daughter Milly Cleavland I bequeath five Shillings & nine pence. Item I give & Bequeath to my daughter Ann Shackleford, one Black Walnut Chest at my wifes decease, as for my Carpenter Tools I Leave them for the use of the plantation, and at my wifes death or marriage to belong to my Son Reuben White, & My Coopers Tools & My Great Coat, I give to my Son John Martin White at my Decease. Item I give to my Grandson George Martin, Twenty Shillings to be paid him by my Son Reuben, also one heifer. Item I Constitute & Appoint my Loving wife Mary White and my Son Reu-ben to be the Sole Executors of this my Last will & Testement and do hereby utterly dissal-low, Revoke & Disannul, all and other former Testaments Wills & Legacies Requests and Exec'rs by me at any time before this named, willed & Bequeathed, Ratifying & Confirming this to be my Last will & Testament, In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Affixed my Seal, the day & year first within written.
Jeremiah White (Seal)
Witnesses Elijah Moaran, Jacob Fariss, George Savage
At Albemarle May Court 1777. This will was proved by the Oath of Elijah Moaran & Jacob Fariss Witnesses thereto & Ordered to be Recorded. John Nicholas (Seal)"

His wife survived him, living until 1796.

Two important records of this White family were left to later generations: (1) a diary and account book started by Jeremiah White, and (2) a Bible owned by Jeremiah and Mary's son John Martin White. Both records have been published in genealogical periodicals, including The Georgia Genealogist (Issues 25-27, Our People / Bibles, pp. 43-55) and Family Puzzlers (1996, No. 126). Back issues of these periodicals can be ordered from the Heritage Papers web site.

Descendant Listings

Here are listings of known descendants of Jeremiah White and Mary Martin (through six generations):

[Note: To view the Adobe Acrobat files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. This can be downloaded free from You can download the files to your disk to view them, or use your web browser with the appropriate plug-ins.]

Children of Jeremiah White & Mary Martin

    Descendants of Jeremiah White (#1) & (?) Esther Herndon & Jane Shelton
    Descendants of Lettice White (#3) & William Melton
    Descendants of Mary White (#5) & ----- Martin
    Descendants of Mildred White (#6) & Jacob Cleveland
    Descendants of John Martin White (#7) & Mildred Thornton Ballenger
    Descendants of Daniel White (#8) & Mary Ballenger
    Descendants of Reuben White (#9) & Mary Blanche Harper
    Descendants of Ann(e) White (#A) & John Shackelford
    Descendants of Elizabeth White (#B) & Webb Kidd

Explanation of Format of Descendant Listings

GEDCOM (White, Generations 0-6)
Index of Names

Documentary Sources

USA Federal Censuses:


USA Notes (Vital Records, Wills, Deeds, Tax Lists, Cemeteries, etc.):

South Carolina

World War 1 Draft Registrations

Bible Pages:

Family of Eppy Harper (#7A)
Family of Elizabeth B. (White) Harper (#94)

Discussion Groups

GenForum - White
RootsWeb - White

Other Links

 Castleton Harper & Henry Harper (of Albemarle & Amherst Counties, Virginia)
 Benjamin Head & Martha Sharman (of Orange County, Virginia)

DNA Research

A new tool in genealogical research is the use of genetic markers in DNA to establish family relationships. See Genetics, DNA and Health History. The y-chromosome is passed down from father to son to grandson to great-grandson, etc. along the male line (as are surnames in many modern western societies). Occasionally, due to random mutations, one or more of the genetic markers may change in an individual and be passed down to his son that way (similar to a surname changing from Smith to Smyth). Standard tests are available (based on a cheek swab) to identify 12, 25, 37, or 59 markers on the y-chromosome. (The more the markers, the more precise the idenfication; I strongly suggest 25 or more markers, in order to be useful for genealogical purposes.) All direct male descendants of Jeremiah White would have a very similar, if not identical, set of markers (or haplotype). Someone with a surname of White (or some variation), whether or not they had done in-depth genealogical research, could compare their haplotype to known Jeremiah White direct male descendants to see if they were likely to be a direct male descendant of Jeremiah White. Likewise, the Jeremiah White haplotype could be compared to haplotypes of other White families in the USA, England, or elsewhere to see if these families were closely related. I would like to establish a confidential database of haplotypes of Jeremiah White's direct male descendants to give us a tool to identify Jeremiah White descendants and to find closely related White families. Ideally, we would need several samples from direct male descendants of each of Jeremiah's sons. The Family Tree DNA testing service is the best for surname-based genealogical research. If anyone is interested, please contact me by e-mail. The tests can be ordered from Family Tree DNA as a part of the White DNA project.

If you find this information useful and would like to contribute a small (or bigger) amount to help fund this research, please consider selecting one of the options below. This helps me pay for subscriptions to web sites (e.g.,, reference materials (maps, books), supplies (paper, ink, binders, folders), time, and travel.

Amount to Contribute

This web page is a result of my own research over 39 years, and includes the collective works of many, many others to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. I would like to acknowledge them here.

If you would like to comment on any information contained within, or wish to correspond with me about this family, please send me an e-mail message at: Additions and corrections are greatly appreciated. I am especially interested in receiving information obtained from primary sources (census listings, Bibles, cemeteries, vital records, probate and land records, etc.) and photographs and digital images relating to this branch of the White family so that I can incorporate them into this page. Also, I would like to provide links to other pages on the Internet that deal with White genealogy.

Mark B. Arslan

Last updated on 3 April 2014