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  • ID: I00134
  • Name: Letitia Preston 1
  • Sex: F
  • ALIA: Letitia /Preston/
  • Birth: 29 SEP 1779 in "Smithfield, " Montgomery Co., VA 2 1
  • Death: 12 DEC 1852 in Cavan, Burke's Garden, Tazewell Co., VA 2 3
  • Burial: Lewis Family Cemetery, Sweet Springs, Monroe Co., VA, now WV 2
  • Reference Number: 134
  • Note:
    Letitia signed her 1843 letter to her son Benjamin Rush Floyd, quoted throughout extensively, as Latitia, rather than the more conventional Letitia.

    Her bible end notes were published in the August/September 1973 DAR Magazine. She says:

    Letitia Preston married Dr. John Floyd in Franklin Co. Ky. May 13, 1804.
    The parents of Dr. John Floyd were John Floyd and Jane Buchanan of Bot. Co. Va.
    The grandparents of Dr. John Floyd were William Floyd and Abadiah Davis of Amherst Co. Va. and James Patton of of Augusta Co. Va. and his wife Jane Lochrie of Northumberland Co. Penn.
    Mrs. Buchanan moved to Rockbridge Co. Va. where she died and was buried near Providence Rectory.

    Children of Dr. John Floyd and Letitia Preston:
    Susanna Smith Floyd b. 1805 Smithfield, Mont. Co. Va. Died 1806
    Gov. John B. (ed. says Patton? should be Floyd!) Patton b. 1806 Smithfield
    George Rogers Clark Floyd 1807 at the home of Eliza Madison in Roanoke, Va. He died at Christianburg Va. in 1808.
    William Preston Floyd was b. at Christianburg Va. 1809 (Jan. 15th)
    George Rogers Clark Floyd was born 1809 (Jan. 15th)
    Benjamin Rush Floyd was b.1811 at Smithfield, Mont Co. Va.
    Letitia Preston Floyd was born June 6, 1814 at or near Blacksburg Va.
    Eliza Lavelette Madison Floyd was was born 1816 at Thorn Springs, Va.
    Nicketti Buchanan Floyd was born June 6, 1819 at Thorn Springs Va.
    Coraly Patton Floyd born Jan. 26, 1822 at Thorn Springs Va. departed this life 1833.
    Thomas Lewis Preston Floyd born 1824 at Thorn Springs Va., died 1824.

    A very interesting sidelight on the Floyds is this found by B. Franklin Reinauer III on the web, August 2001:

    THE FLOYD FAMILY (see Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, 1850-2000, Sesquicentennial Celebration Resource Manual )

    The family, or domestic church, has always played a central role in the sustaining of the faith. The Floyds of Virginia are just one example of the many families whose commitment to the Church helped to establish a Catholic presence in the Diocese. Bishop Whelan was introduced to John and Letitia Preston Floyd shortly after his arrival in Richmond in 1841. (Editor: note that Governor Floyd was dead by 1837....) The Floyds were a prominent family in Virginia's political and social establishment. John Floyd was Governor of Virginia and Letitia was the daughter of General Francis Preston. A friendship soon developed and Bishop Whelan became their spiritual adviser, eventually bringing into the Church the female members of the Floyd family. The Floyds went on to play an important role in the establishment of the Catholic Church in southwestern Virginia. Niketti Floyd Johnston, Lavalette Floyd Holmes,and Letitia Floyd Lewis all built chapels on their estates in Tazewell and Monroe Counties, which became the centers of Catholic activity in the region. St. John's Chapel, Sweet Springs, was built in the 1850s by Letitia Floyd Lewis and her husband William. It stands today as a testament to their faith.

    And the Catholic Encyclopedia at on the web notes this:

    "The conversion to the Faith about 1832 of Mrs. Letitia Floyd Lewis, daughter of Governor John Floyd, which, owing to her prominence, caused a sensation throughout the state, was followed by that of her two sisters, Mrs. Lavalette Floyd Holmes, wife of the erudite Professor George F. Holmes of the University of Virginia; Mrs. Nicotai Floyd Johnston, wife of Senator John W. Johnston, and of three of her brothers, Hon. Benjamin Rush Floyd (a formidable opponent of Knownothingism), Dr. William Preston Floyd, and Colonel George Rogers Floyd. Then followed the conversion of her father, John Floyd, when ex-governor, and of her mother, Mrs. Letitia Preston Floyd, their son, John B. Floyd, like the father, becoming governor of the state, and also later secretary of war under President Buchanan. Mrs. Letitia Preston Floyd was herself the sister of General Francis Preston, who valiantly served his country in the War of 1812, and in the halls of Congress. The conversion of the Floyd and Johnston families led into the Catholic Church other members of the most distinguished families of the South. "

    At eBay auction on the Web, December 1st, 2001 was an 1837 letter as described here, and the punctuation and spelling are courtesy of the lister:

    QUOTE: This stampless letter has a blue circular date stamp for NEW ORLEANS La. JAN 31, a handwritten 25 cent rate, and is addressed to Miss Sarah E. Lewis, Charlottesville, Albemarle county, Virginia, to the care of Mr. John Cochran. It's a three page letter on a single sheet of folded paper, written by Letitia Floyd. The headline is New Orleans, Jany 30" 1837....

    Some abstracts: "I have waited so long for the arrival of Letitia and Lavalette, whom I expected would write to you, that I am out of patience.

    "We have been nearly two months at this place...

    "We left our two oldest daughters at Louisville the first of December, they promising to join us here by Christmas.

    "I should have been entirely content here but for the unfortunate notion, my poor old gentleman took in his head of going to Cuba. This desire has harrassed me.

    "We hope to be at the Thorn Spring in May.

    "Nothing short of one of Gov Benton's most gorgeous smiles could give you an idea of it [the country]. The river so vast, the soil so fertile, the climate so delicious. The people so numerous, such variety of colors and notions, their great wealth, their incredible industry, their striking want of education and cultiviation, their recklessness and want of humane feelings for each other.

    "The city [New Orleans] abounds with well dressed fine looking gentlemen, very few ladies. The theatres are very splendid and much resorted to. Nicketti has spent much of her time in the town with Mrs. Grayson, the wife of John Breckinridge Grayson, a kinsman of ours." End of excerpts. END QUOTE

    John Floyd died in 1837, so the climate change must not have helped. Did he go to to Cuba?

    Letitia's will: information courtesy of Alex Luken: LETITIA FLOYD. Will probated March, 1853. Will Book 3, p. 89. Devises her property as follows: to her sons, George, John, Ben Rush, and William; to her daughters, Lavalette, Letitia and Nicketti. Vol. I, p. 285.


    From Alex Luken in response to a List query at Amherst County on Rootsweb:

    The Indian heritage in the line of William Floyd through his wife, Abadiah Davis. Of the direct descendants, only that of John and Letitia Preston Floyd seemed to openly acknowledge the heritage during that time period; this is the line that the "Nicketti" name appears in, and in the Diary of John Floyd, there is the following entry for November 1831:

    Fourth Day. This day my wife arrived and her children, John and his wife, William, Lavalette, Nicketti, Coralie and Woushippakniga.

    According to the birth order, "Woushippakniga" would appear to be a nickname for George Rogers Clark Floyd. Also, in the 1850 census, Letitia Preston Floyd is listed in Sweet Springs with her daughter's household, but in the Burke's Garden property, there is a woman, age 70, listed as Nicati Floyd, as head of household, that is the same age as Letitia Floyd. Not sure what to make of it. Alex

    Father: William Preston b: 25 DEC 1729 in Newtown-Limavady, Donegal, Derry Co., Ireland IR
    Mother: Susanna Smith b: 23 JAN 1739/40 in Hanover Co., VA

    Marriage 1 John Floyd b: 24 APR 1783 in Floyd's Station, Jefferson Co., KY
    • Married: 13 MAY 1804 in Franklin Co., KY 4 1
    1. Has No Children Savanna Smith Floyd b: 14 MAR 1805 in Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA
    2. Has No Children John Buchanan Floyd b: 1 JUN 1806 in Smithfield, the Preston home, Montgomery Co., VA
    3. Has No Children George Rogers Clark Floyd b: 20 NOV 1807 in the home of Eliza Madison in Roanoke, Montgomery Co., VA
    4. Has Children William Preston Floyd b: 15 JUN 1809 in Christianburg, VA
    5. Has Children George Rogers Clark Floyd b: 13 SEP 1810 in Christianburg, Montgomery Co., VA
    6. Has Children Benjamin Rush Floyd b: 10 DEC 1811 in Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA
    7. Has Children Letitia Preston Floyd b: 14 NOV 1814 in near Blacksburg, VA
    8. Has Children Eliza Lavalette Madison Floyd b: 16 DEC 1816 in Thorn Springs, Montgomery Co., VA
    9. Has Children Nicketti Buchanan Floyd b: 6 JUN 1819 in Thorn Springs, Montgomery Co., VA
    10. Has No Children Nanette Buchanan Floyd b: 6 JUN 1819
    11. Has No Children Carolyn Patton Floyd b: 26 JAN 1822 in Thorn Springs, VA
    12. Has No Children Thomas Lewis Preston Floyd b: 16 AUG 1824 in Thorn Spring, VA
    13. Has No Children Mary Mourning Lewis Floyd b: 10 MAR 1827 in Thorn Spring, VA

    1. Title: Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002
    2. Title: B. Franklin Reinauer III , op. cit.
      Media: Book
    3. Title: There are various spellings of Burke's: Burks, Berks, and so on...
    4. Title: Floyd Bible Record in Aug./Sep.1973 DAR Magazine
      Note: Floyd Bible Record in 1973 DAR Magazine. Letitia Floyd writes in the bible that this was a special Legacy from my devoted mother Mrs. Susanna Smith Preston, of Montgomery Co. Va. This day September 29, 1838 completes my 59th year. " I have obtained these records for the benefit of my children".
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