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Subject: Re: Judith Ann Ford/John F. Christian
Date: 18 Oct 2005 15:24:36 -0600

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Tues., October 18, 2005
Dear Coz. Kathleen,

Yes, I am fully aware of the family of Judith, wife of John Christian. She was the sister of my ancestor, Mary Leake Ayres. I have an account of their Bible record. They lived in Amherst County, in the part that became Nelson County, Virginia. We are talking about a twenty-minute ride from Charlottesville, Virginia. There in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Judith was born in the 1750's, the daughter of John Leake and his wife Judith, the former Judith Ford. This explains why several of the Christian were named Ford . In fact your John F. Christian was undoubtedly John Ford Christian. Peter Ford Christian was named for his great-grandfather. In the book Turf and Twig by Priscilla Cabell, we find the marriage account of John Leake to Judith Ford. Her brother died in Cumberland County, Virginia in 1753, and left a slaved named "Jane" to his sister Judith Leake. Her husband John Leake witnessed the transaction. When John Leake was selling out in 1764, preparing !
to move to North Carolina (he ultimately settled at Leakesville--the community in Rockingham County which he founded), he deeded "Jane" and all of his personal property which he was inheriting from his father to his daughters : Mary, Judith, and Elizabeth. Amongst the property which my ancestor Mary inherited was the Leake Bible which had belonged to John Leake's father. This Bible was published in London in the year 1712 and is signed by "Walter Leak" twice. John Leake had one or two brothers who also signed this Bible. Mary Leake, my ancestor, inherited the Bible, and it fell to her husband, Nathan Ayres (later Col. Ayres) about 1766, which was about the year she married him. The Bible was then signed by Ayres and then lists all of the names of Mary Leake Ayres' children: including John, Walter Leake, Peter Leake, etc., etc.
Walter Leake Ayres (b. ca. 1770) was a prominent and very, very wealthy gentleman of the Kentucky Bluegrass section. His grandson would state in later years that his grandfather was born in Buckingham County, Virginia, the son of Nathan and Mary Leake Ayres. My Great-grandfather's sister, Elizabeth would later marry Ambrose Ford, who would have been her third cousin on her Leake side. His great-grandfather was Jacques Faure (later James Ford), a brother to John Ford (d.1753) and to Judith Ford Leake (d. ca. 1760). Theire father was the immigrant Pierre Faure, who was an aimmigrant from France, who arried here as a small boy in 1699/1700 with his recently widowed mother. Pierre served as a Vestryman of the Huguenot Church at Manikin, in Powhatan County, where he owned about 400 acres of land.

John Leake and his brother WIlliam Leake of Buckingham County sold their inheritance of about 400 acres in 1764. They were then preparing to move to North North Carolina. These two boys were mentioned in the will of their father, Walter Leake, who wrote it in Goochland County in the mid-1750's. He died about 1759, leaving a considerable estate. They were then living at the ancient Leake family seat, known as "Rocky Spring." A lovely old contry estate on the banks of Lickinghole Creek, in Goochland County, Virginia. The Leake family included a number of children, including, John, William, Reverend Samuel, Mask, Josiah, Elisha, Mary, Judith,and etc. The two oldest sons went to Amherst County (now Nelson) and ultimately to Rockingham County, North Carolina. Our ancestor John Leake served as a Capt. in the American Revolution, fighting valiantly at the Battle of Guilford C.H. He returned to Amherst to recruit men for his outfit. He was elected as a delegate to the!
North Carolina legislature and was widely known. He developed the community; of Leakesville, North Carolina, a river community which didn't prosper. He died basically destitute at the end of the century. However, William's ancestors remaining in Carolina did very well. Many were in the legislature and were in many cases prominent. Josiah Leake resided at "Woodlawn," Goochland County, one of the major brick country homes of early Virginia. He or the brother went to college at Dickinson, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Elisha Leake inherited the home place,"Rocky Spring." His descendants included Walter Leake of "Rocky Spring," who was very prominent. His descedants have been weell-known in "Richmond society." Both Samuel and Mask moved to Albemarle County, Virginia, near Charlottesville. Samuel was educated for the ministry at Princeton and then became a Presbyterian preacher here in Virginia. He finally was appointed to collect the funds for the building of Hampden-S!
ydney College in 1775. When the school was openned, shortly thereafte
r, he--along with Patrick Henry were on the first Board of Trustees. Samuel died shortly thereafter leavingsome young daughters--including Elizabeth. She married Rev. Samuel Hart--of the Harts of Albemarle. Their daughter was Mary Hart Young, and her daughter married John Sydney McCain. These folks are the ancestors of the Presidentail hopeful Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Some of our Leake cousins in Richmond have gone to Arizona to see him. Our uncle Mask Leake of Albemarle County, Virginia, was a noted hero of the Revolution, serving as a captain in the Battle of Yorktown. Tomorrow is the 224th anniversary of that battle which basically ended the American Revolution. Lafayette in later years recalled Mask Leake and his son being at the Battle of Yorktown. When Lafayette came back to America in 1826, Coz. Walter Leake, Mask's son, was on his deathbed. At that point Walter Leake had been the first U. S. Senator from the State of Mississippi and was the second gove!
rnor of that state--a position which held when he died. Leake County, Mississippi was named for him.

Walter Leake was married to the former Judith Mask--thus the reason for Mask, John Mask , and Mask, Jr. He lived in New Kent in the 1600's and appeared in 1704 owning 450 acres of land there. I am here referring to Thomas Mask--our ancestor. He had the son John Mask--father of Judith Mask Leake. John Mask married Mary Christian--daughter of Thomas CHristian of Charles City County, the immigrant and founder of that illustrious family--which included Letitia Christian Tyler, the wife of Pres. John Tyler, who died while they were living at the "White House." I understand that Coz. Walter Leake of Albemarle County, son of Uncle Mask Leake of the Revolution ran for the U. S. Senate seat here in Virginia, running against Thomas Mann Randolph of Albemarle,the son-in-law of Thomasa Jefferson, who was at that time President of the United States. When Randolph won by only a few votes, Leake put the word out that he would run again against Randolph. Jefferson then appointed!
Coz. Walter to be the first U.S. District Court Judge in Mississippi. This then removed Coz. Walter from Virginia politics. We are also very closely kin to Coz. SHelton Leake of Albemarle County, Virginia. He served in the state legislature for some time and was "acting Gov. of Virginia" during the nineteenth century.

This is a long account which I have set to memory on our illustrious Leake kin. Please be proud of them. A county in Mississippi is named for our family. The Presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain has Leake blood in his veins.

Sincerely yours,
A Leake cousin here in Va.,
A cousin who's held the Leake Bible from "Rocky Spring," publ'd in 1712, London, etc.,
Harry Stuart Holman

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