John Mitchell1

d. 15 August 1821
Father(?) Mitchell
  Mitchell family records state that John was born in Ireland and was a sailor in his youth and captain of a merchant ship as an adult. A narrative written by a great grandchild holds that John Mitchell met Elizabeth King on one of his ocean crossings and was so taken with her he followed her to Abingdon [Washington Co., Virginia] where she planned to visit her brother William King.2,3 
Marriage14 May 1794 John Mitchell married first Elizabeth King, daughter of Thomas King, on 14 May 1794.4 
  John became the manager of the Washington County salt works belonging to Elizabeth's brother, William King. It was a lucrative position which by 1806 paid John $1,000 per year. William King's will written in March 1806 also left John a $10,000 legacy to be paid 5 years after William's death. In addition William left $1,000 each to John and Elizabeth's children when they reached maturity. At the time John and Elizabeth had 4 living children.5 
Widowed13 May 1806  However two months later Elizabeth died at the age of 29. John's Bible entry suggests she had given birth to twins who did not survive and who were buried on either side of their mother.4 
Marriage26 Jul 1808 He married second Nancy Craig, daughter of Robert Craig and Jane Denny, on 26 Jul 1808.4 
  William King died in October, 1808. His widow and business partners decided John's salary was too high and released him from management of the salt works.5 
Court Record  William King's will was a complicated document, open to considerable interpretation. His estate was one of the largest to be probated in southwest Virginia at the time. Several lawsuits resulted, including one involving John Mitchell and the family of William King's sister Nancy (King) Findlay on the one side, and William King, son of William King Sr.'s brother James on the other side. The US Supreme Court ruled on portions of the will some years after John Mitchell's death. However the high court returned the case to the local Chancery courts to determine the actual settlement of the estate.5 
Guardian21 Mar 1810  John's 4 surviving children with Elizabeth King were all underage so on 21 March 1810 John was appointed their guardian. Depending on the outcome of the law suit the children stood to inherit a considerable sum of money. Hence John's guardianship bond was set at $60,000.6 
Children  John and and his second wife Nancy Craig added 7 more children to the family. They named their firstborn son William King Mitchell, no doubt in memory of John's former brother-in-law. John and his first wife Elizabeth King had also named a son William King Mitchell, but the infant had died young. 
Death15 Aug 1821 John died on 15 Aug 1821.4 
  Nancy had given birth to the couple's youngest child less than two months earlier. 

Family 1

Elizabeth King d. 13 May 1806
  • Elizabeth Bell Mitchell4 (30 Mar 1795 - 22 Aug 1796)
  • William King Mitchell4 (14 Sep 1796 - 5 Oct 1797)
  • Elizabeth Davis Mitchell4 (1 Jan 1798 - 3 Jul 1850)
  • John Davis Mitchell4 (16 Oct 1799 - )
  • Mary Trigg Mitchell4 (24 Apr 1801 - 3 Jan 1862)
  • Rachel Davis Mitchell4 (28 Mar 1804 - )
  • Infant Mitchell7 (May 1806 - May 1806)
  • Infant Mitchell7 (May 1806 - May 1806)

Family 2

Nancy Craig b. 22 Mar 1786, d. 12 Jul 1837
  • William King Mitchell4 (25 May 1809 - )
  • Robert Craig Mitchell4 (22 Feb 1811 - )
  • Sarah Harriett Mitchell+4,1 (circa 1813 - )
  • Ann Amanda Elizabeth Mitchell4 (Nov 1814 - )
  • Rachel Henderson Louisa Mitchell4 (4 Feb 1816 - )
  • Leonidas Watkins Mitchell4 (5 Jul 1818 - )
  • James Bourne Mitchell4 (27 Jun 1821 - 21 Mar 1901)
Last Edited28 Dec 2013


  1. [S28] Gerald H. Clark, Guardian Bonds Washington Co., VA, p. 23. Oct. 22, 1828: John H. Fulton named guardian of William K., Robert C., Sarah H., Ann A., Louisa H., Leonidas W. and James B. Mitchell, orphans of John Mitchell, deceased. Bond: $2,000 with Augustus Oury, Peter J. Branch, Charles C. Johnston and Charles S. Bekem as security.
  2. [S2627] "James Bourne Mitchell Autobiography", Evermore - The Mitchell line (… : Apr 2011). James was the youngest son of John Mitchell and his second wife, Nancy Craig.
  3. [S2627] "James Bourne Mitchell and family", Evermore - The Mitchell line (… : Apr 2011). The James Bourne Mitchell family narrative was written by an unidentified grandchild (therefore a great grandchild of John Mitchell).
  4. [S2626] Mitchell Bible, printed and published May 8, 1805, family data copied in 1949 by Beverly Fleet (transcription), Madera County Library ( : accessed Apr 2011).
  5. [S2628] "Alexander Finlay and John Mitchell, Plaintiffs in Error vs William King's Lessee", Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the United States, Book VII, digitized images, Google Books ( : April 2011).
  6. [S28] Gerald H. Clark, Guardian Bonds Washington Co., VA, p. 10. March 21, 1810: John Mitchell named guardian of Elizabeth, John, Mary and Rachel Mitchell, children of the said John by Elizabeth Mitchell, dec'd, formerly Elizabeth King, sister of William King, dec'd. Bond: $60,000 with James White as surety.
  7. [S2626] Mitchell Bible, printed and published May 8, 1805, family data copied in 1949 by Beverly Fleet (transcription), Madera County Library ( : accessed Apr 2011|The family Bible does not provide a specific date of birth or death but states the two infants died shortly after their birth and were interred on either side of their mother. Elizabeth Mitchell died May 13, 1806, hence it is likely the infants were also born/died in May 1806).