In 1895, Alexander Brown, a great-great grandson of Dr. William Cabell, published The Cabells and Their Kin: A Memorial Volume of History, Biography, and Genealogy of Dr. William Cabell and Elizabeth Burks and the first three generations of their descendant in America.

Members of the Cabell family continued to maintain the genealogy of the descendants of Dr. William Cabell and Elizabeth Burks. In 1993, Randolph W. Cabell compiled and published the updated genealogy of the descendants of Dr. William Cabell and Elizabeth Burks in 20th Century Cabells and Their Kin.

The Cabell family tree is continually updated using membership application information, member contributions, and records available through ancestry including birth certificates, death certificates, and census data.  Over 29,000 records have been added to individuals in the tree documenting key life events. The tree currently has 20,000 people that includes 8,900 descendants in 12 generations from Dr. William Cabell. The family tree is maintained in RootsMagic and shared online here or it is available at (

A genealogy of the first three generations of Cabells in America, and additional information on family history, can be found at the Cabell Family papers website, maintained by the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

This accumulation of Cabell descendants and their non-descendant relations provides an opportunity to look at the characteristics of the 20,000 family and their kin. Family data was exported using the reporting feature in RootsMagic and ingested and analyzed using the Python programming language. The following sunburst chart shows the numbers of descendants across the 5 children for the first three generations. The known descendants of John (blue) outnumber the other four children.

The Cabell Family in Virginia

Plotly Sunburst Genealogy chart
3 Generations of the Cabell Family in Virginia

Download this chart to explore.

Of the 20,000 people in the family tree, about 17,000 have a birth year captured and 10,000 have an associated year of death. The following graph shows the number of births and deaths by year. There was a peak of deaths in 1862, due to casualties in the Civil War. And a peak in the number of births in the database population occurred in 1921. Keep in mind the data shown in this graph reflects the data available for each person; U.S. census data that may contain reference to birth information for an individual is only available through 1950.

Number of Births and Deaths by Year for Cabell descendants and their relations in the Family Tree

Additional analyses were performed using python and folium to map the birth location by year for each descendant. These maps were developed for each of the five children of Dr. William Cabell and can be found on the descendant web pages (Mary, William, Joseph, John, Nicholas).

The current Genealogist for The Cabell Family Society is Katherine Cabell Terlesky, Ph.D. She may be contacted for questions about Cabell genealogy and genealogy methodology shown on this website.