Joseph Cabell (1732-1798) was probably born at his parent’s home on Licking Hole Creek before they moved to Liberty Hall in about 1741. He was educated at home and trained by his father in the medical and surgical profession. He married Mary Hopkins (1735-1811) in 1752.

His lands were more scattered than those of his brothers, and he owned land in Albemarle, Buckingham and Amherst Counties. His county of residence changed as follows:

  • 1752-1771: Sion Hill in Buckingham County
  • 1771-1779: Winton in Amherst County
  • 1779-1785: Variety Shade in Buckingham
  • ?-1798: Sion Hill in Buckingham County

As he moved from estate to estate, he served each community as vestryman, burgess, justice, or state senator(1781-1785). In 1778, he was designated county lieutenant of Amherst County and responsible for raising men for the continental Army.

Joseph and Mary Hopkins Cabell’s children, spouses, and homeplace

  • Elizabeth Cabell (1753-1771) and William Megginson of Clover Plains
  • Joseph Cabell, Jr. (1762-1831) and Pocahontas Bolling and Anne Everard Duval Bolling of Repton
  • Mary Hopkins Cabell (1769-1858) and John Breckinridge of Cabell’s Dale, Lexington Kentucky
  • Anne Cabell (1771-1840) and Robert Carter Harrison of Elk Hill, Fayette, Kentucky
  • Elizabeth Cabell (1772-1855) and William J. Lewis of Campbell County, Virginia

Two of the children of Joseph and Mary Hopkins Cabell were the first Cabell’s to migrate west (Kentucky).

Map showing migration of descendants of Joseph Cabell

Joseph Cabell and his wife had 4 daughters and 1 son, all born at Zion Hill in Buckingham County. While his son, Joseph Cabell Jr. settled at Repton close to his father’s estate in Buckingham County, all three of his daughters that lived to adulthood settled only briefly on Cabell homes in Virginia (Glebe, Clover Plains and Mulberry Grove). The oldest daughter, Mary Hopkins Cabell, moved to Kentucky with her husband, John Breckinridge, and their 3 children prior to 1797. Their last 4 children were born at Cabell’s Dale in Lexington, Kentucky.

Anne Cabell and her husband, Robert Carter Harrison moved to Kentucky with their seven children in about 1803-1804 and settled in Fayette, Kentucky.

The youngest daughter, Elizabeth, likely remained in Virginia until her husbands death in 1828. In the 1850 census, she is living with her older sister, Mary Cabell Breckinridge in Kentucky.

Exploring the map

The following map shows the migration of 5 generations of descendants of Joseph Cabell and Mary Hopkins Cabell. This includes 817 descendants born before 1900.

Click on the Map name (Joseph-Descendants) to open the map in a new window (you can also download a copy to save). Click on the large icon on the map near Virginia Beach for more details.

Notable Descendants of Joseph Cabell

18th century (Chronological order)

  • Mary Hopkins Cabell (1769-1858). Married John Breckinridge and after his death established Mt. Horeb Presbyterian church on her home site, Cabell’s Dale, in Lexington Kentucky. Her son, Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, became a Presbyterian minister.
  • Joseph Cabell Breckinridge (1788-1823)- Graduate of Princeton University. Politician representing Fayette County, Kentucky in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Appointed Kentucky Secretary of State by Governor John Adair in 1820. His son, John Cabell Breckinridge, would continue in politics as his father and grandfather, John Breckinridge (1760-1806), eventually becoming Vice President of the United States.

19th century (Chronological order)

20th century (Chronological order)

Works Consulted

  • Brown, Alexander. The Cabells and their Kin: A Memorial Volume of History, Biography, and Genealogy. Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, Inc., 1939. First published 1895.
  • Cabell, Randolph W. 20th Century Cabells and their Kin. Franklin, N.C.: Genealogy Pub. Service, 1993
  • Cabell Family Papers, 1727-1875, Accession # 5084, Albert H. and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.