William Cabell (1730-1798) was the oldest son of Dr. William Cabell and Elizabeth Burks and as an adult was known as William Cabell, Sr. He was born in Licking Hole Creek prior to the family’s move up the James River to the Swan Creek plantation in Nelson County, Virginia. He completed his education at William and Mary College returning to Liberty Hall in 1851. He worked as a surveyor, sheriff and farmer. In 1756, he married Margaret Jordan who was not quite 15 years old.

William Cabell, Sr. served Amherst County in multiple roles including burgess, magistrate, county lieutenant, surveyor, and coroner. He surveyed and established the dividing line between Albemarle County and present day Nelson County being paid 1000 lbs. of tobacco for the survey.

William Cabell, Sr. was deeded title to 1785 acres of land from his father in 1763 on which he established and grew the Union Hill Estate. He lived at Colleton until the Union Hill home was completed in 1778.

William and Margaret Cabell’s children, spouses, and homeplace

  1. Samuel Jordan Cabell (1756-1818) and Sarah Syme lived at Soldier’s Joy
  2. William Cabell, Jr. (1759-1822) and Anne Carrington (1760-1838) lived at Union Hill
  3. Paulina Cabell (1763-1845) and Edmund Read lived in Charlotte County, Va.
  4. Landon Cabell (1765-1834) and Judith Scott Rose lived at Rose Hill
  5. Hector Cabell (1768-1807) and Paulina Jordan Cabell lived at Spring Hill
  6. Margaret Jordan Cabell (1770-1815) and Robert Rives lived at Edgewood and Oak Ridge
  7. Elizabeth Cabell (1774-1801) and William H. Cabell (1772-1853) lived at Midway.

Migration of the Descendants of William and Margaret Cabell

The early descendants of William and Margaret Cabell remained primarily in Virginia. The map shows large clusters of people born around 1800 at Union Hill, Soldier’s Joy and Spring Hill in Nelson County. The great-grand children, born after 1820, are still primarily found in the state of Virginia. The map shows the birth of Alfred Landon Rives, son of William Cabell Rives, in Paris France in 1830 while his father was the United States minister to France. The birth places of the great-great grandchildren of William and Margaret are found clustered in the eastern U.S. with some migration as far as Missouri, Louisiana, and Minnesota.

Exploring the map

The following map shows the migration of 5 generations of descendants of William Cabell and Margaret Jordan Cabell. This includes 1038 descendants born before 1900.

Click on the Map name (William-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.

Snapshot of the Interactive Map for download

Notable Descendants of William Cabell, Sr.

18th century

  • Benjamin William Sheridan Cabell (1793-1862) – Prominent soldier of the War of 1812, and member of the famous Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-30.
  • William Cabell Rives (1793-1868) – Minister to France from the United States (1829-1853). United States Senator, member of the Peace Congress in 1861. Member of the Confederate House of Representatives. and biographer of James Madison.
  • William Holland Wilmer (1782-1827) – Episcopal priest, 11th President of The College of William and Mary

19th century

20th century

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.