The noble Markham line can be traced to well before 1066. Alexander Markham, born 1130, was the first man of note - having distinguished himself in the wars of King Stephen. He was castellan or Sheriff of Nottingham during the reign of Richard I and into that of John - the period of Robin Hood. His great grandson, William the Bishop of Wells, was Lord Treasurer of England from 1290 to 1295. Three generations later, John - a Judge of Common Pleas, put the Prince of Wales in prison after the Prince slapped him. See Shakespeare's "Henry the IV", Part two, Act 1, scene two, for a mention of this. This Sir John became Lord Chief Justice of England from 1396-1406. In 1470 Sir Robert, who fought on the side of the White Roses, was Sheriff of Nottingham as were several of his descendants. Sir Robert, born 1536 was a M.P. in 1571 and High Sheriff in 1571 and 1589. Sir Robert, born 1563, was knighted by James I on May 11, 1603 and squandered the family fortune and its estate of Cotham. Sir Clements Markham speculated that Daniel Markham of Cambridge, MASS, alive in 1667 was Robert's grandson through either Robert born 1596 or Alexander born 1601. Traditionally, Daniel came to America on the first ship after the Mayflower, the "Speedwell", as one of its 5 unknown passengers. He was a Deacon in 1690.

Mark Goodmansen, who may be contacted at, has done the following truly great research on the first Markham in America. The following is reproduced with his kind permission.

The purpose of this article is to present the English roots of Deacon Daniel
Markham of Massachusetts and Connecticut based on research developed over the
last several years. The authority for my conclusions are based primarily on a
court case in Massachusetts where Daniel Markham was deposed as a witness
regarding the sale of a horse.  Additionally, a will of a kinsman written in
London in 1639 further corroborates this conclusion. Other sources are
referenced to clarify or support the original sources.

In the fertile soil of the Colne River Valley lies the quaint town of Earls
Colne. The parish records originating there identify these two families:

James Markham married Martha Collins on October 11, 1632
They had the following children:
1. James - Baptized April 1634
2. Margaret - Baptized Aug 18, 1636
3. John - Baptized Feb 21, 1638
4. Daniel - Baptized June 22, 1641
5. William - Baptized  June 22, 1645
6. Martha - Baptized Mar 21, 1646
7. Mathew  - Baptized 1649
8. Phoebe - Baptized April 3, 1655

Abraham Markham married Alice Turner, also of Earls Colne, and had several
children, one of whom was Nathaniel Markham, born in 1642.

The noted historian, J. Gardner, in his article, The English Ancestral Homes
of the Founders of Cambridge, estimated from his research that nearly
two-thirds of the early English colonists were from Suffolk, Essex, and
Hertfordshire Counties. He also observed:

"The early founders of New England did not generally come here at random by
mere families and locate haphazard in the various settlements. On the
contrary, the colonization was in large parties of families, relatives, and
friends who had been acquainted and associated in England, emigrated together
under the leadership of their respective non-conforming ministers, and
located together in New England."

The Rev. Thomas Shepherd, like Rev. Hooker, became an active proponent for
the Puritan cause. From 1627 to 1631, he was a lecturer in Earls Colne, Essex
and generated a large following.  Having been silenced by Archbishop Laud, he
removed to Yorkshire and Northumberland.  During his last few years in
England, as recorded in his diary, he stayed for a time with the Russell,
Collins, and Harlakendon families in and around Ipswitch and Earls Colne.

On the ship, The Defence, the Rev. Shepherd with several parishioners,
including John Russell and Roger Harlakendon, set sail for New England in
1635. Accompanying them in this settlement was Mr. Edward Collins.

Edward Collins went on to establish himself in nearby Medford, where he
acquired Gov. Craddock's massive estate, and later sold 1600 acres of his
plantation to Richard Russell. The first preserved documentation from England
that Daniel Markham, born in June 1641, in Earls Colne, was the same as the
Cambridge, Mass. Resident is provided by the will of a Daniel Collins,
written in 1639 and probated in 1643. In it, he leaves fifty pounds British
currency to "the wife of Cousin Markham." In the same will, he mentions his
brother, Samuel, Vicar of Braintree, and Edward Collins, "now in New
England," and names several children of Edward Collins.

He also mentioned his mother was buried at Braintree. The town of Braintree
is in Essex, next to Earls Colne. Daniel Collins referred to "the lease of
the Dolphin." There is property named, "The Dolphin, in Halstead, which also
borders Earls Colne. This property is mentioned in the records of Earls Coln
in association with other plots of ground, which have been identified with
James Markham, which also was held by a John Collins prior to James Markham.

In 1670, Daniel Markham, then also of Medford, Mass., was deposed to testify
on behalf of Edward Collins, plaintiff, involving an alleged theft of a mare
and colt by a neighbor. During his testimony, he, Daniel, on several
occasions referred to Mr. Collins as his uncle. The court reporter mentioned
that the deponent, Daniel Markham, "was aged 25 years or thereabouts," which
is consistent with the christening records of Earls Colne, which would put
him at the age of 27 at this time. (Court records of Middlesex County, Mass)

By his own words, as recorded in the Mass. Court records, Daniel Markham
identifies his uncle Edward Collins. From England, Daniel Collins, in his
will, identifies his cousin Markham (referring to James Markham and his wife
Martha Collins) and his relative, Edward Collins, in New England. And, in
Earls Colne, Essex, we have documented the marriage of James Markham and
Martha Collins, who had a son, Daniel, born in 1641.

During the course of his life, various incidents further corrororate these
relationships. These include the following:

1) Daniel Markham named his second son, James (after his father), and a
daughter Martha (after his mother). Naming children after parents was common
practice then.
2) On March 29, 1675, Daniel Markham purchased two acres of land in Medford
from Edward Collins. (From the Medford Mass. Land Records, Salt Lake Family
History Center Microfilm #532455; V.6; pages 240-249)
3) After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth, he removed to Middletown,
Conn., and married Patience Harris. His neighbors in Middletown included
Samuel and the Rev. Nathaniel Collins. Both of them were sons of Edward
Collins of Cambridge, Mass.
4) On the church records of Middletown, Daniel Markham was presented to that
congregation on June 25, 1678. He was identified as having been from the
congregation of the Church of Christ at Cambridge. This is the same church
where Rev. Hooker began, and was replaced by Rev. Shepherd, who had
previously preached in Earls Colne, England. (From the Middletown Church
Records, Salt Lake Family History Library, Microfilm #4848, page 12)
5) Daniel Markham loaned money to Samuel Collins. Samuel Collins provided
that Daniel Markham conduct an inventory of his possessions upon his death.
(Digest of Early Conn. Probate Records, V.1, pages 429-430)
6) Nathaniel Markham of Charlestown, Mass. Died Sept 26, 1673 in the home of
Mr. Collins. (Charlestown Vital Records; Vol 1; Part 1; page 22). The parish
records of Earls Colne, Essex, England, list a Nathaniel Markham, born May
30, 1642 to Abraham Markham and Alice Turner Markham. Being near the same
age, and from the same town, it seems likely that Daniel and Nathaniel
emigrated together. Possibly, because of the kinship of Daniel and Nathaniel
and the kinship of Daniel and Edward Collins, Nathaniel was befriended by Mr.
Collins until his death in 1673.

In conclusion, I believe that the above clearly establishes that Deacon
Daniel Markham of Cambridge, Mass. And Middletown Conn. was the son of James
Markham and Martha Collins, of Earls Colne, and that he was born in 1641.
During the last few years I have been trying to find the answer to the next
obvious question. Does Deacon Daniel descend from the royal Markham family of

My research, while in England, and from various locations and sources in the
United States, has identified several, very strong clues that support that he
did descend from a known branch of the Markham family of Nottinghamshire. I
hope to be able to publish these findings soon, but I would like to find more
documentation first.  I also intend to publish a biography of Deacon Daniel
Markham, including some extremely fascination new information about him while
in England and in the colonies.

This research makes the previous speculations about connection to the noble Markham line more problematic. The brother of Ebenezer, our ancestor, was Jeremiah, born 1735 and owner of all ship ironworks in CT. (A History of the Markham Family, David Markham, London, 1854, and The Markham Memorials by Sir Clements Markham, Spottiswoode Co. Ltd, London, 1913).


m.1669 Daniel Markham\Cambridge, Mass
1671-1760 Daniel Markham
1709-0000 Jeremiah Markham
1749-1814 Ebenezer Markham\Middleton, CT/Constableville, Lewis Co, NY
1782-1861 Dorothy Markham\Middleton, CT/Constableville, Lewis Co, NY

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