Col. James Madison, Sr.

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Col. James Madison, Sr.'s Geni Profile

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Col. James Madison, Sr.

Birthplace: Port Conway, King George County, Virginia, British Colonial America
Death: February 27, 1801 (77)
Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ambrose Madison and Frances Madison
Husband of Eleanor Rose "Nellie" (Conway) Madison
Father of Mollie Davis; James Madison, 4th President of the United States; Francis Taylor Madison; Captain William Ambrose Madison, Sr.; Robert Cole Madison and 16 others
Brother of Elizabeth [Willis] Beale; Frances Hite and John Madison

Occupation: Planter, Chairman of the Orange County Committee of Safety
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. James Madison, Sr.

Col James Madison, Sr

  • BIRTH 27 Mar 1723 Port Conway, King George County, Virginia, USA
  • DEATH 27 Feb 1801 (aged 77) Orange County, Virginia, USA
  • BURIAL Montpelier Estate National Historic Site Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia

Col James Madison Sr. was the son of Ambrose Madison & Frances Taylor (both buried at Montpelier); he had 2 sisters: Elizabeth & Frances.

James married Eleanor "Nellie" Rose Conway (buried at Montpelier) on 13 Sep 1749 at Port Conway, King William Co., VA; they had the following children: Mollie, PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON JR., Francis, an infant who died, an infant boy who died, Ambrose, Catlett, Nellie, William Taylor, Sarah, Elizabeth, Reuben, and Frances Taylor Madison.

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of COLONEL. DAR Ancestor # A073056

Madison married Eleanor Rose "Nelly" Conway (Port Conway, Caroline County, Virginia, January 9, 1731 – Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia, February 11, 1829), also of the planter class (her birthplace was named after her family).

They had twelve children:

  • James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836)
  • Francis Taylor Madison (June 18, 1753 – April 5, 1800)
  • Ambrose Madison (January 27, 1755 – October 3, 1793); married Mary Willis Lee (27 May 1755 – 14 March 1798), daughter of Hancock Lee II & Mary Willis
  • Catlett Madison (February 10, 1758 – March 18, 1758)
  • Nelly Conway Madison (February 14, 1760 – December 24, 1802)
  • William Taylor Madison (May 5, 1762 – July 20, 1843)
  • Sarah Catlett Madison (August 17, 1764 – October 17, 1843)
  • unnamed son (1766–1766), died one day after birth
  • Elizabeth Madison (February 6, 1768 – May 17, 1775)
  • unnamed stillborn son (July 12, 1770 – July 12, 1770)
  • Reuben Madison (September 19, 1771 – June 5, 1775)
  • Frances Taylor Madison (October 4, 1774 – October 4, 1823)


James Madison, Sr. was a prominent Virginia planter, who served as a colonel in the militia during the American Revolutionary War. He inherited Mount Pleasant, later known as Montpelier, a large tobacco plantation in Orange County, Virginia and, with the acquisition of more property, had 5,000 acres and became the largest landowner in the county.

James Madison, Sr, was the son of Ambrose Madison and his wife Frances Taylor, and was born in 1723 in Orange County, Virginia. When he was nine, his family moved to their new plantation of Mount Pleasant in 1732. His father had hired slaves and an overseer to clear it, work that had been going on for five years to establish cultivation. That summer his father died at age 36 in August after a short illness.

The family or the sheriff believed he was poisoned by slaves, and three were charged in the case and convicted by justices of the Commission of Peace. Unusually, only one slave was executed; Dido and Turk, owned by the widow Frances Taylor Madison, were returned to her to serve as laborers after being punished by whipping.

James was tutored and trained to be a planter and slaveholder, and member of the landed gentry. His widowed mother never remarried, which was unusual at that time for a woman her age; she had extensive Taylor family in the county. As the eldest son, Madison inherited Mount Pleasant when he came of age in 1744. He called the plantation Home House. Acquiring more land, he eventually owned 5,000 acres, making him the largest landowner in Orange County. By the time of his death, he owned 108 slaves.


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Col. James Madison, Sr.'s Timeline

March 27, 1723
Port Conway, King George County, Virginia, British Colonial America
April 21, 1723
King and Queen County, Virginia
Orange, Virginia, USA
March 16, 1751
Belle Grove Plantation, Port Conway, Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia, Colonial America
June 18, 1753
Montpelier, Orange, Virginia, United States
January 22, 1755
Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, British Colonial America
February 10, 1758
Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia, British Colonial America
February 10, 1758
Orange, Virginia, United States
February 14, 1760
Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia