Virginia Changemakers
Search using this query type:

Search only these record types:

Advanced Search (Items only)

Ann Makemie Holden (1702 - 1788)

VWH 2004 Holden.jpg


Accomack County




Ann Makemie Blair King Holden (d. by January 29, 1788) was the younger daughter of Francis Makemie, one of the earliest Presbyterian ministers in Virginia. She was born in Accomack County during the first decade of the 1700s and inherited her father's property along Matchatank Creek after his death in 1708. She subsequently inherited additional land and enslaved laborers from her first two husbands, merchant Thomas Blair and Maryland planter Robert King. The wealthy widow married Accomack County Court clerk George Holden by the middle of the 1760s, but did not marry again after he died about December 1773.

Ann Holden successfully managed her extensive landholdings, where her more than fifty enslaved laborers raised wheat, flax, corn, and tobacco in addition to sheep, pigs, and cattle. During the American Revolution she supplied Continental and Virginia troops with corn and beef. As a woman she was unable to vote, but she sought to preserve the ideals of the new Republic and in June 1787 she deeded property to four of her male relatives with the caveat that they each vote "for the most Wise and Discreet men who have Proved themselves real Friends to the American Independence" to represent Accomack County. When she wrote her will five months later she provided for family members with bequests of property and slaves, specified £50 to the "Good poor of my Neighborhood" and £100 to a nearby church, emancipated one of her slaves, and requested her heirs to care for those of her slaves who were elderly and "past their Labour."

2004 Virginia Women in History honoree, Virginia Foundation for Women.