Ambler Family (Virginia) – Part 1

The Amblers were a rich, socially prominent and influential Virginia family whose founding father, Richard Ambler, arrived in Virginia in 1716. He married the heiress Elizabeth Jaquelin, from whom came the family’s wealth and the name “Jaquelin,” which occurs throughout the family genealogy. After the capitol of Virginia moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg in 1699, Jamestown island came into the hands of the Ambler family and the Travis family in the eighteenth century. Twelve members of the Ambler family attended the University of Virginia in its first fifty years.

[NB. Because this essay discusses so many people, I’m separating it into three sections.]

Philip St. George Ambler (5 Sept. 1806-19 Mar. 1877), Richard Cary Ambler (7 Dec. 1810-16 July 1877), and William Marshall Ambler (28 July 1813-25 Aug. 1896) were the sons of the Hon. John Ambler (1762-1836)–grandson of Richard Ambler–and his third wife, Catherine (Bush) Norton Ambler (1773-1846). Philip attended the University of Virginia in sessions 1-2 (1825-1826), Richard in session 4 (1827-1828), and William in sessions 8-9 (1831-1833).

Though Philip St. George Ambler was licensed to practice law, his profession was managing his farm, Saint Moor, in Amherst County, VA. In 1847, he married Elizabeth Green (1824-1889), and they had five children: John, Charles, Catherine, Philip St. George, Elizabeth Green (d. infant), and William H. Ambler (d. young). His petition for a presidential pardon in 1865 states that he never participated in the Confederacy. He was active in the Protestant Episcopal church.

After his education at U.Va., Richard Cary Ambler graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland in 1831. He practiced as a doctor for many years in Richmond, VA. He married Susan Marshall (1812-1896) on 8 July 1843, and had four children: James Markham, Richard Cary, Mary Morris, and Edward Ambler (14 July 1850-17 Apr. 1935). After his marriage, Richard moved his home and practice to The Dell in Fauquier County, VA. His son Edward also attended U.Va. in sessions 49-50 & 52 (1872-1874 & 1875-1876). Edward married Bessie Lyon (1869-1934), and the couple had James Craddock, Ann M. , Edward Jr., and Elizabeth L. Ambler. Edward inherited The Dell, and was engaged in farming. Richard and Edward and their families are buried in Leeds Episcopal Church Cemetery, in Markham, Fauquier Co., VA.

In 1837, William Marshall Ambler moved to Louisa County, VA, to practice law. In 1846, he was elected to the Senate of Virginia, where he served until 1861, when he was elected to represent Louisa County in the Virginia Secession Convention. In his petition for a presidential pardon in 1865, he states that at the close of that convention, he returned to his farm in Louisa County and did not actively serve in the Civil War. In 1854, William married Martha Coleman (1834-1880); the couple had children: John, an unnamed infant son (d. young), Ann Gordon, Katherine (d. young), and Thomas Gordon Coleman Ambler (d. young). William died at his home, Lakeland, and is buried at the Church of Our Saviour Cemetery, in Montpelier in Hancock Co., VA.

(End of Part 1. Continued in Part 2 and Part 3.)

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