Lucy Grymes Nelson

Lucy Grymes was most likely born in Williamsburg on September 4, 1743. According to her daughter, Susanna, Lucy was a premature baby so small she “might have been put in a quart Pot”. Her father, Philip Ludwell Grymes (1721-1762) of Brandon in Middlesex County, was a member of the House of Burgesses, a Receiver-General of the Colony, and a member of His Majesty’s Council for Virginia. Her mother was Mary Randolph Grymes (1720-1768). Lucy’s parents maintained a residence in Williamsburg and were in the capital attending to political mat-ters when she made an early entrance into the world.

Lucy’s father and extended family members were amongst the most politically influential and powerful citizens of the Virginia colony. Lucy’s grandfather, Sir John Randolph of Williamsburg (1693-1737) was Speaker of the House of Burgesses and Attorney General for the Colony of Virginia. Her maternal uncle, Peyton Randolph (c.1721-1775), also served as Speaker of the House of Burgesses, President of the Virginia Conventions, and first President of the Con-tinental Congress. A second uncle, John Randolph (1727-1784), served as the King’s attorney for Virginia from 1766 until the beginning of the American Revolution. Lucy counted Carter Brax-ton (1736-1797), Benjamin Harrison (1726-1791), and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) among her cousins. From her birth, Lucy found herself at the center of colonial politics. Throughout her life, she lived amongst her numerous male relatives who would become many of the Founding Fathers of our nation.