Margaret Fitz Randolph



, , , ,

Margaret Fitz Randolph (1744-1833)

Margaret Fitz Randolph was born on 01 May 1744 in Essex, New Jersey, as the third child of Robert Fitz Randolph and Catherine Taylor. She had eight siblings, namely: Sarah, Robert, Edward, Mary, Katharine, Hope, Taylor, and Mary.

Birth records for three of Robert Fitz Randolph’s children.

When Margaret was 22, she married Abraham Vail, son of Stephen Vail and Esther Smith, on 28 Aug 1766 at the Woodbridge Monthly Meeting in Essex, New Jersey. He was known as “Black Abraham” to distinguish him from his cousin “Red Abraham” who also married a woman named Margaret Fitz Randolph.

Marriage record, Margaret Fitz Randolph – Abraham Vail.

Abraham Vail and Margaret Fitz Randolph had the following children:

  1. Benjamin Vail was born on 15 Oct 1767 in Essex, New Jersey. He married Rebecca Webster on 27 Nov 1794 in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Rebecca was the daughter of Hannah Jackson and Taylor Webster. Rebecca Webster Vail died. He married Hannah Fawcett on 05 May 1813 in Belmont, Ohio. Hannah was the daughter of Martha Branson and Thomas Fawcett. Benjamin Vail died on 16 Apr 1847 in Plainfield Monthly Meeting, Belmont, Ohio.
  2. Mercy Vail was born about 1769 in Essex, New Jersey. She married Jesse Ball on 04 Jan 1810 in Ohio (Morgan and Washington Monthly Meeting). She died before 1840.
  3. Robert Vail was born about 1771 in Essex, New Jersey. He married Sarah Thorn on 11 Sep 1800 in Ohio (Morgan and Washington Monthly Meeting).
  4. Samuel Vail was born about 1775 in Green Brook, Somerset, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Grissell on 22 May 1823 in Ohio. He died on 27 Apr 1865 in Ohio.
  5. Stephen Vail was born about 1776 in Essex, New Jersey.
  6. Catherine Vail was born about 1777 in Essex, New Jersey.
  7. Taylor Vail was born in 1784 in Essex, New Jersey. He died in 1866 in Menallen, Fayette, Pennsylvania.

Margaret and Abraham raised their family as Quakers through the Revolutionary War. Over 100 Revolutionary War battles took place in New Jersey during the war. On Christmas in 1776, Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to surprise the British who were in New Jersey.

On 17 Apr 1793, Margaret Fitz Randolph and Abraham Vail moved their family to Fayette County, Pennsylvania. They got permission to do so from their Monthly Meeting in New Jersey and presented a certificate at their new meeting in Pennsylvania.

Certificate of removal, Margaret Fitz Randolph and Abraham Vail.

“…My great grandparents, Abraham and Margaret Fitz Randolph Vail came from New Jersey to Fayette county in 1793. On June 16, 1800, according to the old patent still in possession of the family, Abraham Vail bought of Elizabeth Briscoe a tract of land in Menallen township containing 300 acres. This portion of land was called Middletown and the price paid for it was 40 pounds and 13 shillings…”

“…Westland [Meeting House], according to the record, was the first Quaker Meeting house west of the Alleghenies, erected in 1782 as a house of worship and became a monthly Meeting in 1785… ”

“… some facts and characteristics of the Quakers which might be of interest … The 15th chapter of St. John’s Gospel was their authorization for calling themselves Friends…. They used the plain language and never called their meeting places ‘churches.’ They were missionary in spirit and practice, having a mission in Ohio among the Indians as early as 1773. They had a deep interest in education but were strongly opposed to slavery. They were, and still are, opposed to war, but their contribution to suffering humanity, has been long common knowledge.’” “… when the Quakers came from New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, they followed the coasts and streams south into Maryland and Virginia, then moved westward, and north again, by land and stream, into Western Pennsylvania…”

– Mrs. John Dunn, Morning Herald, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 1944.

Margaret Fitz Randolph Vail died in Menallen, Fayette, Pennsylvania. Her death date is estimated to have been around 1833 based upon the fact that her husband made his will on 20 May 1833 and made no mention of her.

Where is she in the tree?

Relationship chart, Lona Iona Fawcett to Margaret Fitz Randolph.
Pedigree chart, Margaret Fitz Randolph.

Selected Sources:, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014),, Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Women’s Minutes, 1793-1822; Collection: Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number: MR-O-0032., U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014),, Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Births 1705-1901 Deaths -1705-1908 Marriages, 1712-1885; Collection: Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number: MR Ph:660 Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts.

Dunn, Mrs. John, 8 February 1944, pp. 4-5, Morning Herald, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, online images (

“New Jersey History Timeline,” e Reference Desk ( : accessed 28 Apr 2019).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !! Please contact us to discuss getting copies of the material.