* Genealogy of the Isham Family *
(version 4/2/2016)
Please email corrections to Mike Clark

The family name of Isham is pronounced "Eye-shum", and comes from a Northamptonshire village of the same name, which derives in turn from a brook called the Ise that flows through the western part of the county. The family appeared as tenants here, and in the neighboring village of Pytchley, in the days of the conquest, and trace their descent from one Azor or Azo de Isham, who is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1085-1087 as holding the demesnes (fife) of Isham. Although various family members continue to be mentioned over the next five centuries, they did not truely come into prominence until 1568 when John Isham (1525-1595) made a fortune as a wool merchant and built the manor house of Lamport Hall in the Daventry District of Northamptonshire. His grandson Sir John Isham (1582-1651) further advanced the family fortunes and was created the first Baronet of Lamport in 1627 by King Charles I. Although the baronetcy survives, Lamport Hall is no longer the family seat, as the manor house and gardens are owned and maintained today by the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust as a museum for the public enjoyment.


  1. Thomas Isham (c.1456-after 1510) was born in Pytchley, Northamptonshire about 1456 as the only son of William Isham and succeeded about 1475 to his father's lands. He is recorded in the 1480 inquest of his mothers death as "22 and more years of age", and in the 1510 inquest of his father's death as "50 years and more years of age", which agrees with his estimated birthdate. He married in 1485 Elena Vere, the daughter of Richard Vere of Addington, and Isabella Green. Elena was also the sister of Sir Henry Vere (d. 1493), who in 1485, the year of his sister's marriage, served as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. Elena and her brother are believed to be direct descendants of Robert de Vere of Addington, whose brother Aubrey de Vere III (d. 1194) was the first Earl of Oxford. The family descends from Aubrey (Albericus) de Vere I, who is named in 1086 in the Doomsday Book as holding a manor with estates in Essex, and who probably arrived in England on or after 1066 with William the Conqueror. He is the grandfather of the aforementioned brothers Robert and Aubrey III. Elena Vere and her family are said to be direct decendants of Hugh Capet of France, and the link below leads to their suggested line of their descent.


  3. Euseby Isham (c.1486-1546), the eldest son of Thomas Isham of Picheley and Elena Vere, was born about 1486 and married Anne Pulton, the daughter of Giles Pulton. His will of Aug. 16, 1546 was proved on Dec. 11, 1546 and in it he asked to be buried at the Church of All Saints in Pytchley. He is said to have had twenty children, of whom ten survived.

    • Gregory Isham (c.1518-1558) married Elizabeth Dale, the daughter of Matthew Dale, and died on Sept. 4, 1558 at the age of 38, probably at his residence at Braunston, Northamptonshire. One of his sons was Sir Euseby Isham (1552/53-1626) of Picheley and Braunston, who had a large estate at Picheley, and served in 1584 as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. He was knighted on May 11, 1603 by James I. They also had a great grandson named Capt. Henry Isham (c.1628-c.1675), who in 1656 emigrated to America, and settled in Henrico County, Virginia. This great grandson is an ancestor of such notable Americans as President Thomas Jefferson, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and Chief Justice John Marshall.

    • John Isham (1525-1595), who follows:

    • eighteen other children


  5. John Isham (1525-1595) of Lamport Hall, the fourth surviving son of Euseby Isham and Anne Pulton, was born in Aug. 1525. He apprenticed as a wool merchant with the Company of Mercers in the City of London, becoming free in 1552 of the company and the city. He later went on to serve as Warden (head officer) of the company. He was very successful, accquiring enough wealth to build a manor house in 1568 on an estate that he purchased in 1560 in the village of Lamport, Northamptonshire. He also served in 1581 as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, and was governor of the English merchant adventurers in Flanders. He married Elizabeth Barker, the daughter of Nicholas Barker of Sunning, Berkshire and the widow of Leonard Barker, a citizen of London. Elizabeth Barker's brother Thomas married John Isham's younger sister Isabella. John Isham died on March 17, 1595 at the age of 71 years. A portrait of him by Gerlach Flicke (shown on right) hangs at Lamport Hall.


  7. Thomas Isham (1555-1605), the son of John Isham and Elizabeth Barker, was born sept. 11, 1555 in London. He is said to have lost his sight from an illness when he was young, but nontheless became well versed in divinity and history. He married Elizabeth Nicholson (d. 1621), the daughter of Christopher Nicholson of Cambridge, Kent. He died Dec. 3, 1605 at Lamport Hall.


  9. Sir John Isham (1582-1651), 1st Baronet of Lamport, the son of Thomas Isham and Elizabeth Nicholson, was born on Friday July 27, 1582, according to his father's notes. He married Judith Lewyn (1590-1625) on Oct. 19, 1607, probably in Kent, Judith being the daughter of William Lewyn (d. 1598) of Ottingen (Otterden) in Kent, a doctor of laws. He was knighted on March 29, 1608 by James I and served in 1611 as the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. He was then advanced by King Charles I on May 30, 1627 to Baronet of Lamport. He died July 8, 1651 in Lamport and was buried there at All Saints Church with his wife, who predeceased him.

    • Justinian Isham (1610-1675), who follows:

    • Elizabeth Isham (1608/1609-1654) was born Jan. 28, 1608/1609, and buried a spinster on April 11, 1654 at Lamport. She is known for a recently discovered autobiography of hers that is considered to be one of the earliest known autobiographies by a female author.

    • Judith Isham (1609/1610-1636) was born Jan. Feb. 28, 1609/1610. She died unmarried on Nov. 1, 1636, and was buried on Nov. 3 at Lamport.


  11. Sir Justinian Isham I (1610-1675), 2nd Baronet of Lamport, and the son of Sir John Isham and Judith Lewyn was born Jan. 20, 1610, probably at Lamport Hall. He married first on Nov. 10, 1634, probably in Hertfordshire, Jane Garrard, the daughter of Sir John Garrard of Lamer, which is also in Hertfordshire. Jane died on March 3, 1638 in childbirth delivering her fifth child. Isham then married in 1653, probably in either Surrey or London, his second wife Vere Leigh (d. 1704), the daughter of Thomas Leigh (1595-1672), baronet of Stoneleigh, and Mary Egerton.

    Isham is described as a man of culture, who built a large library collection at Lamport Hall and was an early member of the Royal Society. He was friends with Bishop Brian Duppa, the advisor to Charles I, and the mathematician and astronomer Bishop Seth Ward. He was also a patron of the Scottish writer Alexander Ross. He was also elected on May 8, 1661 to represent Northamptonshire in Parliament. He died on March 2, 1674 at Oxford. He is is buried in the family tomb on the north side of the chancel in Lamport Church, where a lengthy Latin inscription details his family and accomplishments. There is an article on him in Wikipedia. A portrait of Sir Justinian by Jan Baptist Jaspers (shown on right) hangs at Lamport Hall, as well as a picture of his wife Vere Leigh by Julia Goodman.

    As noted, Sir Justinian's second wife Vere Leigh was the daughter of Mary Edgerton. Vere's mother Mary, in turn, was the daughter of Sir Thomas Edgerton and his wife Elizabeth Venables, who is 11th in direct descent from King Edward I. Her husband Sir Thomas was the son of Elizabeth Ravenscroft and her husband Viscount Thomas Egerton of Brackley (1540-1617), who though illegitimate in birth still rose to become the Lord Chancellor to both Queen Elizabeth I and her heir King James I. Thus, Vere Leigh brought to the Isham family a distinguished pedigree that is documented in Burke (1858), Royal Descents and Pedigrees of Founder's Kin.
    children - ISHAM (with Jane Garrard)
    • five children

    children - ISHAM (with Vere Leigh)
    • Vere Isham (1655-1674)

    • Sir Thomas Isham (1656-1681), 3rd Baronet of Lamport, was born on March 15, 1656/57 at Lamport Hall. He is remembered for a diary that he wrote in Latin from 1671 to 1673 at the command of his father. This diary, which was first translated and published in 1875, is noteworthy as it provides a glimpse of life in the English countryside as seen through the eyes of a teenager of the privledged upper class. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1675 when he was just 19 years old, and died on August 9, 1681 of small pox, shortly before he was to be married. He was succeeded as baronet by his younger brother.

    • Sir Justinian Isham II (1658-1730), who follows:

    • five more children


  13. Sir Justinian Isham II (c.1658-1730), 4th Baronet of Lamport, and the son of Sir Justinian Isham I and Vere Leigh. He married on July 16, 1683 in Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire Elizabeth Turnor (1666-1713), the only daughter of Sir Edmund Turnor (1619-1707) of Stoke Rochford Hall in Kent, and his wife Margaret Harrison (1623-1679), the daughter of Sir John Harrison (1589-1669). He was elected knight in 1689, and died on May 13, 1730 aged 72 years. There is a painting of him attributed to Michael Dahl that hangs at Lamport Hall, together with another (shown on right) by Godfrey Kneller. Although there is also a painting at Lamport Hall that is believed to be of Sir Justinian's wife Elizabeth Turnor by Charles d' Agar, the identity of the subject is uncertain, and it may also be of Francis (d. 1755), the wife of John Isham.

    • Vere Isham (1686-1760).

    • Sir Justinian Isham (1687-1737), 5th Baronet of Lamport.

    • Sir Edmund Isham (1690-1772), 6th Baronet of Lamport.

    • Euseby Isham (1697-1755), who follows:

    • Eleven other children


  15. Rev. Euseby Isham (1697-1755), the son of Sir Justinian Isham II and Elizabeth Turnor was born November 6, 1697, probably in Lamport. He became Rector of Lamport and Haselbeach, and was elected Rector (head) in 1731 of Lincoln College at Oxford University, a post he held until his death. He subsequently married on May 1, 1739 in Brockhall, England Elizabeth Panting (1717-1808), the daughter of Matthew Panting (b. 1691), a Doctor of Divinity, and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, and his wife Mary Thornton (1695-1772). Later, Isham was Vice-Chancellor from 1744 until 1747 of Oxford University. He died on June 17, 1755. There is an article on him in Wikipedia, along with one for his son Edmund. A painting of him by an unknown artist (shown on right) hangs at Lamport Hall.

    • Sir Justinian Isham IV (1740-1818), who follows:

    • Edmund Isham (1744-1817) was elected Warden (head) in 1793 of All Souls College at the University Oxford, a post he held until his death. He is listed in Wikipedia along with his father.

    • Two other children


  17. Sir Justinian Isham IV (1740-1818), 7th Baronet of Lamport, and the son of Euseby Isham and Elizabeth (Mary) Panting. He was born on July 8, 1740, probably at Lamport Hall, and was married on Sept. 9, 1766 to Susannah Barrett (1744-1823), the daughter of Henry Barrett. He served in 1776 as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, and died on April 1, 1818 at the age of 77 years. A painting of him by an unknown artist hangs (shown on right) at Lamport Hall. There are also two portraits at the hall of his wife Suannah Barrett, one by unknown artist, and another by Richard Brompton.

    • Susannah Isham (1767-1849), who follows:

    • Sir Justinian Isham (1773-1845), 8th Baronet of Lamport, married Mary Close (1788-1878). Their son Sir Justinian Vere Isham (1816-1846) was the 9th baronet, but died not long after his father, and was succeeded as 10th baronet by his younger brother Sir Charles Edmund Isham (1819-1903), who in the 1840s introduced the tradition of garden gnomes to Britain when he used them to decorate his "gnome rockery" in the Lamport Hall gardens.

    • Vere Isham (1774-1845) became the rector of Lamport, and had a son John Vere Isham (1803-1883), who served in the 51st Light Infantry and retired as a Captain. John's son was Sir Vere Isham (1862-1941), who became the 11th Baronet of Lamport on the decease of his uncle Sir Charles Edmund Isham (1819-1903), the 10th baronet. Another son of Vere Isham was Major Thomas Isham (1807-1854) has the dubious distinction of having murdering his brother-in-law William Wood in a fit of insanity and then dying himself a few days afterwards. A newspaper account of the incident is available at the web page of the Brixworth History Society.

    • Henry Charles Isham (1777-1833), rector of Strangton.

    • Nine other children


  19. Susannah Isham (1767-1849), the daughter of Sir Justinian Isham IV and Susannah Barrett, was born on June 3, 1767, probably at Lamport Hall, and baptized on June 28, 1767 at Saint Anne Soho in Westminster, London. She married George Purcas Brietzcke (c.1778-1817) of the Secretary of States office on Oct. 5, 1800 at Westminister St. James in London. It would appear that an earlier ceremony also took place on Oct. 4, 1800 at Lamport, Northamptonshire. The marriage was George's second, as he was previously married to a woman named Mary.

    Susannah's husband George was the son of Charles Brietzcke (c.1738-1795) and Catherine Ware (c.1733-1830). Charles had also served in the Secretary of States office, prior to George, but he is known primarily for a personal diary that he wrote which describes his life as a young man in London during the middle 18th century. His eldest son, and therefore George Brietzcke's older brother, was Richard Betenson Dean (1772-1850), the Chairman of the Board of Customs for the United Kingdom. Richard Dean apparently had been born Brietzcke, but changed his surname to that of an ancestor, probably as a condition of an inheritance.

    Susannah survived her husband George by many years, despite being several years older than he was. She died on Dec, 18, 1849 at the age of 82 in Hampstead, which is part of the Borough of Camden in Inner London, and she is buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. We do not know if George is buried with her. A painting of her by Caleb J. Garbrand that shows her as a little girl (shown at right) hangs at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire.

    • Carolina Ann Brietzcke (b. 1800) was born on July 15, 1800 to George Purcas Brietzcke and his first wife Mary. Carolina was baptized on Aug. 15, 1800 at St. Martin in the fields, Westminster. Her mother died not long after she was born, possibly in childbirth. Nothing further is known of Carolina.

    • Georgiana Elizabeth Brietzcke (1801-1875), the first child of George Purcas Brietzcke and his second wife Susannah Isham, was born Dec. 1, 1801, probably in London, and baptized March 4, 1802 at St. James, Piccadilly in Westminster (London). She lived with her sister Maria, and died a spinster on March 1, 1875 at Kensington (Middlesex), London.

    • Maria Susan Brietzcke was born c.1803. She lived with her sister Georgiana and died a spinster on April 21, 1875 at the age of 72 at Kensington (Middlesex), London.

    • Louisa Sophia Brietzcke (c.1806-1891), who follows:

    • Edmund Isham Brietzcke (c.1806-1900) married Mary Anne Overy (b. 1811), and died Oct. 10, 1900 in Hastings, London at the age of 94 years. He and Mary Anne had several children, including the son who follows.

      • Henry Brietzcke (1841-1879) was born on Oct. 13, 1841 in Islington, London, and married Helen Kate Smith (1851-1923). He died on March 11, 1879 as the medical officer of the Portsea Convict Prison in Southampton, Hampshire. Their son Edmund Henry Brietzcke (1878-1967) was an engineer, who married Helen Shackleton (1882-1962), a writer for the Montreal Daily Star in Canada. Her brother was the author and Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922).

    • George John Brietzcke (1809-1840) was born Sept. 14, 1809 and baptized Oct. 28, 1809 at St. Martin in the Fields, London. He died at Neemuch, India as a lieutenant in the 49th Bengal North Infantry.


  21. Louisa Sophia Brietzcke (c.1806-1891), the daughter of Susannah Isham and George Purcas Brietzcke, was born about 1806 in Westminster (London), and she married William Abbott (1804-1866) on Aug. 28, 1832 at Christ Church in St. Marylebone, Westminster. They had several children who are covered elsewhere in the Abbott Genealogy. Louisa died on January 11, 1891 at the age of 85 at 50 Gloucester Street in London, and she is buried with William in the Kensal Green All Souls Cemetery in London. Louisa is covered in much more detail in the Brietscke Genealogy, and as already noted her children are listed in the the Abbott Genealogy. Although the idenity of the woman shown in the ambrotype below is not known fer certain, it may be Louisa.


    The Isham Family ancestors of Louisa Sophia Brietzcke are direct descendants of King Edward I of England, King Hugh Capet of France, and his ancestor Charlemagne.
    Though uncertain, they may also descend from the Merovingian Kings, possible ancestors of Hugh Capet, who ruled ancient France in the waning days of the Roman Empire.
    The buttons below lead to these lineages.







  • Betham, Rev. William (1801), "Isham of Lamport, Northamptonshire" in The baronetage of England or the history of the English baronets, Burrell and Bransby, London, v. 1, p. 298-306.

  • Brainard, Homer Worthington (1938), "The Isham Family in England" in A Survey of the Ishams in England and America; Eight Hundred and Fifty Years of History and Genealogy, Tuttle publishing company, Rutland, VT, p. 1-105. The pages referenced here are basically a rephrasing of Longden (1906).

  • Burke, John Bernard (1833), "Isham, Sir Justinian" in A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the British Empire, Richard Bently, London, v. 2, p. 5-6.

  • Burke, John Bernard (1858), "Sir Charles Edmund Isham, Bart." in Royal descents and pedigrees of founder's kin, Harrison, London, v. 2, Pedigree XVII. Click the link at right to access the original text.

  • Collins, Arthur (1741), "The English baronetage", Thomas Wotton, London, v. 2, p. 28-47.

  • "Evans-Palmer and Allied Familes" on Ancestry.com. accessed Jan. 5, 2012.

  • "Euseby Isham" in The Peerage. accessed Jan. 5, 2012.

  • Isham, Edward Paul (1984), An Index of the Ishams in England and America: Nine Hundred Years of History and Genealogy, pubished by E.P. Isham, 732 p. Basically an updated version of Brainard (1938), with nothing new on the Ishams of Lamport Hall.

  • Lamport, Northamptonshire, All Saints Church on the web page for Britain Express - Passionate about British Heritage has pictures of some of the Isham family monuments in the Lamport parish church. There is also an assortment of pictures on a Lamport, All Hallows webpage on Flickr.

  • Longden, Rev. Henry Isham (1906), Isham Fmaily in Northamptonshire Families (Victoria History of the Counties of England. Northampton. Genealogical volume - Edited by Oswell Barron), A. Constable, London, 380 p. Available as Microfilm 990095 at Family History Centers from the LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    This is the definitive history of the Isham family of Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire, England as the author lived in Lamport village and had access to extensive family papers that are housed in the Lamport Hall archives and date back nearly 400 years. The first 105 pages of Brainard (1938), which are listed above and are more readily available to the researcher, are bascially just a rephrasing of Longden's work. Similarly, Isham (1984) adds nothing new on the Ishams of Lamport Hall, and the main emphasis of the text is on the American branch of the family.

  • Vincent, Augustus (1887), Isham of Barby, Braunston, and Lamport in Visitations of Northamptonshire made in 1564 and 1618/19 with Northamptonshire Pedigrees from various Mss. (ed. by Walter C. Metcalfe), Mitchell and Hughes, London, p. 181-182. This is a pedigree of the family collected by herald Augustus Vincent in 1624.




by Mike Clark & Family

This history is an evolving document.
Despite our best intentions it probably contains mistakes.
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Copyright © Michael S. Clark, Ph.D., 1998-2016 - All rights reserved.