Thursday, August 26, 2010

How We Are Related to Chief Justice John Marshall

Arguably the most influential Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States was John Marshall. While this may be partially a result of the time period and length of time he served as Chief Justice, he was responsible for the early formation and definition of the Court and its establishment as the third co-equal branch of government.

Signature of Chief Justice John Marshall
My 5th great-grandfather Robert Rankin (Anders line) was first cousin to John Marshall. Robert's mother was Margaret Masena Marshall (Abt 1733 - ?), brother of Thomas Marshall (02 Apr 1730 - 22 Jun 1802). Margaret and Thomas were two of the children of John Marshall (Abt 1700 - Apr 1752) and Elizabeth Markham (Abt 1704 - Abt 1775).

I can only guess that Robert and John knew each other, at least in their youth. They were both born in Virginia and families usually lived closer together in colonial days. It would be nice to learn how much they interacted throughout their lives.

I have little documentation of Robert Rankin's parents and grandparents. If you have any information or documentation about Robert Rankin and the Marshall family, please leave a comment.

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