John Coles Payne

John Coles Payne

Hanover County, Virginia, USA
Death Apr 1860 (aged 77)
Logan County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Burial Details Unknown, Specifically: Logan County, Kentucky
Memorial ID 194796647 · View Source
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John Coles Payne (1782-1860)


Excerpt of letter from Dolley Madison to General James Taylor of "Belle Vue," Newport, Kentucky, dated December 27, 1841:

"I have recd. yr. kind letter dr friend with feelings of much interest. To find myself still remembered by yr esteemed lady & daughter is gratifying to that attachment I cherish for you & them--& I thank you both for the kindness you have shown to my brother & his family who are in spite of their bad fortune inexpressibly dear to me--I still hope that adversity will not always follow them in their adopted Country & that smiling days still await them--my first wish on their leaving us was that they should stop in Ky. or O. & since they have come to the margin of both states--I trust that William will contribute to their comfort as you dr fd have so amiably done."

(Clark, A. C. (1914). Life and letters of Dolly Madison. Washington: Press of W.F. Roberts Co. p. 306)


Excerpt of Last Will & Testament of Dolley Madison, drafted February 1, 1841, proved and recorded January 27, 1849:

“I give to my brother John Coles Payne one thousand dollars, to be laid out for his accommodation and comfort. I give to his sons William Temple [d. 1843] and James Madison Payne three hundred dollars each, and I give to my niece Anna Payne, three thousand dollars, with my negro Woman and her children one third of my wearing apparel, my forte piano and the furniture of my chamber, with my private papers to burn.”

(Source: Encyclopedia Virginia. Bracketed content added)


John Coles Payne married Clara Wilcox (b. ca. 1795 NY), daughter of Charles and Catherine (Ryan) Wilcox. John and Clara and family were at Montpelier with Dolley and James Madison until Madison’s death (1836). Sometime afterwards they moved west, first to Sangamon County, Illinois (cf. 1840 Census) where daughter Lucy married Algernon F. Helm. By 1850, John and Clara and family had moved to Green County, Kentucky, and finally to Logan County, Kentucky, after 1850. Their daughter, Anna (Causten), had remained behind in Virginia as a companion to Dolley Madison.


1850 Census: Green County, Kentucky
John C Pane Male 68 Virginia
Clary Pane Female 52 New York
Mary Pane Female 26 Virginia
Louesa Pane Female 24 Virginia
Susan Pane Female 22 Virginia
James M Pane Male 21 Virginia
John Pane Male 1 Kentucky


The Last Will & Testament of John Coles Payne was proved and recorded April 30, 1860, in Logan County. The date the Will was originally drafted is not indicated. Some or all of the bequests may have been contingent as suggested by the first and last Items, and may never have been realized:


“In the name of God, amen, I John Coles Payne now of the County of Logan and State of Kentucky being of sound mind tho feable in body, do make and declare this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and annulling all former Wills and Testaments.

“Item, in case of a certain contingency occurring in the death of Mary C. Cousten [sic: Mary C Causten, granddaughter] before she reaches age of twenty-one, by her farthers [sic] Will he bequeaths me five thousand dollars should I survive her, should this happen.

“Item, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Dolley P. Thomas, now of Arkansas one-thousand dollars, requesting her to give five-hundred dollars to her son Benjamin Winston Dudley Thomas when he becomes of age or his going into business for himself. The remaining five-hundred dollars I give to said Dolley P. Thomas in full and __ controlled to me both interest and principal at her pleasure.

“Item, I give and bequeath to my crazy the beloved daughter Mary C. Payne now in the asylum near Hopkinsville, one-thousand dollars in full and __ controlled to me both principal and interest at her discretion, hoping her affection for her own children will induce her to preserve and apply it to her own and their use solely. I give to my wife Clara W. Payne the interest on five-hundred dollars and at her death I give and bequeath the said five-hundred dollars to my son James Madison Payne, and as proof of my deep affection and grateful sense of his devotion to me, I give to my said son James M.Payne one-thousand dollars in addition to the five-hundred already given at his mothers death.

“Item, I give and bequeath to each of my nephews James M. Todd and Richard D. Curtts [sic: Cutts] two-hundred and fifty dollars. And I appoint my said son James M. Payne administrator of this my Will and require that the respective shares be distributed as soon as Dr. Caustens bequest is received by my administrator from whom no Security shall be exacted.

“Signed:Jno. C. Payne (Seal)

P. G. H. Goodwin
T. Brezendine

“Logan County set at a County Court held for Logan County at the Courthouse in Russellville on the 30th of April 1860 the foregoing last Will and Testament of Jno. C. Payne, dec'd was produced in open court and proven by the oaths of T. Brizendine & P. G. H. Goodwin subscribing witnesses thereto to be the act & deed and last Will & Testament of the said Jno. C. Payne, dec'd & ordered to be recorded wherefrom the same together with this certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office.Given under my hand this date above written.

“Signed James E. Wright, Clerk
By C. H. Caldwell, DC”



The final resting place of John Coles Payne is unknown. There is a small family cemetery in Russellville, county seat of Logan, where Jonathan V. Payne (1774-1845) and some family members are buried. If John Coles Payne was buried there, he has no grave marker.

“J. M. Paine,” son of John Coles and Clara (Wilcox) Payne, was listed as a “Day Laborer” without property and as head of household with his widowed mother, Clara, and a child, William Coles, in the 1860 Logan County Census, in District #1, with post office at South Union (cf. 1860 Census). Listed on the same page were farmers, farm laborers, craftpersons, and merchants, which suggests that as a day laborer James was employed in some capacity other than farming.

John Coles Payne’s family in Virginia and Pennsylvania had been convinced Quakers, a Christian sect kindred in spirit with the Shakers. Historically, Shakers had emerged from Quaker roots in England. The surname of “Payne/Paine/Pane” has not been found in South Union Shaker membership or cemetery records. However, the Shakers did employ nonmembers in their farming and business enterprises. It seems likely that this Payne family may have been living and working among the Shakers at South Union. If so, there is a distinct possibility that John Coles Payne could have been buried in South Union Shaker Cemetery. All of the original grave markers in South Union Shaker Cemetery were destroyed after the Shaker community came to an end and the property was sold (see Photo).

The place of death and final resting place of Clara (Wilcox) Payne are unknown.


Of the children of John and Clara, James Madison Payne married Louisa J. Thomas of Barren County, Kentucky, daughter of Elizabeth Payne and William Thomas. James and Louisa (Thomas) Payne made their home in Franklin County, Illinois, as did her parents, William and Elizabeth (Payne) Thomas, after living in Barren County through 1860 (see Memorials).

Dorothea M. “Dolley” Payne married Dr. Wesley Thomas (b. ca. 1814 KY). Wesley and Dolley (Payne) Thomas were living in Allen County, Kentucky, in 1850, but had moved to Washington County, Arkansas, by 1860 (cf. 1850 and 1860 Censuses). Their place of death and final resting place are unknown.

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  • Created by: CADC
  • Added: 17 Nov 2018
  • Find a Grave Memorial 194796647
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Coles Payne (8 Jun 1782–Apr 1860), Find a Grave Memorial no. 194796647, ; Maintained by CADC (contributor 48172755) Burial Details Unknown, who reports a Logan County, Kentucky.