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Israel Wilkes (1722-1805) was the son of an English distiller, Israel Wilkes, and his wife Sarah Heaton Wilkes. His uncle was the famous British radical, John Wilkes. Israel, the younger, married Elizabeth DePonthieu (1727-1802), and the couple settled in New York City. They had three children including John de Ponthieu Wilkes (1755-1818) who married Mary Seton (1767-1801) in 1782. John was a successful banker and became a prominent fixture in New York society. John Wilkes and Mary Seton Wilkes had five children.
- John Wilkes, a merchant who moved to Charleston and married Celia Lightfoot, a wealthy heiress. She owned two plantations and a home in Charleston.
- Eliza Wilkes m. John Vernon Henry
- Edmund Wilkes;
- Henry Wilkes (1795-1869) was a New York attorney, who married Ann Turnbull.
- Charles Wilkes (1798-1877) (portrait at top of this page), became a career Naval officer who rose to the rank of Admiral and married Jane Jeffrey Renwick.