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The Wilkes Family
Charles Wilkes
Dearest Jeanie: Highlights of the Wilkes-Smedberg Papers (1853-1913)

Israel Wilkes (1722-1805) was the son of an English distiller, Israel Wilkes, and his wife Sarah Heaton Wilkes. His brother was the famous British radical, John Wilkes.

Israel's son, Israel, Jr.r, married Elizabeth DePonthieu (1727-1802), and the couple settled in Clerkenweld, England. Two of Israel's sons, John De Ponthieu Wilkes (1755-1818) came to New York and later brought his brother Charles Wilkes (1764-1833)  to New York City and embarked on successful careers in business and banking, respectfully. In 1782, John dePonthieu Wilkes married his first wife,  Mary Seton (1767-1802) in 1789. She was the half-sister of the American Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1744-1821).  John de Ponthieu Wilkes'  occupations have been listed as both a banker and a notary. While Charles was heavily involved in New York City banks. Both were prominent  fixtures in New York society. John Wilkes and Mary Seton Wilkes had five children.

  1. John Wilkes (1789-), a merchant, who moved to Charleston and married Celia Lightfoot in 1819. A wealthy heiress Clelia Lightwood Wilkes owned two plantations and a home in Charleston.
  2. Henry Wilkes (1791-1869) was a New York attorney, who married Ann Georgiana Turnbull (1796-1878)
  3. Edmund Wilkes (1793-)
  4. Eliza Wilkes (1795- ) m. John Vernon Henry (1767-
  5. Charles Wilkes (1798-1877) (Portait by Thomas Sulley, became a career Naval officer who rose to the rank of Admiral and married Jane Jeffrey Renwick.