Susan Lyme Penn
Wife of John Penn, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1745 – 1795 A.D.
Susan Lyme, one of the least known of the wives of the signers, was born in Kent County, Va., in 1745, and married to John Penn in 1763. Her husband was a young lawyer who had to rely upon his own exertions to prepare for the honoured [sic] career he had before him.
Mr. Penn was a son of Moses and Catherine Taylor Penn, farming people of Caroline County. The elder Penn was prosperous but very neglectful of the young man’s educational advantages, and when Moses Penn died in 1759 his son found himself the sole heir to a fair property but had never had more than two or three terms of schooling.
He was a cousin of Edmund Pendleton, a man of wealth and education, who opened his home and library to his young kinsman, who made so good use of his opportunities that at the age of twenty-one he was admitted to the bar with considerable reputation for vigorous eloquence. He removed to North Carolina in 1774, and soon established a practice. Almost from the first he became a leader, being sent to Congress in 1775 and kept there for several years, as well as receiving other high honors.
Three children were born to Susan and John Penn, only one of whom came to maturity. That was their only daughter, Lucy, who married Hon. John Taylor of Caroline County, Va., a planter who is said to have done much to advance the science of agriculture in his native State. He was colonel of cavalry in the Virginia line during the Revolution and elected to succeed Richard Henry Lee in the U.S. Senate in 1792, but resigned in 1794. He was sent to the Senate in 1803 to fill a vacancy. Taylor County, Virginia, was named in his honour [sic], and General Zachary Taylor came of the same family. John Penn died in 1778, in his forty-seventh year. His wife survived him many years.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.