George Washington Papers
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Land Grant, from Thomas, Lord Fairfax, 20 October 1750

Land Grant, from Thomas, Lord Fairfax

20 Oct. 1750

20 Oct. 1750. “The Right Honourable Thomas Lord Fairfax . . . for and in Consideration of the Composition to Me paid And for the annual Rent hereafter reserved I . . . do give grant and Confirm unto Mr George Washington of the County of King George a certain Tract of waste and ungranted Land in Frederick County, which he bought of Capt. Thomas Rutherford,1 known by the Name of Dutch George’s and is bounded as by a Survey thereof made by Mr George Byrne2 as followeth3 . . . Containing Four hundred and Fifty three Acres, Together with all Rights Members and Appurtenances thereunto belonging Royal Mines Excepted And a full third part of all Lead, Copper, Tinn Coals, Iron Mines and Iron Ore that shall be found thereon . . . Yielding and Paying To Me . . . Yearly and every year on the Feast day of St Michael the Archangel the Fee Rent of One Shilling Sterling Money for every Fifty Acres of Land hereby granted . . . Given at my Office4 in the County of Fairfax within my said Proprietary under my Hand and Seal Dated this twentyeth day of October . . . One thousand Seven hundred and Fifty.”

D, Northern Neck Grants, Book G, 465, Vi Microfilm. Signed “Fairfax” and endorsed “Mr George Washington’s Deed for 453 Acres of Land in Frederick County.” On 24 Nov. 1750 GW “Survey’d for myself the Land at the Head of the Marsh wch I bought of Captn Rutherford and afterward granted by Lord Fairfax” (GW’s Survey Field Book, 1750–51, p. [16], DLC:GW).

This was the first of seven land acquisitions that GW made in Frederick County in the 1750s. On 25 Oct. 1750 he obtained a grant for “about ninety three Acres” on Bullskin Run (Northern Neck Grants, Book G, 466, Vi Microfilm). On 3–4 Dec. 1750 he bought a 456–acre tract from James McCraken (d. 1755) adjoining the 93–acre tract (Frederick County Deed Book 2, 1749–52, pp. 209–11, Vi Microfilm). On 16–17 Mar. 1752 he bought a 552–acre tract from George Johnston (d. 1766), also located on Bullskin waters (ibid., 478–81). The same month he was granted 760 acres on Bullskin from the Northern Neck proprietary (Northern Neck Grants, Book H, 136, Vi Microfilm). And on 8 Mar. 1753 he obtained a grant for 240 acres on the Potomac River between the Great Cacapon and the Little Cacapon rivers (ibid., 255). He also was granted two lots in the town of Winchester on 15 May 1753 (ibid., 394).

1Thomas Rutherford was born in Scotland, migrated to America with his wife and family, and settled in Frederick County, where he became the first sheriff when the county was organized in 1743. No deed from Rutherford has been found.

2George Byrne was one of the most active surveyors in the Northern Neck counties through the 1740s. His home, Byrnley, in Prince William (later in Fauquier) County, was just north of Pig Nut Mountain.

3Lands of Robert Worthington and Maj. Lawrence Washington are referred to.

4The office of the Fairfax proprietary was at Belvoir in 1750. In 1761 Lord Fairfax moved the land office to his home at Greenway Court.

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