George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 29 May 1768]

29. Went to St. Paul’s Church & Dined at my Brothers.

Few churches in eighteenth-century Virginia had official names. Rather, a church tended to take a name from its location in the parish (the “upper” or the “lower” church), from its builder (Payne’s Church), from a nearby geographical location (Nomini Church, Pohick Church) or simply from the name of its parish. Thus GW here refers to attending the church of St. Paul’s Parish in Stafford County, which was the one closest to the home of his brother Samuel, a vestryman for St. Paul’s Parish until 1770. By a change in county boundaries in 1776 this parish and its church became part of King George County (meade [1] description begins [William] Meade. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1857. description ends , 2:192, 187–88).

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