George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Hannah Fairfax Washington, 9 April 1792

From Hannah Fairfax Washington

Virginia Fairfield Apr: 9th 1792:

Dear Sir

As soon as I receiv’d the honor of Your Letter,1 I search’d over every old paper in my possession, but cou’d find nothing that cou’d give any information relative to the subject required, further than the Will of Laurence Washington (Your grand father; also the grand father of my deceas’d Husband) the abstracts of which You inclos’d me.2 I found the Will of Mrs Warner, Your great grand mother, but as that did not relate to the family otherwise than the marriage of the said Laurence to Mildred Warner, her Daughter, I shall not inclose it.

I was not willing to give over my enquiries so soon, which was the reason I did not answer Your favor last Week, but was waiting for information from an Old acquaintance of the familys, when my grand Son War: Wash: call’d at Mr Herberts in his way to Philada & mention’d Your request to me, when that Gent: recollected an old Book written by Your Brother Laurence (now in his possession) from which, He took several memorandoms, & inclosed them to me, which I have copied & sent You.3 It plainly appears from those accounts, that John, was the name of Your great, grand father, that He, & his Brother Laurence, were the two first of the Name ever in Virginia. The inclos’d do not mention any where the Marriage of the first Laurence, but He certainly did marry & had a Son, (if no more) by the name of John, who was cousin German to Laurence, Yr grand Father; & twice mention’d in his Will, by the name of his Cousin John, Senior, of Stafford County. I suppose Yr Brother thought it immaterial to mention the Marriages of any of the family, but the direct descendents of his grt grand Father, but You might find out from the Old records, & Wills, deposited in Westmoreland or Cumberland County, if You wish to know who He married.

Present my Affect: Compts & best regards, to my dear, & valuable old friend, Mrs Washington, & accept the sincere good wishes, & ardent prayers, for Your health & happiness, of Dear Sir Your most Affect: & oblig’d Hble Serv:

H: Washington

Please to return me the old will when perus’d.4


1GW had written his cousin on 24 Mar., enclosing genealogical queries about the Washingtons made by Isaac Heard (see Heard to GW, 7 Dec. 1791).

2For the text of Lawrence Washington’s will of 11 Mar. 1698, see Ford, Wills of George Washington, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed. Wills of George Washington and His Immediate Ancestors. Brooklyn, 1891. description ends 33–38.

3The enclosed “Memorandum from Lawrence Washington’s Book,” which is in Hannah Washington’s handwriting, includes two insertions that GW subsequently added in pencil. Those insertions appear within square brackets in the following transcription of the text: “John, & Laurence Washington [In 1657 (from the No. of England, either Yorkshire or Lancashire)] came into Virginia during the usurpation of Oliver Cromwell, & settled at Bridges Creek [in Westmoreland County] on Potowmack. John was employed as General against the Indians in Maryland, & as a reward for his services was made a Colonel, & the parish wherein He lived, was call’d after him. He married Ann Pope, & left issue two Sons, Laurence & John, & one Daughter Ann, who married Major Francis Wright. Laurence married Mildred Warner, Daughter of Colo: Augustine Warner, of Gloucester County, by whom He had two Sons, John & Augustine, & one Daughtr named Mildred. John married Catherine Whiting of Gloucester Coty where He settled, & had many Children.

“Augustine married Jane Butler, the Daughter of Calib Butler of Westmorland, Apr: 20th 1715: by whom He had two Sons Laurence, & Augustine, & one Daughter Jane, who died when a Child. Jane Wife of Augustine, died Nov: 24th 1728: Augustine then married Mary Ball, March 6th 1729: by whom He had issue, George born Febru: 11th 1732: Betty born June 20th 1733: Samuel born Novbr 16th 1734: John born Janry 13th 1735/6: Charles, May 1st 1738: Mildred June 21st 1739: who died Oct: 28th 1740. Augustine moved to prince William Co. in the year 1734.

“Augustine departed this life Apr: 12th 1743: Aged 49: Yrs & was buried at Bridges Creek, in a Vault with his Ancestors.

“Laurence, Son to Augustine &Jane Washington, married July 19th 1743: Ann, eldest Daughter of the Honble William Fairfax Esqr., by whom He had issue, Jane, born September 27: 1744: who died Janry 1744/5: Fairfax, born Augst 22: 1747: who died in October 1747: Mildred, born Sepbr 28th 1748: who died in [ ] 1749: Sarah, born Novbr 7th 1750: who died in [ ] 175[ ].

“Augustine, Son of Augustine &Jane Washington, married Ann, Daughter & coheiress of William Aylett of Westmoreland Co: by whom He had issue” (DLC:GW).

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