Friday, September 19, 2014

Colonel William Fitzhugh

William Fitzhugh 1741-1809
Colonel William Fitzhugh immigrated to Virginia in about 1671 and owned 54,000 acres when he died in 1701. His name is frequently mentioned in 17th century records as he was quite in the affairs of the colony.  He was apparently married several times, one of whom was Lucy Carter, the daughter of Robert "King" Carter.  The Fitzhughs, Washingtons, Custis, Dandridge and Craik families had residences in Alexandria, Virginia (now Alexandria City).  His son, William, inherited Chatham Manor.  In 1804 Mary Lee Fitzhugh was married in the parlor of the Fitzhugh townhome to George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington. When Colonel Fitzhugh died in 1809, he was buried at Ravensworth but when the mansion burned down, his remains were removed to the churchyard of the Lorton Pohick Church.  More details about Colonel Fitzhugh are provided in the last will and testaments of William Fitzhugh, formerly of Chatham, and William Craik of Alexandria City, Virginia dated 1814, found on Virginia Pioneers


Fitzhugh and his wife, Ann Bolling Randolph Fitzhugh (1747–1805), built  a manor house (Chatham Manor) on the Rappahannock River across from Fredericksburg and this mansion is maintained by the National Park Service. About 1799, Colonel Fitzhugh bought the house at 607 Oronoco Street in Alexandria City, which was later known as "The Boyhood Home of  Robert E. Lee.

Colonel Fitzhugh served as a Burgess in Virginia between 1772 and 1775 and was a member of the Revolutionary War Committee of Safety 1774 to 1775.  During the war, he served as a
a commissioner of two arms and munitions factories and of the  Virginia House of Delegates in 1776–1777. He was a Virginia state senator in 1780–1787).

The Alexandria (City) last wills and testaments record many political figures and provide interesting details as to their friends and relatives.  Reading these old wills is like an undiscovered history book of new facts. 

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