Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Loyalist Estates in Virginia

Belvoir Manor
George William Fairfax, the son of Sir William Fairfax, a British Colonel who had served in the Barbados and served as governor of the Bahamas, was born 1729 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Sarah resided in the Colony of Virginia but returned to  Somerset, England before the Revolutionary War, to settle some property issues.  They were Loyalists and thus remained in England until it was safe to return to Virginia.  George William Fairfax, however, may have died in Somerset, England, and Sarah returned to Virginia.   His prominent father, Sir Fairfax was a first cousin to Thomas Fairfax, the 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron and acted as an agent for Lord Fairfax in managing his holdings in the Northern Neck of Virginia.  After Sir William Fairfax moved his family to Virginia, George William became a friend of George Washington and Fairfax's older sister Anne married George Washington's older half-brother, Lawrence Washington.  He must have been in the district of Columbia (Alexandria City) for some time, as his wife (Sarah) died there.  Her last will and testament mentioned extensive lands in Somerset, England as well as the names of relatives and is available on Virginia Pioneers. Sir William Fairfax left George William his Belvoir Manor plantation, which had been constructed adjacent to that of George Washington's Mt. Vernon.

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