George Washington’s Grandmother – Mildred Warner

•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

George Washington’s paternal grandmother was Mildred Warner.  She was born at Warner Hall, the family home in Gloucester County, Virginia.  Her father, Colonel Augustine Warner, Jr. (1642- June 19, 1681) was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and both before and after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 and 1677 served as Speaker of the House.  He then served on the Governor’s Council from October 1677 until his death.   Her sister Elizabeth Warner married John Lewis, from whom both Fielding Lewis, who was to marry George Washington’s sister Betty, and Meriwether Lewis (the leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition) are descended.  From her mother, Mildred Reade, both her and her grandson George Washington can trace their ancestors back to most of the kings of England.  With her first husband, Lawrence Washington, she had three children:  John, Augustine and Mildred.  After the death of her first husband Lawrence in 1698, she remarried in 1700 to George Gale of  Whitehaven, England.  Unfortunately, after relocating to Whitehaven, she soon contracted a fever and died on January 30, 1701.


George Washington’s Father – Augustine Washington

•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

George Washington with his father – Augustine Washington

George Washington with his father at his father’s iron furnace (one of the first in America) near Fredericksburg, Virginia.  As such, George Washington’s father Augustine Washington was one of the first individuals to initiate industrialization in America

Grave of Augustine Washington – George Washington’s father – at Washington cemetery plot

Signature of Augustine Washington – father of George Washington

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George Washington’s father was Augustine Washington (1694-April 12, 1743).  Like his future son, George, he was known for his height and strength.   He was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the son of Lawrence Washington and Mildred Warner.  He was only four years old when his father died.  Upon his father’s death, he inherited about 1,000 acres at the family’s Bridges Creek plantation while his sister Mildred inherited the family’s Little Hunting Creek Plantation.  In 1715 he married Jane Butler and in 1718 he purchased land on Popes Creek adjoining his land on Bridges Creek and built a new house called Wakefield there.  In the ame year, he purchased the Little Hunting Creek (later renamed Mount Vernon) property from his sister Mildred.  With his first wife Jane Butler, he had four children, only two of whom (Lawrence and Augustine Jr.) lived to adulthood.  These two sons (who were the half-brothers of George Washington) Augutine Washington sent to England to be educated.  Augustine Washington himself travelled several times to London to confer with his partners in a iron furnace that he owned and operated on Accokeek Cree in Stafford County, Virginia, which was one of America’s first efforts towards industrialization.  This was an iron furnace that he owned in conjunction with the Principio Company of England.  Augustine Washington was also active in politics, serving as county sheriff and justice of the peace.  After his first wife’s death in 1729, Augustine Washington married 23-year old Mary Ball, with whom he had several more children with George Washington being the oldest.  In 1738, Augustine Washington bought the Ferry Farm plantation across the Rappahannock River from the fledging young town of Fredericksburg, which was where George Washington was to spend most of his childhood.  Augustine Washington bought this property from William Strother and moved his family there in order to be closer to his iron furnace.  Augustine Washington died on April 12, 1743 in King George County, Virginia.

George Washington’s Mother – Mary Ball Washington

•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Drawing of George Washington as a young boy with his mother.

Only known painting believed to be of Mary Ball Washington.

To navigate to the beginning of this website about the ancestry and life of George Washington, go to

George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington (1709-1789), was the second wife of Augustine Washington after Augustine Washington’s first wife, Jane Butler, died.   Mary Ball Washington was born as Mary Ball in 1708 in Lively, Lancaster County, Virginia.  She was a daughter of Joseph Ball and his second wife, the widow Mary Bennett Johnson.  She had 10 brothers and sisters.  Fatherless at 3 and orphaned at age 12, Mary Ball was placed under the guardianship of her uncle, George Eskridge, a prominent lawyer.  As a young girl, Mary Ball became an excellent horsewoman and was active in Virginia society.  She met her husband Augustine Washington while on a trip to London.  They were married on March 6, 1731.  Together, Mary Ball and Augustine Washington had six children, with George Washington (1732-1799) being the oldest.  George Washington’s brothers and sisters were Betty (1733-1797), Samuel (1734-1781), John Augustine (1736-1787), Charles (1739-1799) and Mildred (1739-1740).  Mary Ball Washington was to live see her son elected as the first President of the United States, with the last time she was to see her son George being at her home in Fredericksburg, VA. right before he headed off to be inaugurated as President in New York City in 1789.  The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. is named after her.  Before her death, many prominent leaders of the American Revolution would stop in Fredericksburg in order to have the opportunity to meet the mother of General Washington.  The above portrait is believed to a painting of Mary Ball Washington, possibily painted by Robert Edge Pine in 1786.

George Washington’s Wakefield Plantation, Popes Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia Birthplace

•March 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 at his family’s Wakefield Plantation home where Pope’s Creek joins the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  Here, he and his family lived until he was three years old.  George Washington’s great-grandfather John Washington had originally settled on the land at the Bridge’s Creek location in 1657.  Later, the site would also be the home of his grandfather Lawrence Washington and of his father Augustine Washington both with his first wife and then subsequently after her death with his second wife, Mary Ball, who was the mother of George Washington.  The family cemetery plot on Bridge’s Creek contains the graves of George Washingtons’ great-grandfather John Washington, his great-grandfather Lawrence Washington, his father Augustine Washington, his half-brother Lawrence Washington, and some 28 other Washington relatives.  While being politically connected, Washington’s family was of moderate wealth compared to some of the other much more wealthy Virginia families such as the Randolphs, Carters, and Lees.

George Washington as a Young Boy

•March 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

While a young boy, Washington and his family moved from their Wakefield home to Ferry Farm across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Washington’s father moved his family there in order to be closer to the iron furnance that he owned and operated, with Augustine Washington being one of the first Americans to operate an iron furnance and thus embrace the industrial revolution.  Augustine Washington was prosperous enough to send his sons from his first wife to England to attend school.  Unfortunately, Washington’s father died while George Washington was still young and Washington’s mother did not have the funds to attend school in England.  Instead, Washington was educated by tutors and attending a small local school.  One thing that Washington inherited from his mother, however, was his love and knowledge of horses, with his mother Mary Ball Washington herself being known as a great horse-woman.

After the Death of His Father, George Washington Is Mentored by His Older Half-Brother Lawrence Washington

•March 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

George Washington Becomes a Surveyor

•March 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Since Washington had inherited very little from his father, as Washington grew into young adulthood he considered ways that he could develop a career.  Originally, he considered joining the British navy, but his mother would not approve.  Consequently, Washington dug his father’s surveying tools out of his father’s chest and taught himself surveying.  One his very first surveying trip, Washington recorded meeting an Indian war party and witnessing an Indian war dance.  With the help of the Fairfax family, Washington then became a successful surveyor,  being examined in 1749 at the age of 17 at the College of William and Mary and consequently appointed the official surveyor of Culpeper County.  The monies that Washington earned as a surveyor made him moderately wealthy and allowed him to buy his first land – his Bullskin plantation near present-day Charles Town, West Virginia.  Doing surveying work for Lord Fairfax also gave Washington an intimate knowledge of the Virginia frontier.  Finally, while other founding fathers such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson attended college and learned Latin and Greek, Washington’s work as a surveyor taught Washington how to handle himself in the company of men older than himself, including Lord Fairfax, where Washington was given a hands-on education in business and politics.