William "The Immigrant" Fitzhugh, I (1651 - 1701) MP

‹ Back to Fitzhugh surname

Is your surname Fitzhugh?

Research the Fitzhugh family

Colonel William Fitzhugh's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: Bedford, England
Death: Died in Stafford Co., VA
Occupation: Lawyer and Planter Lt. Col. Militia
Managed by: Tina Marie Brown
Last Updated:

About William "The Immigrant" Fitzhugh, I

"William (The Immigrant) Fitzhugh came to America about 1674 (or 1670 depending on who you believe). He was well educated, a shrewd businessman, a lawyer, and was religious. His church was the established church of England. The only thing he regretted about America was the lack of good schools. He wrote: "Good education of children is almost impossible and better be never born than ill bred." He owned 54,000 acres or more of land with four big houses on them. The houses were Eagle's Nest, Bedford, Bellaire, and Boscobel. (I need to look up the documentation for this.) William Fitzhugh came to Westmoreland County, a young lawyer whose family may have been descended from the Fitzhughs, barons of Ravensworth. The family coat of arms had been recorded in 1566 and if his view of life was thus somewhat baronial there was nothing in the new world to stand in the way of achieving his ideal. Lord Culpepper before him had laid claim to all of the Northern Neck of Virgina and had proved his claim and Robert Carter after him was to carve an actual Kingdom from the new territory. (We now know that it's the wrong coat of arms and have no proof that he was descended from the barons of Ravensworth.) William Fitzhugh married Sarah Tucker of Westmoreland and moved to Stafford County where he built Bedford on the Potomac. He practiced law, served in the House of Burgesses and was a Lt. Col. in the Stafford militia. He was also agent for the Fairfaxes who inherited the Northern Neck from Lord Culpeper. It was during this tenure that he confirmed the grant of Ravensworth in what was then upper Stafford County. He had bought the grant from a man named John Matthews in 1685 and had it re granted and finally confirmed by 1694. His was 21,996 acres paralleling the (John) Alexander grant, later Alexandria, and covering the approximate territory from what is now part of Falls Church to Pohink Church and from the present Fairfax Court House almost to Alexandria. Colonel Fitzhugh was not, as some of the historical novelists would have us believe our forefathers were, unscrupulous, brash, and fascinatingly immoral. The records indicate that he was religious, honest, and a fine lawyer, quoted the Scriptures while pleading a case. He was very sympathetic to French Huguenots who fled France when the Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV. Unlike the Sun King, he looked upon them as the most desirable of citizens and offered them land to settle."

At his death Colonel Fitzhugh left approximately 50,000 acres of land in Virginia besides property in Maryland and England to his five sons and one daughter. The Ravensworth tract was divided between two sons, Henry and William, Henry receiving 12,585 acres to the north and William a little over 9,000 to the south.

In addition to serving in the House of Burgesses, he managed his own estate, was a leading lawyer and Queen's Counsel, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Stafford Militia, a tobacco planter, politician, and a Justice of Stafford County Court.

Sources

  1. Historical Society of Fairfax Co., VA Vol. 3 1954)
  2. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37485058

Links

view all

Colonel William Fitzhugh's Timeline

1651
January 9, 1651
Bedford, England
1674
May 1, 1674
Age 23
Westmoreland Co.,VA
1679
1679
Age 27
Eagles Nest, Stafford, Virginia, USA
1685
February 15, 1685
Age 34
Overwharton Parish, Stafford, Virginia, USA
1688
1688
Age 36
Stafford, Virginia, USA
1690
1690
Age 38
Bedford, Stafford, Virginia, United States
1690
Age 38
Bedford, Stafford, Virginia, USA
1690
Age 38
Bedford,Stafford,Virginia,USA
1701
October 21, 1701
Age 50
Stafford Co., VA
????
Caroline, Virginia, United States