Colonel William Fitzhugh, "The Immigrant"

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Colonel William Fitzhugh, "The Immigrant"'s Geni Profile

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William Fitzhugh, Col.

Also Known As: "The Immigrant"
Birthplace: Bedford, Bedford, England
Death: Died in Bedford, Stafford County, Virginia
Place of Burial: Caroline, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Fitzhugh and Mary King
Husband of Sarah Mary Fitzhugh, of Westmoreland
Father of William "Eagle's Nest" Fitzhugh; Henry Fitzhugh of "Bedford'; Thomas Fitzhugh; George Fitzhugh; Major John Marmion Fitzhugh and 1 other

Occupation: Lt. Col. Militia; Lawyer; Planter
Managed by: Tina Marie Brown
Last Updated:

About Colonel William Fitzhugh, "The Immigrant"

"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.


  1. Historical Society of Fairfax Co., VA Vol. 3 1954)


Arrived in Virginia 1670

"The Stronghold" by Miriam Haynie.

This is about the Northern Neck of Virginia:

"William Fitzhugh, the owner of Bedford, came to Virginia in 1670.He secured a grant of land in the upper Neck, in what later became King George County. He married 'little Sarah Tucker' of Tucker Hill when she was only eleven years old, and then sent her to England to be educated. Sarah and William reared a family of five sons. Colonel Fitzhugh became one of the largest landowners in the Northern Neck. At the time of his death in 1701 he owned 54,054 acres of land."

Fitzhugh genealogy site claims William the Immigrant married an eleven year old girl in Virginia, even though as recently as eight months earlier he had a wife in England named Elizabeth. Careful research shows that she died on the sea crossing, like many others before her. William married an eleven year old girl, Sarah Tucker, with whom he had an affectionate, loving, and respectful relationship for the rest of their lives. They had seven children, of whom four sons, Thomas, Henry, George, and John left descendants living today with the name Fitzhugh.

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Colonel William Fitzhugh, "The Immigrant"'s Timeline

January 9, 1651
Bedford, Bedford, England
Age 27
Eagles Nest, Stafford, Virginia, USA
February 15, 1685
Age 34
Overwharton Parish, Stafford, Virginia, USA
Age 36
Stafford, Virginia, USA
Age 38
Bedford, Stafford, Virginia, United States
Age 38
Bedford, Stafford, Province of Virginia
October 21, 1701
Age 50
Bedford, Stafford County, Virginia
Caroline, Virginia, United States