Frances Washington

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Frances Washington (Gerard)

Also Known As: "appleton", "Frances (Gerard) (Speake) (Peyton) Appleton"
Birthplace: Newhall, Lancashire, , England
Death: Died in Westmoreland, Virginia, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerrard and Susannah Gerrard
Wife of Thomas Speaks; Lt. Col. Valentine Peyton; Captain John Appleton and Colonel John Washington
Mother of Thomas Speaks and Judith Peyton
Sister of Susannah Slye; Temperance Hutt; Anne Washington; Justinian Gerard; Hannah "Elizabeth" Gerrard and 8 others

Managed by: Flemming Allan Funch
Last Updated:

About Frances Washington

"Frances Gerrard, daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerrard and his first wife, Susanna, daughter of Justinian Snow, one of the founders of Maryland and Lord Baltimore's factor in the Indian traders, married, first, Col. Thomas Speke; he died in 1659. She married, second, Colonel Valentine Peyton and had Gerrard Peyton, who died s. p. She married, third, Captain John Appleton, who died between February 25 and April 12, 1676. On May 10, 1676, she entered into a fourth matrimonial engagement, this time with Col. John Washington.". Source: Some Prominent Virginia Families By Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Edward Jaquelin, Martha Cary Jaquelin - Page 52



Dr. THOMAS GERARD, Gentleman, can be found in any history of the state of Maryland and in many of the early records of St. Mary's County, Maryland. He arrived in Maryland in 1637 aboard the "Ark" [or] the "Dove" according to most authorities. However, it is known that the Ark and the Dove landed on 25 Mar 1634 at St. Clement's Island. Whether Gerard was aboard on that trip I do not know, but it is felt that he came to America prior to bringing his family there. Due to the fact that he was from an "ancient and distinguished Catholic family," a supporter of the King and descended from the Lords Baron of Byrn dating back to the 11th century, he was chosen by the Lord Baltimore to aid in the development of the "Manor" System in Maryland. Since manors were usually very large landholdings, Gerard was given an unusual amount of property. He finally consumed at least 16,400 acres. His obligation was to bring "freeholders" into his manor and let them do the farming and land development, which he evidently did. When one thinks about it, it is miraculous what he did in the way of development. He built many homes in different locations throughout St. Clement's Manor. He cleared the land and produced more than enough for all that lived there. He dealt with the other landholders, such as the Lord Calvert, and actually developed what amounted to a new country.


Dr. THOMAS GERARD was a medical doctor and a planter. He was one of the first gentlemen to bring his family to Maryland. He was a"Chuyrgeon." Evidence indicates that he practiced this profession his entire life in the colonies, both in Maryland and Virginia. There is a story told that Richard Lee, "immigrant, went to the Home of Dr. Gerard when he was ill, and died there."


He did not sell his estate in England until ten years after he came to America, but I find this statement to be ambiguous because in later years evidence shows that he had land in England when he died. He was a part of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Maryland in the 1600's (Ingel's Rebellion), and he involved his sons-in-law in this conflict. Gerard was a Catholic, but his wife was protestant, so upon arrival in this country he built a protestant chapel for her. He was later to be accused of locking the Chapel, starting the Rebellion. This action obviously occurred in an angry moment when the local priest was pressing him to raise his children Catholic.


His land holdings were extensive in St. Mary's County and in Virginia. Just across the Potamac River was his plantation called "Machodac." This plantation was near the plantation of John Lee, son of the immigrant, Richard Lee. There are papers and stories about the famous party house built by Dr. Gerard and John Lee. Machodac was located in what we know as Westmoreland Co. ,VA. One must remember that in the 1600's the lines between Maryland and Virginia were not divided as such.


"The Girard Family was a very ancient and distinguished family of Lancashire, England

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Frances Washington's Timeline

Newhall, Lancashire, , England
Age 34
Nominy, Westmoreland, Virginia
Age 49
Westmoreland, Virginia, USA