Colonel John Dandrige, Jr.

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Colonel John Dandrige, Jr.'s Geni Profile

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John Dandridge, Jr.

Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Death: August 31, 1756 (56)
Fredericksburg, Virginia, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Dandridge, I and Bridget Ann Dandridge
Husband of Clara Dandridge and Frances Orlando Dandridge
Partner of Unknown, Slave of John Dandridge
Father of Mary Elizabeth (Eliza) Dandridge; Mary E. Bowles; Martha Washington; John Dandridge, III; William Dandridge and 7 others
Brother of Elizabeth Claiborne; Colonel William Dandridge; Bartholomew Dandridge; Mary Langborne; Francis Dandridge and 7 others
Half brother of William Dandridge

Occupation: Military Colonel
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Colonel John Dandrige, Jr.

Colonel John Dandridge of Chestnut Grove (13/14 July 1700 – 31 August 1756) was a distinguished colonel, planter, and Clerk of the Courts of New Kent County, Virginia from 1730 to 1756. Dandridge is best known as the father of the first First Lady of the United States Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States.

Born on 13 July 1700 in England, probably in London, Dandridge was the youngest son of John Dandridge (Oxford, Oxfordshire, April 29, 1655 - Oxford, Oxfordshire, 1731), and wife (m. St. Mary Magdalen, London, 1676) Bridget Dugdale (Oxford, Oxfordshire, c. 1656 - 1731), paternal grandson of William Dandridge (Drayton St. Leonard, Oxfordshire, England, 30 January 1612 - Dorchester Abbey, On Thames, England, July 1693) and wife, and great-grandson of Bartholomew Dandridge (England, c. 1580 - Drayton St. Leonard, Oxfordshire, England, 21 September 1638) and wife (m. England, 10 May 1604) Agnes Wilder (c. 1585 - c. 1650). He immigrated to Virginia at the age of 14 in 1715.

Dandridge married Frances Orlando Jones, daughter of Orlando Jones and Martha West Macon, on 22 July 1730 in New Kent County, Virginia.[ John and Frances had eight children:

   * Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731–1802)
   * John Dandridge (1733–1749)
   * William Dandridge (1734–1776)
   * Bartholomew Dandridge (1737–1785)
   * Anna Marie "Fanny" Dandridge Bassett (1739–1777)
   * Frances Dandridge (1744–1757)
   * Elizabeth Dandridge Aylett Henley (1749–1800)
   * Mary Dandridge (1756–1763)

Upon their marriage in 1730, John and Frances moved to their new home on the banks of the Pamunkey River in New Kent County, Virginia, Chestnut Grove. John became Clerk of Courts in New Kent County and kept that position for the next 26 years. He was also vestryman and churchwarden for St. Peter's Church. John was a prominent planter, and a colonel in his military district.

John's older brother, William Dandridge (1689–1743), lived on the opposite bank of the river with his wife Unity West Dandridge, daughter of Nathaniel West and wife Martha Woodard Macon, at their estate, Elsing Green, in King William County. Chestnut Grove burned down in 1926, but its former site was only four miles from the location of the current county court house for New Kent.

Along with Chestnut Grove in New Kent, John and Frances also owned a house in Williamsburg and visited there frequently.

Dandridge died on 31 August 1756 at the age of 56 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dandridge is interred at St. George's Episcopal Church burial ground in Fredericksburg.


Colonel John Dandridge, father-in-law for George Washington was a brother of Colonel William Dandridge of the Council, was born in 1700 and came to Virginia about 1722. He had grant of a water front lot in Hampton, Elizabeth City County. His children were all born there. He served as County Clerk, which is those days (Colonial days) was considered a very lucrative position.

Colonel Dandridge married Frances Jones, daughter of Orlando Jones on July 22, 1830. He was the father of Martha Dandridge who married first Daniel Parks Custis, second George Washington. He died on August 31, 1756, aged 56 years.

Historians do not seem to know why he died in Fredericksburg. Some state that he was here visiting his daughter, Martha who married General Washington, but that cannot be true because he died more than two years before his daughter was married. I have also read that he was here attending races at “Chatham”, held by William Fitzhugh.

In Saint George’s graveyard, near the northeast corner of the church Colonel Dandridge is buried. His grave is marked by a flat stone, about four feet from the church, and with the following inscription:

No. 5. Here lies the body of Colonel John Dandridge,

       Of New Kent County, who departed this life the
       31st day of August, 1756, aged 56 years.

Below is a letter written by George Washington to Charles Carter of Fredericksburg:

“Dear Sir:

    When Mrs. Washington was at the Church of Fredericksburg she perceived the Tomb of her father, the late John Dandridge Esquire, in a ruinous condition,  

and being desirous of having it done up again. Will you permit me, my dear Sir, to request the favor of you to engage a workman to do this. The cost I will remit so soon as it is known, and you shall inform me of the execution.

    I would thank you for ascertaining the price before hand, having from 

disinclination to dispute accounts, felt, in too many instances, the expansion, of Tradesman’s consciences when no previous agreement has been made.

    My best wishes in which Mrs. Washington joins me, are tendered to Mrs. 

Carter. With much truth,

             I am Dear Sir,
             Your Most Obedience and Affectionate,
             Honorable Servant,
                        George Washington”

The father of Martha (Dandridge) Washington (who became the wife of President George Washington).

view all 17

Colonel John Dandrige, Jr.'s Timeline

July 13, 1700
London, England, United Kingdom
Age 14
Isle of Wight, VA, USA
March 30, 1725
Age 24
Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States
June 2, 1731
Age 30
New Kent, Virginia, USA
February 23, 1732
Age 31
Chestnut Grove, New Kent, Virginia, USA
March 2, 1734
Age 33
Chestnut Grove, New Kent, Virginia, USA
December 25, 1737
Age 37
St.Pauls Parish, New Kent Co., VA.
March 30, 1739
Age 38
Chestnut Grove, New Kent, Virginia
November 2, 1744
Age 44
Chestnut Grove, New Kent, Virginia, USA
May 25, 1749
Age 48