Did your Ancestor have an encounter with George Washington?

+17 votes

I have two ancestors who encountered George Washington as documented in the Papers of George Washington.

I would be interested in creating a Category for Encounters with George Washington to find others living today, whose ancestors had a brush with George Washington.

UPDATE:  I have started to collect these encounters.  If you have created a WikiTree profile and added a source to your encounter that would be ideal.  But if you can share a source for your story, that would be helpful as well.  Thank you.

WikiTree profile: George Washington
in The Tree House by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
edited by Michael Stills
My 7x great grandfather Richard Stephenson knew George Washington as a young man and Washington surveyed his property on the Bullskin Run in 1750, not far from where Washington himself acquired land. Richard's sons sported with Washington and, later, his son Colonel Hugh Washington served under the General in the Revolution. His stepson Colonel William Crawford also served and was martyred in the Indian wars. You can see a copy of Washington's survey of Stephenson's land online. It is in the collections of the Boston Public Library. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Stephenson-1446
Michelle, I see Andrew Parks did marry Harriet Washingon!  Cool Story.
Kathy Jo, can you provide a source for the dancing incident?  I would like to include that story on her profile.
R. Neff, can you provide the link to your Wikipedia story about Washington? Thanks.
Jo McCaleb, thank you for sharing your story.
Michael Stills: 3rd paragraph here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington#Religion

Regarding my family's story, it's here (search for Washington): https://fortamanda1812.blogspot.com/2015/09/broadwell-and-jersey-boys-broadwell-son.html
Cousins of my line of Virginia Tripletts--William Triplett, son of Thomas Triplett, and Penelope French, William's half sister, were acquainted with Washington.  Wm Triplett worked on remodeling Mount Vernon, plastering and doing brickwork that was not always satisfactory.  Founders archive says he was a frequent foxhunting companion of GW before the Revolution.  <https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Recipient%3A%22Triplett%2C%20William%22&s=1111311111&r=2>

William's half sister, Penelope Manley French, took over her husband's business after his death. She owned land next to Washington that he wanted to buy, but she refused to meet with him for discussion.  Instead she was represented by male relatives.  Washington persisted and eventually worked out an agreement that lasted through his life.   <https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159010>

My maiden name is Triplett. I recently contiinued doing our family geneology after my parents passed away. William and Thomas Triplett are my 2nd cousins 7x removed. I found out this information you are discussing above during my search. I am so excited and surprized to find out our special history with George Washington
Hi Anonymous,  I am glad you found us.  We would love for you to join WikiTree.  It's Free!  Maybe we can help you find more great stories?
Anonymous, which Tripletts are your ancestors?


11 Answers

+7 votes
my family had direct contact with George Washington.  I am looking for the story I have saved to my tree on ancestry to share.  Washingtons married into the Blackburns which is my ancestors.

Now that is a nice connection.

Here is Benoni Kent, paid for a half bushel of corn


And my Castleman ancestors.

The Carradge on horses is so Expensive that Sum Method must be Thought of to mend the roads, that Waggons May pass[.] Its the Govrs directions, that You Shou’d keep Castlemans wagon,


Both of these are pre-Revolution and Washington kept meticulous notes.

What I like about these are that you can discover some needed genealogical data.

In the case of Benoni Kent, the editors noted that he died in c. 1774 and was from Fairfax, VA.

He used to stay at my GGGG grandfathers house when traveling through.

Letter, to Colonel and Mrs. Thomas Blackburn, October 10, 1785


Fields, Joseph E. 'Worthy Partner': The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994


Greenwood Press




Joseph E. Fields, editor


Published version of manuscript document


George Washington Papers, Library of Congress


Fields, Joseph E. 'Worthy Partner': The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.


Monday October 10,1785 

Genl and Mrs. Washington present their compliments to Colo and Mrs Blackburn; are much obliged to them for their kind invitation to the Wedding on Thursday. They would attend with pleasure, but for the indisposition of the latter; and the particular engagements of the former which confine him at home this week, and oblige him to attend the Board of Directors at Georgetown, the Great Falls, &c the beginning of next. The Genl and Mrs Washington will always be happy to see the young couple at Mount Vernon.

Rippon Lodge http://www.oldandsold.com/articles11/virginia-homes-9.shtml

( Originally Published 1932 )



Rippon Lodge is perhaps the oldest, and yet is probably the least known, of all colonial country houses still standing in Northern Virginia. It was built about 1725 by Richard Black-burn of Ripon, the old cathedral town in England, which in that day was spelled in the same way as its namesake in Virginia. In the burying ground, a short distance from the house, there are many family tombs; among them is that of the builder, who died in 1757, and upon whose monument, in quaint old English style, is a long legend telling the story of his military commands and public service in the Colony. It was Colonel Thomas Blackburn, the son of Richard, who was the contemporary and comrade-in-arms of George Washington. Indeed, it is said in Hayden's Virginia Genealogy that Richard Blackburn was an architect, or builder, and that he designed Mount Vernon for Lawrence Washington. There is an old mahogany stand and draftingboard at Rippon Lodge, and it is possibly the one upon which these plans were drawn.

In the time of Colonel Thomas Blackburn the families at Mount Vernon and Rippon Lodge were on intimate terms, and George Washington in his diaries speaks frequently of his visits with Mrs. Washington and others, to the Blackburns, often staying overnight. A daughter of Colonel Thomas Black-burn (Ann Blackburn) married Bushrod Washington; and a granddaughter ( Jane Charlotte Blackburn) married John Augustine Washington. These ladies of Rippon Lodge thus became, each in turn, the mistress of Mount Vernon, and sleep in the mausoleum there.

The old estate of Rippon Lodge originally covered many thousands of acres, of which there is now left about one thou-sand in the present tract. The main body of the house, as it stands today, with its steep, Georgian roof, its huge chimneys, its panelled hall and dining room, its wide board floors and witches' doors, is as perfect as it was more than two centuries ago. To this has been added some conscientious restorations and some improvements for room and comfort.

Rippon Lodge is steeped in early American history. The first military company, in anticipation of the Revolution, was organized in Prince William County, and the leader in the movement, as well as the head of the troops, was Thomas Blackburn of Rippon Lodge. Later, all the volunteer companies in Virginia were put under the command of the then Colonel George Washington, and this post he held until he was elected commander-in-chief of all the American forces. In the old books, magazines, newspapers and letters of colonial days, now in public and private collections, there are many stories of Rippon Lodge-stories of duels and adventures in the wilderness; of the stone guardhouse, with its iron-grilled windows, which still stands to recall the time when Colonel Blackburn quartered a regiment of Continental troops on the place; of the "tea bushes" still growing on the lawn, which are a living reminder of the protest in all the American colonies against the tax on tea, when a number of Virginia settlers imported a hardy plant from Bermuda, which was used as a substitute.

There are found about the place, even to this day, many relics of the long ago. The old King's Highway, sometimes called the Potomac Path, was the earliest coach and post road between Northern and Southern Virginia. The wide, deep-rutted imprint of this road, now floored with fern and lined with laurel, like a cut upon the face of nature that has healed, may still be traced for two or three miles across the present lands of Rippon Lodge. Up and down this highway rode Washington and Lafayette and Rochambeau, and in their coaches all the gentry of the neighborhood-the Masons, the Scotts, the Lees, the Grahams, the Fairfaxes, the Graysons; and also, in more modest fashion, trudged Parson Weems, peddling his books. So along this road came the victorious troops after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, camping on the way and celebrating the independence of the colonies. It was in the woods near this route, and perhaps at some old camping site, that there was recently found an ancient Hessian bayonet. There has been discovered at Rippon Lodge an old brick tunnel, leading from the cellar to a neighboring ravine, filled in and grown over with trees for many generations, but recalling the days of some needed means of escape from marauding Indians; or perhaps it was a subterranean connection between the two houses which once stood at Rippon Lodge, as shown by the sketches made in 1796, by Benjamin H. Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol at Washington, who was a visitor there. In this tunnel, recently restored, an English cannon ball was found-mute evidence of the days when British gunboats came up the Potomac River. The sketches of Latrobe also show a picture of the Potomac much like the view from the lawn at Rippon Lodge today, except for the sailing ships riding at anchor in Neabsco Bay, which were there to carry tobacco to England, or to bring household goods from the mother country to colonial homes.

Rippon Lodge is a modest farmhouse compared with the palatial homes on the James, the Rappahannock, the Potomac and in the Shenandoah Valley; but its antiquity, its unique history, and the spell of a forgotten past that hovers like a ghost about the old house, the long-neglected gardens and the dimmed pathways through the woods and to the water front, have placed a magic seal upon it which must always delight the lover of colonial days.

+7 votes

 Saartje Toers, daugher of Thomas Laurenson Toers, married Theunis (Thomas) Dey,  a colonel in Washington's army. The Dey House was George Washington's Headquarters at Preakness, Monmouth, NJ.

by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.7m points)
+6 votes
Jane Tuers lived with her husband Nicholas in a farmhouse located on the site of the present Hudson Catholic High School back to present Tuers Avenue.  At the time of the Revolutionary War it was said to be her practice to cross the Hudson River on the Paulus Hook ferry to Manhattan to sell her farm goods, as well as to bring food to the Sugar House prison, where they British detained American soldiers.  She also visited the popular Fraunces Tavern, at Broad and Pearl Streets, which was run by "Black Sam" Fraunces from the West Indies.  Here British soldiers spent some leisure time and shared the latest military strategy along with their refreshments.  Fraunces, a patriot, overhead the soldiers toast some by the name of (General Benedict) Arnold who was to deliver West Point to the British.  "Black Sam," in turn, informed Tuers of what he overheard.


When she returned home, Tuers informed her brother Daniel Van Reypen, a blacksmith, who traveled by horse to Hackensack, where he advised General "Mad" Anthony Wayne of the British scheme.  Wayne brought Van Reypen to see General George Washington.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.7m points)
Wow that is some chain of information to follow.  Another "Washington's Spies" story?  Thanks for sharing.
Doug to you have a profile for Nicholas and Jane?
I think so....I'll check in the AM.
+6 votes
Yes, my gggggrandfather owned a tavern in Pa.  George Washington and his troops stopped at the tavern, drank ale, took some of my gggggrandfathers pistols, and some shoes w/o paying for them.  My gggggrandfather being a hardworking man with principals,  sent George Washington a bill for the ale, pistols and shoes. My ancestor was never paid for services and goods. George Washington "stiffed" my gggggrandfather. :/   It doesn't surprise me that he became president..... typical politician. LOL
by J Murray G2G6 Mach 3 (37.9k points)
J Murry, can you provide a link to a source for this story?  Do you have your ancestors profile on WikiTree?
+5 votes

In 1777, General Washington stayed in my ancestor's home as his headquarters while his army camped in the surrounding fields.

27-29 September Pennypacker’s Mill, Pennsylvania Pennypacker’s Mansion
5 October Pennypacker’s Mill, Pennsylvania Pennypacker’s Mansion



George Washington really did sleep there! 

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (650k points)
Does your ancestor's home still stand?
hi cousin!! :) henry and eva descendant here!
+6 votes
An interesting thought just occurred to me.  I was thinking of gathering all of George Washington Encounters in a Category so we could compare notes for our Ancestors but what I am seeing, is that if we timeline all of these encounters, we have an interesting history of George Washington.
by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
+4 votes

Not an ancestor, but General Nathaniel Greene, my 1st cousin 7x removed, must have had personal encounters with George Washington.

by J. Salsbery G2G6 Mach 3 (32.3k points)
I am sure he did.  My dad is from Greeneville, Greene, Tennessee.  I have boatloads from there.  IT was named for General Greene.
+4 votes
Some very creative ancestors one the border of New Hampshire & Vermont decided to create a new community.  John Payne was the scribe, as the founders met and planned how to create the land parcels, how to provide "glebe" land for a pastor, etc.  The town was to cross traditional borders, and a Vermont-New Hampshire school still stands, thanks to the town planners for "Dresden".

But George Washington thought it was a bad idea, and discouraged New Hampshire from incorporating this little community.  BTW, the community wanted to create its own tax system.  That didn't exactly sit well.
by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (235k points)
Hmm...how many of us could say, "...but for George Washington....",?

Thank you!  I have been puzzling over the best way (i.e., not boring) to "introduce" some ancestors to my family.  So much has been lost.

On the other hand, a cousin has just mailed a self-published book, complete with photos with labels.  My family owned and rented cottages -- who knew?  And there was guy called "Crazy Eddie".  Hmmm,


Regards, Janine
Janine, can you provide a link to your ancestor and the source for your story please?  Thank you.

John Payne and his son, Lieutenant John Payne were both involved in the startup of Dresden, New Hampshire.  John Payne, Sr., owned a tavern in Hanover, NH, where Dartmouth College was housed.  His name frequently is used in the Proprietor's minutes  recorded in Nickerson and Cox, The Illustrated Historical Souvenir of Randolph, Vermont: Containing a Brief History of the Early Settlement of the Town, the Schools, Churches, Medical and Legal Professions, Old Families, Business and Manufacturing Interests, Together with Portraits and Biographies of the Citizens Past and Present , 1895, p. 24; this book is online.

Dresden is described in the “Revolt of Grafton County”, p. 306 – 308, Hamilton Child’s Gazeteer of Grafton County, New Hampshire, 1709 – 1886, sourced at https://archive.org/stream/gazetteerofgraft00chil/gazetteerofgraft00chil_djvu.txt

John Payne of Connecticut, b. 1725, see Payne-3296

Lieutenant John Payne, Jr (1751-1825); see Payne-3295

I have more info if you are still interested.

+5 votes
Gateway Ancestor Col. John Washington-8 is my 9th Great Grandfather. He is the Great Grandfather of George Washington.
by Lynden Rodriguez G2G6 Mach 3 (32.2k points)
Wow Lynden that is really cool!
+4 votes
Nothing as of yet.... but thanks for the link to the Archives!  I'm sure I'll spends too many days searching this.


by Ken Parman G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
+4 votes

My 6th great grandmother Mercy Jackson (Mauduit/Chew) (1708-1775)  operated a bar in Alexandria, Virginia with her second husband which included the GW room, reserved for he and his gang.  Additionally, he attended parties at her home.  (The diaries of George Washington - Volume 1 - Page 238)

I am not able to apprise the nature of these activities as their are varying interpretations of the social life of some of the Founding Fathers but so far other than the Chew connection, nothing to suggest anything more.

Her grand-daughter Ann Maudit-Garvey from St Kitts became Baroness Pfeilitzer on her marriage to a guy whose step grandmother was originally married to the Russian General in Chief, whose brother was the Prince Regent of Russia and Duke of Courland and Semagalia.  

A rather unusual degrees of separation between Washington and Moscow lol

by Lloyd de Vere Hunt G2G6 Mach 4 (46.1k points)

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