Martha (Dandridge) Washington
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Martha (Dandridge) Washington (1731 - 1802)

Martha Washington formerly Dandridge aka Custis
Born in Chestnut Grove, New Kent County, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 15 May 1750 (to 8 Jul 1757) in Chestnut Grove, New Kent, Virginiamap
Wife of — married 6 Jan 1759 (to 14 Dec 1799) in St. Peter's Church, New Kent County, Colony of Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Jan 2009
This page has been accessed 24,431 times.
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Martha (Dandridge) Washington is a spouse of a US President/Vice President
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Martha (Dandridge) Washington performed Patriotic Service in Virginia in the American Revolution



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Martha (Dandridge) Washington is an NSSAR Patriot Ancestor.
NSSAR Ancestor #: P-314224
Rank: Lady Patriot

Martha Dandridge[1] was born 13 June [O.S. 02 June] 1731 on the Chestnut Grove Plantation in New Kent County, Virginia.

Martha Washington died 22 May 1802 at Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia [2] and is buried at Mount Vernon.

Martha had three brothers and five sisters. She was the eldest daughter of John Dandridge and Frances Jones.

She is named for her cousin Martha Dandridge (born 1721).

Early Years


Martha had no formal education to speak of, but she was trained in the home in sewing, music and how to run a household. It is believed that an indentured servant to the Dandridge family, Thomas Leonard, taught her other things such as plantation management, crop sales, animal husbandry, and homeopathic medicine.

First Marriage and Issue

In 1750, She married first to Daniel Parke Custis, with whom she had four children. Two (Daniel and Frances) children died when they were three and four years old respectfully. Her husband died in 1757. When Martha became a widower of Daniel Parke Custis, she became one of the wealthiest women in her part of Virginia.

At White House and in Williamsburg, Custis and his wife enjoyed the life of a wealthy and elite Virginia planter family. They had four children, all given the middle name Parke in order to preserve their eligibility to inherit as descendants of his great-grandfather, Daniel Parke, a member of the Council who had died in 1679. Custis's first son and first daughter died early in childhood. His younger son, John Parke Custis, lived to adulthood and became heir to the Custis wealth and its entangled lawsuits; his second daughter, Martha Parke Custis, died at age seventeen after an epileptic seizure.[3]

Second Marriage

When she was 27 years old, Martha Dandridge Custis married Colonel George Washington (1732–1799) on 06 January 1759 at the "White House in New Kent, Virginia,"[4]. Colonel George Washington was the commander of the First Virginia Regiment in the French and Indian War, former member, House of Burgess, Frederick County (1758). He would become the first President of the United States of America.

Although there is no known “pre-nuptial” as modern times would equate it, the great inheritance which would come to Washington as a result of his successful courtship of Martha Custis is widely believed to have been a factor in his interest in marrying her.

They lived at estate "Mount Vernon," initially leased from his half-brother Lawrence's widow, and inherited upon her 1761 death.


By first marriage:

  1. Daniel Parke Custis (1751–1754),
  2. Frances Parke Custis (1753–1757),
  3. John Parke "Jacky" Custis (1754–1781),
  4. Martha Parke "Patsy" Custis (1756–1773)

By second marriage: None

Raised Grandchildren:

  1. George Washington "Wash" or "Tub" Parke Custis (1781-1857),
  2. Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis (1779-1852)

First Lady:

30 April 1789 - 04 March 1797 (Age 57 years)

Washington's Presidency

Martha did not attend George's first inauguration held in New York; however, she was present at his second held in Philadelphia. She did not particularly care for her role as First Lady, but she was known for holding official receptions every Thursday afternoon at the Executive Mansion.

She was known to financially support and intercede when necessary on the behalf of Revolutionary War veterans who were in need.


Upon Washington's death on 14 December 1799, the slaves owned by the Washingtons were promised their freedom upon Martha Washington's death. Making clear the tremendous personal sacrifice that the federal government asked of her in requesting that she permit the remains of the first president to be eventually interned at the U.S. Capitol Building, she wrote to President John Adams that she would acquiesce with her sense of public duty.


Her home, Mount Vernon, Virginia
22 May 1802
(Age 70 years)

Excerpt from an obituary published in the Virginia Gazette on 29 May, 1802:

"On Saturday the 22nd of May at 12 o'clock P. M., Mrs. Washington terminated her well spent life."[5]


Burial vault, Mt. Vernon, Virginia

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (02 June 1731 - 22 May 1802): Widow of George Washington, buried at Mount Vernon Estates.[6]



As the first First Lady, Martha Washington was forever iconized in all forms of commemoration alongside the image of her husband. For many generations, framed pictures of both George and Martha Washington were hung in American classrooms, Martha Washington’s patience, steadiness, optimism and loyalty held up as ideal virtues. Among the numerous engravings and illustrations made to commemorate the life of George Washington, his wife was also almost always depicted alongside him. She was also the first historical woman figure to be depicted by the federal government on postage stamps and currency.


1731 Birth 1750 Marriage to Custis 1759 Marriage to Washington1789 1st Lady 1797 End of Presidency 1799 Widowed 1802 Death


  • Roberts, Gary Boyd, Ancestors of American Presidents, Published in Cooperation with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Preliminary Edition by Carl Boyer, 3rd, Santa Clarita, California 1989. Also the 2009 edition. Footnote abbreviation: Roberts
  • McGhan, Judith, indexer. Virginia Vital Records: From the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1984
  • Lineage Book of the Charter Members of the DAR Vol 056


  1. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volumes 1-5, Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. published online by Google Books, 2006; original publisher: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915. Vol. 1, page 220
  2. Roberts, p449
  3. Daniel Parke Custis Encylopedia Virginia online
  4. Roberts, p449
  5. McGhan, Judith, indexer. Virginia Vital Records: From the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1984
  6. Mount Burials at Mount Vernon: Jane Washington


Thanks to Keith Corbett for starting this profile. Click the Changes tab for the details of contributions by Keith and others.

  • Dandridge-308 was created by Alex Schmitt through the import of Alex Schmitt_s Family Tree.ged on Oct 2, 2014.

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Comments: 6

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Washington-1401 and Dandridge-1 appear to represent the same person because: Hello.

These two profiles appear to be duplicates. Places of death and birth are the same - date of birth is slightly different. Spouse is the same although Washington-1401 is missing a spouse.

Thanks, Susan

posted by Susan McNamee
Dandridge-308 and Dandridge-1 appear to represent the same person because: Same person. son off 308 is actually her father-in-law
posted by [Living Thompson]
She was born in 1731 and her son was born in 1693? Col A. Washington is actually her father-in-law
posted by [Living Thompson]
This should be merged into
posted by Matthew Gerke
This should be merged into
posted by Matthew Gerke