Friday, May 19, 2017

William Fitzhugh

When I saw the name Fitzhugh in our family tree for the first time, I thought 'What a weird way to name a child'. I had never heard of such a given name before. Later, when I found out that it originally could have been a surname of an ancestor, I wondered: 'Why was it so significant that some parents decided to choose the surname to name their child?' That person from the past who bore the family name Fitzhugh must have been of certain importance to our relatives. Why? Who was it?

I started looking for any information on a Fitzhugh person/persons in our family tree. To my surprise, I found the answers to my questions quite easily.

William Fitzhugh was born on January 9, 1651, in Bedford, England. His parents were Henry Fitzhugh and mary King. Henry was a woolen draper and the mayor of Bedford in 1649.


William came to Virginia where he owned 54,000 acres of land. He was a politician, lawyer, and tobacco planter. William married Sarah Tucker (daughter of  John Tucker and Sarah Tucker nee Allerton) on May 01, 1674 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Sarah was born in circa 1633, in Carleton, North Yorkshire, England; she died on December 1, 1792, in Westmoreland, Virginia.William and Sarah started their own family line - they had seven children.

William Fitzhugh was a prominent, leading person in the Virginia society, patron of the arts who led the way in fashion and lifestyle. He was also Colonial War veteran - Lt. Colonel of Virginia Militia (formed in 1682). He was not the only Revolutionary War veteran in the family - William's brother Henry was Colonel of Virginia Rangers, William's son William Jr served as Major of Stafford militia.

William died on October 21, 1701, at his home in Bedford. He was buried at Eagle's Nest Cemetery in Virginia.

Credits:

Photo of William Fitzhugh's portrait: Virginia Historical Society

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