Rebecca Hardin / University of Central Florida / Fall 2014
When transcribing a cash account for the Colchester store, I came across an entry in the Cash Accounts for Edward Washington on May 13, 1767. Since this transcription project is through the Mount Vernon, the first thing that came to mind when typing Edward Washington was: is this a relative of the George Washington? Is this individual related to the first president of the United States? I was extremely intrigued over the name I had come across and even stopped transcribing to look up who this particular individual was and if he had any relation to the esteemed Washington family. It seemed fitting since Mount Vernon was the home of the first president, George Washington, and I wondered if maybe Edward was a cousin or uncle, possibly even a brother. I was not familiar with the family tree of George Washington so I was very interested to find out more, so I put aside my transcriptions for a few minutes to delve into the past of eighteenth-century Virginia and possibly a relative of one of America’s founding fathers.
Upon initial research, I found that Edward Washington was not a close relative of George Washington, but the two did share a similar familial line. It was believed by Lund Washington (George’s cousin and a caretaker to Mt. Vernon in George’s absence during the Revolutionary War) and Lawrence Washington (George’s older half brother) that Edward was a relative of the family due to his strong family resemblance. Next, I learned that Edward Washington had served as a “sub sheriff” in Fairfax County and, like George Washington, was a member of Truro Parish. As a sheriff, he would have collected taxes and served warrants to the people. Edward Washington also served as a parish vestryman in Truro Parish in the 1740s, but it was noted that when Edward Washington had stood as the candidate for vestryman in 1765, he was beat out by his distant relative, George Washington. After learning this, I then wondered what is a vestryman? Was this an important role at the time? In the eighteenth century, a vestryman was an official of the parish council who would supervise over parish public services such administrating the poor relief and keeping parish records (baptisms, deaths, and marriages). I also learned that at Belmont Bay in Colchester, Virginia there stands what is left of the home of two successive Edward Washingtons, one of the oldest structures in Fairfax County. It was extremely fascinating that out of the sixty names on a Cash Account, the one name that I researched produced such detailed results and even pictures of one of the oldest structures in the county related to Edward Washington.
 Alexander Henderson, et. al. Ledger 1766-1767, Colchester, Virginia folio 20 Credit, from the John Glassford and Company Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Microfilm Reel 61 (owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association).
 “How Lund Washington Saved Mount Vernon,” last modified April 14, 2014, http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/key-facts/.
 “Key Facts about George Washington,” Mount Vernon, accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/key-facts/
Edward Lewis Goodwin and Philip Slaughter, The History of Truro Parish in Virginia (Philadelphia: G.W. Jacobs & Co., 1908) 110.
Cordelia Jackson, Edward Washington and His Kin (Washington, D.C., Mimeoform, 1934), 8.
 Jackson, Edward Washington and His Kin, 7.
 Vestryman, “The Episcopal Church of Scotland, its liturgies, communion service, and canons: Also the obligations on English clergymen to use the English office (Perth: James Morison, June) 1858.