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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Washington’s Descendants

George Washington had no children, so although there is a National Society of Washington Family Descendants, it takes some digging to prove a relationship with our first president. Determining who these descendants are is not a simple task. According to a Washington Times article ("Stubborn Washington Spurned Kingdom,"), in 2000, there were 8,000 Washington descendants scattered across the country, but only 200 with the Washington name.

James C. Roberts, who authored the article, wondered what might have happened if Washington had accepted the title of “king” as some of his supporters urged him to do. Who would be sitting on the throne 200 years later? To be considered a descendant, one has to be related to Washington’s siblings, but it becomes complex, because he had two older half brothers, three younger full brothers and one sister who survived to adulthood.

You are allowed to join the above-mentioned society of Washington family descendents, if you can prove your lineage to: Colonel John Washington, George Washington’s great-grand-father who immigrated from England; as well as seven other descendants.

Most of us don’t have such lofty origins, but if you are an amateur genealogist, you may want to check out the Fairfax County Public Library’s Virginia Room, which offers a variety of research resources. You can also do genealogical research online with Ancestry Library Edition, available from home, work, library branches or anywhere, as well as HeritageQuest Online, available only at all library branches.

All Fairfax Reads Events:

September 18 (Tonight!) at 7 p.m., Kings Park Library. Patricia Brady discusses her book, Martha Washington: An American Life. Books for sale and signing, courtesy of Borders-Tysons Corner.

September 20 at 7:30 p.m. Reston Regional Library. Actor Brian Hilton portrays George Washington and describes his life from 1732-1760.

September 27 at 7:30 p.m. Joseph Ellis, author of His Excellency: George Washington. Center for the Arts -- Fairfax campus of George Mason University. The author of the 2007 All Fairfax Reads selection will discuss his biography. Books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Barnes & Noble - GMU. Free; first come first served; no registration required.

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