Frequently Asked Questions

How did the Washington family become so wealthy/influential/powerful?

The Washington family actually was not very wealthy. Augustine Washington had procured several plantations and interest in an iron furnace, but the family was by no means at the top of the social ladder. They were well-off regional elites. George and Lawrence, his brother, both married well and subsequently moved into the top stratum of Virginia society.

How many Washington family members lived at Ferry Farm? 
Initially, eight Washingtons, including Augustine, Mary Ball, George, Betty, Samuel, John, Charles and later, Mildred, lived on the estate. Several slaves lived on the property as well.

How old was George when he arrived at Ferry Farm, and how long did he live there?
George was six when he arrived and he remained at the farm until he was nearly 20 (perhaps as late as 1753). As George grew up, he spent some time away from Ferry Farm but came home often.

How much land did George acquire from his father’s will?
From his father’s will, George acquired the 600-acre Ferry Farm and a few lots in Fredericksburg, Va.

Where did George receive his education? 
George might have crossed the river to study in Fredericksburg, Va. at the school kept by the Reverend James Marye, rector of St. George’s Parish.

What were the major events in George’s life that took place while he lived at Ferry Farm? 

What events occurred on the property in the years following the Washingtons’ residency? 
The property was leased, then sold and tenants were installed at the farm. Civil War occupation destroyed the house along with outbuildings, crops, landscape features, and livestock. Nothing remained on the landscape after the Civil War.

How long did Mary Ball Washington remain at the farm? 
She remained until 1772, when her son George bought her a house in the town of Fredericksburg, Va., near her daughter Betty. Mary was 64.

What does the Latin phrase "Exitus Acta Probat" on the Washington crest mean?
It is generally translated as "the outcome justifies the deed."