The First “First Lady”

One of the largest repositories of genealogical data in the world belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormons. During my ongoing research into my family tree, I’ve used the LDS genealogy website, familysearch.org, extensively and often receive notifications of new findings as they arise.

FamilySearch works a lot like a wiki in that it is open-source, meaning the information is always able to be modified by interested visitors. Updates are verified as they occur, keeping the data as current as possible.

A couple of weeks ago, I was notified that “we found your relative’s headstone.” Opening the body of the email, the relative was Martha Dandridge, 1731 – 1802. The name immediately rang a bell, and when I got to thinking about it, it finally dawned on me! Martha Dandridge married John Parker Custis from one of the wealthiest families of Tidewater Virginia in the 18th century. Being nearly half her husband’s age, Martha was still young when John passed away. Two years later, Martha Dandridge Custis married another Virginia planter by the name of George Washington.

The relationship:

retation to martha

Clipped from familysearch.org

So there it is. Martha Washington is my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Great Aunt!

full image of martha washington

Martha Washington by Rembrandt Peale. National Portrait Gallery.

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