Washington Family

On a personal note, there is not much that is known about Lloyd Washington or his family. From what we understand, specifically through the chancery records following Washington's death in '96, Hannah Lane married Washington and took the legal name Hannah Washington. From there they had their daughter who later on is known as Harriet A. Hopkins. The Chancery Records also identify Harriet as Washington's sole heir-at-law while Washington's other daughters, Sarah and Martha, are seen as the illegitimate children of Washington.

From the census record a large amount of information can be learned about Lloyd Washington. From the 1870 census we can get an approximate age of Washington. Washington was born around 1840 in Virginia. 1870 is years before the tax records or deeds that were found in relation to Lloyd Washington, so this census record is the telling of Washington before his family and land. So by keeping that in mind, before Washington was a family man and land owner, he was supposedly a African-American farm laborer who lived in the same household as two other men. It could be speculated that he was a slave as one of the other household members was White, however, that man was a farm laborer as well. The census also shows that like many other African-Americans in his time, Washington could not read or write. This is important because if it is true it gives perspective to later documented items, like his possession and selling of his land, the accommodation of his land to the public roads, and his last documentation for his family. 

Washington also appears in the census records 10 years later, with a similar age range and depictions. However, a few things have changed which allows for a growth in his story. While the spelling and age of Washington is slightly different from the 1880 census, it is still similar enough to disregard the slight difference, especially as these charts allow for small margins of error. From the 1880s census it also shows a different dwelling number so it is likely that Washington moved out of his previous household when he had a family. While the move is understandable with a 10 year time difference, it is who is labeled as Washington’s family is both surprising and interesting in its own right. As fellow household members, is dictates a British Washington and a Martha Washington as his daughters. However, after finding and reading through the chancery record at the bottom of this page, Washington had other family members and was infact married despite the census identifying Washington as single.


               A Missing                  Daughter and the           Recorded Youngest

While his wife and other daughter’s could not be found in the census records, the daughters that are identified provide an interesting storyline for the Washington family. As the older of the two daughters listed, British Washington appears as a 6-year-old child in the care of her father. She was born around 1874 and, as stated on the census, resides in the same residence as Lloyd Washington. Her inclusion in the census provides for a few theories to blossom for her spot in the Washington Family. This is due to the fact that other than this census, the only other document with a relation between a British Washington and a Lloyd Washington is in the 1890 census records pf persons between the ages of 8 and 21 years in the school district of Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia. This school record also aligns with the 1880 census information of British as it poses her as a 17-year-old in 1890. 

Martha Washington was the second daughter of Lloyd Washington that could be found in the 1880 records. By the time the census was taken, Martha was around the age of 4, supposedly born in 1876. Just like with British, Martha appears to be in the care of her father as she resides in the same residence as Washington. However, unlike British, Martha does infact appear in future documents and records related to Lloyd Washington and his estate. Martha also appears in the school records at the age of 15, alongside British. This establishes the possibility of the two of them being sisters, however, it is more speculation than fact since British doesn’t appear in any other records alongside Martha.

The school records of Martha Washington and British Washington are an important document related to both girls. This because while it establishes Lloyd Washington as their parent or guardian through this official record, it also provide a connection for both girls and makes the other documents relating to the Washington family all the more interesting. Specifically in terms of British Washington, the fact that she only appear on this singular school record, 10 years after the original census, alludes to the questioning nature of her real relation to Washington. When the record was discovered in the Circuit Court Archives, the archivists provided the theory that she either died or changed her name by the time the chancery records for the rest of Washington’s family was documented. Another possibility is that she cut ties with the family to begin her own somewhere else. But for what ever reason, British only appears in 2 documents, census records at that, before dropping off the record of the Washington family. This provides a possible insight for the reason that this exhibit is even being done as the goal of the project is to research individual that were lost to time.




Washington Chancery pg.1

Washington Chancery pg.2

Washington Chancery pg.3

The Chancery Records above are the records that solidify who is part of the Washington family. This record was done following the death of Lloyd Washington as a means to establish an heir to claim the remains of the Washington Estate. Within this record, while there is no mention of British Washington, names are provided to the rest of the family. 

From the first page of the record, it is established that Lloyd Washington died in 1996 without a will, hence the reason for this chancery case to determine a legitimate heir. The money that was in hand after paying off the funeral expense and debts alloted to about $800 for distribution as well as the the land of the Washington Estate. The resposabiity of its’ distribution was put into the hands of the claimed heir and put out of the courts hands. Following the cost and distribution measures the page clearly identifies Lloyd Washington’s wife, Hannah Lane, who he married in 1865. Hannah took on the legal name Hannah Washington after marriage and continued to use it after her husbands death. The didn’t have an official marriage ceremony so that could be a reason for no official record or documentation of their marriage, however, that fact there is no record of Hannah in any census is interesting, especially as she was involved and living with Lloyd during his reported 1870 and 1880 census records.

The second page of the chancery record provides the information about the children of Washington. It is stated that he had one child, a daughter, with Hannah in 1864 who is address as Harriet A. Washington before her future marriage to Charles Hopkins. So it is possible that the marriage between Lloyd and Hannah was out of necessity as their marriage took place the following year after Harriet’s birth. This could also explain the birth of Lloyd’s next two children. The case addresses the fact that Harriet lived with her mother in Alexandria while Washington took a temporary leave of absence; however, he still cared and provided for them both. Following this it also provides the fact that Washington had two other children with another woman, named Sarah. The children of from this other woman were also recognized by Washington as his daughters, going by the names of Sarah E. and Martha Washington. Following the death of their mother, both girls were put into the sole custody of Washington, which would explain why Martha appears in her 1880 census records to be living with Lloyd. However, the fact that just like Hannah and Harriet, Sarah E. is no where in the census records is quiet interesting as she lived and had relation to Lloyd Washington. 

Within the rest of the case, Harriet is identified as Washington’s sole heir-at-law while her sisters, Sarah E. and Martha are seen as the illegitimate daughters of Lloyd Washington. As this is a case about the distribution of the estate, neither Sarah E. nor Martha claimed to be legally entitled to participate, however were aware that whatever they did receive from Harriet and her mother as the heir-at-law and widow of the deceased was out of kindness and generosity.

This chancery record provides a lot of insight into the family of Lloyd Washington and establishes the Washington Heir’s that are later referenced in the deed that ultimately distributes the Washington Estate. I could be theorized that British Washingtion changed her name to be Sarah E. since Martha is the constant between the two sister relationship, but as there is no evidence to support the theory so it is up for speculation as to what happened to British.


Lloyd Washington Chancery Record, Fairfax County Courthouse Archives, LVA Chancery Index #1897-002, MuCuen vs Washington, Fairfax, Virginia

Martha and British School Records, Fairfax County Courthouse Archives, Census of 1890 School Population, Fairfax, Virginia

Lloyd Washington Census (1870), https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/discoveryui-content/view/40206954:7163?_phsrc=Tve1&_phstart=successSource&gsfn=Lloyd&gsln=Washington&ml_rpos=1&queryId=ff229c1eea188102d3a2538134f49ad5, Heritage Quest, Fairfax, Virginia

Lloyd Washington Census (1880), https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/discoveryui-content/view/42693126:6742?_phsrc=Tve12&_phstart=successSource&gsfn=Lloyd&gsln=Washington&ml_rpos=2&queryId=16c19a43597cf6925e39ee0d019439ac, Heritage Quest, Fairfax, Virginia

British Washington Census (1880), https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/discoveryui-content/view/18744095:6742, Heritage Quest, Fairfax, Virginia

Martha Washington Census (1880), https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/discoveryui-content/view/42692972:6742, Heritage Quest, Fairfax, Virginia

By Ava Marchetti

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