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George Washington and His Family

QUESTION: George Washington and His Family - What was George Washington’s Family like?


George Washington and his family experienced joys and trials. George Washington married Martha Washington on January 6, 1759. This was a year to two years after Martha’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis suddenly died. Daniel left Martha with his wealth, estate, and two young children. As Martha and George began their life together, the two grew close. They had many things in common and though Martha had been married before, the two seemed destined to live out their lives together.

Martha and George never had children of their own, but the two raised two of Martha’s children from her marriage with Daniel -- John Parke Custis, and Martha (Patsy) Parke Custis. Martha originally had four children with Daniel, however, two died early in their life. Patsy would become the third of her children to pass away when she died at age 17 after suffering a major seizer that resulted from a battle with Epilepsy. Both Martha and George enjoyed having children in their home and so the death of Patsy weighed heavily on their hearts. Tragedy would not soon end, however, as just prior to George being named the nation’s first President, the two lost John, Martha’s last remaining child, at age 27. Yet, as a result, the two adopted two of John’s four children, Eleanor (Nelly) Parke Custis, and George Washington ("Washy") Parke Custis. Martha and George raised the two children as if they were their own while their two siblings remained with their mother.

Martha was a loving home maker and supporter of her husband. Martha became a famous figure along with her husband as the two worked to free the American people during the Revolutionary War and as they led the United States as the first “First Family” during the two Presidential terms that George spent in office. While George fought in the war, Martha spent available time with George staying in Army quarters and even campaigning for more supplies as the war continued on. The two would become increasingly famous as George led the country. Both Martha and George passed away just a few short years after they left office. Martha followed her husband and was “eulogized in newspapers throughout the country as "the worthy partner of the worthiest of men’"1

George led his family and loved his wife and children with the same conviction and faith that he led the country with. His desire to know and love Jesus influenced every decision he made in the privacy of his own home, on the battlefield, and in the highest office in the land. George and Martha Washington will always be the true “First Family” in America’s history. In so many ways the two exemplified what a true American family should be like; they loved God, loved each other, and loved their country in honorable service to each.

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