The English Ancestry of George Washington and His Life-Saving Heroics – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The English Ancestry of George Washington and His Life-Saving Heroics

One of the many fascinating features of the Archive is the articles it contains on the family history of famous people.

Indeed, at times, browsing through the Archive can be similar to watching episodes of the BBC programme, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

As today is the 4th of July, we thought we’d mark Independence Day by posting this excellent, wee article about the English ancestry of George Washington.

And just for good measure, we’ve also included a fascinating story about how George Washington (when he was aged 18) had, at great risk to himself, jumped into a river to save a young boy from drowning. One wonders what would have happened to the independence movement in the American colony if George Washington had died in this episode?…

historical newspaper report about The English Ancestry of George Washington

Western Daily Press – Tuesday 30 September 1941

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000513/19410930/005/0002

historical newspaper report about The English Ancestry of George Washington

Cheltenham Chronicle – Saturday 26 March 1938

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000518/19380326/117/0009

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4 comments On The English Ancestry of George Washington and His Life-Saving Heroics

  • His mothers family were from what is now Cumbria in North West England. His grandmother, Mildred Gale, is buried in St Nicholas’ churchyard in the centre of Whitehaven and the family home, Gale’s mansion, still survives in the town centre too..

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Adrian,
      Thanks for posting this info – we’d no idea that it was Cumbria, we thought it was Northamptonshire.
      Regards,
      Grant.

  • MRS PAULINE SALISBURY

    Yes, George Washington’s ancestors were from Cumbria, but if you go a bit further back, pre 1399, the family lived in and owned WASHINGTON OLD HALL in County Durham.A Knight of Norman descent settled there in 1183. He built the stone house which still has some original parts visible in the Great Hall.He also adopted an Anglo Saxon name which has been spelt differently but eventually became ‘Washington’. President Jimmy Carter visited the Hall in May 1977 and planted a ceremonial tree.

  • The Washington family actually originated from Washington, from where they took their name, County Durham. Their ancestral home Washington Old Hall can be visited there today.

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