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Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County. It was named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), proprietor of the Northern Neck.
The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were located along the Potomac River. George Washington settled in Fairfax County and built his home, Mount Vernon facing the river. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason is located nearby. Modern Fort Belvoir is partly located on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only member of the British nobility ever to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley. The Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire immediately after the Revolutionary War in 1783, and George Washington noted the plantation complex gradually deteriorated into ruins.
In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789, part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, and renamed Arlington County in 1920. The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948. The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961.
Located near Washington, D.C., Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War. The Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county; Bull Run straddles the border between Fairfax and Prince William County. For most of the Civil War, Union troops occupied the county, though the population remained sympathetic to the Confederacy.
Submitted by Cindy Young
The Library of Virginia
Land Office Patents & Grants/Northern Neck Grants & Surveys : Catalog Card
Elzey, William 27 Nov 1742 Fairfax County
300 acres adjoining John Gowen, Colonel Carter &c.
Northern Neck Grants F, 1742-1754, p. 144 (Reel 292)
Gowen, John 10 Jul 1744 Fairfax County
144 acres beginning &c in a glade near a branch of the No. Run of Pohick, and corner to Robert Carter Esqr.
Northern Neck Grants F, 1742-1754, p. 191 (Reel 292)
Gowen, John 6 Jul 1744 Fairfax County
155 acres adjoining Thomas Fork and Capt. Connyers
Northern Neck Grants F, 1742-1754, p. 187 (Reel 292)
Mason, George 5 Sept 1767 Fairfax County
218 acres on the Little or Lower Falls of Potowmack River adjoining Thomas Going’s Patent now the property of said Mason
Northern Neck Grants O, 1767-1770, p. 87 (Reel 296)
From: The Library of Virginia at www.lva.virginia.gov
|Author||Elzey, William. grantee.|
|Title||Land grant 27 November 1743.|
|Summary||Location: Fairfax County.|
|Description: 300 acres adjoining John Gowen, Colonel Carter &c.|
|Source: Northern Neck Grants F, 1742-1754, p. 144 (Reel 292).|
|Original survey exists.|
|Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.|
|Other Format||Available on microfilm. Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.|
|Subject - Personal||Elzey, William. grantee.|
|Subject - Topical||Land titles. -- Registration and transfer -- Virginia -- Fairfax County|
|Subject -Geographic||Fairfax County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.|
|Genre/Form||Land grants -- Virginia -- Fairfax County.|
|Surveys (land) -- Virginia -- Fairfax County.|
|Added Entry||Northern Neck Land Office. Northern Neck grants, 1690-1874.|
|Northern Neck Land Office. Northern Neck surveys, 1697, 1722-1781.|
|Library of Virginia. Archives.|