At his death in 1783, Henry Fitzhugh (Colonel)’s will provided that his half-share of Ravensworth (Parcel 1.1) be divided among his five youngest sons: Nicholas (age 19), Richard (age 18), Mordecai (age 16), Battaile (age 12) and Giles (age 10).

Division of Parcel 1.1

Although the brothers used their inherited lands earlier, the survey that laid out their shares and set the boundary lines for seven lots (first image below) was not made until 1792 (survey plat appears in this page). Another five years passed before the official recording of the survey in deed A2:186 (July 1797). In his history of Annandale, Virginia, Robert Moxham credits the delay in partitioning the land to waiting until the youngest, Giles, had reached maturity. Moxham further explains the “zig-zag boundaries” as necessary to include each of several existing leases entirely within a single parcel.1

Division of parcel 1.1

Division of parcel 1.1 among five Fitzhugh brothers

Redistribution By the Brothers

Between 1796 and 1798, Battaile, Giles and Mordecai sold and exchanged ownership of their inherited parcels among themselves with this result.

Ownership after exchanges

Ownership after exchanges among the brothers

At the same time and continuing through 1806, they subdivided their holdings and sold smaller tracts to their brother Nicholas with the following final result. Only Richard Fitzhugh stayed pat and did not engage in exchanges with his brothers.

Ownership after exchanges and sales

Ownership after exchanges and sales

Final Distribution – Today’s view (in Google Maps)

View Final Distribution After Sales and Exchanges Among Brothers in a larger map

Parcel 1.1 Division/Redistribution Documents

A2:1867/11/1797CourtNicholas, Richard, Mordecai, Battaile & Giles Fitzhugh1.1.1- 1.1.7Survey (1792) and plat for divison of Parcel 1.1 into seven parcels bequeathed to these five youngest sons of Henry Fitzhugh (Colonel) (died 1783)
Z1:2369/1/1796Battaile FitzhughGiles Fitzhugh1.1.1.1Sale 600 acres; later sold by Giles to Mordecai in deed A2:377
Z1:36512/25/1796Giles FitzhughBattaile Fitzhugh1.1.7Sale 1473.5 acres
Z1:43312/26/1796Battaile FitzhughNicholas Fitzhugh1.1.7.1Sale 141 acres, price 176 pounds
A2:3777/5/1798Giles FitzhughMordecai Fitzhugh1.1.5 & of 2 tracts: 600 acres and 1668 acres in exchange for parcel 1.1.3
A2:4657/6/1798Mordecai FitzhughGiles Fitzhugh1.1.3Sale 2291 acres in exchange for parcels 1.1.5 &
A2:4468/1/1798Mordecai FitzhughGiles Fitzhugh?Sale 12.25 acres (location not yet identified)
D2:149c. 1805Giles FitzhughNicholas Fitzhugh1.1.3.1Sale about 620 acres. Deed D2:149 lost; location and boundaries determined from Nicholas Fitzhugh's will K1:283 and several deeds for sale of land he bequeathed to his sons.
G2:29712/8/1805Giles FitzhughNicholas Fitzhugh1.1.3.2Sale 69.5 acres bordering Backlick Rd and Little River Turnpike


  1. Robert Morgan Moxham, Annandale, Virginia: A Brief History, ed. Estella K Bryans-Munson (Fairfax County History Commission, 1992), 13.