The story of Ravensworth starts with William Fitzhugh, who bought the Ravensworth landgrant as a speculative investment in 1685. He is commonly referred to as William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant) to distinguish him from other Williams in the family. A similar method is used to identify several Henry Fitzhughs.
Including Ravensworth, William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant) amassed 54,000 acres in several land holdings. This investment in land established a fortune that sustained his descendants through succeeding generations.
Tracing Ravensworth’s history has meant focusing on the lines of William’s two oldest children, William, Jr. and Henry (Captain), who inherited equal shares of Ravensworth. And within those lines, on their descendants who also inherited parcels.
- Fitzhugh Family Portraits – Portraits and brief profiles of three early Fitzhugh patriarchs are featured in this Virginia Historical Society online exhibit.
This website, by one of the authors of The History of the Fitzhugh Family, Volumes One & Two by Henry A. Fitzhugh and Terrick V. H. FitzHugh, has information about the family’s early history in England.
At the turn of the 20th century, the family’s genealogy through the first five or so generations, was documented in three publications available online. (Page numbers cited denote beginnings of genealogy sections, which are in chronological sequence beginning with William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant.))
- The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 7 (1900) (Virginia Historical Society); Fitzhugh genealogy, pp. 196, 317, 457; William (the Immigrants)’s will p. 276 (Google Books).
- The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 8 (1901) (Virginia Historical Society), Fitzhugh genealogy, pp. 91, 209, 314, 430 (Google Books).
- Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Edward Jaquelin, and Martha Cary Jaquelin, Some Prominent Virginia Families (J.P. Bell company, inc.), 1907), p. 551 (Google Books).