Role in Ravensworth – owner parcels,, and

Peter Gooding was the oldest of six children born to William and Jane (Davis) Gooding, Jr. He married three times and fathered five children.1

His brief marriage circa 1819 to Mary P. McIntosh (1799-1826), daughter of neighbor Laughlan McIntosh, produced four children:

  • William M. Gooding (1819-?)
  • Peter Gooding, Jr. (1823-1885)
  • Senorah A. Gooding (1824-?)
  • Unknown Gooding (?-1826)

Soon after Mary’s death, Peter married Ester Ann Moore (1802-1856) with whom he had one child:

  • Jane Mary Gooding (1827-1861)

The third marriage occurred a few months before he died in 1859 – to Amanda M. Fitzhugh (1809-1893), daughter of Mordecai Fitzhugh.

The 1820 federal census counted in Peter Gooding’s household: two slaves, two persons engaged in agriculture and one in manufactures. From this modest beginning as a new husband and father, until his death in 1859, Peter built a successful business in farming and amassed substantial property – as shown in this summary of Gooding family property holdings in 1860.

Peter Gooding’s purchases of Ravensworth land started with 64 acres (parcel that he bought from his first wife’s (McIntosh) family in two increments in 1819 and 1827. In all he acquired 895 acres by 1853 in five purchases – immediately west of his father’s and brother William H. Gooding’s lands.

In the 1850s the Manassas Gap Railroad (MGRR) took land from Peter Gooding and his father for right of way to build the railroad through their property on its path west from Annandale to Fairfax Courthouse (City of Fairfax).

The Fairfax County Court Minute Book contains numerous brief entries regarding Peter Gooding, especially in the 1840s and 1850s. They document assignments by the court to survey the need for new roads as well as to appraise the estates of deceased neighbors. Apparently a man of some wealth by 1840, many entries document Peter’s posting security bonds for others, including such prominent people as Silas Burke (1846) and David Fitzhugh of Oak Hill (1846 and 1856).

Also in the 1840s and 1850s the court several times granted Peter annual licenses “to keep a house of entertainment in his house.” Likely this was an extension of his father’s Gooding’s Tavern or his own effort to also capitalize on the business opportunity offered by Little River Turnpike travelers.

An 1829 Minute Book entry records an indictment for assault on Benjamin Taylor and the setting of a trial date. No subsequent entry tells the trial result. However, his standing in the community seems to have been unimpaired by the charges.

  1. Gooding family genealogy provided by (1) Kathe Gunther, Family Group Sheet for William Gooding, unpublished genealogical document, and (2) Maddy McCoy, historian and historical preservationist, developer Slavery Inventory Database for Fairfax County, Virginia.