Role in Ravensworth – owner in parcels 1.1.1 and 1.1.7

Henry Rose was the son of John and Catherine (Rose) Rose, probably cousins, of Westmoreland County, VA.1

After his mother died, his father married Margaret (Williamson) Robinson, the widow of William Robinson and mother of Ann Washington Robinson (1778-18?). Henry married Ann on November 19, 1795. His father, as 17-year-old Ann’s guardian, is listed as consenting to the marriage. They had one child, William Robinson Rose, who did not marry.2 3 4

Henry was a doctor, like his friend Augustine Smith, who posted the security bond for his marriage to Ann. Also like Smith, he probably did not practice medicine. He “established his home at ‘Union Hill’ in or near present-day Fairfax City.”5

Together, Rose and Smith jointly purchased 3000 Ravensworth acres in 1797 from Battaile Fitzhugh in Parcel 1.1.1 and Parcel 1.1.7. This was a business venture from which they sought profits by further subdividing and selling the land.

Henry, along with Nicholas Fitzhugh, represented Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1801/02.6 He was a member of the Alexandria Washington Masonic Lodge, No 22.7

The 1799 Fairfax County tax rolls recorded in Henry’s household two white tithables, 20 enslaved people above 16 years old, nine horses and a phaeton style carriage.8

Henry Rose died on February 4, 1810 in Occoquan, VA.9 In addition to his Ravensworth land, he owned land in Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia. His will “subjected [these lands] to the payment of my debts.”

His estate inventory of personal property was valued at $633.70, with household furnishings about equal in value to that of farm equipment/livestock. His farming enterprise appears to have been a modest one, as the estate inventory counted just:

  • 2 oxen
  • 1 bull, 2 heifers and 15 cows
  • 20 sheep and lambs
  • 10 pigs
  • 3 horses
  • 1 wagon
  • 3 plows
  • few tools

It would have been carried on without slave labor, unless Rose leased laborers from other owners. Although a slave owner in 1799, he apparently owned none at death – none are mentioned in his will or estate inventory. 10

Henry Rose’s estate inventory included “58 Vols Medical books” but no medical tools, which has led to the conclusion that he did not practice medicine. His library included many more books plus other items.

List of Rose's books

Partial detail from Fairfax County Will Book J1:388, Henry Rose’s estate inventory of personal property

  1. Robert Morgan Moxham, Annandale, Virginia: A Brief History, ed. Estella K Bryans-Munson (Fairfax County History Commission, 1992), 21.
  2. Stratton Nottingham, The Marriage License Bonds of Westmoreland County, Virginia, from 1786 to 1850 (Genealogical Publishing Com, 1928), 60 – Google book.
  3. “RootsWeb: ROBINSON-L (ROBINSON) FW: More Tidbits,” accessed August 24, 2015,
  4. Philip Alexander Bruce and William Glover Stanard, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 22 (The Society, 1914), 24 – Google book.
  5. Moxham, Annandale, Virginia: A Brief History.
  6. Virginia State Library, Report of the Virginia State Library (Virginia State Library, Division of Purchase and Printing, 1917), 274 – Google Book.
  7. “(Alexandria Washington Lodge; Dr. Henry Rose),” Alexandria Gazette, February 6, 1810, 3; NewsBank/Readex, Database: The Historical Evening Star and Alexandria Gazette, SQN: 10ACEF2AF73FE7D8, Newsbank (accessed August 25, 2015).
  8. “1799PersonalA Tax Sheet,” accessed February 21, 2015,; Binns Genealogy,
  9. “(Died at Occoquan…),” Alexandria Gazette, February 6, 1810, 3. ; NewsBank/Readex, Database: The Historical Evening Star and Alexandria Gazette, SQN: 10ACEF2AF73FE7D8, Newsbank (accessed August 25, 2015).
  10. Fairfax County Will Books J1:262 (will) and J1:308 (estate inventory.