I’m feeling patriotic today. In United States history, there are a handful of characters that people around the globe have heard of. George Washington (1731/2-1799) is one of them. Recognized as a founding father of the country, he served as the nation’s first President after leading the Continental Army to victory during the American Revolutionary War. All through parts of the country where he lived and traveled, you can find signs touting “George Washington slept here!” But did he really? Many of our ancestors named their sons after him. Family traditions say our ancestors knew the man or served under him. But can we document it?
Several organizations, including the University of Virginia, have been publishing The Papers of George Washington. These volumes contain Washington’s diaries and personal letters he sent to friends and acquaintances – and of great help to the genealogist – the project website includes a free name index to the volumes. The Papers of George Washington can help you document whether or not family traditions are true. Click here to search the entire series for your ancestor’s name.
The following volumes are available:
- Diaries (6 vols.)
- Colonial Series 1748-1775 (10 vols.)
- Revolutionary War Series 1775-1783 (21 vols.)
- Confederation Series 1784-1788 (6 vols.)
- Presidential Series 1788-1797 (16 vols.)
- Retirement Series 1797-1799 (4 vols.)
If you find an ancestor’s name, you can view the content of all 63 volumes online through a free trial version.