Anna Maria Fitzhugh

On November 15, 1796, Anna Maria Sarah Goldsborough was born into a prominent family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She married William Henry Fitzhugh III on January 10, 1814. He was a member of the influential Fitzhugh family of Virginia and owner of the large Ravensworth estate in Fairfax County. 

Anna Maria was devoted to her sister-in-law Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis of Arlington House. Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis was the wife of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington who was adopted and reared by George and Martha Washington. Their daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis would become the wife of Robert E. Lee in 1831. With close ties of kinship, there was a special relationship between the Custis family at Arlington House and the Fitzhugh family at Ravensworth.

William Henry Fitzhugh’s unexpected death on May 21, 1830, left Anna Maria the largest landowner in Fairfax County. During the ensuing years, she managed Ravensworth and was ever watchful of her husband’s legacy. 

Anna Maria remained on her estate throughout the Civil War. Due to the family relationship with George Washington, Ravensworth was officially protected from harm by orders of both Union and Confederate leaders.

Anna Maria Fitzhugh died April 17, 1874, and was buried in the family cemetery. Her grave was later moved to the cemetery at Pohick Episcopal Church. 

Since Anna Maria and William Fitzhugh were childless, Ravensworth passed to the family of their niece, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee. Mrs. Lee had died in 1873. Her oldest son was serving as President of Washington and Lee College in Lexington, Virginia. Ravensworth was inherited by her second son, William Henry Fitzhugh (Rooney) Lee. 

Every year members of Anna Maria Fitzhugh Chapter NSDAR place a wreath on her grave at Pohick Episcopal Church in remembrance of her birthday.