He is known as a “Founding Father” and the “Father of His Country,” but did you know George Washington never had biological offspring? He was an adoptive father to two step-children and adopted two step-grandchildren. He also assisted in raising his brother’s children when he died at an early age.

Martha had been widowed for two years when she married George Washington. She had four children with her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, but only two survived. They were only 4 and 2 when Martha and George married. George adopted and helped raise Martha’s two children, John, known as “Jacky,” and Martha, called “Patsy.”

Patsy died at the age of 17 following an epileptic seizure. Jacky married and had four children of his own. Jacky died in 1781. George and Martha adopted Jacky’s two youngest children, Eleanor “Nelly” and George, a newborn at the time. They remained in contact with the two older grandchildren as well, Elizabeth “Betsey” and Martha “Patty”.

George Washington also became a father figure to his three of his nephews and nieces after their father, Samuel’s, untimely death.

To learn more, visit:

http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/custis-family/

http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/parenting/