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Washington, George, Mother of

  • By: Deborah L. Bauer
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mary Ball Washington was the mother of George Washington, first president of the United States. Mary Ball, the only child of Joseph and Mary Montague Johnson Ball, was born November 30, 1708, at Epping Forest in Virginia. The Balls descended from an old English lineage dating to the Middle Ages, although the family chose to immigrate to the British colony of Virginia in 1650. Mary was the product of a second marriage for both of her parents. Her father had previously married Elizabeth Romney, a union that produced one son and several daughters. Mary's mother, said by family tradition to have served as a housekeeper in Joseph Ball's household before their marriage, had previously been wed to a man named Johnson. From her first marriage, ...

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