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Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731–May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States. During her lifetime, she was known as "Lady Washington."

Born on her parents' Chestnut Grove on June 2, 1731, at 10:29 a.m., she was the oldest daughter of Virginia planter John Dandridge (1700–1756) and Frances Jones (1710–1785). Martha was the eldest of three brothers and five sisters, John Dandridge (1733-1749), William Dandridge (1734-1776), Bartholomew Dandridge (born 1737), Anna Marie "Fanny" Dandridge Bassett (1739-1777), Frances Dandridge (1744-1757), Elizabeth Dandridge Aylet Henley (1749-1800), Mary Dandridge (1756-1763) Her younger illegitimate half-sister (date of birth unrecovered) was a slave, Ann Dandridge Costin, who was one-quarter African, one-quarter Cherokee Indian, and half-white; there is further evidence of an illegitimate half-brother Ralph Dandridge (date of birth unrecovered), who was probably white.

At the age of 18, she married Daniel Parke Custis, a rich planter two decades her senior. They lived at White House Plantation on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, a few miles upriver from Chestnut Grove. She had four children by Custis. A son and a daughter, Daniel (1751–1754) and Frances (1753–1757), died in childhood, but two other children, John (Jacky) Parke Custis (1754–1781) and Martha ("Patsy") Parke Custis (1756–1773) survived to young adulthood. Daniel Custis' death in 1757 left Martha a rich widow, with independent control over a dower inheritance for her lifetime and trustee control over the inheritance of her minor children.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Martha Dandridge Custis."
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