Place:Overwharton Parish, Stafford, Virginia, United States

Watchers


NameOverwharton Parish
TypeInhabited region
Located inStafford, Virginia, United States

History

Overwharton Parish was formed in 1680 as the upper parish or Stafford Parish.

The following history is excerpted from Source:Stafford, Virginia, United States. Virginia, Overwharton Parish Register, 1720 to 1760, Old Stafford County.

Overwharton Parish was co-extensive with Stafford County, covering a part of what was once Washington Parish, extending about eighty miles along the Potomac, in breadth about four and twenty miles, embracing within its territory what is now Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, Alexandria Counties and a part of Fauquier until 1730, when Prince William County was taken from Stafford, and Hamilton Parish was erected, succeeding Overwharton as the frontier parish. Of the early history of Overwharton Parish and its rectors, but little is known.

In 1724, there were 650 families and about 100 communicants. One church, Potomac (situated about nine miles south of the present Aquia Church), the brick walls of which were standing until torn down by the Federal army during the Civil War. It is, however, evident, from the number of white occupants of the soil within an area of ten miles, that there must have been frontier chapels of ... in the immediate localities of Potomac Church about 1675, if not a church. The Glebe Lands were within two miles of Potomac Church. The Rev. Dr. Scott was rector as early as 1710, and so continued until he died, April I, 1738, aged 52 years, 9 months, and 20 days; he was succeeded by Rev. John Moncure, a Scotch gentleman, but of Huguenot descent, who acted as assistant or curator to the Rev. Mr. Scott for a short time previous to his death; Rev. Mr. Moncure continued as rector of the Parish until his death, in 1764. Of the old Potomac Church, there are no vestry records known to exist. The earliest records of members of the vestry of Overwharton Parish are those of Aquia Church, beginning in 1757. This church was first built in 1751, thirteen years after the death of Mr. Scott, and was destroyed by fire in 1754, and rebuilt in 1757 upon the original foundation, as charred remains are yet to be found under the church, and about the foundation. An inscription over the door states as follows: "Built 1751; destroyed by fire 1754*; rebuilt 1757."

And upon a panel on the gallery appears the following: "John Moncure, Minister 1757. Vestrymen: Peter Hedgman, Benjamin Strother, John Mercer, Thos. Fitzhugh, John Lee, Peter Daniel, Warden, Mat Doniphan, Travers Cook, Warden, Henry Tyler, John Fitzhugh, William Mountjoy, John Peyton."

  • Meade says burned in 1751; in this he is in error as Mr. Powhatan Moncure gives the record from the church door.

As to the successor of Mr. Moncure in this parish, it is probable that the Rev. Mr. Green took his place in 1764. In the years 1774 and 1776, the Rev. Clement Brooke was minister. After the Revolution, in the Convention of 1785, called for organizing the diocese and considering the question of a general confederation of Episcopalians throughout the Union, we find the Rev. Robert Buchan the minister of Overwharton parish, and the Rev. Mr. Thornton, of Brunswick parish, which had been taken from King George and given to Stafford when St. Paul's was taken from Stafford and given to King George. The lay delegates at that Convention were Mr. Charles Carter, representing Overwharton parish, and Mr. William Fitzhugh, of Chatham, representing Brunswick parish, and Mr. William Fitzhugh, of Chatham, representing Brunswick parish, which lay on the Rappahannock, and extended to Hanover parish in King George. In the year 1786, Mr. Fitzhugh again represented Brunswick parish; and this is the last notice we have of the Church in Stafford until some years after the revival of conventions. In the year 1819, the Rev. Thomas Allen took charge of this parish, preaching alternately at Dumfries and Aquia churches.* At a subsequent period the Rev. Mr. Prestman, gave all his energies to the work of its revival.

Research Info

Many early vital records for the counties of Stafford, Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, Alexandria Counties and a part of Fauquier were kept at the Parish level and can be found in Source:Stafford, Virginia, United States. Register of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, Virginia 1723-1758 and Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes

Another source for a history of the Parish and similar vital records can be found in Source:Stafford, Virginia, United States. Virginia, Overwharton Parish Register, 1720 to 1760, Old Stafford County.

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