Germantown, Virginia is the birthplace of John Marshall. Located in the Virginia piedmont at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it lies about twenty-five miles northwest from the original “Fort Germanna” settlement (1714) just west of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Today it is an historic, unincorporated rural community in Fauquier County, Virginia, near the village of Midland just off of Route 28 and Germantown Road.
John’s father, mother and grandmother moved from his father’s homestead in Westmoreland County to a 250 acre parcel of Germantown called “Licking Run” in 1754. A year later, John was born on September 24th, 1755. If scholars are right, the birthplace was a story-and-a-half, two-bay-wide home, similar to the 1724 Tilman Weaver house depicted above.
It was here in Germantown that John’s father joined the local militia commanded by Major John Frogg. When John was four years old the county lines changed and the Germantown home became part of Fauquier County. As part of the county reconfiguration, the English court appointed John’s Father “Justice of the Peace” and the principle surveyor of the territory. John’s father later became a member of the House of Burgess, served as a militia commissioner and was appointed to the “Committee of Trade.”
John lived at this location for almost ten years, learning English from his father and mother, helping with chores and watching his family grow. John was soon to have two more sisters (Elizabeth and Mary) and a brother (Thomas) before his father sold the homestead in August of 1765 and moved to a more northern location in the county on Goose Creek.