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William Bernard (1770–1841)


William Bernard was born in Virginia on 3 September 1770. A business partner of John Hipkins, young Bernard married Hipkins's thirteen-year-old daughter Frances (Fanny) in 1789. Shortly thereafter Hipkins bought Belle Grove plantation in King George County and sold it to the young couple for a nominal sum. Bernard resided there for roughly twenty years, raising his four children with Fanny, who died in 1801. Around 1811 he relocated to Mansfield (or Mannsfield), an estate on the Rappahannock River just south of Fredericksburg.


"Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Leiper, 27 March 1818," Founders Online, National Archives, [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, vol. 12, 1 September 1817 to 21 April 1818, ed. J. Jefferson Looney. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014, pp. 558–559.]

Belle Grove Plantation Bed & Breakfast.

Historic American Buildings Survey, "Mannsfield, Near Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, Virginia."

"Bernard Family Bible Records," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Volume 37, Number 3 (August 1999), 183.

William Bernard in Virginia, U.S., Marriage Records, 17001850 (

Elizabeth Bernard in Virginia, U.S., Deaths and Burials Index, 18531917 (

Richmond Enquirer, 3 December 1841, page 3, column 1 (

Fanny Hipkins Bernard at Find a Grave.