Custis, George Washington Parke / Lewis, Eleanor

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
You may use the stars on the left to rate and leave feedback for the current article. No registration is required. Waiting for 5 votes 0.0 of 5 stars (0 votes) — Thanks for your vote

Please fill out the following optional information before submitting your rating:

Custis, George Washington Parke, 1781-1857

American dramatist, publisher, and biographer

Lewis, Eleanor (Nelly) Parke Custis, 1779-1852

American plantation mistress

G.W.P. and Nelly Custis were the grandchildren of Martha Dandridge Custis and her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis (by their son Jacky). Daniel Parke Custis died when Jacky was three, and Martha was soon married again - to General George Washington. Washington became step-father to Jacky and his sister Patsy, and years later, after Jacky was himself killed at the Battle of Yorktown (1781), George and Martha adopted his six children (that is, Martha's grandchildren), including young George Washington Parke and Nelly Custis in 1783.

After President Washington died, Custis built Arlington House, in Arlington, VA, as a tribute to his adoptive father/step-grandfather and to hold his belongings. He also published several newspapers, wrote four plays and a series of memoirs of President Washington. His daughter married Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, who also lived in Arlington House. Nelly married George Washington's nephew, Lawrence Lewis, and they lived at Woodlawn Plantation (a gift from George Washington), where she was mistress for over 30 years. She kept a manuscript book of recipes and formulae which in many way parallels the work of Britain's Mrs. Beeton.


Lewis, Nelly Custis. Nelly Custis Lewis's Housekeeping Book, edited by Patricia Brady Schmit. (1982)
Dictionary of American biography. ("Custis, George Washington Parke")
Encyclopedia of Virginia biography, under the editorial supervision of Lyon Gardiner Tyler. (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1998)
"MDW Fact Sheet: Arlington House, Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia." Available at:
"Woodlawn Plantation." Available at:
Savage, Edward. "The Washington Family." [Portraits]. Available at:


18th Century
19th Century
Theater, Broadcasting, Cinema
Birth or Infancy
Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Adoptive or Foster Families
Adoptees/Fosterees from Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Birth Families
Parent(s) Died, Disappeared or Became Incapacitated
Birth Siblings Placed Together
Visitor Comments (0) - Be the first to comment
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.

To see local Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):

Need a Home Study?
Adoption Photolisting
Kurtis (FL / 17 / M)
Kurtis is an outgoing young man with a great sense of humor. He describes himself as "smart, talented and able to do flips". He is in the 8th grade and his favorite... [more]
Parent Profiles
I am very excited to become a mom! I am 100% ready to ensure my child will enjoy unconditional love, top class international education, travel opportunities, and financial... [more]
Directory of Adoption Professionals
Find a professional
for all of your adoption needs including:

Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of

Settings Help Feedback
Template Settings
Width: 1024     1280
Choose a Location:
Choose a Theme: