Christ Church Cemetery

Discover the Mason Family Legacy: Buried in Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery

Records indicate that at least twenty-one immediate members of the Mason family are buried in the historic Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery in the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, even more if you count those from intermarriages. 

General John Mason

Many of them made significant contributions to the United States. For example, John Mason (April 4, 1766 – March 19, 1849) of Clermont certainly takes top billing. The son of George Mason IV was a merchant and banker who owned and operated several businesses and was a General in the District of Columbia Militia.

Read more about General Mason at this blog [General John Mason: the Man Behind the Star-Spangled Banner and Other Remarkable Connections].

  • John Mason Jr. (1797 – 1859)
  • James Murray Mason (Nov 1798 – April 28, 1871) (see info below)
  • Sarah Maria Mason  (11 Sep 1800 – 29 Jul 1890). She married Samuel Cooper, the highest-ranking officer in the Confederate Army (promoted to Full General in 1862)
  • Murray D. Mason (January 4, 1808 – January 11, 1875) was Captain of the Confederate Navy.
  • Anna Maria Mason (February 26, 1811 – November 3, 1898) is known as “Nannie” (pictured below). She married Sydney Smith Lee, Robert E. Lee’s older brother. Read more at this blog [Discover the Legacy of Smith Lee: Celebrated Naval Officer and Brother of Robert E. Lee].
Anna Maria Mason Lee (1811 – 1898). c. 1830, oil on canvas, portrait by John Eagle (1796 – 1865), son-in-law and protege of Thomas Sully. The original is on display in the museum at Stratford Hall, Westmorland County, Virginia.

James Murry Mason

Mason’s son Jame Murry Mason (November 3, 1798 – April 28, 1871), also was an essential figure in American History. 

He is best known for writing the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act and the Trent Affair, a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Great Britain at the beginning of the American Civil War, known as the Trent Affair. Read more at this blog: [The Author of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act].

James Mason. Library of Congress.

Judge Thomson Francis Mason

Judge Thomson Francis Mason (1785 – December 21, 1838), the son of George Mason of Gunston Hall, married Elizabeth Clapham “Betsey” Price Mason (1802 – May 7, 1873). He was a Lawyer, Judge, and Mayor of Alexandria, D.C., from 1827 – 1830, among other things. He most likely lived in 1123 Duke Street, built circa 1809, and purchased by Mason for $855.00 in July 1821. 

Other Mason members

Other members of the Mason family who are buried in Christ Church are listed below, including some of those related by marriage.

  • A. Campbell Mason (1870 – April 18, 1888)
  • Anna “Little Anna” Maria Mason (1876 – Feb 16, 1879), Daughter of L.R. & L.A. 
  • Arthur Mason (Infant child of Thompson and Betsy unknown DOB/DOD
  • Benjamin Chew Mason (1825 – November 30, 1847), Son of James Murray Mason – See above – and  Eliza Margarita Chew Mason of Germantown, PA (November 18, 1798 – February 14, 1874)
  • Caroline Francis Mason – (March 9, 1832 – January 19, 1919), Daughter of Judge Mason
  • Chaplin Mason (Unknown DOB/DOB), infant son of Thomson. 
  • Clara Cecilia Forsyth Mason (September 3, 1810 – March 27, 1875) married Captain Murray D. Mason (son of John and Anna). She was the daughter of John Forsyth, a US Congressman, a US Senator, Governor of Georgia (1827 – 1829), and the 13th Unites States Secretary of States under President Andrew Jackson.
  • Eliza Ida Oswald Mason (August 10, 1836 – December 16, 1885), daughter of James Murray Mason and Eliza Mason. 
  • Fanny Forsyth Mason (1838 – 1907), daughter of Murray Mason and Clara Mason 
  • Virginia Mason (DOB/DOD Unknown), infant daughter of Maynadier and Virginia Mason, aged two years. Maynadier was the twin of Murry Mason (see above). 
  • Virginia Mason Bower (1842 – May 12, 1926) 
  • Virginia Mason (Dec 12, 1833 – October 11, 1920), Daughter of James Murray Mason and Eliza Chew Mason (see information above). 
  • Matilda E. Mason Rhett (DOB unknown – February 22, 1871) 
  • Eilbeck Mason Lee (February 27, 1853 – July 22, 1853), daughter of Sydney Smith Lee and Nannie Mason Lee (see above). 
  • John C. Dorsey (unknown – December 26, 1891) 
  • Captain Henry Carter Lee (January 7, 1842 – June 6, 1889). His mother was Nannie Mason.
  • Robert Carter Lee (November 17, 1848 – December 15, 1903). His mother was Nannie Mason.
  • Captain Sydney Smith Lee, Jr. (February 10 – April 15, 188). His mother was Nannie Mason.
  • Jane Byrd Page Swann (July 13, 1774 – October 31, 1812)the maternal great-granddaughter of George Mason.
  • Major Samuel Cooper Jr. (June 4, 1837 – January 20, 1908)

Source Material

Cox, Ethan. Historic Alexandria, Virginia Street by Street; A Survey of Existing Early Buildings. McLean, Virginia. EPM Publications. 1976.

Pippenger, Wesley E. Tombstone Inscriptions of Alexandria, VA (Volume 3). Family Line Publications. Westminster, Maryland. 1992.

Hakenson, Donald C. This Forgotten Land Volume II, Biographical Sketches of Confederate Veterans Buried in Alexandria, Virginia. Donald Hakenson. Alexandria, Virginia. 2011.

Find-a-grave website. It was accessed in May 2023.

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By David

Hello. My journey has taken me through various paths, from owning businesses to delving deep into the annals of history. For many years, I dedicated myself to researching and leading tours of Civil War Battlefields, bringing the past to life for those eager to learn.

In 2015, I assumed the role of Superintendent of the Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria, Virginia. This cemetery holds a profoundly special place in my heart. It's owned by the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, where I was baptized and raised, and my parents are laid to rest. It's also the place where I will one day be buried. This responsibility allowed me to assist families during pivotal moments and opened a unique avenue for me. Most Saturdays, I lead tours within the complex, combining my passion for teaching history with the stories of the 35,000 souls resting there. To further share these narratives, I established this blog focusing on the lives and tales of those buried in Alexandria.

In addition to my work at the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, I am honored to serve as a dedicated Board member of the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lee-Fendall House Museum. I am a Northern Virginia Cemetery Consortium member dedicated to preserving endangered cemeteries throughout the region, representing the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex.

If you're intrigued by history or curious about the stories that shaped Alexandria, I invite you to join me on my tours, read my writings, or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.

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