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

As a public historian, I am dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Alexandria, Virginia, and the surrounding region. With a deep passion for bringing the past to life, I serve my community in this meaningful role.

Before this, I enjoyed a fulfilling career as a businessman and entrepreneur. Now retired, I have found a new sense of purpose in my work as a public historian.

Since 2015, I have had the privilege of serving as the Superintendent of the historic Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium, located within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria. This cemetery holds a special place in my family's history, as it was started in the early 1800s by the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, a historic congregation dating back to 1772 that is situated one mile east in the heart of Old Town. The cemetery is the final resting place of my parents, and the Meeting House is where I have worshipped for over 60 years.

As a public historian, I am thrilled to lead tours of the Wilkes Street Cemetery, which has thirteen cemeteries in a complex with over 35,000 interments. It is considered the most historic cluster of cemeteries in the United States. These sacred grounds offer a fascinating glimpse into the story of Alexandria and its people. I also enjoy guiding tours of nearby Civil War battlefields, combining my passion for history with the compelling narratives of those who fought and fell on these hallowed grounds, bringing their stories to life. I primarily lead tours of Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, and the Antietam Battlefields, along with tracing the footsteps of those involved in the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865. I am also a licensed tour guide in Washington, D.C.

To further engage the community, I manage a blog focused on Alexandria's cemeteries, where the many souls buried across the city are memorialized. I am also an active Board Member of the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lee-Fendall House Museum.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor to the area, I invite you to explore Alexandria's rich history by joining one of my cemetery or battlefield tours, reading my blog, or connecting with me on social media. It is my sincere pleasure to bring the city's captivating past to life and serve my community meaningfully.

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