The Washington Family
Washington grew up on Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock River, near Fredericksburg, Virginia. His father, Augustine, certainly owned cherry trees there, as well as tobacco and other crops. Augustine was an ambitious farmer, mill builder and mine owner. He acquired land and slaves, moving his family from Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Mount Vernon and eventually Ferry Farm.
Washington was educated at home and by the local church sexton. He studied math, geography, Latin and English classics. He spent much time with backwoodsmen and the foreman of his father's plantation. By the time he was a teenager, he was an expert at tobacco farming, ranching and surveying.
Washington's great-grandfather immigrated from England to Virginia in the early 17th century. He was granted land there by Henry XIII. Little is known about the family until the birth of Augustine in 1694.
In 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with two children. They would have no children of their own, but he would raise her children with love. It was his step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, who shined some truth on the silver dollar myth.
The tall-tale states that Washington, being of legendary strength, once threw a silver dollar across the Potomac river. First of all, silver dollars were not in circulation in Washington's day. Second, that dollar would be worth about $25, relatively speaking. Even a wealthy man like Washington wouldn't be throwing that around. Third, the Potomac is around a mile wide. Paul Bunyan couldn't make that throw.
But Washington's step-grandson tells the story in his memoirs about him throwing a piece of slate about the size of a dollar across the Rappahannock river, which is about 250 feet wide. A mighty, but not impossible toss.