This area was the home of the Manahoac Indians, a Sioux nation tribe. Two Manahoac tribes lived in the area, one on the banks of the Rappahannock River near what later became White Sulphur Springs. In 1608 Captain John Smith reported encountering a Manahoac hunting party in this area. The Manahoacs were pushed out of the area the Iroquois in 1650 who considered it their hunting grounds.
The first immigrants were of German and English ancestry. The first settlements were in Brenttown (1686), Elk Marsh/Elk Run (1715) and Germantown (1718) All three locations were south of what is now Warrenton. The first settlement in Northern Fauquier was in 1726, near The Plains.
The County was carved out of Prince William County and chartered on May 1, 1759. Originally the land was part of the Northern Neck Proprietary, a vast land grant held by the 6th Lord Fairfax.
The County was named after Francis Fauquier, Lt. Goveror of Virginia from 1758 to this death in 1768. He was very popular with those supporting independece from Great Britiain. Many in Richmond in those days supported the British.
No battles or skirmishes took place in Fauquier during the Revoulutionary war, but men from Fauquier fought in the Culpeper Militia, a 100 minute man unit from this area.
John Marshall was born and raised in Fauuier. He practiced law here briefly and in Richmond before becoming the Fourth Chief Justice of the U. S. Supremem Court.
There were no major enegagments held in Fauquier County during the Civil War but a number of skirmishes involving infantry and cavalry did occur. There were mass troop movements, however. There was a great deal of Mosby Ranger activinty from the North of Warrenton to the Potomac river and to the west, from the Blue Ridge to the Bull Run mountains. Major Fauquier military units included:
Black Horse Bridgade (Troop), Company H, Fourth Brigade, Fourth Virginia Cavalry
Warrenton Rifles, Company K, 17th Va. Infantry Regiment
Mosby Regiment (Rangers), Partisan Rangers
Hunton’s Horse Troop (Brigade), Piedmont Rifles, Company B, Eight Regiment
Kemper’s Brigade, Rough & Ready Rifles, Company I, Eleventh Regiment
Hunton’s Brigade, Beauregard Rifles, Eleventh Regiment
Brooke’s Battery, Battery A, 12th Battalion
Mountain Rangers (General Ashby), Company A, Seventh Regiment, Virginia Cavalry
Wise’s Dragoons, Company H, 6th Regiment, Cavalry Brigade
Warrenton is the Fauquier County seat. Other towns in this large county include Marshall, Opal, Paris, Upperville, New Baltimore, The Plains, Delaplane, Casanova, Remington, Calverton, Bealeton, Midland, Vint Hill, Catlett, Goldvein, Markham, Halfway, Morrisville, Hume, Orlean Rectortown, Sumerduck.
The John Kennedy family came to Fauquier for recreation during their years in Washington. Other Presidents who have visitied Fauquier include Teddy Roosevelt, Taft and Clinton.
The current population of Fauquier County is about 58,000. It is about 644 square miles in area. Fauquier County is known for being “Hunt Country,” particularly in Northern and Western sections. The area is characterized by many large estates, purbred horses, champion hounds and hunt clubs. Fauquier is the homes of several prestigious horse shows and races, including the Virginia Gold Cup int eh spring and the International Gold Cup in the fall.
From the Fauquier Historical Society Website