Other Stafford Stories The Moncures of Somerset

The Moncures of Somerset

The first of this family to settle in Stafford County was John Moncure (1710-1764). Family history holds that he was born in the parish of Kinneff, County Mearns, Scotland. He arrived in Virginia in 1733, taught school, studied divinity, and, after ordination, moved to Stafford in 1738. There he resided with Alexander Scott (1686-1738) at Dipple, and served as his curate. Dipple was located at the junction of Chappawamsic Creek and the Potomac River. Moncure became rector of Overwharton Parish after Scott’s death in 1738 and was serving as such when Aquia Church was completed in 1758. Sometime between 1748 and 1753, John built his own home, Clermont, just upstream on Chappawamsic from Dipple. The western portion of this tract became a summer residence away from the mosquitoes that plagued waterfront residents and was called Somerset. Later Moncures built a fine frame home here and the property remained in the family until being taken by the U. S. Government in 1942 for the expansion of the Quantico Marine Corps base. The accompanying photograph was taken around 1912 at one of the frequently-enjoyed watermelon eating parties at Somerset. The boy in the middle is John Moncure (1899-1984).