The settlement of Loudoun County, Virginia began in the 1720s, when it was still owned by Lord Fairfax. People from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland arrived in Lower Loudoun and established large tobacco plantations. At the same time, colonists of English Cavalier lineage also settled in the area. In 1661, Charles II, King of England, granted a six million acre parcel of land to Lord Hopton and other English nobles.
This grant later became known as the “Fairfax Patent” or “North Neck of Virginia” and included all the territory between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers up to their sources. In 1765, Reverend Below visited the German settlement in Loudoun County which led to the formation of the Lutheran Church. The county was named after Lord Loudoun who was appointed captain general and governor in chief of Virginia during the French and Indian War. Quakers were granted important positions in county government during this period before the Revolution. At the turn of the century, Loudoun County was a major producer of livestock and wool.
It topped the list of Virginia counties in number of lambs under one year old and ranked second in number of sheep aged one year and over. Fauquier led all counties in terms of number of head of cattle with 34,098 while Loudoun ranked second with 30,277. In 1900 it also topped the list in both number and weight of sheared fleeces with a total of 15,893 fleeces weighing 87,440 pounds unwashed. The geology of more than half of the surface of Loudoun County has been studied by Arthur Keith in his work entitled “Geology of the Catoctin Belt” which was authorized and published by the United States Geological Survey. The area is calculated to be 460-525 square miles. During this period before the Revolution opposing forces were often present in Loudoun County with clashing swords and rifle fire becoming a common occurrence. In March 1900 Judges from Loudoun County recommended a list of militia officers for appointment. Today Loudoun produces more corn than any other county in Virginia and markets more livestock than any other county as well.
Germantown in Fauquier County is about forty miles away from the German settlement in Loudoun County but there is no similarity in names or cultivation methods. Loudoun County has a long and captivating history that has seen many changes over time. From its beginnings as part of a six million acre grant to its current status as one of Virginia's most productive counties it has been an important part of American history.