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Q: The founders of "Riggs Bank" ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: The founders of "Riggs Bank"
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: stephenh-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 26 Jul 2004 12:17 PDT
Expires: 25 Aug 2004 12:17 PDT
Question ID: 379287
Now that Riggs Bank (in Washington DC) will be closing I am wondering
where I can find out about the founders of Riggs bank, the family. I
really would like to know everything that there is available to know
about the families history.
Also I would like to know if there are any "historic sites" relating
to the bank or family that are still around.  Any information you
could provide me would be greatly apprecaited.

Thank you
Subject: Re: The founders of "Riggs Bank"
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 26 Jul 2004 15:15 PDT
Stephenh --

There is not a huge amount of family information available on the
Internet about George Washington Riggs, who was a co-founder along
with William W. Corcoran of "Corcoran & Riggs," the enterprise that
became Riggs' bank after Corcoran retired in 1854.  However, Riggs was
highly involved in business and non-profit activities in the
Washington, DC area and you'll find quite a bit about those.

However, you'll likely find these two pages on the Rootsweb site
interesting, taken from a Levering family history:
"George Washington Riggs"

George Washington Riggs' parents were Elisha and Alice Lawrason Riggs,
according to the Gale Group Biography Resource Center, a fee-based
Internet database available at many public libraries for free.  The DC
historic preservation council notes that Elisha owned a dry goods
store in Georgetown.  George Washington Riggs was born to them on July
4, 1813 in the Georgetown.  The Riggs family had been in Anne Arundel
County, MD in the early 1700s and Elisha's father was John Riggs.

George Washington grew up in Baltimore after his father entered into a
partnership with George Peabody, forming the company of Riggs &
Peabody.  G.W. went to Yale in 1829, but didn't graduate.  He went
overseas, working for his father in a New York firm.  On June 23, 1940
he married Janet Madeleine Cecilia Shedden, of Glasgow, Scotland.

They had 9 children -- the only reference to their names that I found
were from the Gale Group biography, mentioning a son, Rev. T. Lawrason
Riggs.  However, a genealogy of the Riggs family was apparently
published by J. H. Wallace in 1901.  It is not on the Internet, to my

The New York Times obituary for G.W. Riggs notes his death on August
24, 1881 in Prince Georges County, MD.  It mentions a brother, named
Elisha after their father, but none of the children.  Though he was
Episopalian virtually all of his life, he converted to Roman
Catholicism in the last 2 weeks of his life and was buried at St.
Aloysius Church in Washington, DC.

Some Riggs references that should prove useful include:

Riggs Bank

"George Washington Riggs"

Google search strategy:
"Riggs Bank" + history
"George Washington Riggs"
"George Washington Riggs" + "Elisha Riggs"
"Elisha Riggs" + "John Riggs"

Best regards,


Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 26 Jul 2004 15:19 PDT
Stephenh --

Note that the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites has
several Riggs-family locations cited:

It's a long document at 153 pages, but the little binoculars allow you
to search references to Riggs.

Best regards,


Request for Answer Clarification by stephenh-ga on 25 Aug 2004 12:32 PDT
I'm sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean by your answer.  Sorry to
sound so dum. Can you please explain to me in detail to what you mean.

By Roland T. Carr
a retiree of Riggs.

Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 25 Aug 2004 13:02 PDT
Stephenh --

Airflorida posted the comment here yesterday, referring to an
out-of-print book in the Acropolis International Business History
series.  Here's the reference to it:

The title is sometimes shown as "32 Presidents Square, Part I of
Hisstory of Riggs Bank."

Best regards,


Request for Answer Clarification by stephenh-ga on 08 Oct 2004 09:13 PDT
Hi again

You know that I am still looking for information about George W. Riggs
and his family.  What else can you tell me about the family. Can you
help me by trying to find an outside resource that I could go to, to
try to get my answer.  Can you find me anything else ??  Like try to
lead me somewhere off the internet to get my information.  You did
help me termoudously one time before and I have appreciated all your
kind help.

thanks again

Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 08 Oct 2004 09:20 PDT
Stephen --

If you have a good public library near you, I'd try to see if I could
obtain the book "32 Presidents Square, Part I of History of Riggs
Bank" via inter-library loan.  That would be the single best
suggestion -- and it probably includes some references in it that
would be valuable in further research.

Best regards,


Request for Answer Clarification by stephenh-ga on 08 Oct 2004 09:30 PDT
Good suggest.

I have already done that and it really didn't give me exactly what I
am looking for. It gave me a few pictures but no enough to be happy
with.  Basically I am still looking to find out about his families
Mausoleum and trying to get a picture of his house that he had in
Washington DC.  Could you see what else you could do for me.  Are you
in the mid-atlantic states ?  Anything you could do I would greatly
apprecaite it.

Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 08 Oct 2004 11:25 PDT
Stephen --

I'm in Seattle (though I once lived in Washington, DC, so am familiar
with Riggs Bank).  Two excellent sites that are not easy to search are
the Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress.  With the
Smithsonian, I'd recommend a Google site search:

The Library of Congress has so many specialized collections, you often
have to go through collections manually to see what's there:

Here, for example, are several dozen prints and photos that are in the
Library -- each in a separate database:

I might also try the Washington Post archives, which run back to 1877:

And, for family-type information, you might try pulling out Census
records from the 1800s for the Riggs family.  The National Archives
Records Administration (NARA) keeps these on microfilm and they're
available at reading rooms across the country.

The Census database is also available online (for a fee) from or

Best regards,

Subject: Re: The founders of "Riggs Bank"
From: airflorida-ga on 24 Aug 2004 20:04 PDT
By Roland T. Carr
a retiree of Riggs.

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