George Washington Paschal was born on November 23, 1812 in Skull Shoals, Greene County, Georgia, United States. He was the son of George Paschal and Agnes Brewer. His father was of French Huguenot descent. Though unsuccessful in business, he had an uncommonly good classical education. Agnes Paschal, a woman of the pioneer type, was a descendant of one of the earliest English families settling in North Carolina. She had a wide reputation in northern Georgia as a sick nurse and practical physician and lived to the age of ninety-four.