Barrow: Three Letters to Mrs. Guinn, 1984–1985

Contributed by Frank Barrow; typed by Mavis Brown Barton;
adapted for web presentation by Elizabeth Ross. Oct. 2005.

 

Letter 1

Jonathan B. Butcher
Registered Genealogist
P. O. Box 531
Cary, NC 27511

4 June 1984

Mrs. Louneal Barrow Guinn
1001 South 7th Avenue
Lanett, Alabama

Dear Mrs. Guinn,

Sorry this has taken so long to prepare. I believe we have about got your Barrow lineage untangled, largely confirming your theory. What I have not been able to do is find explicit documentary proof that the John Barrow (Jr.) who left Beaufort Co., N.C. in 1805 is the same as the John Barrow who appears in Warren Co., Ga., shortly thereafter, although it certainly looks as though he is. Unfortunately I have not been able to prove Johnís marriage in North Carolina, but proof might come if we could identify some of Johnís elder children in North Carolina ‚ which you possibly may already have the notes to do. Specifically, I wonder if some of Johnís our eldest children may have remained in Beaufort, which would prove the connection beyond a doubt.

The account for the present report is as follows:

      6 hours research 48.00
      Photostats 1.20
        49.20
      less deposit -25.00
      Balance due $24.20

Yours sincerely,

/s/ Jonathan B. Butcher
Jonathan B. Butcher

==============

Letter 2

Jonathan B. Butcher
Registered Genealogist
P. O. Box 531
Cary, NC 27511

29 September, 1984

Dear Mrs. Guinn,

I had thought I might hear back from you regarding the identities of the older children of John Barrow. In the meantime I have pursued a little additional search and have come up with some evidence that would seem to further confirm our identification of John Barrow.

In the last report we saw that John Barrow was born ca. 1739/48, left Beaufort Co. in 1805, and appears to be the same John Barrow who made a will in Warren Co., Ga., on 26 Dec. 1809. Now, in this will John indicates that his older children, John Barrow, George Barrow, Mary Boyd and Celia Davis, had already been provided for. It would appear that at least some of these remained behind in Beaufort, which would confirm Johnís identification. There was a George Barrow in Beaufort in 1810 who appears in several deeds, and this may be Johnís son. Unfortunately, I have not been able to prove or disprove this. A little more can be established about the elder daughters. Both Boyd and Davis were Beaufort Co. names, and probably both Mary and Celia married there. John Barrow sold land to William Boyd and Thomas Boyd in 1805, and his sister Ann also married a Boyd. Unfortunately, I have not been able to establish which Boyd was Maryís husband. Of Celia Davis, who had a fairly uncommon give name, we can say a little more. I believe she is the widow Celia Davis who first appears in the Beaufort deeds selling property in 1814 (11:88, 395) and who probably married around 1760 as her two sons seem to have come of age a little before 1814. This chronology is just about right for her to have been one of the elder daughterís of John Barrow, who himself married about 1770. "Celah" Davis made a will in Beaufort on 14 Feb.1831, proven May 1831 (B:92). She had four children: Benjamin Davis (estate administered 1830), John Griffin Davis (estate administered 1843), Jerusha wife of Warren Seiley, and Elizabeth Tuten.

While the above discoveries do not prove anything definite, they do provide some additional support to our identification of John Barrow. On reviewing our notes and looking for other alternatives I think we can be quite secure in the identity and lineage of your Barrows. I do wish however that we had some better clues to the family name of Johnís wife.

The account for the present notes is as follows:

      1 hour research 8.00
      Balance due $8.00

Yours sincerely,

/s/ Jonathan B. Butcher
Jonathan B. Butcher

==============

Letter 3

P. O. Box 531
Cary, N.C. 27811
11 January, 1989

Mrs. Louneal Guinn
1001 South 7th Avenue
Lanett, Alabama 36863

Dear Mrs. Guinn,

I have continued my attempts to identify Jemima, wife of John Barrow Jr. (which would further prove his identity as the man in Georgia), but have not yet met with any success. The Barrows were a prominent family, and we would certainly expect that Jemima might come from an equally prominent family; which could make it easier to identify her. On the other hand, wealthier families were more likely to marry out of the local area, and it is possible that John may have married in Virginia or in some North Carolina county fairly distant from Beaufort. However, our major problem is probably the loss of many Beaufort Co. records of this period.

The Barrowsí seat was on the west side of Matchepungo, near the Hyde Co. line. I rechecked, but did not find John and wife in the deeds and wills of nearby Hyde, Craven and Tyrrell Counties. Note that until 1804 daughters were not legal coheirs to an intestate fatherís lands in North Carolina (unless there were no sons), so it is quite likely that Jemima would not have inherited land. One note should be made regarding the evidence in the Beaufort deeds. A deed is indexed in Dec. 1804 from William Redditt to John Barrow as Bk. 4, p. 400. This is not in the regular deed book 4, which covers a period some years earlier. However, in the 1800-1810 decade many Beaufort deeds were recorded in a separate series that seems to be referred to as "Patent Records." Books 1-3 of this series, but not 4, are available at the Archives on microfilm. Perhaps this volume could be located at the Beaufort courthouse, and it would certainly be of interest to check this record to make sure that it does not represent a gift to John from his father-in-law or similar record.

Possibly some ciues to Johnís wifeís identity are provided by the given names of his children. Of his elder children, the names George and Celia might be derived from the wifeís family, although John did have a cousin named George Barrow (of Hyde Co.). The name of the younger son, Warren, may also be a clue. However, my past investigations of the Warrens in this area have not turned up any Barrow intermarriages. There was a Henry Warren who lived on Matchepungo, on the Hyde side, and who was a neighbor of Williams Barrow Sr. He made a will on 15 Feb. 1716, and left a son Abraham and daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Ann, all likely born after 1705. Abraham moved to Craven, where he clearly left sons, but no probate record, but I have not learned the identities of the husbands of Henry Warrenís daughters. Possibly one of these was the mother of Jemima Barrow, thus bringing the Warren name into the family. If so, this would suggest that Jemimaís parents are indeed to be sought in the Beaufort and Hyde area.

Some other clues to Johnís wifeís identity may be provided by the names of his associates in Beaufort. We note from the deeds that those with whom he was involved in land transactions, or called upon as deed witnesses, included members of the Boyd, Ormond, Latham, Maguire, Willis, Boutwell, Redditt, Respass, Squires and Kelley families. In addition we know that his sisters married into the Jarmon, Thompson, McSwain, Ormond, Boyd, Latham, Archable, Lanier, Smaw, Winfield and Jordan families. These families are found in Beaufort and/or Hyde. In Beaufort we encounter a problem trying to investigate these, because many of the estates records prior to 1800 are lost. Thus if Jemimaís father did not leave a will it may be hard to identify her, and a number of these families did not leave wills. (For instance, all the early Beaufort Ormonds seem to have died intestate). Another problem is that few published genealogies of these families are available. Some account, rather incomplete, of the Respess and Smaw families, who intermarried, is given in H. L. Robertson, Colonial Roots. My past studies of the Willis family have not revealed a Barrow connection.

I examined Beaufort and Hyde wills for these surnames, without finding Jemima, including: John Jordan (1774), Samuel Boutwell (1779), Mary Swaw (1782), Thomas Boyd (1785), Nathan Archbell (1790), Tulley Kelley (1795), Henry Smaw (1795), Custis Kelley (1797), Thomas Respess (1799), Nathan Archbell (1803), Jurdan Squires (1904), John Archbell Sr. (1805) and William Boyd (1809). The will of Samuel Boutwell, 19 Aug 1779, may be of some interest. He names his deceased daughter Myriam Barrow and her children Ann, Sarah and Rebeckah (not identified). Another daughter was Jemima Floyd. This is about the only other Jemima I encountered. Samuelís other heirs were daughters Rebecka Smith and Abigail Owens, and grandchildren Samuel and Isaac Chauncey.

While early Beaufort estates papers are not well preserved, I did check these for the Boyd and Ormond families, while in Hyde I checked Ormond, Jordan, Latham and McSwain estates. The Ormonds were of particular interest to me, as they were closely associated with the Barrows, but the early members of the family did not leave wills; and I have not identified their daughters. There are however supposed to be early Bible records of this family extant somewhere. The Beaufort Co. family begins with Wyriott Ormond of Bath, who arrived by 1735 and died intestate in 1757. J. Barrow was a purchaser at the sale of his estate. He left sons Wyriott Jr., Roger and Henry. Roger Ormond married Mary Barrow. Henry Ormondís estate was administered in Beaufort in 1801. Purchasers at the sale of his estate included John Barrow Esqr., John Barrow, George Barrow and Thomas Barrow ‚ likely our John, his two elder sons, and a brother.

In Hyde Co. some birth records of families on Matchepungo in the 1750-1770 period are found in the deed books and have been printed in Hyde Remembers. These do not show our direct line, or anyone named Jemima, but do include the family of John Jr.ís sister Elizabeth who married Edward McSwain. In the Hyde estate papers we find that on 31 Aug. 1775 Col. John Barrow relinquished his right of administration on the estate of his deceased daughter Elizabeth McSwain to John Barrow Jr., "her Brother of the Whole Blood."

One way we might identify Johnís wife given the lack of estate papers might be through a court case over her inheritance. Unfortunately, the court records for Beaufort are also poorly preserved. In the 1770-1800 period we have trial and appearance dockets only for Dec. 1794-Dec. 1796. These revealed only two cases referring to our John (by this time called John Sr.), as in Sep. 1796 he was suing Richard Girkin and Enock Garret, apparently for debts. We also find a John Barrow Jr. (our Johnís elder son?) in Sept. 1795 suing Isaac Waters for slander, with Shadrick Garret called as a witness

Until 1806 Superior jurisdiction over Beaufort Co. was vested in New Bern District Superior Court, records of which are pretty well preserved. I checked trial and appearance dockets there for 1771-1797 (gap 1780-1786), but did not find any cases involving John. It might however be advisable to check through the collection of New Bern district court estates papers for records of Beaufort families. (This would be a random search that would require luck to produce any useful result. However, it would be easier than looking through the Beaufort estates at random, merely because all these records are prior to 1806, and thus in the correct time period for us. Most of the surviving Beaufort estates papers are from a date too late for our purposes). I did note Barrow references in the 1787 estate of John Adams of Beaufort Co. in New Bern District Superior Court. These include a brief deposition made by John Barrow, Esq., at Bath on 24 May 1794, but refer primarily to the family of George Barrow of Hyde Co., whose daughter Elizabeth married John Adams. (George was son of William Jr. and a first cousin of our John Barrow).

These records suggest another possibility for providing further confirmation of our Johnís move to Georgia. That is, if you have obtained a copy of Johnís original will there we can compare the signature to that on some of these North Carolina documents.

Finally, as to the Treasurer & Comptrollerís Papers, these do provide some lists of marriage bond fees, but only for the 1780ís. No such records are known for Beaufort, while in Hyde we have a list for 1789 only.

The account for the present notes is as follows:

      6 hours research 48.00
      Balance due $48.00

Yours sincerely,
/s/ Jonathan B. Butcher
Jonathan B. Butcher

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