Barrow Ancestry – Fifth Report

Jonathan B. Butcher, June 1989

Contributed by Frank Barrow; typed by Betty Wall; adapted for web presentation by Elizabeth Ross. Aug. 2005.

Jonathan B. Butcher, 6/1989In your request of 10 March you inquired about the relationships of a number of other Barrows to our line. It turns out that all of these were apparently cousins of one degree or another. To understand the relationships, we need to get into the families of William and Thomas Barrow. However, before doing so I will first discuss a few miscellaneous items.

First, as you point out, it would appear that there may have been a close association between the Green Co. Barrows and the Faircloth family. Quite possibly some of the Barrows married into this family. Unfortunately, I have not been able to prove this, due to the loss of Greene records. There is evidence that William Faircloth left a will, which does not now survive, as in New Bern District Superior Court estates we find record of a lawsuit in 1800 between Mary Faircloth, executrix of William Faircloth of Greene Co., against James Glasgow. Witnesses summoned were Burwell Mooring and Sarah Faircloth. I could not locate any published accounts of this family. You also noted the association with the Vasser family. As we will see below, the Vassers occur in connection with the William Barrow family in Halifax Co. as well as in connection with the Barrows in Dobbs Co. I believe the Vassers and Barrows had been acquainted since living in Virginia.

Attempting to gain more information on Simon Barrow during his residence in Northampton Co., N. C. (ca. 1752-ca. 1765) is a good idea, but does not avail us much.

The reason is that many of the earliest Northampton records have been lost, and what survives is primarily the deed and will books. No court minutes from this period are extant.

It also seemed advisable to look a little further into New Bern District Superior Court records. I should first note that for the last report I searched the New Bern Law and Equity Dockets for 1780-86 (DSCR 206.314.1-2), without result, but omitted this from my report. I then continued examination of the Appearance Dockets for Nov. 1790 through Jan. 1802. This turned up very little. I did find that in September 1792 Sherod Barrow was bail for Benja. Shepperd of Glasgow Co. in two lawsuits brought by John Martin. In July 1801 we find a case "Jacob Smith vs. James Barrow. T.A.B.….Dismissed at Defts. Costs…", but a county is not indicated.

Now, to the Tennessee records. A map of Tennessee in 1800 is enclosed, which gives a good perspective on the early situation there. Land in Middle Tennessee was largely grant in the form of bounty land warrants, due for Revolutionary service in the North Carolina Continental Line, the early grants being issued by the State of North Carolina. This area (originally separated from East Tennessee by Indian Lands) was thus largely settled by North Carolinians. However, in many cases those who took up the land were not themselves the Revolutionary soldiers, but rather their assignees.

Examination of the grants in the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office shows a large number of Barrows obtaining grants in the Sumner, Davidson and Wilson Co. area. Most of these were obtained at about the same time by assignment from the heirs of Revolutionary soldiers, and the grantees primarily included members of the Simon Barrow family. It looks as though these related Barrows had hired the services of an agent (Uzzell Goodson?) to locate and obtain these warrants fro them. Some of the Barrows settled on this land, others remained in North Carolina and sold their speculations. We also find members of the William Barrow family briefly in the same area. Many of the early records of Sumner and Wilson counties are available in published abstract, and provide further information on the family. However, few of the Davidson Co. records have been abstracted, and there is likely further information on the family to be obtained there.

Only one of the grants was actually for Revolutionary service by a Barrow. This is Sumner Co. grant #807. A warrant for 357 acres was issued on 13 Dec. 1787 to James Barrow, drummer in the North Carolina Line. On 29 March 1788 this warrant was assigned by James Barrow of Edgecombe Co. to Elias Fort, Esq., with Amos Johnston witness, and the land was surveyed for Fort on 15 Dec. 1791. As we will see below, this was the James Barrow later in Burke and Baldwin Co., Ga.

You mentioned Willie Barrow, and we do indeed find Willie moving to this area. However, he himself apparently did not obtain a warrant for service. The Revolutionary soldier with a similar name who did obtain a warrant was Willey Burrough of Caswell Co. My research suggests that the Barrow and Burrough families were distinct, although sometimes confused. (Note that Mrs. North reported many records of the Burow family as Barrow). The warrant for this land (Sumner Co. #1213, see Photostat) was issued to "Wiley Borough" on 18 Nov. 1784. The reverse of the warrant shows that Willey Burrough of Caswell Co., so signing his name, assigned the entry to Nicholas Matlock on 3 May 1785 (witnessed by Henry Burrow, William Matlock).

We then find the following military grants (and one non-military grant) issued for land in Tennessee by the State of North Carolina to members of the Barrow family:

Sumner # 304: Warrant to heirs of Barnett Purvis, 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned by Joel Purvis to Sherrard Barrow, 10 Oct. 1785, witnessed by Uzzel Goodson. Surveyed 3 Dec. 1790 for 640 acres on waters of Collins River, beginning at a corner of a survey made for the heirs of William Howell (chain carriers names not given). Issued to Sherrard Barrow 20 April 1791.

Sumner # 305: Warrant to heirs of Joel Stone 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to James Barrow by Peter Stone 15 Nov. 1785, witnessed by Uzzell Goodson. Surveyed 3 Dec. 1790 for 640 acres east side of Jennings Fork of Round Lock Creek, beginning at a sugar tree John Buchanan’s northeast corner and running north (chain carriers not given). Issued to James 20 April 1791.

Sumner # 306: Warrant to heirs of Ishum Parker, 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Betsey Barrow by Peter Parker, 10 Nov. 1785, witnessed by Uzzel Goodson. Surveyed 3 Dec. 1790 for 640 acres east side of Jennings fork of Round Lick Creek, beginning at a sugar tree John Buchanan’s northeast corner and running south (chain carriers not given). Issued to Betsey 20 April 1791.

Sumner #307: Warrant to heirs of James Underwood 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Matthew Barrow by Hardy Underwood, 20 Oct. 1785, witnessed by Sherrard Barrow. Surveyed 3 Dec. 1790 for 640 acres west side of Jennings Fork of Round Lick Creek (chain carriers not given). Issued to Matthew Barrow 20 April 1791.

Sumner #890: Warrant to heirs of Chester Hickenson 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Sherrard Barrow by John Hickenson, ___ 1785, witnessed by Uzzell Goodson. Surveyed 10 Dec. 1792 for 640 acres on the Creek that Joseph Thomas was killed on (chain carriers Mich. Barrow, W. Barrow). Issued to Sherrod Barrow 20 Jan. 1794.

Sumner # 891: Warrant to heirs of Freeman Joiner 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Sherrard Barrow by Isaac Joiner, 4 Oct. 1785, witnessed by Uzzell Goodson. Surveyed 16 Sept. 1791 for 640 acres east side of Caney Fork above Indian Creek (chain carriers Obediah Roberts, James Mulherrin). Issued to Sherrod Barrow 20 Jan. 1794.

Sumner #901: Warrant to heirs of Charles Wiggins, 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Henry Barrow by John Wiggins, 25 Oct. 1785, witnessed by Ishum Parker. Surveyed 11 Nov. 1792 for 640 acres Buffalo Creek (chain carriers Wilie Barrow, Mich. Barrow). Issued to Henry Barrow 31 Dec. 1793.

Sumner #902: Warant to heirs of Feston Hammond 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to James Barrow by Joseph Hammons, 0 Nov. 1785, witnessed by John (X) Hart. Surveyed 16 Sept. 1791 for 640 acres on a small east fork of Smiths Fork of the Caney Fork (chain carriers Obediah Roberts, James Mulherrin). Issued to James Barrow 31 Dec. 1793.

Davidson # 1439 (non-military): Entered 5 April 1784 by Samuel More, who assigned to John Barrow (no date). Surveyed for John Barrow 10 July 1785 for 320 acres on north side of Cumberland River (chain carriers Elijah Flanry, John Hagard). Issued to John Barrow 10 July 1788.

Davidson #1637: Warrant to heirs of Charles Hansel 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Sherrard Barrow by John Hansell, 18 Oct. 1785, witnessed by Uzzell Goodson. Surveyed 20 Dec. 1790 for 640 acres south side of Cumberland River and Big Harpath Creek (chain carriers James Crier, John Gatlin). Issued to Sherrod Barrow 20 april 1791.

Davidson # 1638: Warrant to heirs of John Pursley 30 Sept. 1785. Assigned to Henry Barrow by James Purseley (no date), witnessed by Sherd. Barrow. Surveyed (no date) for 640 acres south side of Cumberland River joining Capt. Clement Hall (chain carriers James Hollis, John Drake). Issued to Henry Barrow 20 April 1791.

The John Barrow in Davison may be a stray who arrived earlier and separately. However, all the other grantees seem to have been a related group. This suggests a possible identification from some additional, younger sons of Simon Barrow. Of particular interest may be the Betsy Barrow who obtained a grant on Jennings Fork of Round Lick Creek, joining a grant to James Barrow and opposite a grant to Matthew Barrow. I wonder if Betsy might have been the second wife and widow of Simon Barrow? I note that the 1790 Census of Dobbs shows Harold Barrow with a household of 2 white males over 16, 3 under 16 and 4 white females. These numbers may well have included several younger siblings. Another possibility is that she could be the widow of an elder son of Simon, such as Thomas Barrow. All this is just speculation at present, but perhaps some further answers might be forthcoming from the Davidson Co. records which I have not been able to examine.

At present, the known and guessed sons (and also grandsons?) of Simon Barrow would appear to have been:

I will now consider the problem of th identification of some of the cousins of this family. We know that Thomas (II) Barrow was likely born about 1677/79, was in Isle of Wight Co. by 1712 and left a will in Southampton Co., Va. Dated 26 November 1761. This will names living sons John and Simon, and deceased son Thomas (III) Jr. We know that there was also a William Barrow who moved from the same area of Virginia to Halifax Co., N.C. and died in 1758 (some discussion of his family appears in J. B. Boddie’s Historical Southern Families, vol. II, see Photostats enclosed). Now, it is evident that this William was very closely related to the family of Thomas (II) Barrow, and is found associated with Thomas (III) in the early Edgecombe records, yet no record has been found to prove his parentage, either in North Carolina or Virginia records. One possibility is that William was a nephew of Thomas (II) Barrow, and perhaps son of Edward Barrow; another possibility is that William was born ca 1685 and the youngest brother of Thomas (II). However, we also note that William died in North Carolina several years before the decease of Thomas (II), leaving his family well provided for. It thus seems at least possible that this William was an elder son of Thomas (II), but omitted from the will. In this case, the sons of Thomas (II) would have been:

We will now take up the identification of the immediate descendants of William, John and Thomas (III) Barrow.

William Barrow was probably born around 1700/05. He moved to the area of Halifax Co., N.C., created from Edgecombe, and first appears in the Edgecombe deeds on 28 Dec. 1747, when Davie Hopper of Edgecombe sold to William Barrow of the same 640 acres on the north side of Kehukee Swamp, joining Merrit, Killingsworth and Cypress Swamp (3:206, witnessed by Nathaniel Cooper, Robert Whitaker & John Whitaker). On 24 Jan. 1750 William Merritt sold to William Barrow 100 acres on the north side of Kehukey Swamp (4:32, witnessed by John Whiatker, Gough Whiataker & Samuel (x) Bunn). William may then have moved briefly back to Virginia, for we find that on 12 Oct. 1751 William Barrow of Southampton Co., Va. Sold to Arthur Crocker 200 acres on the east side of Fishing Creek, joining Cotton, Robert Killebrew and John Watts (4:138, witnessed by Moses Fitzpatrick, Thomas Barrow, Mary (M) Barrow). William was however soon back in Edgecombe, and on 17 Aug. 1752 William Barrow of Edgecombe sold 320 acres joining Killingsworth and Kehukee Swamp to William John (2:333, witnessed by John Whitaker & Joel (E) Vassor). He purchased another 200 acres there from John Stinson on 22 Jan. 1753 (4:428), witnessed by Isabell Bynam and Joel Vassor).

William made a will in Edgecombe on 20 October 1758, proven December 1758, naming two children only. His widow was apparently the Priscilla Barrow who had made a marriage contract with Elias Fort on 19 October 1759 (1:196). Issue:

John Barrow was probably born ca. 1710. He remained in Southampton Co., Virginia, where he made a will on 29 July 1776, proven 9 January 1777. This names his son John and Benjamin Turner executors; witnesses were John Blake, Henry Stephenson and Lucy Stephenson. John left the following children

Thomas (III) Barrow was probably born ca. 1710/20. He first moved to Edgecombe County, North Carolina, where we find that on 27 Dec. 1748 James and Sarah Cotton sold to Thomas Barrow of Isle of Wight Co., Virginia 320 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek, joining Arthur Crocker (3:328, witnessed by Jacob Lasher, John Brickell & George Stephenson). On 15 May 1750 James Smith of Terrill County sold to Thomas Barrow of Edgecombe 400 acres on fishing Creek joining William Barrow, John Wall and George Stevenson (3:476, witnessed by Samuel Ruffin, William Barrow and Moses Fitzpatrick).

Thomas was apparently married twice, the first wife being Mary and the second Elizabeth (Atkinson). On 4 March 1751 Thomas Barrow and wife Mary of Edgecombe sold the 400 acre tract on Fishing Creek to Robert Killibrew of Virginian (4:35, witnessed by Henry Horn, Elias (E) Fort & William Barrow). On 30 November 1754 John Edwards of Southampton County, Virginia sold to Thomas Barrow of Edgecombe 250 acres on Jumping Meadow (2:183), witnessed by John Wall, Thomas English and Jesse Harris).

Thomas’ property fell into Halifax County in 1759, and he sold out his property there in 1760. First, on 21 May 1760 he sold to John Alsbrook 214 acres on the north side of Cow Hall Swamp, being a patent to said Thomas (7:81, witnessed by Elms Henley, Reuben Hay & John (X) Killebrew). Later in 1760 (date not shown) he sold the 250 acres on Jumping Run to Daniel Triplet (7:154), and Halifax sold to Benjamin Dicken of Caroline County, Virginia 320 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek (7:193, witnessed by John May and Robert Lowrey).

After these sales Thomas moved to Onslow County, where on 30 January 1761 Lewis Williams sold to Thomas Barrow for 220 pounds 300 acres on the southwest branch of New river (F:19, witnessed by Moses Cox Jr., John Roberts & Ferybe (Pryde) Williams). Thomas must have died soon after, as he made a will in Onslow County on 24 January 1761 (date of probate not shown). He left a widow Elizabeth and the following children:


* The late Jonathan Butcher was a highly respected professional genealogist in North Carolina through the 1980s. Members of the PCFR who have benefitted from his research are offering their various reports for public view. The PCFR wishes to honor Mr. Butcher, and to extend gratitude to the generous contributors.


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