Finding Aid of the Barbee Family Papers, PC.2047

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Finding Aid of the Barbee Family Papers, PC.2047

Abstract

Christopher Barbee (b. 1792) of Chatham County married Jane Shepherd ca. 1814. Their eight children included William A. Barbee, who would later serve as a Confederate soldier. Various Barbee family members and descendants were Chatham County landowners and farmers, and some were involved in businesses such as a sawmill operation. Many owned land in and settled in adjacent counties; and a few family members moved west. One, Walter Jackson Barbee (b. 1886), moved to Virginia and served during World War II. The family papers include land and estate records, accounts, legal documents, agreements, slave bills of sale; personal and business correspondence, miscellaneous materials and writings, some photographs and postcards (20th century).

Descriptive Summary

Title
Barbee Family Papers
Call Number
PC.2047
Creator
Barbee family
Date
1785-1924
Extent
2.00 Archive Boxes, 4.00 boxes, 2.00 flat oversize boxes
Language
English
Repository
State Archives of North Carolina

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.2047, Barbee Family Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

These are the papers of the Barbee family of Chatham County. The greater part of the collection contains papers related to William A. Barbee and his immediate family members. The earliest documents, beginning in 1785, are land records from Chatham County. William A. Barbee served as executor to several estates including his father, Christopher Barbee and uncle, Mordecai Barbee. These records as well as legal documents from various Barbee family members are a large part of the collection. Of particular interest are slave bills of sale (5) most of which belong to Christopher Barbee (father of William A.).

The greater part of the Barbee letters are Civil War era from William A. Barbee to his wife, Eliza and Thomas C. Barbee (son of William A.) to his family back home in Chatham County. Both men detail life experiences in camp and being away from home for an extended period of time. Other letters are from family members living in Arkansas and Mississippi. These letters primarily discuss family matters and farming. There are nine account ledger books some of which belong to William A. Barbee and seem to record business activities in regard to the sale of building materials. It is plausible Mr. Barbee owned a building supply business considering an agreement in the collection between the State of North Carolina and W.A. Barbee and R. D. Sears to build a dam, sawmill, and cotton gin on Panther Creek in Chatham County in 1867. A few papers belonging to Rufus Barbee, son of William A., document him as a student at the Ruffin Badge Institute, a school located in Chatham County from 1869-1872.

Additionally, there are writings some of which are musings, copied plays, and poems by an unknown author with an unknown date. Miscellaneous items include a Confederate ten dollar bill, receipts for Confederate bonds, and a portion of a document from the Confederate War Department granting permission to visit North Carolina. Also included is a linen cap worn by Patsy Beavers Barbee as a baby.

A smaller part of the collection are papers from Walter Jackson Barbee, a later heir of William A. Barbee. His papers included writings, correspondence, both personal and business, and photographs. The greater part of his personal letters are from his mother, Patsy Barbee. The majority of his correspondence pertains to his Army career serving in France during World War I and his later stay at the U.S. Veteran's Hospital in Oteen, North Carolina, 1921-1924. Photographs document him and unknown family members, his squadron, and pictures of the Veteran's hospital. There is a small collection of postcards from around the country written to him while he was hospitalized. Additionally there is a small collection of poems and musings written on small pieces of paper.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged into the following four series: Land, Estate and Court Records; Family Correspondence and Papers; Ledgers and Account Books; and Walter J. Barbee Correspondence and Papers. These series are further divided into subseries. The files within the series or subseries are arranged by topic, based on the type of material and chronologically therein. Oversized materials are also listed separately at the end of the finding aid. In general, there is a chronological arrangement within established series.

Biographical and Historical No

Christopher Barbee Christopher Barbee was born in Chatham County in 1792, to Christopher and Dicey Hopson Barbee. His mother was pregnant with him when his father died. Accordingly, the elder Christopher stated in his will that if his wife had a male child, he would later inherit his land. The elder Christopher presumably owned a sizable farm in Chatham County considering that in 1840 he worked about 15 slaves and 16 other agriculture employees. After his marriage to Jane (Jeaney) Shepherd in January 1814, he and his wife continued to live in Chatham County. They had eight children. Christopher Barbee died in 1860. Interestingly, a cousin (son of his father's brother), also named Christopher (known as Old Kit) donated much of the land to the state of North Carolina for the building of the University of North Carolina. William A. Barbee William A Barbee was born in Chatham County in 1816, to Christopher and Jeaney (Shepherd) Barbee. He married Eliza Harward (1814-1887), also of Chatham County. William A. Barbee was a farmer in Chatham County prior to enlisting in the Confederate Army at age 48. He was elected 1st Lieutenant for the 6th Regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, Company E in 1864. Among the duties of the Regiment in which he served was guarding the Salisbury Prison, a Confederate prison camp, and hunting deserters.William A. married his second wife, Patsy Beavers (1853-1814) in 1889. An obituary from the , March 25, 1908 credits Mr. Barbee with assisting in furnishing material for the State Capital Building in Raleigh. He is buried in the Mount Pisgah Church cemetery in Chatham County.William A. and Eliza had a family of four sons and four daughters. William Thomas Clingman (1837-1903), married Rebecca Trice. Henry B (1839-1862) died in Virginia while serving in the Civil War. Rufus Haywood (1841-1921) was married twice (2nd time Emily Burgess). Margaret Ann (1849-1924) married Joseph Scott. The eldest sons, Thomas C. and Henry H, and Rufus H, served in the 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry. Little is known about Cornelia (b.1844), Frances, William (b. 1853) and Milly (b. 1855) except that they all died in 1907. William Thomas Clingman Barbee William Thomas Clingman Barbee was born in Chatham County in 1837, to William A. and Eliza Barbee. Thomas C. enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 28, 1861 at the age of 24 and was a member of the 6th Regiment North Carolina Infantry, Company I, also known as the Cedar Fork Rifles. He was wounded at Gaines' Mill, Virginia in 1862 and later was promoted to corporal on August 1, 1863. He surrendered with his unit at Appomattox. He later married Rebecca Trice in 1867 and had nine children. He died in Durham County in 1907. Rufus H. Barbee Rufus Haywood Barbee was born in Chatham County in 1841, to William A. and Eliza Barbee. Rufus Haywood enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 28, 1861 at the age of 19 and was a member of the 6th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company I, also known as the Cedar Fork Rifles. He was wounded at Seven Pines, Virginia in 1862. Rufus H. was first captured in Maryland in September 1862 and later transferred to Virginia for exchange. He was first promoted to corporal and laters to sergeant. He was captured twice more, the second time in the hospital in Richmond, Virginia in 1865, but was later released. Rufus Barbee was married twice. His second wife was Emily B. Burgess, and they had one daughter, Lydia Barbee. They lived in Cary, Wake County. Rufus Haywood died in Wake County in 1921. Walter Jackson Barbee Walter Jackson Barbee was born in Chatham County in 1886 to Patsy (Beavers) Barbee and William A. Barbee. He worked as a carpenter in Virginia until 1918 when he enlisted as a Private the Army. He would rise to the rank of Sergeant in the 483rd Aero Squadron stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia. Walter Jackson served in France during WWI. He was discharged, February 26, 1919 and received his Victory Medal in 1920. In 1921 he was admitted to the U.S. Veteran's Hospital in Oteen, North Carolina where he was treated for pulmonary tuberculosis. He remained hospitalized until 1924. He married Virginia Burnett from Virginia in 1907. They lived in both Virginia and Durham, North Carolina. The couple had four children. Mr. Barbee died in Sandston, Virginia in 1968. Sources: U.S. Census of 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 North Carolina; Marriage Collection, 1741-2004; North Carolina Death Certificates, ; North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster; A Study of the Barbee Families of Chatham, Orange and Wake Counties in North Carolina, Compiled by Ruth Herndon Shields, Belle Lewler West, Kathryn C. Stone [found in the North Carolina Genealogy Library ]; Charlotte Observer, 25 March 1908; Bibliographical information found within papers. For more information on the history of the Cedar Fork Rifles and a picture of Private William Thomas C. Barbee visit the Morrisville Civil War Battlefield Preservation website.

Contents of the Collection

1. Land, Estate, and Court Records,1785-1889

Scope and Content:

Consists of indentures, deeds and plats, miscellaneous land records, slave bills of sale, estate records, receipts from W.A. Barbee and those estates for which he was executor, and court records for various family members. Miscellaneous land records include plats and several land related agreements, including a construction agreement to build a dam and sawmill. William A. Barbee was the executor for the estate of his father, Christopher Barbee, his uncle Mordecai Barbee, and for Franklin O'Kelly [married to his sister Elizabeth Barbee O'Kelly]. Papers and receipts related to these estates are organized by name. Among the court records are subpoenas, court summons, power of attorney, and a warrant in bankruptcy for Matthew Barbee (brother of William A.).

Land Records,1785-1867, undated

Indentures,1785-1829
Box PC. 2047.1
Indentures,1845-1854
Box PC. 2047.1
Deeds,1818-1821, undated
Box PC. 2047.1
Indenture,1805
Box PC. 2047.4
Indenture,1819
Box PC. 2047.4
Indenture,1823
Box PC. 2047.4
Deed,ca. 1790's
Box PC. 2047.4
Deed,1874
Box PC. 2047.4
Land Plats,1813, undated
Box PC. 2047.1
Plan of the tract of land divided among heirs of Christopher Barbee,1814
Box PC. 2047.1
Agreement between Joseph Sorrell and Elijah Sorrell of Wake County and Christopher Barbee,1838
Box PC. 2047.1
Construction agreement,1855
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipt for the purchase of land,1859
Box PC. 2047.1
Appointment to divide land of Milly Harward and John Carney Harward, Chatham County,1866
Box PC. 2047.1
Agreement to complete a dam and build a sawmill,1867
Box PC. 2047.1
Miscellaneous,undated
Box PC. 2047.2

Estate Records,1828-1889, undated

Estate of Christopher Barbee,1861-1963
Box PC. 2047.1
Slave bills of sale,1828-1857, undated
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts of the Christopher Barbee estate,1830-1859, undated
Box PC. 2047.1
Estate of Franklin O'Kelly [brother-in law to William A. Barbee],1844-1846
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts of the Franklin O'Kelly estate,1843-1846
Box PC. 2047.1
Estate of Mordecai Barbee,1830-1848
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts of the Mordecai Barbee estate,1829-1850
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts of William A. Barbee,1844-1884, undated
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts of Rufus H. Barbee,1865-1889
Box PC. 2047.1
Receipts misc.
Box PC. 2047.1

Court Records,1834-1888

Power of attorney,1834
Box PC. 2047.2
Statement from the Clerk of Court certifying Jones Watson as Justice of the Peace for Orange County,1860
Box PC. 2047.2
Court summons,1848-1866
Box PC. 2047.2
Acknowledgement of deed and Private Examination to be taken by Justice of the Peace,1877
Box PC. 2047.2
Bankruptcy warrant,1867
Box PC. 2047.2
Subpoena for plaintiff,1872
Box PC. 2047.2
Lien bond, R.H. Barbee,1888
Box PC. 2047.2

2. Oversized Materials

Land Records,

Indenture,1805
Box PC. 2047.4
Indenture,1819
Box PC. 2047.4
Indenture,1823
Box PC. 2047.4
Deed,1874
Box PC. 2047.4
Deed,undated
Box PC. 2047.4

Ledger and Account Books,

Accounting records of Franklin O'Kelly,1825
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book,1833
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book,1834
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book for W.A. Barbee,1853
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book,1857
Box PC. 2047.3
Ledger belonging to W.A. Barbee,1859
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book,1860
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book,1872-1873
Box PC. 2047.3
Account book for W.A. Barbee,1884-1895
Box PC. 2047.3

3. Family Correspondence and Papers,1859-1906

Scope and Content:

Correspondence primarily consist of Civil War era letters from the battlefield and are written by William A. Barbee and his son Thomas C. Barbee. One letter is from J.C. Castlebury to his Aunt Eliza Barbee. Mr. Castlebury is the son of Eliza Barbee's sister (Patsy Harward Castlebury). Writings and musings are included. Some are from an unknown source; while others are potentially by Rufus Barbee when he was a student at the Ruffin Badge Institute. Other miscellaneous items include Confederate memorabila such as a Conferate ten dollar bill and a linen cap worn by Miss Patsy Barbee (second wife of William A.) when she was a baby.

Confederate Papers and Family Memorabilia,ca. 1855-1864

Confederate Ten Dollars
Box PC. 2047.2
Confederate States of America War Department, Permission to visit North Carolina,1861
Box PC. 2047.2
Certificate receipts for Confederate bonds,1864
Box PC. 2047.2
Cap worn by Patsy Barbee as a baby, ca. 1855
Box PC. 2047.2

Writings,1860-1869, undated

Writings -- Unknown author,undated
Box PC. 2047.2
Writings by H.B. Barbee,1860
Box PC. 2047.2
Writing from the Ruffin Badger Institute,1869
Box PC. 2047.2
Minutes from a meeting of the Ruffin Badger Institute,1869
Box PC. 2047.2

Correspondence,1859-1906

Correspondence,1859-1860
Box PC. 2047.2
Civil War Letters,1861-1865
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1870-1871
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1881-1886
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1867-1868
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1906
Box PC. 2047.2

4. Ledgers and Account Books,1825-1896

Scope and Content:

There are nine account or ledger books from 1825-1896. While some of the account books belonged to William Barbee, and one belonged to Franklin O'Kellly, the source of several are unknown. Some of the books contain a list of building materials, and others are list of food supplies. Two of the ledgers (1853, 1859) belonging to William Barbee contains several items of interest such as agreements to rent horses, stable, and land. Another item of interest is a letter addressed to "Dear Brothers". Additionally Mr. Barbee's books contain recordings of snow fall, poems, notes from church sermons, a story copied from American Messenger, and a Letter re: Ruffin Badger Institute.

Account Book,1833
Box PC. 2047.3
Accounting Records of Franklin O'Kelly,1825
Box PC. 2047.3
Ledger Belonging to W.A. Barbee,1859
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book,1834
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book for W.A. Barbee,1853
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book,1857
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book,1860
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book,1872-1873
Box PC. 2047.3
Account Book for W.A. Barbee,1884-1895
Box PC. 2047.3

5. Walter J. Barbee Correspondence and Papers,1907-1924

Scope and Content:

The papers of Walter J. Barbee include some personal correspondence; however, bulk of his papers in this box pertain to his service in the Army during WWI and his later stay at the U.S. Veteran's Hospital in Oteen, NC. Many of the items are business papers, notes, and receipts from various military and veteran's offices regarding housing and compensation. There is a number of miscellaneous items including a French railroad pass, ac Christmas dinner menu from Oteen, and writings and musings. Photographs and postcards belonging to Walter J. Barbee are included.

Correspondence,1913-1923, undated

Correspondence,1907-1908
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1913-1918
Box PC. 2047.2
Correspondence,1921-1923
Box PC. 2047.2

Papers,1914-1926, undated

Receipts,1914-1924
Box PC. 2047.2
Military records for Walter Jackson Barbee,1917-1926, 1946
Box PC. 2047.2
Writings by Walter Jackson Barbee,undated
Box PC. 2047.2
Photos,1917-1923, undated
Box PC. 2047.2
Family members,ca. 1920's
Box PC. 2047.2
Army,1917- ca.1920
Box PC. 2047.2
U.S. Veteran's Hospital, Oteen, NC,ca. 1921-1924
Box PC. 2047.2
Postcards,1922-ca. 1924
Box PC. 2047.2

Subject Headings

  • Banks, William
  • Barbee, Christopher
  • Barbee, Eliza
  • Barbee, Henry B.
  • Barbee, Matthew
  • Barbee, Mordecai
  • Barbee, Patsy
  • Barbee, Rufus Haywood
  • Barbee, Sgt. Walter J.
  • Barbee, William Thomas Clingman
  • Castlebury, J.C.
  • O'Kelly, Franklin
  • Barbee, Christopher
  • Christopher, II Barbee
  • William A. Barbee
  • Walter Jackson Barbee
  • Barbee, Mordecai
  • O'Kelly, Franklin
  • Johnson, Polly
  • Johnson, Israel
  • Sorrell, Willis
  • Martha Barbee Sorrell
  • Sorrell, Joseph
  • Amelia Barbee Sorrell
  • Confederate States of America. Army. North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 6th.
  • United States. Army Air Forces. Aero Company, 483rd.
  • Account books
  • Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Courts--North Carolina
  • Estates--North Carolina
  • Military hospitals--North Carolina--Oteen (Asheville, N.C.)
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Administration of estates
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Soldiers
  • Chatham County (N.C.)
  • Durham County (N.C.)
  • Chatham County (N.C.)
  • Wake County (N.C.)
  • Orange County (N.C.)
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Indentures
  • Acquisitions Information

    Purchased in 2012 by funds from the George Stevenson Endowment ( established by the Friends of the Archives).

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Jennifer Davis, North Carolina Geneological Society Intern
  • Finding Aid by Jennifer Davis, North Carolina Geneological Society Intern.