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A Guide to the Papers of the Barnhart Family, 1832-1963 Barnhart Family 11264

A Guide to the Papers of the Barnhart Family, 1832-1963

A Collection in
The Special Collections Department
Accession number 11264


Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110
Phone: (434) 243-1776
Fax: (434) 924-4968
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© 2001 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Department

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Collection number
Papers of the Barnhart Family, 1832-1963
Physical Characteristics
Collection consists of ca. 790 items
This collection of papers consists of ca. 790 items, from 1830 to 1963, pertaining chiefly to the Barnhart family of Augusta County, Virginia; most of the papers deal with George Gray Barnhart, his siblings, and his children. The collection is divided into three areas: Correspondence, Business and Legal, and Topical.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Barnhart family papers, 1832-1963, Accession #11264, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased on November 16, 1998 from the History Broker, Roanoke, Va.

Scope and Content Information

George Gray Barnhart, called "Gray" in the documents, is one of the correspondents of all but three of the letters. Of special interest are the letters to George Gray Barnhart from his son Jennings Dodd Barnhart, also called "Denney," who ran away from home in 1926 at age 15. Jennings' letters, from North Carolina and Cincinnati, where, among other jobs, he worked on a steamship carrying passengers to Coney Island amusement park, chronicle his attempts as a teenager to earn a living from 1926 to 1929; correspondence about Jennings provide additional information concerning his disappearance. Later letters from Jennings Dodd Barnhart tell of his life in the army. Letters to George Gray Barnhart from his daughter, Marjorie Anne (Barnhart) Bradford, include references to her studies in Delaware and at Brevard College, NC; there is also one picture of her from 1935. There is also one letter and a photograph from George Gray Barnhart's other son, Harris George Barnhart. Other family letters to George Gray Barnhart are from siblings Nathaniel Gideon Barnhart, Myrtle Victoria (Barnhart) Beard, Walter Wilson Barnhart, and Frank Melton Barnhart; from his siblings' wives Ruth (McAloney-Hanson) Barnhart and Mabel Olivia (Rudasill) Barnhart; from the siblings of Gray's first wife, Elizabeth F. (Harris) Barnhart, Ollie T. (Harris) Mowry and Frank F. Harris; from aunts "Angie" [Angeline B. Gentry], Patty F. (Gentry) Barger, and Bettie M. (Barnhart) Watts; and from cousin Mattie Craig (Patterson) Border. Other letters to Gray are from Jack Cooley, "Dukie" (sister Laura Ruth Barnhart?), attorney S. D. Timberlake, Mrs. J. O. Paxton, Mr. and Mrs. John W. McAloney, and Mary and Henry.

In the miscellaneous correspondence are letters from Sallie J. Gentry and Miss M. M. Gentry.

Other people mentioned in the correspondence files include Warren Fretwell and Mr. Fretwell (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1917 May 4; Nathaniel Gideon Barnhart, 1924 January 17) [the Franklin Fretwell papers are accession #11296,-a]; Dr. R. A. Lapslay (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1919 June 9).

In the letters to Gray there are references to illnesses and medical conditions: scarlet fever (Nathaniel Gideon Barnhart, 1944 December 19) , measles (Frank Melton Barnhart, 1935 January 2; Mabel Olivia [Rudasill] Barnhart, 1935 January 2; Marjorie Anne [Barnhart] Theron, ca. 1936 June 9), influenza (Jennings Dodd Barnhart, 1929 January 30, 1929 July 11; Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1933 April 3), "Devils grippe" (Ruth [McAloney-Hanson] Barnhart, 1935 July 5), chicken pox (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1933 April 3), diphtheria (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1926 December 18), quarantine (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1933 January 17), boils (Ruth [McAloney-Hanson] Barnhart, 1941 June 28), "cold in the intestines" (Jennings Dodd Barnhart, 1935 August 25). There are references to deaths: Mrs. Palmer, the mother of Gray's second wife, Ola, (1934 March 26); "Marguerite" (Walter Wilson Barnhart, 1933 January 17); Aunt Kate [O. (Gentry) Haden] (Nathaniel Gideon Barnhart, 1924 January 17); Elizabeth F. (Harris) Barnhart ("Angie" [Angeline B. Gentry], 1919 June 10; "Mary and Henry," ; J. W. McAloney, 1919 June 22); Mr. John Western (Marjorie Anne [Barnhart] Theron, ca 1935 August 8).

The Business and Legal papers include two documents mentioning slaves. The first, an appraisement of the estate of G[eorge] Barnhart in the Business Papers of the Barnhart Family, ca. 1850, lists five slaves and their value; the second, a deed dated 1883 March 20, mentions slaves once held by Catherine (Barnhart) Cullen. There are several letters concerning Arbor Hill Farm, run as a partnership by D. D. Royer, who managed the farm, George Gray Barnhart, Walter Wilson Barnhart, and, after the latter's death, Ruth (McAloney-Hanson) Barnhart. There are many documents dealing with George Gray Barnhart's business problems with John H. Berry of Durham, NC, to whom George Gray sold apples; see also a letter from George Gray Barnhart to his brothers Nathaniel Gideon and Frank Melton, 1922 September 28, in which George Gray mentions the sale. Other documents include papers from the Barnhart Brothers, dealing with the orchard business; the bank records of George Gray Barnhart's accounts in the Augusta-Rockingham Bank in Virginia and the Durham Loan & Trust in North Carolina; the business and estate papers of Henry George Barnhart, George Gray Barnhart's father; In addition to papers concerning the Barnhart family, there are also documents of the Gentry and Harris families. The mother of George Gray Barnhart and his siblings was Frances Ann Gentry; George Gray Barnhart's first wife was Elizabeth F. Harris, daughter of John A. Harris. The majority of the rental agreements, surveys, deeds, and indentures (originals and copies) describe property in Augusta County, Virginia. There are also tax records from property in Augusta County.

Among the topical papers are several documents related to a child abuse charge against George Gray Barnhart, accused by his former brother-in-law B. Y. Harris of using excessive force in punishing Marjorie Anne (Barnhart) Theron, George Gray's daughter by his first wife, Elizabeth F. (Harris) Barnhart. There are also several documents related to church matters, including the Methodist Church at New Hope, Virginia. Barnhart property was bought by the National Park Service as part of the route of Skyline Drive; among the documents concerning that sale is a letter from Harry Flood Byrd, dated 1934 November 23. There are papers concerning Randolph-Macon College, Crimora Station and the Crimora-New Hope Road, social cards and invitations, printed matter, and photographs.


Arranged alphabetically by subject under three headings: Correspondence, Business and Legal, and Topical.

Genealogical Information

Family of Frances Ann "Fannie" Gentry, mother of George Gray Barnhart and siblings:
James N. Gentry (father)
Samantha Brown (mother)

Children of James N. Gentry and Samantha (Brown) Gentry:
Angeline B. Gentry
Virginia Lee Firebaugh
Frances Ann Gentry
Patty F. Barger
Kate O. Haden
Gertrude Weller

Family of Henry George Barnhart, father of George Gray Barnhart and siblings:
Gideon Barnhart (father)
Martha Ann Weade (mother)
Siblings of Gideon Barnhart:
Elizabeth (married Thomas Turk)
Catherine (married Absolom Cullen)
John George Barnhart
Children of Gideon Barnhart and Martha Ann (Weade) Barnhart:
Hettie Jane Patterson (married Samuel. Newton Patterson)
Mary Magdalene Borden
Bettie M. Watts (married H. C. Watts)
Henry George Barnhart
Children of Henry George Barnhart and Frances Ann (Gentry) Barnhart:
Walter Wilson Barnhart (married Ruth McAloney-Hanson)
George Gray Barnhart (married Elizabeth F. Harris; married Ola Palmer)
Laura Ruth Barnhart
Myrtle Victoria Barnhart (married A. Dewey Beard)
Nathaniel Gideon Barnhart (married Katherine Ellen Rea)
Frank Melton Barnhart (married Mabel Olivia Rudasill)
Children of George Gray Barnhart and Elizabeth F. (Harris) Barnhart:
Jennings Dodd Barnhart
Marjorie Anne Barnhart (married Theron Bradford)
Harris George Barnhart

Family of John A. Harris:
Children of John A. Harris:
William M. Harris
Everette Harris
Elizabeth F. Barnhart (married George Gray Barnhart)
Frank F. Harris
Ollie T. Mowry (married Lewis P. Mowry)
B. Y. Harris (married "Archie")
Nannie O. Humbert

For further information about the Barnhart family see the following:

Barnhart, Nat G. Barnhart Family History: Augusta County, Virginia, 1767-1967. Staunton, VA: McClure Printing Co., 1967. Special Collections: CS71 .B267

Contents List

Box 1
  • Box 1
    Correspondence about Jennings Dodd Barnhart 1926-1933
  • Box 1
    Correspondence of George Gray, Nathaniel Gideon, and Walter Wilson Barnhart 1909-1944
  • Box 1
    Letters to George Gray Barnhart 1919-1934
  • Box 1
    Letters to George Gray Barnhart from Jennings Dodd Barnhart and Harris George Barnhart 1926-1939
  • Box 1
    Letters to George Gray Barnhart from Marjorie Anne (Barnhart) and Theron Bradford 1935-1949
  • Box 1
    Miscellaneous Correspondence and Papers 1898
Business and Legal
Box 1-2
  • Box 1
    Arbor Hill Farm 1926-1939
  • Box 1
    Bank Records of George Gray Barnhart 1929-1941
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of George Gray Barnhart 1912-1948
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of George Gray Barnhart re John H. Berry 1921-1944
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of Henry George Barnhart 1889-1913
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of the Barnhart Brothers 1916-1927
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of the Barnhart Family 1847-1963
  • Box 1
    Business Papers of the Gentry Family 1860-1889
  • Box 1
    Deeds and Indentures 1832-1934
    2 folders
  • Box 2
    Estate of Henry George Barnhart 1922-1931
  • Box 2
    Estate of John A. Harris 1907(1935-1939)
  • Box 2
    Insurance Papers of George Gray Barnhart 1920-1947
  • Box 2
    Legal Papers of the Gentry Family (1869-1912)1942
  • Box 2
    Rental Agreements ca. 1916-1927
  • Box 2
    Surveys 1879-1914
  • Box 2
    Taxes 1933-1951
Box 2
  • Box 2
    Child Abuse 1927-1929
  • Box 2
    Church related 1870-1946,n.d.
  • Box 2
    Crimora Station and the Crimora-New Hope Road 1898-1926
  • Box 2
    Photographs n.d.
  • Box 2
    Printed 1886-1948
  • Box 2
    Randolph-Macon College 1906-1926
  • Box 2
    Skyline Drive 1934-1935
  • Box 2
    Social Cards and Invitations 1884-1948
  • Box 2
    Virginia Conservation Commission/Virginia Forest Service 1934-1945