Theories Relating to the Parentage


Reuben Barrett (b. 1755 in VA)

There are several theories out there. I am unsure as to which one I will hang onto for sure, but I am tending to lean to a William. Here it is three years since writing this theory, and I still tend to lean toward a William being Reubenís father. Time and again families report oral tradition citing a William as Reubenís father. BUT, not one of us have proof.

Many researchers claim that Arthur Barrett & Lydia Chambers are Reuben's grandparents. Many researchers say that they are not their grandparents. I'm not quite ready to rule them out completely - particularly in light of the names of their children! However, after having done more research on the family of Arthur & Lydia - it is apparent that Reuben, if anything, is likely a great-grandchild, or even great-great-grandchild. At present (2/98), I still believe that there is a connection between Arthur & Lydia and our Reuben.

Children of Arthur BARRETT

1 Arthur BARRETT b: 1666 in England src: Joyce Johnson Cross, 619 N. Bryan, Little Rock, AR 72205 d: March 20, 1744/45 in Frederick Co., VA src: Buried Hopewell Friends Cemetery

. +Lydia CHAMBERS b: 1685 in England d: in Winchester, Frederick Co., VA m: June 13, 1705 in MD src: Maryland Marriages 1634-1777, p. 10 Father: John CHAMBERS Mother: Elizabeth AUSTWICK

. 2 John BARRETT b: October 23, 1707 in Chester Co., PA d: December 6, 1763 in Frederick Co., VA

...... +Mary PUGH m: October 11, 1735 in East Nottingham MM, Chester Co., PA Father: John PUGH Mother: Jane UNKNOWN

. 2 Arthur BARRETT b: November 17, 1709 in Chester Co., PA d: March 1742/43 in Chester Co., PA

...... +Hannah BROWN m: December 17, 1734 in MD src: Maryland Marriages 1634-1777, p. 10 Father: Messer BROWN Mother: Jane UNKNOWN

. 2 Thomas BARRETT b: January 16, 1711/12 in E. Nottingham, Chester Co., PA d: February 19, 1782 in Chester Co., PA

...... +Hannah OLDHAM b: ABT 1721 d: July 12, 1806 m: November 29, 1739 in MD src: Maryland Marriages 1634-1777, p. 10 Father: Thomas OLDHAM Mother: Susanna FEW

. 2 William BARRETT b: February 15, 1712/13 in Chester Co., PA d: Bef October 5, 1791 in Frederick Co., VA

...... +Lydia UNKNOWN

. 2 Richard BARRETT b: October 20, 1717 in Chester Co., PA

...... +Mary EAVENSON b: November 2, 1721 in Chester Co., PA m: 1747 in Chester Co., PA src: History of Chester Co., PA, p. 527 Father: Richard EAVENSON Mother: Jemima NEWLIN

. 2 James BARRETT b: January 10, 1720/21 in Chester Co., PA d: 1782 in Frederick Co., VA src: Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632 - 1800, by Clayton Torrence

...... +Sarah UNKNOWN

. 2 Joseph BARRETT b: May 10, 1723 in Chester Co., PA

. 2 Benjamin BARRETT b: May 14, 1726 in Chester Co., PA d: August 4, 1778 in Frederick Co., VA src: Hopewell MM, Enc of American Quaker Gene, p. 362

...... +Eleanor ROGERS b: ABT 1728 src: LDS Ancestral Files m: August 6, 1749 in Chester Co., PA Father: John ROGERS Mother: Ellen PUGH

. 2 Jacob BARRETT b: April 1, 1730

These are names that are repeated generation after generation in our Barrett line.

Some of the researchers who dismiss the Arthur & Lydia theory do so on the grounds that they were Quaker and Reuben was decidedly NOT! He was, however, present at many Quaker functions (weddings, funerals, etc.) in SC. They also reject this theory because Reuben owned slaves, drank and fought in the Rev. War., and was a founding member of the Tyger Baptist Church. HOWEVER, my personal leanings do not so easily dismiss this connection - they were in the generally right places at the generally right times.

Biologically speaking, William, son of Arthur & Lydia is of an acceptable age range to have fathered Reuben et al. Joseph, also is a possibility. Some feel more of a possibility than William. Partly because of the fact that Joseph is not listed in his father's will. The predominant theory is because he may have been dead, although there is no evidence to indicate so at present (12/94). Another theory is that Joseph is not listed perhaps because he has rebelled against his parents' religious faith and practices - if this were the case, it would help to account for the fact that Reuben is decidedly not a Quaker, but still present at their social functions. In any case, it would be nice if someone would research Joseph and William further to see if they show up in any of the tax records, etc. for the appropriate time periods.

Other theoretical siblings of Reuben, Nancy and Arthur include (these come from Karen Hett, PO Box 91, Edna, TX 77957):

1. John b. about 1750? He was a member at the Tyger River Baptist Church, and his daughters, Nancy and Betsy were as well.

2. Joseph b. about 1750-57? He witnessed a deed in Spartanburg District in 1778; the land was in Caswell Co., NC and was purchased by Geo Roebuck, Jr. from Thomas Barton. Joseph served in Roebuck's regiment before and after the fall of Charleston and was killed by Tories after the battle of Cowpens in 1781. (Reuben also fought in this battle.) He married Elizabeth Venable, daughter of James Venable, September 1778, and had a son, William who died 1810 in Warren Co., KY.

Another argument in favor of Arthur & Lydia being the grandparents of Reuben deals with the religious climate of the day. In Reuben's day, MANY were leaving the Quaker faith. For many of those who were, their grandparents had been early emigrants to America and had come to pursue religious freedom. Their children did not all follow their faith, and fewer still grandchildren embraced the Quaker religion. Many of Reuben's contemporaries used the issue of fighting in the Revolutionary War as a catalyst to break ties with the Quaker movement.

Whatever the case, it would certainly be welcomed if SOMEONE would find the proof for a link to ANY parents for our Reuben. It seems there must be enough of us out there researching to do so.


While researching in the Quaker Room at George Fox College in Newberg, OR, came across a book entitled "Southern Quakers and Slavery" by Stephen B. Weeks, Ph.D. Published by the Johns Hopkins Press 1896.

Pg. 116: "Between 1772 and 1777, six years, there were twenty-nine certificates taken to Bush River Monthly Meeting. Of those fourteen came from Pennsylvania, ten from North Carolina, two from Maryland, two from Virginia."

Also Pg 116: "The list of settlers within the limits of Bush River included persons by the name of . . . from Hopewell, VA there came the families of Ruble, Haworth, Babb, Taylor, Pearson, Jay, Jacob, Bull, Hollingsworth, Buffington, Pugh, BARRETT, Roberts Thompson . . ."

Pg 212: "The great body of Friends did not hesitate when the law allowed emancipation and protected those emancipated. The Yearly Meeting had appointed a committee of visitation in 1779 whose duty it was to visit and labor with those members who declined to emancipate . . . "

Pg. 212: "In 1784 the Upper Quarterly Meeting said: "It appears to be the unanimous sense and judgment of the Yearly Meeting that the monthly meetings should extend further care to their members who hold slaves, as they may apprehend may be necessary and where such endeavours prove ineffectual they may exclude them from the right of membership . . ."

Pg. 213: "In 1786 those Friends who acted as overseers of slaves on plantations were to be treated as possessing slaves and were to be disowned."

Pg. 213: "About 1790 an Abolition Society was formed in Virginia. One of its leaders and its president was Robert Pleasants, whose interesting and noteworthy Letter Book has been mentioned already. This society soon numbered (1791) eighty members, and these were not all Quakers. Methodists are mentioned as being particularly prominent in it, and the absence of Baptists is noted." (Note: Reuben did help to establish a Baptist church - and I have wondered if perhaps his choice of the Baptist church had to do with this very fact - that they were tolerant of slavery.)

Hence, it seems plausible that Reuben could well have been a Quaker early in his life, or perhaps that his father was a Quaker who parted with the faith.

From "Quakers in the South Carolina Backcountry Wateree and Bush River" from the Indiana Quaker Records, 4020 East 34th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46218, published in 1969.

Pg. 4: "Every child born of parents who are Friends, is by descent a Friend."

Pg. 4: "The Quaker community of Bush River was a most interesting one. Small farms, enough and to spare, among all, was its general state. Hard working, healthy, yet an honest, innocent and mirthful, though a staid people, make up altogether an interesting picture. It is true, among them were many hickory, or formal Quakers; now and then some wet, or grog-drinking Quakers; and now and then some cheating Quakers."

Pg. 4: "In the beginning, Friends were slave owners in South Carolina. They, however, soon sat their faces against it, and in their peculiar language, they have uniformly borne their testimony against the institution of slavery, as irreligious. Such of their members as refused to emancipate their slaves, when emancipation was practicable in this State, they disowned."

In 1803 an itinerant minister of the Quaker faith, Zachary Dicks, visited several of the Southern Monthly and Quarterly meetings. At the Wrightsborough MM he told the Friends (from pg. 6) "of a terrific internecine war not far in the future, during which many men like those in the Apocalypse would flee to the mountains and call on those mountains to hide them. With reference to the time of fulfillment, he said the child was then born that would see it - thus intimating the time, not as immediate, but not very far off. He advised them to leave there, which they did. Forty-eight years after came the predicted war." From Wrightsborough he went on to the Bush River meeting, at which time he admonished them, "O, Bush River! Bush River! How hath thy beauty faded away, and gloomy darkness eclipsed thy day!" Going into particulars, he depicted the silence and loneliness that would attend that house after its abandonment by those who had erected it . . ." (From pg 7) "Whatever effect his (Dicks) visit may have had in causing the Friends' removal, other causes cooperated. Those living east of the Alleghanies had looked upon them as a barrier against savage invasion, and also as one against removing to an unexplored and unknown savage wilderness.

"Allowing much for exaggeration, the description was still tempting enough, with the first-named cause, to produce the exodus which began soon after Dicks' visit. I must remark, however, that this exodus was far from being confided to the Friends. The Barretts, Elmores, Halls, Dennys, Campbells, Laytons, and others who removed during that period, were not members of the Friends' Church, and many of them were not of any." (It is interesting to note here that the only mention of any Barretts at the Bush River MM site was this family, who were not practicing the Quaker faith.)

From the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. VI by William Wade Hinshaw, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., p. 1015 states: "Meetings for worship which are mentioned as reporting to Bush River Monthly Meeting include Bush River, Raburn's Creek, Tiger River, Padget's Creek, Mud Lick, Allwoods', White Lick, Edisto, Charleston and Rocky Springs."

Of course, further study must be done to prove a link, but I am more and more inclined to believe that the link is there somewhere between Arthur & Lydia's son William and our Reuben. Now that I have further researched this son of Arthur & Lydia (William), I am inclined to believe that Reuben descends from one of their sons, not particularly this son.

April 1995: After having recently come across the microfilm of "The Barrett Family" by Frederic B. Emery (mentioned to me previously by Karen Hett and available through the LDS Church), it has been made clear that if Reuben is a grandchild of Arthur & Lydia, he would have to be a child of either Richard Barrett - who may have died young - or fallen out of his father's & brothers' favor before the writing of Arthur's will; Joseph Barrett, who is also a possibility of having met his death early or falling out of his father's & brothers' favor; or Jacob or James Barrett, who are known to have traveled on to SC and likely died there. I have yet to find Jacob's or James' will - but more from a lack of opportunity to get my hands on it than anything else to date - I continue to do so.

Of course, the option that Reuben could be a great-grandchild of Arthur's considerably broadens the field of possibilities. I am continuing to go through the children and grandchildren of Arthur & Lydia, one by one, trying to find a lead as to Reuben's parentage.

I intend to completely exhaust this line before giving up on it!

Re: . 2 Richard BARRETT b: October 20, 1717 in Chester Co., PA

...... +Mary EAVENSON b: November 2, 1721 in Chester Co., PA m: 1747 in Chester Co., PA src: History of Chester Co., PA, p. 527 Father: Richard EAVENSON Mother: Jemima NEWLIN.

I am currently trying to decide if this is Richard, son of Arthur & Lydia or not. "The Barrett Family" document itself is an older document (published some time in the 40's if memory serves), and as the author mentions in the preface that the information was obviously not all-inclusive, and that there would undoubtedly be need for updating the information in the future.

I found this mention to Richard Barrett, who was born at the same time (doesn't give exact date, though, unfortunately) as the Richard who is Arthur & Lydia's son in the 1881 "History of Chester Co., PA with genealogical and biographical sketches" by Louis H. Everts. While there is not conclusive evidence that he is the same Richard, there is neither evidence to the contrary, hence, I am holding him with a big question mark in hopes that I will be able to either prove or disprove the information.

It is known that both James and Jacob moved from Frederick Co., VA to Newberry Co., SC (Bush River MM - records found in the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy - Volume VI). Interestingly enough, Newberry Co., SC was formed from the 96th Dist. The 1790 Census shows Reuben living in the 96th District. Hmmmm.....

More to come when research time is made available and strides are made.


My most recent endeavor to find further proof on this family involves trying to determine if Doty really and truly is Hannahís maiden (or other!) name. It was suggested to me by Daniel Smith (descendant of Reuben and Hannah/Arthur & Mary) that perhaps Hannah was a sister to his ancestor Nancy Doty:

"About Hannah Doty (?) b. 1755. My Patriot Ancestor, Josiah Warren, born 2/18/1759, died 1809 in Laurens Co., GA was married to Nancy Doty, born 5/15/1763 in Onslow Co., NC, died 1809. They married in 1780. Nancy was the daughter of Benajah Doty, descendant of Edward Doty, Pilgrim. She is also a descendent of Edward Fuller and Rev. John Lothrope. Could Hannah and Nancy be sisters?"

Using this question as a catalyst, I proceeded to do some searching on the internet in regard to Mayflower descendants. I was fortunate enough to encounter Susan Roser of the Mayflower Society and she was generous enough to offer her assistance. Some of our correspondence follows:

Subj: Re: Mayflower Descendants

Date: 97-12-13 01:28:43 EST

From: (S. Roser)



Hi Dina,

GOOD NEWS - think I may have found your Hannah Doty!!

But - before I get carried away......I have found a Hannah who is the right age and whose parents lived in NC - and - although Hannah and Nancy were not sisters, they were probably cousins. You will still have to come up with some proof that Hannah was their daughter. [I assume that you know her full name was Hannah Doty and are not trying to find a surname for a Hannah ( ) ?]'s the scoop -

Benajah Doty (father of Nancy) had a brother Edward Doty. They were the sons of James3 Doty (Samuel2, Edward1) & Phebe Slater - Phebe was a descendant of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower. Edward was b. at Piscataway NJ in 1718, d. New Hanover Co. NC around 1779. He m. probably in NC, date unknown, Hannah ( ). Edward's will, dated 5 Oct. 1779, mentions (among others) dau Hannah Doty - note that she is not yet married.

Edward & Hannah had 7 children: James (by 1756), Edward (by 1758), Elizabeth (by 1761), Mary, Hannah, Phoebe & Sarah. Note that their birthdates are unknown. Edward (father) was b. 1718, therefore was probably married anytime betw. 1739-1748 - so the children were probably born between the 1740's to 1760's. This would fit with a c1755 birthdate for your Hannah Doty.

So, I have 2 suggestions for you to prove your Hannah Doty. First - let's find out if this line is a proven line with the Mayflower Society. On a piece of paper, write the following:


1. Edward Doty

2. Samuel Doty m. Jane Harmon

3. James Doty m. Phebe Slater

4. Edward Doty m. Hannah

5. Hannah Doty m. Reuben Barrett

6. etc.

Continue with your line down to yourself. Don't put any dates or other info - only the names. Mail this to: The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, P.O. Box 3297, Plymouth MA 02361, Att: Historian General's Office. Include a cheque for $5 made out to the General Society. The Historian General will check her files to see if anyone has ever joined based on this line. If anyone has, you will be sent a photo-copy of their paper and you will know that the line is good. Also - when you send this, ask them if a paper is not found, if they could possibly check the book "Doty-Doten Family in America" for you to see if Hannah, dau of Edward is carried further. And - include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

The "synopsis" approach is usually done thru State Historians, so I'm not even sure if they will do it for you, but it's worth a shot. By the way - tell your friend that Nancy Doty was born 5 May 1753 NOT 5 May 1763.

Good luck and let me know what happens!





Subject: Re: Mayflower Descendants

Date: Friday, December 12, 1997 3:10 AM


Thanks so much for your willingness to assist! I have been desperately attempting to locate a family for my Hannah Doty. I have located one of her descendants who also has a Nancy Doty who is the right age to be a sibling to Hannah. Here's what I have: This first blurb is from a cousin, he's the one who first posed the possibility that Hannah could be a descendant of the Edward Doty line: "About Hannah Doty (?) b. 1755. My Patriot Ancestor, Josiah Warren, born 2/18/1759, died 1809 in Laurens Co., GA was married to Nancy Doty, born 5/15/1763 in Onslow Co., NC, died 1809. They married in 1780. Nancy was the daughter of Benajah Doty, descendant of Edward Doty, Pilgrim. She is also a descendent of Edward Fuller and Rev. John Lothrope. Could Hannah and Nancy be sisters?"

All that I have on Hannah includes: b: about 1755, where?, died about 1809 in Greenville Co., SC. She married Reuben Barrett (b. 1755 in VA - I believe he may have been born in Frederick Co., VA; d. March 3, 1814 in the Greenville Dist., SC). It is believed they married about 1775 in SC. Hannah bore Reuben 12 children before her death. It is plausible that Hannah could have been born in NC, Reuben lived or perhaps visited there for a period of time.

I appreciate any assistance you might be able to offer. Again, thank you for your willingness to help!


So, I wrote a letter to the Mayflower Society, it follows:

Attn: Historian General's Office

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants

PO Box 3297

Plymouth MA 02361

Re: Synopsis

Dear Sir and/or Madame;

I am attempting to determine if my ancestor is a Mayflower descendant. Would you please consider the following synopsis?


    1. Edward Doty
    2. Samuel Doty m. Jane Harmon
    3. James Doty m. Phebe Slater
    4. Edward Doty m. Hannah
    5. Hannah Doty m. Reuben Barrett
    6. Arthur Barrett m. Mary Caradine
    7. Reuben W. Barrett m. Sarah Caradine
    8. Lycurgus C. Barrett m. Erby K. Anderson
    9. Earnest S. Barrett m. Fanny Belle Miller
    10. Florence C. Barrett m. James D. Courtney
    11. James A. Courtney m. Carol A. White
    12. Dina C. Courtney m. John H. McBride

If a paper is not found, could you possibly check the book "Doty-Doten Family in America" with the hope to determine if Hannah, dau of Edward is carried further. I have enclosed my check in the amount of $5.00 and a SASE. Thank you much for your assistance.

The reply I received from the Mayflower Society was less than encouraging, however. They pretty much said they couldnít help me and returned my $5.00. This doesnít mean that Susanís lead is a bad one, though - in fact itís the best one Iíve had in years. Iíve just not had time to follow up on it.