Monday, June 20, 2016

From Virginia to North Carolina and South Carolina to Georgia to Alabama, and to Louisiana and Texas: Understanding the Barrow Connections

From Virginia to North Carolina and South Carolina to Georgia to Alabama, and to Louisiana and Texas: Understanding the Barrow Connections

Photo of Papa John Irwin Barrow, Sr.
My Beginning Barrow Ancestry
My maternal Great-Grandmother is Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, and it is because of her I know more about my family history and the history of our people. My Barrow journey begins with my maternal Great-Grandmother. She was born March 8, 1913 to the union of John Irwin (Erwin) Barrow, Sr. and Annie Elizabeth Hunter Nelloms-Barrow. Anna Lue, and I called her Granny, often spoke of her Georgia and Alabama family. And I don't mean occasionally every few years, but very often as Granny was the glue to the south and was very close with cousins near and far. For years, it was told that Granny and her siblings were born in Atlanta, but I am finding that many were in Alabama in Chambers County, some in Troup County, Georgia and a couple in Atlanta with the youngest of Papa Irwin and Grand Annie's children, their daughter Clara Mae Barrow-Griffin, being born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Granny shared so much with all of us about both her father's family and her mother's family. The Barrow line is the paternal side of Granny and it is this side that is becoming more and more fascinating as years of documented family history, oral history, archived research, and now AncestryDNA is bringing it all together!

Papa Irwin was born to the union of Milas Barrow and Lula Mattie Haines (Hanes) Barrow in Chambers County, Alabama. Papa's paternal grandparents were Newton Barrow and Rena Rose Wright-Barrow. As I began searching for my maternal lineage, I always knew that I was a cousin of Joseph Louis Barrow affectionately known as the “Brown Bomber” and great son of Chambers County, Alabama. There are many who claim to be related to famous people, but in my family this claim was always true and the stories were endless. I don't mean stories just to say Joe Louis was our cousins, but stories of his father Monroe, stories of his siblings in Detroit, stories of the family down south in the Buckalew Mountains area of Chambers County, and ultimately stories of the intersecting family lines within the Barrow family.

Finding Uncle Newton Barrow
In 1992, I began researching in one the best genealogical study centers in the Midwest, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It was here where I first learned of my Great-Great-Great Uncle, Newton Barrow. I first saw Uncle Newton residing in the household of my Great-Great- Grandparents, Irwin (Papa Irwin) & Annie (Grand Annie) Barrow, in East Point, Fulton County, Georgia in 1920 (1920 U.S. Census; Fulton County, Georgia). This substantial piece of evidence was the break and most important clue I needed as it paved the way of the road leading back to Chambers County, Alabama.
In the 1920 Census record, Uncle Newton was listed as Papa Irwin’s uncle and that was the best clue I could have found as it allowed me to begin tracing my roots backward knowing Newton was Papa Irwin’s uncle which would eventually lead to discovering Papa’s father. Our family always knew Papa’s mother’s name was Mattie and that she was a Haines (Hanes) and of Cherokee Indian ancestry (according to oral history). So finding Uncle Newton was like hitting a gold mine in my book as it now gave hope and pure determination in researching the Barrow line much deeper and with great expectations.

Analyzing my Barrow-Heath Family Connection
The Barrow, Wright, and Chappell/Chapple family connection to one another as well as to the Heath, Hubert, Flewellyn, Ivey, and Barksdale families is another great story of "what did I just uncover" and "did I read that right", the plot thickens. What and how do the aforementioned families relate to the Barrow research and migration pattern. Well it all leads back to not only my Granny, Anna Lue Barrow, but to her husband and my maternal Great-Grandfather, Mitchell Heath. Granddaddy, as we all called him, was the son of Felts (sometimes spelled Phelps) "Tug" Heath and Eunice "Eunie" Frazier-Heath. Granddaddy's paternal grandparents were Felts Heath and Jane "Jincy" Hubert-Heath, former slaves of the Heath and Hubert families of Warren County, Georgia by way of Halifax County, North Carolina and Sussex County and Surry County in Virginia. Thus, my Barrow research and Heath research began to intersect long before I realized the true connection.

Some of the white Heaths took Barrow, Wright, and Chappell family members as their spouses such as Nancy Heath-Wright (daughter of Richard Heath and Rebecca Chappell) married William D. Wright, Rebecca Heath-Barrow (another daughter of Richard and Rebecca) married William Barrow, Patsy Heath-Wright (another daughter of Richard and Rebecca) married Lewis Wright, Sally Heath-Chappell (daughter of Abraham Heath and Winnifred Cotton) married John Chapple, Polly Heath-Barrow (another daughter of Abraham and Winnifred) married Warren Barrow. Many of these marriages and further estate slave distributions are the direct links to Putnam, Monroe, Troup and Muscogee counties in Georgia and Chambers, Lee, Russell, and Randolph counties in Alabama. As stated above, My Granny, Anna Lue's paternal great-grandmother was Rena Rose Wright-Barrow (as of February 2016, I'm running to ground a Sampson family connection). And there we have a full circle of common family names associated with white planters from Georgia settling in Lee, Russell, Chambers, and Randolph counties in Alabama as well as the aforementioned counties in Georgia. But not only is there the possible link to my great-grandparents, the link among the Hubert, Heath, Barrow, Wright, Searcy, Hugeley/Hughley, Sibley, and Chappell families extends over into Texas immensely with ties back to the Alabama, Georgia and ultimately back to North and South Carolina as well. There are many towns within Texas that are the same name and affiliated with the same families from Alabama.

William Barrow and Rebecca Heath-Barrow: The Georgia to Alabama to Louisiana Migration
William Barrow and his wife, Rebecca Heath-Barrow, were married in Warren County, Georgia and relocated to Putnam County, Georgia and ultimately over to Chambers County, Alabama. This is a huge piece in the Barrow and Heath family as Granddaddy Mitchell's Ancestors were Heath slaves of Abraham Heath (Rebecca's Uncle) and Richard Heath (Rebecca's father). While my Granny Anna Lue's Ancestors were slaves of the Barrow family which is directly tied back to the Barrow families of Halifax County and Edgecombe County in North Carolina. William and Rebecca's son, James Heath Barrow, resided in Chambers County, Alabama for quite a time and owned a great number of the Barrow and Heath slaves originally from Georgia. Post Civil War era and during the reconstruction period, many of the Barrow family slaves worked for James Heath Barrow in Chambers County. These were family members from the Anthony and Nancy Barrow line as well as the Newton and Rena Barrow line to include the Burton, Freeman, Foreman, King, Carlisle, Fears, Meadows, Wright, and Trammell family members.

In addition to the North Carolina connection of the Barrow family, we also can clearly see the connections of the white families from state to state which began in the Surry and Sussex County areas of Virginia, down to the North Carolina, then to Georgia, over to Alabama, and then onto Louisiana and Texas. This is another proven fact that the white families and the black families have been tied together for centuries. Good or bad, our stories are the woven fabric of our nation. Many descendants of William and Rebecca migrated from Chambers County to places like Louisiana and Texas taking black Barrow family members with them. In addition to the Barrow families, the intertwined families migrated as well to include the Russaw/Rousseau, Stiggers/Stiger/Steger, Thweatt, Heath, Hubert, Searcy, Lynn, Flewellyn/Fluellen, Chappell/Chapple, Dansby, Richardson and all the other allied families to both the whites and the blacks. Many descendants of William Barrow and Rebecca Heath-Barrow settled in Summerfield, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana and surrounding areas. Anyone aligned to these families and the slaves are interrelated to several prominent southern families. For more information on these intertwined families, read Roots of the Tree: Understanding the Georgia to Alabama to Texas Connection through the Mid to Late 1800s Migration, which can be found by looking up Dollie Heath, Newton Barrow, Anthony Barrow, or Hartwell Searcy within the Barrow-Heath and Eubanks-Jones family tree and on this blog.

The African-American Barrow Families of North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama
Family members such as John Irwin Barrow Sr., Kind David Barrow Thomas, Sarah Barrow-Askew, Newton "Newt" Barrow, Della King-Barrow, Monroe "Mun" Barrow, Joseph Louis "Brown Bomber" Barrow, Zack Trammell, Janie Forman-Burton, Edd Barrow, Eliza Barrow-Winston, Stonewall Winston, Willie Goinda Barrow-Hill, O.C. Barrow, Monrow "Dock" Barrow, Susie Winston-Barrow, Alonzo Barrow, Victoria Harp-Barrow, Napoleaon Barrow, Anthony Barrow, Newton Barrow, Bailey Barrow, Jesse Barrow, Sr., Willie Calvin Barrow, Nolan Barrow, Mallory "Mal" Barrow, Robert Barrow, Ada Barrow-Finley, Green Barrow, Mary Trammell-Barrow, Liddy Barrow-Burton, Charles "Charlie" Burton, Sirlema Burton-Bonner, Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, Sarah Barrow-Thompson, Leola Barrow-Gaines, Clara Mae Barrow-Griffin, Mary Thomas-Gilbert, Amos Barrow, Anne Elizabeth Nelloms-Barrow, and countless others are the Ancestors who have paved the way for so many whose roots began in Chambers County, Alabama and neighboring Troup County, Georgia. Chambers County and Troup County both border one another on the Alabama and Georgia state lines. But neither Chambers County nor Troup County is the original birthplace of all the black Barrow Ancestors.

Virginia is the beginning origin for many Barrow family members in the United States, both black and white. From Virginia, the Barrow families began migrating into North Carolina in Halifax, Edgecombe, and Onslow counties before migrating to Burke County Georgia (along with the Heath and Hubert families) in the mid 1700s. Along with these relocations, slaves were also a part of the move. On January 31, 1757, James Barrow was born to the union of Thomas Barrow, Jr. and Elizabeth Atkinson in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. The Barrow family has ties to Edgecombe County which is significant and also supported by present DNA testing. The Barrow family then relocated to Halifax County but kept close ties to Edgecombe and Onslow Counties. An interesting fact find lies within Onslow County. In Onslow County, the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Air Base is located on land once owned by Thomas Barrow and his family.

Many Barrow slaves remained with the white Barrow families from Virginia to the Carolinas and over into Georgia. Of the prominent black Barrow Ancestors, Bailey Barrow and Anthony Barrow, come to mind. Both men are believed to be the sons of James Barrow who owned a considerable amount of slaves and thousands of acres of land at the time of his death in 1828. James died in Baldwin County, Georgia but owned quite a few parcels of land. James Barrow was the son of Thomas Barrow, Jr. and Elizabeth Atkinson-Barrow, formerly of Virginia and migrated to Edgecombe County, North Carolina and ultimately settling in Onslow County, North Carolina. James later relocated and settled in Georgia. The Barrow family was a very prominent family with rich history in Virginia and North Carolina as well as strong ties back to England. Again, present day Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base is on land once owned by Thomas Barrow and his descendants. The land was donated by the descendants.

From James Barrow, we see the migration pattern in the North Carolina region as well as his receiving land grants from his Revolutionary War service in Burke County, Georgia. This is a huge piece of historical context for both Barrow slaves as well as the Heath slaves due in part because Burke County is the first place both prominent white Barrow and Heath families relocated to from Halifax County, North Carolina. As I continue to further my slave ancestry research and better define the inter-relationships of the plantation owners and the slaves, the migration patterns, family relationships, and slave families will continue to prove we're connected in more ways than one. The African-American Barrows can attribute the births to both Georgia and North Carolina just as Grandpa Newton Barrow (born in North Carolina) and Uncle Anthony Barrow (born in Georgia) has according to Census records. Ironically, Bailey Barrow (presumed father of Newton) is documented as having been born in Virginia. This is not far off as James Heath served in the Maryland and Virginia areas during the Revolutionary War. It has also been said that James was dedicated to his family and took his slave children with him and provided for them immensely. This tells of the character of James, however we do not discount that Bailey, Anthony, and Newton were still considered slaves.

From Barrow to Barron: The North Carolina and South Carolina Mystery
I mentioned Grandpa Newton being the presumed son of Bailey Barrow. Newton was born in North Carolina in about 1828 (Census confirmed) and Bailey was born about 1810 (Census confirmed), but bailey was born in Virginia. We understand from the text above that Bailey is thought to be the son of the Revolutionary War veteran, James Barrow (1757-1828). Bailey is first found in the 1870 Census as a resident of York County, South Carolina with York County being positioned on North and South Carolina border. In 1870, Newton is residing a few houses over from Anthony Barrow in Chambers County, Alabama and documented having been born in North Carolina. Given all the migratory patterns of white Barrow families, the varying counties and states is not far off as we can find the trail!

So why Barrow and Barron, one may ask? Well, the children of Bailey and Flora Barrow are all residing side by side in York County and all the grandchildren seem to have like names such as Milas, Erwin, Sylvester, with Milas sticking out more. I descend from Milas Barrow son of Newton, but Bailey seems to have several grandsons named Milas which leads me to believe there is an older Milas slave somewhere that all these men are named after him. Beginning in 1880 and beyond, the York County Bailey Barrow descendants are documented as Barron and not Barrow. This is a change in spelling but in southern dialect or drawl as some would say, Barrow and Barron sound the same. Just ask any Carolinian! Thus we have Barrow and Barron cousins in the same branch of a family but under different surnames. This is not uncommon among any family as spelling variations and pronunciations have changed often through the ages of time. Until further documentation proves otherwise, Bailey Barrow and the many Barrow/Barron descendants are still Barrow family members.

As the ongoing research continues with the Barrow and Heath families, I am reminded of the importance of utilizing "cluster genealogy" which involves researching everything from a person's family, neighbors, occupation, and locality. It's all in the realm of the cluster! This research method is affording many new possibilities of finding lost branches as well as connecting with other researchers who just may have the missing piece to the puzzle you were looking for which aids in breaking down the brick walls. It's no  coincidence that my great-grandparents, Mitchell Heath and Anna Lue Barrow-Heath, are my anchor as it is through them that the doors of genealogy possibilities are overflowing. And it is because of them, I am lucky to be a Barrow and Heath descendant.

Are We Family?
One can conclude that the Barrow slaves were in North Carolina, Georgia, and some ultimately forced to settle in Chambers County, Alabama where many descendants today still call the region home. The living Barrow descendants of Anthony and Newton in Chambers County are of close connection and lived next door, in the same communities, on the same roads, or lands touched one another and yet many of us still to this date are divided as a result of the hue of skin tones. One Cousin who began documenting the family tree and just how everyone was connected encountered much opposition from the family as many truly believed there were three sets of Barrows. A white branch, a light skinned branch, and a dark branch. I can tell you, as a Barrow descendant, we are all shades of FAMILY!! I applaud my cousin whose initials are DHP for her work in initially documenting the many generations of our family as well as connecting to our oral history and now through documented research and DNA testing, we all can definitively prove we are just that - FAMILY!

Humbly Submitted to honor the Ancestors,
Danté Eubanks