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Capt. William Barron KIA 1780/81 Georgia
Posted by: Dave Reese (ID *****4847) Date: March 21, 2011 at 20:48:27
  of 3191

I am posting this message to try and get current opinions on the two positions on the origin of the Capt. William Barron killed at Augusta in the Revolutionary War. These are: 1)born in New Bern area of NC (by Leon Johnson) and 2) born in Ireland (by John Davis Garrard). I am not posting this on the Barron Circle as many interested persons may not be members.

POSITION 1 Born in the area of New Bern, NC. Leon Johnson has posted a well researched position. He found in the New Bern area a William Barron whose family had been there for at least three generations and a Prudence Davis. However, to my knowledge, that is the extent of his findings, i.e., he does not show any relationship between those two, not even that they knew each other. Nor does he show that they had any of the children identified for Captain Barron. Vicki Kruschwitz, an excellent and well versed Barron genealogist, could find nothing more in this area. Never-the-less, Leon claims, WITHOUT RESERVATION, that the William and Prudence of New Bern are the Capt. William and his wife Prudence and that their older children were born in the New Bern area.

POSITION 2 Born in Ireland. This opinion comes from John Davis Garrard in two lengthy letters he wrote in the early 1890s. Mr. Johnson scoffs at these letters, claiming that Davis "assumed" everything. Davis stated that Capt. William and Prudence were married in Ireland and that at least two of the children were born there. He also stated that William had a brother John who came to America several times from Ireland before he persuaded William to come with him. Garrard did make several known mistakes and he did in several places state "I assume" or an equivalent. It appears that he wrote the letters without refering to his notes (which he accumulated over many years), if so, his "assumptions" are a valid way of letting the recipient know there might be some actual variation. One major problem is that Garrard's cousin, to whom he wrote, found a book (name unknown) which gave some Barron lineage in Ireland. The cousin was persuaded that a William Barron in the book was our Capt. William Barron. He loaned the book to Garrard who agreed that the William of Burnchurch vicinity in the book was Capt. William. This location in Ireland has been seriously searched with no results. The contents of this information are not known. We now know from DNA testing that the family of Archibald Barron of the current York Co., SC is closely related to the family of Capt. William Barron (matching 67 of 67). Archibald was born 1734 in Ireland, apparently the Carrickfergus area of Co. Antrim (north, closest to Scotland).

A major problem is that noone has been able to confirm most of what John D. Garrard wrote. However, we know that he was closely involved with Capt. William's son William, Jr for many years and was present when he died. He surely heard first hand from William, Jr., who is stated to have gone to Augusta to see what he could find of Capt. William.
Garrard also wrote about Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. William, having an Irish brogue all her life.

I will only write of the beheading story because Leon has completely discounted it, stating that putting his head on a pole reflected something only done several centuries before and then Leon used this to support his discounting everything Garrard wrote. It appears Leon has not studied the actions of American Indians very well as they did behead and place the head on a pole. Further, this practice had not disappeared even among whites in America. I know of two occasions done by whites, one in Ohio (to Indians) and one in Louisana (to blacks). More could be said, but I will stop as this is long enough.

CONCLUSIONS
1. Re New Bern: AT BEST, it can only be stated that possibly Capt. William and his Prudence married in the New Bern, NC area and had their first two children there. I see no justification for ever stating such without significant reservation. Too many have already followed Leon's example and stated this as though it is documented, whereas, nothing has been found other than the two correct names in a common area.

2. Re Ireland. Garrard's long association with William Barron, Jr. makes it probable that the information in his letter was based on information he received from William, Jr a person who was actually involved. The refernce to an Irish brogue cannot be dismissed. The DNA perfect comparison with a descendent of a Barron born in Co. Antrim (and who came to SC) makes it very probable that William Barron came from Ulster Ireland (and not from Southern Ireland as Garrard was led to believe by a book of unknown content).

3. The beheading. This story is probably true, based on Garrard's association with William, Jr. However, from what Garrard wrote, he may not have known if the Indians killed Capt. William or if he died of his wounds and they beheaded him after that.

4. Rank of Captain. It is my opinion that caution should be taken with Garrard's statement that William was a captain. During the Revolution, Captains held a high rank, so were usally referenced, especially when they were killed in action. It is possible that he was a lieutenant acting as head of a company.

5. Future. Given the empty extensive searches, it is unlikely that anything to support the beheading will ever be found. However, that William/Prudence came from Ulster Ireland is likely to be strenghened through further DNA testing of descendents of Barrons currently or formerly living in Ulster Ireland. DNA testing of New Bern Barron descendents should be done if a suitable subject can be found.

I recognize that more points could be raised and leave it up to readers to do so. It is important that many responses be made---it is entirely possible I have overlooked something significant.

Davis Reese


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