Henry Barlow of Pochahontas Co WV
From the research of
Nancy Barlow Bruns

Alexander Barlow
From the research of
Barbara Barlow Seckel

Alexander Barlow
from the research of
Helen Barlow of Marlington WV

Alexander Barlow
From the research of
Edson Barlow

Alexander Barlow
from the research of
Mark Brunner
Barlow Genealogy
1998 - 2008

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A HUSBAND FOR BARBARA
From the research of Nancy Barlow Bruns  Fredericksburg, Virginia - September 02, 2002

For years, descendants of the 18th century western Virginia pioneers John Barlow (b.1781- d. 1866) and Martha Waddell Barlow (b.1790-d.1872) of Pocahontas Co Virginia, now West Virginia, have believed from printed sources that they were descended from a Revolutionary War soldier named Alexander Barlow and his wife Barbara. Her maiden name was sometimes given as Rowse.

The family story was that Alexander Barlow died in the Revolution leaving a widow and a descendant: a son named John born November 26, 1781. As a young man, on December 18, 1804, John Barlow, the son, married Martha Waddell, daughter of Alexander Waddell and of Eleanor Roush Waddell of the Valley of Virginia Roush (sometimes printed as the Rausch) family.

For nearly 30 years I searched every listing of Revolutionary soldiers in every book, library or archive from Richmond, VA, to the Library of Congress for an Alexander Barlow from Virginia who fought in the Revolutionary War on either side . Eventually, I came to the conclusion that there was no Alexander Barlow who could have been the father of John and husband of Barbara Barlow. Other family members and historians– for example, Richard Kraus, author of Casebolt: An American Family-1-with an interest in locating Alexander Barlow have reached the same conclusion. The Virginia Barlows commonly listed are Ambrose, Ephraim, James, Joseph, Joshua, Lewis, Nathan, Richard, Samuel, Thomas, and William.2 J.T. McAllister who indexed Virginia Militia from the Records of the Revolutionary War by W.T.R. Saffell found no Barlows. I read through the Saffell records and also found no Barlows.

Many men–perhaps upwards of 40,000-- served in state militia units, and many of these records are lost. This fact of course could explain why there is just no Alexander Barlow in any record.

In retirement, I decided to look, instead, for a Barbara Barlow and almost immediately found a Barbara Harvey, daughter of Daniel Harvey of Rockbridge County, VA, who married a Richard Barlow, probably in March of 1779.(One sometimes sees this date as May 4, 1779.) I discovered this in a book in a branch library in Rockbridge County. I also found this marriage under Virginia marriages on the Internet.

Later I got a copy of the Barlow-Harvey marriage bond at the Virginia State Library, Richmond, and saw the original at the Rockbridge County Courthouse in Lexington, VA. It is not indexed so ask to see it by date and name.

I knew beyond question that Barbara Barlow had taken as her second husband a man named Henry Casebolt. In my family we have regarded Casebolt descendants as kinfolks although it was years before I understood the connection.

The Casebolt family historian Dick Kraus confirmed for me that the Barbara Barlow who married Henry Casebolt about 1782 or 83 was Barbara Harvey Barlow not Barbara Rowse Barlow. Kraus lists in his family tree for the Henry Casebolt family, Richard Barlow as Barbara Harvey Barlow’s first husband. Kraus was able to reproduce a page from a family Bible of the Peter Casebolt family which showed Henry Casebolt’s wife as Barbara Harvey.
The copy from the Peter Casebolt Bible is not the clearest piece of evidence, but it is there. No marriage certificate nor marriage record for Barbara Harvey and Henry Casebolt has yet been found. But there seems to be no question from the page in the Bible and from oral tradition that the widow Barbara Barlow married Henry Casebolt. There is supporting evidence that Barbara was a Harvey, not a Rowse. There is also evidence that John Barlow was a member of this family since one of his half sisters named a child John Barlow Kinnison.

It was obvious by then that the two sides of the Barlow-Waddell family had been confused. As I noted earlier, Martha Waddell’s father was Alexander Waddell (himself a Revolutionary War soldier and listed in the DAR’s Patriots’ Index) and her mother was Eleanor Rousch Waddell. I had long considered the coincidence of John Barlow having two grandfathers named Alexander. The confusion with the name of Rousch and the name Rowse is obvious. (Actually Rousch is a fairly common name in the Valley of Virginia and Eleanor Rousch Waddell had nine brothers. All of whom were said to have served in the Revolutionary War.)

I also learned that confusing the maternal and paternal sides of families is not an uncommon error. An earlier Barlow genealogist Crystal Barlow (Mrs. William K. Barlow now of Liberty, In) had suggested the possibility of this. At this point, I wish to give her credit for the basic work she did in the l970s and is still doing on Barlow Family genealogy. Without her work, I would hardly have known how to begin my own efforts.

I believe the fact that at least three researchers working independently of each other have reached the approximately the same conclusions is persuasive in itself. My findings–which agree with the others--are that Barbara Harvey, daughter of Daniel Harvey of Rockbridge County, VA, married Richard Barlow in 1779; that Richard Barlow was a Revolutionary War soldier from Virginia; that Barbara Harvey Barlow was the mother of John Barlow. I think it obvious that paternal and maternal grandparent names were confused and passed on incorrectly.

My own research shows that Barbara Harvey and Richard Barlow obtained what amounted to a marriage license in March of 1779. Richard Barlow fought as a soldier of the Continental Line with the Virginia 4th, 8th and 12th regiments; he was at Valley Forge and at an engagement in New York State. ( For an account of this engagement see Annals of Augusta County, by Joseph Addison Waddell, Chapter 10. Richard Barlow is listed on page 267.)3

If one can accept based on the Casebolt family Bible that Barbara Harvey took as her second husband Henry Casebolt and that this same woman, Barbara Harvey, was the wife first of Richard Barlow and the mother of John Barlow, then I think we have to accept that Richard Barlow is our ancestor, not the never-found Alexander. There is extensive documentation that there was a Richard Barlow from Virginia who fought as a soldier of the Continental Line in the Revolution. There is no record I have ever found in the source documents of an Alexander Barlow from Virginia who fought in the American Revolution on either side in any capacity.

Richard and Barbara were married well before the child John was born Nov. 26, 1781. Richard’s service records which I have obtained so far stop with 1779, but the records are filled with furloughs and absences. There appears to be no question that he could have been home or she could have been at camp with him at the time the child was conceived.

There is a serious error in privately printed but heavily circulated material which states that the child’s father was killed in a battle years before the child was born. I don’t want to raise this as an issue. An apparently innocent error, this caused people to conclude that Barbara Barlow had had no husband, particularly since there was no record of Alexander Barlow. It is partly in Barbara’s defense that I have undertaken this long and frustrating search. I did not mind that people believed she had not married the father of her child, but I did not want to believe she couldn’t have come up with a better story than to kill off the father years before the child was born.

At this point, I do not know where or when Richard died. This might mean that he never came home after the war, and Barbara was not sure what happened to him, but presumed him dead enough to take a second husband. John and Martha Waddell Barlow named one of their children Henry (my line) so John must have been on fairly good terms with his mother’s second husband. John might have used Casebolt as his last name if there was any real question about his Barlow forebear. Since he was a baby or very young when the Casebolt-Barlow marriage occurred, John could have been raised as a Casebolt and no question ever raised about the Revolutionary War soldier.

Equally frustrating in research is the fact that there is no primary source on the date of John Barlow’s birth. His tombstone gives his birth date as does Mrs.Nancy Jane Barlow’s Bible and also an obituary notice written by Samuel Young, a minister and family friend. Old family Bibles or documents that would list John’s parents or would in some way tie John directly to Richard and Barbara would prove particularly important.

Kraus lists in his family tree for the Henry Casebolt family, Richard Barlow as Barbara Harvey Barlow’s first husband and suggests that Richard’s date of birth was probably 1755. He lists John Barlow as the child of Barbara and Richard Barlow.   I propose that Barlow descendants of John and Martha Waddell Barlow note that there is modern research which strongly supports we descend from Barbara Harvey Barlow and Richard Barlow, not Barbara Rowse Barlow and Alexander Barlow. This would leave the record open for further research and would be fair to Barbara and Richard.

Addendum: March 8, 2008.

I am sometimes asked what I think really happened. I know from more recent research that Richard Barlow shared in the prize money resulting from the capture of Ft. Stony Point in New York, and I believe that Barbara and Richard decided to take this money and go to the frontier and purchase land. Since it was war time, no record of this land transaction occurred. By coincidence the young Barlows bought land close to Henry Casebolt. Richard died either from the effects of war or disease and Barbara married Henry because she could not care for a small child and look after a farm by herself. Barbara had no standing to own property unless she remained a widow and so Richard’s holdings disappeared then into the holdings of Henry Casebolt at the time of the remarriage. But about 1803, a young John Barlow purchased 100 acres of land east of the holdings of Casebolt on the Greenbrier River. I believe this action was actually Henry giving his stepson back Richard’s land. Descendants and researchers like myself are faced also with the fact that early Virginia censuses were burned and that a reconstructed Head of the Household census of 1790 would not have shown Richard Barlow.

My name is Nancy Barlow Bruns and I am Henry and Nancy Jane Barlow’s great granddaughter. I reside now at 47 Harborton Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22406.



1.
Richard Kraus, Casebolt: An American Family, (Boston: Privately Printed, 1990). See particularly Chapter 4.
2.
Hamilton Eckenrode, Virginia Soldiers in the American Revolution (Richmond: Virginia State Library and Archives, 1989, 2 Vols.); John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, 1775-1782 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979); Gaius M. Brumbaugh, Revolutionary War Records, Vol.1, Virginia (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967).
3.
Joseph Addison Waddell, Annals of Augusta County from 1726 to 1871 (Bridgewater, VA: C.J. Carrier, second edition). Richard’s service records provided by the National Archives also show that he was in New York State at the time of this engagement.

 

 

 

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