A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.

Charles Spurgeon

Long ago when I was a child I was often allowed to stay with my grandparents, my father’s parents. Whether it was just overnight or for a weekend or possibly longer, that was a wonderful treat. Most of the time it would be just me and them, no sister or brother or cousin to divert their attention. Looking back I wish I had paid more attention to some of the things we talked about. But that time is over and I must rely on my memories, such as they are.

My Grandmother Barbee was one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. Everyone that knew her loved her. She never gossiped about people or said anything unkind.  Her and Grandpa had eleven children and all were of the same loving kind nature. My father was the third child born and the first male. That put me in the “older” group of cousins. Now I hate to say it to my younger cousins, but I am sorry you missed out on some to the wonders  of our grandparents.

If any of you that may read this have children, you know it is not what you do that impresses the child, but just being with the child. Example … Summer afternoon and rain was coming to the piedmont area of North Carolina. You could hear thunder and see lightning, a little scary for a child under 10 years of age. My Grandpa sat down with me on the front porch swing and talked to me. First he laughed every time it thundered. At the time I thought he might be a bit nuts, if you know what I mean, but he said not to worry that was the corn wagon coming. Ok, I had heard a wagon loaded with corn, traveling over a rough road or field and I can see where he got that expression. So why was he laughing? He said a load of corn was a sign of a good harvest of the crop and if the wagon had come back empty, that was not good. He also told me about the Dutchmen playing ninepins, but every small child had heard of that story, so it didn’t impress me much, but the corn wagon has always been with me.

Back to Grandmother. If you were staying over a weekend you would go to church with her and Grandpa. She always wore the same style of clothing, simple black or black skirt and white blouse and the same small cameo brooch. Her Bible was well read and studied every day. She always reminded me to be on my good behavior at church and I could sit with one of my cousins. She always sat with a group of little ladies, about her age and dressed just like she was. On the way home I would ask who they were and she would give me a brief rundown. Berea Baptist Church was a small church and Barbee’s had been in attendance since the church was built. In fact some of them helped build that structure. If I had realized how many of those people I was directly related to I might have stayed more in tune with what she said. Sorry Grandma, some of what you said stuck, but not all the names and places.

It was on one of those trips to visit, that something she said, did stick with me, but it seems it was while we were in a field doing something, that she told me about Reuben Barbee. I remember thinking “Holy cow, a real bad man in our family!!!” Grandpa always listened to the radio and his favorite story was “The Lone Ranger.” So I knew bad men and the Lone Ranger always won the day. Hi Ho Silver Away!!! Grandmother told how Reuben would get “liquored up on the weekend and ride through town shooting off his gun.” She said how it was thought that he killed a man and did not go to jail. (Where was the Lone Ranger?) She said she didn’t know if he did or did not, but he was not a nice man and we should not be talking about him. Any way he came from another side of the family and we did not talk or have anything to do with them. She left it up to Grandpa to shut me up from asking about Reuben Barbee (The Bad Guy). Grandpa turned my attention about telling me about other Barbees who moved west and lived in Texas. He thought that one of them had become a lawman out west somewhere. (Did he know the Lone Ranger?) Grandpa said he didn’t think so, but he might have known Billy the Kid. He wasn’t sure. You gotta love Grandpa, he tried to give me a hero, to get my mind off the bad guy. And I guess it worked I don’t remember any other talks about Reuben and his dirty deeds.

Today, so many years later, if the old Lone Ranger radio show is mentioned, I flash back to those days of my visits to my Grandparents.

Here is what I found about Reuben Barbee. Who is Reuben Barbee?

My Family Tree is at this site  Searching For Family
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
Princess Diana

Some years ago, over thirty years, now I started digging into my families history. At the time I just wanted to know more about my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Like everyone else, once you start, it smowballs down hill into more than a curiosity, but almost a way of life. Along the way I have meet many new people who have helped me uncover surprises and connect people. Sadly some are no longer with us, but I remember each and every one and thank them, from the bottom of my heart.

Once the computer came into my life, somewhere around 1995, I started giving back to the community that helped me. One way that I could do that was through the computer. US Gen Web was just starting and when I stumble across articles that might be of help to someone, I posted them there. Some of those articles are still there today. Ok, it wasn't that long ago in real time, but there are days when it feels like a different life.

My husband and I love to travel around the east coast of the US and I love antique malls. (Its an addiction) In a mall in northern Virginia, I discovered two old magazines for sale. They were 1909 and 1910 PA German History, Genealogy, Folklore. My mind and heart could not leave them there. Now I must tell you as far as I know I have no Pennsylvania German ancestors. But some one does and they might be able to use some of what is in these little magazines.

I transcribed several of the articles that had genealogy facts and posted them to genweb. You might look in Berks County archives in Pennsylvania at some church records. With today's technology I can now put the images of these two magazines online. Oh, and I have!!

Pennsylvania German

This has nothing to do with Barbee research, except to remind everyone that in genealogy everyone needs someone to share. That is how we find the answers to our ancestors.

From that sharing of the old magazines I meet a gentleman who shared with me several books that he had done for his families reunion. They were not about any of my family, but about people who had lived during the late 1800's here in the area that I now call home. East Central Florida. I love these books and wanted to share them with everyone. They are diaries of a man who was pioneer on Merritt Island, Florida. First hand account of his everyday survival. Frank Munson's diaries are anything but boring. You might enjoy reading them.


Recently I stumble across a widow's pension application on familysearch.org . They have so many records online. This application was for the widow of George Leslie Barbee. So I did some digging and have posted some records about George Barbee. He is not a direct ancestor, but he was a Barbee, so why not share with everyone.


Now the question is .... Do you want to give something back? Maybe you have a document or an old family photo. Maybe a Bible that has hot been seen by others.


"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”  ~ Winnie the Pooh

“Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?”
~ Charles de Lint

Life is surrounded by mysteries. Our family research may uncover mysteries that have gone unnoticed and may need to be solved. Who doesn't love a good mystery novel. I find researching my families history almost as good as a who-done-it. 

Today the 1940 Federal Census was released!!! Yippee!! Now we can all start seeing more connections in our family. You will have to be patient for the index to be done. Those of us who are indexing, would like to caution you about expecting to much, to soon. The lecture I attended recently, that talked about the 1940 census and indexing, gave a timeline, that is hope to be fulfilled, of six months to finish. Since I do indexing, I am hoping you will be patient if I miss posting something on this site. 

We will need to be patient with just seeing the images posted. That will take several weeks to complete. When the posting is complete you should be able to browse, even if you do not have an index. So happy hunting!!

For the next several months I will be traveling and doing some family research in courthouses and graveyards. Fun stuff. My husband's family will be given some more of my time and energy. He is from New York State and the records are so different than in North Carolina and other parts of the south. And since his family came from Denmark, there is only so much work I can do in the US. (Wonder if a trip to Denmark would be available??) North Carolina will be one of our stops on our travels. A must for me, since I am from Durham.

On my webpage you will find a task bar at the top of the page. There you will see a button for PHOTOS, give it a click and then click on the WW II Scrapbook. I am hoping to find some more old newspaper clippings for Barbees. It is a wonderful collection that the Durham Library has and you might find it interesting  to see some of the brave people who served this country in that conflict.


Enjoy browsing the 1940 census and I hope you solve a few mysteries in your family search.

P.S. I did add some more Wills and you will find them at the link below.


To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another.
  ~John Burroughs

Years ago when you wanted to do your families genealogy, things were a lot different. Everything was much slower and more difficult to find. Just trying to locate what records were available and where they were was a task not many wanted to start. You had to write letters and hope that someone would answer. Wait months and months for some answers. Only to find you were not in the right area or looking at the correct records.  Today, well things are a lot simpler, computers, databases that have been indexed. Some better than other, but still index. Millions of records as close as an Internet connection. Soooo tell me why there are so many mistakes in what people are posting???? 

People post "stuff" for all kinds of reasons, but does that make it a FACT? Maybe if it has been posted enough, everyone just accepts it as fact. That is not good. When the ladies wrote the Barbee Book they used the facts, that they were given, at that particular period in time. Those facts may not have been correct. 

Are you checking the facts that you might use from their Book, before you pass them on to others as facts?? Why not??? Today you have FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com right in your own home and at the other end of your computer. FamilySearch.org cost you nothing, Nada. Ancestry.com does cost. So some can and some can not use that, but don't let that stop you. Libraries all over the country have paid to be connected to Ancestry and you can use a public library for NOTHING!!  Family History Centers are in every state and they are free to use. 

What the authors did was WONDERFUL and we owe then a great debit. Take what they did and expand the search. Always check the TRUE FACTS and be sure you are passing on to the next generation the story as correct as you can get. Bad data is bad data, no matter what time period. What is that saying, "Don't be a part of the problem, be part of the solution. OK, that may not be quite correct, but I think you get the message.

Happy Hunting!

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change my opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise. ~Benjamin Franklin

Many years ago I purchased  the first three volumes of Cavalier and Pioneers, by Nugent. Today that is probably not necessary with online databases popping up everywhere. Ancestry.com has a collection of records that may help you with searching some of the colonial period records. The Library of Virginia is also a great choice for colonial records. There is a charge for Ancestry, but the Library of Virginia does not charge. 

University of Virginia catalog

Most Family History Centers and some public libraries have subscriptions to Ancestry. They offer it free for your use, so there may be no need for you to subscribe.

Using Ancestry.com to look for Colonial Records is simple. Records of this period will not be list as such, most of the time. Looking for records that have dates for 1600 - 1750 should cover the colonial time period.

Note from Linda ... The indexers to the database leave a lot to be desired. In the index, BARBY is plainly written, but for some unknown reason was missed. So if you are a person who relies on a index and do not take your search further, you will miss the entries for BARBY. When you know that someone is there, as we do in this case, LOOK FURTHER than the index.

Yes, we spell our surname differently these days ... but then, it was spelled with the "y" and we are looking at records written THEN not NOW.  People who do family research and are serious, have to get over the assumption that the way they spell the surname is the only way. 

To see Cavalier and Pioneers on Ancestry, I am showing you the path to follow once you access the site.

Go to Search All Records
Scroll down to the Browse by Location
Select Virginia
Scroll down to Virginia Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills
   click on View all 68 Virginia Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills

No 11 is ...
Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstract of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666

The BARBEE Books give you good information and the researchers seem to have left no stone unturned. Using their work for the most part is acceptable, but always check the facts yourself. We all miss items, this is human nature. When you enter any information that you you may come across, ALWAYS CITE YOUR SOURCES!! No guess work and if you do assume something ... state these facts!!! That it is your assumption. It is allowed, but be sure to tell those you pass the work onto that you did assume something. And like Franklin, when we find we have been incorrect, be willing to change.