Joseph Barron, Indian Trader

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Joseph Barron

Birthplace: County Antrim, United Kingdom
Death: before February 5, 1816
Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Joseph Barron and Jane Barron
Husband of Rhoda Mary May Barron
Partner of Catharina Roberson
Father of Joanna Collier; William Nathaniel Gale Barron, Sr; Mary Pettis Ewing and Jane Rhodes Park
Brother of Jane Thurborn; Hugh Barron and John Barron

Occupation: Indian Trader
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Barron, Indian Trader

Joseph Barron (c1758-1816), an Indian trader in Virginia and Tennessee.

Do not confuse him with Joseph Barron (1773-1843), Indian Interpreter.

He and his brothers John and Hugh carried on a successful fur trade with the Indians. The brothers were very wealthy and prominent locally.

The first record of him in America is in 1778, when he was issued a peddlars' license in Montgomery County, Virginia. Joseph and his brother Hugh applied on 8 May 1798 in Wythe County, Virginia for a license to sell and retail merchandise in the Commonwealth. His brother Hugh Barron received a trading license on 14 May 1799 in Wythe County.

Some sources identify him as the Joseph Barron was was appointed overseer, with his partner Charles Devereaux, of a road leading to a local lead mine in what it now Wythe County by the Montgomery County court.on 4 August 1778. However, other sources dispute the identification. See, for example, The Barron Family in the American South, which identifies the overseer with Joseph Elias Barron (1723-1793).

Joseph Barron the trader had a mistress Catharina Helvey, with whom he had two children, Gale and Joanna. In 1803 he married Rhoda Mary Finley. They had two daughters, Mary and Jane.

After his 1803 marriage he set up a business with a Thomas Warner in Wythe County. He later moved to Abingdon in Washington County, and still later to Sumner County, Tennessee, where he died.

Will of Joseph Barron

In his will he provided that all his real estate and personal property, with certain exceptions, was to be transferred to his daughters, Mary P. and Jane Barren (Barron). He also mentioned his sister-in-law Margaret Gleves (Gleaves, the wife of William Gleaves, married 1802 in Wythe County) who was to receive $500, his sister Jane Thuborn ("who I expect lives in County Antrim, Ireland") who was also to have $500. To Catharine "Helbay's" son, Gale Barron, he gave his plantation in Anderson County, Tennessee, and to her daughter, Joanna Barron, a house and lot in Williamsburg, Jackson County, Tennessee.

In the name of God Amen. I, Joseph Barron of Gallatin Sumner County and State of Tennessee, being of sound mind and memory but weak and indisposed in body, do make the following as my Last will and Testament, to wit I first allow all my just debts to be paid. I then bequest to my two daughters, Mary P. Barron and Jane Barron, all my estate real and personal, excepting the bequests hitherto mentioned. To my Sister-in-Law Margaret Gleves, I leave five hundred dollars. To my Sister Jane Hubson, who I expect lives in the country of Antrim in Ireland, I leave five hundred dollars. I leave to Catherine Helbay's son Gale Barron, my plantation or tract of land lying in Anderson County State of Tennessee containing one hundred and eighty acres, more or less. And to said Catherine Hebbaley's daughter Jane Barron, I leave my home and lot in Williamsburgh, Jackson County, and State of Tennessee. In order that it might be more easy and convenient to divide the real property remaining for my two daughters Mary P. Barron and Jane Barron, aforesaid, my will is that Mary P. Barron is to have my house and lot in Evansha_n, Wyeth County and State of Virginia, and my two improved lots in Gallatin, aforesaid, where I now live. And that my daughter Jane is to have my two improved lots in Gallatin and my house and lot in Nashville, Davidson County and State of Tennessee, and should the said Jane's part of my estate money expire, with her sisters [. . .], said Mary P., I allow the said Jane to have twenty five hundred dollars more of the personal estate than her sister, the said Mary P. Part of my personal estate consists of my interest in co- partnership now existing between Mr. Thomas Warren of Evansha_n, aforesaid, and one is our establishment of merchandise in that place. I having advanced the stock that said co-partnership commenced with, and our terms are that on settlement I am to recieve the amount of said stock and the profits to be equally divided between said Warren and me. I hereby appoint and ordain my brother-in-law Mr. Dabny Finley of Christian County and State of Kentucky, and the aforesaid Mr. Thomas Warren to be executors to this my last will and testament, and empower them to settle all my affairs so as to execute the above will. I also appoint the aforesaid Misters Finley and Warren to be guardians to my aforesaid two daughters, Mary P. Barron and Jane Barron. In Testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 5th day of November 1815.

Jos. Barron Acknowledged and attended by the testators of and for his last will and testament in the persons of James Bany, Ashly Starrfield, Geo. Crocket. [Sumner Co. Will Bk. 1:222; Wythe Co. Will Bk. 4:78 (March 1817).]

Joseph Barron's daughters Mary and Jane sued executor Thomas Warner, and the case went to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals:

Thompson M. Ewing & Mary his wife, formerly Mary P. Barron and Jane Barron daughters of Joseph Barron decd.Complt.


Thomas Warner executor of Joseph Barron decd. and former guardian to the said Mary & Jane and Wm Hay Deft.

An Appeal having been taken to the Supreme Court of Appeals from the decree rendered in this cause on the 29th May 1824 . . . having been Certified by the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Wythe, and by said court sent here, together with the record in said suit, which copy of the decree . . . is in the following words & figures, to wit, "Virginia. At a Court of Appeals held at the City of Richmond on Tuesday November 8th 1831 Thomas Warner & William Hay Applts. Against Thompson M. Ewing and Mary P. his wife late Mary P. Barron & Jane Barron who sues by Thompson M. Ewing her next friend Appees. Upon an Appeal from a decree pronounced by the Superior Court of Chancery held at the Wythe courthouse on the 29th May 1824 in a suit which the said appellees were plaintiffs and the appellants were defendants. This day came the parties by their counsel, and the court . . . is of opinion that there is manifest error in the report of the Commissioner in this case in a short credit in statement B. to the amount of $806.81 . . . and the decree accordingly founded thereon, the court also in decreeing against the defendant the sum of $1162.58 with interest from October 26th 1818 till paid, instead of $355.77 with the interest as aforesaid. And . . . there is further error in the omission to order that the appellees should give a refunding bond to the appellant as required by law; therefore it is ordered . . . that so much of the said decree as conflicts with the foregoing opinion be reversed and annulled and the residue thereof affirmed, and also that the appellees do pay unto the appellants their costs by them expended in the prosecution of their appeal aforesaid here- and it is ordered that the cause be remanded to the said Chancery court to be further proceeded . . . and the defendant Jane Barron having intermarried with David Parks Junr., the same is ordered to be suggested on the record, and that this suit be further prosecuted in the name of the said David Parks Junr. & Jane his wife late Jane Barron; and the plaintiffs admitting that so much of the decree as is against Thomas Warner as Executor of Joseph Barron decd. has been settled and that the items in the Commissioners report excepted to and deferred at the time of the former decree have also been settled: It is therefore adjudged that upon the plaintiffs . . . executing a refunding bond to Thomas Warner executor of Joseph Barron deceased in the penalty of twelve thousand dollars, with sufficient security in the clerk's office of this court, the said plaintiffs recover against the defendants Thomas Warner & William Hay the sum of Six thousand six hundred & fifty four dollars & eighty eight cents with interest thereon from the 1st May 1818 till paid. It is furthermore decreed . . . that the plaintiffs recover against the deft. Thomas Warner . . . the sum of Three hundred & fifty five dollars & seventy seven cents with interest from the 26th October 1818 till paid, and . . . recover their costs . . . about their suit in this behalf expended . . . [Washington Co. Chancery Ct. Order Bk. A:6-7.]


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Joseph Barron, Indian Trader's Timeline

County Antrim, United Kingdom
Age 39
Wythe County, Virginia, United States
December 1, 1801
Age 43
Wythe County, Virginia, United States
Age 46
Virginia, United States
Age 48
Wytheville, Wythe County, Virginia, United States
February 5, 1816
Age 58
Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee, United States