Holly Springs Meeting, Randolph County, North Carolina
|John Barker||Mary Osborn|
|Birth||7 April 1771
Guilford County, North Carolina
|3 February 1770|
|Marriage||26 May 1791|
|Death||3 April 1849||18 May 1825|
More than one hundred fifty years had passed since John Barker died. I came to the burial ground not expecting to find a tombstone. None of his stories survived the six generations that separate us. All that I know of him comes solely from research my brother, father and I have done.
In 1820, John Barker owned more than a thousand acres of land along Richland and Bachelor’s Creeks in Randolph County, North Carolina. He had twelve children, the twelfth being David, the son through which I am descended. As his sons became men, he divided his land among them. His wife, Mary, died when he was fifty-four. He married Ruth Mendenhall a few years later and spent the remainder of his life with her. In his will he bequeathed David seventy-five acres of land, including a mill, on the condition that he provide his step-mother sufficient firewood for as long as she lived.
The reason I didn’t expect to find a marker was partly age, not knowing whether or not a modest monument would survive, and partly because he was Quaker. He was a member of the Holly Springs Meeting and Quakers kept excellent genealogical records in the minutes of their monthly meetings as a memorial rather than erecting expensive stones.
They didn’t want to encourage ancestor worship.