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Collection Number: 04725

Collection Title: Fairley, McIver, and Roberson Family Papers, 1805-1964

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 750 items)
Abstract Fairley, McIver, and Roberson family members included Presbyterian minister David Fairley (1831-1912) and his wife Janie Euphemia McIver Fairley (1839-1927). The couple was married in 1861 and lived in Manchester, Cumberland County, N.C. Janie McIver Fairley was born in Duplin County, N.C., and was the daughter of Rev. Alexander McIver (1801- 1839) and Catherine Wright McIver, who, after Alexander's death, married Duncan Murchison. Catherine was the daughter of Isaac and Jane Gillespie Wright. David and Janie Fairley's children included Rev. Watson M. Fairley (1873-1955) and Janie McIver Fairley (1877-1961) of Tarboro, N.C., who married Edward Leon Roberson (1876-1910), merchant of Tarboro. Their children were David Fairley Roberson (1906-1910) and Edward Leon Roberson (1909-1987), surgeon, who married Mary Agnes Marks (1916-1990) in 1947. Edward and Mary were the parents of Isabel, Edward Leon III, and Katherine. Correspondence, pictures, and other materials. Materials 1805 and into the 1830s relate to Isaac and Jane Gillespie Wright of Bladen County, N.C., and treat mostly social topics. In the 1830s, there are many items relating to Rev. Alexander and Catherine McIver of Duplin County, N.C. Many of these letters document Alexander's church activities, including his participation in weekly services and at marriages, births, and deaths. Letters to Catherine are chiefly about routine family affairs. Fairley family materials begin in 1861, when Janie McIver married David Fairley and took up residence in Mancester, Cumberland County, N.C. During the Civil War, there are many letters from David to his mother telling her of his church work and religious instruction with troops who passed through Manchester. Letters to David and Janie from their children begin in the 1880s, many of them relating to Watson M. Fairley, who traveled extensively in the West in the early 1900s. Roberson family letters begin in 1909, when Janie and Edward Leon Roberson were living in Tarboro. Letters are sparse from the mid- 1920s to the early 1940s. Materials 1941-1946 are chiefly related to Edward L. Roberson, Jr.'s service with the U.S. Navy's Medical Corps during World War II in Georgia, the Bahamas, Cuba, Miami, and, as the war ended, on a ship in the Pacific. Other materials include clippings; a few sermons and other writings; genealogical items; and photographs of members of the Fairley, Roberson, and related families.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Fairley, McIver, and Roberson Family Papers #4725, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Edward L. Roberson of Tarboro, N.C., in October 1994 (Acc. 94155) and January 1995 (Acc. 95012).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Many of the persons important in this collection are descendants of Rev. David (1831-1912) and Janie Euphemia McIver Fairley (1839-1927), who married in 1861 and lived in Manchester, Cumberland County, N.C. David Fairley was born in Jackson County, Miss., and educated at Davidson College and Columbia Theological Seminary. He entered the Fayetteville, N.C., Presbytery in 1859, where he preached for 52 years. Janie McIver Fairley was born in Duplin County, N.C., and was the daughter of Rev. Alexander McIver (1801-1839) and Catherine Wright McIver, who, after Alexander's death, married Duncan Murchison. Catherine Wright McIver Murchison's father was Isaac Wright and her mother was Jane Gillespie Wright, daughter of James and Dorcas Mumford Gillespie.

The children of David and Janie Fairley included:

John Murchison Fairley (1862-1865);

Alexander McIver Fairley (1864-1946), who married Eugenia Caroline Williams in 1894 and whose children included Alexander McIver Fairley (1895-1958), Eugenia Williams Fairley (1900- ), and Martha Coffield Fairley (1902- );

Kate Wright Fairley (1866-1948), who did not marry;

Daniel Percy Fairley (1868-1879);

Duncan Murchison Fairley (1870-1937), who married Mary Davis in 1897;

Rev. Watson M. Fairley (1873-1955), who married Alice Rollwage McRae in 1909;

Isabel Gillespie Fairley (1875- ), who married Samuel Newbern Harrell in 1900;

Janie McIver Fairley (1877-1961) of Tarboro, N.C., who married Edward Leon Roberson (1876-1910), merchant of Tarboro, in 1905 and whose children included David Fairley Roberson (1906-1910) and Edward Leon Roberson (1909-1987), surgeon, who married Mary Agnes Marks (1916-1990) in 1947. Edward and Mary were the parents of Isabel Roberson, Edward Leon Roberson III, and Katherine;

Nannie Williams Fairley (1879-1907), who married Eugene Grissom Davis in 1906;

and Ida Murchison Fairley (1882- ), who married Archibald Galloway Carter in 1912.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, pictures, and other materials. Materials 1805 and into the 1830s relate to Isaac and Jane Gillespie Wright of Bladen County, N.C., and treat mostly social topics. In the 1830s, there are many items relating to Rev. Alexander and Catherine McIver of Duplin County, N.C. Many of these letters document Alexander's church activities, including his participation in weekly services and at marriages, births, and deaths. Letters to Catherine are chiefly about routine family affairs. Fairley family materials begin in 1861, when Janie McIver married David Fairley and took up residence in Mancester, Cumberland County, N.C. During the Civil War, there are many letters from David to his mother telling her of his church work and religious instruction with troops who passed through Manchester. Letters to David and Janie from their children begin in the 1880s, many of them relating to Watson M. Fairley, who traveled extensively in the West in the early 1900s. Roberson family letters begin in 1909, when Janie and Edward Leon Roberson were living in Tarboro. Letters are sparse from the mid- 1920s to the early 1940s. Materials 1941-1946 are chiefly related to Edward L. Roberson, Jr.'s service with the U.S. Navy's Medical Corps during World War II in Georgia, the Bahamas, Cuba, Miami, and, as the war ended, on a ship in the Pacific. Other materials include clippings; a few sermons and other writings; genealogical items; and photographs of members of the Fairley, Roberson, and related families.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964.

About 460 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Earliest materials relate to Isaac Wright of Bladen County, N.C., father of Catherine Wright McIver Murchison, and to her mother Jane Gillespie, also in Bladen County. These letters, which treat mostly social topics, continue into the 1820s, by which time Isaac and Jane were married, and on into the 1830s with much correspondence relating to routine family affairs between Jane and daughter Catherine.

A letter of 26 April 1831 introduces Rev. Alexander McIver of Fayetteville Presbytery to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. In the mid-1830s, there are many materials relating to Catherine and Alexander, living in Duplin County, N.C. Many of these letters document Alexander's church activities, including his participation in weekly services and at marriages, births, and deaths. Letters to Catherine are chiefly about routine family affairs. Of note is a perpetual calendar she received enclosed in a letter dated 10 October 1838. Undated letters to Catherine are filed with materials from 1839.

A letter of 7 December 1840 documents Alexander's death in 1839. On 15 August 1848, the first letter from Janie McIver (Fairley) appears.

Fairley family materials begin in 1861, when Janie McIver married David Fairley and took up residence in Manchester, Cumberland County, N.C. During the Civil War, there are many letters from David to his mother Isabella Fairley in Jackson, Miss., telling her of his church work and religious instruction with troops who passed through Manchester. In a letter dated 18 August 1863, David wrote, "Our entire brigade seems ripe for the Gospel." In these letters, there are also comments about life on the homefront and coping with the enemy.

In the late 1860s, letters deal chiefly with David and Janie's life in Manchester. Included is the bill for a "Tableaux and Concert by the Young Ladies of the Presbyterian Church, February 28, 1866."

Letters to David and Janie from their children begin in the 1880s. Most of these letters relate either to Kate Wright Fairley or to Watson M. Fairley, who traveled extensively in the West in the early 1900s. Some correspondence is with Janie McIver Fairley. The first Roberson family letter appears in 1909, when Janie and Edward Leon Roberson were living in Tarboro. An item dated 26 July 1910 documents Edward's death on 19 July 1910.

In March 1911, letters show that David Fairley was ill, and, in October 1912, there are letters and telegrams expressing sympathy on the occasion of his death. By 1911, Watson M. Fairley was preaching in Fayetteville and Alexander McIver Fairley was employed by the Scotland Cotton Mill, Laurinburg, N.C. In the late 1910s, Watson was pastor of the Westminister Presbyterian Church, El Paso, Tex. There are no letters relating to World War I.

Many letters in the 1920s are to Janie McIver Fairley, living with daughter Janie McIver Fairley Roberson in Tarboro, from her children, especially Watson M. Fairley and Ida Murchison Fairley Carter of Sanford, N.C. Letters are sparse from the mid-1920 to the early 1940s.

Materials 1941-1946 are chiefly related to Edward L. Roberson, Jr.'s service with the United States Navy's Medical Corps during World War II. Most of these items are letters from Edward to his mother Jane McIver Fairley Roberson from Edward's postings in Georgia, the Bahamas, Cuba, Miami, and, as the war ended, on a ship in the Pacific.

Letters dated 1962-1964 are mostly routine family letters, many of them from Isabel Gillespie Fairley Harrell to Ida Murchison Fairley Carter, then a resident of the Presbyterian Home in High Point, N.C.

Folder 1

1805-1829 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 1

Folder 2

1831-1833 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 2

Folder 3

1834-1837 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 3

Folder 4

1838 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 4

Folder 5

1839 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 5

Folder 6

1840-1854 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 6

Folder 7

1860-1865 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 7

Folder 8

1866-1868 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 8

Folder 9

1870-1879 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 9

Folder 10

1882-1889 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 10

Folder 11

1891-1900 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 11

Folder 12

1901-1916 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 12

Folder 13

1918-1920 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 13

Folder 14

1923-1926 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 14

Folder 15

Fairley, Janie McIver, undated #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 15

Folder 16

1929-1942 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 16

Folder 17

1943-1947; 1956 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 17

Folder 18

1962-1964 #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 18

Folder 19

Undated #04725, Series: "1. Correspondence and Related Materials, 1805-1964." Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Materials, 1857-1957.

About 230 items.
Folder 20

Certificates: school and other certificates issued to family members, 1858-1900, including Watson Fairley's licensure in the Presbyterian Church (about 10 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 20

Folder 21

Clippings: miscellaneous newspaper clippings relating to family members, including some about Edward L. Roberson's World War II service (about 15 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 21

Folder 22

Daughters of the American Revolution: miscellaneous materials, 1930s, probably collected by Isabel Gillespie Fairley Harrell (about 10 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 22

Folder 23

Fairley, Alice Rollwage McRae: Sunday school lessons and related materials (3 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 23

Folder 24-25

Folder 24

Folder 25

Fairley, Watson M.: sermons and related materials (about 20 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 24-25

Folder 26-28

Folder 26

Folder 27

Folder 28

Family history materials: genealogical papers relating to the Fairley, Gillespie, Harrell, McIver, and other families (about 100 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 26-28

Folder 29

Financial and legal materials: wills, deeds, and other materials, including documentation of land purchases in 1857 and in Buncombe County, N.C., in 1920 and a few accounting sheets relating to David Fairley (about 10 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 29

Folder 30

Roberson, Edward L.: records of service in the United States Navy, 1941-1946, including orders, vouchers, and other official documents (about 30 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 30

Folder 31

United Daughters of the Confederacy: miscellaneous items collection by Isabel Gillespie Fairley Harrell (about 10 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 31

Folder 32

Fairley, David: Sermons, undated. #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 32

Folder 33-34

Folder 33

Folder 34

Miscellaneous: an undated sermon of David Fairley; a few grade reports; a school composition; a few poems; and other items (about 20 items). #04725, Series: "2. Other Materials, 1857-1957." Folder 33-34

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated.

64 items.
Image P-4725/1

Fairley, Daniel Percy #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/1

Image P-4725/2-5

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Fairley, David #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/2-5

Image P-4725/6

Fairley, George #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/6

Image P-4725/7-10

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Fairley, Kate #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/7-10

Image P-4725/11

Fairley, Nannie #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/11

Image P-4725/12

Fairley, Oscar #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/12

Image P-4725/13

Fairley, Rachel #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/13

Image P-4725/14-21a

P-4725/14

Fairley family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/14-21a

Image P-4725/22

Fason, Isham #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/22

Image P-4725/23-24

P-4725/23

P-4725/24

Gilmer family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/23-24

Image P-4725/25-28

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P-4725/26

P-4725/27

P-4725/28

Harrell family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/25-28

Image P-4725/29

Hicks, Rachel McIver #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/29

Image P-4725/30

Knight, Arthur #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/30

Image P-4725/31

[Lindsey?], Jesse #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/31

Image P-4725/32-33

P-4725/32

P-4725/33

McDiamid family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/32-33

Image P-4725/34

McQueen, Angus #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/34

Image P-4725/35

McRae, Thadeus #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/35

Image P-4725/36

Monroe, Eliza #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/36

Image P-4725/37-42

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P-4725/38

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Murchison family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/37-42

Image P-4725/43-52

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Roberson family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/43-52

Image P-4725/53

Dr. Sprunt #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/53

Image P-4725/54

Tucker, Susie (with Sophie [Buster?]) #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/54

Image P-4725/55-58

P-4725/55

P-4725/56

P-4725/57

P-4725/58

Williams family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/55-58

Image P-4725/59-60

P-4725/59

P-4725/60

Wright family #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/59-60

Image P-4725/61

Holly Hill, Manchester, N.C. #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/61

Image P-4725/62-63

P-4725/62

P-4725/63

Montreat, N.C. #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/62-63

Image P-4725/64

Unidentified building #04725, Series: "3. Pictures, circa 1895-1939 and undated." P-4725/64

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, October 1994

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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