Archive for the ‘Robert Wesley Barrett’ Tag

Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (VII)   Leave a comment


Descendants 08B

Descendants 08C

Descendants 09A

Scans Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Robert Wesley Barrett (1860-1924) was the first child of William Wesley Barrett (1835-1911) and Sarah Jane Winburn Barrett (1838-1883) and the father of George Washington Barrett (1873-1956), my great-grandfather.  Nell Barrett Taylor (1915-2001) was my grandmother.


Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (V)   Leave a comment

Descendants 06E

Descendants 07A

Scans Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

William Wesley Barrett (1835-1911) was the fourth child of Elisha Chastain Barrett (1806-1886) and Nancy Mabry Barrett (1810-1849) and the father of George Washington Barrett (1873-1956), my great-grandfather.


The Sunny Side of Parsonage Life   Leave a comment


Above:  George Washington Barrett (1873-1956) and Nellie Seguin Fox Barrett (1876-1958) with their Daughter, Nell Barrett Taylor (1915-2001), My Grandmother, Probably in the 1950s

Image Courtesy of Randolph Fleming Taylor



  1. I have interjected personal names, place names, and dates into my great-grandmother’s undated text occasionally to make clear the chronology and geography.
  2. The original title of this text was “Beautiful Things My Husband’s People Have Done for Me.”
  3. I have written my own reflections, which arrive at a different conclusion:  Such a life is not for everybody.
  4. The Methodists used to move their pastors and pastor’s families in late November or early December, depending on the year.
  5. I have used North Georgia Conference Journals, George Washington Barrett’s Descendants of John Barrett and William Winburn (Decatur, GA:  Banner Press, 1949), family oral tradition, and my storehouse of church historical knowledge as sources of details.








Poor child!  She does not know what she is getting into.

Thus spoke the widow of a preacher when my sister told her of my approaching marriage [on January 17, 1900, when my great-grandfather, George Washington Barrett, was pastor of the Alpharetta circuit] to a young itinerant Methodist preacher.   I informed sister that I preferred a hard time with him to luxuries without him.  However, I spent many moments wondering what she meant.  I am still wondering, though I have found that her opinion is very largely accepted.  After reading a recent magazine article, I decided that it is time one should give the other side of the picture; and so I desire to tell of some of the many lovely things my husband’s people have done for us.

First of all, to my way of thinking, is the friendly welcome that has invariably been accorded to us.  Not once have I been made to feel as if I were on probation–that they were waiting to decide whether to accept me as one of the community.  Always we have been met at the train and taken to the parsonage where a welcome committee was assembled and a delightful meal served in such bountiful quantity that culinary labors were reduced to the minimum while we were getting settled.  The parsonage has been prepared for us as well as the brief time between the departure of the our predecessor and our arrival allowed.  And when obtainable, flowers added to the festive array of the home.

A short time after we reached our second charge [Blue Ridge Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Blue Ridge, Georgia, 1902-1904], my husband was requested to meet some friends at the Y.M.C.A. one evening.  A lady friend came up to keep me company while he was there.  Soon he returned with a check for a splendid suit of clothes, the compliment of the railroad men of the town.  They chose to bestow it rather than to see if the new pastor pleased them or no.  It was a timely gift, though they did not know it, for they thought the pastor was a bridegroom.  He had been, almost three years before, and was still wearing his wedding suit for best.

When our first baby [Randolph Winburn Barrett, 1905-?, born when his parents were at Palmetto, Georgia] came, we had many lovely attentions bestowed.  He happened to be the first baby that had ever lived in that parsonage.  When it was time to put him in short clothes, before I could get more than started at making them, behold, the ladies of the charge sent in the most complete outfit one could wish.  That was paralleled when the sixth baby [Margaret Elizabeth Barrett, later Bartlett, 1918-2007, born when her parents were at Gray, Georgia] was on the way.   I was much too sick to sew, though I tried to do so while lying in bed.  The ladies sent me word that they were making the layette for me and I was not to sew at all.  And it was such a beautiful little wardrobe–sheer, fine materials, hand-embroidered, [with] fine lacy tatting on edges and set in as medallions, and an abundance of garments, even a little pillow with hand-embroidered slips, and a number of extra garments for me.  And all this when I had not been worth a thing to the church, for I had been too sick to do any church work, and we had illness in the family too.

This same charge [the Gray Circuit, Gray, Georgia, 1917-1919] being dissatisfied with the reception of their pastor, because they had only one hour from the departure of our predecessor and our arrival, sent me word at Christmas that I was not to prepare a Christmas dinner.  It was sent on Christmas Day, and what a feast it was!

At another place [Gainesville, Georgia, where my great-grandfather served at the St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1922-1925] my husband’s brother [Robert Wesley Barrett (August 18, 1860-January 13, 1924)] had died and was brought there for burial.  [The Barrett family was from Gainesville and Oakwood.]  The family connection being large, we had considerably above a score with us to lunch.  What did those blessed women do but send in lunch for the crowd, and some came and helped serve, and then they washed up and left everything ready for the next meal!

It was here [St. Paul Church, Gainesville, Georgia], too, that various improvements to the parsonage furnishings were added along during our years of service because, they said, they wanted us to have the opportunity to enjoy them while there.  And it was here, having learned someway the date of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, [that] some of the members of our church combined with friends in another church in town and presented us with a handsome chest of flatware.

So far as I know there has been no attempt to criticize my own or even my children’s dress, but I’ve often been complimented on the children’s appearance.  And whenever I have had either a new hat or dress, the ladies appeared to take as much pleasure in them as I did.

At another charge [Tignall-Broad River Circuit, Tignall, Georgia, 1919-1922] one of our stewards [Yes, the Methodists used to have church officers called stewards.], a widower, lived across the street from the parsonage.  Beginning with a ten-pound turkey for our Christmas gift, he filled the three years of our stay with loving, brotherly attentions so delicately offered that one could not feel offended.

We were quarantined just at the Christmas holidays because of diptheria in our home and people feared the children might not have their stockings filled; so they proceeded to provide against such an emergency.  And how they did provide!

Another time [at Tignall] the children and I had whooping cough.  Our oldest daughter [Sarah Claiborne Barrett (1908-1954)] was very ill and the youngest [Margaret (1918-2007] of our brood of six was under two years of age.  To secure help was almost impossible, it being peach-packing time.  I was under a great strain, for my husband was away holding meetings on the charge.  Those good friends sent out of the community and brought in a nurse, telling her to stay as long as I needed her.  They paid her salary weekly and I knew it not until she was leaving and I endeavored to pay her for her services.  It was here that, when we were unexpectedly moved [in 1922], the Woman’s Missionary Society sent a committee to ask me please not to clean up the house.  I protested because such was not my custom, always leaving the house ready for our successor.  But Mrs. S. put her arm about me tenderly and said,

Please, you can do it for us because we want to do it for you.

I did it and to this day can never think of it without grateful tears.

I do not believe these were exceptional charges.  I could name some lovely things from every place we have lived and I truly believe all the churches want to really love their pastor’s family; but this is enough to show

the sunny side

of parsonage life.

It has been a happy life to me, though, of course, there are some things I should prefer otherwise–but is there any lot in life without some drawbacks?  But this is my most sincere and loving tribute to the churches my husband has served.  They have treated me as they would wish to be treated if they were in my place.  Could anyone ask more?