Whitford Family Papers, 1743-1985

Manuscript Collection #937

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Whitford Family Papers
Creator: Whitford family
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1743 – 1985) of the descendants of Martin Whitford and Nancy Purifoi (Purifoy) Whitford, of Craven County NC, including David Purifoi Whitford, Susan Cox, Addison Purifoi Whitford, Pamela Toler and Edna Whitford Fisher, and consisting of land, legal and business records, genealogical charts and a family history, a photographic print, and the constitutions of the Mt. Lebanon Church and the Broad St. Church & Secondary School 100 Per Cent Loyalty and Service Club.
Extent: 0.024 Cubic feet, 1 container, 52 items , legal and business records, genealogical charts, family history, photographic print

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

September 12, 2003 52 items, 0.024 cubic feet; Papers (1743 - 1985) of the descendants of Martin Whitford and Nancy Purifoi (Purifoy) Whitford, of Craven County NC, including David Purifoi Whitford, Susan Cox, Addison Purifoi Whitford, Pamela Toler and Edna Whitford Fisher, and consisting of land, legal and business records, genealogical charts and a family history, a photographic print, and the constitutions of the Mt. Lebanon Church and the Broad St. Church & Secondary School 100 Per Cent Loyalty and Service Club. Donor: Prof. Lona P. Ratcliffe

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Whitford Family Papers (#937), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Lona P. Ratcliffe

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Mark Custer, January 7, 2008

  • Processed by Cynthia Sharp May 2008


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Whitford Family history can be traced back to Scotland, where the name Whitford was derived from the estate of Whitford obtained by Walter de Whitford for his services in the battle of Largs in 1263. After this, the family history is unknown until Walter Whitford was born in 1581. Walter Whitford attended the University of Glasgow and served in the Church of Scotland. In 1635 Walter Whitford became the Bishop of Brechin, but because he supported the changes in the church introduced by Charles I he was forced to flee to England in 1639. Walter Whitford remained in England until he died in 1647.

The first Whitford to come to America was John Whitford, who came prior to 1700. In 1722 John’s son Martin Whitford came to North Carolina and married Nancy Purifoi (later changed to Purifoy). Martin’s son David Whitford is quite detailed in this collection, as well as his son Nathan. David Whitford acquired numerous plots of land in Craven County and appears to have increased the activity of buying land. David Whitford and his wife Nancy Stilley had ten children, but the child documented in this collection is David Purifoi Whitford. David Purifoi Whitford married Susan Cox and had six children. Their son Addison Purifoi Whitford married Pamelia Toler and had a son David P. Whitford. It was Addison who changed the spelling of the name Purifoi to Purifoy. Addison’s granddaughter Edna Whitford Fisher wrote about the family history and recorded stories told to her by her grandfather about his experiences in the Civil War.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection contains materials dating from 1743 to 1985. A Whitford Family Tree starting with Martin Whitford and Nancy Purifoi, which goes all the way to Addison Purifoi Whitford’s generation, is included. Although all of the children and their spouses are recorded, there are no dates on the chart. A ten-page history of the Whitford family written by Edna Whitford Fisher describes family history from Scotland and England and the first Whitfords to come to America. Edna’s writing includes research done by Edward B. Whitford Ph.D, a relative from New York City, when he visited England and Scotland in 1931. Also included in Edna’s writings are stories about her father David P. Whitford and her grandfather Addison Purifoi Whitford. A copy of a black and white photgraph of Addison Purifoi Whitford on horseback is included in the collection. There are two copies of “Heartfelt Tribute” written by D.P. Whitford, which discusses the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Also included is an article entitled “Whitford Family History Spans Centuries” from The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC newspaper, from Sunday, January 6, 1985. Also present is a written copy of the Church Constitution of Mount Lebanon in Craven County and a document from Broad St. Church and Sunday School in which they rededicate themselves to God’s work and create the One Hundred Percent Loyalty and Service Club.

There are forty-four legal documents in this collection, which include land grants, deeds, indentures, land surveys, accounts of sale, and a promissory note. The majority of the documents are from Craven County, N.C., but also include some from Pamlico and Beaufort counties. The oldest document is a land survey of a plot of land belonging to John Hill from 1743. North Carolina Land Grant No. 933 from 1799 describes 200 acres of land in Craven County given to David Whitford. Another interesting document is the 1841 deed that bequeaths land and a mill from David Whitford to his son David Purifoi Whitford. Some people who were parties in the land deeds include John C. Dunn, Leven Dunn, Elijah Dunn, Charles Ernul, Catherine Ernul, Elizabeth Ernul, Mary Ann Askines, Batson Whitehurst Cox, Caleb Toler, William Gaskins and J.J. Lewis.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Personal/Family name

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#0937.1
    • Folder a#0937.1.a
      • Copy of photograph (January 6, 1985) of Addison Purifoi Whitford that appeared in Daily Reflector Article. 1 item. 1 p. Note: p-937/1
      • History of Whitford Family (1985) written by Edna Whitford Fisher. Holograph. 1 item. 10 p.
      • Whitford Family Tree (1934) starting with Martin Whitford and Nancy Purifoi. Mimeograph typescript. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Document (undated) entitled "Heartfelt Tribute" written by D.P. Whitford. 2 items. 2 p. Note: 2 copies.
      • Document (undated) entitled "Heartfelt Tribute" written by D.P. Whitford. 1 item. 2 p.
      • Newspaper page. The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC. Sunday (January 6, 1985) D-1. Entitled "Whitford Family History Spans Centuries". 1 item. 1 p.
    • Folder b#0937.1.b
      • Drawing of plot of land (1743) belonging to John Hill. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Drawing of plot of land (1743) belonging to John Hill. (exact copy of previous) 1 item. 1 p.
      • Land Grant No. 133 (1782) of 640 acres in Beaufort County to Thomas Respess by Alex Martin. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Section of Willis to Warren deed (1796). 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1796) from Caleb Willis to Abraham Warren for land in Craven County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Lower section of a document (1798) describing a plot of land. 1 item. 1 p.
      • North Carolina Land Grant No. 933 (1799) giving 200 acres in Craven County to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Paper (1799) with description of a plot of land. Attached to Grant No. 933 document. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Indenture (1809) between Catherine Ernul and David Whitford for 40 acres. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Land grant (1810) of 640 acres in Beaufort County to Batson Whitehurst Cox. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Indenture (1810) from Caleb Tolar to Leven Dunn for land in Craven County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Drawing (1816) of 50 acre tract of land in Craven County surveyed for Hardy Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Indenture (1818) between Leven and Elijah Dunn and David Whitford for 75 acres in Craven County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed for 35 acres of land (1821) in Craven County from John C. Dunn to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1828) to William Gaskins for tract of land. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Section of Deed(1828) to William Gaskins. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Indenture (1835) between William Gaskins and David Whitford. David Whitford acquired a mill and five and a quarter acres as well as fifty additional acres. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1837) for land in Craven County from William Gaskins to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Land Grant No. 2020 (1838( to David P. Whitford of 220 acres in Craven County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Paper (1838) with description of a plot of land. Attached to Grant No. 2020 document. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1841) from David Whitford to Eli H. Douty for land in Beaufort County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1841) for land bequeathed to David P. Whitford by his father David Whitford for two tracts of land in Craven County including 55 acres and a Mill track. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1843) for 25 acres from Mary Ann Askines and Elizabeth Ernul to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Land Deed (1856) of 100 acres in Craven County to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Small note (1860) promising to pay David Whitford 16 dollars and 85 cents in six months for administering to the estate of William Stapleford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Account of Sale of the property (1866) of Henry B. Anderson being sold by Addison Purifoy Whitford. Some of the buyers include members of Whitford family. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Warranty Deed (1896) from Pamlico County recording sale of land from B. Paul and wife to J.J. Lewis. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (1899) for land in Pamlico County from J.J. and H.L. Lewis to G.A. and D. P. Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
    • Folder c#0937.1.c
      • Drawing and written description (undated) of plot of land. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Paper with description (undated) of a plot of land. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Description of Lot no. 3 (undated) belonging to D. P. Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Document (undated) describing the allocation of land in the Craven County area. David Whitford and other land owners in the area are mentioned.
      • Description (undated) of the land holdings of Charles Ernul and Catherine Ernul. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Account of Sale (undated) with some items sold to the Whitfords. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Drawing (undated) of 150 acres of land surveyed in Beaufort County. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Document (undated) tracing the ownership of a plot of land from John Hill to Catherine Ernul to David Whitford to Elisha Ann Withington to Charles Withington to H. B. Anderson. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Register (undated) of notes and accounts against H.B. Anderson Estate. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Drawing (undated) of a land plot. 1 item. 1 p
      • Upper section of a document (undated) concerning 640 acres to Bryan McMahon. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Description (undated) of courses of Dennis Perden Patten. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Description (undated) of a plot of land. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Deed (undated) for 40 acres from Catherine Ernul to David Whitford. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Description (undated) of courses of David D. Duns. 1 item. 1 p.
      • Second Copy (undated) of "Heartfelt Tribute". 1 item. 1 p.
    • Folder d#0937.1.d
      • Written copy of the Church Constitution (undated) of Mount Lebanon in Craven County. Holograph 1 item. 2 p.
      • Document (undated) from Broad St. Church and Sunday School rededicating themselves to God's work. The One Hundred Percent Loyalty and Service Club. Typescript. 1 item. 1 p.

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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