Ancestral Family Topic 28

 28   John Robert Carr (1843-1919)
Pedigree Chart 08

John Robert Carr, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, John Robert Carr might describe his life as follows.

I was born in Halifax County, at Nathalie, near Brookneal, 25 August 1843, and married Sarah Ann Harvey Guthrie when she was just 17. The farm where we reared our 9 children was near Republican Grove in northwest Halifax County and straddled Bradley Creek where my great-grandfather William Carr had established his home in 1777. Two or three miles to the north is Spider Creek where Sarah’s great-grandfather Travis Guthrey settled in 1778.
A daughter and grandson described our family in their memoirs: my service during the Civil War, my becoming a Baptist, how my wife ran our household, even what Sarah and I looked liked and how we dressed. So I don’t need to cover any of that.
I was in my 60s when Sarah and I sold our farm and moved to South Boston around 1910. I was ill for several weeks before my death in 1919. My obituary described me as “modest and unassuming, and genial and affable in disposition.” Sarah lived with our youngest daughter Blanch until her death in 1931.

We know quite a bit about John Robert Carr from memoirs of his eldest daughter, Lula Roberta Carr and his grandson, Harry Lewis Carr.

Service in the Civil War
On 4 June 1861, at age 18, John enlisted in the Confederate Army and served in Co. F, 38th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Armistead’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Jed Carter’s Company. John was in the hospital in Danville 21 Jan. 1862, had bronchitis when they admitted him to Chimborazo 6 Dec. 1862, and was at Farmville Hospital with debilitas 10 days later. Made a sergeant on 1 July 1863, he was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg 3 July 1863 when a Minié ball went through his right arm. Tormented by the pain he trudged from the field where he met Samuel Hubbard of the Halifax Catawba Troop, 3rd Virginia Cavalry riding one horse and leading another. Wounded by a Federal rifleman, Sam gave the extra horse to John and they turned toward home. They traveled 11 days, hungry and in pain the entire way.
At the rain-swollen Potomac, they waited among the throng of men, horses, and wagons for several days. They paid two blacks $20 Confederate to swim their horses across while they held on. The Rappahannock delayed them again. By the time John got home, his arm had nearly healed. Loyal John rejoined his outfit and fought from the Wilderness to the final stand at Richmond. They promoted John to third sergeant by 1 Nov. 1864.
While in the Confederate Army, John converted after hearing the sermons of Baptist minister Rev. Cridlin of Chase City who gave John a small leather-bound Bible, which he treasured until he died.
Many years later Grover Carr took his father to see the movie spectacular “Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg.” To the true veteran, “It was not like that. It was not like that a’tall.”

Farming in Halifax
John returned to farming after the war. Without the free slave help available before the War, few would become wealthy growing tobacco. John, a farmer, was living in the household of John C. Coates in 1870.  Later that year, on 20 Nov. 1870 at age 28, he married Sarah Ann Harvey Guthrie, Rev. John C. Smith, officiating. Their license of 19 Nov. stated they were to be married 7 Dec. 1870. Sarah, the very beautiful of the daughter of Wesley H. Guthrie and Elizabeth Sparrow who was born 2 Dec. 1853, was not quite 17 at the time of their marriage.
John and Sarah rented a farm near Virgilina in Halifax County, across the Dan River from South Boston. They later bought a farm of 250 acres and added more acreage acquired from Thomas Milner, son of the wealthy Capt. Jack Milner. Milners were in Halifax County as early as 1765.  Their farm was on Bradley Creek, which ran through the property. It extended as far as Banister River on the south, and was next to the farms of Billups Glass, William Carr, Giles Sydnor, and Fabian Royster. Fabian Royster’s wife was Fannie Milner, the daughter of Capt. Jack Milner.
John’s and Sarah’s home had several rooms with a detached kitchen in the yard. Sarah had a faithful black woman to help with the heavy work while she did the housekeeping and looked after the family. She took pride in her home and was very competent and thorough in every detail. She raised a calf her husband gave her, sold it, and used the money to buy a chest-of-drawers, which Frances Garland later owned.
John was tall, lean, and raw-bone and stood a bit round-shouldered. To Harry Lewis Carr, “his white beard and steel-rimmed glasses gave him the look of an ancient scholar, but he had little education and read nothing besides the Richmond Times-Dispatch and occasionally the Pathfinder magazine.” John liked to wear a black string tie, and a broad-rimmed black hat, and a black vest with a watch stuck in the pocket. He never used profanity.
Harry remembered his grandmother. “True to her Scots-Irish clan, Sarah Carr rarely showed emotion. She did not smile and she did not cry. She was a systematic, hardworking woman who kept a good house, set a good table, reared her kids strictly, and never complained. She was capable of sudden tight-lipped anger, and in her house she ran things her way—with the pot-cloth on the peg, the dishcloth on this one, the glass-cloth on the right. She was always in charge.
“When Sarah and John were married, they were given a set of twelve cut-glass goblets. They were on the table three times a day, every day, while she reared eight children. When she broke up housekeeping after John Carr’s death, after 50 years of marriage, she gave Grover the remaining ten of the twelve goblets. Sarah was a careful woman.”
Sarah was always in a long-sleeved, high-necked, ankle dress of grey or blue or black fabric with an apron she made herself around her waist. She wore steel-rimmed spectacles from the drug store.
When the 1890 census was taken, John and Sarah were in Meadeville District with Lula R. 7, Archer W. 6, Charles P. 4, and Ila 3, and Lizzie M., aged 1.  The Census of 1900 listed John and Sarah with Lizzie M. 20, John F. 18, Grover C. 16, and Erna B., aged 12,  but only Fred 27 and Blanche E., aged 21, were residing in their household in 1910. 

South Boston
Around 1910 when he was 64, John Carr sold his farm and moved to South Boston, Halifax County, and transferred his church membership from Republican Grove to South Boston Baptist Church where he attended regularly. Each day he would walk a mile to the post office to get his mail and a newspaper. He died 20 Dec. 1919 at his home in South Boston after several weeks of illness. His obituary described John as “modest and unassuming, and genial and affable in disposition.”
Sarah Carr, reportedly 76 years of age, was living with her eldest daughter Lula in 1930.  She died 10 Nov. 1931 and is with her husband in Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, Section 55, Plot 1.

Descendants of John Robert Carr
Information about the children of John Robert Carr, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Lula Roberta (Carr) LaPrade (1871-1961),  
John Christian LaPrade,  
Evelyn Rebecca LaPrade,  Jerome Ayers Wilson,  Daniel Sturdivant Wilson,  Anne Lavonia Bondurant,  John Archer Wilson,  Daniel Sturdivant Wilson,  
Margaret Elaine Wilson,  Joe Moore Watson,  Claude Watson,  Eva —,  
Anne Christian Wilson,  Robert Earl Houmes,  Adrian Houmes,  Delphia —,  
Rosa Louise Wilson,  Glendon Mayes Watkins,  Berkeley Watkins,  Florence —,  
Rebecca Josephine Wilson,  Thomas Wallace Hiers,  Thomas Watson Hiers,  Bessie May —,  
Jerome Ayers Wilson,  Frances Walker Williams,  Carl Williams,  Sally —,  
Frank Everette LaPrade,  Jeanette Scott,  
John Lovelace LaPrade,  Lucy Finchum,  
Elizabeth Martha LaPrade,  Herman Ginther,  
Estelle Lula LaPrade,  Dr. Philip R. Milton,  James H. Simmonds,  
James Richard LaPrade,  Lizzie Moorefield,  
 Ila Eudora (Carr) Cage (1877-),  
Thomas Archer Cage,  
Robert Fielding Cage,  Caroline (—) Cage,  
Thomas Clyde Cage,  Mary —,  
Louise Isabel Cage,  
Fannie Juliette Cage,  
Holt Tuck Cage,  
Mary Elizabeth Cage,  
Woodrow Cage,  
Hubert Newton Cage,  
Raymond W. Cage,  
Henry P. Cage,  
Sarah H. Cage,  
Alma K. Cage,  
 Archer Wesley Carr (1873-1949),  
Emma Anderson Crews,  William Thomas Crews,  Sarah Caroline Kent,  
Jesse Metteauer Carr,  Vohammie Pharr,  Marcus Aurelius Pharr,  Vohammie Heard,  
Francis Frederick Carr,  Ella Elizabeth Kaufman,  
William Robert Carr,  Ruth Esther Owen,  
Emelyn Anderson Carr,  James Richard Mills,  
Anne Catherine Mills,  Dr. Christian Sizemore,  
Emelyn Carr Mills,  Ted Weyandt,  
Rebecca Mills,  Jerald Reichlin,  
 Elizabeth Margaret (Carr) Montague (1878-1972),  
Rev. Alexander Beam,  Joseph Edwin Montague,  Rev. Edwin Jordan Montague,  Sarah Virginia Allen,  Rev. J.H. Bass,  
Katie Blanche Montague,  
Sarah Virginia Montague,  George Kitchin Harris,  
Dolian Harris,  
George Edwin Harris,  
John Carr Montague,  Sophia Mangum,  
Eugene Hunter Montague,  
Margaret Montague,  
Joe Carr Montague,  
Frank Willard Montague,  
Frances Montague,  
Lucille Edith Montague,  John Bullock,  
John Bullock,  
Nancy Elizabeth Bullock,  
Edwin Joseph Montague,  Hilda Talley,  
Hubert Joseph Montague,  
Harvey Lynwood Montague,  
Linda Leigh Montague,  
Archer Allen Montague,  Virginia Mann,  
Archer Allen Montague,  
Fred Wingate Montague,  Mae Womble,  
Fred Wingate Montague,  
John Dewey Montague,  
Harvey Graves Montague,  Virginia Valentine,  
Steven Carr Montague,  
Ann Elizabeth Montague,  
Clifford Harvey Montague,  
Vickie Lee Montague,  
Garland Allison Montague,  Dorothy Stevens,  Sue (—) Montague,  
Dorothy Page Montague,  
Betty Rose Montague,  
Lillian Mavis Montague,  
Bert Guthrie Montague,  Jane Wilson,  
Wilson Montague,  
Bert Guthrie Montague,  
Martha Jane Montague,  
Lillian Elizabeth Montague,  Howard Partin,  
Howard Glen Partin,  
 Charles Paul Carr (1875-1960),  
 John Fred Carr (1881-1965),  
Mary Bray,  
Carl Carr,  Virginia Gray,  
 child Carr (1876-),  
 Grover Cleveland Carr (1884-1962),  
Bessie King Ballow,  Willie King Ballow,  Mollie Elfreda Norwood,  Clara Eliza Edwards,   
Harry Lewis Carr,  
Ann Kashur,  Rita Mae Franks,  Margaret Johnstone,  
John R. Carr,  
Martha L. Carr,  Higgins,  
Ruth R. Carr,  Larry Mandt,  
 Erna Blanch (Carr) Allen (1888-),  
Arthur Cameron Allen,  
Mabel C. Allen,  Richard David Smith,  
Cecil Allen,  Ruth Poe,  
Marguerite Allen,  Lloyd Massey,  
Erna Allen,  William Nunn,  
Sara Carolyn Allen,  George Willard Laws,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
John Robert Carr - Civil War Harry Lewis Carr - World War II

Selected sources
Carr Family Bible. • Family Bible of John Robert Carr, owned by Emma Crews Carr, widow of Archer Wesley Carr, and copied by Archers’ daughter-in-law Elizabeth K. Carr.
Carr, Harry L. Whitey 1914-1933. Coronado, Cal.: Privately published, 1989. A wonderful collection of remembrances by Harry Lewis Carr.

This topic, which represents .18% of all the family history material at, includes 35 citations and the names of 178 individuals.
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