Carolyn L. Barkley

Expert Author

Carolyn L. Barkley received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1969 and her Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971. She was employed by the Virginia Beach (Virginia) Department of Public Libraries from 1971 until her retirement in 2006.

She is the genealogist for Clan Barclay International and oversees its DNA project. She has served as President of the St. Andrew's Society of Tidewater, the Scottish Society of Tidewater, Virginia, the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society, and the Virginia Library Association.

She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, and a member of several Scottish and genealogical organizations. In addition to being a genealogical researcher, she indexes and edits books for genealogical authors. She is the author of Marriage Bonds of Princess Anne County, Virginia 1822-1850 (Willow Bend, 1997).

Carolyn and her husband live in Nelson County, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Favorite Genealogy Quote

"In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man's skin—seven or eight ancestors at least, and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is."—Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are your specific genealogical interests?

  • Scottish genealogy
  • New England research (Massachusetts and Connecticut)
  • U.S. Civil war research

What got you into genealogy?

I spent summers in a household of four generations who told family stories. In addition, my grandfather was a City Clerk and introduced me to the joys of deed research when I was in my early teens.

Most surprising genealogical find:

While searching for my paternal grandfather's passenger arrival record, I instead found a record for my father, aged 1, traveling with his mother and sister after a visit to Portugal to visit his maternal grandfather. This record provided me with my great-grandfather's name and address in Lisbon.

If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?

William Wallace. I'd like to document the historical person, separating him from romantic myth. However, I'd rather find the parents of George Barkley (b. ca. 1730; lived Isle of Wight County, Va. ca. 1751; died North Carolina 1788)!

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