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Mary Ivy Smith


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At a Glance

Mary Ivy Smith, Rebecca Cameron Smith  and Frances Elizabeth Smith  were three sisters who attended the Burwell School.


The girls' father, Richard Ivy Smith, Esq., of Caswell County, NC is listed as a trustee of the Caldwell Institute in Hillsborough, NC in its Catalogue of the Caldwell Institute 1848-1849 [1], printed by Dennis Heartt, and it seems likely that the J is a misprint for I, a common error in Heartt's early catalogues.

He also signed a petition as a merchant for cabinetmaker Thomas Day for permission from the North Carolina General Assembly to bring Day's wife to North Carolina. At least two letters document the Smith mercantile business.

Mary Ivy Smith is assumed to be one of the two sisters written about by Mrs. Burwell (Margaret Anna Robertson) below:

On March 4, 1856, Mrs. Burwell wrote to her daughter Frances Armistead Burwell ,

"Two new boarders have this moment come Fanny Smith's (Frances Elizabeth Smith ) sisters nice little girls ----so Farewell...."

On March 10, she wrote,

"The last girls who came Fanny Smith's sisters are just as good as she was---but tho' they are all good I find plenty more than enough to do."

The United States Census of 1870 [2] records Mary living at home as an adult.

Fanny Smith, Rebecca Cameron Smith, and Mary Ivy Smith, all daughters of Richard Ivy Smith and aunt Mary Amis Goodwin Smith of Hycotee, Caswell County attended the Burwell School with their cousins Mary and Sallie. Richard Ivy Smith and Mary and Sallie’s father Rev. Samuel H. Smith were first cousins. Mary's gravestone reads 2 July 1842 - 18 April 1913 [3].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Mary Ivy Smith was born on July 21, 1842. She died on April 13, 1913, and was buried in Red House Presbyterian Church in Caswell County, NC.

Places of Residence

  • Hycotee, NC. Hycotee was the family farm in Caswell County, NC.

Schools Attended



  1. Catalogue of the Caldwell Institute 1848-1849.
  2. United States Census of 1870.
  3. Caswell County Historical Association.
  4. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).
  5. Caswell County Historical Association. Caswell County Family Tree.