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Rebecca Cameron Smith


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At a Glance

Rebecca Cameron Smith, Mary Ivy 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.

Rebecca Cameron 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 Fanny (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 Rebecca 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 [3].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Rebecca Cameron Smith was born on June 21, 1840, in Caswell County, NC [4]. She died on January 5, 1888, and was buried in Smith Family Cemetery in Hycotee, NC.

Places of Residence

  • Hycotee, NC, between 1838 and 1888. 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. Caswell County Historical Association. Caswell County Family Tree.
  5. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).