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Lavinia M. Alston

(d. 1867)

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At a Glance

Lavinia Alston of Chatham County, NC attended the Burwell School as a music scholar. Lavinia hailed from a Methodist family of well-to-do landowners [1].


Lavinia attended the Burwell School in 1845 but did not return in 1846 most likely because her mother acquired a private tutor for her family--a Miss Clarke. Lavinia married a Methodist minister, William Barringer, who attended the University of North Carolina. Lavinia and William Barringer had five children: John Alston Barringer, Paul Brandon Barringer, Victor Clay Barringer, Ella Barringer, and William Barringer, [Jr.].

Toward the end of her life, Lavinia's family presumably lived in Greensboro, NC. Lavinia's obituary notice was listed in the The Raleigh Register [2]. She died in Greensboro, NC on August 18, 1867 [1].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Lavinia died on August 18, 1867.

Places of Residence

  • Chatham County, NC. Lavinia M. Alston was of the Methodist Alstons of Chatham County who were well-to-do landowners [1].
  • Hillsborough, NC, between 1845 and 1846. Lavinia M. Alston lived in Hillsborough during her studies at the Burwell School [1].
  • Greensboro, NC. Lavinia Alston Barringer undoubtedly lived in Greensboro sometime after her marriage to the Methodist minister Rev. William Barringer. She died in Greensboro and though her husband continued to served at the Hillsborough Methodist Church until 1870, he was buried in Greensboro upon his death in 1873 [1].

Schools Attended

  • Burwell School, between 1845 and 1846. Lavinia M. Alston was the first of the Alston girls to attend the Burwell School as a music scholar. A student in 1845, Lavinia did not return in 1846. Mrs. Burwell mentioned Lavinia in a January 17, 1846 letter:  "Neither Sarah Smith nor Lavinia Allston [sic] have returned. Mrs. Alston has again employed Miss Clarke as a teacher in her family, so we do not expect Lavinia, but still think Sarah may come..." [1]



  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).
  2. The Raleigh Register.