Adam Barnes Oxford Sr was born 11 Jan 1809 at the home of his parents, James Oxford (1768-1846) and Hannah Barnes (1778-1849), located in Burke (now Caldwell) County North Carolina near where the Union Baptist Church now stands.
His paternal grandparents are Samuel Oxford and Bathsheba Barrett of Oxford Ferry North Carolina. His maternal grandparents are Handsome Jim Barnes and Sarah Carter. Sources for this article are from census records, tax records, land records, military records, and from information supplied by Jenner Arguile Oxford reported to him by his father Dr. John McLeod Oxford, a son of Adam Barnes Oxford Sr.
- 1809 Born in Burke (now Caldwell) County, North Carolina on his parents farm. (11 Jan 1809)
- 1830 Adam married his first wife Barbara McLeod in Burke County, North Carolina (5 Jan 1830)
- 1830 Built a home just south of his father’s farm
- 1830 In Burke County, North Carolina census with his wife Barbara
- 1833 Paid taxes on 83 acres of land in Burke County next to his father’s farm
- 1835 In Burke County, North Carolina voter list
- 1836 Was a volunteer in the Cherokee Indian War with brothers Isaac and Elisha
- 1838 Received 100 acres of land from his father James next to the family farm
- 1840 Obtained a land grant of 50 acres next to John McLeod, his father-in-law
- 1840 In Burke County North Carolina census with his wife Barbara
- 1841 The part of Burke County with the Oxford land became part of Caldwell County
- 1841 Obtained a second land grant of 100 acres on Upper Little River
- 1841 Adam was elected a Justice in Caldwell County
- 1846 Obtained a third land grant next to father-in-law John McLeod
- 1846 Father James Oxford died. (11 Feb 1846)
- 1846 Adam and brother Elisha were made administrators of the James Oxford estate
- 1846 Bought a 200 acre farm in Alexander County on Duck Creek next to brother Elisha
- 1848 Adam sold some of his property in Caldwell County
- 1848 Moved to his new farm in Alexander County
- 1849 Obtained a fourth land grant of 8 acres on Middle Little River in Alexander County
- 1849 Mother Hannah Barnes died (29 Oct 1849)
- 1849 Adam was administrator of his mother’s estate (2 Nov 1849)
- 1850 In Alexander County North Carolina census with his wife Barbara
- 1850 Agriculture census lists 500 acres, horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, wheat, corn, flax
- 1851 Three children were stricken with pneumonia and two died. (Isaac and Elizabeth)
- 1855 Adam sold his original land that had been next to his father’s farm
- 1860 In Alexander County, North Carolina census with his wife Barbara and children
- 1861 His wife Barbara McLeod died (4 Jun 1861). Buried at Union Baptist Church
- 1861 1862 All four sons enlisted in the Confederate Army
- 1862 His son John Oxford was disabled by a snake bite near Cumberland Gap, Tennessee
- 1863 His son Hugh Arguile Oxford was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia
- 1863 His son William Wallace Oxford was killed in the Civil War at Georgetown, Kentucky
- 1864 His son James Harvey Oxford was captured at the Battle of Kolbs Farm in Georgia
- 1864 His son John Oxford re-enlisted in the army
- 1864 Adam (age 55) married his second wife Mary Carolyn Kerley (age 24)
- 1865 His son James Harvey Oxford was released from prisoner-of-war camp (16 June)
- 1865 His son John McLeod Oxford returned from the war
- 1866 Adam sold his lands to siblings and to two children (Mary Ann and James Harvey)
- 1866 Adam and new family moved to Carthage, Missouri (15 Nov 1866)
- 1866 Rented land and grew crops in Missouri
- 1867 Endured a drought and contracted malaria in Missouri
- 1867 Moved back to Alexander County, North Carolina (15 Nov 1867)
- 1868 Bought land next to farm of his father-in-law Daniel W. Kerley Sr in Alexander County
- 1868 Built a home on his newly acquired land in Alexander County
- 1870 In Alexander County, North Carolina census with wife Mary and children
- 1870 The Alexander County census entry is next his father-in-law Daniel W. Kerley Sr
- 1872 Helped organize Lambert Fork Church which became the Poplar Springs Church
- 1875 Bought additional land next to the Alexander County farm
- 1878 Acquired additional land transferred from his wife Mary Kerley
- 1880 In Alexander County, North Carolina census with wife Mary
- 1881 Buried his young daughter Ida in Land Cemetery which he helped establish
- 1884 His father-in-law Daniel W. Kerley Sr died (3 May 1884)
- 1885 Poplar Springs Church moved leaving the church graveyard at the old location
- 1892 Received a military pension for his service in the Cherokee Indian War
- 1894 His mother-in-law Hannah Barnes died (6 May 1894)
- 1900 In Alexander County, North Carolina census with wife Mary
- 1900 Adam died on his farm in Alexander County, North Carolina (6 Jul 1900)
- 1900 Buried in Land Cemetery (old Poplar Springs Cemetery) in Alexander County, North Carolina
- 1908 His widow Mary Kerley died (15 Nov 1908) and buried in Land (Kerley) Cemetery
Adam married Barbara McLeod on 5 Jan 1830 in Burke (now Caldwell) County, North Carolina when Adam was 21 years old and Barbara was 24. Barbara was born 14 Feb 1806 in the Scottish community of Moore County, North Carolina to parents John McLeod (1773-1862) and Mary Ann McRay (1776-1826). Her parents immigrated to America in 1803 from Sutherland County in the highlands of Scotland. Her father had been a soldier in the Scottish Highlanders of the British Army and was discharged from the army in 1802 just before coming to America. The McLeod family moved to Burke (now Caldwell) County in 1829 where Barbara met Adam Barnes Oxford Sr and they were married the following year in 1830.
Adam Oxford and Barbara in 1830 bought land and constructed a log house just south of the farm of Adam’s parents, James Oxford and Hannah Barnes. They lived there until 1848 when they moved to a new home on Duck Creek in Alexander County further east from the Oxford farm toward Taylorsville, North Carolina. They were still living there with their children in the 1860 Alexander County census. Barbara died the following year on 4 June 1861 and was buried at Union Baptist Church. The year 1861 was the beginning of a series of disasters for the family.
Adam Barnes Oxford Sr and Barbara McLeod had eight children:
1. Hugh Arguile Oxford 1831-1863. Died in the Civil War
2. William Wallace Oxford 1832-1863. Died in the Civil War
3. James Harvey (Harve) Oxford 1834-1895. Captured in the Civil War
4. Mary Ann Oxford, 1836-1906. Married William G. Robinson, moved to Cooke County, Texas
5. Hannah Louise Oxford, 1838-1885. Married Adam Carter Sherrill in 1867
6. John McLeod Oxford 1841-1928. Survived the Civil War
7. Isaac Lafayette 1844-1851. Died young. Buried at Union Baptist Church
8. Elizabeth J. 1847-1851. Died young. Buried at Union Baptist Church
The Civil War was a terrible disaster for the family. Barbara died in 1861, and in that year, Hugh and Harve enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following year Wallace and John enlisted, placing all four sons in the war. John was stationed near Cumberland Gap and was bitten by a rattlesnake, disabled, discharged at Johnson City TN, and sent home in November 1862. John later recovered and re-enlisted in 1864 and survived. Hugh was a sergeant in Company K of the 7th NC Regiment and was killed on 3 May 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville and was buried at Chancellorsville. Wallace was a Lieutenant in Company E of the McRae Battalion of North Carolina Cavalry. He was killed in the battle called Morgan’s Raid in Georgetown, Kentucky, on 4 July 1863 and was buried in Georgetown. Harve served in Company E of the 58th North Carolina Regiment and was captured at the Battle of Kolbs Farm in Georgia on 22 Jun 1864 and was held captive until 16 Jun 1865 in the Camp Douglas prisoner of war camp near Chicago. After the war, Harve moved to Cooke County, Texas, with his sister Mary Ann Robinson. After the war son, John McLeod Oxford returned to Alexander County and became a doctor. The family had been devastated during the period of the Civil War. In 1864 Adam Barnes Oxford Sr married Mary Kerley. Adam sold his land in North Carolina and moved with his new family in 1866 to Missouri to begin a new life.
Move to Missouri
After the war, Adam and his new wife, Mary Kerley decided to leave North Carolina and move West. In 1866 Adam transferred his land in Caldwell County, North Carolina to two siblings (Elisha Chambers Oxford & Hannah Selina Oxford Teague) and two children (James Harvey Oxford & Mary Ann Oxford Robinson.) Information about this time of Adam’s life has been reported by his son John McLeod Oxford. On 15 November 1866 Adam Barnes Oxford Sr and his family (Adam, wife Mary Kerley, son John McLeod Oxford, and new baby Lillie Oxford) traveled by covered wagon through Asheville, North Carolina, Elizabethton, Tennesee, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cairo, Illinois, Springfield, Missouri to Carthage in western Missouri. Carthage is near the Kansas border and not far from the Oklahoma border.
Adam rented land in Carthage to raise corn. Drought reduced the corn crop, and the family suffered fevers considered to be malaria. On 15 Nov 1867, after only one year, the family started back to North Carolina. They stopped to visit Oxford relatives in Oxford Bend Arkansas. (His uncle Abel Oxford, son Samuel Oxford and Bathsheba Barrett, had founded an extended family in Oxford Bend on the White River back in the early 1800s.) Adam and family sailed down the White River and up the Mississippi River to Memphis, where they traveled by train to Johnson City, Tennesee, and by wagon back to Alexander County, North Carolina. Adam purchased land and built a house next to his father-in-law, Daniel W. Kerley, Sr in the rural Lambert Fork area of Alexander County, North Carolina.
In 1864 Adam at age 55 married young Mary Carolyn Kerley, born 9 Aug 1840, daughter of Daniel W. Kerley Sr (1796-1884) and Hannah Barnes (1802-1894), daughter of Jehu Barnes and Lurannah Teague. (Note that both Adam’s mother and mother-in-law are named Hannah Barnes. His mother is Hannah, daughter of Handsome Jim Barnes, and his mother-in-law is Hannah, daughter of Jehu Barnes and granddaughter of Handsome Jim Barnes. So Mary Kerley is Adam’s “first cousin one generation removed.”) Adam and Mary moved to Carthage, Missouri, but returned after one year to live next to Mary’s father, Daniel W. Kerley Sr. in Alexander County, North Carolina, on Lambert Fork Road.
Adam Barnes Oxford Sr and Mary Kerley had six children
1. Lillie Barbara Oxford 1865-1945. Lillie married Elijah Jefferson Teague and moved to Washington DC and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC.
2. Daniel Boone Oxford 1869-1872. Called “Boone.” Married Lucy Gertrude Dula and lived in Caldwell County, North Carolina and is buried in Kings Creek Baptist Cemetery
3. Sarah Etta Oxford 1872-1960. Married Thomas Clingman Land and lived in Caldwell County, North Carolina, and is buried in the Land Cemetery, where her parents are buried.
4. Adam Barnes Oxford Jr 1874-1918. Called “Barnes” to distinguish him from his father. He married Lottie McGee. He was a teacher in Kings Creek, North Carolina. He and his wife Lottie moved to Washington DC, where he was a railway postal clerk and where he owned a grocery store. He served in the Spanish-American War and died in the great flu epidemic of 1918. He is buried in Kings Creek Baptist Cemetery.
5. Ida Winifred Barnes Oxford 1877-1881. Ida died young and is buried in the Land Cemetery, where her parents will later be buried.
6. William Edward Oxford 1879-1963. Called “Ed.” Married Fannie Bell Sherrill. Worked in the furniture business in Lenoir, North Carolina and is buried at Blue Ridge Memorial Park
Adam volunteered for the North Carolina militia which was called up for service in the Cherokee War 1836-1839. Adam was a sergeant in Miller’s Company of the North Carolina 3rd Militia. His brothers Elisha and Isaac served with him. The service for the three brothers is recorded in the “Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers from North Carolina” (File 392, Card 6660) located at the U.S. National Archives and Record Center in Washington DC. In 1892 Adam received a pension (Number SA-3051) for his service in the militia. A report of his pension is reported in “Index to Pension Applications for Indian Wars Service between 1817 and 1898,” also located at the U.S. National Archives. All three brothers received pensions.
The Land Family Cemetery is on Land Cemetery Lane off Lambert Fork Road near the current Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Alexander County, North Carolina. The cemetery was originally the graveyard for the Lambert Fork Baptist Church, which changed its name to Poplar Springs Baptist Church and moved about a mile to the east, leaving the graveyard in an isolated location. Adam was one of the founding members of the church and helped establish the graveyard. The cemetery is very near the Kerley homestead, where Adam lived. Adam Barnes Oxford Sr, wife Mary Kerley, infant daughter Ida Oxford, two Oxford grandchildren (children of son John McLeod Oxford), parents-in-law Daniel Kerley and Hannah Barnes Kerley, sister Sarah Oxford Land, and other Kerley and Land relatives are buried there. The cemetery can be called the old Poplar Springs Cemetery, the Land Family Cemetery, or the Kerley Family Cemetery, but is most often simply called the Land Cemetery.