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Barbee-Best family papers, 1797-1925

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Finding aid prepared by Laura A. Hess


Barbee-Best family papers




University of Kentucky Special Collections


Collection is arranged by subject.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

72M4: [Identification of item], Barbee-Best family papers, 1797-1925, University of Kentucky Special Collections.


0.45 Cubic feet

1 box


The Barbee family, originally from Virginia, settled in Kentucky after the Revolutionary War. The family owned a plantation called Oakland in Danville until the Civil War. The family had a long military history, with family members serving in both the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. The Barbee family joined with the Best family when Sally Barbee married Isaac R. Best in the early 1800s. In the early 1900s, Nancy Nannie Barbee travelled the eastern Unites States performing dramatic readings of dialect stories about plantation life.

Barbee Family. Accessed 28 Oct. 2011

Some Descendants of Andrew Barbee, Fifth Generation. Rootsweb. Accessed 28 Oct. 2011.

Scope and Content

The Barbee-Best family papers record the family's history and activities through letters, financial and legal papers, genealogy records, scrapbooks, and copies of Nancy Barbee's dramatic readings. The majority of the papers date between the end of the Civil War and the early 1900s. Nancy Barbee and Thomas Barbee feature prominently in the collection.


  • Scrapbooks--United States.
  • Danville (Ky.)
  • Danville (Ky.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Barbee, Nannie, (Nancy)
  • Barbee, Thomas, 1749-1818
  • Best, Harry, Dr.
  • Best, I.D.
  • Correspondence.
  • Dramatists
  • Family archives--Kentucky.
  • Women dramatists.

User Restrictions

The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Collection Inventory

Nancy Barbee readings, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
Correspondence, 1905-1925
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Genealogy, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Financial and Legal, 1797, 1859-1891
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
Literary and Social Club, 1873-1876
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]
Scrapbook, 1889
[Box: 1, Folder: 6]
Account book, 1865-1876
[Box: 1, Folder: 7]