The Resource Wilson and Hairston family papers, (microform)

Wilson and Hairston family papers, (microform)

Wilson and Hairston family papers, 1751-1928
Wilson and Hairston family papers
Inclusive dates
  • engspa
  • eng
  • Includes business correspondence and legal papers of Peter Hairston and Peter Wilson. Some of the legal papers include receipts, bonds, warranty deeds, and bills of sale for the purchase of land and slaves. Hairston and Wilson paid for much of their merchandise for their stores with tobacco. Other items produced were flour and cotton
  • Also, includes personal and professional correspondence of Alfred Varley Sims (1864-1944), a professor of civil engineering and husband of Ruth (Hairston) Sims (1863-1936). From 1905 to 1908 Sims lived in Guantanamo, Cuba while serving as chief engineer and manager of the Cuba Eastern Railroad Company (reels 32-48). Other surnames mentioned: Caldwell, Letcher, Lumpkin, Perkins, Stovall, Stuart and Varley
Member of
Biographical or historical data
In 1730 the first Peter Hairston, a Scottish immigrant and ancestor of the Peter Hairston represented in these papers, settled first in Pennsylvania before moving to Virginia. In 1720, the first Wilson, of the branch of Peter Wilson, immigrated from Scotland to Virginia. This collection comprises six generations of the families of Peter Hairston (1752-1832) and his son-in-law, Peter Wilson (1770-1813). Both men were wealthy planters and merchants of Henry and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia; and Davie, Rockingham and Stokes Counties, North Carolina. Peter Hairston lived in Henry County, Virginia, but operated a general merchandise store and blacksmithing shop at his other plantation in Surry County (later Stokes County), North Carolina. Peter Wilson was the son of John Wilson (1740-1820) who served in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1778 and 1782 (Pittsylvania County), a member of the Constitutional Convention (1788), and a wealthy landowner who owned a general merchandise Store at Wilson's Ferry, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He and his son Peter ran this store as well as a general merchandise store in Rockingham County, North Carolina. After marrying Peter Hairston's daughter, Ruth Stovall Hairston (1783-1869), Wilson moved to Pittsylvania County, but continued to own the store in North Carolina.
Cataloging source
Language note
Correspondence addressed to Alfred Varley Sims in Cuba in Spanish. Some with English translation
Wilson and Hairston family papers, (microform)
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
Printed guide describing the contents of each reel;
Immediate source of acquisition
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Library
Organization method
  • I. Reels 1-2: 1751-1788. Primarily, papers of Peter Hairston in his role as deputy sheriff of Henry County, Virginia. II. Reels 2-12: 1789-1812. Primarily, business correspondence of Peter Hairston and Peter Wilson from numerous merchants. III. Reels 12-20: 1814-1832. Principally, papers of Peter Hairston and his nephews Robert Hairston (1783-1852) and Samuel Hairston (1788-1875). IV. Reels 20-32: 1833-1880. Principally, the papers of Samuel Hairston (1788-1875), Robert Hairston (1783-1852), Peter's daughter, Ruth Stovall (Hairston) Wilson Hairston (1783-1869), and Peter Wilson Hairston (1819-1886). V. Reels 32-46: 1881-1928. Primarily, personal and professional correspondence of Alfred Varley Sims (1864-1944), husband of Ruth (Hairston) Sims (1863-1936). VI. Reels 46-48: Mostly undated correspondence, slave lists, financial papers, legal papers, genealogical papers, writings, and miscellaneous, including papers of Alfred Varley Sims. VII. Reels 49-52: 1780-1828. Includes daybooks, ledgers, and shop books, primarily of Peter Hairston, from his general merchandise store and black-smithing shop in Stokes County, North Carolina.
  • VIII. Reels 52-57: 1798-1817. Accounts and general merchandise, such as groceries, rum, hardware and dry goods for Peter Wilson's general store in Rockingham County, North Carolina. IX. Reels 57-58. Accounts of both, Peter Hairston and Peter Wilson. X. Reels 58-59. Cover the years 1780-1891 and include the Henry County, Virginia tax lists of Peter Hairston, and an estate account of Peter Wilson. XI. Reels 59-61. Cover the years 1884-1919 and are correspondence and memo books of A.V. Sims and farm accounts. XII. Reel 62: Cover the years 1859-1909. This was an addition to the Wilson and Hairston papers after 1978. It lists names of slaves in Henry County, Virginia, and Stokes County, North Carolina, as well as accounts of A.V. Sims. XIII. Reels 63-68. These are the papers concerning railroads of Peter Hairston and A.V. Sims, specifically, the Virginia and Kentucky Railroad in southwest Virginia and the Atlantic and Danville Railroad in southern Virginia. XIV. Reels 69-71: 1787-1894. Includes correspondence, account books of tobacco trade, list slaves born, including their mothers, and letter books of A.V. Sims.
Reproduction note
Terms governing use
Photoduplication prohibited. Permission for use of this collection in any work must be received from the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Type of unit



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
Processing Feedback ...