Archer Family (VA & MS)

Richard Thompson Archer (7 Apr. 1797-30 Oct. 1867) was born at “Woodlands” in Amelia County, Virginia. He emigrated to Claiborne County, Mississippi in 1824, and accumulated several plantations and hundreds of slaves in Holmes and Claiborne Counties. In 1834, he married Ann Maria Barnes (11 Aug. 1818-11 Feb. 1892), and in 1837, the couple moved to Anchuca Plantation near Port Gibson, MS. Before the Civil War, the Archers were one of the richest planter families in the South. Richard and Anne Archer had seventeen children, of whom only nine survived childhood. Abram B. Archer was their eldest son.

Abram “Abe” Barnes Archer (29 Sept. 1836-24 Jul. 1913) was born in Philadelphia, PA. He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-32 (1854-1856). He followed in his father’s footsteps as a farmer and planter, but when the Civil War began he enlisted and served in various cavalry regiments from Mississippi, including Magruder’s Partisan Rangers. After the war, he continued to manage the family plantations in Holmes County, MS. On 10 Feb. 1864, he married Anna E. Marye (1843-1912), a relative of his mother. The couple had the following children: Florence V., Mary A., Edward S., Anna E., Jane R., Julius M., Marona, and Barnes Archer. (1880 & 1900 U. S. Census) Both Abe and Anna were buried in Wintergreen Cemetery in Port Gibson, MS.

Edward “Ned” Stephen Archer (1 Mar. 1836-1 Jul. 1862) was born in Mississippi, the son of Richard Thompson Archer’s brother, Stephen Cocke Archer (1795-1837), and his wife, Catherine (Voss) Barnes (d. before 1847), a widow. He was raised by his Uncle Richard and Aunt Ann. He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-32 (1854-1856). He enlisted in the Confederate Army, in Company I of the 21st Mississippi Infantry, and died in the Battle of Malvern Hill, on 1 July, 1862. (Note: Though his tombstone gives “July 5, 1862” as his death date, a description of his death in a family letter (see Hammond) states that he died instantly in battle.) He was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.


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14 Responses to Archer Family (VA & MS)

  1. Debra H. Nelson says:

    I am looking for the family history of Barnes Archer. I know he was a slave owner. My great grandmother was perhaps one of his. Any records of his slaves and their names?

    • First you have to figure out which Barnes Archer is the man you are looking for, and do a genealogy on him, his parents, and his children. Then you have to search out the deeds, wills, estate inventories, and estate sales and distributions for the members of his family. Unfortunately, there’re no shortcuts for this research.

  2. Ann McNair says:

    My grandfather was a cousin of the Archer’s and lived at Anchuca in the late 1800s. The University of Texas at Austin has a large catalog of the Plantation’s papers. I have worked with a researcher there to find out information about my grandfather. I remember him talking about two former slaves who looked after him. One was named Orange Branch and think the other’s name was John. He ran into them years later in New Orleans.

    Definitely try UT at Austin’s Southern History Center. They may have the information that you are looking for.

  3. foodharvest says:

    My family lived on the Archer Plantation in Holmes Cty, MS (Beat 5), per the 1940 U.S. Census. I am looking for more information as well regarding my family. Any suggestions for me. I know this is the family who owns that land.

  4. Otto W. Duncan, Jr. says:

    This information has been very helpful. I am a direct descendent of Barnes Archer (born 1884), a son of Abram B. Archer of Cruger, Ms. He fathered four children with my grandmother, Lily Young Scruggs, a mixed race African American. One of their children was my mother, Maxie Scruggs (Duncan), born 1917). He was, therefore, my grandfather. I became aware of this only in recent years. I am now in my seventies. This article provided me with details of the Archer family which I have been trying to research. I have not met any other descendents beyond my immediate family.

    • Have you tried searching through the census for your Mother’s information? It would be very interesting to see how the family is entered in there.

    • foodharvest says:

      My family was listed on the census as to the Archer family. You may get lucky Yours, Mrs. T. Hill


      • Otto Duncan says:

        All of my mother’s immediate family had moved away to other states prior to 1940. The last census listing them in MS was the 1930 report. I have
        cousins presently living in the Cruger area who are not related to the Archer family.

      • In the 1930 censuses and before, how is the family listed? I mean, which last name does the head of household use? Do they live near the former Archer plantations? Was Lily Scruggs still alive in 1930? If not, when did she die? You can tell a lot about the family by doing an in-depth analysis of the census records.

  5. Kelly Morrissey Stevens says:

    My grandfather Michael Morrissey bought Anchuca in 1938. It was in bad shape by then and he dismantled the house and used the woodword, doors, windows and other materials when he buit a house for his family in Vicksburg Mississippi. The house was built to look like Tara in Gone With The Wind. My grandmother’s favorite movie. They named the home Grey Oaks. It is now owned by a friend and we are very interested in Anchuca and are trying to find out where it once stood and would like to visit the site. We are also interested in any history of the house and pictures. You can see Grey Oaks at We would love to hear from anyone who can tell us the history of the house or has pictures to share. Thanks! And Kind Regards Kelly Morrissey Stevens.

  6. Tommineka Archer says:

    My name is Tommy Archer I am 36 yrs old and this is all interesting, I’m trying to find out who were the slaves I am actually related to?????

    • One thing to suggest is to see if the estate records and/or plantation journals for this man are still in existence. You might try the University of Mississippi Special Collections dept., or the county courthouse in that area, and look through their records. Good luck!

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