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Collection Betty Herndon Maury Maury Papers

The Maury Family

Genealogical information about members of the extended Maury family relevant to the diary of Betty Herndon Maury Maury (1835-1903).

Family played a prominent role in the life of diarist Betty Herndon Maury Maury. She was born into the extensive Maury and Herndon families of Virginia, both of which were affiliated with other notable families, such as the Minors and Fontaines. Betty was the eldest of eight children of Matthew Fontaine Maury and Ann Herndon Maury. She wrote in her 1861-1863 diary of interactions with numerous members of her extended family, many of whom had similar names or were identified by nicknames. Her father bestowed nicknames on almost all of his children, by which they were thenceforth known for part or all of their lives.

The following background information is meant to aid readers of Betty Herndon Maury Maury's diary in identifying some of the family members to whom she refers. For more on the genealogy and history of the Maury family, researchers may wish to consult The Maury Family Tree by Sue Crabtree West, Intimate Virginiana by Anne Fontaine Maury, biographies of Matthew Fontaine Maury, and the Matthew Fontaine Maury Papers at the Library of Congress, which includes a genealogical chart of the Maury and Fontaine families.

Children of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) and Ann Herndon Maury (1811-1901)

  1. Elizabeth Herndon Maury ("Betty") (June 25, 1835-January 8, 1903)

    Married William Arden Maury (1832-1918) at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. on February 24, 1857. Interred at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

    Husband of Betty Herndon Maury: William Arden Maury ("Will") (July 29, 1832-June 15, 1918), LL.D., son of John Walker Maury (1809-1855) and Isabel Foyles Maury (1813-1889)
    John Walker Maury, mayor of Washington, D.C. (1852-1854) was a second cousin of Matthew Fontaine Maury, which is why William A. Maury was sometimes referred to as "Cousin Will" within the Matthew F. Maury family, even after his marriage to Betty Herndon Maury. Graduate of Harvard Law School, 1853. Partner in legal firm of Phillips and Maury (1855-1861) with Philip Phillips. Receiver for the Eastern District of Virginia, District Court of the Confederate States of America (1862-ca.1864). Employed during the Civil War in the Judge Advocate General's Office, Confederate States of America, Richmond, Virginia. Professor at the Richmond College Law School (now University of Richmond School of Law), Richmond, Virginia (1872-1876).  Partner with Legh R. Page in legal firm of Page & Maury, Richmond, Virginia (ca. 1867-ca. 1876). Partner in Washington, D.C., legal firm of Phillips, Maury & Phillips (1877-1883), with Philip Phillips and his son W. Hallett Phillips. Professor of Law at Columbian University (now George Washington University) (ca. 1877-ca. 1894). Assistant Attorney General of the United States (1882-1893). Member of the Spanish Treaty Claims Commission (1901-1910). Interred at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

    Children of William A. and Betty Herndon Maury:

    Nannie Belle Maury (1858-1939)
    Nannie Belle featured prominently in her mother's Civil War diary. She never married. Interred with parents at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
    Alice Woolfolk Maury Parmalee (1863-1940)
    Betty Herndon Maury was pregnant with Alice before she ended her diary in February 1863. Married James C. Parmelee (1855-1931) of Cleveland, Ohio, on April 21, 1900. No children. The Parmelees lived at "The Causeway" on Macomb Street in Washington, D.C., and photographs taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston of the home are available through the Prints & Photographs Division's online catalog. Interred at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
  2. Diana Fontaine Maury Corbin ("Nannie," "Nannie Curly") (1837-1900). In 1858 she married Spotswood Wellford Corbin of "Farley Vale" in King George County near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Betty Herndon Maury mentions "Nannie" and "Farley Vale" multiple times in her diary. Author of A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S.N. and C.S.N External. (1888).
  3. Richard Launcelot Maury ("Dick," "Goggen") (1840-1907). Colonel of the 24th Virginia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. Wounded at the battles of Seven Pines (1862) and Drewry's Bluff (1864) in Virginia. Married Susan ("Sue") Crutchfield in 1862, after at least two failed wedding ceremony attempts, as chronicled by Betty Herndon Maury in her diary.
  4. John Herndon Maury ("Dave," "Davy Jones") (1842-1863). Aide to cousin General Dabney Herndon Maury. Captured near Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1862 and presumed killed; his body was never recovered.
  5. Mary Herndon Maury Werth ("Molly," "Tots") (1844-1928). Married James Rhodes Werth in 1877.
  6. Eliza Hull Withers ("Glum") (1846-1881). Married Thomas Withers in 1878.
  7. Matthew Fontaine Maury, Jr. ("Matsy," "Brave") (1849-1886). Accompanied his father to England in 1862. Married Rose Robinson in 1877.
  8. Lucy Minor Maury Van Doren ("Sat Sing") (1851-1915). Married Meverell Locke Van Doren in 1877.

Other family members mentioned in diary of Betty Herndon Maury

Arthur, Ellen Herndon ("Nell") (1837-1880)
Daughter of Ann Hull Herndon Maury's brother, William Lewis Herndon (1813-1857). Nell Herndon lived with the Maury family after the death of her father, Commander William Lewis Herndon, who famously went down with his ship Central America after saving the lives of more than 150 passengers during a hurricane off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in September 1857. She accompanied Matthew F. Maury and his daughters Betty and Nannie on a trip to Europe in 1853. Matthew F. Maury gave his niece away at the wedding ceremony at which she married future president Chester A. Arthur on October 25, 1859. Nell's husband served as New York State's Quartermaster General during the Civil War, and a visit to Fredericksburg, Virginia, in May 1862 included a snub from cousin Betty Herndon Maury, who wrote in her diary "I met him on the street but did not speak to him. I could not shake hands with a man who came as an invader, to desolate our homes and kill our brothers and husbands." The Maurys and Arthurs were on better terms after the Civil War. The youngest of Matthew F. Maury's daughters (Mary, Eliza, and Lucy) lived with the Arthurs in New York after Matthew F. Maury returned from exile in England in 1868. In 1882, President Arthur nominated Betty's husband, William A. Maury, as assistant attorney general of the United States, a position in which he served until 1893.
Maury, Dabney Herndon (1822-1900)
Son of John Minor Maury and Eliza Maury Maury. John Minor Maury was the eldest brother of Matthew Fontaine Maury. After the death of John Minor Maury in 1824, Matthew Fontaine Maury became a surrogate father to his nephew Dabney Herndon Maury. He served as a major general in the Confederate army and was the author of Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars External (1894)
Minor, John ("Cousin John") (1797-1862)
It was his house on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in which Betty Herndon Maury boarded with her daughter Nannie Belle. His death on January 12, 1862, prompted concern about her living arrangements. A sketch of the life of John Minor is available on pages 438-440 of Charles M. Blackford, "Four Successive John Minors (Concluded)," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 10, no. 4 (April 1903), available online External through JSTOR.
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