Guide to the Robert Calvin Proffit Papers, 1913 - 1989, undated

Summary Information

Title: Robert Calvin Proffit Papers, 1913 - 1989, undated
Collection: AC.198
Extent: 3.75 linear feet (4 boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 folder in Cold Storage)

The Robert C. Proffit Papers contains Proffit's genealogical materials, genealogical correspondence, and religious materials. This collection primarily regards the genealogy of the Meat Camp community of Watauga County, North Carolina.

Creator: Proffit, Robert C. (Robert Calvin), 1927-1989

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Calvin Proffit (1927-1989) was born to Laura Grace Proffit and Walter Clinton Lewis in Watauga County, North Carolina. He does not have a birth certificate. His maternal grandparents were James Franklin Lafayette and Eliza Ann Miller Proffit. Proffit never married. He owned Upper Meat Camp Grocery Store and was an Army veteran of the Korean War. As a genealogist, he was interested in the following families: Proffit, Blackburn, Greer, Miller, and Winebarger. Proffit was a founding member, the clerk and an ordained minister of Liberty Baptist Church. He was interested in Greek, probably for religious study.

Scope and Contents

As evidenced by his extensive genealogical notes, Robert C. Proffit was an avid genealogist. His research included Miller, Hodges, Greer, Norris, Proffit, and many other family names from the Watauga County, North Carolina area. His study concentrated on the Meat Camp community of Watauga County, his home community. Correspondence consists primarily of letters to Robert Proffit from various genealogists, however, Proffit's replies are not available and sources for his genealogical notes are generally not cited. This collection also contains his theological notes, several local church notes on membership, theology, and histories, and a variety of subjects that piqued his interest.


The collection is organized into three series: Series I: Correspondence, Series II: Genealogy (Family Group Sheets, Books, Notes), and Series III: Variety of Research Papers.  Oversize materials are stored separately.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Provenance is unknown. This collection was opened to the public on 7 September 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, 7 September 2003; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, 1 July 2005; Revised processing by Anita Elliott, July 2013. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.198: Robert Calvin Proffit Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Correspondence, 1926-1989, undated

Series Description

Series I: Correspondence contains Proffit's incoming correspondence and a few pieces of outgoing correspondence, chronological order. Mindy Wyatt's correspondence filed separately, chronological order. Primarily of genealogical nature. Frequent correspondents are Charles Ellison of Michigan (re: Ellison and Miller families, religious faith, gardening, and home remedies), James Larkin Pearson (re: Greer genealogy, Christmas letters), Carl Lewis, Beatrice Callahan of Pennsylvania (re: Greer family), J.E. Hodges (president of North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians; re: Miller family). Letters from 1938 - 1939 are photocopies of letters mailed between Martha Greer and Sylvester Greer. Proffit did not have a telephone, and some of his correspondents lived in Watauga County.

Correspondence, 1916-1972 Box 1.1
Correspondence, 1974-1979 Box 1.2
Correspondence, 1980-1983 Box 1.3
Correspondence, 1984-1989 Box 1.4
Correspondence, from Mindy Miller Wyatt, 1982-1989, undated Box 1.5
Correspondence, with Genealogical Information, 1959-1973 Box 1.6
Correspondence, with Genealogical Information, 1974-1983 Box 1.7
Correspondence, with Genealogical Information, 1984-1989 Box 1.8

Series II: Genealogy, 1962-1989, undated

Series Description

Series II: Genealogy contains research notes, transcribed materials, family group sheets and genealogical books, organized alphabetically by surname or subject matter. Proffit handwrote notes regarding various northwestern North Carolina residents usually on scrap paper and almost exclusively without listing his source. Genealogical notes are organized by the first surname on the page. Surnames with less than four documents are filed alphabetically under 'Various', unless the notes are transcriptions of known primary sources. Primary sources are primarily transcribed census records and photocopied deeds or marriage certificates. Family group papers consist of primarily of the Watauga County Millers. Genealogical books are arranged alphabetically by surname. A cross index of names does not exist.

Records for Families - Bingham, Blackburn, Bryan, Cook, Davis, Farthing, Green(e), undated Box 2.1
Records for Families - Greer, Hartley, Hodges, Holman, Jones, Lewis, Lookabill, McNeil, undated Box 2.2
Records for Family - Miller, undated Box 2.3
Records for Families - Moretz, Norris, Potter, undated Box 2.4
Records for Families - Proffit, Reese, Tugman, Wilson, undated Box 2.5
Records for Families - Winebarger, Winkler, Woodring, undated Box 2.6

Records on Various Families and Unknown Surnames, undated

Note: This file contains records on various families-Adams, Allen, Baird, Berry, Boone, Brown, Burke, Bryant, Byers, Calloway, Campbell, Canter,Cantrell, Chambers, Church, Coffey, Cole, Council, Dougherty, Eggers, Eller, Ellison, Elrod, Fairchild, Foster, Franklin, Gilbert, Glenn, Graves, Gross, Hamby, Hampton, Harmon, Hicks/Hix, Horton, Icenhour, Ingram, Isaacs, Johnson, Main, Masts, McBride, Moody, Morphew, Musgrave, Osborn, Pearson, Penley, Phips, Pleasant, Ragan, Ray, Saunders, Shearer, Sluder, Snyder, Stansbery, Stevens, Sullivan, Tatum, Taylor, Tester, Triplett, Trivette, Vannoy, Walker, Ward, Williams, Wright, Younce.

Box 2.7
Family Group Sheets for Miller: #1 William Miller, #2 William Miller, Jr., #3 William Alfred Miller, February 1988 Box 3.1
Family Group Sheets for Miller: #4 Calvin C Miller, #5 Joseph Jackson Smith, #6 Allen Yates, #7 Payton Phillips, #8 Finley Carlton, February 1988 Box 3.2
Family Group Sheets for Miller: #9 William Harrison "Buck" Miller, #10 Jesse Mark Miller, #11 George Washington Miller, #12 Darby Triplett, #13 Leonadis "Lee" Mark Miller, #14 Marcus D. LaFayette Miller, #15 Calvin Miller, #16 Henry Harrison Miller, February 1988 Box 3.3
Newsletters and Booklets, circa 1980s Box 3.4
Paper, "William Miller (circa 1730-circa 1825) Family", undated Box 3.5
Book, "The Prophet Family: From Silvester to You" by Donald P. Prophet, 1987 Box 3.6
Books, Records of Emigrants from England and Scotland to North Carolina, 1774-1775; Collection of Materials on Family of James Hervey Taylor (1826-1925), 1962-1963 Box 3.7
Primary Sources and Local History, undated Box 3.8
Address, "The Trail of Daniel Boone", by John P. Arthur, October 23, 1913 Box 3.9
Papers, Greer Family Conference and Other Information, circa 1982 Box 3.10
Notes, from Census, Newspapers, Obituaries, undated Box 4.1
Papers, The Bryan Papers, copied from Documents of Col. William Lewis Bryan, undated Box 4.2

Series I: Variety of Research Papers, circa 1960s, undated

Series Description

This series contains various materials unrelated to Proffit's genealogical research, organized by subject. These include folk cures, food stuff, grammar rules, mountain life, unlabeled accounts, music theory, Greek vocabulary.

A 1913 speech by John Preston Arthur regarding Daniel Boone details the Asheville Daughters of the American Revolution's attempt to reconstruct Boone's path through Watauga County on his way to Kentucky. It also gives history of Boone's life. Asides provides insight into Watauga County's elite families and Arthur's socio-political-racial beliefs regarding North Carolina's Reconstruction Period.

This series contains a significant amount of Proffit's handwritten and typed notes on theology, Biblical study, and church history. Proffit was an ordained minister for Liberty Baptist Church. Theologically, he appears to have been a Regular Baptist. Much of Proffit's notes concerned the concept of "New Testament" churches and their characteristics. Including scriptural justification, he wrote his beliefs regarding baptism and communion practices, secret lodges, the Catholic church, theological schools, Southern Baptists, religious organization, evolution, open membership of churches and whether all Christian denominations are truly Christian. He also explores the nature of Jesus, God, angels, heaven, hell, the soul, the mind as well as chronicles the time between Adam's creation and Jesus's birth. Also see letters from Charles Ellison for religions.

Paper, A History of Watauga County, North Carolina, by Robert C. Proffit, undated Box 4.3
Photographs, Black and White, Some Identified on Backs, circa 1960s Box 4.4
Photographs, Three Color, Unidentified, undated CS_Box 1
Theology Notes and Papers, undated Box 4.5
Variety of Papers and Research from Proffit, undated Box 4.6
Variety of Papers and Research from Proffit, undated Box 4.7
Oversize Folder, Variety of Notes and Items, undated Oversize E1-28, Folder 1