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Mashburn Genealogy

Although members of the Mashburn-Marshburn family can now be found in almost every state, the family stems from Edward Mashborne who arrived in southern Virginia/North Carolina around 1698.

Edward Mashborne

Edward Mashborne is the second-known schoolmaster in the southeast. He operated a school in what is now Gates County, NC in the early 1700's.

Edward was the eldest child of Edward Mashburn, Sr. and Sarah Sindery. His stepmother, Elizabeth Nash Mashburn Lloyd, was married to Edward Lloyd of the famous coffeehouse in London (who lent the name of his establishment to Lloyd's of London).

Mary Farrar

Twenty-five years ago, when the Mashburn Genealogy Archives was hosted on servers at Avana (even before being hosted at Rootsweb), a researcher copied my information wrong. This was easy to do because the old DOS screens were very clunky. Since one could not scroll multiple generations, one could easly click on the wrong link and get on a different branch of the tree.

Unfortunately, this researcher posted wrong data on Ancestry.Com and it has been passed around and copied as fact. There are now hundreds of trees on Ancestry.Com that state Edward Mashborne was married to Mary Farrar. This is wrong. Mary Farrar was married to Henry Watkins. The researcher misread my chart.


I, Steve Allen Mashburn, will pay $100.00 to anyone who can show me evidence of a marriage between Edward Mashburn, the schoolmaster from London, and Mary Farrar.

A citation of "Ancestry Family Tree" is not evidence. Ancestry.Com is an excellent source for primary data but the family trees submitted by members are, for the most part, merely "cut and paste" from other undocumented family trees.

Indian Blood? How?

In addition, this same researcher claimed that Mary Farrar was an Indian because Edward Mashburn taught an Indian school. She knows this because she "feels it within her heart." There is no evidence that Edward Mashborne was married to an Indian.

My DNA, as well as several other distantly related Mashburns, show 0% percent of native American blood. While not conclusive (specific DNA can die out over en generations), this indicates that any Mashburn with native American DNA probably got it though another line.

The Spelling Change

Because the surname Marsh is more popular than the surname Mash, many etymologies assume Mashburn is a variant of Marshburn. However, the historical record indicates the reverse.


Mashborne is the most common spelling found in the English records of the 1600/1700's. There is NO definite evidence (so do not post this as fact in Ancestry.Com trees) but it appears that Edward Mashbourne's ancestors may have been from Brackley England.

The Mashborne family appears to have died out in England in the mid 1800's.


After the American Revolution, the spelling of Mashburn became prevalent in the United States. Mashburn is an exclusively southern surname. All Mashburns come from North Carolina. Even today, North Carolina and Georgia have the most Mashburn families.


During the 1840's the spelling of Marshburn was adopted by the Onslow County, North Carolina branch.

Of course, spelling depends upon the education of the writer and upon the dialect of each locality. Variants are often found and, in genealogy, one has to be careful to use spellings as an indicator of family connections.

The Mashburn Genealogy Archives

The Mashburn Genealogical Archives is now hosted on its own servers at The MGA is the oldest Mashburn genealogy website on the Internet.

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