Clara Barton Siblings: Unsung Heroes Who Shaped Her Destiny

Clara Barton’s siblings, often overshadowed by her renowned status as the “Angel of the Battlefield” and founder of the American Red Cross, possess stories equally rich and varied in the annals of American history.

While Clara Barton stands as a towering figure, her four siblings contributed significantly to the tapestry of their time, despite frequently being overlooked.

An image of Clara Barton Siblings and parents
From the photo collection of Cathy Thibodeaux
Front (L to R)
James E. Barton, Elijah (Mrytle’s son), William Barton
Top (L to R)
Sarah Jones Barton (James’ wife), Mrytle, Nora, and Amanda.


Clara Barton

Clara Harlowe Barton, born on December 25, 1821, in Oxford, Massachusetts, was an American teacher, nurse, and humanitarian.

During the Civil War, she served as a nurse, managing hospitals in Virginia and leading efforts to find missing Union soldiers.

Barton is best known for founding the American Red Cross.

In her youth, Clara developed a passion for nursing while caring for her injured brother.

She later became a teacher, receiving equal pay to male colleagues.

After a successful teaching career, she worked as a government clerk in Washington, D.C., facing discrimination but achieving equal pay.

Barton spent her later years in Maryland, writing her autobiography, “The Story of My Childhood.”

She died at 91 on April 12, 1912, due to tuberculosis, leaving behind a lasting legacy in healthcare and humanitarian efforts.

Sarah Barton

Sally, born in 1811, shared a close bond with Clara that endured throughout their lives.

She wed Vester Vassall and became a mother of two.

Amidst the Civil War, Sally resided near Clara in Washington, DC, actively backing Union troops through the collection of essential provisions such as food, clothing, and medical supplies.

Sarah Support To Clara

– Practical Assistance: Sally served as Clara’s indispensable ally during the Civil War, aiding in providing support to soldiers.

– Emotional Backing: Sally consistently offered unwavering support and encouragement to Clara through various life challenges.

Family Bond: Sally played a vital role in maintaining Clara’s connection to their family and hometown, providing stability.

Dorothy Barton

Born in 1804, Dorothy, or Dolly, Clara’s elder sister, developed a keen intellect under their mother’s independence and brother Stephen’s influence.

Dolly, passionate about education, inspired Clara in teaching and societal growth.

While Clara pursued nursing, Dolly’s impact is evident in her writings, supporting Clara’s intellectual pursuits. Dolly’s influence is seen in Clara’s early teaching career, reflecting similar methods.

Beyond education, Dolly championed women’s rights, challenging norms.

Despite Clara’s prominence, Dolly deserves recognition for her role as a passionate educator and women’s advocate, leaving a legacy of strength.

Dorothy Barton’s story reminds us that history is shaped by lesser-known individuals. Let’s remember Dolly, the “other sister,” who left an enduring mark on those around her.

David Barton

David Barton is an evangelical author and political activist known for promoting pseudohistory about the religious foundation of the United States.

He founded WallBuilders, LLC, which disseminates his views challenging the idea of the U.S. as a secular nation with separation of church and state.

Barton’s work has been widely criticized by scholars for being flawed, labeled as “pseudoscholarship,” and accused of spreading outright falsehoods.

Despite lacking formal credentials in history or law, Barton has had political involvement, serving as the vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas and directing a political action committee supporting Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.

His accuracy and integrity have been questioned, with critics pointing out factual errors and misleading historical revisionism in his books and videos.

Barton’s controversial work, including “The Jefferson Lies,” has faced significant backlash, leading to the withdrawal of a published edition due to historical inaccuracies.

Stephen Barton

Stephen Barton, a Grammy-nominated British composer, has been based in Los Angeles since 2001.

He gained early musical experience as a cathedral chorister, later earning a scholarship to study piano and composition at Wells Cathedral School.

After assisting composer Harry Gregson-Williams, Barton established his own company in 2009.

Notable achievements include composing for major films like “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” and “Titanfall,” as well as TV series like “Star Trek: Picard.”

Barton is also recognized for his expertise in spatial and immersive audio, contributing to the field’s development and consulting for entities like the BBC and Qualcomm.


Clara Barton’s siblings, overlooked despite her fame, have noteworthy stories.

Sally supported Clara during the Civil War, Dorothy was an influential educator and women’s advocate, David engaged in controversial activism, and Stephen became a Grammy-nominated composer.

Together, they add depth to the Barton family’s impact on American history.


  1. More Than Just First Lady: Unveiling the Lives of Michelle Obama’s Siblings
  2. Selena Gomez Siblings: The Truth About Her Family Life

Leave a Comment