Clara's Father - Captain Stephen Barton (1774-1862)

Clara's father was a prosperous businessman, captain of the local army and a government official in Oxford, Massachusetts.  The captain taught Clara geography, military tactics, and the importance of keeping an army equipped with arms, food, clothing and medical supplies through his stories of the Indian War in Ohio and Michigan.

Clara's Mother - Sarah Stone Barton (1783-1851)

Clara's mother was an independent woman known for her thriftiness, her volatile temper, and her eccentricity.


Clarissa Barton had 4 siblings.

Sarah Barton Vassall (1811-1874)

Clara stayed close to her older sister as she grew up.  In 1861 Sarah lived near Clara in Washington DC and helped collect food, clothing, and medical supplies for the soldiers.  Sally and Dolly (Dorothea) helped Clara learn how to read.

Capt. David Barton (1808-1888)

Captain David Barton served as an Assistant Quartermaster for the Union army during the Civil War. Clara learned to ride horses from her brother David. He became Clara's first patient after suffering a serious injury in a farm accident. In 1833 Clara's brother David fell from the rafters during a barn raising. A shy child by nature, 11 year-old Clara became David's nurse, administering his medicine and even applying and removing leeches when the doctor suggested it might help to "bleed" the patient. Clara stayed home from school for two years to take care of David. David was cured after the family contacted a steam doctor who treated patients with vapor baths.

Stephen Barton (1806-1865)

Stephen Barton was a prominent businessman in Oxford and Bartonsville, North Carolina.  He taught Clara math as she grew up.  Her fondest memory of Clara was when he defended her right of working at the Satinet Mill after two years of  taking care of her brother David.

Dorothea (Dolly) Barton (1804-1846)

Although there is no known picture of Dolly, she is remembered as a kind young woman who wished to further her education, but had no opportunity to.  She assisted Sarah in teaching Clara how to read.