Papers 1817-1974
(Predominantly 1817-1904)

East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
Box 70295
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614

E-mail: archives@etsu.edu
Telephone: (423) 439-4338



Faw Family Papers

Collection Number:

Accession No. 10; Library of Congress No. MS82-570

Physical Description:

8 Folders


The Faw Family


Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University


Provenance. The papers of the Faw and DeVault families, except the Henry DeVault will, were deposited in the library and museum, of the State Teachers College, Johnson City by Judge Walter Faw, Mrs. Hattie Faw Broyles, and Mrs. Leone Faw Summers through Judge Samuel Cole Williams on November 15, 1931. A certified copy of the Henry DeVault will was loaned to the Sherrod Library, East Tennessee State University by Harry Faw and donated to the Archives of Appalachia on January 22, 1980. The papers of the Faw and DeVault families were transferred to the Archives of Appalachia in October 1978, and the collection was opened for research on November 14, 1979. An addition was given by Charles Sherrod, Jr. in July 1982 and opened for research October 1986.

Access: The collection is open for research.

Processing Information: Anne Sims completed processing the collection in 1979. In 1991, Marie Tedesco revised the finding aid.


The Faw family traces its ancestry to the "Pfau" family from Switzerland, who settled in Ashe County, North Carolina, near Mountain City, Tennessee.. On the maternal side, the Faws are descended from the DeVaults (DeWalds) of Alsace. Henry DeWald, the author of the DeVault will included in the collection, migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, served in the Revolutionary War, and was buried in York County, Pennsylvania. He willed a farm in Washington County, Tennessee to his sons, Valentine and Frederick. Frederick moved to Leesburg, Tennessee, where he built a tavern on the Knoxville-Washington, D. C. stage line. The elder son, Valentine, passed the farm to his son, also named Valentine. The younger Valentine's brother, Isaac, settled on the adjoining farm. After Isaac's death, his daughter, Blanche Hannah DeVault, lived on the farm with her husband. In 1906 the farm was sold and is now owned by the Massengill family. George P. Faw, whose letters are contained in the collection, was a chaplain in the Confederate army. After the Civil War, he became a Baptist preacher and farmer at Boones Creek, Tennessee. George was the grandfather of Harry Faw, donor of the Henry DeVault will. Harry Faw began Faw (later Faw and Sherrod) Real Estate Agency and Faw Trust Company in Johnson City, Tennessee. The donors, Harry and William Faw, are sons of Blanche DeVault Faw.


The Faw Family Papers focus on the history of the family in the years from 1830 through 1974. Included in the collection is correspondence among family members, land transactions in Ashe County, North Carolina, wills of various family members, and Faw genealogy. The collection is arranged in one series with the folders arranged alphabetically by subject.

Important subjects covered in this collection are:

Ashe County (N.C.)
DeVault, Adelaide Gresham, 1878-
DeVault, Henry
DeVault, James M.
DeVault family
Dickson family
East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad
Faw, Charles P., 1866-
Faw, George P., 1824-1901
Faw, Harry, 1896-
Faw, Thomas F., 1852-
Faw, William W., 1894-
Faw family
Johnson City high School (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Roller, Elizabeth, d. 1900
Science Hill Male and Female Institute (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Streets--Tennessee--Johnson City
Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


1. Correspondence, 1830-1974.
2. Faw Genealogy, 1824-1978.
3. Financial Papers, 1854-1904.
4. George Faw Power of Attorney, 1900.
5. James M. DeVault, et.al vs Charles P. Faw and Wife, et.al., 1903-1904.
6. Land Transactions, 1838-1903.
7. Miscellaneous, ND.
8. Wills of Henry DeVault, George Faw, and Elizabeth Roller, 1817-1900.


1. One map, Faw Lands, in map cabinets


Two books written by Samuel Cole Williams (History of Johnson City and Its Environs, 1940 and General John T. Wilder, commander of the Lightning Brigade, 1936) and one edited by Williams (Adair's History of the American Indians by James Adair, 1930) have been catalogued into the archives' Special Collections. Pamphlets written by Williams have been placed in the archives' Appalachian Vertical Files under his name and under "Tennessee: Origins."

The newspapers The Johnson City Enterprise and The Mascot have been placed in the Appalachian Publications Vertical Files and shelved in the reading room.

One photo of a Main Street, Johnson City Scene (1920) has been placed in the photo storage area by accession number.