Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium

Juliet Fauntleroy
(1871 - October 11, 1955)

Information compiled in November 2005 by Carol Ann McCormick, Assistant Curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium,
and Nancy McAndrew, Education Coordinator of the Avoca Museum.

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has found about a dozen botanical specimens collected by Miss Juliet Fauntleroy of Altavista, Virginia. Most specimens were collected 1918-1919 from localities in Campbell County, within a few miles of her home.

Juliet Fauntleroy was born at “Oakley” in Gloucester County, Virginia, and educated at Powell School, a Richmond school for young ladies. The 1910 US census shows the extended Fauntleroy family all living together:  Thomas FauntLeRoy (age 72, head of household, occupation “farmer);  Mary A. (age 67, wife);  James D. (age 40, son,  civil engineer for government); Juliet (age 38, daughter, teacher at public school); Mary B. (age 36, daughter, no occupation); Ethel C. (age 34, daughter, no occupation); Walter (age 32, son, farm manager); Gladys D. (age 24, daughter, no occupation); Fannie H. (age 36, daughter-in-law – wife of James D., no occupation); Mary H. (age 5, granddaughter, born in Philippines Territory, presumably to Fannie & James); Frances D. (age 4, granddaughter, born in Philippines Territory, presumably to Fannie & James); and Martha L. (age 11 months, granddaughter, born in Washington, presumably to Fannie & James).  By the 1920 US census the household had reduced in size to Walter (now head of household, age 46, farmer & postmaster), his wife, Eva (age 27), their daughter, Margaret (age 1), and sisters Juliet (age 48, high school teacher), Ethel (age 44, no occupation), and Gladys (age 33, grade school teacher).  By the 1930 US census, Juliet Fauntleroy is listed as age 58, head of household, and no occupation, and the only other people in the household are sister Ethel and servant Kate Douglas.

Juliet Fauntleroy taught Latin at the Altavista High School, but is best known as a folklorist. She was a contributor to scholarly journals on topics of geneology and history, as well as a major contributor to collections of ballads and folk music. As a founding member of the Virginia Folklore Society, Ms. Fauntleroy was a major contributor to their seminal work, Traditional Ballads of Virginia (Harvard Press, 1929).

(More information about Ms. Fauntleroy’s collaboration with Drs. Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. and Alphonso Smith.)

Portrait of Juliet Fauntleroy
Portrait of Juliet Fauntleroy
provided by Nancy McAndrew, Avoca Museum

Ms. Fauntleroy lived in “Avoca,” an American Queen Anne-style house built in 1901 that is now a Virginia Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It currently houses the Avoca Museum, whose mission is “to promote awareness and facilitate understanding of American history, especially as it relates to local and Virginia natural and cultural history. It maintains a collection of Native American artifacts and Confederate memorabilia.”

One item in the Avoca Museum’s collection is a letter by poet John Keats. This letter was found in Ms. Fauntleroy’s bedroom when Avoca became a museum. For a discussion of the letter, see
A John Keats Letter Rediscovered” by Dearing Lewis, a nephew of Ms. Fauntleroy’s.

Miss Fauntleroy was intensely interesting in the natural world and spent a portion of each day walking in woods surrounding her home. Her nephew remembers that she never returned with out a basket of berries or nuts or an arrowhead, “she always came back with something, didn’t matter what the season. She knew where to look.”

Julia [sic] Fauntleroy (1908) Some notes regarding the Chiles family. The William & Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine. 16(4): 285-288.

Juliet Fauntleroy (1909) Some notes on the Chiles family. William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine 18(2): 106-108.

Juliet Fauntleroy (1936) Bushrod. The William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd series. 16(2): 319-321.

Mary Hope West and Juliet Fauntleroy (1936) Sturman family notes. William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd series. 16(4): 635-649.

Mary Hope West and Juliet Fauntleroy (1937) Sturman family notes. William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd series. 17(1): 99-115.

The UNC Herbarium would appreciate receiving more information about Juliet Fauntleroy. Please contact Carol Ann McCormick, Assistant Curator, by email or by phone at (919) 962-6931.

   Curriculum in Ecology                 North Carolina Botanical Garden               Biology Department
       Curriculum                               North Carolina                                 UNC

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University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
fax: (919) 962-6930

Last Updated: 6 May 2011