Home > Departments > Library


Lamar Family Collection


Members of the Lamar Family include brothers Charles Russell (C. R.) Lamar (1853 – 1928) and Judge William Harmong (W. H.) Lamar (1859 – 1928); their parents, Dr. William Harmong (William) Lamar (1827 – 1908) and Ann M. Glenn Lamar (1830 – 1894); and Jerry Nell Lamar Cresson (1921 – 2006), of Denton, Texas, granddaughter of Charles Russell.

Dr. William Lamar attended the Reform Medical College of Georgia in Macon and practiced medicine in Alabama. He and Ann had eleven children. Dr. Lamar was a first cousin of Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas.

Dr. Lamar’s son, Methodist minister C. R. Lamar, of Auburn, also preached in Texas and briefly in California.

C. R.’s brother, Judge W. H. Lamar, graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) and went to law school at Georgetown. After serving in the Signal Corps during the Spanish-American War, he had a private law practice in Rockville, Maryland, but also maintained a residence in Washington, D. C., as he soon became an Assistant Attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Later, W. H. was the Assistant Attorney General and Solicitor for the Post Office Department.

C. R. Lamar’s granddaughter, Jerry Nell Lamar Cresson, was a homemaker and also worked for the family business as an executive secretary.


The collection was assembled by various Lamar family members. The donor and the donation date are unknown.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection documents the Lamar family of Auburn, Alabama. The Lamar Family Papers consist of correspondence, genealogical research materials, records, clippings, ephemera, journals, and maps created and collected by C. R. Lamar, Judge W. H. Lamar, their parents, and other family members. The collection contains four record groups: C. R. Lamar, Judge W. H. Lamar, Jerry Nell Cresson, and Doctor William Harmong Lamar and Family. The collection dates from 1776 - 1992 and measures 9.8 linear feet (28 boxes).

C. R. Lamar Papers (1776-1945): Arranged into four series: Correspondence and Personal Papers, Notebooks, Records and Research, and Bound Material.

  • Series I - Correspondence and Personal Papers (1860 – 1945): Consists of letters and postcards written or received by C. R. Lamar. The bulk of the materials in this series are from the 1920s.
  • Series II - Notebooks (1924 - 1925): Consists of notebooks and memorandum books kept by C. R. Lamar documenting his travels and his genealogy research. Many of the notebooks are dedicated to particular geographic areas, as designated on their covers. Some notebook covers were removed due to deterioration of components.
  • Series III - Records and Research (1776 - 1942): Consists of original and copied legal documents including wills, deeds, and marriage licenses belonging to ancestors and family members, and materials and correspondence relating to specific subjects. With the exception of Box 3, the order of this series is presumed to have been established by C. R. Lamar, based on the handwriting on original folders, and has therefore been maintained (with the exception of the deletion of the word “Series” from the Accounting folders, to prevent confusion). This is the rationale for the presence of correspondence outside of the Correspondence Series. Box 3 contains research materials that were scattered elsewhere throughout the collection, yet were appropriate to this series.
  • Series IV - Bound Material (1881-1924): Contains a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and a New Testament Bible that belonged to C. R. Lamar.

Judge W. H. Lamar Papers (1818-1944): Arranged in five series: Correspondence and Personal Papers, Bound Material, Newspapers and Clippings, Printed Material and Ephemera, and Essays and Biographical Material.

  • Series I - Correspondence and Personal Papers (1880 – 1942): Consists of letters and postcards written or received by Judge W. H. Lamar.
  • Series II - Bound Material (1883 – 1893): Consists of journals and a soldier’s French language book.
  • Series III - Newspapers and Clippings (1818 - 1928): Consists of newspaper articles written about or by Lamar family members; full pages with Side Lights, Maryland Heraldry and Virginia Heraldry columns; and other articles of interest to the creators of the collection. Some of the full pages remain folded due to poor condition (Box 2), while others are housed in oversized Boxes 4 and 5. Box 3 contains photocopied clippings for which the originals were not present, including copies from a scrapbook of clippings, and two original clippings that were laminated.
  • Series IV - Printed Material and Ephemera (1892 – 1944): Consists of printed booklets, photocopied portions of books, business cards and announcements, Christmas cards, graduation announcements, and wedding invitations/announcements.
  • Series V - Essays and Biographical Material (1892 – 1928): Consists of essays written by Judge W. H. Lamar, an autobiography, and other biographical material.

Jerry Nell Cresson Papers (1911 – 1992): Consists of genealogical research, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and correspondence.

Doctor William Harmong Lamar Papers (1782 – 1977): Consists of correspondence between Dr. Lamar, his wife and other family members. The bulk of the materials are from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Return to Archival Collections

Last updated: Aug. 1, 2014