University of Texas Arlington

Ellen Burnett Cavitt Papers:

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Cavitt, Ellen Burnett, 1904-1990.
Title: Ellen Burnett Cavitt Papers
Dates: 1912-1967
Abstract: Ellen Burnett Cavitt was a Central Texas educator and genealogy researcher. In 1965, she published Some Tracings of Cavitt-Cavett Family History, 1725-1965. Her papers contain correspondence, family history, her book, newspaper clippings, journal, photographs, printed materials, tintypes, and ephemera that she produced or collected. The bulk of the material is Cavitt's genealogy correspondence. Also included are genealogy notes and histories for the related families of Burnett, Currie, Pruitt, and Sparks.
Identification: AR305
Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Biographical Note

Ellen Laura Gridley Burnett Cavitt was born on June 1, 1904, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to George Jackson Burnett and Laura Taylor Yates Burnett. She married Sheridan Duncan Cavitt on June 29, 1927 and they had two sons, Sheridan Duncan Cavitt, Jr., born April 10, 1928, and Franklin Connally Cavitt, born December 6, 1936, who preceded Mrs. Cavitt in death.

Mrs. Cavitt was a Bell County teacher and served as principal of Bartlett High School during World War II. She was employed with the Department of Human Resources in Bryan, Texas. Mrs. Cavitt received the Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from New York University in 1952. She served as Executive Director of the YWCA in Waco, Texas, from 1953-1962, and was a member of the Waco Writers' Club. Mrs. Cavitt was Dean of Students and Director of Guidance and Counseling for the junior and senior high schools in Copperas Cove, Texas, from 1962 until her retirement in 1974. In the summer of 1965, she published 100 copies of her book, Some Tracings of Cavett-Cavitt Family History: 1725-1965, which she distributed to schools, libraries, family members and other interested persons.

Mrs. Cavitt resided in Harker Heights, Texas until her death in 1990. She is buried in Holland Cemetery, Holland, Texas.


Some Tracings of Cavett-Cavitt Family History: 1725-1965, by Ellen Burnett Cavitt (1965).

Newspaper clippings (see: collection file 1).

Telephone conversation Tuesday evening, May 7, 1991, with Mr. Joe Volney Cavitt (see: letter from Mary Ann Thacker Glasscock, collection file 1). Mr. Cavitt is the son of Volney Cavitt (see: collection file 16).

Scope and Contents

The Ellen Burnett Cavitt Collection contains approximately 200 letters related to the Cavitt family history, including letters from the files of Ellen Burnett Cavitt, Hugh S. Cavitt, Volney Cavitt, and William Cavitt; notes and letter related to the Cavitt family reunion, including photocopies of pictures and newspaper clippings of the home in Wheelock, Texas; one published and bound book; correspondence regarding book orders; approximately, 150 pages extracted from a worn leather-bound journal; approximately 27 photographs; 4 tintypes, 4 negatives; Photostat copies of the wills of Susan and Moses Cavitt; photocopies of numerous newspaper clippings, including several Cavitt obituary notices; approximately 45 pages of Currie family history and DAR lineage, and Pruitt family history and journal pages (photocopies); approximately 75 pages of Sparks family history, correspondence, and family crest (including photograph and negative); and Sparks Quarterly Publications.

The photographs and tintypes are divided into two files. The first file contains those reproduced in the book.


The collection is filed alphabetically by family name. The correspondence to Ellen Burnett Cavitt related to the Cavitt genealogy is in two files, one contains multiple letters from one source. The other files of Cavitt correspondence are filed by the name of the person who wrote the letters with corresponding responses where available. The photographs and tintypes are divided into two files. The first file contains those reproduced in the book.



Open for research.

Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Cavitt, Ellen Burnett, 1904-1990--Archives.
Cavitt family--Archives.
Cavitt family--Genealogy.
Burnett family--Genealogy.
Curry family--Genealogy.
Pruitt family--Genealogy.
Sparks family--Genealogy.
Barlett (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Bell County (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Coryell County (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts Collection

Administrative Information


The Ellen Burnett Cavitt Papers were donated in January 1991, to The University of Texas at Arlington, by Dr. Malcolm D. McLean, Head of The Robertson Colony Collection at The University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. McLean received the collection April 16, 1967, in Waco, Texas, from Mrs. Sheridan Duncan (Ellen Burnett) Cavitt. Dr. McLean transferred all legal title to The University of Texas at Arlington. The materials were received by Dr. Gerald D. Saxon, Assistant Director for Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington.


Ellen Burnett Cavitt Papers, AR305, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.


Gift, 1991.

Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.

Container List

Box Folder
1 1 Cavitt, Ellen Burnett, 1965-1987, undated
Extent (12 items)
Burnett genealogy notes, 3 Cavitt family charts, Cavitt family tree, note cards by Ellen Burnett Cavitt with family notes, letter from Dr. Malcolm D. McLean to Ms. Sharon Cavitt, letter from Mary Ann Glasscock regarding telephone conversation with Joe Volney Cavitt.
2 Cavitt: Book Orders and Correspondence, 1964-1965, undated
Extent (28 items)
Cards and letters regarding orders for books.
3 Cavitt: Ellen Burnett, Correspondence, Genealogy, 1964-1966, undated
Extent (95 items)
Multiple cards and letters received from one source regarding Cavitt family genealogy.
4 Cavitt: Ellen Burnett, Correspondence, Genealogy, 1963-1966, undated
Extent (26 items)
Cavitt family genealogy charts, cards, and letters, list of telephone calls and letters by Ellen.
5 Cavitt: Ellen Burnett, Correspondence, Personal, 1964-1965, undated
Extent (4 items)
Christmas letter, get well card, letter, gift card.
6 Cavitt: Family Reunion/Home Newspaper Clippings, 1962, 1965, undated
Extent (4 items)
Cavitt family letter and clippings of home in Wheelock, Texas.
7 Cavitt: Genealogy (Misc.), undated
Extent (12 items)
Family tree, research notes on Cavitt and Herring, letter from Ellen to family.
8 Cavitt: Genealogy, undated
Extent (7 items)
Photocopies of Cavitt family tree reproduced from large pieces of cardboard.
9 Cavitt: Hugh S., Correspondence/Genealogy, 1948-1950
Extent (4 items)
Cavitt genealogy notes and letters.
10 Cavitt: Journal and Newspaper Clippings, undated
Extent (162 items)
Pages extracted from a worn leather-bound journal, undated and unnamed. Photocopies of newspaper clippings found in journal.
11 Cavitt: Newspaper Clippings, undated
Extent (6 items)
Photocopies of newspaper clippings including several Cavitt obituaries and columns by Volney Cavitt.
12 Cavitt: Photographs, Tintypes, and Negatives, undated
Extent (12 items)
9 photographs, 1 tintype, and 2 negatives (including photocopy of each), reproduced in book.
13 Cavitt: Photographs, Tintypes, and Letter, undated
Extent (22 items)
18 photographs, 3 tintypes (some identified), and one letter from Ellen to Beulah (no date, no address) requesting identification of pictures.
14 Cavitt: Susan and Moses, Wills and Inventory, 1853-1965
Extent (4 items)
Photostats of the wills of Susan Cavitt and Moses Cavitt; letter from County Clerk regarding photostats.
15 Cavitt: Volney, Correspondence, 1912-1964, undated
Extent (11 items)
Letter from Clara Jane Sparks to Mary Caufield Cavitt (dated April 17, 1912, and reproduced in book), letters regarding Cavitt family.
16 Cavitt: Volney, Correspondence to Ellen, 1963-1965, undated
Extent (31 items)
Letters from Volney to Ellen and Ellen's notes concerning Volney's death.
17 Cavitt: William, Correspondence/Genealogy, 1931, undated
Extent (5 items)
Letters and Cavitt family notes.
18 Currie: Geneaology; Pruitt: Genealogy/DAR, undated
Extent (3 items)
Currie and Pruitt family histories (including DAR notes) mailed to Ellen.
19 Sparks: Correspondence/Genealogy 1964-1966
Extent (70 items)
Letters, genealogy notes, Sparks' crest (photograph and negatives) reproduced in book, will and inventory of William Sparks.
20 Sparks: Quarterly, 1954-1966
Extent (11 items)
Sparks Family Quarterly produced by Sparks Family Association.
June and September 1954; June 1961; March-December 1964; March-September 1965; March 1966; Index, 1958-1962.