Clara's father was Captain Stephen Barton, a member of the local militia, her mother was Sarah Stone Barton. She had nursed her brother David after he fell from the roof of a barn, he made a full recovery. Clara was extremely shy in school and because of that she only had one friend, Nancy Fitts. She had four siblings, Sarah Dorthea, David and Stephen. As a young girl Clara played with her male cousins and they were very surprised that she could keep up with them, she played with them until one day she broke a bone and her mother told her to become for feminine. Her mother, in an act to make her daughter feminine, invited Clara's female cousins to teach her life skills and how to become a proper lady. Her parents decided to get rid of her shyness by sending her to a huge new school, they failed and she became more shy and depressed and refused to eat.