Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Barnes family

For over twenty years, my Aunt Leahmanda and Aunt Patt were stuck on their great grandfather, John Lunsford Barnes. Who were his parents? They knew about two sisters, Harriet and Fanny, and a brother Marshall. As luck would have it, whichever ancestor who chose me to be their genealogical angel, I found John Lunsford's family about 11 years ago, while looking for the wrong thing in the right place.

John Lunsford Barnes was the second son of John W. Sanders Barnes and his wife Sarah "Sally" Owens. The couple were married in Russell County, Alabama in 1841. They were members of a baptist church there, and thanks to her father, Sally owned land and slaves. Sally was a daughter of John J. Owens and Lucinda Long. Her father had purchased land in Russell County after the Cherokee lottery. John J. Owens was a son of Elijah Owens and his wife Nancy Ann Howard, while Lucinda Long was the daughter of Evans Long and Lucy Apperson.

We know nothing of John Sanders Barnes, except according to census records he was born in 1813 or 1814 in North Carolina. In 1850 he has a woman old enough to be his mother, Frances Smith, born about 1785 in Virginia. Also in his home that year, and in 1860 is a Jane Horton, born 1810 in North Carolina. Since the death of Frances Smith is recorded in the family bible, I am sure she was a relative, and given her age, I strongly suspect she is in fact his mother.

The question then must arise is Frances Smith, who likely married a Smith after her Barnes husband died, connected in any way to Abel Smith who resides in Russell County, or his wife Katherine Barnes. I have found no clues to Frances or Jane. There are no probate records for either in the Russell county records on familysearch. Nor is there a marriage record for any Barnes connected to the family.

I know from my father's DNA that his ydna Haplogroup is I1, which matches only two known Barnes lines of that type in the surname group (without the YDNA test though, I can't verify they are of the same line).  One I know comes from Virginia.

John Sanders Barnes and his wife Sally Owens children's name may or may not be a clue. The eldest child, a son named Robert Thomas Barnes has no known namesake to Sally's family. The next child was Margaret Elizabeth Barnes, followed by Sarah Lucinda Barnes, who was named for her mother and maternal grandmother. The next child was Mary Olivia "Allie" Barnes followed by Harriet Frances  Barnes (named after Frances Smith?), followed by Clara McGeehee Barnes (named after Sarah's sister), followed by John Lunsford Barnes (named after father/grandfather and maternal Uncle), followed by Marshall Johnson Wellborn Barnes (there is a man by this name in a neighboring county) and then lastly by Abbas Sanders Barnes.

The move to Pike county still is puzzling. Though I know some of her Owens relatives lived there, I can see no reason for the move other than the financial losses brought by the Civil War. The probate records for the estate of John Sanders Barnes show that his estate was insolvent. Within two years, Sarah Owens would marry John A. Smith from Georgia.

A family bible lists the births, deaths and marriages of this generation. The deaths of Lucinda Long Owens and Francis Smith are also recorded. After the death of Sarah Owens the bible went to one of her daughters, and the next two generations of handwriting come from them. The family resided in Pike County and attended baptist churches there, if the gravesites are an indication. When Crenshaw county was formed, we see the family residing there, and also later in Opps, in Covington County.

Robert Thomas Barnes married a virginian, Lina Virginia Bowman. The couple moved to Texas. They had two daughters, Grace and J I V Barnes, and one son Charlie Edward Barnes. They had no grandchildren.

Margaret Elizabeth Barnes married William Tompkins. They had one son who was briefly married to his first cousin Lula Benton. Thomas Tompkins disappears from records, and I have not been able to locate more information on him.

Sarah Lucinda Barnes married James Absalom "Ab" Benton. They had several children who were raised in Pike County.

Mary Olivia "Allie" Barnes married Thomas Jefferson Nicholson. They had a large family in Pike County, Alabama. I have corresponded with some of their descendants.

Harriet Frances "Fannie" Barnes married  John Wesley Colquit and had a large family. The Colquit family lived in Crenshaw County, Alabama where many of their descendants still reside.

Clara McGeehee Barnes married John Yarborough with whom she had no children and then Hugh Harris Smith, her stepbrother. They had four children and resided in Crenshaw County, Alabama.

John Lunsford Barnes married Epsy Eiland with whom he had one child. After Epsy's death he married Margaret Eleanor Baker and had a large family. In 1910 the family moved from Crenshaw, Alabama to Baker in Okaloosa County, Florida. This is my direct line.

Marshall Johnson Welborn Barnes married Jesse D. Bricken of Pike County, Alabama and had several children. The youngest son, an infant when his wife died, was raised by his Uncle and is often found with the last name Bricken. After his wife's death he remarried Frances Viola Bush with whom he had one child. Marshall and many of his children are buried in Mobile, Alabama.

The only child who died as an infant that is recorded in the bible is Abbas Sanders Barnes.


  1. Robert and Margaret Sanders are related to the OWENS family and are more than likely the parents of John's mother. The Frances Smith is from the Owens side she is Lucinda's Sister. Hortons married into the Owens family and Jane is probably a cousin or sister-in-law. I am checking this lead now and will let you know more later. Read the Owens family information and you will see where I get my information. I will be walking the area soon. John Barnes came down to GA when he won the lottery for land in the Cherokee nation in the 1940's Looking for original application should tell us where he came from. Not the land grant but the Application for the lottery.

    1. In fact, Frances "Fanny" Long's daughter Mary Frances Hudson married the son of Clarissa Owens, Francis Elijah Boykin

  2. Lucinda Long's sister Frances married William Hudson, and is not the same as the Frances Smith who is living with John Lunsford Barnes and his wife Sarah Owens. She died in Hancock, Georgia and had five childred, including Nimrod Long Hudson.

  3. I posted a reply with Google acct but not sure if it went through.... I believe I'm in your Barnes line. My GGG-grandmother was Louisa Barnes Linton of Pike County Alabama. She was born 1822 in Georgia, and some of her children married into the Applin family of Covington County. Do you find mention of her in your family Bible? I've requested membership in your facebook group as Elayne Wilson Diamond. Thanks!