Amendments to John Barnes’ Story

©Dr. Linda S. Kimberling, All Rights Reserved

September 4, 2017

Birthdate of Deaf John correction to “abt 1736”
This is changed from 1 Jul 1741 in the article of May 28, 2016. The year 1736 was recorded as Deaf John’s birth year in Mr. Mick Barnes book, but 1741 was recorded in different genealogical websites (eg., Family Search). I have reviewed different explanations and now believe that the 1741 date is attributed to another John Barns who died in the Quaker faith in the State of Pennsylvania where this date was recorded. Also, when researching Handsome James Barns’ life (his brother), the genealogical records show he was born in 1748 which would have made James 12 years old at the time of his son Jehu’s birth (which is highly unlikely), and his marriage to Sarah at 15 yrs old. Therefore, until other factual information can be located, Mick Barnes’ book reflects James Barns birth as 1740 and John Barns as 1736, both of which seem the most plausible given the birthdates of their siblings and that family tradition reflects John as the oldest male descendant of Brinsley.

Marriage of Deaf John to Ruth vs Elizabeth Ruth Fisher
Since writing the article, conflicting information appeared contesting Ruth as the same person as Elizabeth Fisher. Since the conflict arose, I have not been able to verify beyond a doubt that his wife Ruth (as quoted in Deaf John’s Will) is, in fact, the same woman as Elizabeth Fisher, recorded as his wife in the Swedes Church Marriage Log on 1 Jan 1764, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, I am reasonably certain that they are the same woman. His brother, Handsome Jim, is reflected in the same Swedes Church Marriage Log one year earlier on April 26, 1763, having married Sarah Carter who was a member of the Chester Quaker Society of Friends, Chester, PA. Sarah Carter Barns was later disowned from the Chester Quaker Society of Friends for “…he not being of our Society” on October 20, 1763. This we know for certain. Both John and his brother James relocated to North Carolina in 1754 when John was only 13 and James even younger. However, a common practice in that era was to return to the main city of commerce for work and trading for domestic goods. Philadelphia would have been well known to both young men since they were raised to their teens in Chester, PA. North Carolina was unfurled for agriculture and would have taken years to establish as a profitable income source to feed a family as large as the Barns Clan. So, it would have made sense for the boys to return to Philadelphia for work.

It is confirmed that the Carters lived in Chester, PA, in close proximity to the Barns family; however, I was unable to confirm the location of the Fisher family in the early 1700’s. Stephen Fisher of Lincoln County, NC died in 1785 and his Will records Elizabeth Barns as his daughter and Elizabeth as his wife. I was unable to determine when Stephen Fisher migrated to Lincoln County, NC. It is possible that this is the father of Ruth and that her first name was in fact, Elizabeth named after her mother. It is also possible that over time, Deaf John began referring to his wife as Ruth to avoid confusion with his daughter named Elizabeth, or some other reason unknown to us. Deaf John had daughters of which one was named Elizabeth and another was named Ruth, so either could be the case. At this time, there is enough circumstantial evidence for me to reasonably conclude that Ruth is Elizabeth Ruth Fisher. However, it is my hope that a future genealogist is able to evidence for certain her full name.

Military Service Rank
John’s payroll record reflects his status as Gunner, and the pay he received was $8 2/3 dollars which was commensurate with the status of Gunner, not a Sergeant. This information was provided by Walter McIntyre, Captain of the Kingsbury’s Artillery Unit reenactment unit.

John and James’ Residence
The discussion on p. 4 indicating James moved frequently from Wilkes to Anson to Rockingham, NC is corrected. Between 1750 and 1800, all western counties in NC were formed of Anson. Therefore, while James’ taxes and grants reflected varied County names, it is likely that at least some of the county names were a result of reformation in the development of the State as recorded in the Handsome James Barns article dated June 20, 2017—not a physical relocation of James’ home.