Barnes Family to Kentucky and Missouri

Copyright Gail Lindeman, 2018, All Rights Reserved. Publisher: Barnes-Oxford Genealogy Research Foundation, Inc. (https://CompetitiveStrategies.us)

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James Barnes, son of Deaf John, and grandson of the immigrant, Brinsley Barnes, married his first cousin, Lucy Isabella Barnes, daughter of Brinsley Barnes II, who was Deaf John’s brother. James was born in 1768 in North Carolina, and Lucy Isabella was born in 1770, also in North Carolina.

According to their marriage record, they were married in Madison County, Kentucky on 10 November 1790. They had 12 children, only some of whom were apparently born in Kentucky, according to census records. Since James and Isabella were married in Kentucky, one would assume all their children would have been born in Kentucky, but there is some conflicting information. Most of the 7 oldest children state on at least one census record from 1850 and later, that they were born in North Carolina—and then on a different census state they were born in Kentucky. An obituary for their 5th child, Brinsley, born in 1800, stated that he was born in North Carolina and that his family moved to Kentucky when he was 4 years old. Their 5 children born after 1804, consistently state on census records that they were born in Kentucky. So did James and Isabella get married in Kentucky and then go back to North Carolina, and then return to Kentucky in 1804? Given the difficulties of travel in that time period, that seems unlikely, but the obituary and some census records support that possibility. This is one of those genealogy questions that may never be solved.

James and Isabella lived in what is now Estill County, Kentucky, which is in the center of the state. Most of their children were married in Kentucky. There is a Barnes Mountain in the county that is still called by that name, and the locals say the Barnes family lived there. (It may be a bit of a stretch to call it a mountain—it really is more of a big hill.)

Around 1838, James and Isabella, and most of their children and their families left for Missouri. Both James and Isabella would have been in their 70’s by that time, so it must have been a difficult journey. Family lore says they moved by wagons pulled by oxen. Two of their children, son John and daughter, Lydia stayed in Kentucky, and some of John’s and Lydia’s descendants live there today.

The Platte Purchase, in the northwest part of Missouri, north of Kansas City was opening up, and there was a large push of settlers into the area. In The Annals of Platte County Missouri by W. M. Paxton, the author states that the would-be settlers gathered in Clay and Clinton Counties and dashed for the new territory as soon as the notice of Ratification was announced. “Jackson Lafayette, Boone and Howard counties sent contingents, but Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee sent thousands.” Among these, were our Barnes families. They settled in the area that is now Buchanan and DeKalb Counties, south of present-day St. Joseph. There are Barnes descendants in that area today, The Old Campground Cemetery, near Weston, Missouri contains many Barnes graves of these settlers and their descendants. James and Isabella died in the late 1850s, but it is not known where they were buried.

Not all of these settlers stayed in Buchanan County permanently. Benjamin and Moses Barnes, sons of James and Isabella, and several of the grandchildren, including my great-grandfather, another Moses Barnes, son of Elisha Barnes, went to Gentry and Worth County, Missouri, near the Iowa border, in the late 1850s, and settled there when land became available. The farm Moses settled stayed in the Barnes family well into the 20th century.

From the Barnes family that came to Missouri, descendants of James and Isabella settled in Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and California, and probably many other states.

Gail Allison Lindeman
3rd great-granddaughter of James and Isabella Barnes