Fayette County Genealogy Project

Contributed by Keely Deuschle

BARNES (p. 795-798)

This family name is found in the book of Domesday, and according to tradition is of pure Norse lineage. The family has its mediaeval Martyn and its literary lights. Bjorn or Bjorne is an old Norse word, meaning warrior, and from it Barnes is derived.

From some ancestor who sailed with Offa is the family descended. Pure Norse lineage is something to  be proud of -- for the Norseman was true-hearted, daring, unconquerable, brave.

"Valiant and true as Sagas tell,
The Norseman hateth lies like hell;
'Tis his religion to be brave."

If not of Norse blood, then of pure Saxon for Barnes may be derived from the old Saxon word for Warrior-broon. The name is the same as Berners or Bernerus, which is found in Domesday Book. Barn, Barne, and Bern are pre-Domesday forms of the name. Siward Barn was of the patriot band rebelling against the Norseman invasion. At Berney, Norfolk county, England, the Barnes family have been seated since the eleventh century. Records of the Barnes in Surrey show that the family now living there can date back five hundred years. The family is also in Middlesex. Berney is the name of a Normandy town, and the surname Barnelle is common throughout Normandy; Berne in Switzerland; Barn in Austria; Barneveld, in the Netherlands, may be derived from the same root; also Barnabas, Barnard, Bernard, Barnby, Barnesdale, Barnesley, Barney.

Dame Juliana Berners wrote her name Berns and Barnes. She was the daughter of Sir James Berners, created baron by Henry IV. Her well-known treatise on sporting and heraldry, called the "Bohe of St. Albans," was a popular book of the fourteenth century. of her "Hunting," only three copies are extant, of which one belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. A few years ago one of the three copies was sold in London for over $3,000.

Interesting records of the family are found at Hingham, England, where some of the Pilgrim Fathers came from. Under date of October 21, 1610, is the record of the marriage of Roland Barnes and Alice Coop. Other entries in the same register are as follows: Baptiseings Anno do: 1612, Ellen, daughter Rowland Barnes, 14 Februarye." "Baptiseings A. D. 1617. Thomas, son of Rowland Barnes, 2 Nov." The Lincolns and Cushings are other families of note who came from Hingham.

The family gave a lord mayor to London in the fourteenth century, and later a martyr to the stake. It was Robert Barnes who gave up his life for his religion, and he is mentioned in "Fox's Book of Martyrs," also in "Melanchthon's Letters." Other illustrious ones of the name are Barnabe Barnes, poet. He also wrote his name Barneus. his father was bishop of Durham, a descendant of William Barnes, who held lands from Henry VIII., in the royal forest of Tillingham. Only one copy of his love poems is in existence, and it is also in the Duke of Devonshire's library.

Joshua Barnes, a Greek scholar and antiquary, proved himself a gallant cavalier. A bachelor of small means, Mrs. Mason, a widow, proposed leaving him a legacy of L100 [pounds] per year, but he refused to avail himself of this offer unless Mrs. Mason, who was middle-aged and ill-favored withal, would become his wife. To humor his spouse it is said that he wrote verses setting forth the claims of Soloman, or rather making claims that would have shocked that wise man -- that he was the author of the Iliad. Manuscripts of Barnes are found in the British Museum and also in the Bodleain Library.

The progenitors of the American branch of the family, of whom we know the most are Thomas, of Hartford, Thomas, of New Haven, and Thomas, of Hingham, Massachusetts. Thomas of Hartford, who arrived in 1630, was probably the first of the name in the new world. Two years later John settled in Plymouth, and in the same year Joshua was another pilgrim. He was the founder of Southampton, Long Island. For his services in the Pequot war, Thomas, the first, became a proprietor by town courtest, of fifty acres of land begin granted him. He was one of the three hundred and sixty signers of a paper which has been called the first move for American independence. Adherence was promised to the colonial government, but no reference was made to the King of England. It was Thomas, son of Rowland, who named Hingham, Massachusetts, giving it the name of his old home in Norfolk county, England. The date of his arrival is 1637. His grandson, Thomas, was one of the settlers of Bedford, New Hampshire. Richard, who came over in the "Jonathan," 1639, was one of the proprietors of East Greenwich, Connecticut. The inventory of his estate gives the value of his wearing apparel as two pounds, or about ten dollars. Thomas, of Swanzy, Massachusetts, left an estate of 400 pounds. To his wife, Elizabeth, he bequeathed a yearly income of twenty shillings, and while she remained a widow she could live in his house.

The Southern branch of the family claim Timothy and Abraham as progenitors. they settled in Maryland in 1700. Tudors Hall, Leonardstown, was the seat of Richard who was living there in 1785. The family is connected by marriage with the Masons and other well known Southern families.

It must be borne in the mind that Webster was assisted in the making of his dictionary by Daniel Barnes, philologist. Of Alfred Barnes' "Notes on the Bible," more than a million copies have been sold. One of the most distinguished editors the London Times ever had was Thomas Barnes. he was called the most powerful man in the country during Peel's administration of the government.

On revolutionary rolls we find the names of Timothy, of Hartford, Captain Nathaniel, Joel, of Litchfield, Israel, of Hartford, and Captain Samuel and Lieutenant Gershon, of New Haven. Timothy Jr. was in the war of 1812, and also Isaac, of Connecticut. Joseph, surgeon general, was in the Mexican war. The war record of the family in England centers in Colonel Sir Edward Barnes, who won the cross and three clasps for heroism at the battle of Pyrennees.

When a child was born in the Barnes family it seems that he parents appealed to the Bible for a name, for we have not Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, Ebenezer, Nathan, Joel, Ezra, and when Old Testament names gave out we find a Matthew starting off with those of the New Testament. With Bible nomenclature exhausted, such names as Shamger and Athamar loom large upon Barnes records. Maidens were Rebecca, Abigail and the like for a few generations; then came Freelove and Hopestill.

Colonial orthography was usually Barnes, Berns or Bernes, also Banes, and even Baineis. Members of the same family often spelled the name each in his own fashion. the arms reproduced is gules, four lozenges conjoined in cross between as many trefoils slipped, all argent. Crest, upon a rock a bear, proper, muzzled on, and resting the dexter forepaw on a trefoil slipped ver. Motto, Fer fortiler -- Bear bravely. This coat armor is that of the present living in Durham, England. The lion, unicorn, greyhound, falcon and leopard are some of the heraldic symbols displayed by different branches of the Barnes family. The lion and unicorn, seen in the British coat-of-arms, are emblems of high honor and great antiquity. This may also be said of the falcon -- an Egyptian hieroglyphic of the sun-god. It symbolizes eagerness in pursuit of any object desired. Burke gives seventeen arms for Barnes and five for Barne.

(I) While Barnes is one of the oldest names in America, there is nothing by which this family can be identified beyond David Barnes, who came to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, in 1803. He had purchased lands of Zachariah Connell in 1802, and in 1803 opened a tavern. He became quite prominent in his day as a contractor, doing a great amount of work in the county; built bridges, mills, forges, furnaces, and also engaged in the iron business and in brick manufacture. He was progressive and enterprising, doing a great amount for the welfare and expansion of the town. he was one of the first councilmen of Connellsville and an efficient public officer. Both he and his wife were Methodists. He married Sarah, daughter of John Valentine House, whose will dated June 24, 1726, is on file in the chancery records at Annapolis, Maryland. Mr. House had four children: William, Joseph, Ruth, married ______ Downs; Sarah married David Barnes. Among the children of David and Sarah Barnes was William, who became a Baptist minister and traveled widely in the Holy Land, remaining there several years, and Zephaniah Ellis, of whom further.

(II) Zephaniah Ellis, son of David and Sarah (House) Barnes, was born on East Main Street, Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He attended the public schools of that town, and in early manhood acted as a salesman for several different concerns. He was a young man whien the Mexican war was fought and served in that war under General Scott. At the outbreak of the civil war he enlisted in the transportation department as wagon master, later securing promotion to the quartermaster's department, serving until the close of the war. After the war ended he returned to Connellsville and for a time engaged in the livery business, later became an undertaker and established a large and prosperous business. He was a Republican in politics, but never an aspirant for public office. He was an active, energetic man of business and a public-spirited citizen, held in highest regard. He was a member of the Baptist church as is his widow. he built a good brick residence at No. 117 East Main street, where the family now reside. He died January 8, 1900.

He married, October 27, 1857, Elizabeth Dawson, born October 18, 1836, near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Dounard) Dawson. The Dawsons descend from John Dawson, who came to Pennsylvania from Whitehaven, England, early in the eighteenth century. Nicholas Dawson came early to Fayette county, Pennsylvania, served with Washington in the colonial war and in the revolution. he was under Crawford when he went down to defeat and death at the hands of the Indians and barely escaped capture by taking the time to help a comrade. The family have been a distinguished one in Fayette county, many of them living near and in Uniontown. Grandfather Dounard was a gun and silversmith, but spent most of his life engaged in farming. His wife, Barbara (Peters) Dounard, was of German descent, and was educated in that language at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. John Dawson was a farmer and at one time owned a tract of about one thousand acres on which "Continental Mine No. 3" is now located. Though always maintaining a farm he spent most of his own time dealing in cattle of all kinds, driving his droves across the mountains to the eastern markets. He dealt very heavily and handled large quantities of live stock. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and very influential. He would never accept public office, although often importuned.

Children of John and Elizabeth (Dounard) Dawson: 1. Oliver Hazard Perry, died aged fifteen years. 2. James, died in Newton, Kansas, a man of prominence, county surveyor and civil engineer. 3. Eliza, deceased, married Jacob Beason. 4. Jacob, lived and died on the old homestead farm in Fayette county. 5. Sarah Jane, married (first) Enoch Abrahams, (second) Johnson Murphy. 6. John, deceased. 7. Louis M., lived in Uniontown. 8. William, now living near Uniontown. 9. Elizabeth, married Zephaniah Ellis Barnes. 10. Harrison, now living at Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Children of Zephaniah Ellis and Elizabeth (Dawson) Barnes: 1. Dr. Dawson Ellis, graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and Indiana Medical College, now a practicing physician of Indianapolis, Indiana. 2. Carrie, died in infancy. 3. Willard H., an official of the United States Chemical Company, located at New York City. 4. Della T., graduate of Connellsville high school, now residing with her mother. 5. Rufus M., graduate of the law school of the University of Pennsylvania, now attorney for a large lumber company of Georgetown, South Carolina; married Mable Farr, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 6. Carl L., graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Indiana, both in medicine and law; he gave up the profession of law to become associated with his brothers, Willard H. and Thornton B., in the management of the United States Chemical Company of New York; they also maintain a school of embalming, of which Carl L. Barnes is a professor; he is a member of the Hamilton club of Chicago, Illinois, and in 1910 was a candidate for congress against the ring candidate. 7. Emily Blanche Gertrude, died in infancy. 8. Thornton B., educated in medicine at Rush Medical College, Chicago, but ill health forbade him practicing; he is located in New York City, associated with his brothers in the United States Chemical Company.


Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Under the Editorial Supervision of
John W. Jordan, LL.D.
Librarian of Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia AND
James Hadden of Uniontown, Pennsylvania; author of “Washington and Braddock’s Expeditions Through Fayette County,” and the reproductions of Judge James Veech’s work entitled “The Monongahela of Old, or Historical Sketches of Southwestern Pennsylvania to the Year 1800.”

New York
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
Three Volumes

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