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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Pennsylvania: Jefferson County

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Help solve a 222 year mystery! Who were the parents of William Barnett?
Posted by: Rosi Neilson (ID *****5428) Date: March 23, 2009 at 15:23:56
  of 595

An oral family history committed to paper in 1914 states that late in his life William told his son that “his mother died when he was an infant and that he was raised by Richard Potts of Pottsgrove, Northumberland Co, PA. He did not know if he had been adopted by Potts or whether his mother was related to Potts. His father married again and moved west over the mountains.” Records show that William Barnett was born 26 June 1786 (family bible (FB)) in Pennsylvania(1850 OH census).

In 1787-96 Andrew & Joseph Barnett bought land in Pine Creek Twp which at the time was in Northumberland Co but has been in Jefferson Co since its 1804 founding. William first appeared on a public record in 1813 when he bought property in Chillisquaque Twp, Northumberland Co, PA. Pine Creek Twp is about 135 miles NW of Chillisquaque Twp.

No record linking William to Andrew and Joseph has been discovered.

No trace of William before 1813, or his parents, or a Richard Potts have been found in Northumberland Co. On 21 November 1815 he married Jane Murray (FB) daughter of Col. James Murray & Ann (Wind) Murray in Chillisquaque Twp (DAR). They were enumerated on the 1820 Census in Chillisquaque Twp.
The couple subsequently moved about 1823 to VA and by 1830 were in Highland Co, OH (Census). William and Jane both died in Highland Co, OH, he in 1855 and she in 1844. They had ten children. The six who survived childhood, married and had children are listed below.

1. Annabella M. Barnett, b. 1819, d. 1890 m. 1855, Daniel P. Evans.
2. James Barnett, b. 1820, d. 1865, m. 1859, Martha French.
3. William Boyd Barnett, b. 1824. d. 1903, m. 1848, Sara J. Blue.
4. Hannibal Potter Barnett, b.1831, d. 1917, m. 1854, Naomi A. Catey.
5. Elizabeth Smart Barnett, b. 1834, d. 1878, m. (Rev) Lowes.
6. Mary Jane Barnett, b. 1836, d. 1901, m. 1859, Charles Edward Hawks.

Both William and his wife Jane are believed to be of Scots-Irish ancestry. It was a custom among Scots-Irish couples of that era to name their first born sons after their fathers and their first born daughters after their mothers. William & Jane’s first two sons were John T. (died in infancy) and James. Jane’s father was James. Their first two daughters were Annabella and Margaret. Jane’s mother was Ann. It would not stretch credulity to postulate that William’s parents were John T. And Margaret.

The history book "Jefferson Co, PA Her Pioneers & People, pub. 1917, p. 1 states that Joseph [and necessarily his brother Andrew] was the son of John & Sarah Barnett of Dauphin Co.

Would be pleased to exchange Barnett information with researchers knowledgeable of the Barnetts of PA of that era.

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