James “Handsome Jim” Barnes/Barns1 abt 1740 – 1832

James “Handsome Jim” Barnes/Barns1 (abt 1740 – 1832)

Dr. Linda S. Kimberling October 13, 2017

© Dr. Linda S. Kimberling All Rights Reserved
Published by:  Barnes Oxford Genealogy Foundation

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I have spent the better part of 20 years conducting genealogical research to establish my roots, and the past 2 years researching Brinsley and Elizabeth Barns of Dublin Ireland, who immigrated and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and their descendants. Primarily, my research focused on two of their sons—John “Deaf John,” his brother James, fondly known as “Handsome Jim” and Deaf John’s son, Edward. My research closed many doors, evidenced many facts, and opened many more mysteries of which I was unable to resolve in my quest to learn the life, migration, and character of Handsome Jim Barns. I am a self-taught, novice genealogist; in fact, you might call me a hack! But, I love puzzles, our Nation’s history, and knowing the fabric and character of those who came before us. It is in this context that I humbly offer this documentation to future researchers in hope that you can identify the remaining puzzle pieces of James Barns’ life.

Before I begin sharing what I have learned on my journey, I first want to thank the wonderful people who kindly sent family trees, books, stories, bible excerpts, and records that led me to more clues. Secondly, I want to convey my apologies to those whom I may offend along the way by dispelling myths that some may have very honestly relied upon as fact in establishing their lineage, and finally for any errors that I have made in determining whether a certain record or artifact truly belongs to the James Barns who originated from Chester County, Pennsylvania. One thing is for certain, James Barns was a colorful character, exuding a dominant presence to the lives he touched which led to much folklore and traditions passed down through the generations. Unfortunately, there were several James Barns/Barnes in the northern part of the state of North Carolina during the 18th and early 19th centuries. To make research more complex, County boundaries (inter and intra-State) were changed quite frequently as our new Nation was established. Needless-to-say, these factors lend to great difficulty and confusion in evidencing familial relationships and residential locations.

Authors Note: Brinsley Barns initially spelled the family surname as Barns without an ‘e’ on legal documents and census records; however, occasionally both spellings are contained in the same document. James Barns spelled his name to transcribers as “Barns” (-e). Ancestry states that the name Barns originated as an occupational name for someone who lived by or worked at a barn, barns, or granary.

Finally, it is my preference that this article stands alone in content—that is, in the absence of having read the John “Deaf John” Barns/Barnes article, May 28th (Kimberling, 2016). Therefore, where the information is identical (e.g., the parentage and early life of James and John, or the Tryon Regulators’ uprising), I have excerpted and included these passages by quotation into this article.

Early Life
James Barns was born in the middle of the 18th-century colonial America about 1740. This is an estimate only as I was unable to uncover an official birth record for him. Many public genealogical trees reflect his birth year as 1748 (with no evidence provided), while long-time Barnes’ family genealogist, Mr. Warren E. Barnes estimates his birth as approximately 1740. His estimation is based on the marriage year of James’ parents and birth year of his eldest sister, Mary Barns Carter born September 17, 1734 (Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, 1734).

I concur with Mr. Barnes’ birth-year estimate as I found nothing to contradict his rationale. Moreover, if 1748 was accurate, James would have been 15 years old when he married, approximately 11 years younger than Deaf John, and 15 years younger than his future wife, Sarah Carter (whose tombstone reflects her birth year as 1733), all of which seems very unlikely. Tradition holds that he was quite close to his older brother John who was believed to be born sometime between 1736 – 1740, so my conclusion is that he was probably close in age to Deaf John. Others report his birth year as 1722 (Barnes, R.E.) or infer that he was born in 1722 by stating “In his hundredth year (1822), he shouldered his rifle…” (White, n.d.). While a colorful legend, it is very unlikely that James was born in 1722 because Brinsley (James’ father) would have been 9 years old only. Brinsley Barns’ baptism is recorded on February 5, 1713, to the parents of James and Mary Barnes (Church of Ireland). Through this reasoning process, it is my belief that James Barns’ birth was within +/- 3 years of 1740.

To provide context to the era in which Handsome Jim was born, the following is quoted from the Deaf John Barns article:

“…Benjamin Franklin was inventing the stove, times were hard, and the era turbulent in Kennett Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania (Lambert, n.d.). Many Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in Chester County, including John’s [and James] father, Brinsley Barns, and mother, Elizabeth Lindley Barns. Barely 60 years earlier William Penn settled the Pennsylvania Colony when he received a charter from King Charles II of England granting him acreage to liquidate a debt. This new Colony was a haven from religious persecution and the groundwork for separation of church and state (History of William Penn, n.d.). John’s [and James] arrival was on the cusp of the 1776 American Revolution fought to ensure the British did not overstep their authority by excessive and unauthorized taxation of the new American people. It was against this backdrop John [and James] was born, raised, and developed his beliefs and values about family, work, religion, and freedom” (Kimberling, 2016).

As far as research reveals, James was the third of eight children with three sisters. The eldest sister was Mary Barns Carter (1734-1823) [Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Records, p. 347]. Mary, married the brother [Samuel] of James’ future wife [Sarah]. He had two younger sisters, Anne Barns Hobson (1744-1775) [Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Records, p. 356], and Lydia Barns Teagues ( abt 1751-1810) [historical tradition]. In addition, James had four brothers documented from family tradition, John “Deaf John” Barns (abt 1736-1832); Brinsley Barns, Jr. (abt 1749-1816); Thomas Barns (1750-1823); and Jehu Barns (abt 1751-1820).

James’ early life as excerpted from Deaf John Barns’ article:

“no doubt experienced hard work caring for his younger siblings and contributing to their livelihood. He carried out daily chores, cleared stones and foliage before even subsistence-level farming would be productive in the poor soil of the early American Colonies. Along with his siblings, John [and James] was very likely raised in the Quaker lifestyle as his mother was a confirmed Quaker (Women’s Minutes, 1741, December 26; 1753, May 5). However, contrary to the Quaker lifestyle, ‘Elizabeth Barns [was] disowned…for drinking hard liquor…’ (Women’s Minutes, 1753, September 1; 1753, October 6). While there is no evidence that Brinsley, his father, was a confirmed Quaker, he engaged in Quaker conventions and ceremonies as documented in many of the congregation’s meetings (Kennett Monthly Meetings, 1692-1821a-d); Men’s Minutes, 1753). This means the Barns’ children (if only loosely) were likely raised to live ‘…in daily obedience of God. Simplicity, honesty, and order were valued. Card-playing, dancing, and liquor were forbidden, and anger often repressed. Emphasis on humility and pacifism helped prevent domination and use of violence’ (Brady, 2009)” (Kimberling, 2016).

James was a second-generation Irish Immigrant. His life migration reflects he was

“influenced by his father’s skills, prominence in the community, and future wealth. His father, Brinsley, hailed from Dublin, Ireland, arriving in the New World circa 1734. Living in Ireland in the early 18th century, likely he was skilled in farming and animal husbandry. However, the Kennett Township, Chester County, PA Tax Records reflect Brinsley was an Inmate from the years 1734-1735 and 1747-1748, meaning that he was ‘older than 21 years old and non-land owning’ (Barnes, 2007, p. 1-7; Tax Records, 1735, 1748). Even so, he may well have engaged in tenant farming activities while living in Kennett Township to provide for his growing family when arriving in the Colonies. One could presume that John [and James] learned these same skills at the knee of his father. When John was 17 [and James, 13], his family moved from Kennett Pennsylvania (Kennett Monthly Meeting Minutes, 5, Sept 1753) to Orange County, North Carolina, which later became Chatham County. In Orange County his father received 640 acres of land along the Rocky River at the mouth of Mudlick Creek from the Earl of Granville. The Earl offered the land free ‘to people who would settle and farm the land’. It was at this time Brinsley was officially considered a planter or farmer (Barnes, 1998, p. 1-54b, p 1-6c). Clearing virgin fields and planting were back-breaking work with ‘oxen and horses for power, crude wooden plows, all sowing by hand, cultivating by hoe, hay and grain cutting with sickle, and threshing with flail’ (Growing a Nation). John’s [and James] father was considered a prominent colonist by having received a large tract of land [i.e., more than 50 acres (Growing a Nation)]” (Kimberling, 2016).

Manhood, Marriage and Land Ownership

As a young man, James was described as “a man of prodigious physical powers, and his personal beauty acquired for him the soubriquet of Beauty Jim” (White, n.d.). On Feb 2, 1760, James Barns was “received upon request” to the Cane Creek Society of Friends (Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, 1760). Note, that there is only 1 other James Barns on record in Chatham County and he was born in 1761, therefore this James Barns would not have been born at the time the request was made to the Cane Creek Society of Friends (North Carolina Revolutionary War). While I am unable to evidence conclusively that the James Barns who “requested to be received” is in fact our James Barns, it would not surprise me if being smitten by Miss Sarah Carter of the Chester Quaker Society of Friends, that James did not at least attempt to follow the light. Also, I did not locate a record of James later being disowned by the Society of Friends for some inappropriate behavior such as bearing arms in a warlike manner. This is a mystery to be resolved by a future family researcher.

James married Sarah Carter when he was approximately 23 years old in Swedes Church, Philadelphia, PA on April 26, 1763, just one year before his brother John married Elizabeth Fisher in the same church (Philadelphia Marriage Records). Sarah Carter was the daughter of Ninevah Carter and Mary Clayton of Chester County, Pennsylvania who married in 1731 (US, Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935). After the wedding of James and Sarah in Swedes Church, the Women Friends of the Chester Monthly Meeting determined to “bring a complaint against Sarah, the wife of James Barns for being married to him by a priest—he not being of our Society” (U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935, Oct 20, 1763).

County Formation in North Carolina and James’ Residence
It is my belief that James Barns returned to Pennsylvania to marry Sarah Carter while residing in Orange County, NC with his parents. Also, it is my belief that James and Sarah resided in Anson, Rowan, Burke, and Wilkes Counties, NC–without ever relocating.  This is illustrated by clicking on the link below to view the map at  http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nc/state2/amap/nccf.html

Scroll down and use the play and stop buttons to see how the same location can be located in different counties over the years.

The Cane Creek Monthly Minutes introduction provides possible insight into the migration of James’ family as well as his relationship with his future wife, Sarah Carter, who was born in Delaware, Pennsylvania and attended Society of Friends through Chester County, Pennsylvania where James Barns was born and raised. As quoted:

The Cane Creek Monthly Minutes introduction provides possible insight into the migration of James’ family as well as his relationship with his future wife, Sarah Carter, who was born in Delaware, Pennsylvania and attended Society of Friends through Chester County, Pennsylvania where James Barns was born and raised. As quoted:

The Cane Creek Monthly Minutes introduction provides possible insight into the migration of James’ family as well as his relationship with his future wife, Sarah Carter, who was born in Delaware, Pennsylvania and attended Society of Friends through Chester County, Pennsylvania where James Barns was born and raised. As quoted:

Cane Creek Monthly Meeting was established 7th of 10th month,1751,

Cane Creek Meeting House
Cane Creek Meeting House

being located on the stream from which it took its name in the central part of the large area which comprised Orange County.  This area included all of the present counties of Caswell, Person, Alamance, Chatham and Orange and parts of Rockingham, Guilford, Randolph, Lee, Wake, and Durham.  In 1771 Chatham, Guilford, and Wake were established–each taking a part of Orange County.  The division line between Orange and Chatham was run a short distance to the south of the meeting house, so the meeting continued to be in Orange County, but the residence of many of the members were thrown into Chatham.  This account for the fact in a large number families the older children are recorded being born in Orange and the younger ones in Chatham.  In 1849 Orange County was again divided, the western portion including the site of Cane Creek Meeting, being set off as Alamance County.  The meeting house is today located in that county, adjacent to the village of Snow Camp, and about 15 miles south of Graham,  the county seat.

Teague (1995) notes “the decision to come south, to uproot their families, and to travel some 400 miles into the wilderness was not easy for the early pioneers, but many Quakers came. The first of the settlers from Pennsylvania and Maryland…” (p. 12).

Furthermore, by examining the North Carolina County Maps of 1750, 1760, 1775, 1780, and 1800 we see that initially in 1750, the only County that existed of the four I mentioned above was Anson. All of the others were formed of Anson (or one of its successor counties) in a later decade as the frontier was opened up and tamed by the young pioneers. At one point in time, Rowan County covered almost the entire western part of NC. From the 1750s, up to the time of the American Revolution, Rowan County included most of the frontier area of Western North Carolina. All or portions of the present-day counties of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, Yancey fell within its bounds at that time.

The 1780 map reflects the establishment of Wilkes County and James’ name is found in the 1800 U.S. Federal Census for Wilkes County (along with Brinsley, John, Solomon, and Jehu). Prior to 1778, the same property where James and Sarah lived was called Rowan County; and prior to that, it was called Anson County. In 1799 James and Sarah owned by deed 200 acres in Anson County, NC, approximately twice the amount Brinsley originally granted them in Chatham County. I was unable to locate a deed of sale for this property at the time James removed to Indiana.

White’s History of Alexander County (n.d.) tells us that “…settlements were made along the Yadkin by immigrants from Virginia and Pennsylvania, and some of these extended their skirts southward until they were located south of the Brushy Mountains…The immigration from Pennsylvania to this and other portions of the Southland was mainly because of the fact that Philadelphia was the principal port of entry for immigrants…” Also, comparatively speaking, Philadelphia was a center of commerce and government, while Orange County was wild, primitive, and unhewn, so it is likely that the young men traveled back to Philadelphia trading and conducting commerce activities to help the Barns family establish itself in North Carolina. In any event, the spelling of Barns (-e) in the Swedes’ church record leaves little doubt that these were the sons of Brinsley Barns. Seven years later, in the 1770 reconstructed census, there is only one other documented James Barns listed (-e; no John Barns listed at all), in the Philadelphia area and the other James Barns was well established with acreage, horse, cattle, and sheep. Furthermore, we have evidence that Sarah Carter, wife of James Barns resided in Orange County (which later became Chatham County) as of 1767 on a section of land granted to them that had been owned by Brinsley Barns, James’ father. Finally, prior to 1770, no other tax or census records were located for any John or James Barns in Philadelphia.

Political Advocacy and Revolutionary War Service
As told in Deaf John Barns’ article:

It was in 1768, that James with brother John, father Brinsley, and 480 Regulators signed the Petition protesting Tryon’s actions (Documenting the American South, 2010a). The Regulators “rioted throughout the North Carolina countryside until the movement culminated in the Battle of Alamance” in 1771 (Martin, n.d.). While the Revolutionary War did not officially begin until four years later, many historians believe the Battle of Alamance was the “spark that ignited our American Revolution” [(Price, 2016); Kimberling, 2016].

Additionally, the residents:

“had to swear allegiance to the King of England or flee their former homes. Many of those patriots in the Anson County—now Montgomery Chatham—gathered up their families and belongings and fled across the Cherokee line—that is the boundary between Tryon’s domain and the Indians, said to have been between here [Alexander County] and Statesville” [(White, n.d.); (Kimberling, 2016)].

In 1771 James Barns signed a petition while in the “Great County of Rowan” (Tax Lists of Old Burke County, NC, Burke County Genealogical Society 2016). The petition to Governor Josiah Martin from the inhabitants of the upper Settlement of the Catawba River, Yatkin River and three Cricks humbly…since their locale was 140 miles from Salisbury, present Seat of Justice, and dangerous waters, they requested a seat of justice. This petition called for the division of Rowan to create Burke County.

In 1772, James served under Captain Jeduthan Harper in the local Chatham County Militia. The muster roll reflects that he served alongside his brothers Jehu and Thomas, as well as Jacob Teague his brother-in-law who married his sister, Lydia Barns. The 2,500-volunteer militia was formed as a direct result of the Regulators’ growing discontent with Governor William Tryon’s policies. In 1764, William Tryon was appointed lieutenant governor of North Carolina and not long after, he disenfranchised the colonists of North Carolina by enacting policies and practices that resulted “… in excessive fees, higher taxes…lack of colonial representation, and…corruption of the royal government in charge of the colony” (Martin, n.d.). Eventually, a group of men rejecting the taxation formed in the North Carolina Piedmont region and they were called Regulators.

In 1775 the Chatham County Militia was combined with 34 other existing County Militias to form the North Carolina Militia, Chatham County Regiment. By this time, Captain Harper had been promoted to Lt. Colonel. Harper was one of the delegates of Chatham County, who met to frame the Constitution for the State of North Carolina. “On September 9, 1775, the Provincial Congress authorized thirty-five (35) existing county Militias to be organized. All officers were appointed and commissioned by the Provincial Congress. The Chatham County Regiment was active until the end of the war. Units of this regiment were known to have participated in the Battle of Moore’s Creek, Feb 27, 1776; Briar Creek, Mar 3, 1779, and many others.” (Chatham County Regiment). I was unable to locate a discharge record for James Barns so it is impossible to confirm whether he remained in service to participate in either battle.

The Daughters of the American Revolution reflect that he served in the Continental Army under Captain Cosmo Medici’s Light Dragoons Regiment of the Continental Army; however, I believe this is an error of mistaken identity. While there is a James Barnes reflected on Medici’s muster rolls, it is not correctly spelled (-e), nor was I able to validate (even circumstantially) that this service record was, in fact, Handsome Jim’s through a pension, pension application, bible record, newspaper, or other documentation. And, there are several James Barns/Barnes who served in the Revolutionary War from North Carolina. Since the Chatham County Militia remained intact until the end of the war, and he was serving alongside his relatives in the Chatham County Militia, I think it unlikely that he would have requested or been reassigned to another Regiment.

Finally, there is no record of James or Sarah ever having filed for a military service pension based on his service in the Revolutionary War in North Carolina, nor Indiana, where he is said to have spent his later years (Census of Pensioners, 1841). I learned: “Men that served as militia during the revolution were NOT eligible for pensions for bounty land warrants. Only the men who served at least two years in the Continental Line were eligible for that. But, the militia service does make them eligible for “Patriot” designation, if the time they served was during the period of the war” (Militia Officers in the Chatham County, 1998). It would seem reasonable (though not guaranteed) that he would have applied for a pension if he was qualified. Based on the reasoning and research above, it is my conclusion that James served in the Chatham County Militia but not the Continental Army. My hope is that a future family researcher will take on this effort to one day evidence conclusively whether Handsome Jim served in the Continental Army. In the Appendix of this article, I provide information my research produced regarding another James Barnes who served in the Continental Army, but I have determined he is not our James Barns, the son of Brinsley Barns of Chester County, Pennsylvania. My reasoning is stated in the appendix.

Land Ownership
On February 10, 1767, James’ father “…sells three separate parcels of his original 640 acres in Orange County, North Carolina—one parcel each to Samuel Carter, John Barnes, and James Barnes”, (Barnes, 1998, p. 1-4a). Barnes notes this information came from “Abstracts from Register of North Carolina Deeds 1752-1768 and 1793.” However, he was unable to obtain the actual deed when he inquired.

I, too, was unable to locate this deed for validation. However, through Hugh Barnes of Caldwell County, NC, I acquired the deed of sale that documented James and Sarah selling the same land on November 9, 1778. The deed states: “James Barns and wife Sarah Barns…sold 104 acres to Adam Moser, Blacksmith…the tract of land and plantation…granted and confirmed unto Brinsley Barns from the late Earl of Granville in the County of Orange”. The deed further denotes, “…James Barns of Chatham County and State of North Carolina Yeoman….” The word yeoman was the term used for an independent farmer in the U.S. in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Finally, the deed notes that this land was adjacent to Brinsley Barns’ property meaning that Brinsley remained there after James sold his land. James sold the “land, plantation, outbuildings, and all appurtenances. Witnesses: Thomas Hill & Daniel Fox.”

It is important to note the historical period of this sale was the worst of the Revolutionary War—a few months after General Washington and his troops finally departed (June 19, 1778) from the throes of a brutally harsh winter at Valley Forge. (U.S. History http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/revwartimeline.html ). I surmise this was a very difficult decision for James and Sarah as this was most likely their first home together where they began raising their young family. Clearly, James wanted to move westward from the battle-torn Orange County. A last thought to share is that this deed of sale (November 9, 1778) occurred a full 7 years after the Battle of Alamance bringing into question whether James and Brinsley truly were refugees from Governor Tryon and “…had to flee from their homes” as is so often quoted (White, n.d.). From the description of the deed, James and Sarah had acquired and built much in their first homestead and it remained intact to sell despite the local, political uprising of the Regulators that spanned many years. If in fact, they left their homestead for failing to declare allegiance to the King of England, it would stand to reason that their time away from their home was relatively brief.

Both Brinsley and his son James are documented in the 1772 Tax Roll for Orange County indicating they were still landowners. However, James and Sarah began their migration westward to Rowan County, NC sometime between 1770 and 1778 (see 1760 County Map). Recall that James signed the Josiah Martin petition in Rowan County, 1771. After the final sale of his Chatham County home in 1778, family tradition indicates James and Sarah migrated to Burke County (formed from Rowan County in 1777), however, I did not locate records that clearly support this notion. The frequent reformation of county boundaries in colonial America is extremely important to understand migration and the difficulty in determining an ancestor’s residence. A deed for purchase in one county and a deed of sale in another county may actually be the same property recorded in the newly named county.

After James and Sarah migrated from Chatham County, the locals remembered James’ property as reflected in a 1780 deed wherein Evin Thomas sold land to Lewis Johnston noting “…conveyed 390 Acres of land lying on the East side of the Rocky River…North of a dead tree said to be James Barns’ corner then running along the fence of a piece of land said to be James Barns improvement, North sixty-five degrees…” (Chatham County Deed Book C). In 1784, we find James residing in Rowan County where he witnessed a deed of sale for Jacob Teague who conveyed 125 acres to Barnett Wier. Jacob was James’ brother-in-law having married his sister Lydia Barns Teague, who signed the deed as well. The deed indicates that James could not read, nor write as he did not sign his name but used a mark which was ‘(1)’ (Rowan County Library, Genealogist).

James and Sarah lived in the Anson-Rowan-Wilkes County area as evidenced by documents they witnessed and Census records in the early 1770’s and 1780’s, however, my search revealed no deed of purchase or sale in the Counties of this geographical area. (See the addendum for records searched.) While family stories state they migrated to Burke, I was unable to locate any deeds in Burke County, NC and it is known to be a burned county having occurred during the ravages of the Civil War Era at which time most of the land records were destroyed. It is possible that both purchase and sale deeds were destroyed, or that the files are not yet available online. Finally, it is also possible that our James has been confused with another James Barns who resided in Burke County in 1800, while our James resided in Wilkesboro, Wilkes County (1800 Federal Census). Regardless of which location, the value and wealth obtained from the sale of his Chatham County plantation in 1778 would have afforded him the capital to purchase farmland which would have been needed to raise and provide for his family.

I located a land deed conveying 200 acres in 1799 to James Barns in Anson County that states: “On the …Fork of Grassy Creek” (North Carolina Land Grant Files, 1693-1960). Many of Deaf John’s land deeds, Brinsley’s and other Barns’ family members record their land adjacent to the “Brushies, Sugar Mountain, Grassy Fork, Muddy Fork, and Lower Little River”.

James and Sarah’s Family

In 1790 James was about 50 years old and is reflected in the First Federal Census: Anson County NC “Heads of Household”. As a head of household, paying taxes, he would have been a landowner, which is evidenced by the Anson County Deed noted above. His home is shown to have 9 white persons; 0 Slaves; 5 males greater than age 16; 0 males less than age 16; and 4 Females—no ages are provided for the females. Given family tradition and some birth records, this number is nearly accurate, although it does not account for a son James, presumed to have been born in 1779 and approximately 11 years old at the time of this Census.

In 1800 James is identified in the Federal Census: Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, NC. Historians tell us that generally, families resided in close proximity. This ensured survival and the assurance that family would care for the younger children of a brother or sister who passed away unexpectedly at a young age. In most cases, this is supported by the many deeds in the area that contain the same family member names—both immediate and extended family. For example, in the Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, NC the Brinsley Barns’ clan (all of whom are related to James and Sarah Barns) are documented in tax records, Census, and land deeds: Brinsley Barns, Reuben, Solomon, Jehu, Deaf John, Jacob Teague (his brother-in-law), and John Swaim (his daughter Elizabeth’s father-in-law). Furthermore, Handsome Jim’s daughter Elizabeth is recorded in 1800 as having married Michael Swaim in Wilkes County. (Wilkesboro, NC bonds). This further supports the conclusion that Handsome Jim Barns resided in Wilkesboro, NC in 1800.

Finally, the History of Alexander County notes that: “Other pioneers along the northern boundary of the [Taylorsville] township were John Morley Jones, William Leach, Edward Barnes and probably James Barnes and John Barnes.” (White, n.d.). I believe this Edward Barnes is most likely John Barnes’ son (Handsome Jim’s nephew) because there is a deed for Edward adjacent to John’s plantation. Also, in Deaf John’s Will, he bequeathed a portion of his commercial buildings and equipment to continue operating with Edward’s siblings. The Alexander County essay records the historical development, location description, church plantings, and many pioneers of the Lower Little River and Grassy Fork area. It is well detailed, very informative, and well worth the time to read. The Barnes Family is documented as ‘pioneers’ of this area with most of the information focused on Handsome Jim Barns. Some of the information is not accurate—for example, it infers that James was born in 1722 which as discussed earlier is not likely. However, “James Barnes lived several years in the part of Wilkes County south of the Brushy Mountains, somewhere north of Taylorsville…” I located one deed that evidences this statement as true.

Legend has it that James and his brother John lived alongside each other and were so close that people did not know whose children belonged to whom. John and James’ Quaker upbringing would support this notion, especially as they were starting out life with small children. Quaker families were expected to remain close as detailed in the Friends Journal:

“Parents could not count on living until all their children were grown, and they expected relatives to be willing to help raise them if necessary. Those who lived into old age could hope that a son or daughter, niece or nephew, would care for them. If a family was slipping into poverty, more prosperous brothers and sisters would help. As some Quakers acquired wealth in the 1700s, relatives might loan money or invest in new business ventures together” (Brady, 2009, p. 2).

Note: There is another James Barns identified in the 1800 Federal Census: Burke County, NC as well which is not Handsome Jim, but more likely the same James Barns that filed for Revolutionary War pension and discussed in the Appendix.
The descendant list below is likely not exhaustive. I recorded the births of children and grandchildren that were reasonably evidenced through family bible records, scrap books, letters, historical accounts, or longstanding pedigrees.

James Barns and Sarah Carter Barns’ Descendants:

1) John “Major” (1759-1874) m. Nancy Brown (Source: White, n.d; Barnes, W.E, 1998)
History of Alexander County records: “John Barnes, eldest son of James Barnes, married Nancy, daughter of the patriarch, George Brown, and moved, as stated before to Caldwell County, to the valuable farm where Rufus A. Brown now lives, where he died in 1874 at the age of 115 years. His descendants live in Alexander, Caldwell and Wilkes Counties, and many of them emigrated west and elsewhere.” (n.d.).

2) Jehu (1765-1820) m. Lurannah Teague b. 1760 (Source: Widney, M.B., 1920; White, 1926)
White’s Alexander County History records: “…Jehu, who married Edward Teague’s daughter. Taken with all its relations by intermarriage it is almost, without doubt, the dominant family of Alexander County. The pioneer Teagues came from Chatham and Orange Counties, mostly from Chatham.” Further, the Teagues knew the Barns clan and fought alongside them during the Tryon Regulator era. Widney’s letter states Jehu’s wife is named Susannah. However, I believe Susannah was mistaken for Lurannah since the latter is a bit unusual. However, other historical records and pedigrees confirm her name as Lurannah, not Susannah. Many thanks to Dr. Robert McNeely, a descendant of Handsome Jim through his daughter Hannah, who located Jehu’s last Will and Testament dated 22 Mar 1833, and shared his descendants in an email to me (McNeely, 2017).

A) Minerva b. ? (Source: Widney, M.B., 1920)
B) Michael Ross (1780-1859) m. Elizabeth West (1786-1869)
(Source: Widney, M.B. 1920)
C) Anna Watson b.? (Source: Widney, M.B., 1920)
D) Luannah (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book               1,   p. 2)
E) James (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book 1, p.             2)
F) Ninevah (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book 1,             p. 2)
G) Sally (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book 1, p.             2)
H) Jehu (probably Jehu T) (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County                     Indiana 1833, Book 1, p. 2)
I) George (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book 1,               p. 2)
J) John (Executor) (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833,              Book 1, p. 2)
K) Rachael, deceased) (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana                 1833, Book 1, p. 2)
L) Hannah (indexed as Diannah) (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County           Indiana 1833, Book 1, p. 2)
M) Edward (Source: Jehu’s Will, Parke County Indiana 1833, Book 1,          p. 2)
I believe White’s Alexander County History (n.d.) account is incorrect when stating: “Michael Barnes, another son of James, went to California about 1840. His prospect of a lengthy life was cut short by stepping on a rusty nail which gave him the lockjaw, of which he died.” Based on Mary Barnes Widney’s letter, Michael was James’ grandson.

3) Edward b. 1768 m. unknown Terrell/Tyrell woman (Rufus Barnes Pedigree 1979; Barnes, 1998)
A) Isaac (1799-1850) m. Elizabeth (1806-1874) Isaac married his first cousin Elizabeth Barnes, the daughter of his brother Thomas. (Rufus Barnes Pedigree 1979)
Alexander County History (n.d.) records that the brothers—Isaac and Thomas—were instrumental in establishing the Salem Lutheran Church near the waters of the grassy fork…”

B) Thomas b. ?

a. Elizabeth (1806-1874)

4) Ninevah b. ~1774 m. Unknown (Source: Barnes, 1998)

5) Hannah (1778-1829) m. (1806) to James Oxford (Source: Oxford, 1890)
Rev. Isaac Oxford’s Letter of 1890 states the marriage of Hannah Barns to James Oxford and further states that Samuel Oxford (b. 1753), James Oxford’s father, settled in Anson County, NC which gives credence to Handsome Jim (Hannah’s father) residing in Anson County.) As quoted in Reverend Oxford’s letter: “In the fall of 1806, James Oxford took to wife Hannah Barnes, daughter of James Barnes and Sarah Barnes. James Barnes was born in the state of Pennsylvania, was of Irish descent, his father having emigrated from Doublanbutt in County Down, Ireland [which we now know was Dublin, Ireland]. His wife’s maiden name was Sarah Carter.”

6) Thomas (~1777-1860) m. Letitia (Letty) Brown; m. Anna Murphy (Source: Rufus Barnes, 1979; Barnes, 1998; Crabtree, 2016)

A) Thomas b. 1828 m. Ruth Emoline Jones (Source: White, n.d)
Thomas and Letty had a son named Thomas b.1828 in Wilkes County who married Ruth Emoline Jones in 1858, Taylorsville, NC. Their daughter Laura Caroline Barnes (Handsome Jim’s great-granddaughter), who was born on 4 Apr 1861, married Bynum C. Deal. It is Mrs. Bynum C. Deal’s (a.ka. Laura Caroline Barnes) scrapbook records that was the basis for the Barnes’ Family memoirs as recorded in the Alexander County History, published in the Taylorsville Paper, 1926. This would certainly lend credence to most of the info that was reported in the Taylorsville Paper.

7) Elizabeth (1779-1836) m. Michael Swaim (1780-1829) (Source: Swaim, 1961; Barnes, 1998)
Note that Michael’s father, John Swaim owned land in Rowan County (Swaim Book, p. 11), and recall earlier that James and Sarah most likely resided in Anson County, which became Rowan County, then Wilkes County, where Elizabeth Barns and Michael Swaim’s marriage is recorded on October 7, 1800 (Wilkes County, NC Marriage Bonds, p. 17). Also of note, “John Swaim, father of Rev. George Swaim, entered land upon the West Fork of Lambert’s Fork. Robert Holmes entered a large body of land just below Swain’s entry. He sold most of it to David and Jesse Spradling. Patrick Sloan, next below Holmes and sold his to Brinsley Barnes.) Brinsley Barn’s clan lived very close to John Swaim’s clan and there were several marriages between the Barnes and Swaim families. (White, n.d.)

In 1819, Michael and Elizabeth set out for Parke County, Indiana and settled about 4 miles from Rockingham, IN (Swaim Book, p. 32). This is exactly the locale where Handsome Jim reportedly relocated based on family tradition and the Taylorsville, State Newspaper.

In addition, during my research, I corresponded via email (June 22, 2017) with Ms. Ann Stryker-Lester, a descendant of the Swaim family who reprinted John E. Swaim’s book. She was extremely helpful and provided relevant deed map information that a future researcher would be well-served in reviewing.

“For the location of James Barnes in Parke County, you might want to look at “Family Maps of Parke County, Indiana” by Gregory A. Boyd, J.D.  In T16N R7-W a James Barnes is listed as establishing land in Section 10 in 1829 and a James Barnes also has land in 1832 in Section 12.  There are William, Joseph, John, and Jehu T. Barnes and several Swaims in that T16N R7-W maps.  I have not found Michael Swaim on these maps, but his land was probably the one James has in 1829.  There is also a James Barnes with two parcels of land in T15-N R7 -W in Section 17 (1832, 1837) and Alexander and Michael Barnes in Sec. 4.”

Birth and Death records are excerpted from photocopied bible pages of Moses R. Swaim (1813-1878) the son of Michael and Elizabeth Barns Swaim, located in the book entitled, “That Swaim Family,” p. 17, 18, and 18a., originally written by John Swaim, 1961.)
   Children/Grandchildren (Source: Swaim, p. 17)
A) Elizabeth b. 1801
B) Jehu Barnes Swaim, (1803-1882), m. Nancy White & Juliet Williams
C) Patsey Swaim, b. 1805
D) John Swaim, b. 1807
E) George W. Swaim, b. 1809, m. Frances ?
F) Elizabeth Swaim, b. 1811, mv John Marley on June 23, 1833
G) Moses R. Swaim, (1813-1878) m. Eleanor Youngblood, Mary Barnes,
H) Rebecca Denny
I) Lydia Swaim, b. 1815, m. Thomas Adams on Oct. 16, 1835
J) Peter Marion Swaim, (1818-1857), m. Nancy Ball
K) Richard W. Swaim

The Swaim family history records that Michael was thrown from a horse as he was breaking it and died instantly in 1829 (p. 47). The 1830 Census for Parke County, IN reflects Elizabeth Swaim between 40-50 having 1 son 20-30, 1 son 15-20, 2 sons 10-15, 1 daughter 15-20, and 1 daughter 10-15.

Recall that parts of Rowan County became Surry County in 1771, and parts of Surry County reformed to become Wilkes County in 1778. John and Anna Swaim settled in Surry County and John Swaim (Michael’s father) “was an elder in the Little River Baptist Church, when it was established in 1791” and Brinsley Barns (grandfather of Elizabeth Barns Swaim) was a Charter Member of Little River Baptist Church. (Little River Baptist Church History).

The Winter of James and Sarah’s Lives
Handsome Jim Barns was a pioneer, a patriot, a father and grandfather, plantation owner, planter (a.k.a independent farmer), and by all accounts passed down through family lore–enormous in personality, strength, stamina, and stature. Family members attest that Handsome Jim migrated to Indiana on foot, leaving Sarah his wife behind. The last Census recording James Barns and his family in Wilkesboro, NC, was 1800. Also, this was the same year his daughter Elizabeth Barns married Michael Swaim in Wilkesboro on October 7th. In the year 1810, there are ten (10) James Barns recorded in North Carolina; however, only three of the households contain a male and female older than 45 years of age—Nash, Gates, and Rockingham Counties. Thus far, it has been impossible to determine if any of these are Handsome Jim. If he and Sarah removed to another County, Rockingham, NC is the most likely, however, it is quite a distance from Wilkesboro. It is possible that they remained in Wilkesboro but did not participate in the 1810 Census as well.

Many family letters and newspaper articles report James’ age exceeding 110 years old (Oxford, 1890; Widney, 1920; White, n.d.). In “1822, he was said to have shouldered his rifle and traveled on foot to Ohio and then to Indiana…and was heard from 10 years later…at” (White, n.d.). Reverend Isaac Oxford (1890), the grandson of Handsome Jim by his daughter Hannah who married James Oxford, reported Sarah “died at the residence of James Oxford in the year 1829 at the advanced age of 96. James Barns [Handsome Jim] at last account was in Indiana and was 115 years of age, could walk 5 miles to and from church in the day.” If James was born circa 1740 as explained earlier, and this declaration is true, the last time Handsome Jim would have been seen was in the year 1855. Neither 1830 nor 1840 Census records account for a James Barns older than 70 years of age residing in the State of Indiana; however, both years provide for entries of 100 years of age, or greater. This does not mean the Reverend’s statement is untrue, it merely means no Census record could be located to substantiate the statement conclusively.

Before we unjustly cast James as a wanderlust, looking for adventure as he removed to Indiana leaving his wife behind, I think it only fair to consider some of the factors that may have led to his departure from Wilkesboro County, North Carolina. First, as stated earlier, his daughter Elizabeth and husband, Michael Swaim, removed to Parke County, IN in the year 1819 (a few years earlier than Handsome Jim is said to have left for Indiana, with his son John). Dr. Robert McNeely recently challenged both the date of travel and the son with whom he traveled (McNeely, 2017). Dr. McNeely located a sale of land in Burke County, NC on 1 Jan 1802 for Jehu Barnes. And as stated earlier, the last known Census in NC for Handsome Jim and Jehu were in 1800, Wilkes County. Also, we know that Jehu lived in Indiana (Widney, 1920) and acquired land in Parke County, IN in 1829 (McNeely, 2017). This thesis requires additional research. It sounds quite plausible that James and Jehu left in the early 1800s; and yet, Elizabeth and Michael Swaim are said to have lived a harsh winter in a temporary shelter made of sticks and thatch where their new Parke County home would eventually be built (Swaim, 1961, p.44). If Handsome Jim and Jehu already resided in Parke County as early as circa 1805, my thought is that a substantial dwelling would have existed for them to invite the new homesteaders—Elizabeth (his daughter) and husband—to winter while they helped construct their new home. In any event, the period of 1801 to 1828 is puzzling in terms of where Handsome Jim resided and clearly requires additional research.

Handsome Jim had immediate family members living in the Parke County, IN vicinity between the years 1810-1829 when he arrived. Elizabeth (his daughter) was left widowed with 6 children when her husband (Michael) died a violent death in Parke County, IN in the year 1825. Sarah may have been ill of health and unable to travel choosing to remain with her daughter, Hannah, while Jim traveled to Indiana. This timing is very important in that a few years later (1829) is the first deed recorded reflecting a James Barns as a purchaser of land in Parke County, Indiana. While this could be a different James Barns, because of the proximity to his daughter and grandchildren, it seems likely to be Handsome Jim. Since my research did not confirm conclusively that one of the James Barns residing in Parke County, IN was, in fact, Handsome Jim, I did not include the properties on the Kimberling Land Acquisition Analyzer. Secondly, the Land Act of 1820 opened up the Western Frontier of Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and the Northwest Territory by reducing the purchase price to a mere $1.25 per acre! This made it possible for middle-class farmers and pioneers to settle the land West of civilization.

We have demonstrated that James was a fighter and a pioneer at heart as he relocated from Chester County, PA, to Chatham County, NC, to Anson/Wilkesboro County, NC, and then to Indiana, no doubt in search of peace from tyranny and prosperity as a planter. It may have been that Handsome Jim set out to re-establish his family in search of these same motivations and had intended to return for Sarah. Finally, Crouch’s (1902) Historical Sketches of Wilkes County, North Carolina describes one of our favorite American Frontier heroes—Daniel Boone—as having been absent from home frequently for quite some time and at one point captured by the Shawnee. Wife Rebecca, thinking him killed by the Indians, returned to her family in North Carolina (p. 8). Similar to Sarah Barns, in 1813 Rebecca Boone “died at daughter Jemima Boone Callaway’s home near the village of Charette and buried in the Bryan Cemetery nearby,” while Daniel did not pass away until 1820 in Defiance, Missouri, at his son Nathan’s home (Boone Association, n.d.). All of this is to say that James and Sarah’s final days were common for this era and born out of survival and necessity.

Sarah Carter Barnes Tombstone
Sarah Carter Barnes Tombstone

Sarah Carter Barns died in 1829 and is buried at Union Baptist Church, Lenoir, NC alongside her daughter Hannah Barnes Oxford.

Handsome Jim appears to have died intestate, as my research did not uncover a Last Will and Testament in North Carolina, nor Indiana. Also, it is yet to be confirmed the year and location of his death and burial. If he, in fact, set out on foot Westward bound circa 1810-1825, he would have been approximately 80 years old. While many have suggested tombstones and cemetery locations in Indiana and North Carolina professing the burial of James Barns, upon further research I concluded they were mistaken. Based on my research to date, the most probable location of his death and burial is identified in the attestation of Mary Elizabeth Swaim Rusing, the great-granddaughter of Handsome Jim. According to John Swaim’s first-hand account of his great-grandparents’ homestead, Michael and Elizabeth Swaim resided four (4) miles from Rockville, IN, which he visited with his aunt, Mary Elizabeth Swaim Rusing, the great-granddaughter of Handsome Jim. She recalled seeing the tombstone of her grandparents on the homestead property. To the best of her recollection circa 1950’s, a portion of the tombstone read: “Elizabeth Barnes, his wife; daughter of James Barnes” (Swaim, 1961, p. 47).


Who Handsome Jim and Sarah Carter ‘are not’

1) Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Patriot Records:
There are 5 James Barnes patriots recorded by DAR—2 in NC; 1 in VA; 1 in VT; 1 in CT.

A006329-James Barnes of Rockingham County, NC, reflected as Captain in Cosmo Medeci’s Regiment; wife Sarah Temperance Parker (of Edgecombe County); son Michael Ross Barnes Sr (1784-1858) who married Elizabeth West (1786-1869) and lived in California (This record is quite convoluted. The Edgecombe County, NC Barnes family immigrated from England, NOT Ireland as did Brinsley Barns and his descendants. My calculations do not place Handsome Jim in Rockingham County as noted in section 5)a) of paragraph entitled: “U.S. Federal Census” below, nor was Michael the son of Handsome Jim. He was Handsome Jim’s grandson, and the son of Jehu. (NOT Handsome Jim)

A006330-James Barnes of Nash County, NC, wife was Polly. (NOT Handsome Jim)

2) Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
P-109142-James Barnes—Born in PA ~1722-1822, wife is Sarah Carter. He migrated to NC and settled in what became Burke County, then Caldwell County, and then Alexander in 1847. “James served in the revolution as recorded in NC Revolutionary Army Accounts (NCRAA), Volume VII, Par VI, pp. 705 & 714. This unit was with Washington’s Army at Valley Forge. At age 100 he walked to the Indiana area and died there. His burial location is unknown.” Received a copy of the NCRAA from Karen Feeney, Salem Library. She said there is no pp. 705-714 in the VOL VII book. She tried VOL VIII and it did contain pp. 705-714, and James Barnes is listed (not spelled correctly however), AND it reflects payments to Captain Cosmo Medici and his troups’ payments for service in June 1778. Capt Cosmo Medici led the 3rd Troop of NC Light Dragoons from 1777-1778. This James Barnes is one, and the same, as the James Barnes recorded by the DAR A006329. (NOT Handsome Jim)

3) Census Pensioner, James Barns of Chatham County, NC in Volume 5, p. 3-5; S1746.
This James Barns was born Feb 23, 1761 in Virginia, his pension application states he was removed to Edgecombe where he entered the Revolutionary War as a drafted Militiamen from Edgecombe in 1778 under the command of Captain Simon Lee, & then removed to Tennessee after the war; descendants included Joel, James, Polly, Jessee & Sally. He died Aug 13, 1841, in Davison, Tennessee at 80 yrs old. He’s recorded in the 1790 HH Census Chatham Cty, NC: James Barns/Burns with 3 people in home (1 W males >16; 2 W females). This James Barns received from NC Chatham County a deed for 130 acres (Grant No. 1044) on Nov 16, 1790. He is also shown in the 1840 Census, recorded as 77 yrs old and Chatham Cty Historical Society record (p. 33) states he was reflected as a Chatham soldier having filed for Rev War Pension prior to 1831 and was recorded in the 1835 Revolutionary Pension Rolls. If he was truly 77 yrs old in 1840, then he was born ~1768 and was too young by approximately 30 years to be Handsome Jim.) (NOT Handsome Jim)

4) Census Pensioner, James Barns of Vigo County, IN in U.S. Rev War and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files 1800-1900, No. S1894, Archive Publication No. M804, Roll 153.
This James Barns was born December 14, 1748, in Northumberland, VA, and was a Private in the Company commanded by Captain Burton of the Regiment commanded by Col Munford in Mecklenburg County, Virginia where he resided when he entered the service. He states he was 83 years old at the time he filed, November 1833. He declared that he moved from Charlotte County, VA to Burke County, NC, and then to Kentucky, and finally to Vigo County Indiana.

There is no record of Handsome Jim, nor Sarah, ever having filed for a military service pension in North Carolina nor Indiana where he is said to have spent his later years, based on his service in the Revolutionary War (Census of Pensioners, 1841).

4) Sarah Carter Barns: This is not Temperance Parker, nor Sarah Temperance Carter. Her father was not “James Carter, a Quaker Merchant of Philadelphia” as stated in the History of Alexander county by William White. Sarah Carter Barns’ father is evidenced as Ninevah Carter (Chester Monthly Meeting Minutes, Oct 20, 1763; Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore, PA), and Sarah’s mother was Mary Clayton who married Ninevah Carter on 29 Mar 1731 (Chester Monthly Meeting Men’s Minutes, Delaware, PA, 1722-1745, p. 161).

5) U.S. Federal Census/Tax Records-1700’s
There are only 9 recorded James Barns/Barnes in NC during the 1790 First Federal Census:
a) Rockingham County, NC: HH 1790 Census–James Barns (-e) with 9 people in home (2 W males > 16 including HH; 3 W males <16; and 4 W females). It is believed that this James Barnes married Temperance Parker, and is younger than Handsome Jim who was 50 yrs old in 1790. (NOT Handsome Jim)
b) Anson County, NC: HH 1790 Census–James Barns with 9 people in home (Reflects 9 W Persons & 0 Slaves; 5 males>16; 0 males <16; & 4 Females, which is nearly accurate. However, the second youngest son ‘James’ born ~1779 (who reportedly died in 1835 in Franklin Missouri) would have been 11 years old at this Census). No other 1790 Fed Census in any NC County is even close to the correct birthdates & male/female split of the members of James’ household in 1790.
c) Anson County, NC: –James Barnes with 9 people in home (2 M < 16; 3 M. 16; and 4 Females). (NOT Handsome Jim)
c) Pasquotank, NC: James Barns with 11 people in home (Reflects 7 Slaves; 2 W Males <16; 1 W female and 1 W male > 16). (NOT Handsome Jim)
d) Edgecombe, NC: there are 3 James Barnes households recorded. This family immigrated from England, NOT Ireland, and therefore none are believed to be the descendants of Brinsley Barns. (NOT Handsome Jim)
e) Nash, NC: James Barnes with 8 people in home (Reflects 1 Slave; 4 W females; 2 M <16 and 1 M >16 years of age). (NOT Handsome Jim)
f) Wayne, NC: James Barnes with 11 people in home (Reflects 4 Slaves; 3 W females; 2 M <16; and 2 M > 16 years of age). (NOT Handsome Jim)

5) U.S. Federal Census-1800’s
a) Wilkes County, NC—1800 Census: James Barns (also lists Brinsley, Solomon, John)
1 Male >45; 1 female >45; 1 M 10-15; 1 M 16-25; 1 F 16-25. Through deductive reasoning, I conclude this is Handsome Jim.
b) VIGO County, IN—None of these appear to be Handsome Jim because in 1820 he would have been 80 yrs old based on a birth year of ~1740, and he was said not to have arrived in Indiana until about 1821, or after. Although in 1830 the JB that had 6 in the home could be our JB ‘if’ he had taken other family members with him. Legend has it that he took a son. There is a James Barnes in Vigo County, age 85, that filed for a military pension on Mar 4, 1831, and served in the Virginia State Troup. Rev War Pensions 1831-1848, p. 358. (NOT Handsome Jim)
1) Vigo County 1820 Census: contains 2 James Barnes. 1 James Barnes had 9 in the home with 2 males <10, 1 male 16-25, 3 Females <10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 26-44, 0 slaves; and the 2nd James Barnes had 3 in the home with 1 male >45, 1 male 26-44, and 1 female 26-44. (Too young to be Handsome Jim)
2) Vigo County 1830 Census: contains 2 James Barnes.
a. James Barns in Vigo County Census that had 6 in the home with 1 male <5, 2 males 10-14, 1 male 70-79, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 30-39 (possibly a widow), 0 slaves. (At one point I thought this might be the family of Elizabeth Barnes Swaim after her husband Michael died in 1829, and possibly James Barns (if he was her father) went to live with her but the ages of her children are nowhere close to what is in the Census at this time period, and I later located the Parke County, IN Census for Elizabeth Swaim. (NOT Handsome Jim)
b. James Barnes in Vigo County Census had 11 in the home with 2 males 5-9, 1 male 10-14, 1 M 20-29, 1 M 40-49, 1 F <5, 1 F 5-9, 1 F 10-14, 2 F 15-19, 1 F 40-49. It is highly likely that the James Barnes with 9 in 1820 is the same James Barnes with 11 in 1830 and my suspicion is that 2 families likely reside together in the same household since there is a male and female of childbearing age and there is a child under the age of 5. (Too Young to be Handsome Jim)

3) Vigo County 1840 Census: Only one James Barnes is listed with 4 in the home. 1 M 50-59, 1 F 10-14, 1 F, 15-19 and 1 F 50-59. This appears to be the remainder of the 11-member family from 1830. The elders stayed behind and the rest moved on. (NOT Handsome Jim)

c) Parke County, IN—Again, these appear unlikely to be Handsome Jim because in 1830 he would have been 90 years old.
1) Parke County 1820 Census: contains 0 James Barnes.
2) Parke County 1830 Census: contains 3 James Barnes.
a. James Barnes had a home of 6 with 1 M <5, 1 M 20-29 (possibly a widower), 1 F <5, 2 F 5-9.
b. The second James Barnes had a home of 5 with 1 M <5, 1 M 30-39, 1 F <5, 1 F 10-14, 1 F 20-29.
c. The third James Barnes had a home of 9 with 1 M 10-14, 4 M 20-29, 1 M 50-59, 1 F 15-19, 1 F 20-29, 1 F 50-59.
3) Parke County 1840 Census: contains 2 James Barnes.
a. The first had 13 in the home. 1 M <5, 1 M 10-14, 1 M 15-19, 1 M 40-49, 1 F <5, 3 F 5-9, 1 F 15-19, 1 F 20-29, 1 F 60-69, and 1 Female 70-79. This James with a household of 13 is likely the same as the James Barnes with a household of 9 in 1830. Note the female who is now 70-79.
b. The second James Barnes home had no adult male residing in the home and the oldest female was 30-39 years of age who was likely a widow.

Record Search Producing No Evidence of James Barns of Chester County, PA.
1) Abstracts of the Deeds of Rowan County, North Carolina, Vol 1-10, 1753-1785; Vol 11-14, 1786-1797; Vol 15-19, 1797-1807. No deed located or James Barns.
2) Anson County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1749-1766. Ancestry
3) Anson County, North Carolina Abstracts of Wills & Estates, 1749-1795. Ancestry
4) Crouch, J.L., 1979. Historical Sketches of Wilkes County. Ancestry
5) Medley, Mary L., 2003. History of Anson County North Carolina, 1750-1976. Ancestry.com
Burke County


1. Barnes, R.E. (1979). Pedigree Chart, Chart No. 2. Alexander County Library, Alexander County, NC.
2. Barnes, W.E. (1998, 2007, 2012, 2014). Descendants of Brinsley Barnes and Elizabeth Lindley along the lineage of Willard Howard Barnes and Ethel Garnell Davis. Unpublished Manuscript.
3. Barnes, W.E. (1998, 2007, 2012, 2014). Descendants of Brinsley Barnes and Elizabeth Lindley along the lineage of Willard Howard Barnes and Ethel Garnell Davis. Unpublished Manuscript. p. 1-51, 1 and 1b.
4. Barnes, W.E. (1998, 2007, 2012, 2014). Descendants of Brinsley Barnes and Elizabeth Lindley along the lineage of Willard Howard Barnes and Ethel Garnell Davis. Unpublished Manuscript. p. 1-108.
5. Barns, B. (1790). Articles of Agreement between Brinsley Barnes and Jehu Barnes. Superior Court, Wilkes County, NC, p. 278. In Barnes, W.E. (1998, 2007, 2012, 2014). Descendants of Brinsley Barnes and Elizabeth Lindley along the lineage of Willard Howard Barnes and Ethel Garnell Davis. p. 1-62. Unpublished Manuscript.
6. Barns, J. (1821). Last Will and Testament. North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998. North Carolina Division of Archives and History. Probate County: Wilkes County, North Carolina.
7. Brady, M. (2009, June 1). Early Quaker Families 1650-1800. Friends Journal. Retrieved on April 15, 2016, from http://www.friendsjournal.org/2009060/. Friends Journal Publishing Corporation. Philadelphia, PA.
8. Boone Association Timeline (n.d.) Retrieved on June 10, 2017, from http://www.booneassociation.com/timeline.html
9. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends; 605 W. Greensboro-Chapel Hill Rd., Snow Camp, NC 27349; North Carolina Friends Historical Society
10. North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends; 5506 Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC 27410
11. Composed and Printed by Friendly Desktop Publishing.
12. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, Sep 17, 1734 (Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, Vol 1, Cane Creek Monthly Meeting; Barnes, 1998, p. 1-108).
13. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, Feb 2, 1760 (Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Vol 1, p. 273).
14. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, Feb 2, 1760 (Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Vol 1, p. 347).
15. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, Feb 2, 1760 (Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Vol 1, p. 356).
16. Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, Feb 2, 1760 (Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, (Vol. 1, p. 373).
17. Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 74-14050; International Standard Book No. 0-8063-06310-9, Retrieved electronically on May 6, 2017, from https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/48067/CensusPensioners-005085-137/179732?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/59109979/person/48539016177/facts/citation/1040074812807/edit/record#?imageId=CensusPensioners-004948-ii. A Census of Pensioners &ct., Originally Published 1841, Washington D.C., Reprinted Southern Book Company, Baltimore, MD, 1954.
18. Chatham County Deeds, Book C, p. 498-499.
19. Chatham County Regiment. Retrieved on May 6, 2017, from http://www.carolana.com/NC/Revolution/nc_chatham_county_regiment.html.
20. Church of Ireland, copy of Register of St. Brides Parish Baptisms from 1633-1801, Dublin Ireland. Source: Trinity College Dublin Archives.
21. Courtship in New England 1760: Eye Witness to History. (2006). Retrieved on April 23, 2016, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com.
22. Crabtree, C.B., 2016). Just a Little Research on the Barnes Family. Retrieved online February 2017.
23. Crouch, J. (1902) Historical Sketches of Wilkes County. North Carolina. Retrieved on June 1, 2017, from https://archive.org/details/historicalsketch00crou
24. Documenting the American South: Colonial and State Records of North Carolina. (2010a). Tryon Petition from Regulators, May 1768. Volume 07, pp. 733-737. Retrieved on March 01, 2016 from http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/document/csr07-0289.
25. Documenting the American South: Colonial and State Records of North Carolina. (2010b). Muster Roll of John Kingsbury’s Artillery Company, Kingsbury, September 10, 1778, Volume 15, p. 735. Retrieved on March 23, 2016, from http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/document/csr15-0689.
26. Edmund West Company (2001). Family Data Collection – Births. Retrieved on January 8, 2016, from http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=5769&h=265913&ssrc=pt&tid=59109979&pid=48352640887&usePUB=true. Ancestry.com Operations. Provo, UT.
27. Federal Census. (1790a). Wilkes County, North Carolina, p. 167.
28. Federal Census. (1790b). Anson County, North Carolina, p. 192.
29. Federal Census. (1800). Morgan Militia District, Wilkes County, North Carolina, p. 26.
30. Federal Census. (1810). Rockingham County, North Carolina, p. 209.
Federal Census. (1820). Wilkes County, North Carolina, August 7, 1820, p. 5.
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