Barnes Family History & Genealogy

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Barnes Last Name History & Origin

Updated Feb 13, 2023


My Father, Harry Elmer Edgar Lee Pete Barnes came from Indian descendants. His Father was Choctaw Indian, his Mother was Chickasaw Indian. I'm not sure, but there is also some Black Dutch and Irish in there as well. One of the Parents was pure indian.


My Dad was from Van Buren Arkansas. He had one Parent with Choctaw Indian, the other one with Chickasaw Indian. They were all reared in Arkansas. My Father, Harry Elmer Edgar Lee Pete Barnes came from Indian descendants. His Father was Choctaw Indian, his Mother was Chickasaw Indian. I'm not sure, but there is also some Black Dutch and Irish in there as well. One of the Parents was pure indian.

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David Barnes commented on Jan 29, 2003

I hate to miss a Barnes' funeral. They are every emotion a person can imagine rolled up into a celebration of the person's life and the family experience. I came from a close, loving family who dealt with all of life, including funerals, with a sense of humor, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at eighteen in a family who did the same. Through the years I have missed a few of these sad and glorious Barnes occasions, but always with a personal feeling of loss.

Let me add that it is a prime occasion to hug a Barnes man. Now there is not a Barnes man that I have ever met who is not the cutest thing around. It is like going to some magical place where it looks like my husband is present in every age available. They are all just adorable.

To give a snap-shot picture of one of these emotional roller-coaster southern Barnes family events, I would have to go back a few years…keep in mind this is just how I remember it.

We received the sad call in the morning from David's Uncle Lucky. We were told that Uncle Tommy Dee had passed away. Tommy Dee and his wife Jo lived out of state from us, and David was asked to go to the family that lived around us to tell them the sad news. We heard family from other states were rounding up to drive to the area where Jo lived.

Now Tommy Dee was David's father's brother-in-law. He had been married to Aunt Jo for a long time. He was more like a brother than a brother-in-law to Bill, David's father. David hated it, but he went to each home and relayed the news. It was a couple of hours later, after David had returned home and we were planning our own trip to see Aunt Jo, that it dawned on us that we really should go ahead and order flowers. It also occurred to us that we did not know where to send the flowers. A family member gathered up her courage and tried to call Aunt Jo.

It was immediately apparent that we had a problem. Aunt Jo did not pick up the phone, but one of Tommy Dee's daughters did. The conversation went something like this.

“We are really sorry to bother you so soon, but we really need to know where Tommy Dee is.”

The daughter said, “Well, he's somewhere upstairs, and we can't get him to change pants.”

Yes, there was a problem. We found out that it was not Tommy Dee but Tommy Lee, one of Bill's brothers. Besides David's having to grieve all over again, David had to go back to everyone's house with the good/bad news. And we worried about where the family that had already left their homes.

The next hour David related to me how much he loved and would miss his Uncle Tommy Lee. I heard wonderful stories of Tommy Lee taking David hunting when David was about seven, not realizing that David had stole some booze from him and gotten drunk, stepped through the ice, gotten wet, and Tommy Lee building a fire to keep him warm. David found this experience bonding and remembered it with love. I once again heard about David being the designated driver when he was 13 during late night fishing and frog-gigging trips with all his uncles (guess why!).

But in the back of my mind I was worried. Had I gotten the names mixed up and caused double grief for some of our family? Yes, I had always been treated like a daughter, but a could see myself plummeting down to the level of a piranha; avoided and shunned by mankind. It was with a great sense of relief that Uncle Lucky called within a short period of time and mentioned that he had given me the wrong name. I am not often pleased when I find others make mistakes, but I will admit that I was exceptionally pleased this time that it was not me. Whew!

The funeral itself epitomized southern manners and courtesy. There were three older women, one who had taken a nitroglycerin tablet, who would not sit at the gravesite. MaryAnn had helped her mother, Aunt Virginia to the graveside and tried to her to sit down. Aunt Virginia shook her head no and said, “someone really might need to use the seats”.

David and I also got to meet Tommy Lee's current girlfriend. I had always heard her referred to as the girlfriend, but I was now hearing her introduce herself as his fiancée as she, a little inebriated, hung into everyone's car door and said she would always love him. This probably would not have struck me as being funny if I had not known that Tommy Lee's very wise daughters had already gone to Tommy Lee's home to change the locks.

No decent Southern funeral is ever without a “spread” after the services. On this particular day, everyone was headed over to Uncle Kit and Aunt Pat's house out in the country. The family usually heads that way for gatherings (As it does every year for the Main family re-union). The food there would put a millionaire to shame. We had all the usual fancy foods, but some wise friends and family had provided some of our southern staples such as fried bologna, greens, cornbread, and biscuits. Granny was finally able to eat a bite, and after a few trips to the stove to sop some green juice was able to pronounce herself “bloated”. Of course, we all snickered a bit. Besides being a great Granny, she has made this saying a little famous when she has eaten enough of something wonderful to just about pass out.

And as we missed Tommy Lee, we also rejoiced in the family. A family he was such an intricate big piece of. We visited, we laughed, and we ate. It was starting to get late, and a few decided they needed to get on the road and not start out too late. We were all feeling sad and a little mellow. But before we could get too maudlin, Murle started to the door, stopped, and addressed the crowd.

“See you all next time. Hope it ain't me”

God, you gotta love em and try not to miss a Barnes' gathering
David Barnes commented on Jan 29, 2003
You know it is always great to have company and do worthwhile things together. Well back in the late 70's we had such a meaningful gathering at dad's house. Fourth of July, Independence day, a day to celebrate our freedom with a feast!
So with temperatures in the low 100 degree range, dad and Lucky started talking about the ole days when company got together you would butcher a hog and have a feast. Well damn, dad had plenty of hogs and lots of time, hey why not! Welllllllllll, there is reason you butcher hogs, deer and the such in the fall. One is called it is just too hot in July, another is called flies.
But not to be deterred we went on with the celebration out to the hog pen with 22 rifle and a butcher knife. The idea is to shoot the hog dead, then cut the throat to bleed it. Remember that is the idea. Well as I remember the hog didn't just fall over dead like it was supposed to. It played possum, until dad got in there to cut its throat. He sure was fast back then. Good thing for having the butcher knife to finish off the hog and ready the feast. Dad always was good with a butcher knife.
Sometimes things just don't go as expected with dad and his brothers when it comes to doing things they did as kids. Oh yea we had the 55 gallon barrel, we had the water and memories of building the fire under it to get just the right temperature so the hair would just fall off that pig. But you know if you get the water to hot….and we did, it sets the hair. By that I mean the hair is sort of petrified into the skin. Makes kind of a butch hair cut in stone. Well of course that is what we did, otherwise this story wouldn't have much hair in it if you follow my drift. So with the hair set solid in that pig what could we do?
It did not take but a second for someone, you know how sharp us Barnes's can be, I don't remember who to suggest…SHAVING the hair off. Say that could work! We got the soap and lots of razors and began to give that hog a trim. But it was like trimming steel wool. By now we were all laughing and sweating like ….pigs, out of razors and still lots of hair to cut. Someone quickly suggested we should just burn off that ole hair. Yea that sounded like a good idea. So out comes the butane torches, we had two, to get this hog closer to the table. Have you ever smelled hair burning in 100 degree bright summer sunshine on a pig? We didn't stay with that technique very long. It just wasn't working with the silky smoothness we were looking for, plus the added heat wasn't needed. Ok, who has an answer on what to do next? Well dang lets just hang it up from the hickory tree and SKIN that hog like a deer. And so we did. Along with thousands of flies, guiding our every cut, not your ordinary little ole house flies. No, we had that great green blow fly variety, fresh from the cow...dung. Those flies were celebrating the holiday from the pig to our sweating bodies, back and forth. I am not sure which they liked the most. Don't you know everyone was really getting hungry for some of that barbeque pig right about then. Well that stubborn hairy hog, nor the heat, nor those big green flies, kept us from getting that meat from the hickory tree to the kitchen.
Now this is where you do the final and delicate cutting and trimming to get those meat portions just right. So dad got the ax and our big hatchet and we began to trim. It did not take long before we had that beast all divided up, bone chips and all slipped into pretty white packages wrapped and in the freezer.
I think we had sandwiches and chips that Fourth of July, oh but what a great day.
Larry Barnes commented on Dec 28, 2009
"Four Barnes brothers arrived in Baltimore, scattered, and we are from one of them." This story is vague, but it has a history. It was told by Mollie (Barnes) Gauld. She said her father, Elijah Hicks Barnes (1845-1933), told her the story. It is confirmed in a Bedford County, Pennsylvania history which says that Elijah's great grandfather, James Barnes, was from England and first settled in Baltimore. James Barnes died in Nelson County, Kentucky in 1795. His sons who came to Kentucky were Samuel, Elijah and Archibald. His daughter was Jemima, or Jemina, who married James Hamilton. Samuel and Elijah marry Willcocks sisters, living in Nelson County. A document says that Samuel died in Illinois before 1859. At that point aged, Samuel possibly traveled to Illinois with one of his children. Archibald married Sarah Atherton and lived in nearby Larue County, Kentucky. Elijah's son, Armstead, moved to Meade County, Kentucky, married Elizabeth Dowell and had 12 children. I have been compiling information on this family for a book. Information, clues, or leads appreciated. Thank you. [contact link]
Traci Wallace commented on Oct 20, 2016
Bonnie Dorsett commented on Sep 24, 2015
I am searching for family names related to Kenneth Lee Barnes born abt 1958 married Ramona Ruth Clayton. Their son is my half brother Kenneth Lee Barnes Jr. Im trying to aDD names to his family tree but we know nothing of the barnes....he has never met his dad.
Bonnie Dorsett commented on Sep 24, 2015
they were married in nolan county tx
Lucinda Jersey commented on May 03, 2016
My Paternal father is James Timoteo Barnes, He was born Feb,25,1928 in Sta I Sur, Philippines. He was an Army Vet. and is Burried in Ft. Snelling National Cemetary, Minneapolis, Mn. My daughter & I are now trying to track down any family members that we may have in the Philippines or elsewhere. The Best Memories are all the things that Other People had told me about my father...How kind & generous he was, He Played a steel guitar & played with other Fillipenos in a band. He was a hard working man & dependable. I am saddened, Because I Didn't grow up with this wonderful Human Being. But I have hope that I may one day connect with more of our family.
Elaine Mcdowell commented on May 04, 2016
Do you have any information where his parents and grandparents were from? Were they born in the USA?
Good luck in your search.
Lori Russell commented on Feb 19, 2022
My Barnes were living in NY. Don't know where they are coming from? With the Thompson line.
Lori Russell commented on Jan 14
I have a Euncie Barnes living in New York. She married a Barnes fellow. Her Maiden name might be Thompson. They then moved to Michigan. She was living with William E Thompson and his wife Cinthia Sheldon..( in New York ) There is a George W Thompson married to Louisa Nodine. A Loomis Thompson. A few other Thompson 's . All these Thompson people are moving over to Michigan. A guy named Perry Thompson too.
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