Surname Saturday – Barnes Kinfolk of Wayne County, NC

BarnesWomenNCWe have two lines of Barnes kinfolk in our family tree, and this picture is of at least three generations of our Wayne County, North Carolina kinfolk. The original photo belonged to Sarah Ophelia Rose Barnes, who was married to Thomas Whitley Barnes (1861-1892). I’ve done a previous blog posting on Ophelia, as she was called. Standing next to her is her daughter-in-law, Sadie Elizabeth Fitzgerald Barnes (1891-1947). The Fitzgerald family was from Johnston County. Ophelia’s granddaughter, Nancy Rose Barnes (1914-2006), was the only child of Sadie and George Herbert Barnes (1889-1947), who was called Herbert by the family. They lived in Four Oaks, Grantham Township, Wayne County.  The two formidable ladies on either side could also be Barnes women – we really don’t have a clue who they are. They could also be from the Rose or Fitzgerald families.  They look like the type of aunties that make you mind your Ps and Qs.

Sadie, Herbert, and their daughter Nancy Rose, were farmers in Grantham Township, Wayne County. Here, in the photo below, Nancy Rose (Rose was her middle name) Barnes is younger than the first photo.  She’s shown with one of the lambs on the farm. She married William Washington Springle.


Our NC Barnes line were farmers for many generations. Thomas Whitley Barnes was born in Boon Hill, Johnston County, and he was the son of Jacoh H. Barnes and Nancy Ann Musgrave.  Jacob enlisted in the 5th NC Regiment during the Civil War, and he was listed as a farmer. Sadly after fighting gallantly in the Battle of Gettysburg, he was wounded, captured, sent to Fort Delaware, where he died of measles one month later.
He had been named for his father, and the NC line goes back to a John Barnes that had moved from Virginia into the newly opened frontier of Chowan County, where he died about 1719.

Here are a three more lovely old photos that Ophelia saved in her trunk. We really can only speculate as to who the portraits are. All we know is that she cherished them. These first two could be wedding portraits.



This is one of my favorite of the photos below. I love the bold bow-tie and slight smile on this gents face.


A few years back our northern Barnes family was contacted by one of Ophelia’s great-granddaughters, Betsy Coleman, to try and figure out any names of a group of pictures saved by the family. All of these photos belong to the Coleman family, from Ophelia’s daughter, Bessie Pauline Barnes Coleman. Our Barnes family would love to know more about them. Genealogy Sisters really get excited when distant cousins are brought back under the shade of the branches of our family tree.

Through the years so many other researchers have helped to try to untangle these North Carolina Barnes roots. Barnes is a rather common name, but it has its roots mainly in the British Isles. We have two lines of Barnes/Barns in our family tree, with the other line coming from Ireland and Scotland. The North Carolina line is thought to have come from England in the 1600s to Virginia, and can often be found in early Quaker records. Many thanks to these fantastic folks that have helped us to shape our Barnes North Carolina family research: Marcia McClure, Guy Potts, Betsy Coleman, Helen Barnes, and also the earlier Wayne and Johnston counties research of Charles Ellis, Weynette Parks Haun, and Frances G. Howell. I’m sure there are many more to name and thank, and please give a shout out to be included if I’ve inadvertently forgotten to include you.

Surname Saturday is a blogging prompt suggested by GeneaBloggers. There are lots of places to research the etymology of the Barnes surname, but my interest is in the family stories handed down through generations, the cherished photographs, and the objects that were used every day, and loved, such as family bibles and prayer-books, or tools of the family trades. Thanks to all that help with our research, and also thanks for being our readers.

11 thoughts on “Surname Saturday – Barnes Kinfolk of Wayne County, NC

  1. My name is Danny bell my grandmother her madien name was Clyde Barnes her father was Berket Barnes of Wilson county ,nc.his father was Jesse Barnes born in Wayne county,nc 1835,his father was Bunyon Barnes born 1809 in Wayne county,nc,his father was John Barnes born in 1776 in Dobbss county,nc.his father was John Barnes born in 1697 in the isle of wrigth Virginia,his father was Thomas Barnes born in 1645 in the lake of right virginia, I have a lot more I trace my ancestors back too John Barnes born 1120 in bath,some rest England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danny, I think you and my husband share North Carolina and Virginia roots. Have you done the autosomal DNA at Family Tree DNA called Family Finder? Thanks, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you!


  2. Oh my goodness. I have fallen into geneology heaven. I never knew such a blog existed. Thanks so much to my newly found long lost cousin Danny Bell for enlightening me and for all the folks doing this fabulous research. I will go forth working on my tree far too late at night thanks to this new information and blog awareness. Ooo weee. This is exciting. I have lots of Ellis photos on
    My tree if anyone needs that connection. I’m on


    1. Thanks for your kind words, and for reading the blog! My husband, Stewart, has tested with FTDNA, and our daughter with AncestryDNA. Since her genetic community is “Early Settlers of Eastern North Carolina” she must have inherited a lot of the Barnes genes! Good luck searching!
      ~ Maryann Barnes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Maryann my name Is Danny Bell love reading your blog on the Barnes family of Wayne County NC.My mother name was Alice Strother Barnes,her mothers nam was Clyde Barnes,Daugther of Burket Barnes and Maey Rice,Burket was the brother of Bunyon barnes,


  3. My Barnes are from Wayne and Wilson county NC.My mothers father was Ben I Owens of Wilson county NC,Ben I Owens was the son of John Wesley Owens and Viola Bidy Ellis so I have Ellis on NC in my line.Ben I Owens was my mothers father.


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