Berry-Miller Genealogy


Posting Member: Jenn & Jake
Topic: Barnett… Barnett…  James Barnett.
Family Name Associations: Barnett, Thompson, Skaggs, Dunham
Location: Snowland

Let us begin with a tale about James Barnett.  Which James Barnett, you may ask…  Which James Barnett indeed!!!!!!!

When last we left the Barnett line, we’d gone as far back as Allie Wyatt and James Barnett.  No small accomplishment, but not as far back as we’d have liked.  There was so much more we wanted to investigate.  Having discovered Allie’s noble lingeage, it’s left it wide open to discover exactly who her husband was.  I really wanted to have a more complete look at the whole picture before we started adding in Wyatts.

Originally, in my head (And in my head alone) I’d thought this Barnett family would be pretty cut and dry.  There was Elizabeth Jane McKinley, her husband James Pleasant Barnett, and off we went.  And untold hours of reading, 3 of us often going over the same documents twice.  Sheer madness.  We never have such puzzles!  Not a dead end, indeed, there’s TOO much information – When does that happen?!
There are a decided lack of records, endless files for application to the American Sons of the Revolution, a 31 page file including serveral letters involving said messages and pension information for Revolutionary Soliders, endless message board posts where everyone is weighing in their opinions, and several trees including the International Genelogical Index Database!

So, to begin to explain, and this is a knot…

We have James Barnett who married Allie – Who’s proper name was Alice, but her nickname seemed to spawn generations of latter Allies.
We know James died of Cholera in 1840 in Lincoln County, Kentucky.  Allie followed 8 years later, we’re still trying to get a copy of her will with some hope that it will contain more information to either confirm or deny all these theories we’ve been working on.

BUT…  Where was James born?  Well, we’re still not sure.  Possibly North Carolina, possibly Virginia.  It ends up that there were 2 James Barnetts who ‘could’ have been the father of James.  And one that I have pretty much discounted from the start but had to look into.  Here’s our thoughts.

The discounted:
Col. James Barnett
b. 16 Jan 1750
d. 27 Aug 1835
Marcey ‘Massy’ Hawkins
b. 10 Aug 1763
d. 7 Jul 1844

Both buried in the James Barnett Cemetery, Silver Creek, Madison County, Kentucky.  Col. James was a Revolutionary War Solider who we believe might be the son of William Barnett and Mary Margaret Spratt (Second Wife).

The ‘maybe’ that we’ve pretty much ruled out:

James Barnett
b. 1762 Mecklenburg NC
d. 16 Mar 1816 KY
Elizabeth Jane McKinley
d. 26 Oct 1836 KY

Sources all suggest they were married 9 Apr 1808.  This would suggest Elizabeth Jane is a second wife, and not the biological mother of any of these children.  We couldn’t verify the date through any of our sources, at this point it’s a red herring.

– Hugh – Family bible records provided by Family Findings, Vol 2, No 1 published Jan 1970 and recorded on  b. 1790 | d. 1853
– John McKinley who lived in Logan County next to James, has his mother’s maiden name as his middle name and seems to fit b. NC | m. Sarah McNeely in Logan County, Kentucky | d. Spencer County, Indiana
– James b. 1786 NC |  There might not actually even be a son named James in this family, but then again there might be.  Every tree we’ve seen so far suggests this James could have been the James with Allie Wyatt, then again, he might have moved off to Indiana too 😐
– Thomas.  Why Thomas?  Well…  We have no birth or death information for him, but having been working on the Thompson/Skaggs/Dunham lines for the week before this, we think he fits here.  Thomas Barnett married Phebe Dunham, sister of Dorothy, Hannah and Effy, daughter of Dorothy Phillips and Dennis Dunham in 1812 in Warren County, Kentucky and we couldn’t place him as a child of any of the families we’d been working on, but he was obviously aquainted with the same families having married a Dunham.  Then we found an old posting on a Barnett message board from 2003, stating the descendants for Thomas and Phebe, listing their son George Harrison and his son…  George McKinley.  That’s just enough of a family naming trend to be added in there for me.

Who we’ve narrowed things down to…

The third James that could be our own is James P Barnett, no decision yet if P stands for Pleasant.  Personally, having read parts of the book ‘Lincoln Kentucky’ with information sumitted by Barbara Barnett Payne, I think it’s Pleasant, as was the first name of Milly Tucker Harrison’s brother.

James P Barnett
b. 1762 Amherst, Virginia
d. 1834 Lincoln County, KY
Anne Barnett daughter of Anne Rachel Clements and James Barnett
d. before 1808

These two would have been second cousins.  James would have been a Revolutionary War Solider, and the son of John Barnett who he served in the stead of.  John’s wives might have been Hannah or Janna Stapleton and or Rebecca Holcomb or O’Connell (SAR suggests it was O’Connell).  James might have remarried after Anne died.
James records he left Virginia as a child and went to North Carolina, possibly meaning there were two James Barnetts born in the same time, in the same place, having both died in Kentucky within a few years of each other.
After further research, we’ve discovered that John Barnett, father of James P. died in Harrison County, Indiana in 1816.  We’ve managed a copy of John’s will but it answers no further questions!
It did point out, in the tradition of family naming trends, that John Barnett who’s son was James P had two daughters, James’ own sisters named Mary and Polly.  Mary married a man named Elisha Hall.  Polly married a man named Elisha Moore.  Elisha being the name of our own connection to the family of Barnett!

Other children for Anne and James may include Resin, George, Anderson, Melina, Martha and Phillip.  All of whom were mentioned in James’ will, along with James and son, Schuyler after Anne’s death.

Something that is possible…  Is that James 2 and 3 are the same person.  James first married Anne, then married Elizabeth Jane.  Might explain how James 3’s father ended up dying in Indiana where all of James 2’s siblings ended up – Although not the same county.

We also have Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Barnett, wife of Adam Wainscott who remains for now, as the child of James P, but who we think might be the daughter of Elizabeth Jane McKinley and James Barnett.  Further invesigation and date comparisons are necessary before we move them around.

And that, my dears, is the whole of the knot!  We’re going to take a break – Walk away from anyone named Barnett…  and then have a sit down to discuss how we’re even going to vaguely attempt to display the information we have amassed.  There is, of course, more work to be done in other lines…  But our Barentt are at an impasse for now.

Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.


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