A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Albert Starr BARNUM

The Barnum Family, 1517-1904 gives the children of Albert Starr Barnum as "Platt Barnum and others..."

From the Mayfield, Michigan Evening Record April 7, 1906, page 1: A. S. Barnum called home... after two years of patient suffering A. S. Barnum of Mayfield passed quietly into the vast beyond yesterday afternoon at the age of 79 years at 3 o-clock. While working on his farm on August 12, 1906 [should say 1904] Mr. Barnum suffered a stroke of paralysis, which left him nearly helpless. On March 21st last he suffered a purpureal hemorrhage which lasted twenty hours leaving him very weak, and another followed on March 23. Since that time he has been steadily failing, until yesterday when death relieved his suffering. Throughout his illness Mr. Barnum has been ever hopeful and thoughtful for the comfort for others and the place that he has filled in the community will indeed seem empty. Mr. Barnum was born in Fallsburgh NY August 28, 1827, the youngest of seven children. He was apprenticed in a blacksmith when 15 years of age and learned the trade. At 20 he was united in holy matrimony to Miss Maryette Day at Montecello, NY. After their marriage the young couple began housekeeping in Wortsboro and until their removal to Indiana three years later, they led the life of the pioneer backwoodsmen with its fascinating experiences. The Indiana home was blessed by six children, the eldest of whom died. Ill health forced Mr. Barnum to seek a new home in a healthier climate and in 1847 [this year is probably incorrect] he moved his family to the Grand Traverse region and settled on a 140-acre farm near Mayfield. He has been engaged in farming and blacksmithing since then and cared for his farm himself until stricken with paralysis. On April 4 Mr. and Mrs. Barnum celebrated their fifty-eighth wedding anniversary in a quiet manner. Besides his wife, Mr. Barnum leaves to mourn his loss, four children, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

In the 1850 US Census for Thompson, Sullivan County, New York the family of Albert S. Barnum was enumerated with the family of Joseph Bell, as follows:
Dwelling #875; Family #886
Albert Barnum, 22, M, Blacksmith, b. New York
Mariette Barnum, 22, F, b. new York
Emily Barnum, 1, F, b. New York
Curiously, there was another Albert Barnum, 23, Blacksmith, b. New York living in Thompson during the same census. He was enumerated with the family of Hugh Orr, in Dwelling #587; Family #590.

Michigan land records show Albert S. Barnum received 139.46 acres issued July 23, 1880 for homestead. The land office was Reed City (Document #4024, Misc Doc Nr 6242) which is near Mayfield.

Albert Barnum (listed as A. S. Barnum) was a speaker at a temperance meeting at the schoolhouse in Mayfield in late March 1882 (Grand Traverse Herald, 1 April 1882). Other speakers were the Honorable J. L. Gibbs, and L. K. Gibbs. In a photograph on file with the Traverse Area Historical Society, Michigan, a Mrs. Gibbs (possibly the widow of one of the two above) is pictured sitting next to Mrs. Barnum (probably Mary Etta).

Albert Barnum (again listed as A. S. Barnum) was an "Overseer of the Poor" for Paradise Township in April 1882. James L. Gibbs was listed as the School Inspector (Grand Traverse Herald, 5 April 1882, Township Returns section).
This birth date comes from his obituary. Several secondary sources give the date as 27 Aug 1827.
The following is from the Grand Traverse County, Michigan death records:
Name (Last, First Middle Extension) Date of Death Liber and Page Number
Barnum, Albert 00-00-1906 Liber 2, page 043
Barnum, Maryette 00-00-1911 Liber 2, page 137
Barnum, Frank Humphrey 07-10-1918 Liber 3, page 037
Barnum, Florence E 12-02-1933 Liber 3, page 350
Barnum, Harold A 09-02-1966
Barnum, Herbert H 10-07-1986
Barnum, Hazel L 09-14-2002
Albert Starr Barnum was buried in the Barnum Memorial Cemetery in Mayfield, Paradise Twp, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Find-A-Grave states: "According to the deeds, it was originally called the Rarick Macy Cemetery but when Mr. Albert Starr Barnum donated land and due to the prominence of the Barnum family, it was renamed the Barnum Memorial Cemetery. The Barnum family arrived in Mayfield about 1880. Mrs. Albert S. Barnum was a well-educated, articulate promoter of the community as well as a writer and author. Her husband was a respected businessman in the area."

On Lot 3 are buried Albert Starr Barnum, his wife, Maryetta, and two children, one a girl of 16. "Albert was the nephew of the circus owner, P. T. Barnum [N.B. Actually, second cousin, once removed]. Albert had a homestead on the top of Mayfield Hill, north of the cemetery. His wife was a published author and founder of the Mayfield Literary Society. She and her husband were very active in the community. The people who were involved in the local logging operations, including Albert Barnum, built the church in Mayfield. When it was completed, Albert wrote his uncle (sic), P. T. Barnum to say that the church needed prayer books and hymnals. P. T. sent them." Supposedly two copies of the hymnal with P. T.'s bookplate still exist.

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