A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Levi BARNUM


Notes by Lew Barnum: Levi served in Company "F", 56th NY Volunteer Infantry, together with two of his sons. He enlisted June 12, 1861 at Liberty, NY. Mustered in August 29, 1861 from Newburgh, NY. Age shown as 42 but, since his birth date is given in the book "Genealogical Record of the Barnum Family ..." as 1813, something doesn't jibe. I had a birth date of 1802, which still doesn't jibe, but Melody found a Levi Barnum in the 1820 census in Sullivan County, NY and that would have made him 18 and includable as an adult. It also would have made him 59 on entry to the Army, ... I don't know! Another possibility ... , if he was 42 on enlistment, as the record shows, he would then have been born abt 1819. His father then would have been 63 years old. If my date of 1802 is correct, there may well have been another Levi Barnum here who may have been his father and who would have been about 17 when he was born. His physical description was given as 5'9," blue eyes, dark hair and light complexion.

In the 1850 US Census for Rockland, Sullivan County, New York the family of Levi Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Dwelling #138; Family #148
Levi Barnham, 47, M, Farmer, b. New York
Peter Barnham, 22, M, Cripple, b. New York
Maria Barnham, 20, F, b. New York
Sally Barnham, 18, F, b. New York
Lyman, 16, M, Farmer, b. New York
Mary J. Barnham, 12, F, b. New York, attended school within the year
Abraham Barnham, 12, M, b. New York, attended school within the year
Isaac Barnham, 10, M, b. New York, attended school within the year
Emaline Barnham, 8, F, b. New York, attended school within the year
George Barnham, 6, M, b. New York, attended school within the year

New York Census, 1790-1890 about Levi Barnum. Name: Levi Barnum; State: NY; County: Sullivan; Township: Rockland; Year: 1860; Record Type: Federal Population Schedule; Page: 228; Database: NY 1860 Federal Census Index.

Levi wrote a letter home on 20 Oct 1861, from Camp "VanWike" in Newburgh. We do not know to which son he wrote, it says just "Dear son." It mentions sons Isaac and George, who were serving in the same company as Levi. He also mentions someone called Lafe.

The original of the following letter is with Lew Barnum.

Camp vanwike Newburgh Sunday October the 20 1861
Dear son I now take the opertunty of riting To you I have only recived one letter yet and That was from Lafe Isaac has had too from you we are all well I have been taken Cair of David Whitmore he has had the Billes fever hehas got smart has come to The camp I had five to one time they are All back to camp and smart I like it Beter on camp than I did up thar I was Broke of my rest the first two weaks I was thare about 4 weaks we hav our Uniforms all but our undershurts and drawers Our closes is blue our overcotes has a larg Capes they will not wet threw very Easy the are very hevay

We expect to leav a weak from tuesday Thare will be a Commity in liberty To pay what we send for you to draw We shel not get enny pay til we leav Hear I think it is becaus they think Thare is a grate menny that will be on A devel of a spree the pay that you Git we sine so much and you draw it we Have nothen to doo with it after we sine I shel leav mine so that you and Lafe can draw ten dolrs pur month Isaac and George tells me that they Will let you and Lafe hav 100 dolers a peas will send fifty apeas Nex spring If I should git discharg or Shot mine would stop This comity that I spoke of wil will Be appointed by goverment I shel Explore the contry as fair ass I can I hav Ben to one plase whare they dog iron They hav not dog much I think they Will never find enny thing to pay Thare is som vains thair but northn To what thair is in that contry I mean to sea what thair is whair Ever we go and think wee shel com Home all rite I and the boys hav ben well all the time Isaac is giting fat as a hag you Woud hardly know him From your Farther Levi Barnum

Addendum: you tel.... We hav sent it to chancy With the other fixt it so that he draws it

A letter dated Feb 18, 1862 from Isaac, writing from Carver Barracks, Washington, DC, says "Father sends his love to you all." Muster Records show that Levi was sent away from Harrison's Landing because of sickness. For 25 Aug 1862 the record states "Surgeon Van Etten says he should be discharged." He apparently never recovered, however, and died at Fairfax Seminary General Hospital on October 11. He was buried October 12 on the hospital grounds. The records claim that there were no personal effects or anything to give any further information about him. In the military records he is described as light complexioned with blue eyes and dark hair, 5'9" tall. Isaac was discharged in 1862, shortly after Levi's death, stating that he was being discharged to Marston, Sullivan, NY.

In the 1840 US Census, Levi was in Prattsville, Greene, New York.

In the 1850 US Census, he was in Rockland, Sullivan, New York. The record shows:
Levi Barnham, 47, Farmer, b. NY
Peter, 22, Crippled, b. NY
Maria, 20, b. NY
Sally, 18, b. NY
Lyman, 16, b. NY
Mary J., 14, b. NY
Abraham, 12, b. NY
Isaac, 10, b. NY
Emaline, 8, b. NY
George, 6, b. NY
They were living next to the Adam Carl family, whose two daughters Abraham Barnum married many years later.

The 1855 State Census of New York, Sullivan Co., Rockland Twp. shows:
Levi, age 52, born Greene Co (abt 1803)
Peter, 26, child, born Greene Co (abt 1829)
Lyman, 21, child, born Greene Co (abt 1834)
Mary J, 19, child, born Greene Co (abt 1836)
Abram, 17, child, born Greene Co (1838)
Isaac, 14, child, born Greene Co (abt 1841)
Emeline, 13, child, born Greene Co (abt 1842)
George, 11, child, born Greene Co (abt 1844)
A note states that they had lived there for 12 years.

The 1860 US Census for Rockland. Sullivan Co., shows:
Adam Carl, 41, M, Boarding house keeper, b. NY; Sarah, 33, F; Mary, 16, F; Lewis, 14, M; Julia, 12, F; Maretta, 9, F; Almanson, 7, M; Sarah E., 5, F; William, 3, M. Then follows a list of the boarders, including Levi Barnum, 56, M, Tannery Hand. The column titled "married within the last year" is checked next to his name. His birthplace is shown as Germany, but that is an obvious mistake; most of the other boarders were born in Germany and the enumerator must have made an error). Again, these were the Carls listed in the 1850 Census as living next to the Levi Barnum family, and whose daughters Mary and Julia married Abraham Barnum in later years.

Levi Barnum (1803-1862), age 42 years, enlisted 16 Aug 1861 at Liberty to serve 3 years and was mustered in as a private in Co "F", 56th NY Volunteer Infantry, under Capt MS Wells. Described as light complexion with blue eyes and dark hair 5'9" tall. Served a term of three years. Died Oct 11, 1862 at Alexandria VA, Fairfax Seminary General Hospital. Buried on hospital premises. Remains interred in Alexandria National Cemetery Alexandria VA, Plot A, O, 1764.
Some sources give his birthplace as Greene County.
Prattsville was formed from Windham in 1833.
In Fairfax Seminary General Hospital.
He was buried at Alexandria National Cemetery.
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