A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Nancy FISH


Following the death of his first wife, P. T. Barnum married Nancy Fish in 1874. His new wife, 40 years his junior, was born in 1850 in England. She was the daughter of John Fish, a Manchester cotton mill owner and an old friend of P. T. Barnum, who had based his commercial success on the principles laid down by Barnum.

A US Passport was issued to Nancy Barnum, as the widow of P.T. Barnum, on 7 Dec 1891. She was described as 41 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, high forehead, blue eyes, large nose, proportionate mouth, round chin, dark brown hair, fair complexion and full face.

The New York Times, August 8, 1895. Mrs. P. T. Barnum Married. She Becomes the Wife of Demetrius Callias Bey, a Greek—The Wedding a Very Quiet Affair.
Mrs. Phineas T. Barnum, widow of the great American showman, was married in this city yesterday afternoon to Demetrius Callias Bey, who is said to be a Greek, although bearing a Turkish title. The ceremony was private, and there was manifested on the part of those immediately concerned a disposition to keep the affair a profound secret.
Mrs. Barnum had been staying at the Plaza Hotel for about a week, and the bridegroom had been a guest at another up-town hotel for a short time.
Mrs. Callias declined to talk about the marriage last evening. But her companion and confidential friend, Miss Leigh, confirmed the report of the wedding. Miss Leigh said that Mrs. Callias did not wish to make any statement regarding her marriage, although she consented to the simple announcement of the fact.
Callias Bey and his bride are at the Plaza Hotel.
About 10 o'clock last night Callias Bey went out for a walk with a friend and returned to the hotel about 11 o'clock. He speaks little English and was not inclined to talk about his marriage. When asked about it he made the laconic rejoinder, "To-morrow, to-morrow," with emphasis, which indicated that he might have been employed in the Turkish Diplomatic Service.
Callias Bey and his bride will sail for Europe soon, although the date of their departure has not been positively settled.
A civil marriage is said to have been had in the office of Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, and a religious ceremony later performed at the Greek Orthodox Chapel, 342 West Fifty-third Street, by the Rev. Agathodorus A. Papageorgopoulos.
Col. Ingersoll is absent from the city. The butler at his home, 400 Fifth Avenue, said he had not been in the city for several days. The pastor of the Greek Chapel lives at 103 West Eightieth Street. No response was made to the ringing of the bell there.
Mr. [P. T.] Barnum met the woman who yesterday became Mrs. Callias in a romantic manner. She was the daughter of a Lancashire, England, cotton miller named Fish. In 1858 Mr. Barnum lectured in Manchester, England, and after the lecture Mr. Fish called on the great showman to tell him that his success in life was due to his reading of Mr. Barnum's autobiography, which fired his ambition to make money. When Mr. Fish built a new mill, his daughter christened the engine "Barnum."
After the death of the first Mrs. Barnum, Mr. Fish visited America. His daughter's letters so delighted Mr. Barnum that, as he put it, he fell in love with her before he saw her. They were married in 1874. The bride was half the age of her husband.
The marriage was a happy one. Mr. Barnum's children by his first wife became devoted to their stepmother. A new and elegant residence was built at Bridgeport, in the Queen Anne style, which was called Marina. In the planning and furnishing of this mansion Mrs. Barnum took a large share.
It was in this luxurious house that the great showman died in 1891.

The New York Times, September 20, 1896. Ill in Constantinople. Bridgeport, Conn., Sept. 19.—The State Department at Washington was called upon by Benjamin Fish of this city yesterday to ascertain the condition of Demetrius Callias Bey, husband of former P. T. Barnum. Cablegrams sent to Constantinople by Mr. Fish had been withheld by the Turkish authorities. Today Mr. Fish received word saying that the Bey was very ill at his hotel in Constantinople.

The New York Times, June 24, 1927. P. T. Barnum's Widow Dies. Death of Baroness d'Arengian in Paris Reported in Bridgeport.
Bridgeport, Conn., June 23 (AP).—A cablegram received here tonight reported the death of the Baroness d'Alexandry d'Arengian, widow of P. T. Barnum, showman, in Paris this afternoon.
Phineas T. Barnum died in 1891. In the annual accounting of a trust fund he created it was reported to the Probate Court in Bridgeport in April, 1925, that the fund of $1,205,000 had produced during the previous twelve months an income of more than $99,000, of which $40,000 was paid to the widow, Nancy Barnum d'Alexandry d'Arengian.

Time magazine, Monday, July 04, 1927. Died. Baroness Nancy Fish Barnum Callius d'Arengian; onetime wife of Phineas Taylor Barnum, famed U. S. showman; in Paris. After Mr. Barnum's death in 1891 she married Demetrius Callius Bey, Greek, and after his death—D'Alexandry d'Arengian, Frenchman.
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 about Nancy Fish. Name: Nancy Fish; Year of Registration: 1850; Quarter of Registration: Apr-May-Jun; District: Blackburn; County: Lancashire; Volume: 21; Page: 34.
When Nancy died she was cremated and then buried, not next to P.T. Barnum, but to her second husband Demetrius Callias Bey.
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