A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Herman Norton BARNUM


Amherst College Class of 1852 (from the Amherst College Biographical Record, Centennial Edition (1821-1921)): Barnum, Herman Norton. S. of Daniel T. and Polly A. (Tomlinson), b. Auburn, N. Y., D. 5, 1826. M. A., A. C., 1855; D. D., A. C. and Middlebury, 1873. Phi Beta Kappa; Psi Upsilon. Prepared with Rev. C. H. Buckley, Mt. Morris, N. Y. Andover T. S., 1852-55; ordained by Ontario Presbytery, Mt. Morris, N. Y., S. 26, 1855; home miss'y at large for Vt., 1855-56; miss'y of A. B. C. F. M., Harpoot, Turkey, 1858-1910; visited U. S., 1871-73. Connected with educational work, Euphrates Coll., theological sem., and schools; president pro tem., Euphrates Coll.; adviser of Turkish officials sent from Constantinople for government of Armenia, 20 yrs. D. Harpoot, Turkey, May 19, 1910. Married Jy. 6, 1860, Mary E., da. of Rev. William Goodell, Constantinople, Turkey. 9 ch. Edward H. (A. C. 1898); Francis G. (A. C. 1901).

When he applied for a US passport at Boston Massachusetts, in January of 1873 at the age of 46, he was described as follows: 5 feet 7 inches, high forehead, blue eyes, regular nose, medium mouth, large chin, grey hair, light complexion, and regular face.

When he applied for renewal of his US passport at the United States Legation in Constantinople in 1900, at the age of 73, the only change in his description was that his hair was then grey.

An excerpt from the New York Times of 22 Dec 1895 mentions Herman N. Barnum, as follows: From the Independent, Dec 12: Missionaries in Turkey; Their Situation as Affected by the Armenian Troubles. A List of the Stations and Those at Each –Some Not in Danger. Harpût.–The next station east of Sivas is that of Harpût. The missionaries resident there are C. H. Wheeler, D. D.; H. N. Barnum, D. D.; the Rev. Messrs. O. P. Allen, C. F. Gates, and E. S. Ellis, and their families; also Miss E. C. Wheeler, and Miss E. M. Barnum. Just what the condition is at present is not evident. The mission houses have been destroyed, and that the missionaries have been in personal danger is well known. The latest telegrams announce that they are well, and that one of the number, Mrs. Gates, is convalescing, intimating that her condition has been very serious. Telegrams from Harpût in regard to the destitution show that the suffering is intense, and in this suffering it cannot but be that the missionaries themselves will in a great degree share.

From the Presbyterian Ministerial Directory 1898. Name: Herman Norton Barnum; Country: Turkey; Birth State: NY; Birth Country: U.S.A.; Birth Date: 5 Dec 1826; PostID: 1796; Ordination: 1855; City: Kharpoot; Birth City: Auburn.

Harpoot [Harpût] was the center of a busy field of missionary activities. The ‘parish’ field was huge and it took two weeks’ journey to traverse by horse from north to south, and a full week east to west. For a succinct perspective of Harpoot one can do no better than to quote an early perspective by Rev. Dr. Herman N. Barnum from his “Sketch of the Harpoot Station, Eastern Turkey” in The Missionary Herald vol. 88, April 1892 pp. 144-147: “The city of Harpoot has a population of perhaps 20,000, and it is located a few miles east of the river Euphrates, near latitude thirty-nine, and east from Greenwich about thirty-nine degrees. It is on a mountain facing south, with a populous plain 1,200 feet below it. The Taurus Mountains lie beyond the plain, twelve miles away. The Anti-Taurus range lies some forty miles to the north in full view from the ridge just back of the city. The surrounding population are mostly farmers, and they all live in villages. No city in Turkey is the centre of so many Armenian villages, and the most of them are large. Nearly thirty can be counted from different parts of the city. This makes Harpoot a most favorable missionary centre. Fifteen out-stations lie within ten miles of the city. The Arabkir field, on the west, was joined to Harpoot in 1865, and the following year…the larger part of the Diarbekir field on the south; so that now the limits of the Harpoot station embrace a district nearly one third as large as New England.”
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