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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Joshua BARNUM


In 1810, a J. Barnum appeared on the census of New Lisbon, Otsego New York. New Lisbon was formed from Pittsfield between 1800 and 1810. J. Barnum was living among many of the same families neighboring his supposed father Aaron Barnum in 1800. This J. Barnum is believed to be Joshua Barnum. The family makeup is consistent with Joshua’s family. In addition, the A. Barnham of Milford in 1810 had a male living in his household of the correct age grouping for Judah Barnum, b 1792. Newstead neighbors of Joshua and/or his brother Judah also included several of the same family groups who lived near Aaron and J. Barnum in Otsego Co, NY.

Joshua Barnum, Sr. and his family immigrated from Pennsylvania to Wayne County, New York in 1830, and later moved to Erie County. He bought land in Erie County, New York in 1834.

In the 1850 US Census for Newstead, Erie County, New York the family of Joshua Barnum was enumerated as follows;
Dwelling #1496; Family #1523
Joshua Barnum, 66, M, Farmer, Real property $1,800, b. New York
Calvin H. Barnum, 14, M, b. New York
Joshua Barnum, 28, M, Farmer, Real property $1,000, b. New York
Ann Barnum, 20, F, b. New York
Austin D. Barnum, 3, M, b. New York
Emeline M. Barnum, 9/12, F, b. New York
[Note: It appears that the wife of Joshua Barnum, Sr. had died by this date. The Ann Barnum enumerated here was probably his daughter-in-law, the wife of his son Joshua, Jr., while Austin D. and Emeline M. Barnum were probably his grandchildren from that union].

The will of Joshua Barnum, Sr. reads:
In the name of God, Amen, I Joshua Barnum of the town of Newstead in the County of Erie and State of New York, of the age of 75 years, and being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following. that is to say:
First: I give and bequeath unto Edward Boland my grandson, who resides in the state of Indiana, the sum of one hundred dollars, to be paid one year after my decease, out of my personal property.
Secondly: I give and bequeath unto my three sons Joshua, Jr., Leonard and Calvin Barnum, their heirs and assigns, equally, all my real estate that I now possess or may possess at my decease, Bounded as follows: Lying and being in the town of Newstead, Erie County and state of New York. (there follows a lengthy meets and bounds description of the property) containing Seventy Acres of land.
Thirdly and lastly I give and bequeath, after any debts and funeral expenses are paid, unto my three sons Joshua Barnum, Jr., Leonard Barnum and Calvin Barnum, all my personal property, goods, and chattels of what nature or kind whatsoever: and I hereby appoint Silas Taber and George Middleton of the said town of Newstead, my sole Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirty-first day of October in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven.
Joshua Barnum (his mark)
Witness: O. K. Parker of Clarence and George Middleton, Newstead. [It appears that Joshua could not write].

According to that record Joshua was born in 1782 and died in 1857.

The grandson Edward was the son of Joshua's daughter (name unknown) and Asa H. Boland. Asa was the son of Noah Boland, who died in the war of 1812. The daughter apparently died between 1840 (when she appeared in the US Census) and 1842, since Asa married Elizabeth "Betsy" Loveland on 30 March 1842 in Lorain County, Ohio.

New York State Census (Joshua, Sr.)
Newstead, Erie, New York, 17 June 1855
Dwelling #117, Frame construction, Value $200
Joshua Barnum, 73, M, b. Conn., Widowed, Resident of this town 40 years, Farmer, Owns land.

From this census data his birth year is calculated as 1782. Also, his place of birth is given as Connecticut, not New York as shown in some other sources. He arrived at Newstead about 1815, already married to a wife of about his same age, so his second marriage would likely have been in Newstead.

Leonard was born about 1823, according to census records. Joshua, Jr. was born about 1821 and Calvin about 1836. There is some evidence that Calvin was a half brother to Joshua, Jr. and Leonard. The 1830 census shows two females in the household of Joshua, Sr., both of 15 and under 20, as well as one male of 5 and under 10 and another male of 10 and under 15 (obviously Joshua, Jr. and Leonard). None of the females was old enough to be the mother of these children so they were probably sisters. The 1840 census then shows one female of 30 and under 40 (there was no female of that age in the 1830 household). That female is likely the mother of Calvin. Positive verification is lacking, but since there is a significant difference between the birth years of the two older boys (Joshua, Jr. born about 1821 and Leonard born about 1823) and the son Calvin born about 1836, it seems likely that there was a second wife. According to census records, Joshua, Sr. had, besides the boys mentioned and the daughter who married Asa Boland, another daughter. Both of the daughters were older than Joshua, Jr. and Leonard. In the 1830 census they are listed as of 15 and under 20.

Since the early town records of Newstead were destroyed by fire, more records for Joshua are probably not available. In the sales records of the Holland Land Company there is no sale listed to Joshua Barnum. Apparently, he bought land from one of the original purchasers. Additionally, no record has been found for Joshua Barnum born in Connecticut around 1782/84.
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