52 Ancestors #18: Archie J Barnes – the J is important

The  52 Ancestor challenge is put on by Amy at No Story Too Small

155 52ancestors

*I am currently at the NGS Conference so posts may be late because I didn’t plan ahead and get them done before! I will say that there have already been some genealogy celebrity sightings for me – I was on the plane with Dear Myrtle and said hello to her and I saw Elizabeth Shown Mills wondering through the check-ins! I’m so excited to be here!!!
Archie J Barnes is my 2nd great-grandfather and my introduction with common names. I also don’t have many records for him like for most of my Barnes side of my tree. That is my goal this summer – get more on them!
Archie J Barnes was born to James and Maria (?) Barnes on 10 November 1875 in Michigan (1). The census records show he wasn’t an only child but I still have more research to do on how many siblings he had.
In the 1880 census he is living in Tuscola County (which he never leaves and I’ll bet he was born there) with his parents and two sisters in a village called Juniata. (2) Funny enough, he is living just two homes down from the Hendersons. Archie’s son James married Helen Henderson who is the daughter of William Henderson from this family (3). William was only 6 at the time. How funny that they will later be in-laws!
Anyway, in that census we learn that James is a farmer and he was born in Canada. Interestingly, his parents are listed as not known. I have only this record so far for James so I’m not sure what that means just yet.
In the 1900 census, Archie is living in Tuscola County, still in the city of Juniata (4). However, this time, as a 24 year old, he is living with a family named Smith. Sadly, it does not say what relation Archie is to them (how could they leave this blank???) I wish I knew what they were to him!
Now here’s an interesting bit of family tradition. In the early 1900’s, apparently James went into northern Michigan, began his own hunting and fishing lodge and disappeared (5). I still have more research to do on him before I know how much of that is true or not.
Either way, around that same time, Archie marries Myrtle Allen on 15 October 1902. (6)
In the 1910 census, these two are married with two children – a 6 year old and a 1 month old.(7)  That is a big difference between ages and I wonder if maybe there were a few more that didn’t make it in between these two but I haven’t found a record of that yet. The family now lives in Vassar, Michigan, where they married and stay. This census doesn’t give a lot of information on what Archie does besides he is a laborer in a factory.Not very descriptive.
In the 1920 census, there are now five children ranging in age from 2 months – 15 years old. (8) There was another child who died at only 4 days old but I can’t quite read what it is that he died from. (9) Feel free to give it a try and let me know in the comments if you have a guess!
unknown death
In the 1920 census we also get Archie’s unique job – keeper in a cemetery. See, my love of cemeteries may just be genetic!
In the 1930 census, Archie is now 55 and lives with his family with his youngest child being 5 years old and his oldest now out and on his own. Archie is listed as the sexton of the cemetery (10) which I think means he had a promotion. And this census also shows that Archie and Myrtle had children from 1904-1925 – I can’t even begin to imagine that! 20 years in diapers!!! Or well there were breaks in between but wow. Just wow. Funny enough, my husband’s siblings are like that. The youngest in his family is graduating from high school this year!
In the 1940 census, Archie is still with his wife and three out of his four sons. Interestingly, Archie is no longer the sexton of the cemetery – that job went to his son, Arthur (11). I can’t help but think that is so neat!
In 1943, Archie passes away (12). Now here’s the importance of that J – there is another Archie Barnes floating around on ancestry.com. This is one of my pet peeves with the shared family trees (and why mine is private). Someone has mixed that Archie Barnes (who is about 2 years younger, so it’s easy to see the mistake) with my Archie J Barnes. The J is very important in telling the difference between the two. Luckily, he uses it in most records, like his WWI draft card. But that mixing of records can get very tricky, especially with pictures. I’m not positive some of the shared pictures are of my Archie, or of the other one.
His obituary (13):

The Saginaw News 26 Feb 1943, pg 19

Archie J. Barnes

Vassar – A lifelong resident of this area, Archie J. Barnes died Thursday at Blonza convalescent home. An invalid the past 10 years, he had been sexton at Riverside cemetery previously. He was born in Vassar Nov 10, 1878. If his soldier son Arthur can get here from camp in Virginia, the funeral will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Johnson funeral home. Mr. Barnes also leaves his wife; three daughters, Mrs. Merle Ashe, Mrs. Victor Schwab, of Vassar, and Mrs. George Rains, of Saginaw, and another son, James, of Vassar. 


1) “World War I Draft Registration cards, 1917-1918,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), card for Archie J Barnes, no. C-21-4-22, Tuscola County Draft Board; citingWorld War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives microfilm publication M1509; imaged from Family History Library film roll 1,682,809. Also 1880 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Juniata, SD 3, ED 407, sheet 21(penned),  dwelling 197, family 197, James Barnes; digital image, Ancestry.com(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014) citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 607.

2) 1880 U.S. Census, Tuscola Co., Mich., pop. sch., Juniata, sheet 21, dwell. 197, fam. 197, James Barnes.

3) Fulton County, Ohio. Marriage License, Barnes-Henderson, 1931; County Clerk’s Office, Wauseon.

4) 1900 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule,Juniata, SD 8, ED 120,  page B1 (penned), dwelling 24, family 25, Archie J Barnes; digital image,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 745.

5)My grandmother told me this through letters when we were passing family information back and forth. I’m not quite sure how to cite that at this moment since my book isn’t with me so I will cite this correctly once I have the book back.

6) ”Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index, FamilySearch.org (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 6 May 2014), entry for Archie J Barnes and Myrtle Allen, 15 Oct 1902, image 331.

7)  1910 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Vassar, SD 8, ED 120,  page 3A (penned), dwelling 11, family 11, Archie J Barnes; digital image,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 676.

8) 1920 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Vassar, SD 7, ED 198,  page 9B (penned), dwelling 253, family 257, Archie J Barnes; digital image,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 798.

9) “Michigan death records 1898-1920,” digital images, SeekingMichigan.com (http://www.seekingmichigan.org : accessed 6 May 2014), Erwin Barnes, 1918, registered no. 26.

10) 1930 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Vassar, SD 11, ED 79-35,  page 13B (penned), dwelling 345, family 367, Archie J Barnes; digital image,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1027.

11) 1940 U.S. Census, Tuscola County, Michigan, population schedule, Vassar, SD 7, ED 79-35,  page 14A (penned), dwelling 303,  Archie J Barnes; digital image,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 May 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T627, roll 1821.

12)Archie J Barnes Obituary, (Saginaw) The Saginaw News, 26 February 1943, p. 19; Saginaw Newspaper Collection; microfilm title “The Saginaw News February 1943,” Hoyt Public Library, Saginaw, Michigan.

13) Ibid.


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Categories: 52 Ancestors, BARNES | Tags: , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “52 Ancestors #18: Archie J Barnes – the J is important

  1. Great post!

    It is kind of sweet and touching about Archie’s death notice about whether his son Arthur can get there in time for his funeral.

    The cause of death for the child looks like it could be Enteritis.

    And I definitely know what you mean about seeing mistakes in other people’s trees!

    • NikiMarie

      You know, I spent quite some time googling different variations of that word and never came up with that one! You are good!!

      • :) Just spent lots of time trying to decipher old writing over the years! Glad I could help!

  2. Enjoy NGS! I would love to be there. I agree with Alex, looks like Enteritis to me too. Oh the 20 years in diapers… I have a 16 year old, 12 year old, and 2 year old. We really spread out the young years. :)

    • NikiMarie

      Ha! Well at least with the years spread out like that you didn’t have consecutive years in diapers :) And NGS is a blast so far but I am EXHAUSTED from the first day! If you get a chance to go, take it!

  3. I used to get irritated with mistakes in other peoples’ trees, but I don’t any longer. Their tree is their business and my tree is mine. If I find a clue in another tree, it’s my responsibility and no one else’s to verify the information is correct and belongs to “my” person in the tree — any they aren’t really mine.
    I would never have a private tree. I would miss so many connections I make with interesting people. When they attach something from my tree or someone else’s to a common ancestor, I contact them. I’ve learned so much. Keeping my tree public is how I pay that forward.

    • NikiMarie

      I understand your opinion and I respect that decision. I have simply chosen to keep my tree private because of the way I use that tree, which is more as a clue tree and very incomplete. Some items on there could be false and I don’t like the idea of leading someone astray even if it is their business to see if it is true or not. I have had people contact me about something in my tree that they would like to know about or see and I have no problem sharing that way. That’s great that you have had so many connections made with others through your tree! I never had much luck with that. :)

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