Saturday, November 10, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Elizabeth Thacker was born in Pope County, Illinois in about 1840 to parents Anderson and Sarah Thacker.
John W and Elizabeth married on December 25th, 1858 in Pope County, Illinois.
By 1860 they owned a 40 acre farm in northwest Hardin County, Illinois, just east of Pope County.
Their first child, Maria, was also born that year on April 15, 1860.
Their second child Angelana was born on April 24, 1861.
On August 12, 1862, John W Barker enlisted on the Union side of the Civil War. This took him down the Mississippi River to Arkansas and the state of Mississippi where a pivotal battle was being fought in Vicksburg. The Union took Vicksburg from the Confederates on July 4, 1863. John W Barker died the next day in a hospital just outside of Vicksburg.
Their final child, John Washington Barker, was born just a few months before John W died, on February 2, 1863. It is likely he never met his father, John W Barker.
Within four months of each other, Angelana and Elizabeth both died in 1866. Angelana on January 5 and Elizabeth on April 16th, possibly due to one of the epidemics in the United States at that time. This left Maria and John orphans.
These two children were taken in by James M. Isham, a Civil War veteran who served as a Corporal then a Private in the Illinois Union forces, and his family in Hardin County, Illinois.
John and Maria both appeared in the Isham household in the 1870 US Census. That is the last record of Maria. By 1880, John was living as a boarder in a house 4 doors down from the Ishams.
Also note there is debate as to whether the name of daughter number two was "Angelana" or "Angelara". Two documents we have with her name written out appear to have "r" and not "n".
July 31, 1860 John W Barker farm in Hardin County, IL
This 1860 US Non-Population Schedule showed John W Barker owning 40 acres at Township ll Range 8 in Hardin County. While there is no proof this is our John W Barker, it is likely it was.
1878 John W Barker Land in Hardin County, IL
Township 11S, Range 7E, Section 14 SW NE
This also appears to be land owned by our John W Barker.
Did John W Barker own both properties? Did he sell the 1860 land and buy this one?
1877 John W Barker Land?
Township 11S, Range 7E, Section 14 NE NE
This could also be land owned by our John W Barker. By 1877, John W and Elizabeth had both died, and their children John Washington Barker and Maria Barker were under the guardianship of James M. Isham.
This record appears to be the same of land to Marion Joiner & Wife from James M. Isham, guardian.
Did he do this as John and Maria's guardian?
It is not clear, as the 1870 census shows another child, Dennis Hicks age 12, also living with James M. Isham. It could be James M. Isham was also his guardian, and land sale record was under the guardianship of Dennis Hicks. This may not make sense as Dennis Hicks was 19 years old by 1877 and no longer under guardianship any more since it ends at age 16.
However, in 1877 Maria would have been 18 (also not under guardianship) but John Washington Barker would have been 15 and still under guardianship.
James M. Isham could have been guardian to other children also, as there were many orphans after the 1861-1865 Civil War.
It should be noted that this parcel is very close to the 1878 John W Barker land record, which lends weight to the same ownership.
Research continues in this area of John W Barker history.
The red marker is in the middle of the 648 acres in Section 14, and John W Barker owned 40 acres of that. More research would be needed to determine which direction that 40 acres was from the marker.
From the Galveston Daily News, Texas May 22, 1884:
CHICAGO, May 21. - The Daily News Shawneetown (Ill.) special says: News has just been received from Elizabethtown that the Hardin County court-house, with all the records, was consumed by an incendiary fire Monday morning. There has been a vendetta in progress in that county for several years, and numerous killings have resulted. Finally, the law-abiding people took hold of the matter, and cause indictments to be found against a large number of these turbulent characters. It was the general belief that the court-house was fired for the purpose of destroying the records of these indictments, in order to embarrass proceedings against them.
Another reason it is difficult to find the right records is that there was at least one other J W Barker in the area, as this 1834 Pope County, Illinois record shows.
August 12, 1862: Enlisted In Civil War
With his wife pregnant and two daughters to support, John W Barker enlisted on the Union side of the Civil War. In 1862, people believed the war would last a year or less, and had no idea the extent of the death and destruction to come.
John W Barker was doing his best to do the right thing.
At age 40, my physical description would have been just the same.
When Elizabeth Barker died in 1866, James M. Isham took guardianship of John Washington Barker, age 3, and Maria Barker, age 7.
We have many records on this, as these records were held by the federal government in Washington DC and not in the Hardin County Court House that burned in 1884.
Hardin County was lightly populated in the mid 1800s, as it continues to be today. This has helped some in determining which records pertained to our family.
The research continues.
Many thanks to Ken Barker from Colorado who has been leading the effort to research our family tree. This blog post would not have been possible without him.