Thomas and Robert, Barnard Brothers in MA, 1640s

While reviewing my posts on early New England ancestors, I realized that I skipped over my Barnard line, which is another of my multiple double descents.

I am descended from brothers Thomas Barnard, born perhaps c1616 in England, if he married at age 25, and Robert Barnard, born c1615, also in England. I’ve seen parental names for them online, with no documentation, and the fathers’ names aren’t even the same, so I won’t mention them here. It’s also been suggested that the Barnards hailed from Suffolk County, England, which is certainly possible. However, I’ve seen no proof of that either.

Let’s begin with the older brother, Thomas. Thomas, like Robert, is said to have settled in the Salisbury area, although their children removed to other nearby towns.

Source: Google Maps

He reportedly was in Massachusetts by the early 1640s. He married, c1641, Hellena/Helen/Eleanor (MNU). It isn’t known whether they married in Massachusetts or in England. Thomas died in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts before 21 August 1677 when an inventory of his estate was taken. His widow, Eleanor, was approved as his estate administrator on 9 October 1677. The court record notes that he was killed by Indians. Eleanor was born c1615, if she was about aged 42 when her last child was born, but more likely about 21 when she married, so born perhaps c1619. She married (2) George Little, 19 July 1681, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts and died on 27 November 1694, Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts found on AmericanAncestors are a huge help in identifying Thomas’s and Eleanor’s children and children-in-law:

Children of Thomas and Eleanor/Hellen Barnard, all born and married in Salisbury, unless noted:

  1. Thomas, born 10 May 1641; died before 5 December 1715; married Sarah Peasley, by 1664
  2. Nathaniel, born 15 January 1642/43; died 3 June 1718, Nantucket, Massachusetts; married Mary Barnard, by 1667. (See 4th child of Robert, below.)
  3. Martha, born 22 September 1645; died after 1697; married (1) Thomas Hayes (2) Samuel Bucknam, by 1687
  4. Mary, born 22 September 1645 (twin); died c1712, as Philip remarried that year; married (1) Anthony Morse, 10 November 1669, Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts (2) Philip Eastman, 22 August 1678, Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts
  5. Sarah, born 28 September 1647; died 10 September 1717, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts; married William Hackett, 31 January 1666/67,
  6. Hannah, born 24 November 1649; died 27 February 1711/12, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts; married Benjamin Stevens, 28 October 1673
  7. Ruth, born 16 October 1651; died 5 November 1723, Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts; married Joseph Peasley, 21 January 1671, Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts
  8. John, born 12 January 1654; died 15 July 1718, Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts; married Frances Hoyt, widow of John Colby (who she married on 14 January 1655/56), 27 December 1676, Amesbury, Massachusetts
  9. Abigail, born 20 January 1656; died after 20 July 1697, when she gave birth to her last child in Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; married Samuel Fellows, 2 June 1681, Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts, but she was noted as being of Salisbury.

My ancestor is Nathaniel Barnard, second child of Thomas and Eleanor. He married Mary Barnard, daughter of Robert and Joanna (Harvey?) Barnard, by 1667. She was his first cousin.

Robert Barnard was born c1618, also in England and married Joanna (Harvey?), c1641, place unknown. Robert died c1682. However, for whatever reason, there was no administration of his estate until 1715. Stephen Barnard asked that his son, Robert, be allowed to serve in his behalf as administrator because Stephen was elderly and unable to attend court.No other heirs were mentioned, although Martha and Mary were also still living.

Note that son John’s birth is recorded in Salisbury, while Martha’s birth is noted in Nantucket records. Twins seem to run in this family and it’s possible that she and John were twins. Joanna was likely born c1620 in England; died on 31 March 1705, Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Robert lived first in Salisbury, then Andover and, finally, Nantucket:

Source: Google Maps

Children of Robert Barnard and Joanna (Harvey?):

NOTE: John, Martha and Marcy are proven children of Robert per birth records. Stephen is a proven child, as he relinquished probate of his father’s estate. Hannah, Mary and Sarah are attributed to Robert because of their birth years and places where they lived.

  1. John, born 2 March 1642, Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts; died 6 June 1669, drowned between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard; married Bethiah Folger, 26 February 1668, Nantucket, Massachusetts. She drowned with her husband.
  2. Martha, born 2 March 1642, Nantucket, Massachusetts; died 23 January 1717/18, Nantucket, Massachusetts; married William Rogers of Martha’s Vineyard by 1673 when daughter Experience was born.
  3. Hannah, born c1644; died 13 March 1674/75, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married John Stevens, 13 June 1662, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts. He married (2) Esther Barker, 10 August 1676, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts.
  4. Mary, born c1646; died 17 March 1717/18, Nantucket, Massachusetts; married Nathaniel Barnard, by 1666.
  5. Stephen, born c1650; died 12 February 1722/23, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; married Rebecca Howe, 1 May 1671, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
  6. Sarah, born c1652; died 24 October 1732, Nantucket, Essex, Massachusetts; married James Skiff, March 1677, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He married (1) Elizabeth Nabor/Tabor, 18 November 1659, but they divorced in Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1670.
  7. Marcy/Mercy, born 8 April 1658, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts; no further record.

Next week, I’ll post about my last two Barnard ancestral families.



3 thoughts on “Thomas and Robert, Barnard Brothers in MA, 1640s”

  1. Hi –
    I’m also a descendant of the Barnard line –
    Thomas, Nathaniel, Benjamin, Timothy, Timothy, Barzillai who married Love – (Love Swain’s daughter with Timothy). She and Barzillai were also cousins. It gets really confusing 🙂

    Would be great to connect via email

  2. My name is Fred Barnard. My ancestor was also Thomas Barnard Sr. I am a decendant of his eldest son Thomas. Most of my family moved to Saginaw Michigan in the 1800s and became wealthy lumberman and coal mining. Later, married into the Buck family who (Fred Buck) owned and operated Lufkin Rule.

    1. My name is Brian Adams and I believe I’m the 11th generation from Thomas . My Grand mother was a Howe. She Married into the Postal family in Wisconsin.

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