Alternate copies of Sarah Strong Barnard’s Birth Records

Children of Joseph and Sarah Strong Barnard

Chil­dren of Joseph and Sarah Strong Barnard

Click on either image to see it full size. Both images were taken from the Deer­field Vital Records col­lec­tions at the Wis­con­sin His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety in Madi­son, Wis­con­sin. The two records were from dif­fer­ent books. Each of the books was sorted dif­fer­ently from the other. How­ever, it appears clear that both were copied from the same orig­i­nal “Old Book” of Vital Records for Deer­field, Massachusetts.

Both had their own page num­ber­ing sys­tems, but both also label this entry as “Page 2.” Joseph Barnard was the first Town Clerk of Deer­field. It appears that the orig­i­nal Old Book had one page allo­cated to each fam­ily. When a new fam­ily had their first child, they got listed on the next empty page of the Old Book. Since Joseph prob­a­bly cre­ated the book, he nat­u­rally started the book with his own fam­ily on page 2.

The first image reads:

Page 2 This would be the page num­ber in the Old Book.

(Jno T. C.) Barnard son to Jos & Sarah Barnard was born ye 19th of Novr 1676 I don’t know what the T. C. is, per­haps mid­dle initials.

Sarah Daughtr to Jos & Sarah Barnard was born ye 30th day of Dec 1677 “ye” is an older form of the word “the” which used a let­ter no longer part of our writ­ten language.

Joseph Barnard son to Jos & Sarah Barnard was born ye 13th day of Oct 1679 Died

Mr Joseph Barnard son to Jos & Sarah Barnard was born the 20th day of June 1681

Joseph and Sarah Barnard named two of their chil­dren Joseph. The copy could not have been a “pure” copy, because we would not have known at birth that the sec­ond Joseph would live to adulthood.

The sec­ond image comes from a dif­fer­ent copy of the Old Book page 2. You can see this book’s num­ber­ing sys­tem, with the 30 in the top left and some­thing at the top cen­ter. The page is divided into two columns, with births to the left and deaths to the right.

The left col­umn is titled “BirthS in Joseph BarnardS Fam­ily.” There is a check mark to the left of the title. The right col­umn is titled “Buri­alS in Joseph BarnardS Fam­ily.” The S at the end of each word looks like a cap­i­tal S to me, but it is shaped dif­fer­ently than the S at the begin­ning of Sarah, so it must merely be how that copy­ist wrote the let­ter. In the left mar­gin is “Old Book 2 Page” which I take to mean this was a copy of page 2 of the “Old Book.”

Joseph Barnard family records 1695

Joseph Barnard fam­ily records 1695

In the first image, Joseph Barnard Jr. (b. 1681) is writ­ten as “Mr. Joseph Barnard.” In the sec­ond image, he is writ­ten as “Joseph 2nd.” It’s a minor change, but I found it inter­est­ing to note that there are dif­fer­ences in the two copies from the same Old Book.

The next child, Thomas, “was born ye 13th day of March 1683/2.” Until 1752, the new year began on March 25th. Thus, under the “Old Style,” Decem­ber 1682 was fol­lowed by Jan­u­ary 1682, Feb­ru­ary 1682, and the first part of March 1682. The last week of March 1682 (Old Style) had hap­pened a year before! The 13th of March was in 1682 (Old Style), but two weeks later we were in March of 1683.

After 1752, the cal­en­dar year begins on Jan­u­ary 1st, as it does today. While the birth of Thomas was reck­oned to be in March 1682 at the time, we call that March 1683 (New Style) today. We indi­cate this as a “dou­ble date” of 13 March 1682/3. Joseph Barnard, when he recorded his son’s birth in 1682/3, had no way to know that we would change the cal­en­dar after 1752. There­fore some­one (undoubt­edly the copy­ist) mod­i­fied the date, and there­fore the copy must have been made at some time later than 1752.

We have three more points of inter­est in these birth records.

First, one or pos­si­bly two chil­dren are miss­ing from the list. Han­nah was born 1685 or 1688, and there­fore fits in the mid­dle of the chil­dren listed. You’d think the Town Clerk would not fail to list one of his own chil­dren! Per­haps a line was missed in copy­ing. Han­nah mar­ried Samuel Childs and is buried in Deerfield.

Sec­ond, Ebenezer was born posthu­mously. He was born about six months after his father died.

Third, Thank­ful is miss­ing from the list. How­ever, there is a line in the right hand col­umn, towards the bot­tom, impos­si­ble to read. How­ever, I can make out enough of the writ­ing to guess that it reads “was born Thank­ful m. Eb Shel­don.” Thank­ful Barnard (ca. 1694–1746), daugh­ter to Joseph and Sarah Barnard did marry Ebenezer Shel­don in 1714. So per­haps the miss­ing line was put back in!

In the right-hand col­umn, we read:

Buri­als in Joseph Barnards Family

Joseph son to Joseph & Sarah Barnard Dyed ye 8th day of August 1681.

Joseph Barnard head of this fam­ily was wounded by ye Enimie August 21, 1695 and Dyed Sep­tem­ber ye 6th in ye same year.

We know from the mar­riage record of Widow Sarah Barnard and Capt. Jonathan Wells that Sarah waited a full three years, remar­ry­ing in Sep­tem­ber 1698.

Posted in Ancestry Information and tagged , , .


  1. My great grand­fa­ther was William Strong Ander­son and
    we are sup­posed to be related to the Strong fam­ily.
    Would you have any record of that Strong-Anderson con­nec­tion.
    Thank you for your help, Alice

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