Joseph Barnard and Sarah Strong

Sarah Strong, daugh­ter of Elder John Strong and Abi­gail Ford, was born in 1656 at Wind­sor, CT. In today’s world, Sarah would have been called “Lady of the Year.” She must have been styl­ish and well dressed for she was fined 10 shillings and costs (2 shillings and 6 pence) in 1673 for wear­ing silk, con­trary to law.

In 1675 at 18 years of age, Sarah mar­ried Joseph Barnard, son of Fran­cis and Han­nah (Merrill/Muriel) Barnard, early Puri­tan set­tlers of Hart­ford, CT. Joseph was well edu­cated and well trained for one of his time. Joseph and Sarah moved from Northamp­ton, MA, and were one the group of first set­tlers of Deer­field, MA, where Joseph was mor­tally wounded by Indi­ans in 1695. Sarah was left with 9 chil­dren liv­ing at home and one child was born in March of 1696, six months after Joseph’s death.

In 1698 Sarah mar­ried a sec­ond time to Cap­tain Jonathan Wells, hero in King William’s War (1689–1697). Sarah was buried in the “Old Bur­ial Ground,” Deer­field, MA. Her marker still stands near her sec­ond husband’s marker and a few feet from her first husband’s marker. From Strong Fam­ily His­tory Update Vol­ume III p. 439.

Joseph Barnard Headstone

Joseph Barnard Headstone

Joseph’s grave­stone is inscribed:

6th 1695

Pho­to­graph by Walther M. Barnard, 15 August 2001, from “The Descen­dants of Fran­cis Barnard, Part A,” per­mis­sion for use granted to the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of America.

Accord­ing to Shel­don, A His­tory of Deer­field, MA, II, p. 65, Joseph Barnard was a tai­lor, sur­veyor, and farmer. He was one of the fore­most in the per­ma­nent set­tle­ment of the town of Deer­field, MA. He was Recorder for the Pro­pri­etors, the first Town Clerk, and Clerk of the Writs in 1690. His grave­stone bears the old­est date of any in the old bury­ing yard.

Sylvester Judd, 1905, His­tory of Hadley, p. 91, explains the bit about silk cloth­ing in more detail:

Law regard­ing dress.—Sumptuary laws restrain­ing excess of apparel in some classes, were com­mon in Eng­land and other nations for cen­turies. Mass­a­chu­setts enacted such a law in 1651, order­ing that per­sons whose estates did not exceed 200 pounds, and those depen­dent on them, should not wear gold or sil­ver lace, gold or sil­ver but­tons, bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods or scarfs, upon penalty of 10s. for each offense.

The first attempt to have this law observed in Hamp­shire [County], was made in 1673. At the March court, 25 wives and 5 maids, belong­ing to Spring­field, Northamp­ton, Hadley, Hat­field and West­field, were pre­sented by the jury, as per­sons of small estate, who “use to wear silk con­trary to law.”

Six of these belonged to Hadley, viz.,

Wife of John West­carr [Han­nah Barnard]—was acquit­ted.
Wife of Joseph Barnard—was fined 10s. and cost, 2s. 6d.
Wife of Thomas Wells, Jr.—was admon­ished.
Wife of Edward Grannis—was admon­ished.
Wife of Joseph Kellogg—was acquit­ted.
Maid, Mary Broughton—was admonished.

At the March court, 1676 the jury pre­sented 68 per­sons, from five towns, viz., 38 wives and maids, and 30 young men, “some for wear­ing silk and that in a flaunt­ing man­ner, and oth­ers for long hair and other extrav­a­gan­cies.” There were ten from Hadley, viz. Joseph Barnard and his wife Sarah, and his sis­ter Sarah.

The Indian ambush that resulted in Joseph’s death is related by Judd (1905, p. 254):

On the 18th of August, 1695, five Deer­field men set out for the mill, on horses with bags of grain, and when they had gone about a mile south­ward, they were fired upon by seven or eight Indi­ans who were con­cealed near the road, and Joseph Barnard was sorely wounded and fell from his horse. The oth­ers set him upon his horse with one to hold him on, when another shot killed his horse. They then put him upon one of their horses, when a gun was fired and he was again hit; yet they all reached the gar­ri­son, unharmed, except Joseph Barnard, who died on the 6th of Sep­tem­ber. The Indi­ans were pur­sued but not overtaken.”

Major Pyn­chon wrote that Joseph Barnard was ‘a very use­ful and help­ful man in that place, so much under dis­cour­age­ment, and they will the more find and feel the want of him.’ He was a son of Fran­cis Barnard of Hadley. Han­nah Bea­man of Deer­field, the school dame, was his sister.”

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