Seven Barnard Brothers: Revolutionary War Service

The fol­low­ing mate­r­ial is from Fran­cis Barnard (ca. 1616–1698) and his Descen­dants, A Genealog­i­cal Study, Part A, by Walther M. Barnard, Ver­sion of 09 August 2009, pages 50–54. Used with permission.

Ser­vice in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War

Francis Barnard House Historical Marker

Fran­cis Barnard House His­tor­i­cal Marker

The house of Lt. Fran­cis Barnard, 174 Dun­caster Road, built 1760, is one of the his­toric houses listed (p. 264) in The Win­ton­bury His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, 1983, From Win­ton­bury To Bloom­field: Win­ton­bury His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, Bloom­field, CT. “A sign on the front of the house for many years read: ‘From this house went forth seven sons to fight in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion.’” A pho­to­graph of the sign, with all let­ters in cap­i­tals, is given on p. 47 of that publication.

The evi­dence and cita­tions for ser­vice in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War by the seven sons of Fran­cis are treated col­lec­tively here. The two prin­ci­pal sources are Record of Ser­vice of Con­necti­cut Men in the War of the Rev­o­lu­tion, Hart­ford, CT, 1889, and Sims­bury Sol­diers in the War of the Rev­o­lu­tion, Abi­gail Phelps Chap­ter, National Soci­ety Daugh­ters of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, Sims­bury, CT, 1982.


1775: At LEX. Alarm.” CMWR, p. 21, per Sims­bury Sol­diers in the War of the Rev­o­lu­tion, p. 40

Three days ser­vice. Included in the “List of the Men who marched from the Con­necti­cut Towns ‘for the Relief of Boston in the Lex­ing­ton Alarm,’ April, 1775”—per CMWR, p. 21.

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Mother-Daughter married Father-Son

Sarah Strong (1656–1733), daugh­ter of Elder John Strong (abt. 1610–1699) and Abi­gail Ford (1619–1688), mar­ried a sec­ond time after her hus­band Joseph Barnard (1650–1695) died. She had been left with 9 chil­dren liv­ing at home and one child was born six months after her husband’s death.

In Sep­tem­ber of 1698, three years to the month after her husband’s death, she mar­ried the wid­ower Cap­tain Jonathan Wells. Together they had the child David, born 31 Jan­u­ary 1700, who died soon.

Rebecca Barnard (1686–1718) was 11 years old when she became part of the com­bined house­hold of Jonathan and Sarah Wells. Jonathan Wells Jr. (1684–1735), son of Jonathan Wells and Hep­z­ibah Colton, was two years older than Rebecca, a teenager liv­ing in their same house­hold. Ten years later, on 13 March 1717/18, they mar­ried. They were not related by blood, but indeed we had mother and daugh­ter marry father and son!

Rebecca, sad to say, died 14 Novem­ber 1718, merely eight and a half months after her marriage.

The rest of this arti­cle quotes ver­ba­tim from Fran­cis Barnard (ca. 1616–1698) and his Descen­dants Part D by Dr. Walther M. Barnard, pages 1019–1020, used with per­mis­sion. This is all the infor­ma­tion he gath­ered about Rebecca, daugh­ter of Joseph Barnard and Sarah Strong.

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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:

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John Barnard and the Battle of Bloody Brook

Battle of Bloody Brook

Bat­tle of Bloody Brook

Click on the image to see it full size.

Sarah Strong (1656–1733) was the daugh­ter of Elder John Strong (abt. 1610–1699) and Abi­gail Ford (1619–1688) of Northamp­ton, MA. On 13 June 1675 she mar­ried Joseph Barnard. Three months later, her brother in law, John Barnard (ca. 1646–1675), was killed by Indi­ans at the Bat­tle of Bloody Brook, on 18 Sep­tem­ber 1675. Twenty years later, on that very same day of 18 Sep­tem­ber 1695, her hus­band Joseph Barnard Sr. died after being “wounded by ye Enimie.”

Please take a moment and see the excel­lent pho­tos on Libby Klekowski’s Bat­tle of Bloody Brook page. You can see the area, the mon­u­ments, and their loca­tion to Bloody Brook in South Deer­field, Mass­a­chu­setts. I do not have per­mis­sion to take her words or her pho­tographs, which is why I am ask­ing you to look at her page before con­tin­u­ing read­ing here.

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Sarah Strong, the Barnard children, and the Raid on Deerfield

Sarah Strong (1656–1733), daugh­ter of Elder John Strong (abt. 1610–1699) and Abi­gail Ford (1619–1688), mar­ried a sec­ond time after her hus­band Joseph Barnard (1650–1695) was killed by Indi­ans. She mar­ried Cap­tain Jonathan Wells who, at age 16, had become known as the “boy hero” at the fight of Turner’s Falls.

Deer­field Raid 1704

Click on the image to see it full size.

The raid itself was not as well coor­di­nated as other raids of the time. A few men climbed up the snow drifts and were able to cross the pal­isade. They opened the north gate of the for­ti­fied town. The attack­ers swept through the north gate and worked from house to house.

Sarah and her fam­ily lived in a for­ti­fied house at the other end of town — and thus she and the Barnards survived.

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Jonathan Wells, “Boy Hero”

Sarah Strong (1656–1733), daugh­ter of Elder John Strong (abt. 1610–1699) and Abi­gail Ford (1619–1688), mar­ried a sec­ond time after her hus­band Joseph Barnard (1650–1695) was killed by Indi­ans. She mar­ried Cap­tain Jonathan Wells/Welles who, at age 16, had become known as the “boy hero” at the fight of Turner’s Falls.

Wikipedia gives a brief account of the sit­u­a­tion:

Turner Monument

Bat­tle of Turn­ers Falls

The Bat­tle of Turner’s Falls, also known as the Peskeomp­s­cut mas­sacre, was fought on May 19, 1676, dur­ing King Philip’s War, in present-day Gill, Mass­a­chu­setts, near a falls on the Con­necti­cut River. The site is across the river from the vil­lage of Turn­ers Falls. A band of Eng­lish colonists under the com­mand of Cap­tain William Turner fell upon the poorly guarded Indian vil­lage of Peskeomp­s­cut near the falls at dawn, slaugh­ter­ing many of its inhab­i­tants. Many of the war­riors in the camp escaped, and they regrouped with those from other nearby camps to dis­pute the Eng­lish retreat, dur­ing which Turner was killed.


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Account Book of Joseph Barnard

Sarah Strong (1656–1733), daugh­ter of Elder John Strong (abt. 1610–1699) and Abi­gail Ford (1619–1688) mar­ried Joseph Barnard (1650–1695). Joseph Barnard was the first Town Clerk of Deer­field, Massachusetts.

The Pocum­tuck Val­ley Memo­r­ial Asso­ca­tion, Deer­field, MA, host a num­ber of arti­facts online. They write:

Account Book of Joseph Barnard

Account Book of Joseph Barnard

Like many peo­ple in New Eng­land, Joseph Barnard (1641–1695) of Deer­field, Mass­a­chu­setts, kept an account book. In its pages Barnard recorded the goods, labor, and ser­vices he exchanged with his trad­ing part­ners. Joseph served as Deerfield’s first town clerk and was con­sid­ered a “pru­dent man.” Barnard’s account entries ended abruptly in 1695. He died after being wounded in an Indian ambush. Barnard and four other armed men were attacked on August 21 as they rode with sacks of grain to grind at a mill about three miles away. In his writ­ten report of the inci­dent to the Gov­er­nor, John Pyn­chon of Mass­a­chu­setts called Barnard’s death “a Hum­bling prov­i­dence, he being a very use­ful & help­ful man in ye place so much under dis­cour­age­ment, & will ye more find & feel ye want of him.”

Click the links below to see these inter­est­ing artifacts:

I’m sure you’ll enjoy brows­ing through more of the dig­i­tal library. Watch for the “See Also” links on the right side of each page.

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.

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Wounded by ye Enimie

Joseph Barnard family records 1695

Joseph Barnard fam­ily records 1695

“Joseph Barnard head of this fam­ily was wounded by ye Enimie August 15th 1695 and Dyed Sep­tem­ber ye 6th in ye same year.” (Joseph was my 8th great grand­fa­ther.) Click on the image to see it full size.

This is a 19th cen­tury copy from the “Old Book” of town records. It looks like the “Old Book” had a page for each fam­ily, prob­a­bly in chrono­log­i­cal order as each fam­ily unit was estab­lished. Joseph was the first Deer­field (Mass­a­chu­setts) town clerk, which might explain why his family’s record is at the front of the “Old Book,” on Page 2.

The left col­umn reads “Births in Joseph BarnardS Fam­ily”. The right col­umn reads “Buri­alS in Joseph BarnardS Family.”

The hand­writ­ing is dis­tinc­tive to the mod­ern eye, and of course dif­fi­cult to read. Notice the “s” at the end of the word (such as BarnardS or Buri­alS) is large. Weird. “The” is writ­ten as “ye” — the “th” of “the” was a sin­gle let­ter of the alpha­bet when the orig­i­nal record was writ­ten in the 17th cen­tury which looked some­thing like a “Y,” but by time this copy was made, it was writ­ten as “ye.” Writ­ing “the” instead of “ye” would have been the bet­ter trans­la­tion, but of course the copy­ist was copy­ing not translating.

One rea­son this record is inter­est­ing to me, is that it seems to be miss­ing at least one known child of Joseph and Sarah Barnard — and the orig­i­nal page would have been writ­ten by Joseph him­self. He was town clerk up to the day he was fatally wounded in ambush.

Han­nah is miss­ing from the list, who is buried at Deer­field. As is Thank­ful, how­ever, the note to the right of Abigail’s name looks like it might be refer­ring to Thank­ful. Ebenezer was born six months after his father’s death. I could be in error about Han­nah, or, the town record could be incomplete.

Note that Thomas was born in 1683/2. That’s show­ing the con­ver­sion to Gre­go­rian cal­en­dar notation.