Barber – Surname Lost?


Surname Saturday

Name Origin:

A barber cutting hair - Source: Pixabay Barber is an occupational name for a barber. Barbers of old not only cut hair and shaved beards, but also practiced surgery and pulled teeth.[i]

Today (2014 data), there are 86,641 people with the Barber surname in the United States, the most of any nation. In terms of rank within a nation, there are proportionally more people with the Barber surname in England, Wales, and Australia.[ii]

My Earliest Ancestor:

My earliest known Barber ancestor is my 2nd great grandfather, Franklin E Barber. Frank, as he was known, was born December, 1836 in Ohio.[iii]

In most of the census records Frank’s occupation was a painter. According to Ancestry.Com there were 147 Barber families enumerated in the 1840 Census. From the 1880 Census, we know his father was born in New York and his mother was born in Vermont.

I know nothing of his early life and only recently found him as Elisha F Barber in the 1870 Census living Trumbull county, Ohio. I need to confirm this finding though, because it appears that he and Sarah Blackhurst married in Albion, Michigan in 1869 and located in Ohio immediately after the marriage. Then they apparently moved back to Albion to be there during the 1880 Census.

Franklin and Sarah had two daughters, Ida Mae and Eva Louisa. With them the Barber name was lost from Frank’s descendants.

I still have not determined who Frank’s parents were. With only 147 Barber families in Ohio in 1840, I believe it may be possible to determine his family in Ohio. If I can, it may be that he will have siblings that carried the Barber name on.

Frank died on April 7, 1917 at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home. His is buried at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home Cemetery at plot 7, row 10, grave 13.

My Direct Barber Ancestors

#30 – Franklin Elisha Barber (1836-1917) – 2nd Great Grandfather.
#15 – Ida Mae Barber (1875-1953) – Great grandmother.
# 7 – Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976) – Grandmother.
# 3 – My mother.
# 1 – Me.

My known relatives.

My records have 31 direct-line descendants identified over eight generations, which is less than 1% of my known Brown/Montran family tree. 


[i] Ancestry.Com – Barber Family History –
[ii] Forebears – Surname Meaning & Statistics, Internet website – | accessed 3 Apr 2016.
[iii] 1900 Census – Frank Barber – Inmate, Soldier’s Home, ED 148, Sheet 4A.
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