Joel Barnes & the 1840 Census

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I know very little about my 3rd great-grandfather, Joel Barnes. He may have been born 1bout 1790 in Broome County, New York. He married Lucy Wilson Taft and they had at least one child, Nelson, born in 1816. I have no idea about any other children nor any death information. I was unsuccessful in finding Joel in the 1850 Census records so I thought I would look for him in the 1840 Census.

Expectation & Findings:

In 1840, I would expect Joel to be about 50 years old (born 1780-1790). A search for Joel Barnes in the 1840 Census yielded 8 results:

  • Joel Barnes, Jr., Age: 20-30 – Living in Orwell Township, Bradford, Pennsylvania. Too young.
  • Joel Barnes, Age 60-70 – Living in Orwell Township, Bradford, Pennsylvania. (1770-1780)
  • Joel Barnes, Age either 80-79 or 30-40 living in Mansfield, Cattaraugus, New York. One seems too old and the other too young. But it is still possible. However, there are also two females in the household, one 20 to 30 and another one 70 to 80. This feels like it could represent Joel Barnes, his wife, his son Nelson along with Nelson’s wife and others.
  • Joel Barnes, Age 20 to 30, living in Giles, Tennessee. (Too young).
  • Joel Barnes, Age 20 to 30, Living in Marion County, South Carolina. (Too Young)
  • Joel Barnes, Age 20 to 30, Living in Madison County, Kentucky. (Too young)
  • Joel Barnes, Age 50 to 60, Living in Thompson, Windham County, Connecticut.

1840 Census – New York, Cattaragus County, Mansfield – Page 66 – 16th from top – Joel Barnes

2 1 – – – 1 – – – 1  |  – – – – 1 – – – 1

Ages Males Females Comments/Notes
< 5 2 Unknown (Grand) Children?
5-10 1 Unknown (Grand) Children?
20-30 1 Could possibly be Mercy Elisa Taft
30-40 1 Could possibly be Nelson Barnes
60-70 1 Could be Lucy Wilson Taft
70-80 1 Could be Joel Barnes.

There was no Joel Barnes in the 1850 Census in Cattaraugus County, However, there are 52  other Barnes individuals living in Cattaraugus County during the 1850 Census.  I’m not comfortable ascribing this Joel Barnes as my Joel Barnes, the father of Nelson Barnes.

Future Action

I don’t think the various Census records will help me discover more about Nelson Barnes’ father, Joel Barnes. Maybe property or probate records will shed light upon this family line.

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