Nelson Barnes in Elmira?

Is he my Nelson Barnes?

Roberts Research
Roberts-Barnes Line
In the News
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“In the News” is my reporting of discovered newspaper articles and advertising regarding ancestors I am researching. NYS Historic Newspapers is one of my favorite websites. I am trying to see if my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran, Donna Darling, Donna Clark, & Donna Kees), has a new article posted from her time in New York. I also like to occasionally find out if another ancestor of mine might be in the NYS Historic Newspapers. Today, I took a look for Nelson Barnes, my 2nd great-grandfather.

Nelson was born in 1816 in Broome County, New York. He married Mercy Elizabeth Taft on 31 October 1939 in New York. He and Mercy moved to Sullivan County, Indiana, before 1842. So my search criteria were Nelson Barnes (words within five words of each other), after 1815, and before 1843.

My Search of NYS Historic newspapers found 18 results. Fourteen of them were false hits, but four were of interest. They related to two instances of letters remaining in the post office.

The first was on 14 October 1823. My Nelson was only about seven years old in 1823. It is unlikely he was in Monroe County. The second instance was a Nelson Barnes, whose mail was at Elmira, NY. My Nelson was 22 when the mail went undelivered. He married shortly after that, so the idea that Nelson was in or near Elmira is possible.

The information found in newspapers often raises questions and more areas for research areas, and this is no exception. Indeed, I’ve known there were other Nelson Barneses, one in Steuben County, NY, and another in Delaware County. Does this mean there was another Nelson Barnes in Tioga County, or did my Nelson live there for a while? I still haven’t found Nelson in the 1840 Census. Finding him possibly in Tioga County could lead to greater understanding of his migration to Indiana.

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