ThruLines – Part 7 – Nimrod Lister

ThruLines Thursday

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

In Part 7 of my ThruLinestm analysis, I’m looking closely at matches with my 2nd great-grandparents, Nimrod Lister and Malinda Evans. To the best of my knowledge, Nimrod and Malinda had 9 children together.  ThruLinestm indicated that descendants of two of Nimrod and Malinda’s children have tested with Ancestry DNA and have trees on Ancestry. First Marada Alice Lister, my great-grandmother. I looked at those descendants in my initial ThruLinestm posting. The other child with descendants in ThruLines is William L. Lister and there are six DNA Matches among those individuals.

My records indicated that William Lemuel and Laura May (Robertson) Lister had 12 children. I know that two of the twelve died very young. I have names for the other 10 and birth and death years for four of them. Three of those 10 appear to have descendants in ThruLines.

Jesse Carl Lister (1897-1959) – The oldest child. I know nothing of his wife or children.  ThruLinestm indicates there four DNA matches, all through his daughter Martha Sue Lister (1927-1982).  Three of them would be third cousins and one a third cousin, once removed.  According to DNAPainter, I should expect a third cousin to share between 0 and 217cM of DNA with an average of 74.

?G, JG, KG, share 23, 15, & 17cM respectively and the 3C1R shares 35cM with me, so the DNA Shared is within the expected range. Information regarding Martha Sue Lister is well documented and well sources, so I accept “?G’s” entries for her mother, aunts, uncles, and siblings and have incorporated them into my tree for 8 new cousins added.

Alta Juanita Lister (1910-1959) – The seventh child of William and Laura Lister. ThruLines indicates there is one DNA match via Alta. “EP” would be another 3rd cousin and shares 70cM of DNA with me—a bit more than the expected amount.

My records indicated that Alta was born c. 1910, married an “unknown” Perry and died c. 1959.

Cousin EP’s agrees with my data regarding Alta and provides exact dates of birth, marriage, and death. It is documented with 11 sources, so I feel comfortable accepting EP’s info regarding his parents and grandmother, Alta. So, I was able to add 7 more cousins (primarily aunts, uncles, and siblings of EP) to my tree thanks to my DNA Match with EP and ThruLines.

Mary Gertrude Lister (____ – ____ )—the third child of William & Laura Lister. I did not have her birthdate but I did believe her husband’s surname was Maier.  Ancestry is indicating that CK and I are 3rd cousins 2x removed, sharing45 cM of DNA across 3 segments. That is slightly above the average of 35 cM expected and well within the range of 0-116 that is expected.

CK does not have a viable tree to evaluate. The pedigree suggested by Ancestry indicates that Mary Gertrude Lister married four times, Ralph Dewey Miller, Rexford Vance, Valentine E. Maier, and “Trego.” Because of a lack of documentation linking CK and Mary Gertrude Lister, I am uncomfortable accepting the Ancestry proposed relationship. As such, I will contact CK and see if he has a tree someplace else.


It was a good morning. I was able to add 15 new cousins to my three that I feel comfortable are related.

If you are a descendant of Nimrod and Malinda (Evans) Lister. please consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too. I’d love to learn how we are related.

All of my ThruLinestm posts are listed under my ThruLines Thursday category.


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My Farmers in Sullivan County, Indiana

One of my favorite blogs is Genealogy à la carte. One of their regular features is “This week’s Crème de la Crème.” In it, Gail Dever provides a listing of what she thinks are the best genealogical blogs and articles of the past week. It focuses on Canadian genealogy and, although I have no known Canadians among my ancestors, I invariably find something that is of interest to me. This week’s edition included a notice of Miriam Robbins blog posting “New Page: Farm and Farmers Directories.”

I perused the entries in the blog post and saw that a new directory for Sullivan County, Indiana was listed. That link brought me to “Art Souvenir of Leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana” published by the Sullivan Times Co in 1896. I have ancestors who lived in Sullivan County, so I wondered if I could find any of my ancestors listed.

Map of Indiana showing location of Sullivan County
Sullivan County, Indiana

Using Family Tree Maker 2017, (My preferred genealogy software.) I went to the places tab and selected Sullivan County, Indiana, USA and discovered I have 88 individuals associated with Sullivan County. I started entering surnames in the search function and found six individuals that were ancestors of mine and were in the directory.

The following are entries I discovered. Facts new to me are Green bolded.

Beard, J. N. born in Crawford County, Ills., 1859. Came to Sullivan county 1894. Farming 120 acres, situated 7½ miles northwest of Sullivan, Turman township. Owner, A. Hopewell.
[A. Hopewell rented 120 acres to J. N. Beard.]

Hopewell, A., born in Sullivan County, 1847. Owns 336 acres, situated in Turman Tp, 6 Miles N.W. of Sullivan. Mr. Hopewell served the last six months in the Civil war, 53rd Ind. Vol Inf.

Nash, S. W., Assessor of Truman Tp., born in Sullivan county, 1853. Farming 40 acres situated 7 miles northwest of Graysville. Owners, Barnes Heirs. P.O. Hutsonville, Ills. There are several Barnes families that could have owned this property. [I would need to do a title/deed search to determine for certain.]

Taft, Alonzo, born in Sullivan County, 1870. Farming 65 acres, situated 2 miles southwest of Sullivan. P.O. Same.

Taft, William., Born in N.Y., 1842. Came to Sullivan county, 1849. Owns 20 acres, situated in Curry tp., ¾ mile east of Shelburn.

Thompson, Albert, born in Sullivan county, 1823. Owns 260 acres situated in Fairbanks Tp., 12 miles northwest of Sullivan. P.O. Fairbanks.

None of these individuals were direct ancestors, but several were uncles and aunts.

Future research:

Worth further investigation is the “Barnes Heirs” owning 40 acres. My 2nd great-grandfather, Nelson Barnes, died in 1884. Could this 40 acres be remnants of his estate? If so, why hadn’t the estate been settled in the ensuing 12 years? If not, whose estate was it that was owned by the “Barnes heirs.”


  • Art souvenir of leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana – 1896 : Sullivan Times Co. Cn : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. Accessed July 28 2019.








ThruLines – Part 6 – Nelson & Mercy Eliza (Taft) Barnes

ThruLines Thursday
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In Part 6 of my ThruLinestm  analysis, I’m looking at matches with my 2nd great-grandparents, Nelson Barnes and Mercy Eliza Taft. They are on my Roberts line.

Mercy and Nelson had 9 children together. Three of those 9 children have descendants who have tested with AncestryDNA and have trees on which suggest a Thruline. I have looked at the matches with my great-grandfather, Joel Clinton Barnes previously.  (See: Ancestry’s ThruLines dated 10 March 2019.)

The other two children of Mercy and Nelson that have descendants that match are 2nd-great-aunts Tryphenia Ann Barnes and Ploutina Mariah Barnes. There are 12 descendants of Tryphenia who have tested. Two of them through Susan Catherine Burnett. I will look at those connections in this paper.

ThruLines Matches via Tryphenia Ann Barnes

DNA Relationship

My records regarding Tryphenia are consistent with ThruLines. I have the following:

  • Born: 11 Oct 1841 in New York.
  • Moved: Bef. 1850 to Sullivan County, Indiana.
  • Married: c. 1859 James E Burnett who died c. 1865.
  • Married: c. 1866 Jasper Mayfield who died c. 1891.
  • Died: 3 Nov 1915 in Sullivan County, Indiana.

The first two matches are through Susan C. Burnett. My records regarding Susan Catherine Burnett were minimal.

  • Born: c. 1860
  • Married: Unknown Padgett
  • Died: c. 1938.


“RJ” and I share 21cM of DNA across 3 segments and by our trees, we would be 3rd cousins, 2x removed. DNA Painter’s Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 indicates that 3rd cousins twice removed should share between 0 and 116cM of DNA with an average being 35cM. So, the proposed relationship fits the amount of DNA shared.

“RJ’s” tree indicates that Susan C. Barnett was:

  • Born: Abt 1860 in Fairbanks, Sullivan, Indiana.
  • Married: 13 Mar 1870 to George Washington Padgett in Sullivan County, Indiana.
  • Died: 1938 and buried at Union Chapel, Graysville, Sullivan County, Indiana.

These are all consistent with my previous findings. As such, I am accepting “RJ’s” direct ancestors from George Washington and Susan (Barnett) Padgett.

That includes:

  • Helen G Padgett and her three children with John Tucker.
  • Louis Shelby Tucker and his marriage to Pauline Jane John.


“NH” is a third cousin three times removed. He also relates via Susan C. Burnett, however, his mother and grandmother are private and his tree doesn’t connect to his great-grandmother, rather, Ancestry has identified his great-grandmother. Some time ago, I’ve concluded that I won’t accept trees with connections via external trees, as the potential for error is greater than I wish to accept. If NH continues his research in his tree and connects to Susan C. Burnett, I will reconsider his position.

Also, “NH” and I share only 6 cM of DNA on one segment. A 3C3R should share between 0 and 69cM of DNA with an average of 22, so the amount shared is within limits. However, 6cM of shared DNA is so low, I’m reluctant to accept it.

Next time.

There are still 10 more matches that are descendants of Tryphenia Ann Barnes. Eight of them are through Rose Ann Burnett. I will look at those in my next ThruLines analysis.

If you are a descendant of Tryphenia Ann Barnes (1841-1915), please consider DNA testing with AncestryDNA®  and see if we are related. If you have tested and haven’t shared your tree on Ancestry.Com, please do so.

Note: All of my ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Barnes – Surname Saturday

Surname Saturday

Barnes Name Origin & Meaning

Until we discover an immigrant Barnes ancestor, how the name was derived and its meaning is still elusive. If it is English, it probably relates to someone who lived by or worked at a barn. However, I could also come from “Barnes,” which is on the Thames in London. Likewise, it could refer to the son or the servant of a barne.

If the name derives from Old Norse or Irish the potential meanings are entirely different – ‘young warrior,’ ‘descendant of Bearán’ or possibly ‘spear.’

Once we discover the immigrant ancestor, we will have a better idea of the meaning of the surname in our case.


Map showing location of St. Barthélémy.
Map showing St. Barthélémy by I. Hanhil.

Worldwide there are approximately 414,310 people who bear the Barnes surname.

It is most prevalent in the United States where over half of the people with the Barnes surname live. In little Saint-Barthélemy,  in the Caribbean, it is the 27th most common surname with one in 189 people with the surname of Barnes.

My Earliest Barnes Ancestors

I don’t know where or when my third great-grandfather, Joel Barnes, was born. However, my second great-grandfather, Nelson Barnes, was born in 1816, in Broome, Schoharie County, New York. This is in keeping with Barnes migration patterns. In 1840, 19% of the Barnes families in the United States lived in New York. About 1845 Nelson Barnes headed west to Indiana to settle the land there. Nelson had seven children born in Indiana before his death in 1884.

My great-grandfather, Joel Clinton Barnes, had 11 children, all born in Sullivan County, Indiana. I have not traced my Barnes family to any living male Barnes, yet. That said, Joel Clinton Barnes only had one son, Raye Barnes, who lived to adulthood. So, if you know a descendant of Raye, I would love to hear from you.

Joel Clinton Barnes had three brothers that lived to adulthood:

  • Theodore E. Barnes (1847-1919)
  • Abraham Barnes (1852-1921)
  • Cyrus John Barnes (1855-1879)

Any of their male descendants would also carry Nelson Barnes’ Y-DNA.

My Direct Barnes Ancestors

5.    Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982) – Family Search
10.  Great-grandfather: Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921) – Family Search
20.  2nd Great-grandfather: Nelson Barnes (1816-1884) – Family Search
40.  3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Barnes (____-____) – Family Search[i]

Joel Barnes Descendants

My records include 30 individuals with the Barnes surname and 177 direct-line descendants of Joel Barnes (the elder).



[i] Although Family Search indicates a birthdate and birthplace for Joel Barnes (the elder), I have not confirmed that information, so I am not using it here.

Getting to Know You – Joel Clinton Barnes

By – Don Taylor

I like to get to know an ancestor, so, after I learn their vital information (birth, marriages, death) and census information for each of the censuses they were alive, I like to see if I can find any newspaper articles about the ancestor.  Census records and vital records provide the context of a person’s life, but newspaper articles give the texture to understand a person’s life.
In the case of my father’s mother’s father, great grandfather Joel Clinton Barnes, I was astounded by what I found on Newspaper Archives via my Find My Past subscription. I knew that Joel was born in Sullivan County, Indiana. He showed up in Sullivan County during every census and died in Sullivan County. So, I added a filter to give display newspapers from Sullivan, Indiana, and I sorted the records by date. There were 340 records returned. I initially thought that there had to be many false positive returns, but I later learned I was wrong. Almost every record returned related to my Joel Barnes.
1899 plat map showing the J. C. Barnes farm. From An Illustrated Standard Atlas of Sullivan County, Wilson, Fuller & Company Source: Indiana Memory Digital Collection

Sure, some of the newspaper articles returned had little meaning or value, such as, “Joel Barnes and family were in Sullivan visiting family this week.” And some were the posting of the same article, once in the Sullivan Daily Times and again in the Sullivan Democrat. But there were so many gems of information that I feel I know so much more about Joel and his family.  For example, I learned that he was born, lived his entire life, and died in the same house. The spelling of his sisters’ names, Plautine and Tryphenia were provided in a public notice by a lawyer. (Lawyers are always right in court documents, aren’t they?  In any event, the lawyers spelling will be my preferred spelling until I find another record in their own hand.) I learned that Joel was, for a while, a constable in Turman Township, which gives insight into his character.  He also ran for office as Assessor in Turman Township and served on the local petit jury, “Brother Joel” was heavily involved in his church, Methodist Episcopal, teaching Sunday school, being a leader there, and hosting prayer meetings at his home.  He hauled logs for the building of the new church, graded the lawn, and helped build the cement stairs for the front of the church.  He was also involved with the Masons and with Eastern Star.

His health came and went with bouts of “malarial fever.”
His farm was more than corn and hay. He was in the maple sap business, had sheep and sold their wool. He had chickens and sold lambs in town. He sold wood to the sawmill and had cattle
Indiana Oil and Natural Gas Source: Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources (Arrow —> Joel’s county.) KEEP
In 1913, farm life changed significantly for Joel and family when oil was discovered on his farm. His well, drilled by Ohio Oil Co., was the first in his area.
His daughter, my grandmother, Essie had a surprise fifteenth birthday party.
His son, Raye, served in World War I and wrote home.  And finally, Joel died in his own bed. He was discovered when he didn’t come downstairs for breakfast. His obituary drives home the fact that five of his ten children preceded him in death. His was a farmer’s life filled with church, community, and, most of all, family.
I have a transcript of some of these articles here.

Biography – Joel Clinton Barnes (1967-1921)

Joel Clinton Barnes
Cropped from photo
Courtesy: Ken Smith

Joel Clinton Barnes was born on 23 June 1857 in Graysville, Sullivan Co., Indiana[1]. He was the seventh of ten children, by Nelson Barnes (1816-1884), aged 41, and Mercy Eliza Taft, aka Eliza (~ 1822-1884). All ten of their children lived into the 20th century. He died on 30 June 1921 in Graysville, Sullivan Co., Indiana, aged 64[2]. He is buried at Drake Cemetery, in Fairbanks Sullivan County Indiana, at the age of 63[3].

The six older siblings include:
  • Tryphenia Ann Barnes, born in 1841.
  • Plautina Mariah Barnes, born in 1844.
  • Theodore E Barnes, born in 1847.
  • Suzie Barnes, born in 1849.
  • Abraham Barnes, born in 1852.
  • Cyrus John Barnes, born in 1854.
His two younger siblings include:
  • Lucy Minerus Barnes, born in 1860.
  • Martha Ellen Barns, born in 1863.
He married Sarah Josephine Conner, aka Josie, daughter of Soloman Conner and Harriet Crapo on 25 December 1876 in Sullivan[4]. Joel was 19 and Josie was 22. Their marriage lasted 15 years, until Sarah’s death in 1892.
The children of Joel and Sarah were:
  • Flora Barnes, born on 18 September 1878 in Sullivan township, died in 1950, aged 71. She married Harlon Riggs on 23 December 1895. She had at least two children that were twins.
  • Flava Barnes, born on 13 May 1881 in Sullivan, died on 22 July 1882, aged 14.
  • Alma Barnes, aka Anna, born on 20 October 1882 in Graysville, died in 1968, aged 85. She married Charles Sylvester Harris on 19 December 1912.
  • William Barnes, born on 12 February 1886 in Sullivan, died on 4 November 1886 in Sullivan (Indiana), aged 8.
  • Orphie Barnes, born on 26 October 1888, died on 21 July 1889, aged 8.
He next married Marada A. Lister, aka Marady, May, Morady Maranda (1867-1932), the daughter of Nimrod Lister and Malinda Evans, on 18 June 1893 in Sullivan[5]. Joel was 35 and Marada was 26. Their marriage lasted until Joel’s death 28 years later.
The children of Joel and Marada were:
  • Raye Barnes, aka Ray, born on 2 May 1895 in Graysville, died in 1956, aged 60. He married Columbia Means in 1920.
  • Ada Barnes, born on 21 March 1898 in Sullivan Township, died on 19 December 1899 in Sullivan Township, aged 21.
  • Nelson Barnes, born on 14 April 1901, died on 22 November 1902, aged seven months.
  • Essie Pansy Barnes, born on 15 March 1903 in Graysville, Truman Township, Sullivan Co., died on 20 November 1982 in Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan, aged 79. She married Bert Allen Roberts on 13 May 1922. She had five children: Pansy, Bert, Hugh, Helen, and John.
    Mabel Bessie Barnes, born on 5 April 1906 in Sullivan County, died on 26 August 1984, aged 78. She married Herbert Burton on 18 October 1928. She had one child: Billy.


In the 1860 Census, three-year-old Joel is living with his father, mother, three brothers, and two sisters. His two oldest sisters, Tryphenia and Plautina, were already gone from the family farm in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana[6]. By the 1870 Census, two more siblings, Theodore and Suzie, had moved out of the household, leaving Abraham, Cyrus, Joel, Lucy, and Martha still in the household. Fourteen Joel is both working as a farm hand and is attending school as are his older brothers[7].

The 1880 Census finds Joel and Josephine living near his father, Nelson Barnes, with their 1-year-old daughter, Flora. Joel is farming and Josephine is keeping house.[8]

In 1892 Josie died; in 1893 Joel married Marada Lister. The 1900 census finds Joel and Marady living with three of Joel’s children, Alma, John A, and Ray. Flora had married and moved out by then. Flava, William, and Orphie had all died during the 1880s.[9]

In 1910, Joel and Maraday were living with daughter Anna, Son Ray, and daughter Mabel. John A. Lister is living with them and is identified as Joel’s stepson.[10] (He was listed as Joel’s son in the 1900 census.)

In the 1920 Census the family is down to Joel, his wife Marada, and children, Raye, Essie, and Mable Bessie.[11]

The Joel Barnes Farm area from the air today Courtesy: Google Maps

Joel died at home on 30 June 1921. He was buried at Drake Cemetery, Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana with Masonic honors.





Obituary – July 6, 1921 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana, Front Page

Joel C. Barnes, 64, of Turman Twp., 
Succumbs to Attack of Heart Failure
Marker: Joel C. Barnes (1857 – 1921) with Masonic Symbol. Source: Find a Grave Memorial # 37229130
Joel C. Barnes, 64 years old, a native of the county and a life-long resident of Turman township, was found dead in his bed early Thursday morning by his family, who had called him for breakfast and receiving no response discovered his lifeless body in bed.
The funeral was held Friday afternoon at the Dodds Bridge M. E. church, of which the deceased was a member, and was conducted by Rev. L. L. Johnson, pastor of the Methodist church at Graysville, and the Masonic lodge of Fairbanks, of which the deceased was a member. The widow survives, together with one son, Ray Barnes of Sullivan, and four daughters, Mrs. Harlan Riggs of Fairbanks, Mrs. Chas. Harris of near Dodds Bridge, and misses Essie and Mabel Barnes, who live at home.
Joel C. was a son of Nelson and Mercy (Taft) Barnes who came to this county from New York state during the forties. He was born and reared in Turman township and had always followed the vocation of a farmer. In 1876 he was married to Josephine Conner who died in 1892. Five children were born to this union, two survive, Mrs. Charles Harris and Mrs. Harlan Riggs. In 1893 Mr. Barnes was married to Maranda Lester, five children being born to this union, three surviving, Ray Barnes and Misses Essie and Mabel Barnes.
Mr. Barnes was a Democrat in his political affiliation and was an active member of the Masonic lodge and the Eastern Star lodge at Fairbanks.
List of Greats
1.    Joel Clinton Barnes (1857-1921)
2.     Nelson Barns (1916-1884)


[1] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Bert Allen Roberts – Essie Pansy Barnes – Marriage License – Family Search (Other) – 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1900 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry (Digitizing) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet) – 1860 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp – Family Search (Digitizing)
[2] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Bert Allen Roberts – Essie Pansy Barnes – Marriage License – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other) – My Heritage Family Trees / Joel Clinton Barnes  – (Internet) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet)
[3] Source: Find-a-Grave / Marada A Barnes – Memorial# 37229133 (Internet)
[4] Sources: A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co. / Pages 234-236 (Other) – Find-a-Grave / Joel C. Barnes – Memorial #37229130 – Find a Grave (Internet) – Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 / Joel C. Barnes – Josie Conner – Family Search (Other)
[5] Note: Married 16 years in 1910 Census.  Marriage #1 for Marada, Marriage #2 for Joel. The Indiana Marriage Index Bonds indicates 17 June 1883.
[6] Source: 1860 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp – Family Search (Digitizing)
[7] Source: 1870 Census / Nelson Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman Twp, Page 27, Lines 25-31 – Family Search (Digitizing)
[8] Source: 1880 Census / Joel Barnes – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 320, Page 1, Lines 21-23 – Family Search,
[9] Source: 1900 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes –
[10] Source: 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes;
[11] Source: 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Joel C. Barnes;