A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for William Phineas BARNUM

His birth name was Phineas Thomas Barnum, but as early as the 1850 census, when he was just 4 years old, he was enumerated as Phineas T. Barnum. Later in life, he adopted the given name William.

Phineas served during the Civil War with Company "A", 11th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Drury's Bluff, Virginia on May 16, 1864. He enlisted as Phineas Thomas Barnum and received a pension as an Army Invalid for a wound of the right arm.

The weighmaster William P. Barnum who is buried in Graceland Cemetery was born Phineas Thomas Barnum, but he apparently did not like that name, since for most of his life he used the name William Phineas Barnum. Throughout his Civil War service he used the name Phineas Barnum. He married 1st Mary Catherine Bray and when she passed away he gave up his three sons and moved from Connecticut to Greenwood Island, New York, where he married his 2nd wife, Emma P. Gibbs. It's not certain what happened to Emma but he then moved to Albany, New York, where he married his 3rd wife, Louisa Watts, who survived him.
William P. Barnum. Birth: unknown; Death: 1922; Note: He had been a weighmaster of the local public market. Aged 76 years; Burial: Graceland Cemetery, Albany, Albany County, New York, USA.


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