A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Albert Preston BARNUM


Albert Preston Barnum was born in Ohio in 1843 and lived in that state until at least 1861, when he enlisted in the 3rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the start of the Civil War. At the end of the war he moved west. He was apparently in Missouri by 1869 or earlier and by 1870 he was settled in the New Mexico Territory, where he lived until his death in 1905.

Family tradition suggests that Albert fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side, was captured by the Yankees and was somehow later released. The available records do not support that version. As is usually the case, however, there is a grain of truth in the oral tradition. Albert did become a paroled prisoner of war. However, he was fighting on the Union side and was captured and paroled by the Confederates.

On 25 Apr 1861, at the age of 18, Albert P. Barnum enlisted as a Private in Company "I", 3rd Regiment Ohio Infantry (3 months' service). He mustered in on 30 Apr 1861 and mustered out of that unit on 22 Aug 1861. He immediately enlisted as a Private in Company "E", 34th Regiment Ohio Infantry. He was detached from that second unit on 1 Jul 1862 and immediately attached to the 23rd Regiment Ohio Light Artillery. He became a Prisoner of War (POW) on 12 Sep 1862 near Fredericksburg, Maryland and was paroled on that date.

Paroles were common in the early days of the war, particularly where no military prison was readily available. The terms of a parole called for prisoners to give their word of honor not to take up arms against their captors until they were formally exchanged for an enemy captive of equal rank. Parole was supposed to take place within 10 days of capture. Generally it was granted within a few days, especially after a major battle where thousands of troops were involved. Sometimes parolees went home to await notice of their exchange; sometimes they waited near their commands until the paperwork was processed.

The units in which Albert served are the same units in which his older brother, Samuel A. Barnum, enlisted and served.

Brief Regimental History of the Third Regiment Ohio Infantry (Three Months' Service): Colonel, Isaac H. Marrow; Lieutenant-Colonel, John Beatty; Major, J. Warren Keifer. This regiment was organized at Camp Jackson, near Columbus, Ohio on 21 Apr 1861 in response to the call of the President for volunteers to serve for three months. It was mustered into service 27 Apr 1861. On 28 April a part of the regiment was sent to Camp Dennison to prepare a suitable camping place for the regiment, where it was joined by the remainder two days later, and throughout the month of May was subjected to thorough discipline and drill. Before orders for the field were received volunteers for three years were called for and the regiment was re-enlisted with alacrity, so that on 12 Jun 1861, it was reorganized and on 20 June was mustered into service for three years. Those of the three months organization who did not enlist for three years were mustered out on 22 Aug 1861. Apparently Albert was one of those who chose not to reenlist at the end of his three months' service. Instead, he enlisted in a different unit, the 34th Regiment Ohio Infantry.

Brief Regimental History of the 34th Regiment Ohio Infantry: Colonels, A. Sanders Piatt, John T. Toland, Freeman E. Franklin; Lieutenant-Colonels, John W. Shaw, Luther Furney; Majors, Thomas W. Rathbone, Alfred Butters. This regiment was organized at Camps Lucas and Dennison, Ohio from 27 Jul to 14 Sep 1861, to serve for three years. It left Camp Dennison on 15 Sep for western Virginia with full ranks and arrived at Camp Enyart, West Virginia, on the Kanawha River, on the 20th. During the autumn and winter it was engaged in the arduous duty of guarding the rear of General Rosecrans' army, and the counties of Cabell, Putnam, Mason, Wayne and Logan were kept pretty free from guerrillas by its continual scouting. It participated in the battle of Princeton, West Virginia on 1 May 1862, losing several men. Early in July, prior to the unit's seeing further action, Albert P. Barnum transferred to the 23rd Independent Battery Ohio Light Artillery.

Brief Regimental History of the 23rd Independent Battery Ohio Light Artillery: Major, S. Burbank, 1st U. S. Infantry; Captains, Seth J. Simmonds, Daniel W. Glassie; First Lieutenants, Leonard Magness, Arthur Erenburgh, James W. Conine, Robert C. Steen, George Hattersley, James M. Kerr; Second Lieutenants, Hamilton B. White, Robert Johnston, Frederick A. Dame. This battery was originally organized on 10 May 1861, at Camp Clay, Pendleton, Ohio, to serve for three months, but was reorganized and mustered into service 3 Jun 1861, at Camp Clay to serve for three years. and detached as artillery 31 Oct 1861, by the Secretary of War at the instance of General Rosecrans, then commanding in western Virginia. This unit, known also as the 1st Independent Kentucky, or Simmonds' Battery, was assigned to the Department of West Virginia and participated in all the engagements in that department. The unit was in action at Carnifex Ferry, West Virginia, 10 Sep 1861. It moved to Camp Anderson and Big Sewell Mountain 15-23 Sep, thence to Camp Anderson 6-9 Oct. Involved in operations in the Kanawha Valley and New River Region October 19-November 16. Moved to Gauley and was on duty there until May 1862. Advanced on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad 22 Apr-1 May. At Princeton 11, 16 and 17 May. At Flat Top Mountain until August. Moved to Washington, D.C., 15-24 Aug. Involved in the Maryland Campaign 6-22 Sep. On 12 Sep 1862, during the Maryland Campaign, Albert was taken prisoner and paroled.

It is assumed that he returned to the 23rd shortly after his parole and continued as a member until mustering out at the end of the War. That cannot be determined conclusively, however.

The 23rd fought at the battle of Antietam on 17 Sep 1862, five days after Albert's parole. It later fought in major battles on 22 Sep 1862; 8 Apr 1864; 9 May 1864 at Cloyd's Mountain, Virginia and 10 May 1864 at New River Bridge, Virginia. The unit was finally mustered out on 10 Jul 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, in accordance with orders from the War Department.

In the 1870 US Census for Ocate, Mora County, New Mexico Territory, the family of Albert P. Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Household #4; Family #4
Barnum, Albert; 27; M; W; Farmer; b. Ohio; Male citizen of the US 21 years of age and upwards
Tafoya, Ramona; 19; F; W; Keeping House; b. New Mexico; Cannot read or write
Barnum, Albert; 1; M; W; b. Missouri

The listing of Ramona/Romana under her maiden name in the 1870 Census seems unusual. Note, also, that son Albert is shown as having been born in Missouri about 1869, although the Registro de Familia in the family bible lists his birth on 22 Dec 1868 in Golondrinas, New Mexico. Interestingly, the Registro de Familia also shows another child, Samuel Henry Barnum, as being born in Greenfield, Missouri in 1877.

In the 1880 US Census for District 23, Mora County, New Mexico Territory, the A. P. Barnum family was enumerated as follows:
Household #460; Family #538
Barnum, Rafael; W; M; 47; Married; At home; b. Ohio; Both parents b. Ohio
Barnum, Ramona; W; F; 40; Wife; Married; Keeping House; Unable to read or write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico
Barnum, Albert; W; M; 12; Son; Single; At home; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico
Barnum, Laurence; W; M; 11; Son; Single; At home; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico [Could this be an error? Parts of this entry fit with Laura, who is not otherwise shown in the 1880 Census]
Barnum, Sara; W; F; 8; Daughter; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico
Barnum, Samuel; W; M; 4; Son; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico
Barnum, Henry; W; M; 11/12; Son; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico

On 29 Jul 1890, Albert P. Barnum filed Civil War Pension Application No. 814.121, in the State of New Mexico, stating that he had served as a Private in Company "I", 3rd Regiment, Ohio Infantry.

In the 1900 US Census for District 23, Mora County, New Mexico Territory, the A. P. Barnum family was enumerated as follows:
Household #460; Family #538
Barnum, Albert; Head; W; M; b. Mar.1835; 65; Married 37 years; b. New York, Father b. New Hampshire; Mother b. Vermont; Farmer; Employed full year; Can read, write and speak English; Owns farm home free of mortgage; Farm Schedule 39
Barnum, Mary; Wife; W; F; b. Feb.1851; 49; Married 37 years; Mother of 14 children; 10 children living; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Can read, write and speak English
Barnum, Charley; Son; W; M; b. Feb.1886; 14; Single; b. New Mexico; Father b. New York; Mother b. New Mexico; Farm laborer; Can read, write and speak English
Barnum, Mary; Daughter; W; F; b. May 1891; 9; Single; b. New Mexico; Father b. New York; Mother b. New Mexico; Can read, write and speak English
Barnum, Francis; Daughter; W; F; b. Apr.1893; 7; Single; b. New Mexico; Father b. New York; Mother b. New Mexico
[Note: There are a number of unusual aspects to this 1900 census enumeration, suggesting that the information may have been provided by someone not familiar with the exact details. For example: Albert was born in 1843 in Ohio, not 1835 in New York; His father was born in Vermont and his mother in Maine, not New Hampshire and Vermont, respectively, as enumerated; Albert's wife was named Ramona, not Mary; son Charley was born in 1885, not 1886; daughter Mary was born in December 1890, not May 1891; and daughter Francis (should be Frances) was born in July 1893, not in April of that year].

At one time, Albert was known as the "raggedy doctor of Fort Union" in the territory of New Mexico. Supposedly, medical tools once used by him are now on display at the museum at Fort Union, New Mexico. Family history says only that he was a doctor and that he never spoke of his past.

This Barnum line has an interesting history. They married into Hispanic families in New Mexico, along the corridor of Las Vegas, Ocate, La Mesa, Española, etc. That part of the country is rich in Southwest history. The Spaniards that settled there also intermarried with the Pueblo Indians and other tribes indigenous to the area. That may suggest another reason for Albert's short stay in Missouri. In existing photographs Albert's wife, Ramona, looks very much like an Indian and may have been part Indian, part Spanish.

Two of Albert's daughters were midwives and had clinics in New Mexico. They were apparently very independent women. He had ten living children; five boys and five girls. The family is large and widespread. Albert's son, John F. Barnum, had thirteen children, all but one of whom survived to adulthood and had children of their own. It is interesting to note that many of the same given names appear in the Barnum line. Common male names are Samuel, Thomas, John Francis, Charles and Daniel. Those among the females are Laura, Sarah, Emma, Mary and Frances.

Albert P. Barnum may have been trying to hide his past, since he said nothing of his past life and his ancestry has been a 140-year-old mystery until recently. Living family members can remember his relatives coming to visit once. They were said to be "white" (meaning Anglo). Some remember that they were from Kansas, but others said Oklahoma. Both may be correct. While some existing photos of unidentified relatives have printing on the back saying that they were taken in Oklahoma, Albert's older brother Samuel lived most of his life in Kansas.

There is an interesting article titled "Why the Rebels Wore Ragged Clothes", which was published in the Confederate Veteran, as follows: "The legislators of Indiana and Governor Morton, with their wives and daughters, went on a visit of inspection to the prisoners in Camp Morton in 1864. The Confederates were called out for dress parade and were made to look as well as possible. This distinguished body rode in fine carriages. One lady had her carriage stopped about ten feet from the line. Opening the side door of the carriage and pushing her head out, she asked, 'Why do you Rebel soldiers dress so poorly?' Crockett Hudson of Eagleville, Tennessee, replied, 'Gentlemen of the South have two suits – one that they wear among nice people and one that they wear when killing hogs, and that is the one in which we are dressed to-day.' She ordered the carriage to move on."
At the time of his death, Albert P. Barnum owned two Town Lots in East Raton and a few animals, wagons etc. The lots were sold to Bersabe (Fernández) Barnum, who was married to John F. Barnum. The Probate for the estate of Albert P. Barnum, dated 10 Oct 1905, lists the following children: Albert Barnum, age 40, Raton, NM; Laura Casados, age 38, Mora, NM; Sarah Burch, age 36, Taos, NM; Samuel Barnum, age 29, address unknown; John Barnum, age 27, Raton, NM; Emma Barnum, age 25, Halls Peak, NM; Daniel Barnum, age 24, Raton, NM; Charles Barnum, age 21, Raton, NM; Mary Barnum, age 14, Raton, NM and Francis Barnum, age 12, Raton, NM. Albert's wife is not listed among the heirs, having predeceased him by several months.
His gravestone inscription gives his birth year as 1835, which does not agree with another source stating that he was born in 1843.
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