A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for John Francis BARNUM


His name is listed in the family bible as Jhon. Barnum; could be either an abbreviation for Jonathan or just a misspelling.

As Season 3 of "Genealogy Roadshow" commenced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we met a native from the area with relations linked to the Wild West. Cue images of men on horseback, cowboy boots and saloon brawls. Hoping to confirm a family tale passed down through her parents, Gerri Rodriguez’s story had us on edge when she discovered that her grandfather was involved in a fatal shootout in the early 1900s. Spoiler Alert: Billy the Kid wasn’t there.
The incident occurred between John F. Barnum, a city marshall of East Raton, and brothers-in-crime Napoleon and Steve Cantou. With a gunshot to the chest, the violent altercation ultimately resulted in the death of Napoleon and led to a trial and guilty verdict for Barnum, despite his notable reputation in the community.
 “I was inside the house when he shot me,” Napoleon wrote in a statement before his death. “I gave John Barnum no occasion to shoot me. I had no gun either in my hands or about my person.”
A convicted forger and notorious “bad guy,” it was Napoleon’s word against Barnum’s claiming that Barnum was the one at fault. Shockingly, the jury took Napoleon’s side — even though he had once threatened the life of a local sheriff — and Barnum was imprisoned for what he had alleged was an act of self-defense. It only took two hours of deliberation before the jury came back with their verdict and Barnum was put behind bars.
Fortunately however, it wasn’t long before the tables turned and the community of Raton came together to support one of their own. Petitioning the governor of the Territory of New Mexico, Barnum was both freed and pardoned.

In the 1910 US Census for District 35, Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico Territory, the family of John F. Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Dwelling #146; Family #159
Barnum, Joe; Head; M; MU (Mulatto); 29; 1st Marriage; Married 10 years; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Cannot speak English - Speaks Spanish; Farmer; Farm; Works for own account; Employed full year; Cannot read or write; Owns farm home free of mortgage
Barnum, Bersaville; Wife; F; MU (Mulatto); 25; 1st Marriage; Married 10 years; Mother of 5 children; 5 children living; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Cannot speak English - Speaks Spanish; No occupation; Cannot read or write
Barnum, Mayora; Daughter; F; MU (Mulatto); 8; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation; Cannot read or write; Did not attend school during the census year
Barnum, Zella; Daughter; F; MU (Mulatto); 6; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation; Cannot read or write; Did not attend school during the census year
Barnum, Bertha; Daughter; F; MU (Mulatto); 4; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation; Cannot read or write; Did not attend school during the census year
Barnum, Laura; Daughter; F; MU (Mulatto); 2; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation; Cannot read or write; Did not attend school during the census year
Barnum, Lydia; Daughter; F; MU (Mulatto); 9/12; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation; Cannot read or write; Did not attend school during the census year

In the 1920 US Census for District 21, Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico, the family of John F. Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Dwelling #1; Family #1
Barnum, John; Head; Owns farm home with mortgage; M; W; 41; Married; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Farmer; General farm; Employer; Farm Schedule #1
Barnum, Bersabe; Wife; F; W; 36; Married; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Martha; Daughter; F; W; 17; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Zilla; Daughter; F; W; 15; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Bertha; Daughter; F; W; 13; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Flora; Daughter; F; W; 12; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, May; Daughter; F; W; 10; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Albert; Son; M; W; 8; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Sam; Son; M; W; 6; Single; Attended school during the census year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Levi; Son; M; W; 3; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Ella; Daughter; F; W; 1; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
[Note: the census form originally showed the race for Bersabe and all her children as MU (Mulatto); later changed to W (White). The mother tongue for John was originally shown as English and that of Bersabe and all her children as Spanish; later all those entries were crossed out].

In the 1930 US Census for District 13, Precinct 6, Colfax County, New Mexico, the family of John F. Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Dwelling #5; Family #5 (South of Raton)
Barnum, John F.; Head; Owns farm home valued at $300; M; W; 49; Married; 21 when first married; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; Farmer; General farming; Works for own account; At work previous workday; Non-veteran Farm Schedule 3
Barnum, Bersabe F.; Wife; F.; W; 44; Married; 16 when first married; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, May L.; Daughter; F.; W; 20; Single; Attended school within the year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Albert J.; Son; M; W; 18; Single; Attended school within the year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Sam B.; Son; M; W; 16; Single; Attended school within the year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Levi W.; Son; M; W; 14; Single; Attended school within the year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Ella E.; Daughter; F; W; 11; Single; Attended school within the year; Can read and write; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; Speaks English; No occupation
Barnum, Bert; Son; M; W; 9; Single; Attended school within the year; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation
Barnum, Viola B.; Daughter; F; W; 8; Single; Attended school within the year; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation
Barnum, Edna; Daughter; F; W; 7; Single; Attended school within the year; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation
Barnum, Audrey; Daughter; F; W; 1-2/12; Single; b. New Mexico; Both parents b. New Mexico; No occupation

As Season 3 of Genealogy Roadshow commenced in Albuquerque, New Mexico this Tuesday (May 18, 2016), we met a native from the area with
relations linked to the Wild West. Cue images of men on horseback, cowboy boots and saloon brawls. Hoping to confirm a family
tale passed down through her parents, Gerri Rodriguez’s story had us on edge when she discovered that her grandfather was
involved in a fatal shootout in the early 1900s. Spoiler Alert: Billy the Kid wasn’t there.
The incident occurred between John F. Barnum, a city marshall of East Raton, and brothers-in-crime Napoleon and Steve Cantou.
With a gunshot to the chest, the violent altercation ultimately resulted in the death of Napoleon and led to a trial and guilty verdict
for Barnum, despite his notable reputation in the community.
“I was inside the house when he shot me,” Napoleon wrote in a statement before his death. “I gave John Barnum no occasion to
shoot me. I had no gun either in my hands or about my person.”
A convicted forger and notorious “bad guy,” it was Napoleon’s word against Barnum’s claiming that Barnum was the one at fault.
Shockingly, the jury took Napoleon’s side — even though he had once threatened the life of a local sheriff—and Barnum was
imprisoned for what he had alleged was an act of self-defense. It only took two hours of deliberation before the jury came back
with their verdict and Barnum was put behind bars.
Fortunately however, it wasn’t long before the tables turned and the community of Raton came together to support one of their
own. Petitioning the governor of the Territory of New Mexico, Barnum was both freed and pardoned.
From the obituary of John F. Barnum:
John Frank Barnum was born July 26 1879, in San Miguel County, near Las Vegas, New Mex. While he was still small the family moved to ite, New Mex., where Mr. Barnum lived until 1902.
At the time of John Barnum's death, he owned a small ranch east of Raton containing a family cemetery. John's son, Albert John Barnum, Sr., later purchased the ranch from his mother, Bersabe Barnum. Upon his death, ownership was transferred to his wife, Florence (Bernal) Barnum of Grants, New Mexico.

Probate for John Barnum, dated April 28, 1950, lists: Bersabe F. Barnum, widow, Raton, NM; Zella B. Fernández, daughter, Watrous, NM; Flora B. Durán, daughter, Albuquerque, NM; Mae B. Novak, daughter, Raton, NM; Albert Barnum, son, Raton, NM; Sam B. Barnum, son, San Diego, CA; Woodrow L. Barnum, son, Spring Valley, CA; Ella B. Gallegos, daughter, Dawson, NM; Bert Barnum, son, Albuquerque, NM; Viola B. Rodríquez, daughter, Albuquerque, NM; Edna B. Haskell, daughter, Albuquerque, NM; Audrey B. Fernández, daughter, Albuquerque, NM; Martha B. Fernández, daughter, Died 1939.
He was buried at the family ranch, near Raton, New Mexico.
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