A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Polly BARNUM


The following are transcriptions of two original letters written by Polly (Barnum) Squire (1811-1881).

Friday morning, February 18, 1880. My grandfather was a Blacksmith, working at that busineƒs when he was taken by the Ingions. He was than at this time living in Coneticut, or Machichuettes, I cannot say which. In the year 1772, cannot say whither in the Spring or in the Fall. O the sly and cunning Ingions, came upon Grandfathers family in the ded of night when all was quiet, his family asleep.

A band or company of the Red Skins, led on by a white man or captin, broke in the house tuck him our grandfather, out off his bead and from his family, and away they went with him on a fast march on through woods, and brush, up hill and down, fording streemes O yes Grandfather said it was a teriable roode he had to travle at nite. The company made a stop and tied Grandfather too a tree, thane built a big fire they were intending to burn him alive, but the captin off the company, coming up just than commanded them to march on, by that meenes our poor olde grandfather life was spared two indure greater suffering, in the horable prison peen on the Island of Montralle, for two longe years at one time, and again at annother time one year. O the horrors of war, blood murder and fire, and in prisons suffering with sickneƒs, starvation, nakedneƒs, lice, runing away with you if posible.

While Grandfather was being pushed on such a raped pace from all he held dear on earth, his house, his home became filled with Ingions running hear and there bent on plunder and distruction. My Father than a boy about ten or twelve of ague, sleeping up stairs was awakend by the noys, hung his pants acrost his arm and started for down stairs, meet a big Ingion at the head off the saitrs with a candle in his hand, my father paƒsed by him, and looking back to see what became of his brother Isaac eight years of ague, my Father saw the red man take him by one legg and sling him out upon the floore a crying. My father crouded his way to his mother she was siting in the bead, she wanted him to crall under the bead, but no he wanted to see what was going on, so he went to the fire, and there was his younger brother crying, whilste he stud there trying to quiet his brother, up came an Ingion with his mothers cups and tea sawcers on his arm, and he would take one at a time and dashing them against the chimny untill he had broken them all. All this time my Brother stud crying as the broken pieces hit his naked legs, which made the big Ingion look dagers at them.

I left then the fire and broken dishes and went to the doare that standing open there stud the captin of the company giving orders, when he saw me he pated me on my head, and called me his little man. I felt than I had a friend, whilst I was taulking with him, I saw a lite in the hog peen and heard the pigs sqeel. I asked my friend if I mite go and see whot they were doing, he said yes, so off I wente and there I saw two big Ingions with their tomahaks, killing my fathers hogs.

Thane I went back to see my friend at the dooar, whilst standing there feeling safe with my new friend, out of the house came a great strapping big Ingion with my mothers milke pail on his arm put it on the ground, steped back and gave a spring to jumpe on the pail, the pail roled and down he went and I claped my hands and shouted out thats good. Than my good friend gave me a tremendius shake and said shut up. Than I thaught he was no friend to me so I lefte him and went to hwere my mother and brother was. The party left soon after with all their plunder, and mother brother and I were left alone to morn over our sad and lonely home and plod our way along though thoes troubles times.


Waterloo February 22 A D. 1881

A shorte histora writen from hearsay as given to me Polly Barnum Squire a Greate grand daughter, and also grand daughter off Thomas Barnum the 2d.

My Greate Grand Father was one of three Brothers who came from Wales to Ameraca, and setled in Coneticut I think, I cannot give no dates respecting when they came. His name was Thomas and my Grandfathers name was called Thomas, and my Fathers name was Thomas, my Grandfather said that as far back as he could recolect, the first born son was called Thomas, untill my Father called his third son Thomas, why he did that I know not, there was the brake in the longe chain of Thomases, My Grandfathers Father was my greate grandfather, and my childrens Gr. Great Grandfather. My great grandfather was shot whilest on picket duty by an Ingion in the French war. My greate grandfather dreamed three times in one knight that he was shot, or killed, and awoke and tolde his wife my greate grandmother. My grandfather said they tried every way to buy a substatute sum one to take his place, there was none to go but himself, he wente lefte his wife and children, three boys of which my grandfather Thomas Barnum was the oldest, the Brothers names if I remember rite, was Moses Barnum and Stephen from which the greate Showman P T Barnum claims his Fatherhood.

My poor greate grandfather was on his last round of duty when the stelthy Ingion gave the fatell shot which ended his troubles on earth, O the Horrors of wars.

My grandfather Thomas Barnum was marred twice, his first wife my grandmother name was Jerush Benidict. They had five children, the first was my Father, Thomas Barnum, the second Isaac Barnum, the 3d Jerush Barnum, the 4th Polly Barnum, the 5th Axa Barnum, the 6th was a foolish boy Ely Barnum and by his second wife, whose name was Patty Berry she being a widow Grandfather had one daughter by her and they called her Antonete Barnum. She marred a Mr Richard Colton.

Riten by Polly Barnum Squires one of the greate grandaughter of the man that gave his life for his country. Agd 69 yrs 4 moths

She was buried at Little Country Cemetery.
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