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 Permilla Ann POTTER

In November 2010 Denise Goodwin, great granddaughter of Polly, wrote : My mother Rita interviewed Polly Potter starting in 1963 obtaining the family history of the Potters and the Barnums. Ellen Barnum died when my Great Grandma Polly was only 11 years old so she didn't have much information on her mother, and her father was so devastated after her death that he didn't talk about her. We have a few pictures with the Barnum name on the back. There was aMabel or MableBarnum and oneof another woman with just the name Barnum on the back. We also have a very beautiful love letter written by James Travis Potter to Ellen Barnum, along with a tin-type, just before they were married. I found the 1900 census (Handley Village (Fort Worth), Tarrant County, Texas) in which it's stated that Polly's mother Ellen was born in Arkansas and her father was born in New York. As with all with the name Barnum in their families, it was always said we were related to P. T. Barnum. It is obvious to me that he is in the mix, but how I don't know. [N.B., P. T. Barnum was Polly's fourth cousin four times removed.] My Great Grandmother mentioneda Philo Barnum.....lots of Philos! As I said she was very young, but remembered the circus coming to town; a man let myGreat Grandma take the tickets that day and greeted her mother Ellenknowing she was a Barnum, who knows if it was a Barnum, as told by my Great Grandma, or just a townsman hired to work the circus. Polly was soyoung at the timethat he put her on a stool to take the tickets at the door. Polly was special as she was the only daughter of Ellen's, there was one more but she died at age 2, prior to Polly being born. [N.B., Clydia Emily Potter (1886-1889).]


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