When I started researching the birth information for Ernest Howard Barnes, I sent for his Social Security record, under the Freedom of Information Act, in 2004. I also sent a request to the Wayne County Courthouse in Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina. Ernest had continually used the date of 14 February 1885 as his birthday, and said he had been born in Goldsboro. He retained a southern accent his entire life, that always strengthened when he returned to North Carolina to visit family. Ernest married Helen Barnes on February 22, 1914. He died in Princeton, New Jersey on 30 November 1951.
We knew Ernest H. Barnes’ sister had been Bessie Pauline Barnes, and that she had married Thomas Coleman. From “cousin” correspondence with the Coleman family our branch of the family had been sent copies of the genealogy section of the Barnes Family Bible in 2000. This page below had birth information.
From Social Security I received a reply in June of 2004 with the copy of the original application for a Social Security number dated from 4 December 1936. The birth date was a little hard to read, and Ernest’s father’s name was written down as Thomas William Barnes and his mother as Sarah Ophelia Rose. The middle name of his father must have been incorrectly remembered by Ernest. The correct middle name was Whitley, instead of William. Whitley was the maiden name of Thomas Whitley Barnes’ grandmother, Apsilla.
In September of 2004 I received back a reply from the Wayne County Courthouse. They had a copy of the Barnes and Rose marriage record from 28 February 1884, but they didn’t have birth records for their three children: Ernest Howard, George Herbert, and Bessie Pauline. “Wayne County did not start keeping birth and death records until 1913. Our office have some births before 1913 if the individual came in and established a Delayed birth record.” Later we found out that the Wayne County Courthouse in Goldsboro, NC had been built by Ernest’s uncle, William Preston Rose in 1913.
From ancestry.com I found the World War Two Draft Registration for Ernest Howard Barnes, and it also gave his birth date as 14 February 1885.
All of the birth information had matching birth dates for Ernest H. Barnes. We are very grateful to the Coleman family for sending us copies of the Family Bible. In genealogy research Bible Family Records can be considered valid records, especially if the Bible was copyrighted before the dates recorded or registered. It’s wonderful to have these pages from the Barnes Family Bible! I’ll post the pages, now that all of the family recorded have passed on.