I first heard about this Barnes family reunion from Helen Barnes Golden (1920-2013) about ten years ago. She was the niece of George Herbert and Sadie Fitzgerald Barnes mentioned in this newspaper article, and what an excellent memory she had! Jacob H. Barnes and Nancy Ann Musgrave married on 18 May 1854 in Goldsboro, Wayne, County, NC. They were Helen Barnes Golden’s great-grandparents. Below are some of her recollections of the reunion that I had jotted down.
“Aunt Sadie made corn sticks out of cornmeal and there was a pig roast. The farm hand named Tillman dug the pit. Uncle Herbert had lung problems then. Great Aunt Vira [Rose Best] made soap in the backyard from the hog fat and lye in a large cast iron pot over the outside fire.” ~ Helen Barnes Golden
Helen identified this house as the one the reunion was held at. What amazes me is that when I looked up the 1940 Federal Census for Grantham Township, Wayne County, North Carolina and found Herbert Barnes age 51, Sadie Barnes age 48, and their daughter Rose age 25, also listed with them was the farm laborer, named Tillman Gardner, age 37.
Helen had met her cousin, Nancy Rose Barnes (1914-2006), before at their grandmother, Sarah Ophelia Rose Barnes’ funeral in Wayne County, NC in 1936, and perhaps a few times when they were both much younger. Helen lived in New Jersey with her parents, Ernest and Helen Barnes, and her brothers, Ernest and Tom. They didn’t have many times free to go south to meet family, but cousins Helen and Rose sent Christmas cards and met occasionally through the years when one or the other was heading north or south. Rose was called by her middle name, and not Nancy, and she stayed in Four Oaks, Grantham Township, and married William Springle. Helen married Philip Golden and stayed in Princeton, New Jersey.
I’m very indebted to Helen Barnes Golden for the foundations of the Barnes Family History genealogy seen here. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and is very much missed by all her family. Helen died this past July at the age of ninety-two. God rest her soul.
Below are photographs of the two cousins when they were children.
“Love lives on in the hearts of all who remember and care.” ~ Unknown