This last weekend I learned that my namesake great grandfather once worked for John Coffee Brooks who was known in southwest Stanly County as “Coffee John.” And then, while browsing through online deed books in hopes of understanding my ancestor’s relation with the said Brooks, I discovered an unrelated conveyance which caught my attention. Having spent a great deal of time exploring the Barker family of Wake County, curiosity drew me to a deed naming “Amy Barker.” Who was she?
Thomas Barker of early Wake County was said in 1804 Tennessee that he once lived along the Yadkin River which bounds Stanly County. And now, in the annals of Stanly County, I happened upon this person named Amy Barker. What is her story, and does she somehow connect to the Barker family of Wake County? Amy does indeed represent a line of the family from Wake County and in telling her story I believe it best to begin at the beginning, with life in Wake County.
In 1815 Edmond Barker’s last will and testament was penned in Wake County, naming firstly his son Laban Barker (see below). Researchers claim Edmond to be the son of an earlier Joel Barker but concerning that thinking, I am not so certain. However, some of Edmond’s children end up in Middle Tennessee where a legal suit concerning rightful ownership of a slave connects their westward migration …keep Laban in mind.
Before moving on, Edmond Barker’s last will and testament as shared on Wikitree makes the following bequeaths:
“…son Laban Barker one negro man named Gillis…unto son Hosea Barker one Negroe known by the name Mark…unto daughter Lydia Shaw four shillings…unto daughter Prisciller Barker one negro girl named Rachel during her natural life and the said negro and her increase be equally divided between her three children, Briggs, Sterling and Hosea Barker…unto son Edmund Barker the land I now live on containing 200 acres and one bed and furniture…unto son Asa Barker five shillings…unto daughter Prenesse Barker one Negro girl named Gelly and the land which I bought of Aaron Read containing 75 acres one bed and furniture…residue of my estate, be sold, and the balance divided between children of my decd son Abner Barker to wit John Barker, Willis Barker, Sally Barker, Allen Barker and Polly Barker…ordain son Edmund Barker Executor.
Now, found in Stanly County deed book 2, page 337, and dated 11 Jun 1850, the following conveyance calls out “William B. Hines and others to Ruben Kendall.” Within the description,
“Amy Barker of the county of Holmes in the state of Mississippi, William B. Hines and Jane F., his wife, of Carroll County in said state, Joseph Marlow and Samantha A his wife of the county of Yazoo of state aforesaid, which said Jane F., Sarah, and Samantha are daughters of the said Amy, do nominate, constitute and appoint Ruben Kendall of Stanly County, State of North Carolina, our true and lawful agent and attorney for us in our names to receive from John H. Treadwell, clerk and master in equity of said county of Stanly , our shares of the proceeds of the lands of Charles C. [Carter] Coppege, des’d sold by a decree of the court of equity in and for the said county.”
From the 1850 census, being the same year as the above appointment, Amy Barker is found living in the home of her daughter Samantha in Holmes County, Mississippi. Note also living in the household is Samantha’s husband and father-in-law who was born in Hungary.
Numerous entries on Ancestry pick up the family history at this point, telling of Amy Barker’s family and their life though I believe important information from Stanly County has been overlooked. The aforementioned attorney appointment is informative; however, Amy’s “Barker family” ancestry would likely avoid detection unless one looked a bit deeper, into related Stanly County loose estate papers. It is there, in the estate papers of the said Charles C. Coppedge, where mention of Amy’s marriage to Laban Barker is found:
“The petition of ——-Hines and wife Jane F. Hines, Joseph Marlow and wife Samantha A Marlow, & Sarah C. Coppege, the last named an infant under the age of twenty-one years who petitions by her next friend Reuben Kendall and of Mrs. Amy Coppedge widow of the late Barker humbly compliancy show to your Honor that Charles C. Coppedge late of Stanly County died seized & possessed of about two hundred and fifty acres of land situated on said County adjoining the lands of James Allen Esq, Robert Lanier, & others and that the said Charley C. left your petitioners, Janes A. intermarried with Joseph Marlow, and Sarah C Coppedge his children, and Amy since intermarried with Laban Barker has departed this life. Your petitioners shew therefore that they are tenants in common of said tract or parcel of land. The said Amy Barker having a right of dower in the land which has never been assigned to her …”
From the above we learn that Amy (last name not yet known) married first Charles C. Coppedge and apparently shortly after his death she married Laban Barker. From the 1850 Mississippi census Amy appears to be the mother of John Barker who at that time was 17 years old. Therefore, it appears that Amy may have been married to Laban Barker as early as 1833, well before Stanly County was cut from Montgomery in 1842. Out of curiosity and needing an answer, when did Charles C. Coppedge die and for some reason, does the above documentation arise from a much earlier passing of said Coppedge?
Looking one last time toward Wake County, on 18 Sep 1805, Hosea Barker as mentioned later in his father’s last will and testament, married Polly Hays. Hosea’s brother Laban Barker who was still residing in Wake County served as bondsman. On 8 Jul 1814, being roughly a year prior to the writing of Hosea’s father’s last will and testament, Hosea Barker penned his own last will and testament in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Mentioned is wife Polly and their children to whom the said Hosea appoints Thomas Grier Junr, and Joseph McRum, guardians. Witnessed by John Bigham and Thomas [P] Swann, Hosea appointed trusty friends James Hartt Esq, and Samuel Neel to execute the will. The will was probated Feb 1815. From related land and estate records it appears Hosea Barker lived south of present-day Charlotte around the Steel Creek community.
Two years following the death of Hosea Barker, Polly, his widow, petitioned the court for guardianship of her minor children. As seen below, Polly names children “Laban, Hilliard, John & Hosea? Barker.”
At this point I could go further. For instance, a person named Hilliard Barker, born 1811 North Carolina, lived in 1880 Texas. Also, as will be discussed in a later post, the mystery person Thomas Barker will make another appearance along the waters of Rocky River. I’ve learned more about this person though I still have no clue as to his extended family.