Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Lewis Barney Connection

I've written previously about my great-great-grandmother Philena Emily "Lena" Beilstein, and all that I've learned about her and her marriages and children. Last week, I learned something that put a different spin on her story.
Photo courtesy of Ron Barney, p.251
of "One Side by Himself"

I've been listening to a podcast from the Mormon channel called Legacy, where they talk about the life stories and experiences of various church members from the early days (1830s) through today. The episode I was listening to this week was about Lewis Barney, who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1840s. The person being interviewed, Lewis' great-great-grandson Ron Barney, had recently written a book about Lewis and his family titled "One Side by Himself: The Life and Times of Lewis Barney, 1808-1894", detailing their struggles and experiences as pioneers in the American West. The book sounded really interesting, as Lewis and his family went through a lot as they moved around between Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and other places. As I listened to the interview, I remembered that Lena's first marriage was to David Briscoe, whose parents were Thomas Briscoe and Martha Ann Barney. I knew David had been born in New Mexico, and I thought I remembered someone else in the Barney/Briscoe family being from Arizona. I thought "Wouldn't it be interesting if David was related to this Lewis Barney?"

When I got home from work that evening, I went to my Rootsmagic database, and pulled up David Briscoe. He was indeed born in New Mexico, and had two siblings, Claude and Cora, who were born in Arizona. Then I went online to try and find some info about the Lewis Barney book. What I didn't expect to find was the entire book available online for FREE! Thanks to the USU Press website, I downloaded the whole book, and quickly searched it for the Briscoes. On page 268, I found the answer to my question - Martha Ann Barney, wife of Thomas Briscoe, was Lewis Barney's daughter! There was indeed a connection, and a lot closer than I ever suspected!

The book focuses mostly on Lewis Barney and his children, and doesn't mention David Briscoe at all, unfortunately. But it does tell a lot about Martha and Thomas, which I'm very interested to read. It even has pictures of Martha and her brother, Arthur Barney, who performed Lena and David's marriage.
Photo courtesy of Ron Barney, p.247
of "One Side by Himself"

So while I may not be descended from Mormon pioneers, I am related to them in a unique way. And that suits me just fine.


kbris said...

Hi Brandt, My name is Keith Briscoe. I am the great grandson of Martha Ann Barney and 2nd geat grandson of Lewis Barney. I came upon your blog, while googling an ancestor. I would love to know a little bit about your grandmother's connection to my paternal family. Also I read several of your blog articles and truly enjoyed your writing and enthusiasm for genealogy research. My blog is Perhaps you will agree to communicate with me. Thanks, KB

cmerz said...

This was fun to read. My name is Corinne Merzlock, and I am the really great(X3) granddaughter of Lewis Barney. I have not yet read the biography of Lewis Barney but will start it after I finish "Trials and Triumphs of Vern and Dora Briscoe", written by their son, Ralph. I love learning about my family!