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The following excerpt comes from a website of Barnum families including all spellings of the name and indicates that Abigail Barnum, my ancestor, was the child of the first Thomas Barnum and not his son, Thomas. ÊPreviously, I had supposed, because of the age of her mother, that Abigail must have been the child of Thomas 2. ÊA closer look at the dates of her brother Ezra Stevens, b.May 25, 1724, shows that she is most likely the son of Thomas 1.


The First Barnum Generation in North America

Thomas BARNAM was born in 1625 in County Kent, England; died on 26 DEC 1695 in Danbury, Connecticut. As mentioned above, Noah G. BARNUM, in The Barnum Family, 1517-1904 states (without providing documentation) that Thomas BARNAM was the 15th child of Sir Francis BARNHAM and his wife Lady Elizabeth LEONARD. He also states that Thomas left England in 1640 to come to the American Colonies, where he first settled in what is now Bethel, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

This is perhaps a good place to insert a CAUTIONARY NOTE about Noah G. BARNUM's unproven statements concerning the parentage of Thomas BARNAM, and about a few other doubtful entries you may find in our BARNUM family history. There is no documentary evidence of the true parentage of Thomas BARNAM, and without that evidence the reference to Sir Francis BARNHAM is really nothing but supposition. It was quite common around the turn of the last century for families to write or commission genealogical records for the express purpose of showing their descent from the earliest settlers of North America, or from the European nobility. The result was a fair amount of questionable research - and even the publication of some outright falsehoods.

As a result, while both the direct descendants of Thomas BARNAM and the English line of Barnham are shown on this site, the connection between them is shown as "probable but not certain," because of the lack of reliable documentary evidence.

According to Orcutt's History of Stratford, Thomas came first to New York and afterwards to Norwalk. Several sources agree that he married (1st) a wife whose name may have been Hannah, but whose surname is not known, and had with her all of his ten children. He purchased land in Fairfield, Connecticut on 28 Feb 1673, and received a grant of land in Norwalk five years later. The grant reads: "Granted by the plantation unto Thos: Barnam a certaine swampe lyinge neere the west side of Stonie brooke and not far of Soabatucke hill, the sayed swampe containinge five acres more or lesse and lyeth bounded of west north and south with the common land. Aprill the 30th, 1678." That same year, he sold his land in Fairfield and removed to Norwalk.

Hall's History of Norwalk says: "Thomas Barnam, of Fairfield, had a grant before 1663." The same history gives the assessment of his estate in lands in that town in 1671 and 1687 as 40 pounds. There is also a mention of Thomas in a Fairfield book of records as follows: "28 Feb. 1673 Thomas Barnam has by purchase of John Crump one parcel of land at Maximus, being in quantity by estimation three quarters of an acre more or less." The next record is in Norwalk, dated 30 Apr 1678, and says that the plantation granted to Thomas Barnam was "three acres lying by the land said Thomas purchased of John Rayment."

At a town meeting in Norwalk, on 8 Nov 1681, he was appointed to "oversee and keep good Decorum amongst the youth in times of exercise on the Sabbath and other Publique meetings; and the town doe impower him if he see any disorderly, for the keep of a small stick to correct such with; onely he is desired to doe it with clemency; and if any are incoridgable in such disorder, he is to present them either to their parents or masters; and if they doe not reclaime them, then to present such to authority."

Cutter, in New England Families, Notes that Thomas BARNAM was one of the first eight settlers of the town of Danbury, Connecticut, in 1684. The History of Stratford makes the same statement. The others are listed as: Thomas TAYLOR, Francis BUSHNELL, John HOYT, James BENEDICT, Samuel BENEDICT, James BEEBE and Judah GREGORY. Those eight individuals purchased from the local Indians a large tract of land that now includes the towns of Danbury, Bethel, New Fairfield, Redding, Ridgefield, and a portion of Derby, and established there the settlement of Danbury. Thomas located his homestead in a portion of the new settlement that in 1855 became a part of the town of Bethel, and is known today as the Old Homestead at Grassy Plain.

He was charged by his fellow settlers with the formulation of the articles of agreement establishing the form of civil government that they were to have in their new town. From that, and other references found in contemporary records of the locality, it appears that Thomas BARNAM was a man of more than ordinary intelligence among the immigrants of his time, and was very active in both church and town affairs.

He married (1st), in 1642, Hannah __________ . She died in 1683. The Barnum Family, 1350-1907 calls her Hannah HURD (providing no source for that name) and also calls her the mother of the first four children of Thomas. All other available sources indicate that her name is not known, and state that she was the mother of all ten of the known children of Thomas.

They had the following children:

Ê Ê 2 i. Thomas BARNUM, Jr. Born 9 Jul 1663 in Norwalk, Connecticut; died 1730 in Danbury, Connecticut

Ê + 3 ii. Sarah BARNUM Died 1744

Ê Ê 4 iii. Esther BARNUM Ê

Ê Ê 5 iv. Mary BARNUM Ê

Ê + 6 v. Deacon Richard BARNUM Born 1675; died abt 1744

Ê + 7 vi. John BARNUM Born 24 Feb 1677 in Fairfield, Connecticut and resided in Danbury, Connecticut

Ê Ê 8 vii. Hannah BARNUM Born 4 Oct 1680 in Fairfield, Connecticut

Ê + 9 viii. Ebenezer BARNUM Born 29 May 1682 in Norwalk, Connecticut; died 17 Sep 1755 in Kent, Connecticut

Ê + 10 ix. Francis BARNUM Born 10 May 1685 in Norwalk, Connecticut; died 1756 in Danbury, Connecticut

Ê + 11 x. Abigail BARNUM Born 1688 in Danbury, Connecticut. She was the first white, female child born in the Town of Danbury, about four years after its founding

Thomas married (2nd) Sarah (Thompson) HURD. The Barnum Family shows a marriage year of 1718 for Thomas and Sarah; an obvious impossibility, since Thomas died in 1695. The most likely date is after 1688 (the birth year of Thomas' daughter Abigail), since most sources agree that all of his children were born of his first marriage. A prenuptial agreement is said to exist. Sarah THOMPSON was born in 1642 in Stratford, Connecticut; died on 24 Jan 1718 in the same place. Her father was John THOMPSON (b. about 1617), the first of that name in Stratford. Prior to her marriage to Thomas BARNAM she had been married to John HURD, Senior, of Stratford, who died in 1681.

Thomas died on 26 Dec 1695, aged about 70 years. His estate, which amounted to 330 pounds, 4 shillings, 4 pence, was divided among "five sons and five daughters, the eldest son to have a double portion." His widow Sarah returned to "Stratfield," in Stratford, and died there in Jan 1718 at the age of 76 years.

From my book "Line of Descent of George Roger Gilbert"

The following excerpt from the Whittemore genealogy gave me the name of the mother of Abigail (Barnum) Stevens, Hannah Hurd. The Whittemore genealogy follows Abigail Barnum's brother Francis' family until it intermarries with the Rowley family through Anna (Rowley) Leadbetter, daughter of Aaron and Anna (Richmond) Rowley. My ancestry does the same in the following way. Abigail (Barnum) Stevens was mother to Ruth Stevens who married Benjamin Barber. My grandfather, Harry Emmett Barber's, grandfather, William Barber, was the great-grandson of Benjamin Barber. William Barber married the daughter, of Orrin and Anna Bliss, Lucy Ann Bliss. Lucy's parents were first cousins. Orrin's mother, Abigial Rowley, was a sister to Anna's mother, Mary Rowley, and both were sisters to Anna (Rowley) Leadbetter. (See #6 below.) (See also the next section of this book about Aaron and Anna (Richmond) Rowley.)

Monday, October 14, 1996 (my notes)

From the section of the Whittemore genealogy called ALLIED LINES, I learned some new information. First from the BARNUM family information:

This Thomas Barnum is the great - grandfather of Ruth (Stevens) Barber, mother of Nathan Barber, my 4 - great - grandfather. I knew of Thomas before but did not know his wife's name nor her parents.

"A Bicentennial History
of the James Whittemore Family
of Union, New York 1776-1976


Kenneth Robert Whittemore, Jr.


1. Thomas Barnum 1625 - 1695, m. Hannah Hurd, 1640-1683, daughter of John and Mary Hurd.

2. Francis Barnum, 1673-1741, m. Deborah Hoyt (Haight), b. 1679, daughter of John and Mary (Lindall) Hoyt.

3. Samuel Barnum, 1697-1764, M. Mary

4. Samuel Barnum, 1734-1785, m. Olive.

5. Stephen Barnum, 1762 - 1847, m. 1785 Sarah Benedict, b. 1756, daughter of Josiah and Sarah Benedict. Stephen was a Pvt. from Conn. in the Revolutionary War. (DAR Patriot Index pg. 38)

6. Dr. Forward Barnum, 1789-1828, m. 1815, Nancy Leadbetter, b. 1795, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Rowley) Leadbetter.

(See Allied Lines)

7. Catherine Barnum, 1816-1891, m. her first cousin, William Leadbetter, 1815-1902, son of Lester and Chestina (Wilcox) Leadbetter.

8. Augusta Fostina Leadbetter, 1835-1875, m. Jason Whittemore (31) (see page 49)

8. Orissa Liszette Leadbetter, 1845 - 1928, m. 1867, Egbert Whittemore (5A) (see page 138)

Sources: Smith, pg 573 and Family Records"