My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

CORRINGTON BARKER, one of the most venerable residents as well as the most entertaining old gentlemen in Portland town, is a son of Barilla and Mary (Marsh) Barker, and was born in Fredonia, Chautauqua county, New York, on April 19th, 1809. The family is of English origin, the great-grandfather, Barker, having come from that country. He was a professional surveyor and came to America bearing a commission from King George to run lines in that monarch’s unexplored dominions. Having executed his instructions he remained here and settled in Rhode Island. He married and had a son, Hezekiah Barker, who was the grandfather of our subject. He served on Washington’s staff during the great struggle for independence, engaged principally as a dispatch bearer, received a pension while he lived, moved to Oneida county in 1800, then to Chautauqua in 1805, and settled in the almost unbroken wilderness, from which the pretty town of Fredonia has sprung. He took up three hundred acres of land and made one of the most valuable pieces of property in that locality.

Barilla Barker was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1784, and moved from there to Oneida county, N. Y. He was a man when he came with his father to Fredonia. He drove an ox team through, making slow progress. In 1814, he moved into Portland town, and followed farming until his death in 1858. He was a member of the Baptist church and a republican, having filled the office of assessor one term. He married Mary Marsh, a daughter of Samuel Marsh, who was born in Vermont in 1795, and died June 7, 1855, leaving seven children.

Corrington Barker was reared on the farm and was taught the lessons of the common schools between 1815 and 1820. Work being necessary to clear the farm and prepare it for the crops, he soon had hardened muscles and a vigorous frame and, being of temperate habits, this early labor may have formed the foundation of the vigorous constitution which has carried him through eighty-two years of life and still keeps him hale and hearty. In 1838, he married Angeline Lathrop, who bore him a son and a daughter: Amelia, now Mrs. O. J. Chamberlain, lives in this town; and Devillo A., also a resident of Portland, where he has a farm. He married Ellen Smith, whose father, Leonard Smith, is a prosperous farmer.

Corrington Barker has been an active member of the Baptist church for sixty years and has filled the position of deacon for many years. He has always been identified with the Republican party since it came into existence. His locks are gray and scanty and the once erect and vigorous form is bent with the weight of accumulating years but his mind is still as bright as in youth, and his fund of reminiscences furnish an entertainment seldom found and long remembered. He is a pleasant, agreeable old gentleman whom his acquaintances regard with affection and respect.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.