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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.

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HONORABLE GEORGE BARKER, who served as a justice of the Supreme Court of New York, in the Eighth Judicial District, from 1868 to 1889, is one whose career well illustrates the great lesson that there are few obstacles which industry, energy, integrity and intellectual ability cannot overcome. He was born at Venice, Cayuga county, New York, November 6, 1823, and is a son of John A. and Phebe (Ogden) Barker. His parents were both of English ancestry, and his paternal grandfather served in the Revolutionary war, in Connecticut, and removed to Long Island, where he was widely known for his kindness, generosity and hospitality. His son, John A. Barker (father), was born in 1787 and died in Cayuga county in 1858. He learned the tanning business, which he followed in connection with farming, after removing, in 1810, to New York. “He was a man of activity and energy, of great force of character, prosperous in his business pursuits, of good repute and of considerable local influence in public affairs.” In 1810, at Chenango Forks, Broome county, he married Phebe Ogden, who was born at Elizabeth, N. J., and passed away in 1860 in Cayuga county. She was a member of that Ogden family of New Jersey, which has produced so many eminent and distinguished men. One of the able jurists of this family was David Ogden, a graduate of Yale college and a judge of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, whose son, Hon. Abraham Ogden, one of the great jury lawyers of his day, was the founder of Ogdensburg, New York, and the father of Thomas Ludlow Ogden, who was the law partner of Alexander Hamilton and the legal adviser of the Holland Land company. Among the many other Ogdens of New Jersey who were distinguished divines, inventors and statesmen, was United States Senator Aaron Ogden, who graduated at Princeton and served under Washington in the Revolutionary war.

George Barker grew to manhood on his father’s farm and received his education in the common and select schools of his neighborhood and Aurora academy. He commenced the study of law in 1844, with David Wright, of Auburn, and was admitted to the bar of that place in November, 1847. In January, 1848, he came to Fredonia, where he entered upon the practice of his profession and where he has resided ever since. He was clerk of the village in 1850, 1851 and 1852, and served as president of the village in 1853, 1857 and 1858. In 1853 he was elected district attorney of Chautauqua county and again in 1862, but resigned before the expiration of his second term. He devoted his time assiduously to the practice of his profession with good success until 1867, when he served as a member of the Constitutional convention of New York, of that year, and rendered good service on the committee of “the judiciary” and “the legislature and its organization.” His colleague from Chautauqua county was Augustus F. Allen. After the close of his labors in the Constitutional convention, he returned home and was elected during the same year as a justice of the Supreme Court of New York in the Eighth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming, to succeed Hon. Martin Grover, whose second term was then expiring. Judge Barker served his full term of eight years, was re-elected in 1875 for a term of fourteen years, and at its expiration, in 1889 retired from the bench. In the following year, 1890, he was appointed and served as a member of the commission, consisting of thirty-eight members, created by an act of the legislature, to propose amendments to the article of the constitution relative to the judiciary system of that State, and to report their recommendations to the legislature for their action.

On October 13, 1857, Judge Barker married Achsah Elizabeth Glisan, of Frederick county, Maryland. They have one child, a daughter, Mary E., who is the wife of John Woodward, of Jamestown.

Judge Barker has never been a politician in the popular sense of the term, and while quiet and unostentatious in manner, he has never been lacking in the courage to express his convictions on public questions.

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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

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