My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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JOHN A. BARBER, a son of the earliest pioneers of Greene County, and at present residing in Cedarville Township, was born within a mile of where he now lives, first opening his eyes to the light December 23, 1823. His father was John Barber, Sr., and his paternal grandfather was William Barber, a native of Ireland, who crossed the Atlantic at an early day, and settled in Washington County, Pa. In that county the father of our subject was born, and lived until eaching man’s estate. Then starting out for himself, he proceeded to Pittsburg, and thence went down on a raft or flatboat to Cincinnati, from which point he traveled to Xenia, this State, on foot.

John Barber, Sr., commenced his battle with the world dependent upon his own resources, and upon arriving in this county, secured work in a sawmill in the hamlet of Xenia, which was then the site of but four houses. He was employed by a Mr. Campbell, who put up the first mill in this county, this being located on Shawnee Creek, near Xenia. John Barber worked in the mill for several years, and in the meantime, in company with his brother-in-law, Alexander Foster, purchased four hundred acres of Government land, for which they paid $1.25 per acre. In due time they moved upon this and commenced its improvement and cultivation. They were joined by the father and the balance of the family, who took up more land adjoining, and there the old people spent the remainder of their days. John Barber after a time sold a part of his farm and purchased other land, which subsequently became the property of his son, Samuel, who is now deceased. That is still familiarly known as the old Barber place.

The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Sarah Martin. Of her marriage with John Barber there was born a family of eleven children, one of whom died young. The remaining ten grew to mature years, and seven are yet living. John A., like his brothers and sisters, was reared under the home roof, and at an early age was taught the habits of industry and economy which followed him all through life. When setting about the establishment of a home of his own, he was wedded to Miss Eliza, daughter of Andrew Galloway, one of the earliest settlers of this county. To them there were born two children, only one of whom is living, William H., who is married and residing on his farm, a half mile west of Cedarville; he has no children. Mrs. Eliza Barber departed this life at the homestead in 1866.

Our subject was again married, in 1868, to Miss Sally, daughter of Enos Townsley. The latter was the son of John Townsley, one of the earliest pioneers of Cedarville Township. Of this union there were born two children, both daughters, Eva and Florence, who are attending the school in Cedarville, and making their home with their parents. The mother of Mrs. Barber was in her girlhood Sarah McCoy, daughter of James McCoy of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and a native of Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Barber are most worthy representatives of the pioneer element in this county, born and reared in the log cabin, and in the early days when people went to mill on horseback with a jug in one end of the bag, and their grist in the other. Those times called forth all the natural kindness and hospitality of humanity, when each man had an interest in his neighbor’s welfare. Mr. Barber before his marriage worked on a farm west of Cedarville, but this he soon sold and purchased that where his son now lives. The latter comprises one hundred acres, and was all in timber when coming into Mr. Barber’s possession. It is now a finely cultivated farm, and valuable.

After his second marriage, Mr. Barber removed to a farm of one hundred and fifty-seven acres lying on the Columbus Pike, a mile and a half east of the village, and which was a part of the first farm opened in the county, and known as the Enos Townsley place. Mr. Barber is a Prohibitionist with Democratic proclivities, and both he and his estimable wife are prominently connected with the United Presbyterian Church of Cedarville.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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