|HARRIS - BARNARD FAMILY LEGACY||
Robert (1874 - 1930) & Sylvia Burns (1868 - 1956) Harris
THE HARRIS LINEAGE
The main sources of nformation on the Harris side of this family is based on an initial 1986 visit by siblings Robert and Patricia Harrison to the Warren County,
Georgia area; from information researched at Ancestry.com; and through other family member contacts. The Harris’ extend from
three children who were either full or half brothers and sister: Robert Lee Harris, Dock Harris and Ellen Harris. According to family oral history, Robert Lee’s mother was named Nancy and Dock’s mother was named Mildred. The father of these two brothers was Dennis Harris. Presently, no documentation has been found to confirm Ellen’s parentage.
According to his Georgia death
certificate, Robert Lee Harris was born in Camak (Warren County) Georgia in the 1868. Warren County marriage records show that in 1888, Robert Lee Harris married Sylvia Ann (Sylvie) Burns ( born 1874 to parents James and Cornelia Battle Burns of Warrenton). After the birth of their first child, a son named Samuel, Robert and Sylvia soon moved to Athens, GA in the late 1890’s.
True Story: Granddaughter Cornelia Harrison recalls asking Robert Lee what brought them to Athens. He responded that while working for a local white farmer in Warrenton, he thought he'd help the farmer calculate how much money he was due. The farmer objected to Robert Lee's help and suggested since he was so smart, he might want to leave Warren County. Cousin Cornelia then asked; "what did you do?" Robert Lee responded humorously; "I took him at his word.
Decendants: Robert and first wife, Sylvia Ann Battle Burns, had four (4) children: a son named Samuel and three daughters – Sarah, Susie Mae and Inez Cornelia. Then upon the sudden loss of both his aughter Inez Cornelia Harris (January) and a young grandson Calvin (September) in 1927, Robert and Sylvia helped son-in-law Phillip to support the children. By the mid 1930's, Sylvia had passed, and with the help of his second wife Alice Aufflin Harris, Robert continued to rear his young grand-children born of Inez and Phillip Barnard: James Alvin, Sylvia
Cornelia, John Wesley, and fraternal twins Robert Edward and Roberta Edna.
SAMUEL HARRIS married Mary Terrell (Athens) and had one known child, a son, Robert Lee Harris who, until his passing, resided in Buffalo, NY. Military records show that Samuel served
in World War I and was recalled for
potential service during World War II. Obituary records show that while working as a lumber yard chipper, he died March 14, 1937 in the Venice township of Madison, Illinois. He was later buried March 22, 1937 in Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery, Athens, GA.
SUSIE MAE HARRIS KENDRICK was born in 1907 in Athens and later married Erskine Kendrick (Athens) and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. They, like Inez Harris and Phillip Barnard, also had six children: Evelyn, Roberta, Anita, Delores, Carol and Craig.
SARAH HARRIS, born in 1909 with severe developmental challenges, remained in the home until the death of Robert Lee's second wife and his declining eyesite. Sarah later resided at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, GA for the balance of her life.
HILL, the sister of Robert Lee, married David Hill. They had at least (5) known children, Bennie, Frank, Dorothy, Hattie, and Marie. Bennie had one daughter named Marian. It is not known whether Bennie was ever married nor the name of his daughter’s mother. HATTIE married a Mr. Sheffield and had at least six known children; 4 sons (David, Issac, Frank and Bennie) and two daughters: Emily
Sheffield Barnes and Isalene Sheffield Jones.
ISALENE SHEFFIELD JONES married Clifford Jones and had five children; Alice, Hanna, Rosemary, DOROTHY (Tampa, Florida), and
ISSAC JONES (Jacksonville, Florida). Marie, the third child of Ellen Harris Hill, married Charles Owens and had one child, a daughter, Beatrice Owens Byrd Cooper who lived and eventually passed away in Athens, GA. Beatrice had one son, Murray (Murrell?) Farrell whose last known residence was in Springfield,
DOCK HARRIS, the brother of Robert Lee Harris, married Elizabeth Williams and had three (3) children ; two daughters (Annie Ruth and Amanda) and one son (James Franklin Harris), Annie Ruth (marital status undetermined) had three children; Robert Lee Harris, Annie Pearl Harris and another daughter – name unknown. Amanda, Dock's second daughter had no children but was twice married, first to a Freely Harris (both had the same last names) and then to Albert Downer. James Franklin Harris, Dock’s son, married Janie McGruder and had four (4) children: 3 daughters (Elizabeth, Pollyanna and Janie) and one (1) son named Jessie. Elizabeth married Frank Robinson and had four children; Mary, Martha, Dora Bell and Buddy (a son). Pollyanna married Blue Jessie and had two daughter; Annie and Gloria. Janie had no children (marital status unknown). Jessie married Sallie Mae (maiden name unknown) and had four (4) children: Willie James (Athens), Arlena, Marie Driver (husband named Erskine), Jessie Jr. and Sandra Louise. No other nformation on the Harris Line is known at this time.
1910 - 1985 Orginal home of Robert & Sylvia Harris - 493 Third St Athens, GA
THE BARNARD LINEAGE
JUDY BARNARD (1830)- The 1870 U.S. Census (the first to include African Americans) provides the earliest records of Judy Barnard
(age 40) and her family. Born a slave at least by 1830, the 1870 census also hows that all her children were born into slavery as well. The family originally resided in the Sandy Creek (north) section of Clarke County, GA.
In 1870, five (5) of Judy's sons were documented; WESLEY (12), Phillip (20), Charles (18), John (14) and Keno (10); and two daughters Martha (16)and "Babe"(8). Also noted in the household were Cloe
Cook (50) and Pres Cook (20). Ten years later, the 1880 U.S. Census indicates Judy Barnard (B. 1818
age 62)residing in the Barber's Creek section (now North Avenue)within the Athens city limits. She then resided with two other sons Anthony and Orange; Wesley, his wife Lucinda and children Flora, Fannie and Annie. The father(s)
of Judy Barnard's children has not been documented.
WESLEY BARNARD (1857 - 1922)
- Though born into slavery in 1857, Wesley Barnard was a very strong and determined man who, through sharecropping, managed to carve out a life for his family nd relatives. As early as 1911, he won a small court case as defendant against A.T. Hale over possession of a mule (vital to farming). On July 10, 1915, newpaper accounts note that his front porch was dynamited by an unknown party in Western Clarke County. Clarke County records also show that by January 21, 1920, he had acquired two large Clarke County properties in the Bradberry District which were located across from the present GA Square Mall in Athens: a 53 acre for $5500 from Mrs. Rachel Stern and an 80 acre tract for $3,000 financed by the Bessie Mell Industrial Home - both to be paid for in 1925. By June 29, 1923 however, an Athens historic newspaper legal ad shows that both properties were being sold as part of the Wesley Barnard estate. Wesley and Lucinda Jennings Barnard had ten (10) children:
7 daughters ( Pearlie, Annie,
Belle, Fannie, Flora, Lizzie and Hassie) and 3 sons (Robert, William “Crusoe" and Phillip). Mrs. Effie Jackson Parrish, (Flora Barnard's daughter) before her passing, noted that Wesley Barnard was among the first Black men in the area to own an automobile. He lived to be about 65 years of age!
Records (death certificates) indicate his wife, Mrs. Lucinda Jennings Barnard, once widowed, later moved in with one of her daughters; Pearl Barnard Daniels Birdsong who lived on Waddell St in Athens. Lucinda died on April 3, 1931.
PEARL BARNARD DANIELS BIRDSONG, a sister of Phillip , first married James Daniel of Athens and had two , Frank “Hot Papa” Daniels (now deceased and buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery in Athens) and James Daniel, Sr. (lived and is buried in Sunnyvale, California). After her first husband's death, she married Aaron Birdsong and resided in the High Shoals community outside of Watkinsville, GA (Oconee County).
On December 4, 1921, her second husband, Aaron Birdsong, was lynched in Watkinsville, GA (near Athens) along with two other Black men. According to biased
1921-22 newpaper accounts, Aaron visited a local white citizen in
December 1921 about renting some land but was rejected. The citizen, upon returning from errands in Athens, was supposedly met by his frightened wife and young daughter alleging Aaron had returned and wouldn't leave despite their demands. The citizen then mobilized a group of angry white men who went out to
Aaron and Pearlie's home, under the pretense of "looking for some good hunting
areas." But cousin Aaron, sensing trouble, was armed and fired into
the crowd in defense of his family. After a long chase, he was finally
captured, arrested, and charged with assault and thrown into the local jail. Under darkness a few
days later, another group of armed white men overan the deputy on duty, accosted Aaron and two other black men jailed on
unrelated charges, tied them to a fence, and riddled their bodies with
bullets. A subsequent trial was held for four white suspects. However,
during a June 1922 trial in which a wife of one of the other black men
said she heard - but did not actually see the suspect she knew during the attack, the charges were thrown out and the men set free. Pearlie Barnard Daniels Birdsong soon moved to Athens until her passing in 1963.
FLORA BARNARD - Information on Flora Barnard, a second sister of Phillip, came from Mrs. Nina Jones Smith, her granddaughter, and
daughter, Effie Jackson Jones Parrish of Athens. Flora’s marriage to Samuel Jackson bore eleven (11) children: four (4) daughters ( Effie, Queen, Willie Mae
and Nina) and seven (7) sons ( Harry, Bennie, Issac, Clarence, Curtis, Wesley and Matthew).
HASSIE BARNARD - A third sister,
Hassie Barnard married Samuel Turner of Athens and had six (6) children: two daughters (Claudia and Ethel) and four sons (Clinton, Rufus and Lamar of Atlanta, and Mack Henry of Indianapolis).
Wesley (1857 - 1922) & Lucinda Jennings (1856 - 1931) Barnard
ANNIE BARNARD - A fourth sister married Henry McCoy and had seven (7) children: four daughters (Estelle, Matilda, Lucy and Annie) and three sons (Luther, Grady and Caldwell). There is no information available on the McCoy family at this time.
FANNIE BARNARD - A fifth sister, Fannie Barnard married Thomas Richardson of Oconee County, GA. As can be best determined, they had one child, a son also named Mid. According to the Athens
historic newspaper accounts, Thomas and another black man were killed instantaneously while working on a steam-powered compressor.
BELLE BARNARD (1901) - A sixth sister of Phillip was Belle Barnard, who never married or had children, spent most of her life in Atlanta,
LISIANA(LIZZY) BARNARD (1895) - The seventh known sister of Phillip married Comer Williams. No other information is available at
ROBERT BARNARD (1892) - Of the three (3) sons born to Wesley and Lucinda Jennings Barnard, (Phillip, Robert and William) there is no
information available on the life of Robert.
PHILLIP BARNARD (1896) - Phillip Barnard married Inez Harris (Robert Lee Harris' daughter) and had six children: John Wesley, James Alvin, Sylvia Cornelia, Robert Edward and Roberta Edna (fraternal twins), and Calvin. John Wesley, Alvin, Calvin (died young), Robert and Roberta; are now deceased. All are survived by Sylvia Cornelia Barnard Harrison (Athens).
Robert and Annie Ruth Barnard, had two daughters, Veronica
Brown and Katrina Jawneh, both of Atlanta. James Alvin married Ruby Lee and had two sons, James and Aridell (Barbara), and a daughter, Aeolian DeGroat currently residing in Seattle, WA. John Wesley and Armenia Booker Barnard had
one son, Weldon Barnard who also resided in Atlanta. Roberta married Willie George Echols of Alabama and had six (6) children; Janet, Roberta, George, James Randolph, Elaine and Alvin (now deceased), all of Atlanta. Cornelia married
James Marion Harrison, Sr.(Athens) and had four children; James Marion (resided in Atlanta), Robert Edward, Jacquelyn Christine Harrison Mack and Patricia Ann
Harison all of Athens.
WILLIAM BARNARD -
Indianapolis: The first update on William Barnard’s family came through a telephone conversation (Monday, August 13, 1990) between Patricia Harrison
(Cornelia Barnard Harrison’s daughter) and William’s son, Henry “Boobie” Barnard. According to Henry, age 68 at this time and now deceased, his father moved the family to Indiana in the early 1920’s. William married Annie Lou
Hudson of Athens and had six children; Mary, Blanche, William Jr.”Dash”, Henry and Arthur D. Barnard, all of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Virginia who currently
resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. William “Crusoe” Barnard’s surviving children are Arthur and Virginia Barnard Richardson. In 1999, Robert Barnard of Atlanta and
niece Elaine Echols Pate traveled to Indianapolis to jointly plan our 1999 Family Reunion!
IN SUMMARY, the origins of both the Harris and Barnard families can be traced back to the mid 1800’s when both Patriarchs, Robert Lee
Harris of Camak ( Warren County) and Wesley Barnard of Bogart (Clarke County) were born. The Harris-Barnard family union evolved through the marriage of
Robert Lee’s daughter, Inez Cornelia, to Phillip Barnard, Wesley’s youngest son. Upon the loss of his daughter Inez Harris in 1927 and wife Sylvia Ann in 1930,
Robert Lee Harris (and second wife Alice) played a major role in the rearing of five surviving young grand-children born of Inez and Phillip Barnard of Ahens,
GA: James Alvin, John Wesley, Sylvia Cornelia, and twins Robert Edward and Roberta Edna.
Robert Lee Harris lived at 493 Third Street in Athens for over 55 years of his life. Despite losing his sight in his later years, Mr. Harris managed his affairs very well; with special attention from his granddaughter Cornelia Barnard Harrison and her family who provided meals, did
shopping and cleaning until his passing on February 15,1956 at the age of 88. The original family house was then occupied and maintained by Cornelia Barnard
Harrison’s family, remodeled in 1969 and finally replaced in 1985. The property remains to this day in the Harris-Barnard family.
OUR LEGACY: Since 1978, the descendants of Robert Lee and Sylvia Ann Burns Harris and Wesley and Lucinda Jennings Barnard have continued to celebrate family. We truly
understand that, from the moment we enter and leave this world, it is the family that sustains us all. It is the group with which we share our sorrows and joys. The Family is the real link we have with the past. When each of us grasps an understanding and knowledge of our past, then we are more certain of what we're about and where we're going.