DNA is a wonderful tool. This past week, an adopted cousin contacted myself and my cousin, Kris Bernard, who lives in Austrail, via email, having found he matches us on GEDmatch.com. And we’re so glad he did! Not only did he find his own roots, he helped solve a riddle Kris and I had been casually wondering about.
Christopher William Barnard married Edna America Stevens in Union County, Kentucky in 1901. They ended up having a large family of 7 children; 4 boys and 3 girls. My grandfather, James Spencer Barnard, was one of them and his baby brother, Christopher William Barnard, Jr. was Kris Bernard’s father. Their oldest brother was William Harry Barnard. I think the Harry was short for Harold, but since I don’t know that for sure, I can’t document it.
Harry Barnard married Artimisa Gossett, a woman we thought was named Artia G Misa. Last night, Kris found Artie’s real name and we have our new cousin to thank for that. His contacting us caused a whirl-wind of genealogy research by both Kris and myself and the two of us together are better than one of us doing all the research ourselves. Kris has found so many records that I couldn’t find, and was the key to breaking through our brick wall on David Stevens, Edna Stevens Barnard’s father.
Harry and Artie only had one child, a son they named William Michael Barnard, who went by the name “Mickey”. And for as long as we’ve been researching our family, that’s all we knew about him. Kris, being older, and Mickey’s first cousin, knew him much better than I did. She’s the one who took the time to listen to Grandma Edna’s stories and pass them on to me.
Mickey was married at least twice that we know of. His first marriage was to Lois Jernigan, and they had two children; William Michael Barnard II, and Lisa Kay Barnard.
It appears that Mickey and Lois divorced and he had a relationship with a woman named Linda Beth Cottrill that resulted in the birth of a son, who was *also* named William Michael Barnard, in Sacramento, California in 1968. They didn’t keep the child. He was put in a foster home and adopted by “a lovely Greek immigrant couple” where his name was changed to Milton. Mickey and Linda married in Sacramento in 1970 and had another son whom they named Michael S Barnard.
Milton took a DNA test and uploaded his results to GEDmatch and there found all of us. We have tested myself, Kris, my brother, Alan, my deceased mother’s sister, Barb, and two of the daughters of Sophia Barnard Runyon, the sister of Harry, James and Christopher Barnard. That’s a nice, large pool of DNA to compare results with, and that’s what Milton did.
I’m afraid we overloaded poor Milton with information and photos of his Barnard side of the family. Then I started researching his mother’s side and names, places, and better yet, PHOTOS started falling into my lap. Someone on his mother’s side has done extensive research into all the sides of the Cottrill/Kranich branches of his family. I’m so happy for him! It’s an amazing feeling to be able to put faces to the dry, dusty names of your ancestors, and I’m not a little envious in a way. There are old photos of folks born in the early 1800’s and an amazing photo of Milton’s great-grandmother on a motorcycle.
We are so blessed to have him find us. Welcome to the family, Milton!