The first time I can recall the surname Barney, being part of my family’s line was when I read it in my Grandmother’s obituary in 1975. Barney was the maiden name of my grandmother’s mother. One reason was between the deaths of husbands and divorces my great and two times great-grandmothers went through five surnames. They were LeClair, Guyette, Barney, Douglas, and Bonnett. Of course in 1975 I knew little or none of this. Of these surnames, I have a direct lineage from the Guyette, Barney, and Bonnett line. Over the years, I have researched these lines and have added greatly to my family tree.
This week I was able to gather much new (to me) information on the Barney line. Thomas Barney, my fourth great grandfather, was a Captain in the Revolutionary War commanding 200 men from Vermont. In fact, his war records show that he was with the Green Mountain Boys when they took over Fort Ticonderoga from the British without firing a shot. Fort Ticonderoga overlooks Lake Champlain just before it empties into Lake George in New York State. Capturing Fort Ticonderoga is considered our first offensive action in the Revolutionary War. This deprived the British of the command of the waterways that could be used to send armies and supplies down from Canada. Also, all the cannons in the fort about 100 of them would be sent to General George Washington just outside of Boston. Thomas Barney was also to take part in the capture of Crown Point, the battle of Bennington and was present at the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York.
All this information and much more was not known to me in 1962 when my parents took me and my sister to see the fort. I was eleven at the time and even then loved to read about history. The pictures in this blog were taken on that trip. As I walked the fort, I had no idea what an important role my family had played here. Near the fort, I spotted this historic marker and felt compelled to take a picture of it. I was to learn later that I had ancestors who took part in this battle also. They included a first cousin a Captain Samuel Dakin, who was killed in this battle. He was part of a contingent of troops from Massachusetts who joined Major General James Abercrombie 15,000 man army. Unfortunately, Abercrombie’s leadership was not competent and, as a result, the English suffered a terrible defeat.
Thomas Barney was from my mother’s side of the family. Samuel Dakin from my father’s side. I have thought about that fact a few times. Here we were two hundred years later visiting the place that they fought and bled, completely unaware of this fact. All this family history lost in the preceding generations. When people ask why are you so interested in genealogy I can tell them about Fort Ticonderoga and its’ place in American history and its’ place in my family’s history. In so many ways so many times both are the same.