1788 - 1845 (56 years)
||John BARBER |
||23 Jul 1788
||Canterbury, Windham, CT
- Name John BARBER
Location Preston, New London, Connecticut, United States
Original Text John, s. [Benjamin & Lucy], b. July 23, 1788, in Canterbury
Original Volume 2
Original Page 244
Volume Name Preston
Connecticut: Vital Records (The Barbour Collection), 1630-1870 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928.
Dyer Barber s Benjamin & Lucy b 8 August 1786
John s Benjamin & Lucy b 23 July 1788 in Canterbury
Salla d Benjamin & Lucy b July 26 1785 in Norwich
||[Griswold, New London, CT]
||Griswold, New London, CT
||15 Dec 1808
||Preston, New London, CT
||Second Society, New London, CT
- Jno Barber
in the 1810 United States Federal Census
Name: Jno Barber
Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Second Society, New London, Connecticut
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 1
Number of Household Members: 3
Year: 1810; Census Place: Second Society, New London, Connecticut; Roll: 3; Page: 72; Image: 00047; Family History Library Film: 0281231
Ecclesiastically the First Society was that of Norwich Town which was the earliest portion of the territory to be settled. The Second Society was in the district known as West Farms or Franklin. The Third Society was in what was successively known as Newent and Lisbon. The Fourth Society was approximately in the territory called New Concord and afterwards Bozrah. The Fifth Society was that denominated the "Long" or "East" Society in Preston. The Sixth Society was in that part of Norwich known as Chelsea and is now called the Second Society. The Seventh Society, formerly known as Pautipaug, is now extinct. The Eighth Society was formerly called Hanover, now the town of Sprague. The Church Records of all these societies, where extant, have been copied by the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames of America and these copies are in the possession of that Society.
||Canterbury, Windham, CT
- John Barber 2nd
in the 1820 United States Federal Census
Name: John Barber 2nd
[John Barber II]
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Canterbury , Windham, Connecticut
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10: 2 [1810-1820] [Nathan ?]
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15: 1 [?]
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44: 1 [1776-1794]
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10: 2 [Elizabeth, Sarah]
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44: 1 [Hannah]
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons - Under 16: 5
Free White Persons - Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 7
1820 U S Census; Census Place: Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut; Page: 539; NARA Roll: M33_3; Image: 442
||27 Jul 1826
||[Griswold, New London, CT]
||Plainfield, Windham, CT
- John Barben
in the 1830 United States Federal Census
Name: John Barben
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Plainfield , Windham, Connecticut
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1 [?]
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49: 1 [John]
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9: 1 [Maria]
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 49: 1 [Hannah]
Free White Persons - Under 20: 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4
1830; Census Place: Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut; Series: M19; Roll: 11; Page: 77; Family History Library Film: 0002804
||Canterbury, Windham, CT
- Barber John
in the 1840 United States Federal Census
Name: Barber John
[John Barber ]
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59: 1 [John]
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9: 1 [Laura]
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19: 1 [Maria]
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 2 [Betsey ?]
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59: 1 [Hannah]
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6
Year: 1840; Census Place: Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: 32; Page: 314; Family History Library Film: 0003023
||8 Apr 1845
||4 February 2018
||31 Jul 2019 |
||Hannah GREEN, b. , CT , d. 16 Feb 1875, Canterbury, Windham, CT |
||15 Dec 1808
||Voluntown, Windham, CT
| ||1. Male BARBER, b. *[1808-1810], d. Bef 1840 CENSUS?|
| ||2. Elizabeth BARBER, b. , Griswold, New London, CT , d. 22 Jul 1899|
| ||3. Nathan BARBER, b. , d. 27 Jul 1826, Griswold, New London, CT |
| ||4. Sarah BARBER, b. , Griswold, CT , d. 1878|
| ||5. Male BARBER, b. [1811-1820], d. Bef 1830 CENSUS?|
| ||6. Male BARBER, b. [FEBRUARY 1822], d. 30 Aug 1823, Griswold, New London, CT |
| ||7. Lucy BARBER, b. , Griswold, CT , d. 29 Jun 1886|
| ||8. Maria BARBER, b. , Griswold, New London, CT , d. 9 Nov 1869|
| ||9. Laura E BARBER, b. , Plainfield, Windham, CT , d. 1916|
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- Norwich District Probate: Nil
Canterbury District Probate: Nil
Checked Norwich Courier through July 1821 for death of Mrs Barber
Second cousin to Reuben Barber
- Walton Family Cemetery
Close to here?
PLAN OF CONSERVATION AND
16. Walton Cemetery: Lily Pond Road.
- John Barber
in the War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815
Soldier: John Barber
Widow: Hannah Barber
Military Service Location: Connecticut
Pension Number - #1: Wid Orig 9301
Roll Number: 5
Archive Publication Number: M313
Ancestry.com. War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
S O Pension Number: 9301
Soldier: Barber, John
Service: Capt J Stanton's Co Conn Mil/Capt John Avery's Co Conn Mil
Conflict Period: War of 1812
Served For: United States of America
War of 1812 Pension Files
Publication Title: War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Content Source: The National Archives
Content Source: NARA
Content Partner: Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), NARA
National Archives Catalog ID: 564415
National Archives Catalog Title: War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, compiled ca. 1871 - ca. 1900, documenting the period 1812 - ca. 1900
Short Description: The War of 1812 pension files resulted from a man's service during the war, 1812-1815. They were granted to the veteran, his widow, or his heirs.
Act of February 14 1871
War of 1812
Canterbury Windham Co Ct
Capt Stanton's Co Conn Mil
Died Apr 8 1845
Rejected 15 Apr 73
Rejected on account of insufficient service
Windham County Ss
In Voluntown the 15th day of Decr 1808
These certify that Mr John Barber of Preston in the County of New London and Miss Hannah Green of said Voluntown was Joined together in Marriage by
Allen Campbell Justice of Peace
- Hannah Barber
in the 1850 United States Federal Census
Name: Hannah Barber
Birth Year: abt 1787
Home in 1850: Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut , USA
Family Number: 90
Hannah Barber 63 Connecticut
Maria Barber 25  Griswold, Ct
Laura Darling 24 Scotland, Ct
Mamie Demeis 29 Farmer Griswold, Ct
Year: 1850; Census Place: Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: M432_51; Page: 173A; Image: 165
2 December 1850
A 'vampire's' remains were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life
By Michael E Ruane July 31 at 7:00 AM
He had been in his grave so long that when his family dug him up to burn his heart, the organ had decomposed and was not there.
Desperate to stop him from stalking them, they took his head and limbs and rearranged them on top of his ribs in the design of a skull and cross bones. He was a "vampire" after all, and in rural New England in the early 1800s, this was how you dealt with them.
When they were finished, they reburied him in his stone-lined grave and replaced the wooden coffin lid, on which someone had used brass tacks to form the inscription "JB 55," for his initials and his age.
Now, 200 years or so after the death of what is now the country's best studied "vampire," DNA sleuths have tracked down his probable name: John Barber.
He was probably a hard-working farmer. Missing his top front teeth, he was no neck biter. He had a broken collar bone that hadn't healed right, an arthritic knee that may have made him limp. And he had died an awful death, probably from tuberculosis, which was so bad it had scarred his ribs.
The latest findings in a case that started in 1990 when his coffin was discovered in a gravel quarry in Griswold, Connecticut, are contained in a new report by, among others, experts at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's DNA laboratory in Dover, Delaware.
The report was summarized in a presentation on July 23 at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, which aided the study and where the remains are held.
The case is unusual because Barber may be the country?s only supposed "vampire" whose bones have been studied by scientists.
"This case has been a mystery since the 1990s," Charla Marshall said in an email. Marshall is a forensic scientist with SNA International in Alexandria, Virginia, who worked on the project. "Now that we have expanded technological capabilities, we wanted to revisit JB 55 to see whether we could solve the mystery of who he was."
A fragment of the coffin that held the remains of the man believed to be John Barber is hardwood, painted red and decorated with brass tacks hammered into the initials "J.B."
It is the latest chapter in a project that has cast light on the eerie vampire scare in New England -- Connecticut and Rhode Island especially -- in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and its connection to the spread of tuberculosis, or "consumption," as it was called.
The highly contagious disease was so wasting and terrifying that those who died of it were believed to leave their graves, infecting relatives and draining away blood and life, scholars have said.
These attacks were more mysterious and less graphic than those of the blood sucking vampires of Gothic fiction.
"This was not .?.?. bats flying through the night," said Nicholas F Bellantoni, the retired Connecticut state archaeologist who worked on the case from the start and is one of the report's authors. "This is not Bela Lugosi."
But the terror they brought was real. Consumption often caused a bloody cough and left victims pale and gaunt with blood in the corners of their mouths, author and folklorist Michael E Bell wrote.
"The emaciated figure strikes one with terror," recounted an 18th-century doctor quoted by Bell in a 2013 essay in the journal Kritikos. "The forehead covered with drops of sweat. The cheeks .?.?. a livid crimson. The eyes sunk. .?.?. The breath offensive, quick and laborious."
The vampire?s true menace seemed to come after death, and he had to be killed again during what Bell called "therapeutic exhumation." Often the suspected vampire was a family member who had died of the disease and was thought to be infecting sons, daughters or a wife.
Family members were frequently the ones conducting the exhumation. Bell has documented 80 such cases, mostly in remote areas of New England.
"This was being done out of fear and out of love," Bellantoni said. "People were dying in their families, and they had no way of stopping it, and just maybe this was what could stop the deaths. .?.?. They didn't want to do this, but they wanted to protect those that were still living."
"People were desperate," he said.
The best method of killing the suspected vampire was to check the exhumed corpse to see if any liquid blood remained in the heart. If so, the deceased was likely a vampire, according to the belief. The heart was then removed and burned, with family members sometimes inhaling the smoke to prevent further disease.
Similar incidents have long turned up in Europe, where there are many accounts of corpses being dug up, burned, rearranged, decapitated or having stakes driven through them.
In Barber?s case, there was likely no heart to burn, Bellantoni and Paul S Sledzik wrote in 1994. So "the bones of the chest were disrupted" and the skull and thigh bones were "placed in a 'skull and cross bones' position," they wrote.
After Barber?s grave was discovered, his remains were sent to the museum for study, and a sample from a thigh bone was sent to the DNA lab for analysis. But the technology of 30 years ago yielded scant results, the paper?s authors wrote, and identification was impossible.
But when modern tools were used -- Y-chromosomal DNA profiling and surname prediction via genealogy data available on the Internet -- the experts said they came up with a match for the last name: Barber.
They then checked old cemetery and newspaper records to see whether any Barbers ever lived in Griswold.
They discovered a newspaper notice mentioning the death there in 1826 of a 12-year-old boy named Nathan Barber, whose father was a John Barber. Researchers had found a grave near JB's containing a coffin with the notation NB 13 similarly tacked on the lid.
The project began in November 1990 when an abandoned cemetery was encountered during mining at a sand and gravel facility in Griswold, according to a study by Sledzik, Bellantoni and colleague David A Poirier.
Human skeletons and crumbling coffin parts emerged from the Earth. And two human skulls tumbled down an embankment when three boys playing there dislodged them.
Investigators eventually removed the remains of 27 people -- five men, eight women and 14 children -- from 28 graves in what scholars discovered was an old burying ground called the Walton Family Cemetery. (One grave contained evidence of a coffin but no human remains.)
But it was grave No 4 that drew the most attention.
"Every one was in good anatomical position .?.?. except this one individual, JB 55," Bellantoni said.
Under his coffin lid, Ballantoni and his colleagues found the strange skull and cross bones arrangement.
"His thigh bones .?.?. were uprooted from the anatomical position and crossed over the chest," he said.
"The chest had been broken into, and the .?.?. skull was decapitated and moved away," he said. "I was totally befuddled. I had no clue what I was looking at."
Research soon suggested a link to the New England vampire folk belief, he said.
"So JB turned out to have tuberculosis .?.?. [evident] because of the lesions on his ribs," he said. "We do believe that he was rearranged in the grave because he was believed to be undead.?
Bellantoni said JB had probably been deceased four or five years when he was exhumed, which, based on his recovered coffin hardware, likely happened in the early 1800s.
"Here in New England .?.?. we had large farming families," he said. "Because they didn?t understand the transmission of the disease, you had family members who were suffering from tuberculosis sitting at the dinner table with the whole family coughing, and you had tubercular victims sleeping in one room with five or six brothers and sisters coughing."
"It was epidemic," he said.
So what now of poor John Barber, the alleged vampire?
"Listen," Bellantoni said. "He was a hard-working farmer. Probably lower-middle class. .?.?. You could see it in his bones. You could see it in the arthritic condition of his vertebrae. .?.?. Hard-, hard-working. Good Christian man, I am sure."
- If Nathan Barber and John Barber are indeed NB and JB, then they most likely are the same family who lived in Griswold in the 1820s and later in Canterbury.
John Barber served during the War of 1812, and his widow made a claim for a pension. From that claim, we know that he married Hannah Green in 1808 in Voluntown, and that he died in 1845. Judging from census data, and the possibility that he was the John Barber b 1788 son of Benjamin Barber of Canterbury, he would have been about 56 at the time of his death.
If this is the right JB, then he was a contemporary of the Rays of Jewett City (a Borough of Griswold), and not of the couple generations before once thought. Also, John apparently had two other sons that can't be easily identified: one born around 1809 and possibly died in the 1830s, and another born in the 1810s and died in the 1820s. Did consumption claim these victims too? We can guess that the family had a history of the disease, thus the drastic actions taken to stop the spread. It seems to have worked, as the remainder of the children lived quite long after the 1840s.
Looking more closely at the John Barber m Hannah Green family, we find two daughters who married apparent brothers name Hicks: Elizabeth (Betsey) Barber m George Hicks and Laura Barber m Charles Hicks. These are apparent sons of David Hicks m Sarah [Tewgood?], Sarah born in Foster about 1792.
These Hickses moved around a bit before finally settling in Canterbury. They lived in Killingly, Pomfret and Plainfield, Killingly being adjacent to Foster. Sarah wife of David Hicks being from Foster, and their earliest known child born in Foster in 1812, we can guess they were married there or nearby. They lived in Killingly by about 1815, and Pomfret by 1820. Evidence puts them back in Killingly in 1825.
So what was going on on the Killingly/Foster line in the mid- to late-1820s? The Hickses may have borne witness to the exhumation of Nancy Young, and they certainly would have known the actors.
Back to Griswold.
Even more intriguing than the Foster connection is Dr Reuben Barber who was living in Griswold at the time of exhumations of JB and the Rays. (It may be simple coincidence that he is named Barber, as there are loads of them around.)
Dr Barber had come to Griswold soon after his first marriage in 1810. He called himself a "Botanic physician" in the 1850 census. More compelling is that he was born in Exeter, and would have been 10 or 12 at the time of the Tillinghast affair.
Of course it is hard to say if Dr Barber had any interaction with the Rays or JB, but we are compelled to ask:
What kind of strange medicine did Dr Barber bring to Griswold from the hills of Exeter?
- Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920
Original data: Connecticut. Church Records Index. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.
Death Place: Griswold , Connecticut , USA
Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 2013.
Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 for Barber
Volume 043 Griswold Page 13
Volume 2 Page 171 Mrs Barber d June  1818 [Mary Terry m Reuben Barber]
Volume 2 Page 172 Mrs Barber d June 27 1821 [1776?]
Volume 2 Page 174 Mr Barber his child d 30 August 1823 ae 1 1/2 [February 1822]
Volume 2 Page 177 John Barber his son d July 26 1826 ae 15