For years descendants of the Moses and Willis Barton clans have claimed kinship.  A male Barton descended from Moses Barton has contributed DNA to the Barton Historical Society DNA Project.  The result shows that we are related, but much more distantly than we thought...unless there is a closer relationship through a female line.  Moses is a part of the Greenville Co./Pendleton Dist., SC Bartons (G/P Bartons) who descend from David & Ruth (Oldham) Barton and Thomas & Sarah (Wilson) Barton. Most southern Bartons and some northern Bartons seem to be closely connected to that clan of Bartons.

We have been loosely grouped with another family of Bartons because we have similar DNA markers, but in truth, we are no more related to them than we are to the G/P Bartons. Of the G/P Bartons, our DNA matches most closely to Henry of Hall Co., Georgia.  Many genealogists believe he was the brother of Stephen and James who moved from Hall Co., GA to Murray Co., GA and later to Rusk Co., TX. Other siblings were believed to be David and Mary Ellen.

Before living in Winston County, AL, Willis resided in Hall Co., GA.  Willis wasn't listed in the 1850 Hall Co., census, but his brother, William, was.  Ample church records show Willis also resided in the area during this time.  Willis' sister, Malissa, was living in William's household.


In the 1840 census of Hall Co., GA, there were two unidentified women living in William's household.  One was the right age to be Malissa, but who was the other? Could she have been the mother of Willis and William?

1840 Census of Hall Co., GA (Page 29, GA Militia Dist., 403)

William Barton  


There were several Barton families living in Hall Co., GA, but only one lived near the Willis/William clan.  Joseph Barton (b. ca 1800) was the right age to be a possible older brother.


Willis and Joseph were in the 1830 census record, but where were William and Malissa?  Children in the household of a Rebecca Barton were the right ages to be William and Malissa.  *Also, Rebecca was living next door to Wiley A. Herrington.  William md. Wiley's daughter.  By the 1840 census, Rebecca was no longer listed as a head of household, but Willis was living next door to W. A. Arrington [Herrington].  

1830 Federal Census for Hall Co., GA. (P. 95)

Rebecca Barton

Perhaps one of the women is the mother or aunt and the other is the grandmother of Willis, William and Malissa.  Joseph, Willis, William, Rebecca and Malissa aren't accounted for in the 1820 Hall Co.   There was a Willis in Lincoln Co., Ga during this census who was the right age to be our Willis.  For many years we thought he was our Willis.  Upon checking the Lincoln Co. records, we discovered it was heavily settled by an entirely different SC clan.  We got no leads in that direction so decided to explore alternative possibilities--one was locating Rebecca.  


Family tradition says our Bartons came from Pendleton District, SC in the early 1800's. We have absolutely no documentation for this. A Rebecca Barton was enumerated in the 1820 Pendleton District, SC census with data similar to the 1830 Hall Co.   Rebecca...only this time, not only was there a male of an age to be Willis, there was also a male of an age to be Joseph included in her household.

1820 Pendleton Dist., SC  (P. 219)

Rebecca Barton

This is a perfect match in both the sexes and the ages of the individuals.

Rebecca wasn't listed in the 1810 census of Pendleton.  If she was the mother of Willis, she would be listed with her husband during this census because William was born in 1812.  A large group of families, including some Bartons, left South Carolina in about 1807.  Some went to Kentucky, others through Tennessee and on to Alabama.  This complicates making a family match.  The Rebecca Barton family data doesn't fit the Bartons left behind so we are at a dead end.

Several Bartons from the Pendleton District area came from Laurens Co., SC.  There were a number of land transactions made by a James Barton in Laurens Co.  At least one of those mentioned a Rebecca:

4-25-1765:  James Barton with wife Rebecca purchased 100 acres on Duncans Creek. [Deed Book F, p. 359] (Duncan's Creek of Enoree River between Broad and Saluda Rivers.)


Barton Family Workbook

Barton Bulletin Board 



* Evidence that William and Malissa Barton were the brother and sister of Willis:

"I heard that I had an uncle named William Barton and an uncle named Jonathan B. [?] Martin who were in the rebel service in the State of Georgia and also some cousins...Never aided or saw them while they were in rebel service nor  since." [Testimony of Jonathan Barton (son of Willis) before the Southern Claims Commission  as recorded in the book, Winston:  An Antebellum and Civil War History of a Hill County of North Alabama, by Donald B. Dodd and Wynelle S. Dodd, compiled by Carl Elliott as Vol. IV of the series, Annals of Northwest Alabama, p.281-282]

There were several William Bartons in the state of Georgia, but Willis was from Hall Co., Georgia, so it seems reasonable to begin the search in that county for a William Barton.  There was a William Barton residing in Hall Co. during and after the time Willis lived there.  Not only did they live in the same community,  both Barton families were members of the same church--Timber Ridge Baptist.  Some of William's children were Confederate soldiers.  Two of his sons may have died in the war.  

Malissa Barton appeared in William's household in several census records, but in the 1880 census she was listed as his sister.   She also was a member of Timber Ridge Baptist Church.

Doris Liles was a descendant of Willis Barton through his son, James Alexander.  One of James Alexander's daughters, Martha Savanna,  married Young William Barton, the son of William Barton.  Doris said Martha and Young William were cousins.