When you think of the Battle of New Orleans do you think about Johnny Horton’s version of the song?
William Barton, my direct ancestor, served in that Battle. Not only did I learn about that song, I also learned about the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans as I hunted for William plus I discovered good information in The War of 1812 Pension Files. William’s wife Sarah provided many documents to support her claims such as her marriage to William and his death but there are other details that are not mentioned in those files such as where or when William was born, who his parents were or who were his children. Some interesting tidbits included in those files was William’s signature and his wife’s description of him when he was about 20 and had just enlisted.
He was a ‘healthy, stout man with black hair, black eyes, about six feet high and of rather dark complexion’.–Sarah Barton, page 38
William was born in 1793 in South Carolina and by 1814 was living in Kentucky where he enlisted as a private in Captain Dodd’s Company in the Kentucky Militia during the War of 1812. William is listed on the roster of troops for the Battle of New Orleans. The war ended, he was discharged and within a few months he and Sarah Dunning married on February 15, 1816 in Christian County, Kentucky.
They lived in Trigg County, Kentucky for many years (enumerated on the census there in the 1820, 1830 & 1840). During those years, the census identified the following birth year ranges of children living with them:
- born 1815- 1820 1 male, 1 female
- born 1820-1825 1 male, 1 female
- born 1825 – 1830 1 male, 2 females (Winny, born 1827 is my direct ancestor)
- born 1830-1835 2 males
By 1850 they had moved to Graves County, Kentucky. On that census there are several Barton members living with them but there is no relationship identified and I suspect there is a mix of children and grandchildren. Within 6 years, at the age of 63 William died in Farmington, Graves, Kentucky.
William Barton was my biological 4th great grandfather on my father’s side.
The song that Johnny Horton performed was originally composed by Johnny Driftwood “in 1936 to help his students differentiate between the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War. The song was a hit among those who heard it, but the strict broadcast standards of the day virtually excluded it from the airways because of the words “hell” and “damn” in the lyrics.” source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture Here’s a link to his version and you can read the lyrics while you listen.
William Barton was in John C. Dodd’s company that was in Mitchusson’s Kentucky Militia Regiment under Adair’s Brigade.
- The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 13 — discussion of Mitchusson’s regiment involvement in the Battle of New Orleans
- Troop Roster at the Battle of New Orleans — includes William Barton
- Andrew Jackson Defends New Orleans in War of 1812 short video on The History Channel
- The War of 1812 over an hour long documentary
- Battle of New Orleans pathfinder
No Story Too Small offered a challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Each of my posts for this challenge will include in the title “52 Ancestors Challenge” and will have the tag of 52Ancestors.