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The Barb Book

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

I am lucky that I inherited family research from both my father's side of the family and my mother's. While both sets of information are derivative sources, they still gave me information to use as a starting point for my research on these two families. The research on my mother's side is on her father's side, the Barb family. It consists of a 1,194-page book (!), tracing the Barb family back to Johann Jacob Barb, who, according to the book, was born in Hochstenbach in the Rhineland-Pfalz region of Germany, 28 November 1725. Jacob and his family came to this country in September 1749 and he is the first known Barb to have immigrated to this country.


The book was published in 1993 by its compilers, Waverly Wilson Barbe and Alan Lee Williams. They utilized the records of Olive Amelia Barbe McLaughlin, who had done extensive research on the family during her lifetime (1842-1928). The book has a lot of information about Olive and the research she did. It also has a lovely narrative section at the front that sets the stage of what was going on in Germany at the time Jacob left, and traces his known migration once he got here.



Jacob and his wife, Maria Catharina Richter, had eleven known children: Eva Maria, Johann Adam, Abraham, Anna Maria, Henry, Mary, William, Elizabeth, Jacob, Isaac, and Peter. Eva Maria died when she was less than a year old, and all of the other children survived to adulthood. The compilers of the book chose to organize the information on the descendants of Jacob by numbering them based on which of Jacob's children they trace their lineage. For example, I am a descendant of Jacob (Junior), who was the ninth child, so my entry begins with 9. This same numbering pattern is utilized for each subsequent generation, so my full number is: 9453211 or the first child of the first child of the second child of the third child of the fifth child of the fourth child of the ninth child! Whew!


The numbering system makes it relatively easy to follow your Barb line through the book. Surprisingly, with as many names as are in this book, my mother actually found a friend of hers who is also a cousin! (My mother and Berta are both descendants of Jacob (Junior), but then each from a different son of Jacob. Best I can tell that makes them fourth cousins!)


I have done a lot of research on my Barb lineage beyond the Barb Book and I have been able to corroborate a lot of the information it contains. It is such a treasure to have it and every time I look through it, I find more gems to research!


Do you have any published histories of your family? Tell us about it in the comments!

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