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One of my paternal great-great-grandmothers was Elizabeth Barnes (1833-98). She was born at Coldwaltham, West Sussex, the seventh and youngest child of William Barnes (1791-1859) and Sarah HENLEY (1802-72).

Elizabeth Barnes married Hayward CHEESMAN (1830-99) at Coldwaltham in 1852. They had 10 children at Coldwaltham. Elizabeth was copying her older sister, Ann, who had married Hayward's older brother Thomas CHEESMAN in 1848 and they also had 10 children.

William Barnes (1791-1859) married Sarah HENLEY at Coldwaltham in 1822. Only one of their seven children died before being old enough to marry and have children. There were 40 children in the next generation, about 30 in Sarah's lifetime, mostly born at Coldwaltham. Only their fourth child, Esther Sophia (1827-?), moved away; to Bognor with her husband George SOWTER. George and Esther married in 1858 and had five children, their youngest, also George SOWTER (1868-?) became a policeman at Hove, following the example of two of his CHEESMAN cousins. The other four children of William and Sarah Barnes were James, John, William and Joseph (1832-54).
There appears to be no baptism for James (c1821-bef.1889), he may have been born before his parents married but there is no baptism for him as HENLEY either. His marriage entry states that his father was William Barnes and James's wife registered the death of her father-in-law in 1859. James Barnes married Sarah DEARLING in 1849 and they had ten children at Coldwaltham: John, Hayward, Clara, Walter, Esther Sarah, Sarah Ann (c1862-1878), William (b&d 1864), Ada Florence, Emma and James. John and Hayward both married, the fate of most of the others after 1881 is not known. John (1850-?) married Mary Ann and had at least six children at Coldwaltham, Lancing and Worthing by 1891: Alfred John, William, Frederick, Lucy, Clara and Alice. Hayward (1851-?) married Fanny DENYER in 1885 and had at least three children at Coldwaltham and Kingston-by-Sea: Ada, George and Percy. In 1901 Hayward and family, plus his brother James, were living at Rustington, Fanny's birthplace. When Sarah died in 1889 she was said to be the widow of James but I haven't found his burial.
John (1824-96) married twice, his first wife was Catherine TYLOR, they married in 1848 but Catherine died six months later. John didn't marry again until 1859, this time more productively to Harriet STANDEN (1838-?), they had eight children: Percy, Mary Standen (1865-86), Ellen, Annie, Maurice, Emma, Stanley and Jane Alice Maud. Mary had a daughter, Mary Celia, just before she died, John and Harriet then looked after their granddaughter. Annie also had an illegitimate daughter, Lillian Jane, in 1896. It's not known what happened to either of them or to any of the other descendants of John and Harriet.
William and Sarah's son William (1825-?) married very late at the age of 52. In 1878 he married Emma MYSON at Brighton, Emma was probably about 27 but added a few years to her age for the 1881 census entry which has them at West Burton (near Bury, West Sussex) with two daughters, Maria and Mary, who were baptised at nearby Sutton. In June 2001 I was contacted by a descendant of a William Barnes born at Coldwaltham in 1891, son of William and Emma [Myson] but I could find no trace of them there or nearby in the 1891 census. William had emigrated to Canada in about 1900, together with two brothers Thomas and Jack. William the younger eventually settled in California, USA. Nothing could be found to substantiate this or other family stories.
A chance discovery by me in March 2002 found William at Partridge Green in 1891 with three sons: William (9y), Thomas (6y), John (5y). William was a widower and there was no sign of the two girls. William the younger was said to have been born at Coldwaltham and Thomas and John at Ashurst. As Jack is a nickname for John this confirmed my Californian contact's information. More investigation is still needed, the on-line 1901 census might help determine whether they had emigrated by then.

William Barnes (1791-1859) was almost certainly the son of John Barnes (1763?-1838) and Elizabeth HARWOOD (1765?-1837). There is no baptism for him at Coldwaltham but John and Elizabeth Barnes appear to have had two sons named John according to the parish register. There is no burial for the first one and his baptism date fits William's age perfectly. I strongly believe that either the parish clerk or the vicar made a mistake or the first John was known as William. Mary Barnes, one of the children of John and Elizabeth, was a witness at William and Sarah's wedding.
John and Elizabeth Barnes's nine children at Coldwaltham are recorded as: Rhoda (1789-97), James, "John", Frances (1795-1806), John, Ann, Mary, Jane and Sarah (1808-28). James and the first "John" were baptised on the same day, as were Jane and Sarah. So there may have been two sets of twins, or the parents baptised the children in batches. It's not known what happened to James, Ann or Mary. The "second" John (1799-?) was at Brighton in 1851 with his wife Hannah and two children Emily and Elizabeth. Jane married William BARNET in 1829. William and Jane BARNET had seven children at Coldwaltham. The BARNES and BARNET surnames can be very difficult to distinguish in old handwriting and the IGI has many examples of baptisms which are recorded as the wrong one. Later the BARNETs were spelt with an extra "T" so they were easier to tell apart. BARNES also appears as BARNS, BURNS and other slight variations.

John Barnes and Elizabeth HARWOOD married at the nearby village of North Stoke in 1789. There is no proof this is the right couple but the ages as given on the marriage licence agree with the burial ages of this John and Elizabeth. The origins of John cannot be established with any certainty. He was 'of Leominster' at his marriage and had been there for four months. Leominster is now known as Lyminster, the IGI offers a John Barnes baptised at Walberton (two miles from Lyminster) in December 1763 but there is no proof this is the correct John. That John Barnes was the son of Thomas but my John did not have a son Thomas. I would expect my John to be the son of William or James, they were the names of his first two sons.
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