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Naturalization Papers

Several events had taken place in the life of George and Alexander’s father before the Civil War began.  John Barclay naturalized as a citizen in 1855.  This document was found in the records of the Territory of Minnesota, Scott Co., Declarations of Intent #118 at the Scott County Historical Society:

 

Here is the best interpretation of the handwriting:   

Territory of Minnesota, County of Scott – I John Barclay do and on my oath declare that I first arrived in the United States about the fifteen day of November in the year 1833. That I have since that time continued to reside in the United Sates, and that it is bona fide my intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to denounce forever all allegiance and fidelity which I’m _____ to any foreign ___, Potentate, State or Sovereignty and particularly all allegiance and fidelity which I have to Victoria I, Queen of Great Britain of whom I have heretofore been a Subject. Subscribed and sworn to this 12th day of June A.D. 1855 before Mr. G. Ab_____dorf, Clerk. – Territory of Minnesota, Scott Co., Sign by John Barclay. 

I find this document to be both wonderful and frustrating.  

So far I have not been able to find anything that fits the date of November 15, 1833 for John Barclay coming into the U.S.  I still have more researching to do regarding John’s immigration.  The possibility that he came in through Canada is not something to ignore.  There were weavers in the area around Ottawa who came to homestead.  If  he was connected to the Scottish weavers that came to Thompsonville, Connecticut to work in the carpet factory that adds a little more of a challenge to this puzzle.   Thompsonville is part of Enfield, Connecticut. 

The vague reference to Queen Victoria without specifically mentioning Scotland is frustrating.  This is however typical of most naturalizations done through the courts. The other possibility is that John was in England for a while before he immigrated to the US.  This document catalogued under Declaration of Intention so that implies there is another document finalizing it but I have not been able to locate one. 

I attended a lecture in April 2010 at the National Genealogical Society Conference by John Philip Colletta.  John stated that people would frequently forget 20 years later the exact date of their arrival in the United States.  They might remember the day but the year could be wrong, so broaden your search.  

If he immigrated in 1833 that means he has been in this country 20 years by the time I pick up his trail if he truly was born in 1801 and he appears in Eagle Creek, Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota.  According to his son Alexander’s probate file the first son John A. Barclay would have been born about 1836 if the age given is correct.  The Minnesota census have the son John Barclay living in Sibley Co., Minnesota as born in Scotland.  

So I have a puzzle and it will be a very good day when I finally figure all this out. Meanwhile lets take a look at John Barclay’s patent for his land in Shakopee, Minnesota.

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From the 1853 appearance of John Barclay in the Eagle Creek area, I am able to follow him to his death in Minnesota in 1897.  It is in Minnesota that he starts his second family. 

We first see this when we view the U.S. Federal Census for 1860 .  I found this entry under the name “Bartley.” 

John Barclay appears with his two sons Alexander and George and the beginning of his second family. 

1860 U.S. Federal Census, Minnesota

 

Minnesota, Eagle Creek, Scott Co., pg. 97, P.O. Shakopee, enumerated 15 July, 1860 by M. P. Clark – Dwelling 838, Family 838, John Bartley, age 48 (born about 1812), male, farmer, born in Scotland. Ellen Bartley 30 (born about 1833), female, born in Norway. Charles Bartley 7/12 mos old, born in Minnesota, Alexander Bartley 20 years old (born about 1840), farm labor, born in Connecticut. George Bartley age 17 (born about 1843), farm labour, born in Connecticut.   

One fact about my Barclay family is the ages will keep changing over the years.  According to other documentation Alexander was born in 1842 and George was born in 1844.  A two-year difference is not necessarily a big difference especially when you do not have an actual birth record.  What I do know is taken from military records.  To really know the true birthdate you need the parents acting as the informants.    

Their father John’s birth year as given here had him born about 1812.  I have an obituary and tombstone picture which puts his birth year at 1801 and that is an 11 year difference.  John’s age will change a lot over the years to come, so I really don’t know exactly how old he was. 

There is a bit of confusion about his 2nd wife’s name.  I have finally settled on the fact that it is Helen and not Ellen as this census has indicated.  Her surname maiden name is also a little confusing it could be Stevenson or Iverson.  It might imply she had been married before?  I will go over the documentation I have on Helen in future posts. 

As we see here Alexander and George are listed as being born in Connecticut.  Going back to the 1857 Minnesota State census (May 15, 2010 post) we see that they are also listed as being born in Connecticut.  So you can see why I have focused on Connecticut as their birthplaces. 

The other interesting point is the spelling of the name Barclay.  It has come down in my family as “Barclay.”  However, as you see here is it listed as “Bartley.”  I have seen other spellings.  Of course, this could be the enumerator’s take on the spelling of the name.  My great-grandfather and mother both spelled it “Barclay.”

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Since I was not having much success in Connecticut in finding John Barclay, my 2nd great-grandfather, I turned my attention to Minnesota.  John Barclay makes his appearance in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1853.  

John is mentioned in a book:  History of the Minnesota Valley, including the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota and History of the Sioux Massacre, by Rev. Edward D. Neill and Charles S. Bryant published in 1882, Eagle Creek, [Shakopee, Scott Co., Minnesota], page 315. 

“The settlers continued to arrive in large numbers during the fall of 1852 and throughout the year 1853, the earlier of whom were as follows: Thomas Kennedy arrived in the fall of 1852 and moved on to his present claim in spring 1853; Edward Smith came in spring of 1853 and located his present claim in the north-eastern quarter of section 20 the same year; Alex. Dorward also came that year, together with Benjamin W. Turner, John Masters, Lyman Ruby, John Barclay and Horace Fuller. These all located in different parts of the town, and most of them are still living upon their original claims.” 

Ancestry.com has this book scanned on their website.  You can probably get to it through the Ancestry Library edition at your local library.  

Eagle Creek Road Sign

 

This is the first sighting of John Barclay that I have found.  I have tried to get him back further and closer to Connecticut but so far he is not cooperating.   I knew about John from the “Logsleds to Snowmobiles” book and from my Aunt Miriam’s notes.  I could not resist the sign and the name.  

Shakopee Minnesota 2007

 

I have traveled to Minnesota and the last time was in 2007 when I went to Shakopee to do more research on John Barclay and his second family.  This is a view of a main street in Shakopee.

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John Barclay, my great great grandfather, was introduced to me by my Aunt Miriam in her family history notes, so I knew about him.  I also had a copy of the book by the city of Pine River, celebrating their first 100 years, and he is mentioned in that book: 

  “…not far from Shakopee where George’s father chose to live “because it reminded him of his native Scotland.”  Apparently the father, John, remarried and had other children…”  

John Barclay had two families.  He was first married to Margaret.  When he married Margaret is not known and where she is buried is also unknown.  She probably died in Connecticut but so far a search of records reveal only one possibility of a Margaret Barclay dying in Enfield in 1848 of about the right age. 

continuing the quote above…” because at the time of Alexander’s death in 1906, there was quite a bit of difficulty in locating all the Barclay heirs from “both families.”” pg. 105 

In my Aunt Miriam’s notes she mentions Alexander’s probate: 

Alex's Probate

 

My great-uncle Alexander Barclay has been very good to me.  I secured his probate file at some expense from the Dakota County Courthouse in Minnesota and it opened up a very big genealogical door!  

From this first marriage came seven (7) siblings that were listed in Alexander’s estate file.  There wasn’t a will so some of the information is carefully taken from the probate file.  Other information such as census searches and indexes were also used.  I am slowly gathering the facts together on the siblings and will present more at a later time. 

1.  John Avery Barclay born abt 1836, died – unknown.  According to Alex’s estate file he disappeared and was presumed dead as stated in an affidavit of his sister Sarah Agnes. He appears in deeds, land records, and court documents in Silbey Co., Minnesota till about 1880.  He may have gone to California.  John Avery Barclay was probably born in Scotland per census information and other sources but that is not yet proven.  John married Minerva  Parks on 3 July 1865 in Henderson, Sibley Co., Minnesota.  Since John Avery Barclay was considered dead his two children where his heirs and they are mentioned in the estate file.  The couple actually had four children:  

1. John Avery Barclay II born 23 July 1867 in Sibley Co., Minnesota and died 8 March 1951 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.   

2. Sarah Ellen born 29 March 1869 in Sibley Co., Minnesota.   

3 and 4. There were two other children twins: Albert and Alice born 1870 Silbey Co.,  Minnesota but it is looking like they didn’t survive.  Some of this information was supplied by another cousin.  

2.  James A. Barclay born about 1838 in Connecticut, he died about 1906 in Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., Connecticut during the probate process of Alexander’s estate.  He married a Maryanne Stewart and had children.  

3.  Sarah Agnes Barclay born about 1840 in Connecticut.  She married Porter Blinn about 1860 in Connecticut.  He was born about 1842 in Connecticut.  They had 6 children and it looks like they stayed in Newington, Hartford Co. , Connecticut. 

Update:  May 26, 2010 – I was at the Family History Library researching when I discovered that the Sarah that I thought was Sarah Agnes Barclay in the census married to Porter Blinn was the Sarah I should be studying for the Barclay’s.  Turns out she is a Griswold and her father is Henry Griswold.  So back to the drawing board on #3.  This is why it is so important to check other sources like marriages and birth records and not totally trust the census. 

4.  Mary J. Barclay born about 1841 in Connecticut and died 28 March 1917 in Bristol, Hartford Co., Connecticut.  I have her estate file.  She married a Jerome B. Ford and had 3 daughters.  Jerome was born about 1846 in Connecticut. 

5. Alexander A. Barclay was born September 1842 in Hartford, Connecticut and died on 9 December 1905 at the Rochester Hospital for the Insane in Olmsted Co., Minnesota.  He apparently suffered in the end with dementia.  He was only in the hospital about 6 days before he died.  He was buried 17 December 1905 in the Corinithian Cemetery in Farmington, Dakota Co., Minnesota. 

6.  Martha M. Barclay born about 1843 in Connecticut and died around 1920 or later in California.  She married a Jeremiah Ford in about 1859 in Connecticut.  I do not know if Jeremiah and Jerome were brothers.  Martha and Jeremiah had two daughters.  

7.  George Angus Barclay was born 18 August 1844 probably in Connecticut and died on the 28th of October 1898 in Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota.  George is the subject of our blog and more information will be forthcoming on his life. He married Amarilla Spracklin in 1878 and they had 2 children. 

The second marriage of John Barclay was to Helen in Scott Co., Minnesota.  I have not been able to find their marriage in Minnesota records but it happened prior to 1860 per the census and from this marriage their were four (4) children born. 

8.  Charles Barclay was born about January 1860 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota.  After the death of his mother in 1907 he seems to have moved from Shakopee and might have gone to Minneapolis and died about 1938.  Charles didn’t marry as far as I can determine from census and other documents. 

9.  William Barclay was born about 1863 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota and died 7 Dec 1937 in Gallatin Co., Montana.  He married a Clara E, probably in Minnesota.  She was born about 1859 in Wisconsin and died about 21 March 1919 in Madison Co., Montana.  They had one child name Foster born 1891 and probably died by 1907.  

10.  Mary E. Barclay was born about 1864 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota and died 19 February 1930 in Cascade Co., Montana.  She married Charles B. Clark probably in Minnesota for he was born there about 1856.  He died 28 February 1932 in Deer Lodge Co., Montana.  They had at least one child named Ruth Clark who was born about 1895.   It is interesting that there are two Mary’s named in John’s family a good 20+ years apart. 

11.  Anna Elizabeth Barclay was born 15 April 1870 in Shakopee, Scott Co., Minnesota and died 4 August 1955 in Menominee, Menominee Co., Michigan.  She married David Maurice Carter on 9 July 1885 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota.  David was born 9 January 1860, Marinette, Marinette Co., Wisconsin.  The information for this family was supplied by a cousin and has not been verified.  Anna had 4 children. 

The person that initiated the probate process for Alexander was his niece, my grandmother Grace A. Barclay McDonald.  She was pregnant at the time and lived in International Falls.  She was unable to attend the court sessions because she had the baby and was “indisposed.”  The baby was my Aunt Miriam. 

Book: Logsleds to Snowmobile’s, Pine River Centennial Celebration, 1873-1973, Written by the Citizens of Pine River and edited by Norman F. Clarke, Pine River Centennial Committee, 1979.  A copy is available at the Family History Library.

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