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Barnett, Wood-Tunnell, Allison-Bixby

Updated August 10, 2008

About Our Family Research

I have been researching my father, George Aaron Barnett's side of the family since 2001. My father was from Venice, IL. He was in the Navy 31 years, retiring in 1978 as Senior Chief Yeoman. A large percentage of my father's family lived in Madison County IL and the surrounding areas for a long time. When my father retired from the Navy, he returned to his hometown neighborhood.
I have found through researching that the Barnett's family is one of the most difficult families to find information. It appears that I can link the family to Johaan Thomas Bernhard (Barnett) who was born in Frankenbach, Hessen, Germany in 1733. He came to America, and settled in Pennsylvania. Johaan Bernhard great grandson, Isaac Barnett moved from Pennsylvania to Greene Co, IL around 1840 with his wife, Sarah Scheibly, which is near the area my father came from.
I found that through one of the Barnett wife's, my father was a descendant of the Wood-Tunnell family. The Tunnell family can be traced back to Guillaume Tonnelier who was born about 1675 in Normandy, France. I remember my father telling me that his family was the descendants of the Huguenots. There was information that I read that said Guillaume Tonnelier and his family had fled France and sought refuge in England in 1702. They changed their family name to be anglicized in which Tonnelier became Tunnel. The second L to the name was added later when the Tunnel’s moved to America. The Tonnelier name in France means "maker of barrels" or cooper. It was Guillaume Tonnelier's son, William Tunnell (Reverend) who with his wife Lady Ann Howard came to America. In 1736, William Tunnell and Lady Ann settled near Fredricksburg, Virginia. They later moved to Fairfax County, VA. It was William Tunnell, son Stephen Tunnell who was married to Kezia Money that moved away from Virginia to Tennessee. Then Stephen Tunnell's, son, Nicholas Money Tunnell moved from Tennessee to Morgan IL.
It appears that Kezia Money family were also descendants of the Huguenots. Kezia Money's family escaped religious persecution because they were Protestant (Huguenots) in France and fled to America.
I also started researching the Wood family who came from South Carolina. It appears that there was Cherokee in this line of the family. Hannah Tunnell married Sampson Wood who might have been 1/2 Cherokee. I heard the stories of a great-grandmother who was Cherokee and the family. It was said that we had a Native American grandmother that was not too far off in the family line. I have no proof as of yet, but I do believe Jacob Hagerman also might have been Cherokee. Jacob Hagerman death was registered with the Cherokee Nation since on his death at the time wad in the Craig-Indian territory, Oklahoma, although, he was buried in Kansas. I have no pictures of George or Sampson Wood, nor picture of Jacob Sampson Wood.
I also did a lot of research on the Bixby family. I found that Joseph Bixby came to America as an indentured servant from Little Waldingfield, England and he settled in Boxford, Essex, MA
Through the Bixby wife's, I found that Rebecca Blessing Towne was a g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g grandmother (8 greats). She was hanged as a witch in Salem MA. I like to thank my family members who started researching our family history in the late 70's or early 80's before computer networking was available. I know they spent many hours complying family information. If it wasn’t for all their efforts and hard work, I wouldn’t have had much information to start this family project. I am not sure who all the family members were.

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