William Barnes plantation.


“[T]he William Barnes house was built in a style which was popular in Wilson County between 1848 and 1860. Barnes was the brother of General Joshua Barnes, one of the most influential men in the area and a founder of Wilson County. Barnes was born in 1811. Like his brother, he was a planter, and by the time of his death he had accumulated over 1,000 acres. …The exterior of the Barnes house has remained basically unaltered except for the construction of a two-story portico with Doric columns which dates circa 1914. The William Barnes House is very similar stylistically to the house of his brother, General Joshua Barnes, which was built circa 1845. The exterior consists of a plain two-story box with a shallow hipped-roof and a three-bay facade. A wide trabeated entrance, surmounted by a smaller door on the second floor, is located in the central bay. The unusual six-panel door is similar to those found on the Daniel Whitley House (also in Stantonsburg Township). The interior plan is that of a wide center hall with two large rooms located on each side. Major alterations have been made on the interior. A large two-story packhorse and small gable-roof storage building, both contemporary with the house, exist on the grounds.” — Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981).

The six-paneled door.


In the 1860 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County, 48 year-old farmer William Barnes’ listing notes that he owned real property valued at $35,000 and personal property at $89,000. The latter, of course, largely consisted of enslaved men and women, whose crucial role on his plantation went unmentioned in the description above. The 1860 slave schedule credits him as the owner outright of 79 men, women and children and in trust of an additional 26.

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Aerial shot of the Barnes House and outbuildings at the intersection of Fairfield Dairy Road and Highway 58.

Photograph of Barnes house taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2015; photo of door taken July 2017; aerial photo courtesy of Google Maps.


  1. Is this the William Barnes Plantation of the William Barnes who was briefly married to Pamela Collins of Keachi LA? If so I am certain my ancestors the Pipkins worked this plantation because they were Pamela’s slaves she inherited from her parents estate after they died.

    1. I am a relative of Precilla Barnes. She was my great great grandmother on my mothers side. I have pictures of her and her children.My great grandmother was Betsy Barnes and my grandmother was Emmogene Perricone. Her father was an immigrant from Cicily Italy name Andrew Perricone. And they were all from Keachi LA.

    2. Rachel – My family name was Carpenter- I am searching for a Slave named Henry who lived on Barnes farm. He was with a woman by name of Martha – daughter named Letitia ——–bd 1914. BIG BIG deal in Oregon. google Letitia Carson (married name) well not married but- Husband was white -Irish and they went ot Oregon. I am trying to track DNA and info for Letitia and family. Letitia’s daughter married into the Indians in Oregon. SO much history but need to find the slave line. I do have DNA on her. if you reply happy to share. thanks ladypatricia

      1. It does not appear that these comments relate to Wilson County, though Barnes is quite a common name here. (By the way — I assume by “slave line” you mean a line of African-American people who were enslaved.)

  2. My family tree has William Barnes married to Dinah. My ancestor took took batnes harllee is their daughter. Is there any more info on his children anywhere?

  3. Where was BARNES from? How did he end up in South Carolina? Where did men that owned slaves and plantations come from?

    1. Barnes is an English surname. The white Barneses of Wilson County are generally believed to descend from several branches of a family that migrated to Virginia from England in the 17th century. From NC, Barneses spread out across the South in the antebellum period.

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