Wilson Daily Times, 8 January 1944.
Hilliard Barnes, in fact, was probably closer to his early 90s when he died, but even that’s an impressive lifespan for man born into slavery on the plantation of Elias Barnes.
On 16 February 1880, Hilliard Barnes, 30, married Nancy Baker, 25, in Wilson County.
On 24 February 1887, Hilliard Barnes, 29, son of Gray Barnes and Bunny Barnes, married Sarah Spell, 30, daughter of Sarah Spell, at C. Woodard’s in Wilson County. Primitive Baptist minister Jesse Baker performed the ceremony in the presence of Turner Hale, Peter Barnes, and Hilliard Strickland.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Barnes, 50; wife Sarah, 52; and children Mary and Martha, 11, Clara, 10, WIllie, 8, Hettie, 3, Lula, 6, and Lonza, 9 months.
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hillard Barnes, 54; wife Sarah, 56; and children Mary, 20, Lula and Willie, 16; Hettie, 13; Lonzo, 10; and Rosa, 7.
On 17 August 1916, Hilliard Barnes, 62, of Wilson, married Fannie Thompson, 58, of Wilson, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Lee Simms, Shade Hines and Menus Hines.
In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Barnes, 70; wife Fannie, 53; children James, 21, Rosa, 18, Essie May, 12, and Odessa L.M., 1; and daughter Mary Jones, 36, widow, and her children William, 8, Nettie, 4, Bud, 34, and Pate, 6 months.
Martha Batts died 26 September 1922 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 37 years old; was born in Wilson County to Hilliard Barnes and Sarah Spells; was married; and was buried in Oldfield cemetery, Wilson County. John Batts was informant.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 702 Lipscomb, owned and valued at $500, Hilliard Barnes, 72; wife Fanny, 50; and granddaughter Odessa, 12.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 Lipscomb, “rent free,” Fannie Barnes, 70, cook; husband Hilliard, 88; daughter Odessa, 21; and grandson Herbert L., 4.
Hilliard Barnes died 6 January 1944 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was about 100 years old; was born in Wilson County to Gray Barnes and Bernie Barnes; lived at 705 Woodard Line; and was married to Fannie Barnes, age 70.