Snaps, no. 104: Wiley Barnes.

Wiley Barnes (ca. 1880-1964).

Elder Wiley Barnes was the long-time pastor of Corner Line Primitive Baptist Church.


On 9 January 1898, Wiley Barnes, 18, of Stantonsburg, married Sarah Barnes, 18, of Stantonsburg, in Stantonsburg township.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Wiley Barnes, 20; wife Sarah, 21; and children Etta G., 2, and Hattie M., 3 months.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Wiley Barnes, 30; wife Sarah, 29; and children Etta, 11, Hattie, 10, James Q., 9, Lily, 8, Willie, 7, Thomas, 3, Clara, 2, and Mema, 2 months.

In 1918, Wiley Barnes registered for the World War draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 20 May 1879; lived at Route 2, Stantonsburg; was a farmer for Charlie Whitley; and his nearest relative was Sarah Barnes.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Wiley Barnes, 50; wife Sarah, 50; children Etta, 29, Wiley, 18, Ella M., 16, Sarah L., 13, John A., 12, and Edna, 11; and grandchildren Ardice, 13, Ester, 10, Ezzie M., 7, Georgia L., 6, Julias, 3, and Sammy Williams, 1.

On 2 April 1936, Wiley Barnes, 58, of Stantonsburg, son of Ella Barnes, married Eva Emerson [Edmundson], 60, daughter of Laura Young, in Wilson County.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Wiley Barnes, 61; wife Eva, 65; daughter Enda, 17; grandchildren George A., 17, and Fannie L. Williams, 16, and Sammie, 12, Raymond, 8, Odessa, 7, Lucy, 5, and Sallie Barnes, 4.

Wiley Barnes died 30 July 1964 in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 May 1880 to Ella Garnes; was married; was a minister; and was buried in Wilson. Emma C. Barnes was informant.

Photo courtesy of user dunta.


  1. I remember Elder Wiley Barnes, pastor of my paternal grandparents and my father’s church– Cornerline Primitive Baptist Church. I was 14 years old when he died.

  2. Interesting information. I feel a sense of historical loss as I drive by and see Cornerline Primitive Baptist Church fall into ruins in the overgrown brush as the effect of time takes its toll on the structure.

    1. Primitive Baptist churches nurtured generations of African-Americans in Wilson County — from London Chapel to Barnes Chapel to Cornerline to Little Union to so many others. Increasingly, their congregations age out or move away, the churches close, and important threads of our history go with them.

  3. Thank you Lisa for posting about Rev. Wiley. As you know, his second wife Eva was my great-great maternal grandmother. Like Ms McNair, it saddens me to see that church in ruins. It carries rich history, for my family. I wonder if Samuel Barnes has plans for the church or the land.

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