Looking for info on William H. Barns and wife Minnie Leora Willis

+5 votes

William H. Barns and Minnie Leora Willis were the parents of (1) Evie Lenore “Enil” (b. 8 May 1901 - d. 22 Sep 1990 - m. Hesall Morrison in Ga.) , (2) Audrey (b. abt 1904 - m. Caddis Fulford) and (3) Hazel Eunice (b. 16 Sep 1909 - d. 6 Jun 1996 m. Joe Benny Alligood). William H. Barns or his father was involved in an incident that resulted in another man's death. The incident occured in southeast Alabama. Aftewards William H and his family fled to south west Georgia to escape prosecution and changed their last names to Bowne Brown. The only record I have found of them is the 1920 United States Federal Census wher all five are shown living in Spence, Grady county, Georgia. I do know that William H. and  Evie Lenore were devoriced  in the early 1930's. Anither known fact is that William H. was both a blacksmith and a farmer and he died in Flarida. 

I have been stuck and unable to find any ouher information on William H. Barns and Minnie Leora Willis for over ten years now. Any assistance on this Barns or Willis will be most apperciated. They may have been successful in evading law enforcement but should not be alloyed to escape genealogist!


WikiTree profile: Alligood-7
in Genealogy Help by Anonymous Alligood G2G Crew (620 points)
edited by Keith Hathaway
Hello Wayne:  This is Wayne R, Morgan a researcher helping Wiki Tree.There is
no charges involved.I think we should start at the beginning,give names and
dates where you started.Not that i do not trust you,but i do not trust anybody.It is
very easy to make mistakes.If you have first hand knowledge tell me,and where
you got it.

Wayne R. Morgan 5487 Wiki Tree
That is good advice Wayne, it would be even better if when answering questions you could give complete sources so others can check you work as well. :)

Additional information as suggested

Thank you for replying to my G2G post of 16 April 2014 on WikiTree. I have exhausted the limited recourses available to me in my quest to obtain more information about William H. Barns and wife Minnie Leora Willis. My limited knowledge of them was primarily obtained from interviewing relatives. The single exception is a 1920 US federal census of Spence, Grady County, Georgia. That census was obtained online at < https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MJDY-FTM?cc=1488411 > . This census is a perfect match. There is a possible match on 1910 United States Federal Census of Dale County, Alabama. There we see William H Brown married to Minnie Brown with three children of about the correct age whoever the names of the children are not a match. I have checked many other censuses but only the 1920 Grady County, Georgia provides a good match, others are close but some detail which are off in the others.


 William H. Barns and his wife Minnie Leora Willis were my father’s mother’s parents or my great grandparents.  On 19 October 1995 I interviewed my aunt, Dorothy Jean “Dot” Alligood Weaver (b. 7 Sep 1928 Thomasville, Ga. – d. 25 Apr 2006 Mobile Alabama – m. James Richard “Spike” Weaver who passed away on 20 Jan 2009). Dot was my father’s sister. In this interview, Dorothy confirmed that William H. Barns and his wife Minnie Leora Willis had left the southeast part of Alabama and changed their last name, fleeing the state to avoid prosecution after being involved in an incident that resulted in another man's death. They changed their last name to Bower, and sometime used Bowen. There was some equivocation as to the fact of it being William H. Barns or his father that was involved in the incident. Dot was not sure of the county where they were living prior to the move that placed them in Georgia. She did know that William H. Barns forbid his wife Minnie Leora Willis Barns from having contact with her family after the incident. Aunt Dot’s knowledge was limited to the few things her mother had told her. She suggested that I contact her cousin Eston L. Morrison, stating he had much more knowledge of these events.


Dorothy Jean’s mother was Hazel Eunice Barns my grandmother (b. 16 Sep 1909 – d. 6 Jun 1996 – m1. Joe Benny Alligood – m2. William Vern McGaw - buried Pine Crest Cemetery, Mobile Alabama). I remember as a young child visiting my grandmother and her second husband Vern McGaw when they were living on Moblie Bay. The house next door was owned by one of Hazel Eunice relatives. During one of these visits in the mid to late 1950’s these neighbors also had a visitor, I think it was perhaps William H. Barns. The reason I think this was that Vern McGaw inadvertently used the name Barns and my grandmother became very angry admonishing him to never use that name again.


After Aunt Dot suggested that I make contact with her cousin Eston L. Morrison, arrangements were made to do so. On 26 October 1998 I did visit Eston L. Morrison in Pelham-Mitchell County-Georgia. It was a productive visit and Eston told many stories and allowed me to scan his photograph collection. I have a photo of both William H. Barns and wife Minnie Leora Willis.


The knowledge gained interviewing Eston includes the following about William:

1)   Another conformation of the last name changes and flight to avoid prosecution

2)   Fact that William & Minnie were divorced in the early 1930's.

3)   Eston believed strongly that both William & Minnie were born in Alabama

4)   Eston remembered that William was a ruthless man

5)   Eston remembered that in William latter days lived in Florida

6)   Eston remembered that William committed counterfeiting

7)   William would hide his counterfeit under his front porch

8)   William died and was burred in Florida


The interview with Eston also reviled:

1)   Minnie remained in Georgia and is burred there

2)   Minnie was born in Alabama

3)   Minnie was forced moved to Georgia

4)   Minnie was forbid to have contact family after the move to Ga.

5)   Minnie had three children           

A)   Evie Lenore “ Enil” (b. 8 May 1901 – d. 22 Sep 1990)

B)   Audrey (b. 1904)

C)   Hazel Eunice (b. 16 Sep 1909 – d. 6 Jun 1996)


Evie Lenore “ Enil” married Hesall Morrison and they had three children; Eston L., Wayne and Glorey.


Audrey married Caddis Fulford and they had five children; Nell, Frank, Winston, Earnestine and C.G.


Hazel Eunice married Joe Benny Alligood and they had three children; Margie Muriel, Dorothy (Dot) Jean and Joe Bennie Jr.


In the 1940 Thomas, GA US Census Minnie Leora Willis at age 64 is shown living with Joe Benny Alligood Sr.


So sorry but this is all the information I have. Anything that you may be able to do in assisting me to obtain information about William H. Barns and his wife Minnie Leora Willis and their ancestors will be most appreciated.


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