At the time of the 1800 census, he and his wife and young son were living in Buncombe County, North Carolina. On Dec. 15, 1804, he bought 200 acres on Paint Fork of Ivy Creek from John Hammond for $400. That amount would have been quite a sum for urban land, and unheard of on the frontier, except that the new United States was in the midst of a tremendous currency inflation. In 1806 John Barret purchased land nearby on Paint Fork for the sum of ten pounds, in a more stable currency.
In the 1800 census, his wife was also age 16 to 25, and there was one son aged 0-9 years, who was probably Thomas. In 1810, that boy was 10-15, and had been joined by two brothers (presumably John and Henry) and three sisters, all under age 10. The 1820 census showed two more young daughters, and all of the earlier children still at home. Two of the sons had grown to age 16-25, while one, probably John, was 10-15. Two of their sisters were then 16-25, and one was 10-15. By 1830, William and his wife were in their fifties, with one young man in his twenties, probably Henry as Thomas and John were nearby with families, and a girl 15-19, perhaps Nancy who married a year later.
When Yancey County was formed around 1829 out of Buncombe County, it included William's land on Paint Fork of Big Ivy. The 1840 census found William and his wife there, both 60-69. A girl of 15-19, perhaps a granddaughter, was living with them. John and Thomas were recorded quite a few pages later in that census of Yancey County, but that is no true indication of distance. Henry was then in Buncombe County, but might have been just over the hill.
William Barrett hasn't been located in the 1850 census. The name was recorded on the tax lists of Clay County, Kentucky, beginning in 1847, but in that year and in 1848, 1850, and 1851 was listed as having two children between 5 and 16, and four cattle in 1847 and 1848. In 1848, 1849, and 1851, John Barret appeared on the list with three to five small children. In 1849, 1850, and 1851 there was a William Barret/Barrot/Barrett with one horse and neither children nor cattle. It seems likely the latter was John's father, listed in 1851 as William M. Barrett.
The 1860 census of Laurel County, Kentucky, found William Barrett, age 89, born in Virginia, residing three houses away from John Barrett with John's daughter Malinda and her husband James Mullins. With them was Elizabeth Barrett, age 56, born in North Carolina, who may have been William's second wife. William Barrett Sr. and Elizabeth Barrett had been listed among the first members of the Sinking Creek Baptist Church when it was formed in Laurel County in 1859.
He gave his age as 89 to the 1860 census taker, but this is inconsistent with his earlier census records. In the 1800 census he was listed as aged 16 to 25. In both 1810 and 1820, his age was between 26 and 44, making his birth year no earlier than 1776. In 1830 he was in his 50s, and in 1840 he was in his 60s. To be consistent, in 1860 he must have been under 85 years of age.
Vital records were not maintained in Laurel County in the 1860s, and there is no record of the death or burial of William Barrett in official records. Neither he nor Elizabeth were found in the 1870 census; it's possible that she may have been alive, remarried.
William Barrett had the following children:
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