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Barney-Bonnycastle family photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0310


This collection contains photographs, primarily cartes des visites and cabinet cards, of Commodore Joshua Barney’s relatives and descendants, including the Bonnycastle, Yoe, Harrison, and White families.


  • 1815-1920

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Commodore Joshua Barney, widely regarded as a naval war hero, served in both the American Revolution and War of 1812. His command of the Chesapeake Flotilla during the War of 1812 helped propel the Americans to victory over the British. Barney was born near Baltimore, on Bear Creek off the Patapsco River, on July 6, 1759 to William and Francis Holland Watts Barney. His parents had inherited a significant amount of farmland on the river. He was one of fourteen children, but his family’s fortune allowed him to attend school. Barney left school at ten years old, having decided he had learned all he could, and in 1769, he was apprenticed to a merchant in Alexandria, Virginia.

By 1771, he had decided to pursue a career at sea instead and took a position aboard a pilot-boat schooner that traversed the Chesapeake. He later joined his brother-in-law Captain Drysdale’s crew on the “Sidney.” In 1775, Drysdale fell sick and died leaving the 15-year-old Barney to captain the ship. This led to a dramatic series of events when Barney finally got his ship to port, including his imprisonment and the temporary confiscation of his schooner. By the time he arrived back in Baltimore, the Revolutionary War had broken out at Lexington and Concord. In 1776, he decided the join the Continental Navy. He became renowned for his valor, engaging the British in serval battles. His biggest victory came during the Battle of Delaware Bay when his much smaller, outgunned “Hyder Ally” handily defeated the “HMS General Monk.” After the war, he spent a time with the French Navy, where he was put in charge of a squadron and earned the commodore rank.

During the War of 1812, he returned to the American Navy. He was first a privateer which successfully harassed and took captive several British ships. He then went on to defend the Chesapeake Bay as a captain for the Navy. His “mosquito” fleet and flotilla preoccupied the British along the shores of the Bay. Barney and his sailors also fought at Bladensburg in 1814 to defend the Capitol. The Americans lost and Washington, D.C. was burned, but Barney and his men held out as long as they could, even as the rest of the American force retreated. Barney was shot in the leg, a wound that would eventually prove fatal. After the battle, he returned to Elkridge, Maryland, but eventually decided to move to Kentucky. En route to his new home in 1818, his battle wound flared, as the musket ball was never removed. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1.

Barney’s life on the high seas often kept him away from his family for long stretches. In 1780, Barney married Anne Bedford (1755-1808), and they had five children. Until Barney could make enough money to support his family, his wife lived with her brother in Philadelphia. She died in 1808, possibly of complications related to a broken hip. Barney shortly remarried to Harriet Coale of Anne Arundel County, and they had three more children together. After Barney’s death in 1818, Harriet and her children lived in Kentucky.

Their daughter, Adele (1813-1849) married Isaac Everett, and started the Kentucky branch of Barney descendants. Everett (1803-1873) was from a family of pioneers. He worked as a dry goods merchant. He then partnered with Avis Throckmorton and ran the Galt House, a Louisville hotel, which hosted meetings of Union generals during the Civil War. They had two children, Joshua Barney and Harriet.

Harriet Everett (1840-1906) married John C. Bonnycastle (1826-1884), the son of Charles and Anne Mason Tutt Bonnycastle, in 1857. Charles Bonnycastle, an Englishman, was invited by Thomas Jefferson to teach mathematics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where John C. was born. After attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bonnycastle fought in the Mexican-American War and was later stationed in California and other Western territories. He attained the rank of captain before retiring from the military at the outbreak of the Civil War. With his military career finished, he worked in insurance in Louisville. He and Harriet had nine children.

Mary Shaw Bonnycastle (1860-1930), John C. and Harriet’s daughter, married Richard Tubb Yoe (1860-1943), the son of Rhodeham and Elizabeth Tubb in 1891. Yoe worked as a physician and served in World War I as a contract surgeon. He owned his own medical practice. Yoe also owned a significant amount of land in Oklahoma which he used to sell the oil, mineral, and timber rights. Mary and Richard had two children, Richard Rhodeham and Adele Everett.

Harriet Bonnycastle Harrison Cooper, Ann Mason Bonnycastle White, and Henry Churchill Bonnycastle were Mary Yoe’s younger siblings. Her sister Harriet (1867-1942) married John Stewart Harrison in 1887. They had four children, along with John’s children from a previous marriage. John died in 1901, and Harriet remarried the following year to Harry Lawrence Cooper, whom she met while visiting her brother Henry at his army barracks in New York. Ann (1868-1936) married Charles Thomas White (ca. 1862-1941). Henry Churchill (1872-1933) attended Virginia Military Institute and served in the army. He was stationed for a time in the Philippines. During World War I, he was a quartermaster and eventually achieved the rank of colonel. He married Marie Kennedy in 1905.


0.83 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The items in this collection are arranged according to PP catalog numbers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the grandchildren of Arthur C. Bonnycastle, Descendants of Joshua Barney, December 30, 2014.

Related Materials

MS 3168, Joshua Barney manuscript collection, 1711-1978


Kolthammer, Jennifer. "Bonnycastle Genealogy." - Home. Accessed May 20, 2016.

Norton, Louis A. Joshua Barney: Hero of the Revolution and 1812. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains photographs, primarily cartes des visites and cabinet cards, of Commodore Joshua Barney’s relatives and descendants, including the Bonnycastle, Yoe, Harrison, and White families. These photographs are arranged into five series: Portraits; Photographs by Richard Rhodeham Yoe; Places; Album; and, Cased Photographs. Within the Portrait series, the images are grouped by family. The majority of the people included are the children and grandchildren of John C. and Harriet Everett Bonnycastle, the granddaughter of Joshua and Harriet Coale Barney. Many of the photographs are unidentified and with some of the identified images, the relationship to Joshua Barney and his relatives could not be determined. An engraving of Joshua Barney as well as a 1977 photograph of his house in Savage, Maryland may be of particular interest.

Guide to the Barney-Bonnycastle family photograph collection
Under Revision
Lara Westwood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-11: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States