6 NOV 1881 - Westmoreland, VA
8 MAR 1967 - Coles Point, Westmoreland, VA

Elizabeth Catherine "Bessie" Allen

Show Family Line Bessie Allen >> Thelma Barnes >> Frances Franklin >> Mark Dameron

Bessie was born in Westmoreland but raised in Washington, DC. She raised her four children in the Northern Neck.

Elizabeth Catherine Allen was born November 6th, 1881 in Westmoreland County, VA. Her parents were John Parker Allen (1856-1933) and Sarah Frances Hardwick (1854-1933). The family moved to Washington, DC at some point between 1885 and 1891.

Because of the loss of the 1890 census, the first record Bessie Allen appears on is the 1900 census when she is already 18 years old. Her father is working as a "motorman." Her brother Russell is 15 and working as a salesman at a fruit stand. The younger brother Russell is 9 and is in school. Everyone in the family can read and write. Their home is rented, not owned.

On January 6th, 1904 Bessie married John Edward “Eddie” Barnes in Washington D.C. Perhaps they met when her parents were visiting friends and family back in Westmoreland. They stayed in Washington, DC for a little while after getting married because their first child was born there on January 3rd, 1905, Thelma Frances “Meme” Barnes. They might have been staying with Bessie's parents. William Parker “Billy Boy” Barnes was born soon after on June 15th, 1906 in Virginia.

The 1910 census shows the family in Westmoreland, VA in the Cople magisterial district on the main road between Hague and Coles Point. Eddie’s profession is sailor on a freight vessel. He is noted as owning his own home mortgage free. On May 9th, 1912 James Lester Barnes was born into the family. The last child, Elizabeth Catherine “Catnee” Barnes was born on July 15th, 1914.

On the 1920 census the family appears to be living in the same place, but no road is given. Eddie is still listed as a sailor.

The 1930 census still places the family in the Cople magisterial district of Westmoreland County. Thelma and William have grown up and moved from home. Eddie’s occupation is as a waterman in the oyster industry. Lester is listed as a laborer in the oyster industry. Bessie’s mother, Sallie F. Allen age 76, is listed as living with the family as a permanent guest. She may have moved in with them because of poor health. Granny has said that her brother George who was born in 1927 had vague memories of her in a bed or a wheelchair and for some reason he threw a fish at her.

In the 1940 census the youngest two children still lived with Bessie and Eddie although each had gotten married. Eddie’s occupation was given as captain of a freight vessel. Lester was married to Virginia Z., he was listed as being unemployed and looking for work as a waterman in the oyster and crab industry. Catnee was married to Samuel P Trader, he was employed as a carpenter in the building construction industry. This census for also asked for the highest level of education, Eddie is noted as completing 7th grade, Bessie completed the first year of high school, Lester completed two years of high school and Catnee finished 3 years of high school.

In the 1950 census Eddie and Bessie were marked as living alone and each being 68 years old. Eddie reported working 32 hours the previous week and the job appears to be listed as "corn oystering."

Eddie died on October 20th, 1954 and was buried at Carmel United Methodist Church in Kinsale. Bessie passed away on March 8th, 1867. Her cause of death was an acute coronary occlusion, or blockage of artery leading to heart. She is buried beside Eddie.


More Memories:

Frances Catherine Franklin wrote down some memories of her grandmother:
About my grandmother Bessie Barnes, I remember her as a lady who was sort of quiet but willing to talk if you started a conversation with her. She loved animals, especially their dog Buddy. He was a very settled and laid around their home like another person. He always laid in the floor and we had to always step over him.

When they were older and my grandfather passed away, she would never stay at home alone. After that she would pack her bag and either stay with my Aunt Catherine Trader or my mother. By then I was married and Momee and Popee would go away on trips occasionally and my grandmother would stay with Gramps and me. It was during one of those times that she told me about my mother’s first marriage, which I had never heard before.

I also recall that we had added on two new bedrooms and I was so glad I could offer her a bedroom of her own.. Then I learned that she was paying Your father 25 cents to sleep in the room with her so she wouldn’t be alone. She would walk around at night and look out of the windows and talk about how dark it was. Also while she was ok with country life, I think she missed Baltimore where she grew up.



Future 3:

Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.


  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 162; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0096; FHL microfilm: 1240162
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Cople, Westmoreland, Virginia; Roll: T624_1651; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0121; FHL microfilm: 1375664
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Cople, Westmoreland, Virginia; Roll: T625_1918; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 156; Image: 53
  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Cople, Westmoreland, Virginia; Roll: 2464; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0001; Image: 213.0; FHL microfilm: 2342198
  • Year: 1940; Census Place: Cople, Westmoreland, Virginia; Roll: T627_4301; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 97-1
  • 1950 United States Federal Census, Virginia, Westmoreland, Cople, 97-1, Page 13, Line 13, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2022.
  • District of Columbia, Select Marriages, 1830-1921
  • U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
  • Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014


Spouse & Children:


  • Edgar William Allen
    • 1891-1947
  • Russell Audlay Allen
    • 1895-1957

Last Updated: 5/14/2022