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NNP Blog

Jun 01 2022

First Mint Genealogy

Edward “Ned” Barnsley and Eric P. Newman conducted an active correspondence for many years, focused on colonial numismatics and including early paper money and Connecticut coppers. In a letter dated January 8, 1961, Barnsley related that a cousin of his great-grandfather, Isaac Hough, served as chief clerk in the U.S. Mint from 1792 until his death in 1801. Pete Smith accepted our challenge to validate (or refute) Barnsley’s claim and provided the following analysis. Barnsley’s line is:


Edward Barnsley (1906-1989)
[Father] John Herman Barnsley (1854-1932)
[Grandmother] Mary Hough Barnsley (1814-1895)
[1gr-grandfather] Benjamin Hough (1770-1848)
[2gr-grandfather] Joseph Hough, Jr. (1730-1818)
[3gr-grandfather] Joseph Hough, Sr. (1695-1773)
[4gr-grandfather] Richard Hough (?-?)


Isaac Hough’s line is:
Isaac Hough, Jr. (1759-1801)
[Father] Isaac Hough, Sr. (1726-1786)
[Grandfather] John Hough (1693-1761)
[1gr-grandfather] Richard Hough (?-?)


“Ned” Barnsley was close but not quite – his great-grandfather was more precisely a second cousin, not first cousin, of the Mint clerk Isaac Hough. Barnsley added that “Unfortunately, my branch of the Hough’s acquired little of the product of their place of employment. They were all nice people though, and left perhaps some form of numismatics in their transmitted genes, even if they did forget to put aside a roll or two of Strawberry leaf coppers for posterity.”


Link to Newman/Barnsley correspondence on NNP: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/561116
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