Christopher and Phyllis Rae (Bishop) Barnett Family
From: Bishop, Ken To: 'phyllis barnett' Cc: 'William F Bishop' Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 6:41 AM
Subject: RE: George W Jr and Phyllis Jane (Dunn) Bishop Family
Phyllis, Wow, family stories do have their unusual turns. It is possible that the Fulton
Insane Asylum (now Fulton State Hospital) still has the records regarding George W. Bishop and the
suicide. Since there was an investigation, I imagine there was a considerable file. I doubt that
there was much of an inheritance as the plat maps that I have found indicate the Bishops of that
generation were all small farmers. It is also possible that your grandfather was told his father
was kicked in the head rather than the truth since he was so young, and it is true that at that time
people with head injuries could end up in the insane asylum.
I have always been told that Bill Bishop's branch of the family was related to ours, but so far
I cannot find the hard evidence to put it together. The circumstantial evidence that the all came
to the same area of Missouri at the same time from Virginia and that they talked of being "cousins"
is all that I have to work on. It now appears possible that Frederick (I have seen it spelled several
ways) K. Bishop was in Missouri as early as 1834 or before. He is mentioned in court paper in Warren
County in 1834. Frederick is the earliest in our linage that I have been able to document but I have
gotten some evidence that may help identify his father. In the court documents a Jonathan Bishop was
deceased in 1834 and Jefferson and FK Bishop are mentioned. A farmer recently found a headstone with
Jefferson Bishop on it near the area of Frederick's farm. I suspect it might be the long lost Bishop
The "drinkers and ruffians" description of our line of Bishops has to be taken into context. Missouri
was a very active state in the civil war. It appears that most of the Bishops in the Montgomery, Warren,
Lincoln and St. Charles counties were loyal to the confederacy and were "scrappers". I love the story
where the "Bishop" boys rode into Audrain County and pulled down the union flag causing quite a fight.
Also, our line married into the Ernst family that supposedly rode with some of the guerilla gangs that
fought for the south and whose activities included bank robbery. While the Alaska line might have become
more gentile, some of your kin in Missouri may still be up to that description...HA.
Incidentally, it is great to see your pictures. Most of the Bishop in my lineage that I have seen
are very dark with black hair which is characteristic of the Lail family the John Bishop married into,
however I see a real resemblance between your dad and my great uncle Charles Bishop (who would have been
your Dad's first cousin). I will try to locate an early picture of him and of my great grandfather
(your grandfather's brother).
Oh, you asked where I was in Alaska last year. I spoke at a conference in Anchorage and took a few
days extra. I stayed within probably 60 miles of Anchorage, but took a boat cruise to see some glaciers.
It was beautiful.
Great to hear from you! Ken
From: phyllis barnett Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2006 11:53 PM To: Bishop, Ken
Subject: Re: George W Jr and Phyllis Jane (Dunn) Bishop Family
Well, I have to tell you . . . the sum total of family history from my father's side as he told us:
His father was kicked in the head by a horse and died when he was 9. His mother, who was much younger
than his father, "ran off" with another man, and an Aunt and Uncle finished raising him and stole his
inheritance. "None of them were any good except one nephew that was a pretty good guy." I'm piecing
things together and so far I have established that his father did indeed die when he was 9, from suicide
in a mental institute - could it have been the result of a head wound? If my grandmother "ran off" she
didn't get far, she is listed as living with the children in 1920 on the farm around Montgomery City.
In 1930, two years after her daughter, Sarah, married, she is listed as housekeeper in the household of
a bachelor of her own age and a younger man as boarder-? The Stevens folks I have spoken to don't
remember anything like that happening. Although, they also said something about "the older folks
drank back then." I am a bit curious, as I mentioned to you, Bill, who acquired the farm after my
grandmother left / lost it. I strongly suspect my father's version of family history was part truth
and perhaps part justification for his "running off," leaving his mother and sister and making a new
life for himself. My guess is that his mother turned to her family after being left alone with the
two children - they owned the adjoining farm and had less contact with the Bishops - seem reasonable?
Although, it seems the Bishops are who he made contact with.
And the documents from the early 1800's???
Ken, have you attempted to research the Bishop family in Virginia? I noticed a Fredrick K. Bishop
mentioned as a descendent of Samuel Bishop, the namesake of Bishop, California - the newspaper article
Bill sent. Wasn't it a Fredrick K. Bishop that moved to Missouri from Virginia in 1836?
From: Bishop, Ken To: 'William F Bishop' ; Phyllis Barnett (Bishop) Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2006 7:17 PM
Subject: RE: George W Jr and Phyllis Jane (Dunn) Bishop Family
Bill, Just wanted you and Phyllis to know that I have been reading all of these emails. It is
very exciting to discover Phyllis and the long lost "Alaska branch" of our family. Phyllis asked me
how I heard about the "Alaska branch", and I have been racking my brain. I really believe that I
was having a conversation with Nattie and Thelma Bishop (my wonderful great aunts) shortly before they
passed. They were showing me some old pictures and I think that in that conversation they told me that
some of our kin had gone to Montana (I have since found them) and Alaska. George W's brother, my great
grandfather lived with Nattie and Thelma for the last years of his life...so I don't know if he and
George had contact or what.
I have been so busy the past five years or so because of my job, teaching cops, and serving as
national chair of the CPA exam, that I have not spent any time doing family research. The same week
that we heard from Phyllis, my niece in Texas wrote me of her interest in learning about our family
history. They have really peaked my desire to get back into the hunt. I recently read several emails
that you wrote me (Bill) back in 2001 and 2002 with some very good theories about my branch of the
family, and our discussion about how our branches may be linked. My brother is the Deputy Assessor
for Lincoln County and has uncovered some documents from the very early 1800s.
Bests to you both! Ken
From: Bishop, Ken Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 9:19 AM To: Phyllis Barnett (Bishop)
Phyllis, When I emailed you yesterday I didn't have access to my archived emails that contained a
copy of your May 21, 2006 letter to Bill Bishop. When I read it this morning, I realized that your
grandfather must be the George W. Bishop who died tragically by suicide soon before your late father
left for Alaska.
It might be of interest to you that I recently purchased two lots in the Liberty Church Cemetery (for my
wife and I) that are in "Bishop Row" and are adjacent to George W. and Mrs. George W. Bishop's graves.
So...someday I will be lying right next to your grandfather for eternity! FYI, George W's headstone gives
his date of death as 1/2/15 (which is 3 days later than the newspaper article about his suicide). I noticed
the date as my birthday is 1/2/51. Your grandmother, Annie Sarah Bishop died on 12/19/1951.
Your Dad and my grandfather, Claud Adniram Bishop, would have been first cousins. My dad, your second
cousin, Glen Gail Bishop (9/5/26) is still doing well and lives in Troy, Missouri (within 10 miles or so of
the original Bishop farm from the 1830s). Dad's sister Lou Eva (Bishop) Seale lives in Albequerque, NM.
It's nice to know who the "Alaska Bishops" are...and that you are still there. You mention you have a
brother, what is his name?
I was in Alaska last year for a week...it is beautiful country! Your Missouri Cousin! Ken
From: Bishop, Ken To: 'William F Bishop' ; Phyllis Barnett (Bishop) Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 4:22 PM
Subject: RE: Hello from Homer
Hello Bill, Phyllis and everyone,
I was in California for a business trip followed by some down time (vacation) in the wine country
and I am just now trying to catch up on some emails. Phyllis, I enjoyed reading about your experiences
in Alaska. In my research of the Bishop family, I have discovered cousins in several states. I actually
had someone tell me that part of the family homesteaded in Alaska....so I am wondering if that is your
branch of the family. As Bill indicated I have done quite of bit of research, but I have been so busy
that I haven't written much in several years. I just opened the "Our family" document that Bill
attached (typos and all) and enjoyed re-reading and thinking about things I wrote several years ago.
I will try to look at some of your questions (in the earlier email) in the near future.
Bests to all!! Ken