I've always known that my George Barnes died before the 1880 census because Rebecca is listed as a widow. But, they had a child in 1875 so the window narrows. This unknown researcher led me to the 1880 mortality schedule which listed a George W Barnes in Franklin Co Arkansas who died in November 1879 of typhoid fever.
The part of this record that leads me to even more questions is the year of birth - 1826. I always had his birth year as 1840 but that could be from when I believed his father was likely Dennis (there are still people who believe that but I'm thinking that George is the one in Sebastian Co who married an Ann). Since his birthdate is not a primary record on his death certificate, it could be off.
So, if he was born in 1826 (in TN) and he and Rebecca started having children in 1864 (meaning they were likely married in 1863) then he would have been in his mid thirties when they married. Possible but unusual. More likely she would be a second wife.
Now I am wondering if there was a first wife. If so, where there children and what happened to them? I have spoken to two other researchers who are offspring from George and Rebecca's daughter Florence and they have never mentioned half siblings or another marriage of George. However, the man is such a mystery that I don't rule it out.
There seems to be a zillion George Barnes and including a middle initial of W only slightly helps to narrow things down. I guess what I am saying is that I haven't gotten any closer to him but perhaps I am eliminating more folks who are not him.