Bare Family Stories

In 1795, Catherine Ann “Katie” Sheets was born to Mary Shearer and her husband Reverend Andrew Sheets – a preacher in the Church of the Brethren in North Carolina.  Katie was described as shy, but very pretty. She could have had her pick of any man in the area, but she chose Absalom (or Absolum) Bower, a well to do miller in the area.  However, Absalom was married.  

Absalom was also attracted to Katie and they began seeing one another.  Absalom's wife, Susannah Koontz Bower, knew of the affair, but he refused to stop seeing Katie.  Eventually, Susannah gave up and simply accepted the arrangement (or so they say). However, because Katie refused to stop seeing Absalom, her father – and her mother - completely disowned her. 

This video was created using the DeepStory software on MyHeritage.  It's not Herbert's voice - there are only a few voices from which I had to choose.  

Ken's Early Years

Kenneth Bare was born in Winsper, Idaho in 1929 to Curbe Bare and Bessie Craven Bare. His parents were originally from North Carolina.  After Curbe was discharged from the service he married schoolteacher Bessie Craven in 1920.  Shortly after marriage they moved to the Reno Ranch in Clark County Idaho where Curbe worked for Woods Livestock Company and then became the foreman at the Reno Ranch.  Later, they moved to Birch Creek (pronounced crick).

First of all:  No, Dad, I am not writing your obituary!  That was his question to my mother when I sent them the rough draft of the story I wrote for this website about his first 40 years of life.  I wanted him to have the opportunity to review it before I published it to make sure he is OK with the content.  Geesh!!  So, why feature a story about Ken Bare on our family ancestry website when he's still very much alive and healthy?

Curbe Bare (Sept 15, 1892 – Dec 15, 1958) recently released from the Army married Bessie Craven (Feb 25, 1899 – Aug 17, 1931), a young schoolteacher.  Soon after Bessie and Curbe were married they moved from Jefferson, North Carolina to Clark County in Idaho.  

When they first arrived in Idaho in 1920, Curbe was employed by Woods Livestock Co, and they settled at the Reno Ranch.  He became the foreman at the Reno Ranch.  Later on, they moved to Birth Creek. 

On May 25, 1921 their first child was born at Gilmore, Idaho.  He was named Lawrence Herbert.  Daughter June Mildred (July 17, 1922 – Dec 24, 2002) was born in the Medicine Lodge area.  A baby daughter Marian Louise born in the fall of 1923 lived only about 8 months and is buried Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

"On October 12th, 2018, Heaven welcomed Carma Anderson Bare, loving wife of Rance Bare. Carma, the third of five children, was born in Santa Monica California to Ray L and Geneve Anderson. Carma moved to Idaho Falls at age seven, graduating from Bonneville High School in 1961. She married Rance on June 24, 1961 and was the loving mother of four children. She is survived by Todd Bare (Lori Bare), Murfreesboro, TN; Michelle Williams (Lawrence Williams), Idaho Falls, ID; Hydie Miller (Toni Miller) San Diego, CA; Robin Barnum (Tim Barnum) McGrath, AK. She is also survived by two older brothers, Lenis and Lyle; two younger sisters, Martha and Sue; 14 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

"Wayne Bare loved life, his family, ranch, friends and community. He loved to live life to its fullest! Wayne was a generous man, always willing to lend a hand.

We lost Wayne on Friday, March 20, 2015, due to complications of a stroke suffered three weeks prior.

Wayne was born to Curbe and Bessie Craven Bare on April 25, 1930, delivered by a midwife in Winsper, Idaho, a small village west of Dubois that no longer exists. His parents moved from North Carolina to Idaho settling at the Reno Ranch located between Dubois and Birch Creek, where Curbe was employed by Woods Livestock Co. as ranch foreman in 1918.

In 1729 Lancaster County was organized in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  In 1764 the Penn family granted land in Lancaster County to John Henry Bare. Then, in 1780 John Henry’s son, Andrew Bare, founded Bareville. 

Andrew later purchased the Hans Good farm and erected the first substantial house and barn in Bareville. On this land, one of the first distilleries in the country was started by Andrew.  The distilling of spirits was the leading business of this township.  According to the Upper Leacock Township website, the best spirits were sold for as low as eighty five cents per gallon.

I do not yet have proof, but based on my research I think the answer is yes, there is at least one Cherokee Indian on the Bare side of my family tree.  I believe that most likely that full-blooded Cherokee Indian is Mary Molly Shearer (Sheets), mother of Catherine Ann “Katy” Sheets.

Many of us in the Bare family grew up being told that our parents had a great great grandmother or a 3 times great grandmother who was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian.  But, as far as I know, these stories never mentioned Katy Sheets or anyone else by name; they just mentioned a great great or 3 times great grandmother.  In fact, when I told my parents about the Katy and the Cave story I found, my Dad said he had never heard of that story, Catherine Ann Sheets, or Mary Molly Shearer.  But then again, my Dad didn’t even know the actual name of the woman in the stories of our Cherokee ancestor nor exactly how far back she was in our lineage.

Herb Bare (Lawrence Herbert Bare) led a very interesting life.  He was born in 1921 in Gilmore, Idaho and his family lived in the Birch Creek area of Idaho.  Because there weren't schools close by, Herb and some of his siblings boarded with the Thornton family during the week so they could attend elementary school and went home on the weekends.

Herb's mother Bessie Craven Bare died when he was only 10, at which time the family moved back to his father Curbe Bare's home state of North Carolina so family could help raise the children.  For the remainder of his childhood Herb primarily lived with his grandparents Jasper Bare and Mazie Sheets Bare.

Almost all Bares (and Bears, Baers, Bars, Barrs, etc) in the United States are descendants of people who immigrated into Leacock County, Pennsylvania with the Mennonites sometime between 1717 and 1734.  It appears that one group immigrated from Switzerland in 1717, and some immigrated from Germany around 1734.  But, according to several researchers and genealogists, all originally started in Switzerland with the name Bärr (which became Bär, then Bar, and finally became the various spellings of Bare.  During the early years the same family, and sometimes one person, frequently used multiple spellings of Bare as their surname.) 

This article contains an account of the various roles performed by the Bare / Bear / Barr / Baer / Bar family during those early years in Leacock County or other parts of Pennsylvania.  Please note that around 1795 - 1800 family members that started my branch of the Bare family moved to North Carolina.  But many of the Bare family members stayed in Pennsylvania, some of whom became prominent members of local society. 

Note:  The following are excerpts from "The Heritage Book of Ashe County, North Carolina" found at the Ashe County Library.  These excerpts are found multiple times on each of almost all of the genealogy sites.  


The Ashe County telephone directory contains a long list of residents with the surname of Bare.  Rather remarkable when one considers that all, or nearly all, are descendents of one Henry Bare who came to the area sometime before 1800.  Research to date has not revealed his point of origin, but he was buying land in Wilkes before Ashe was formed.  On August 11, 1797 Henry Bare bought 100 acres of land from Jonathan Courtney. On December 27 of the same year, he bought 18 1/2 acres on the south fork of New River which "adjoins his old line."  A Wilkes County tax list for 1797 shows one Henry Bare with two polls and 117 acres.

"Mr. Lawrence Herbert Bare, age 97 went to be with the Lord and the two loves of his life, first wife: Emma Bare and second wife: Nell Adams Ireson Bare on Sunday, December 24, 2018.

"Herb", a member of Green Valley Baptist Church and a WWII veteran who saw hand to hand combat, was born on May 25, 1921 in Clark County, Idaho to the late Curbe and Bessie Cravin Bare. Although he resided in various areas over his lifetime he primarily lived on Bare Creek on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of West Jefferson, NC and finally settled in Lebanon in 1974 until he passed.

In addition to his parents and spouses he was preceded in death by his oldest son: Chris Bare; step sons: Roger and Robert 'Bob' Ireson; step daughter In law: Dorothy "Dot" Cox Ireson; sisters: June and Marion Bare and brothers: Clifton and Wayne Bare.