We don't even know what Royal Barney's name was.
He is called Royal Barney in some records, Royal Barney, Jr. in others,
and Royal A. Barney in still others. We have elected to call him Royal
Barney, Jr. with no certainty as to its correctness. He was the son of
Royal Barney and Rachel Marsh and was born December 15, 1808 in Ellisburg,
New York. He is the brother of Edson Barney
who also became a member of the First Quorum of Seventy.
Royal was married to Sarah Bowen Estabrook on November
4, 1829 in Amherst, Ohio, fathering six children by her. Later he practiced
plural marriage having in all six wives. The Ancestral File lists
twelve children of the six marriages.
Royal was baptized as a young man for by 1834, he
accompanied his brother Edson and the Prophet Joseph
Smith on Zions Camp, an expedition to provide relief to hose saints
who were suffering persecution in Missouri. He must have served with faithfulness
and honor for he was selected the following year in 1835 to be ordained
a Seventy and called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. This call, of
course, places him in the roster of General Authorities. Brother Andrew
Jensen, writing in Church Chronology, states that he was ordained
under the hands of Joseph Smith and Sidney
Oliver Cowdery writing in the Messenger and Advocate
(Sept. 1836) included Elder Royal Barney in a list of "the names
of Ministers of the Gospel belonging to the church of the Latter Day Saints,
whose licenses were recorded, the last quarter, in the License Records,
in Kirtland, Ohio,"
He was sued by one "Henry Skinner in 1837 on a note
made by them to Joseph Smith and negotiated by him to Skinner. Skinner
obtained a default judgment by confession (with no actual appearance by
the defendants), after which the Barneys and Angell appeared and sought
to set aside the judgment on the ground that the note was given for notes
of the "Kirtland Safety Anti-Banking Society," which were alleged by Paine,
on behalf of the defendants, to have been illegal and without value. This
defense failed in June 1837, and Skinner recovered a judgment against the
Barneys and Angell on the note." (Court of Common Pleas Record Book U,
p. 99, Geauga County, Ohio.)
We find no record of Elder Barney through the years
of the Missouri Persecutions nor the Nauvoo era. But he and his family
did join in the trek west with the saints arriving in Utah in 1852. Andrew
Jenson writing in Church Chronology, records: "June 9, 1890 (Monday)
Father Royal Barney died in Salt Lake City.