Francis Henry BARNES (aka Frank Henry / Francisco Henrique / Franciscus Henrique) [1875-1944]

Submitted by Admin on Mon, 09/03/2012 - 11:08
Francis Henry
Alias / nickname
Frank Henry / Francisco Henrique / Franciscus Henrique
(Day & Month are approximate.)
Birthplace (town, state)
Canton Bazaar
Birthplace (country)
Hong Kong

Notes from Sally:

I am trying to trace a man called Joseph William Barnes. In 1875, he had a son named Francis Henry Barnes who was born in the Canton Bazaar. On Francis' birth certificate, Joseph is listed as a Sergeant in the Royal Naval Dockyards Police but I have no idea where I might find records that might help me to find out more about who this man was.


... it is known that he had 3 children (my great-grandfather being one of them) with a widow in Hong Kong.  She died in 1884 and then the children came under the care of the Salesian Brothers.  I was told by my great-uncle that there was the possibility that the boys were abandoned, but more recently I have wondered whether or not their father was ever truly resident in Hong Kong.


the three children that the first Joseph Barnes had - Francis Henry, Joseph William and William - were all illegitimate.  But they had the same mother AND there appears to be no dispute that he was the father of all three boys.


Just wandering around the web I found a couple of family trees that include your ancestors on I guess you're the person who created them, but thought I'd mention them in case they're new to you.

I was interested to see that Francis Henry lived in Hong Kong up til his death in 1944, and then that there was a Francisco Henrique Barnes interned in Stanley Camp who also died that year. Are they the same person?


thankyou for that information.  Yes, at least one of the family trees is mine but the information about the Stanley Camp is new to me.  In the Carl Smith Collection Francis is named as Franciscus Henrique so I would presume that Francisco Henrique Barnes is the same person.  I have two different pieces of information - one that says that he died in Macau and another that says that he died in Hong Kong but I have no information beyond that (he is buried in St Michael's Cemetery in Hong Kong).  I know that my father and his parents went to Macau during the war, but I also know that Francis' youngest son, Dr Robert Joseph Barnes, was interred in Sendai during the war.  He is listed on the HK Voluntary Defence Force and he once shared with me a book that he had written of his recollections of that time.

Francis Henry  was born and did live in Hong Kong and two of his children were born in Hong Kong, but he also seems to have lived in the Philippines, Japan and Shanghai.  I know that he worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company (we have a watch that he was given on the occasion of his retirement).  He was widowed in 1907 and left with four children under the age of 7 when he was living in Japan.  What I don't know is when he came back to Hong Kong, but I do know that my grandfather completed his medical degree at Hong Kong University. 

I would be interested in following up on the Stanley Camp information - can you tell me how/where you found his name?  I have other relatives who were also interred in Stanley and died there.

Unfortunately, my father shared very little about his family and their origins, although how much he knew is debatable ... he was only a young boy when most of these people passed ...

Connections: This person is ...

Photos that show this Person


Hi Sally,

I might be introducing more confusion with the Stanley suggestion. He appears in a list of internees:



Francisco Henrique





Died05Mar44 CWGC

But it's not in the same format as most entries in that list. The CWGC record just gives "Hong Kong" as place of death, so that doesn't help.

I'll ask on the Stanley Camp list to see if anyone else knows.

Here's a page with more information we have about the Stanley Internment Camp. If you can let us know which other relatives were interned there, I'll add them to the list.

We're on firmer ground with Singer, as he appears in the Jurors Lists for 1904 & 1905:

c Barnes Francis H Cashier Singer Manufacturing Co.     47 Elgin Street

regards, David

Hi Sally

sorry in the end I ran out of time and didn't get to the pro today (now flying home) ... but I guess you've got all that's there.  But I did get to St Michaels, to say au revoir to my guys there, (as it were) , and practically tripped over Francis Henry and his relatives - real pole position there, isn't he.  

I tried the Portsmouth address Ho Lim-peng gave a couple of years ago but without success - but maybe if people keep asking them, they'll make more effort to find out more for us!  I'd be interested to hear if you get a response.  



Hi Patricia ... I have another link now so I will also try that and see where I get.  When I read through the Portsmouth information, it said that most of the records were held by the UK Archives, but when I wrote to them they said 'Sorry, but we don't have records on Dockyard Police' ... I will certainly post anything that I find out, but even your piece of information is useful to me because it tells me that in 1869, Joseph Barnes was either somewhere or something else ... it adds to my belief that he was never officially a resident of Hong Kong.

Ha, ha ... yes, the grave is pretty easy to find!  The first time I visited, I went with my mother and we walked in and thought 'Oh my goodness, how on earth are we going to find this' and then I looked to the side and said 'Oh, here, they are'!  It took a while to work out who was who because Macanese people use a lot of nicknames and some of the people in there I only knew by nickname ... but it was a good starting point.  I think that cemetery is fascinating in so many different ways!

Safe travels


Hi Lim-Peng ... no, my Francis Henry Barnes worked for The Singer Sewing Machine Company ... but my father's (Francis' grandson) name was Frank and he was known as 'Frankie'.  However, he was a sharebroker ... came to school in Australia when he was about 13 years old and stayed after that. 

Interesting to know that there was another Frankie Barnes, however ...

Kind regards


Hi David

Lovely to have a page on Francis for whom I have only 2 photographs ... the more that I unravel about this man, the sadder his personal story really is ... and yet, despite all of the hardships he had, both of his sons were doctors and he has four grandsons who are doctors.  So, for a man who started life with very little, his descendents have contributed a lot and I'm glad that there is a little record of him out here in cyber space that acknowledges that he was once here.

The thing that is interesting here is that the record you gave me has his death as the 5th March and the grave says the 1st March.  There is also a Francisco Henrique Barnes listed as a Civilian War Dead in the CWGC, so somewhere there is a link.  I find it difficult to believe that there could be two people with almost identical names who died 4 days apart in 1944 ... the more logical explanation is that they are the same person.  I was always curious that he died during the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong and what that meant ... but then I found a record that said he died in Macau and so I assumed that he was there with other members of his family.  But now I'm not so sure.  Maybe I need to locate a death certificate for him ... that might provide me with some more information.

Thankyou for your assistance though ... I will keep searching and will let you know what I discover.  I haven't even started to look for his brother, William, who went to Borneo, sent two postcards and then disappeared forever (disappearing seems to be a family trait!).

I see a distinct need for another trip to Hong Kong in the near future!

Kind regards


Hi Sally,

Your father sounds like a childhood friend of mine. His father was our Dr. Joe Barnes and his mother was Macanese. I think her name was Merlinde.

He went away to school in Australia and never came back to Hong ng to live.

my maiden name is de Carvalho, and Joe and his wife were friendss of my parents before the war, their names were Marcus and Edris de Carvalho.

Your father would probably not remember any of this as he was so young when he left.

Hope this fills some of it in for you. and I hope i got the right Frankie Barnes.

Hi!  I'm sorry that I never responded to your message ... I dropped my family history research for a while and have only just come back to it.  Yes, you have the right person.  My father did come to school in Adelaide with his cousin Benny and stayed.  His mother also migrated to Australia.  My grandmother's name was Melin and and yes, his father was Dr Joe Barnes who died when he was very young.  Sadly, my father has also passed away - in 2011.  I don't know all that much about his family so I am slowly piecing together bits and pieces ... still trying to find the elusive 'Barnes' who was the first to go to Hong Kong from the UK and worked for the Naval Dockyards Police and started our little line HK line.  I know very little about my father's childhood in Hong Kong ... I know where he went to school and I know where he lived, but his mother had also passed away before I was born.  Thank you again for responding and many apologies for not replying until now!

The  Police  " Frankie Barnes " mentioned in earlier reports was J.F.Barnes  Born 22.5.1936 who joined the then Hong Kong Police as a locally recruited officer on the 7.11.1960.During his service he was awarded the Colonial Police Meritorious Service Medal (C.P.M.) and retired as a Chief Inspector in 1991.I believe he was of Macaenese antecedents and was the unofficial Force Portuguese interpreter,accompanying Senior Officers ( and sporting teams) in their dealings,at home and abroad with the various organs of the Macao Police and wider government.A popular officer,well respected.