Williams, Barney

BORN 20 Aug 1823, Cork County - DIED 25 Apr 1876, New York City, New York
BIRTH NAME O'Flaherty, Bernard
GRAVE LOCATION New York City, New York: Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn (Section 111, Lot 13464)

Barney Williams was born in Ireland. His parents emigrated to the USA when he was a young boy and the family settled in New York. When he was thirteen he was already involved with the Franklin Theatre and in 1840 he became the first professional clogger (a type of folk dancing) in the USA.

In 1843 he played in "Bumpology" at the Chatham Theatre and in 1845 he became the manager of Vauxhall Garden, New York. In 1850 he married Maria Pray and soon he had success as a comical actor. In 1854 he appeared with his wife in San Francisco and in 1855 they were successful in England as well. At the Adelphi he played in "Rory O'Moore" and his song "My Mary Ann" was very popular with the public, although the critics didn't like it. In 1859 they returned to New York.

In 1863 they performed in Washington in "The Fairy Circle" at Grover Theatre for Abraham Lincoln. In 1867 he became the manager of Wallack's Theatre in New York. He died in 1876 was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Maria was buried beside him after her death in 1911.

• Wife: Pray, Maria (1849-)


The grave of Barney Williams at the Greenwood Cemetery, New York City.
Picture by Androom (15 Apr 2010)


Barney Williams (actor) - Wikipedia

Williams, Charles Sneed

Published: 31 Oct 2010
Last update: 08 Oct 2023