San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Barry Hinman 1940-2021

Barry Elmore Hinman was born at Palo Alto and grew up in Redwood City. After graduating from Sequoia High School, he attended the University of Santa Clara (now Santa Clara University) and went on to graduate school at Princeton University. After 12 years in Paris, France, where he became head of the language section of a company training people for jobs in tourism, he returned to Redwood City and went to work in the Stanford University Libraries. He retired from there as Special Collections Librarian for Cataloging Emeritus and has since devoted his time to pursuing his genealogical interests, having published articles in The California Nugget, The National Genealogical Society Magazine, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and The American Genealogist.

Barry, a long-time member of SMCGS, passed away recently.  We would like to have an article in our next newsletter with people’s remembrances of him. Do you have memories of Barry that you would like to share? If so, please send them to  


Unknown said...

Good afternoon. My name is Jeff Pickering and I live at 98 Davison Avenue, Whitley Bay England, NE25 3SY. Tel: 07518265248. My very good friend Barry Himman died recently and I’dike to contribute to any words of appreciation you might gather.

Barry Hinman 1940-2021
I was a student in Paris in 1968 and lived in the Fondation des Etats-Unis as a very young man. This was my first time away from England and somewhat struggled to adjust to this so different life. I was fortunate to be befriended by Barry, a much more worldly and confident fellow resident. He 'took me under his wing’ and helped me settle. He explained. He guided. He most certainly opened my eyes to a whole new world of travel, language and of course, history. He visited me in England when I still lived with my parents and he visited again years later after I'd married my wife Dorothy. It was during these visits I realised the depth of his knowledge and understanding and his appreciation of the world in which we live. We spent many hours in Durham Cathedral, walking stretches of Hadrian’s Wall and drinking the occasional beer in local pubs. Many an onlooker may well have adjudged him as the local and me as the visitor from abroad.

He was, in the eyes of his fellow men, a real person who was giving rather more than he was receiving.

He lived his life with style and, like I, he identified with Kenneth Clark who, at the end of the BBC series ‘Civilisation’ noted, “At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.”

We kept in touch via email and occasionally by the mystery of FaceTime to the very end when he was diagnosed terminally ill. I miss him dreadfully. Even though we were in each other’s company for two years only he played a huge role in my life. He taught me so much.

With every good wish,

Jeff Pickering

Maggie said...

Thanks Jeff. What a wonderful tribute!