Son of Rev. Isaac Barton (1746-1831) and Keziah Murphy (1752-1845), William married Hannah Oliphant in 1812, in Greene Co., TN. The couple had five children: Polly Ann (1813-1841); Thomas (1816-1839); Elizabeth (Betsy; 1819-1902); John (1821-1885); and Sarah Runnels (1824-1905). William was the brother of the first U.S. Senator from MO, David Barton (1783-1837), and of Joshua Barton (1792-1823), the U.S. attorney general for MO.