The Bartons are a family who have appeared in Emmerdale since 2009.

Their major storylines include Holly's drug abuse, Moira's affair with Cain Dingle, which led to John's death as well as the revelation that James is Adam's biological father, not John and that Hannah transitioned into a man named Matty. More recent storylines include the return of Emma Barton into her son's lives as well as Debbie Dingle's affair with Ross despite her relationship with his brother Pete and Ross being the father of Debbie's mother's baby. Two Bartons died on the same year, Holly died in September 2016 of a heroin overdose in her sleep and James died in October 2016 after he was accidentally pushed off the bridge by Emma. 

Nearly year after James' death, Finn lost his life after he was accidentally shot by his own mother Emma and hours later, Emma was pushed over the bridge by Moira Dingle leading to her death. Then in November 2018, Ross left the village with his girlfriend, Rebecca White, to start a new life in Liverpool

Currently, the only family members still in the village are Moira, Pete, Matty, and Ross' son Moses as well as Adam's estranged wife, Victoria.


The family began with Nana Barton and her husband. Together they had two sons; first James in 1967, then John in 1970. It's known that Mr Barton is now dead, but exactly when his death occurred, let alone a roundabout area is unknown.

Growing up, James and John presumably got along, but as they grew, animosity soon developed between the brothers. James eventually started a relationship with his childhood sweetheart Emma, and in 1986 their son Peter (known by all around him as Pete) was born. James and Emma were married by 1989. The following year, their second child was born, another son named Ross. That same year, John married Moira Woodall, who subsequently became Moira Barton. Their daughter Holly was born in 1991.

Around the time Holly was born, both James and John's marriages ran into difficulties. Both Moira and Emma fell pregnant, both with James' child, as James and Moira had an affair. In April 1992, Moira gave birth to a son who was presumed to be John's, and was named Adam. Two months later, Emma gave birth to Finn. Subsequently, Emma suffered postpartum depression and when the pressure of raising three children got too much, Emma attempted to suffocate Ross, but was stopped when Pete saw her in the act. Emma then did a moonlight flit and abandoned her family, leaving James to raise their three sons singlehandedly.

Once Emma left, tensions between James and John reached boiling point and a huge fight happened around Finn's birthday when he was still little. After this, James and John had nothing to do with each other. John and Moira had a third child they named Hannah in 1994.

Both branches of the Barton family were farmers through and through. John and Moira had a seemingly picture perfect life raising Holly, Adam and Hannah to be hard workers. James on the other hand toiled to do right by Pete, Ross and Finn, but his efforts were seemingly wasted as Pete and Ross both acted out, with Ross even turning to crime. However, Finn turned out to be a scholarly young man, becoming the only Barton with a university education and long-term plans that extended far beyond his family's farming roots.


In July 2009, John and Moira bought Butler's Farm from Andy Sugden following his divorce, moving in alongside their three children. The Bartons seemed a close-knit, hard-working bunch and were keen to get down to business and make Butler's a truly family business, although they kept Andy on as a farmhand.

Within days of the family's arrival, they were already in the thick of it as John attempted to stop a van crashing into a local newly-opened grocers in nearby Emmerdale, and he assisted in the rescue efforts when said van did crash into said grocers.

Holly, Adam and Hannah quickly became integrated with Emmerdale's youth. Adam became friends with the troublesome Aaron Livesy, and Hannah became friends with Victoria Sugden. The Bartons soon realised that Emmerdale was quite the anomaly when it came to living in the countryside; they learned Andy had domestically abused his ex-wife, which was the prime reason for the breakdown of their marriage and the sale of Butler's. Holly became interested in Aaron, who had already been dating Victoria for a bit. This caused Adam and Aaron to fall out fairly frequently, although Adam and Victoria went on to have a tryst of their own. Before long, Aaron was causing trouble at Butler's by setting fire to a haystack, culminating in John locking Aaron in a barn.

Moira started work at The Woolpack pub in the village as it became clear there wasn't enough income from the profit of the farm alone. She soon caught the attention of Cain Dingle, who had a less than great reputation within the village. Before long, Moira was tempted away from her cosy life as a farmer's wife and started an affair with Cain. Hannah and Victoria fell out when Hannah was being bullied by Kayleigh Gibbs and Victoria was joining in. Adam and Aaron's friendship came crashing down, literally, when they were involved in an accident and Aaron attempted to kiss Adam, which made him suspect Aaron was gay. Holly also started using heroin as she became involved in the club scene. Within months of their arrival, the Bartons already looked set for self-destruction.

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