2011-02-20

dee_burris: (Default)
2011-02-20 11:48 am

Oh heavens...another mystery Burris child...

Funny thing about dreams...

I had "one of those" dreams last night.

The kind that just pop up out of the blue, and when you wake up from them, you're thinking, now where did THAT come from?


I wasn't even thinking about Burrises last night when I went to bed. Or Hills.

I was thinking about Callaways.

That's what made it so weird to wake up - completely awake - at 3 a.m. this morning with the feeling that I needed to go back and look up that mystery Burris kid in the 1880 census.

The one I asked my dad about two or three years years ago when I first found him. Neither of us had ever heard anything about a child born after Richard, who was the youngest of James and Adeline Burris' children.

He was as clueless as I was. Still is.


Nancy Elizabeth Burris was the oldest daughter of my g-g-grandparents, James Littleton Burris and Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore, born on 1 Apr 1845 in Pope County, AR.

On 2 Nov 1865, she married William Calvin Jones in Pope County. They had a daughter, Mary Jane, who was born on 12 Oct 1866.

Calvin Jones died of dysentery on 31 Jul 1879 in Conway County, AR, and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Conway County, AR.

So, in the 1880 census, Nancy Jones was a widow, raising her young daughter, Mary Jane, in Griffin Township, Conway County, AR.

And a little brother, Irving Burris, who was 27 years her junior.

Huh?

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She knows her little brother, Irving, was born in Arkansas and that he is 8 years old. But she doesn't know where his parents were born.

Sure she doesn't.


I moved on to Nancy's parents, James and Adeline.

In the 1880 census, they were still on the homeplace in Griffin Township, Pope County.

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Jeff Burris, their son, and Lucinda Burris, their daughter, were still living at home.

In addition, they were supporting Porter McDonald Burris, James' grand-nephew, because his mother, Sarah Ann Harrelson, had died in 1878. Porter's father must have been very ill. Two days after this census was taken, Porter's father, John Crockett Burris, died.

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This was probably the smallest household James and Adeline had in many years.

So why was there no room at the inn for Nancy Burris Jones' little brother - and their son - Irving Burris?

Irving coincidentally fits very neatly into the birth order of Martha (Vick) Hill's children by James Littleton Burris, between Benjamin Flemons Hill and daughter, Hetty.

Only I don't believe in coincidence.


Preliminary searching in the wee small hours this morning was a big zero.

I cannot find Irving Burris, Irving Hill, * Irving Burris, * Irving Hill, or any of those other wildcard combinations in the 1900 census - in Arkansas, or in any other state, born in 1872/1873 in Arkansas.

I'll look in the other usual places - like the World War I draft - later on today.

For the mystery Burris child...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-02-20 06:45 pm

"You mean you really blog about that?"

Keep the secret or not...that is the question.

I've discovered secrets in my family - on both sides. Some of more gravity than others.

But yeah...I blog about them.

And in some instances, I have questions...why did so-and-so do thus-and-such?

In most cases, I will never know the answer to that question.

Because most of the time, I lack the context in which to frame the answer to this...gee, do I think that was right or wrong?

So I really ought not to judge, huh?

It's also good to remember that they were then just like we are now. Most of them dealt the hand they were played.

Some better than others.


Yes, I write about things that were kept quiet for years - things that I or others have discovered.

From multiply married and murderous Chapins, to Burrises with multiple families or the mid-19th century bad boy Callaway who died so young and had a mysterious wife named Mary, my family tree provides me with countless opportunities to mutter, well, would ya look at that?

My newest curiosity is over a mystery Burris child, whom I would not be at all surprised to find was another of James Littleton Burris' sons.

The discovery of the Mountain Meadows massacre was probably the most shocking surprise I had one Saturday morning in my slippers, with coffee and cigarette...

No one in my family for four generations ever mentioned that.

Maybe they were just trying to forget.

It worked.


Some of the family secrets and mysteries are having an effect on lives today.

I know firsthand of multiple individuals who have questions about true parentage. The people about whom they have questions have been dead for decades - in one case, for over a century.

If there's information out there to help them establish *who they are* - their identity - then, I won't be keeping secrets about my family, and hindering that.

I won't attempt to draw some moral conclusion about my ancestors without knowing the context of their situation. Did James and Adeline have an "understanding" that they didn't blab to everyone else because it was none of their business?

They could have. I don't know.

But I also don't know that they didn't. That's not the point.

The point is - someone out there needs the facts in order to find out who they are.

Good enough for me.