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dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, July 24th, 2011 09:06 am
PhotobucketIt was a good week for...

...Making connections with another Burris researcher through the Burris DNA Project. We don't seem to be able to connect our dots yet - hers start in North and South Carolina though, so there is hope. Her family is descended through Solomon Burriss. Her husband was a 12/12 marker match for my father.

...Making quite a bit of progress on tracking one side of the family of my cousin's wife. She's Italian on her mother's side and Hungarian on her dad's. There was all sorts of information available about her maternal great grandfather, Rocco Bruno Galloro - not so much about her paternal great grandfather, Miliály Latrany.

And the women - well, don't get me started on that...
PhotobucketIt was a bad week for...

...Figuring out whether the 12th Missouri Cavalry, in which Franklin Marion Burris served during the Civil War, was a Union or Confederate unit. Ancestry says it was Confederate, and gives me the transcription of a muster roll record that I can't find an image for on Footnote. A Missouri Civil War website says it was Union. Given what I know about Franklin Marion's brothers, one of whom was my great great grandfather, James Littleton Burris, I'm betting Ancestry is right.

But I want to know for sure.

...Getting photos of those five addresses in Little Rock where I hope ancestral homes are still standing. I had a very busy schedule this past week, including car repairs, which I see are not quite complete now.

Front brake job, here I come.

...Finding any indication about what happened to Jonathan Burris once his brothers left Lawrence Co., TN to move to Pope Co., AR. Family lore had it that Jonathan drowned while they were crossing the Mississippi River, but a 1937 letter by William Andrew Burris says Jonathan left Lawrence County for Reelfoot Lake, KY, and had three sons.

I think I *may* have found some information about one of those sons, Wiley. But it is way too preliminary to draw any conclusions. I have two possible 1850 censuses, one in Hardin Co., TN, and one in Adair Co., KY.

So the search goes on...
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 12:41 pm
I get emails regularly from all my subscription genealogy research services.

Ancestry sent me one last month that I just set aside, so I went to read it today.

Come take a look, they said, at the new records we have in the passport applications.

So I did.

Lookie what I found.

My granddaddy's passport application. He was assisted by the US Consulate in Panama to get an emergency passport, since he had already been living Panama for over a year. (Don't know if that was an oopsie or not.)

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I guess passport photos have always looked really serious...

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Dad says he thinks the 500 Long Street address is now Phoenix Avenue in Russellville.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, June 19th, 2011 10:52 am
I have several Dads in my life, even though only one of them is my own.

For all the Dads out there, I hope this day is one you enjoy.
My Dad is nearly 75. He was 22 years old, when I, his firstborn, arrived.

I like to think we've done some growing up together. I know the last 20 years is probably where we've made the most progress.

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Although Dad's story is uniquely his own, the older I get, the more I marvel at watching the cycles play out in my family, largely due to Dad.

He was the only son in his family of four kids, and third in birth order. His parents instilled in him a solid work ethic, and he was also gifted with something that's become quite rare these days - common sense.

He knew you had to work hard to get what you wanted and needed in life.

This was one of the first things he worked hard for, and he probably considered it a need at the time.

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My Dad made his living with his hands. He was a mason, who created things with his hands out of block and brick. He had his own business. He worked long hours when I was a child, but I remember the times we spent together when he wasn't working.

Quite a bit of it was very close to the place where he lives now - the land of the Burris homeplace in Pope County, Arkansas...the place where his great grandfather carved out both home and business, and where his father was born. It was there that he showed me how to dig earthworms beside his Aunt Emma's chicken coop to use for bait when we fished. He was the one who showed me the low stacked stone walls our ancestors built when clearing the fields for planting.

Dad was nearly 43 years old when he married the love of his life. Together, they have made homes in three places - starting on that land, then moving to Michigan for several years, and coming full circle back to the land.

My folks and I compare notes on our family history. Dad has very matter-of-factly accepted some of the revelations I've made about our family history in the last few years.

He and I both enjoy finding the truth of our history, and recording it so it never has to be secret again.

On this Father's Day, I want Dad to know how much I appreciate the gifts of the love of family and pride of hard work he has given me.

I hope I am honoring him by passing those down.
One of the other Dads in my life is my son.

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In the last few years, my son has added two daughters to his family. He is the custodial parent of his oldest daughter.

That blows me away.

My boy has become a man.

I am in awe of how he does it...

And am struck by the similarities in the two Dads - both hard-working fathers, and acutely aware of the importance of family.

My son's own dad died in 2005. They were very close, and my son was devastated. He figured out that it truly does take a village to raise a child, and has embraced his village, which includes his own cousins and their children. All the kids will grow up with rich family connections - a new generation of Burrises with strong family ties.

I'm so proud of him I could bust.
For these very special Dads, I wish for you peace and contentment today.

You've both earned it.

Love y'all...
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, June 12th, 2011 01:12 pm
I never knew he was a tanner before he was a farmer.

From History of Pope County, Arkansas, (publ. 1979 by Pope County Historical Assn. and Hunter Publishing Co.) at page 177:

James Littleton Burris was a tanner by trade, operating two tan yards and farming on the side. His saddle shop and main tan yard, across the road from his home, were located on Isabel Creek in a red oak grove near some springs. During the Civil War, James Littleton had a contract with the Confederate government to supply its troops with boots, shoes, saddles and harnesses. Soldiers were sent to his saddle shop to pick up orders. As many as eighteen men worked in his tannery during this period. Five of his sons and three nephews that he reared worked there as they grew up.

When the first son married, he continued to work for his father until he could leave home and become self-supporting. James Littleton built a tiny log house near by, and the bride and groom moved in. The other sons used it when their turns came and it soon became known as the 'weaning house.'


Would be cool to find the foundation for either the tannery or the weaning house...

Yo, Dad...whatcha got going on later this month?

I'll bring your books back with me.
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, June 10th, 2011 03:00 pm
Just got a FAG correction.

For Luvina Burris.

My good Samaritan told me that her parents were John Sherman Burris and Mitti Belle McElroy.

That little email solved a mystery.

I've had Mary L Burris (born about 1916) in John and Mitti's family for years.

Just never knew what happened to her - or whether she married or had kids.

She is buried in St. Joe Cemetery, as are her parents.

Now I wonder why she died at the age of 23...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, May 21st, 2011 09:37 am
I love this photo.

It's my dad with his grand Uncle Jeff and grand Aunt Margaret.



Photobucket
William Jefferson "Jeff" Burris, my dad, Margaret Jane Burris Moore



I figure that photo was taken when Dad was about 4, so it was probably very shortly before Uncle Jeff died in January 1941.

Margaret lived until 1944.

George and Louise Burris must have made a trip from Arkadelphia back to Russellville with my aunts and my dad.

Like my grandparents, we had generational Burris photos in our scrapbooks for many years, too. Photos of me and my sisters at our grand Aunt Emma's house when our family camped not far from the original James Littleton and Adeline Burris homestead in Pope County.

A lot of those photos were lost in a 100 year flood in December 1982, when a freak tornado ripped through Arkansas and dumped a deluge of water across my ancestral homeplace.


We camped on the homestead over 100 years after James and Adeline must have camped on the homestead while they were building their home.

As a kid, I couldn't appreciate that full circle of family history. I enjoyed fishing off the spillway for perch that Dad used to bait his yo-yos and trotlines, and I loved digging for worms beside Aunt Emma's chicken coop. Dad took me through fields that our ancestors had cleared long ago for planting and I was enthralled by the low stacked stone walls they built as they removed the rocks and loosened the soil for planting.


A new cousin found me this week. We aren't sure yet exactly how close our kinship is, but as we compare notes and sources from our family trees, she is prompting memories.

Thank you, Shirley. I need to remember, and pass it on.


The journey is good.

This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 08:00 pm
Got a Find a Grave correction today on a Burris entry in Oakland Cemetery in Russellville, Pope Co., AR. It was about my entry on Ethel Burris, wife of Robert Elbert Burris.

The email said, Hello! Ethel was born Ethel Dixie Harrison. Her parents are Esther Hornbeak and Garret Powell Harrison.

Oh, cool. I went to correct the entry and then got into my software. Ethel had been a MNU for so long, and I just love to give MNUs their rightful identities.

So I did. And bonus - I had her parents, too.

Then, I signed on to Family Search to see if I could find the marriage record.


I did.

Both of the marriages to Ethel. Or Ethels.

Were they Ethel plural? Or the same gal?

Help me out here...

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Call to Dad. Did Elbert have three wives? And if not, why would he marry Miss Ethel McHon in 1926, and Mrs. Ethel Harrison in 1931? And if they aren't the same Ethel, then what happened to Miss Ethel McHon, and where is she buried?

And what's up with the do not publish written on the 1931 record?

It's definitely the same Elbert - he was born in 1888. He was 38 for the 1926 license, and 43 for the 1931 license.

Dad couldn't shed any light on the question.

My Burrises are driving me crazy at a gallop.

My son says it will be a short trip.


Anyway, happy Wedding Wednesday, Elbert. You can bet this whole side of the family will be digging into your past.

If there are any still alive who can remember it.
dee_burris: (Default)
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 07:07 pm
Photobucket
Arkie Lucille Burris, daughter of George W and Mary M Burris

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Ella Rea Burris, daughter of George W and Mary M Burris

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Infant son of George W and Mary M Burris

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Ocie Myrtis Burris, daughter of George W and Mary M Burris

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Clarence C Burris, son of John Sherman and Mitti Belle Burris

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Infant daughter of John Eddie and Amanda Caroline Burris

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Infant son of John Eddie and Amanda Caroline Burris
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, April 9th, 2011 09:35 pm
In observance of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War on 12 Apr 1861, this blogging challenge was issued by Bill West, of West in New England.


As regular readers of this blog know, I am a southerner. I still live in the South.

It has been a common occurrence for me to find slave-owners in my family history. I refuse to glorify that word with whatever politically correct substitute phrasing is in vogue these days.

Some of my Southern ancestors - most notably my Callaway and Meek ancestors - bought and sold other human beings and treated them as their property. They willed some of those same human beings to their heirs, and fought for the right to keep on doing it.

Some others of my Southern ancestors didn't.

And the two sets of ancestors intermarried before, during and after the Civil War.

Must have made for some interesting dinner table discussions.

I have a many-times-removed Bowden cousin who is getting on in years, but who regularly sends me information about the Bowden line, even though there were relatively few Bowdens who married into my direct ancestral line. Where he feels it relevant, he tells me which ones fought in the War of Northern Aggression. I've told him I thought I recalled from my history books that the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, not the other way around.

I definitely would have been one of those damned Yankees. The sight of the Confederate flag flying today sickens me, and makes me want to personally tear it down.

Because the good ole boys flying it have to know - don't they? - that the South ain't gonna rise again.

Not the way they want it to.
No matter which side they were on, there is ample evidence that the Civil War changed the lives of my ancestors.

In many cases, it ended it.

In two cases I know of, the war had to have divided families - with brother fighting against brother.

It could have been Samuel Ashmore's suggestion, but for some reason I think not...he and his youngest brother, Robert D. Ashmore, enlisted at the same time at Dover, AR on 20 Jun 1862, in the 35th Arkansas Infantry, Co I, fighting for the Confederate States of America. Robert was 19 years old. Samuel was 30.

By 8 Jan 1863, Robert apparently had enough. He went AWOL. Twenty days later, his big brother Samuel died in the service of the CSA. Robert "deserted to the enemy" on 10 Sep 1863, enlisting in the 4th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry, Co. H, United States of America.

Robert came home, Samuel did not. I don't know where Samuel is buried.

Cynthia Ann Ashmore, the widow of John Burris, was probably lucky that she did not know the grief the war would vist on her household.

All three of her sons went off to war. Franklin Buchanan and John Crockett enlisted at Dover in the CSA, 35th Arkansas Infantry on 20 Jun 1862, with Franklin serving in Company H and John in Company I.

Her oldest son, William James Burris, fought for the USA in the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry, Co. A.

Franklin died first, on the White River on 28 Oct 1862. His brother, John, deserted on 24 Aug 1863.

William died of typhoid on 1 Aug 1864. He was buried in the National Cemetery in Little Rock.

I can't imagine that the family was able during wartime to visit his grave. I don't know where Franklin is buried.

And I wonder if Cynthia did.

The Brannon brothers, Benjamin and James, were Tennesseans by birth, but Yankees in their hearts, as was their father, John.

All three enlisted together on 15 Aug 1862 in the Arkansas 1st Cavalry Regiment, Company L at Springtown, AR in Washington County.

All three lived to tell about it, although James was discharged on 23 Nov 1863, with the surgeon saying his deafness had worsened during the war, and he had a lung disease. Benjamin was discharged on disability in August 1864.

All three lived out their lives in Benton County, AR, where James was a respected physician and merchant.


There was no question about the Rev. Jefferson John Meek's loyalty to the Confederacy. He had much to lose if the South did not win the war. In the decade between the 1850 and 1860 census, he had doubled the number of slaves he owned.

He created his own infantry unit at Panola Co., MS on 27 Mar 1862. It was the 42nd Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, and Rev. Meek became Captain of it. He was 52 years old.

Capt. J J Meek had two sons old enough to serve, James Alexander, and Robert. James served in his father's regiment. Robert and Capt. Meek's son-in-law, William Waldron, served in the 2nd Mississippi Rangers, Company K.

Capt. Meek considered the war our holy cause. However, according to his letter of resignation dated 5 Aug 1863, he had found out just how much that cause was costing him.

Excerpted from the letter:
My son in law and my two sons have perished in our holy cause and my now aged and infirm wife has been left with no male members of the family to provide and care for her...

He was right about his son-in-law, William Waldron, who died on 3 Jul 1863. Capt. Meek's son, Robert, died of smallpox a month earlier in a POW camp in Alton, IL.

And when he heard of James' wounding and capture during the Battle of Gettysburg on 8 Jul 1863, he probably had every reason to believe that he was dead, too.

But James survived and spent the remainder of the war in the POW camp for Confederate soldiers at Fort Delaware, on Pea Patch Island, until he signed his oath of allegiance to the United States and was released on 11 Jun 1865.

Then he came back home to Mississippi to his wife and son, buried an infant daughter in 1867, had another daughter, and his marriage fell apart.

The Civil War nearly bankrupted his father.

Virtually all of the Callaway men old enough to tote a gun served the Confederacy. Only recently, I discovered that my Callaway and Clark County Williams lines probably had their first interactions during the war, when Allen Mason Lowery Callaway and David Andrew Williams served together in the 10th Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, at least two years before either of them married the Dunn sisters, Martha and Mary.

There is very little available information about this regiment on the internet. From a cached website, you can find the following:
Newton turned command of the 5th Cavalry over to Colonel Thomas Morgan on December 24, 1863 (whereupon the regiment was renamed as Morgan's 2nd Arkansas Cavalry), and assumed command of a small cavalry brigade [Note: This "small calvary brigade" was the 10th Arkansas Cavalry] which he led for the remainder of the war. On January 14, 1865, Newton's brigade in company with the brigades of Colonels William H. Brooks and Ras Stirman conducted an attack on Union forces on the Arkansas River near Dardanelle, which was repulsed. They next chased a fleet of steamboats down the Arkansas River, ambushing and sinking several of them near Ivey's Ford. Following this campaign, the Confederate force returned to the stronghold of southwestern Arkansas where they stood mostly in defense or garrison duty until the surrender of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi on May 26, 1865. (Source: Archive Wayback)

And having now learned that, I wonder if Mace and David's Civil War service had anything to do with their very early deaths - Mace in 1877, and David in 1888.

Mace's father, Nathaniel C. Callaway, died in the service of the Confederacy of typhoid on 7 May 1862 in Shelby County, TN, when Mace was 15. Mace's mother, Julia Wingfield, was left with three children under the age of 10 to raise. Until I discovered last summer that Nathaniel was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, I don't think anyone in the family knew. Nathaniel just went off to war, and never came home.

Mace's first cousin, Jonathan Wilson Callaway, survived the war, and as reported by Goodspeed,...His final surrender was made with the Confederate forces, at Shreveport, at the close of the war, in May, 1865, following which he walked the whole distance back to Arkadelphia. (Source: Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Central Arkansas, (publ. 1889) at page 427)

Jonathan Wilson Callaway went on to be a fairly prominent political figure in Pulaski County, AR after the war, and died there in 1894. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.

There is no question that the Civil War changed the lives of everyone who lived and died during that era in history, not the least of whom were the black Americans - slaves and free -who even after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, still did not receive the full measure of their American citizenship until nearly a century later.

As I study and make continuous discoveries about my ancestors who lived during that time, I always wonder what made them choose the side they did, and how those choices affected the lives of their families and others around them.

I guess I'll ask them on the other side...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, March 26th, 2011 09:32 am
The 1838 wagon party from Lawrence County, TN to Pope County, AR was quite large.

Large enough that when all the families began to intermarry in the years after their arrival, their descendants wound up with a LOT of cousins.

That's illustrated quite well in the descendants of Steven John Matthews, whose children and grandchildren married Burrises and Ashmores, among others.


First Generation

1. Steven John Matthews was born in 1805 in Lawrence Co., TN. He died in 1880 in Pope Co., AR.

Steven married Sarah "Sally" Perkins on 6 Jul 1825 in Lawrence Co., TN. Sarah was born on 11 Feb 1809 in Kentucky. She died on 9 Jun 1882 in Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

+ 2 F i. Ardena Mahala Matthews was born on 14 Jun 1824. She died in 1858.

+ 3 F ii. Josinor Matthews was born on 10 Dec 1826. She died on 31 Dec 1896.

4 F iii. Elizabeth Matthews was born in Feb 1828. She died in 1904.

+ 5 M iv. Daniel Matthews was born in 1829. He died in 1880.

+ 6 M v. Leroy Matthews was born on 4 Sep 1832. He died on 3 Apr 1873.

+ 7 M vi. Andrew Mason Matthews was born on 14 Sep 1834. He died on 16 Jun 1916.

+ 8 F vii. Mary Jane Matthews was born on 20 Jan 1836. She died on 30 Sep 1875.

9 F viii. Margaret Matthews was born in 1837.

+ 10 F ix. Sarah Ann Matthews was born on 11 Aug 1839. She died on 13 Feb 1905.

11 M x. William T Matthews was born in 1840 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 14 Jun 1903 in Pope Co., AR.

+ 12 M xi. John Wesley Matthews was born in Jun 1842. He died in 1908.

Second Generation

2. Ardena Mahala Matthews (Steven John) was born on 14 Jun 1824 in Tennessee. She died in 1858 in Pope Co., AR.

Ardena married James Joshua Ashmore son of Andrew Sawyer Ashmore and Elizabeth McCarley on 7 Jan 1842 in Pope Co., AR. James was born on 16 May 1821 in Lawrence Co, Tennessee. He died on 18 Mar 1856 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR. He was buried in McCarley Cemetery, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

13 M i. Stephen Robert Ashmore was born in 1842 in Pope Co., AR. He died in 1900 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.
Stephen married Martha Ann Keeton daughter of Zachariah Keeton and Catherine Anthony on 30 Sep 1866 in Pope Co., AR. Martha was born in 1848 in Tennessee. She died on 7 Oct 1947 in Newton Co., AR.

14 M ii. William James Ashmore was born on 22 Nov 1843 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 15 Jan 1913 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Ford Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
William married Mary Angeline Wilson daughter of Robert S Wilson and Elvira Gordon on 24 Jul 1867 in Pope Co., AR. Mary was born on 22 May 1848. She died on 24 Dec 1923 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Ford Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.

15 F iii. Sarah Elizabeth Ashmore was born on 14 May 1845 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 11 Jul 1933 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.
Sarah married (1) William H Hall on 14 Aug 1859 in Pope Co., AR. William was born in 1843 in Pope Co., AR.
Sarah married (2) George Washington Russell son of James Calvin Russell and Nancy Attaway on 25 May 1870 in Pope Co., AR. George was born on 1 Jun 1851 in Coosa Co., AL. He died on 22 Jan 1932 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

16 F iv. Mary Louisa A Ashmore was born on 7 Sep 1847 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 21 Jan 1938 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.
Mary married James H Bowden son of John Sanders Bowden and Elizabeth Reynolds on 6 Jan 1870 in Pope Co., AR. James was born on 31 Jan 1842 in Marion Co., AR. He died on 27 Jun 1904 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

17 F v. Martha Jane Ashmore was born on 12 May 1848 in Pope Co., AR.
Martha married John Wesley Stout son of William Stout and Anne Parker in 1867 in Pope Co., AR. John was born in 1833 in Blount Co., AL. He died on 23 Feb 1895 in Belleville, Yell Co., AR.

18 F vi. Joanna M Ashmore was born in Dec 1850 in Pope Co., AR. She died in 1932.
Joanna married George Henry Gideon son of William Gideon and Lucinda Matthews on 12 Oct 1868 in Pope Co., AR. George was born in Feb 1849 in Pope Co., AR.

19 F vii. Georgia Ann Ashmore was born on 21 May 1852 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 20 Feb 1941 in Russellville, Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.
Georgia married John Calvin Parker on 22 Feb 1871 in Pope Co., AR. John was born on 8 Apr 1846 in Arkansas. He died on 14 Jan 1926 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

20 F viii. Margaret Alice Ashmore was born on 21 Jan 1853 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 23 Oct 1935 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.
Margaret married Charles S Lay Bowden son of John Sanders Bowden and Elizabeth Reynolds on 24 Dec 1868 in Pope Co., AR. Charles was born on 29 Jan 1850 in Arkansas. He died on 4 Jun 1933 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

3. Josinor Matthews (Steven John) was born on 10 Dec 1826 in Lawrence Co., TN. She died on 31 Dec 1896 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

Josinor married William Reynolds about 1844 in Pope Co., AR. William was born on 26 Oct 1823 in Tennessee. He died on 14 Mar 1897 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

21 M i. Thomas J Reynolds was born in 1845 in Pope Co., AR.

22 M ii. William J Reynolds was born on 9 Oct 1846 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 6 Feb 1908 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Russellville, Pope Co., AR.
William married Sallie R Lewis on 18 Apr 1871 in Pope Co., AR. Sallie was born on 17 Oct 1848. She died in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

23 F iii. Mary Jane "Mollie" Reynolds was born in 1849 in Pope Co., AR. She died in Aug 1879 in Pope Co., AR. The cause of death was heart disease, per 1880 mortality schedule. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

Mary married Fletcher W Thompson on 24 Feb 1870 in Pope Co., AR. Fletcher was born in 1845 in North Carolina. He died in 1891 in Atkins, Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

24 F iv. Sallie Reynolds was born in 1853 in Pope Co., AR.
Sallie married Halledger . Halledger died before 1880.

25 M v. Albert D Reynolds was born in 1858 in Pope Co., AR.

26 F vi. Julia Reynolds was born in 1862 in Pope Co., AR.

27 F vii. Virginia Reynolds was born in 1865 in Pope Co., AR.

5. Daniel Matthews (Steven John) was born in 1829 in Tennessee. He died in 1880.

Daniel married (1) Eliza Jane Strickland daughter of Zachariah Matthew Strickland and Savel G (Sable) Vick on 8 Sep 1853 in Pope Co., AR. Eliza was born in 1831 in Tennessee. She died before 1860 in Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

28 M i. William S Matthews was born in 1855 in Pope Co., AR.

29 F ii. Margaret Jane Matthews was born on 5 Apr 1857 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 15 Apr 1901 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.
Margaret married William Greenberry "George" Fridell on 25 Jul 1880 in Pope Co., AR. William was born on 5 Feb 1856 in Tennessee. He died on 5 Feb 1948 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.


Daniel married (2) Sarah Winfred. Sarah was born in 1831. She died in 1912 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

30 M iii. Peter Warren Matthews was born on 8 Apr 1867 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 15 May 1934 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.
Peter married Sammie Jane Stallings in Nov 1888 in Pope Co., AR. Sammie was born on 25 Mar 1866 in Lewisburg, Conway Co., AR. She died on 17 Jan 1899 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX.

6. Leroy Matthews (Steven John) was born on 4 Sep 1832 in Tennessee. He died on 3 Apr 1873 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

Leroy married (1) Lavena Jane Harrelson daughter of Claiborne C Harrelson and Phebe Unknown on 16 Mar 1854 in Pope Co., AR. Lavena was born on 21 Jan 1834 in Tennessee. She died on 15 Aug 1863 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

31 M i. John Henry Matthews was born on 25 Dec 1854 in Arkansas. He died on 15 Nov 1941 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.
John married Catherine Tocoa Murdoch daughter of James William Murdoch and Gracie Ophelia Plunkett on 5 Jan 1881 in Pope Co., AR. Catherine was born on 10 Jan 1855 in Rome, Floyd Co., GA. She died on 8 Apr 1928 in Atkins, Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

32 M ii. William James Matthews was born on 10 Feb 1856 in Arkansas. He died on 21 Jun 1936 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.
William married Mary Frances Cochran on 7 Mar 1878 in Pope Co., AR. Mary was born on 10 Feb 1863. She died on 25 Feb 1942 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

33 F iii. Arabella Matthews was born in 1859 in Arkansas.


Leroy married (2) Mahala Elizabeth Turner.

7. Andrew Mason Matthews (Steven John) was born on 14 Sep 1834 in Tennessee. He died on 16 Jun 1916 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

Andrew married Mary E Strickland in 1853. Mary was born in 1837 in Tennessee.

They had the following children:

34 F i. Sarah E Matthews was born in 1855 in Pope Co., AR. She died in 1941 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Owens Cemetery, Waldo, Pope Co., AR.
Sarah married John Marion Waldo . John was born in 1852. He died in 1912 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Owens Cemetery, Waldo, Pope Co., AR.

35 M ii. James M Matthews was born in 1857 in Pope Co., AR. He died before 1870 in Pope Co., AR.

36 M iii. Daniel Webster Matthews was born in 1862 in Pope Co., AR.
Daniel married Eliza C MNU . Eliza was born in 1870 in Arkansas.

37 M iv. John J Matthews was born on 9 Jan 1865 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 8 Apr 1917 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

John married (1) Mattie Beckham on 6 Jan 1889 in Pope Co., AR. Mattie was born on 24 Aug 1871. She died on 30 Jan 1898 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.
John married (2) Neomia Gipson in 1906 in Pope Co., AR.

38 F v. Margaret F Matthews was born in 1868 in Pope Co., AR.

39 M vi. Stephen Matthews was born in Feb 1870 in Pope Co., AR.

40 F vii. Seena Elizabeth "Bee" Matthews was born on 16 Aug 1874 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 5 Feb 1921 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Bells Chapel Cemetery, Pottsville, Pope Co., AR.
Seena married (1) R T Nelson . R T Nelson died before 1900 in Pope Co., AR.
Seena married (2) Pleasant "Plez" W Torrence in 1902 in Pope Co., AR. Pleasant was born on 16 Feb 1858 in Tennessee. He died on 23 Apr 1943 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Bells Chapel Cemetery, Pottsville, Pope Co., AR.

8. Mary Jane Matthews (Steven John) was born on 20 Jan 1836 in Tennessee. She died on 30 Sep 1875 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

Mary married (1) William James Burris son of John Burris and Cynthia Ann Ashmore on 30 Mar 1854 in Pope County, AR. William was born in 1832 in Tennessee. He died on 1 Aug 1864 in Lewisburg, Conway Co., AR. He was buried in Little Rock National Cemetery, Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR.

They had the following children:

41 M i. John James Burris was born on 20 Jan 1855 in Pope County, AR. He died on 1 Mar 1938 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
John married (1) Mary Ann Cole daughter of James Cole and Rebecca Jane Vinson on 17 Dec 1876 in Pope County, AR. Mary was born on 5 Mar 1862 in Pope County, AR. She died on 9 Dec 1878 in Pope County, AR. She was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
John married (2) Sarah L Ann Burks daughter of James Edward Burks and Nancy Mildred Patterson on 8 Jun 1879 in Griffen Flats Twnship, Pope County, AR. Sarah was born in Aug 1861 in Saline Co., IL. She died on 8 Sep 1942 in Pope County, AR. She was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Pope Co., AR.

42 M ii. Stephen Horatio Burris was born on 12 Mar 1857 in Harmony, Pope Co., AR. He died on 29 Jul 1868 in Pope Co., AR.

43 M iii. William Hugh Davis Burris was born on 11 Dec 1860 in Pope County, AR. He died on 13 Jun 1950 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
William married (1) Nancy Mildred Burks daughter of James Edward Burks and Nancy Mildred Patterson on 27 Jul 1879 in Pope Co., AR. Nancy was born in 1864 in Saline Co., IL. She died on 16 Aug 1886 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
William married (2) Lucy Jane Burks daughter of James Edward Burks and Nancy Mildred Patterson on 26 Jun 1887 in Pope Co., AR. Lucy was born in 1871 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 16 Apr 1898 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.
William married (3) Frances L Burks daughter of James Edward Burks and Nancy Mildred Patterson on 11 Sep 1898 in Pope Co., AR. Frances was born in Feb 1877 in Arkansas. She died in 1970 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Crossroads Cemetery, Appleton, Pope Co., AR.

44 F iv. Sarah "Sallie" Ann Burris was born on 29 Mar 1862 in Harmony, Pope Co., AR. She died on 9 Aug 1921 in Dover, Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Old Lake Cemetery, Dover, Pope Co., AR.
Sarah married Yancey Bailey Shepard Poynter on 27 Apr 1879 in Pope Co., AR. Yancey was born in 1859 in Dover, Pope Co., AR. He died on 10 May 1937 in Dover, Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Lake Cemetery, Dover, Pope Co., AR.


Mary married (2) Zachariah Keeton son of Keeton and Unknown on 22 Apr 1866 in Pope Co., AR. Zachariah was born in Feb 1816 in Tennessee. He died on 21 Jun 1908 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

45 M v. General Grant Keeton was born in 1867 in Arkansas.

46 F vi. Lucinda Alice Keeton was born in 1869 in Pope Co., AR. She died in 1894 in Pope Co., AR.
Lucinda married Sidney Jackson Eggleston on 5 Sep 1889 in Pope Co., AR. Sidney was born on 14 Nov 1867 in Alabama. He died on 5 Jan 1960 in Ft Worth, Tarrant Co., TX.

47 F vii. Ada M Keeton was born in 1871 in Arkansas.

48 M viii. Charles D Keeton was born in 1873 in Arkansas.

10. Sarah Ann Matthews (Steven John) was born on 11 Aug 1839 in Lawrence Co., TN. She died on 13 Feb 1905 in Adona, Perry Co., AR.

Sarah married William Henderson Stout son of James Stout and Elizabeth Rackley on 20 Jun 1858 in Pope Co., AR. William was born on 13 May 1838 in Blount Co., AL. He died on 19 Mar 1912 in Adona, Perry Co., AR.

William and Sarah had the following children:

49 M i. William Marcellus Stout was born in 1860 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 3 Apr 1909 in Adona, Perry Co., AR.

50 F ii. Sarah E Stout was born in 1864 in Pope Co., AR.

51 F iii. Mary E Stout was born in 1867 in Pope Co., AR. She died on 25 Feb 1915 in Centrahoma, Coal Co., OK.
Mary married John R Linker in 1891. John was born in 1870.

52 F iv. Margaret I Stout was born in 1869 in Pope Co., AR.

53 M v. Houston Q Stout was born in 1871.

54 M vi. Stephen J Stout was born in 1872.

55 M vii. Osie Q Stout was born in 1873. He died on 22 Feb 1911 in Ada Valley, Conway Co., AR.

56 F viii. Ona I Stout was born in 1874.

57 F ix. Orrie Belle Stout was born in 1876.

58 F x. Jennie B Stout was born in 1878.

59 F xi. McKie Stout was born in 1880.

12. John Wesley Matthews (Steven John) was born in Jun 1842 in Arkansas. He died in 1908 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

John married Margaret Katherine Gray in 1866 in Pope Co., AR. Margaret was born in May 1848 in Arkansas. She died in 1937 in Pope Co., AR. She was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

They had the following children:

60 F i. Mary R Matthews was born in 1867 in Pope Co., AR.

61 M ii. John T Matthews was born in 1868 in Pope Co., AR.

62 F iii. Sallie F Matthews was born in 1870 in Pope Co., AR.

63 M iv. Stephen M Matthews was born on 13 Jul 1872 in Pope Co., AR. He died on 5 Aug 1880 in Pope Co., AR. He was buried in Atkins City Cemetery, Atkins, Pope Co., AR.

64 F v. Georgiana Matthews was born in 1875 in Pope Co., AR.

65 F vi. Maggie Matthews was born in 1877 in Pope Co., AR.

66 F vii. Gertrude E Matthews was born in Aug 1882 in Arkansas.

67 M viii. Cecil A Matthews was born in Nov 1884 in Arkansas.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 07:26 pm
I don't think Solomon Burriss is our missing sire of our William.

I am going through all the pages of the pension file, and found a 2 May 1851 affidavit by William Burriss, given in Stanly County, NC, in support of his mother, Judith's, request for a widows pension.

Our William was living in Hardin Co., TN with his second wife and children in 1850.

I know they traveled, but part of my William's daily life was lack of money.

That's at least 550 miles.

Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Poop.
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 08:05 pm
It's so preliminary.

But I am still in squee mode.

I have a new bunch of leads to run down in my forever quest to find the parents of William Burris, born about 1785 in what we think may have been North Carolina.


You know how you have those brick walls you keep on coming back to? Because you really enjoy banging your head against brick walls...

So I got to thinking on my drive home from work...

William was too young to have served in the Revolutionary War.

But his daddy wasn't.

So I fired up Footnote.

I found three Burris/Burriss/Burrus men from Virginia and North Carolina (some researchers say he came from Virginia, and one of his grandsons said in a 1937 letter that his grandfather, William [s]ettled in Pennsylvania. Scotch Irish. Sent to Virginia.


So, lookie what I found in Solomon Burriss' Revolutionary War pension file...


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They had the following children:
Taylor born December 28, 1784.
William " August 23, 1786.
Gracy " July 5, 1788.
Joshua " June 4, 1790.
Elizabeth " [June] 2, 1793.
Judith " December 16, 1795.
Solomon " August -- 1800.
Ann " February 3, 1804.
Obedience " [February] 6, 1808.



And they lived in Stanly County, NC.

I know, I know...

But now, I have so many leads to check.

The journey is good.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 08:19 pm
I have several photos of my great-grandmother.


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I like this one in front of the tree. I don't know where or when it was taken, although her appearance in this photo is very similar to those taken on the occasion of her 50th wedding anniversary in 1927. It looks like there are chairs on the lawn - perhaps there had been a family gathering.

The expression on her face is kind of sad. Maybe the sun was in her eyes.

Or maybe she was remembering the ones who weren't there.


Mary Mathilda Wharton was the third child of nine I have documented in her family. Her parents were Thomas Jefferson Wharton and Rutha Evaline Coleman. (Rutha's first name gave census enumerators fits for decades if variant spellings are any indication.)

She was born on 5 Oct 1859 in Alabama, probably St Clair County - because that's where the family was in 1860. Mary was nine months old.

For reasons I have yet to figure out, the family was in Chickasaw County, Mississippi in 1870. And not just Thomas and Rutha - there were several Wharton cousins who moved from Alabama to Mississippi about the same time.

Mary's father, Thomas, was a private in the 33 Regiment Miss Infantry, Company I. He enlisted on 7 Mar 1862 in Eureka, Panola County, Mississippi. (Both Panola and Chickasaw counties are in northern Mississippi.) Thomas was paroled at the end of the war, on 1 May 1865, at Greensboro, NC.

Whatever the attraction in Mississippi, Thomas Wharton moved his family to Pope County, Arkansas by 7 Oct 1877.

That's when Mary wed George Washington Burris, Sr.


As far as I know, newlyweds George and Mary lived on the Burris family land and farm not far from the location where some years later, they would help to establish a free will Baptist church.

They celebrated the arrival of their first child, Mary's 19th birthday, and their first wedding anniversary almost simultaneously. Richard Benjamin Burris was born on 3 Oct 1878. He and all 11 of his younger siblings were born, as some of the old handwritten family group sheets say, "on Isbell Creek."

There really is an Isbell Creek, and yeah, before the land was subdivided, George, Mary and their family lived not far from it. So it was the landmark that indicated place of birth.

For the first 23 years of her married life, Mary was pregnant and gave birth at least 12 times.

Her first 5 children were healthy, and lived fairly long lives. So it must have been somewhat of a shock when Mary's sixth child was a stillborn son on 21 Oct 1889. His gravestone says that his grave was the first in St. Joe Cemetery. My grandfather, George W Burris, Jr., was Mary's seventh child, born in 1890.

Mary lost several children very young. James Thomas Burris wasn't quite 5 weeks old when he died in 1895. Ella Rea had just turned 3.

The youngest of the Burris bunch were Arkie and Ocie, the pretty little sisters I always saw photographed together.

Ocie died first - of a fever caused by malaria - on 12 Oct 1910, just days after Mary's 51st birthday.

Arkie died as the result of a fiery accident on 3 Jun 1913 - and lingered overnight and into the early morning hours of the next day, with her parents by her side. She was laid to rest with her brothers and sisters in St. Joe Cemetery on Thursday, 6 Jun 1913.


By the time Mary reached her mid-50s, she was well acquainted with loss. Census records show that her parents, Thomas and Rutha Wharton, lived on the same farm with Mary and her family, as did George's parents, James and Adeline Burris.

Mary's father died first - in 1908, followed by Rutha Wharton in 1911. So Mary did not have the comfort of her own mother when she lost her youngest child.

Makes me just want to give her a hug.


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I have no idea how Mary felt about her father-in-law's second family, or her own husband's role in making sure his half-siblings were raised to adulthood.

None of us who are now living know about that, because the secrets started in that generation, and were kept through the next.

But at the time George, Sr. assumed guardianship of Richard and Charley Hill in 1895, Mary and George had just lost a newborn baby, and buried George's father.

So there must have been additional stress there.


George and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the house in town. There was a lengthy article in the newspaper about it. (Which one, I do not know, because someone neatly cut it out...)

Mr. and Mrs. George W Burris, of Russellville, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary Friday, October 7, with a dinner serving 50 guests, one for each year of their married life. Their guests included their seven children...The folks are hearty and hale for their age and enjoyed the day with their children and friends. Many valuable gifts were bestowed upon the couple, among them being $50 in gold. Mrs. Burris smilingly admitted that "life is not so bad after all," but that "the happiest part of life was when all the kiddies were at home - that's why I'm so happy today."


By the 1910 census, the family had moved to Russellville, and according to the census form, lived on Brucker Street. (Dad, I don't think the street's there any more - or maybe that's what has been called Glenwood Street.)

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In the 1920 census, they were living at the house where the 1927 anniversary celebration was held...602 Long Street.


Two years after that 50th anniversary celebration, Mary's husband died. The nation was on the brink of the Great Depression.

In the 1930 census, "Tilda" was living at 300 West 2nd Street in Russellville, and had two boarders.

Mary Mathilda Wharton died on 26 May 1938, and was buried beside her husband in St. Joe Cemetery.


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dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, February 24th, 2011 06:32 pm
I went there in search of the grave of Saba Ann Burris Keeton, daughter of John Burris and Cynthia Ann Ashmore.

While I was walking the cemetery, I had to take some other photos.


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Those stones were in the older part of this still active cemetery. So I figured Saba's stone would be there. She died on 13 Mar 1912.

It was - although it took me a few moments to read the inscription on the deteriorating limestone.

Limestone was a really popular stone for gravestones in Arkansas at one time. I imagine a lot of that had to do with how clean and pure a newly carved limestone gravestone looks.

Not so much after 99 years...

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I got bonus with this one.

Saba's daughter, Florence Ellen Keeton Ray, is buried there also, and her information was on the stone as well, under Saba's.

Who apparently was called Anna.

So I learned quite a few things this trip.

But still do not know if the townfolk in Ola unearthed the time capsule in 1980.

Although they did memorialize it.

In the cemetery.


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dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 06:45 pm
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.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 11:48 am
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)
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 10:13 pm
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That's George W Burris, Jr. on the right.

I have no idea who the other guys are, or where the photo was taken.

Or why they are wearing guns...or if they were really left-handed.

Scan is courtesy of one of my cousins...

Thanks, cuz.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 08:27 pm
He was my great grandfather, the son of James Littleton Burris and Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore. In the line-up, he was their sixth child, and fourth son.

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I got a scan of the photo above - a much earlier one than I had ever seen before - when I was allowed to go through family papers and photos at the home of one of my aunts.

Below is the photo that I was used to seeing.

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The obvious age difference aside, he doesn't look as serious in the first one as he does in the second.

I've been pondering that.


George married Mary Mathilda Wharton on 7 Oct 1877 in Pope County, Arkansas.

They had their first child, Richard Benjamin Burris, on 3 Oct 1878, just about about nine months before George's father had his fourth child with his girlfriend down the road.

Since they all lived so close together, that had to be at least a little awkward.

A few months after George and Mary had their third child, Walter Monroe, George's final half-sibling was born. (I say that assuming that I have identified all the children Martha Vick had with James Littleton Burris, and also assuming he had no other girlfriends.)

Right about the time George and Mary's eighth child, Ottis Gileston, was born, Martha Vick died. James Littleton Burris obtained guardianship of his two minor sons, Richard and Charley Hill, on 1 May 1893.

When James L Burris died two years later, Richard and Charley will still minors. Someone had to step up to the plate.

Care and control of his minor half-brothers fell to George. He was granted guardianship of both boys two months after the death of their father.


Naturally, I have all these unanswered questions.

First of all, why George?

He had three older brothers. And he certainly had enough on his plate. By 26 October 1895, George and Mary had seven living children of their own, and had just buried their infant son, James Thomas Burris, four days before George's father died in August.

I looked to the other brothers.

George's oldest brother was John Thomas Burris. He served as a federal marshall for 14 years, so it could have been that he wasn't around much to be able to rear a teenaged boy and his pre-teen brother. John and his wife buried their young daughter, Roxy, on 5 Oct 1895. Maybe their grief was just too fresh.

James Franklin Burris (next in line), lost his wife in 1894, and probably needed some help himself raising their three young children. (He would remarry in 1897.)

I know the next brother, William Andrew Burris, and his wife Maria Isabella Wharton, had already moved to the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma), because that's where their seventh child, Ira Herbert Burris, was born in 1891. So Bill wasn't around to help out.


George carried quite a weight on his shoulders. Until 1901, he was guardian of two of his half brothers. The court discharged him and dissolved the guardianship in the April session.

Shortly after the 1920 census, there was not a single child of James L Burris and Martha J (Vick) Hill left in the hills of Pope County, save daughter Hetty, who died between 1896 and 1897, and is most likely buried in an unmarked grave not far from the Burris homestead.

I have to wonder if that has anything to do with the serious look on his face.

I'll probably never know.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 05:00 pm
I've always loved this photo for its simplicity.


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They are Mary Jane Franklin and James Franklin Burris, sometime before her death in 1888 in Allen County, KS.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 08:05 pm
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George W Burris, Jr., and his sister, Dora Emma Crites, looking at his birthday gifts