dee_burris: (Default)
2015-10-31 15:33
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Photographs and memories...

Photobucket
Burris clan in Russellville, Pope Co., AR, circa 1920/1921


There's a wall of photographs over my bed. I call it my dead relatives gallery, and I'm not really joking, although some of my family and friends laugh nervously when I say it.

I'm using this journal to share information I have acquired over the past several years for surnames in my family tree. The journal is "tag intensive" to make it easier to locate information and photos about specific surnames. (Tags list is in the left sidebar of the journal.)

They say you can choose your friends, but not your family. Personally, I find my family fascinating, and even more so the older I get. Sure, we have our share of archetypes - shrill, bossy women...strong "silent type" men...and the requisite number of "crazies." But hey, this is the deep South, and as Julia Sugarbaker said in Designing Women:

"...we're proud of our crazy people. We don't hide them up in the attic. We bring 'em right down to the living room and show 'em off. ...no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they're on." Like Julia, mine are on both sides.

Primary surnames researched include Ashmore, Balding, Burris, Callaway, Chapin, Darter, Duvall, Grooms, Harkey, Hayslip, Herrington, Hill, Holder, McBrayer, Meek, Parrish, Pettit, Shinn, Wharton, Williams.

All comments are welcome, including anonymous comments. You do not have to be a Dreamwidth member to comment, and may use Open ID, i.e., Google, WordPress, etc., to comment.

ETA: Most of the photos you will find in this journal were taken over 100 years ago. Regardless of their age, these photos were falling out of albums, or lying loose among family papers and I have scanned them to preserve them for posterity. Photos of gravestones appearing in this journal were taken by me.

I said all that to say this - if any of these photos are of your family members, just right click and save them to your computer. No one associated with this journal is going to chase you down to try and prosecute you for copyright infringement, as long as you don't claim you took the photo.

The written content of this journal is copyrighted. Don't use it without my written permission.


Email me at sharpchick13 at hotmail dot com.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-04-20 08:47

Musing on death, and dying at home

I got death certificates in the mail Friday - four of them - for a great grandfather, great grandmother, and two great-great grandparents.

Fred and Eada Parrish Chapin, Victor Claude Balding, and Mary Mathilda, "Tildie" Wharton Burris.

They were related to each other not by blood but by marriage, so I can only use any similarities in causes of death as they apply to me, and other common descendants of the multiple blended families.

The years of death are 1938 (Fred Chapin and Tildie Burris), 1944 (Eada Chapin), and 1945 (Pop Balding).

And as I laid them out side by side, I noticed something else.

Three of the four of them died at home - or at the home of a child, where they had been living. (That's the multi-generational family living under one roof thing that was the rule instead of the exception until after World War II.) They were surrounded by people and things that were familiar, and even if in a small way, comforting.

And it struck me.

What a grand way to die...
The aftermath of World War II not only saw a change in the way American families lived, but also how - and where - they died.

Prior to World War II, only in exceptional circumstances did people die in hospital beds instead of in their own beds, in their own homes, or a home of relatives (frequently their children) that had become their home.

My paternal great grandmother, Tildie Burris, died on 26 May 1938 at the home of her daughter, Emma Burris Crites. Her death certificate notes that she died of chronic nephritis, or kidney disease as we would say now. It also says the doctor saw her for three days leading up to her death and she was in a partial coma. As has been noted by memories of her grandchildren, some of whom said she got "mean" in her later years, the certificate says she had senility.

The next death in the chronology was my great-great grandfather, Fred Chapin, on 29 Dec 1938. He died at Baptist Hospital of prostatic hypertrophy - a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged. He also had kidney disease - a combination of which we recognize today as dangerous for older men. His doctor attended him (Fred was also diagnosed with senility) from 28 Nov 1938 to the date of his death. I'm going to guess that he was only hospitalized for part of the 32 days his doctor cared for him.

On 2 Dec 1944, my great great grandmother, Eada Chapin, died at the home of her daughter, Hattie Chapin Balding, of a heart attack. There is no note on the certificate of senility, but it does say she had arteriosclerosis.

Only a little more than a month later, my great grandmother, Hattie Chapin Balding, was present at the death of her husband, Victor Claude "Pop" Balding, when he died at home - in the same house - of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Some of those deaths were sudden, some weren't.

But I am sure now - whether I leave suddenly, or because of a lingering illness - if at all possible, I'd like to die at home.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-03-19 18:22

Remembering my Aunt Jean...

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 photo GeorgeWandLouiseBurriswiththeirchildrenBillBurrisWandaNeumannMaryAnnRutherfordandJeanLensing1969.jpg
Jean (far right) with her brother and sisters on the occasion of her parents' 40th wedding anniversary in 1969

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Jean with her mother at her family home, 808 Crittenden Street Arkadelphia

I try not to claim any of my relatives as mine, because they also belong to the rest of my family.

But at the request of one of her daughters, I am remembering my Aunt Jean.

I say unashamedly she was my favorite aunt.
Her full name was Emma Jean Burris Lensing. She was born at home in Arkadelphia, AR on Friday, 12 May 1933.

She was named for her daddy’s favorite sister, the only one of his sisters who survived to become an adult. It’s the name she shared with one of her granddaughters.

When she found out I was delving deeply into our family history, she helped me out with tidbits of information and photographs. She took the news of our philandering forbear without skipping a beat, and readily agreed to take a DNA test to settle the matter of the ethnicity of another.

I asked her about her own childhood in Arkadelphia. Among other things, she told me she grew up knowing she was not “the pretty one.”

I was shocked and told her so. Aunt Jean was always beautiful to me - inside and out.

She was genuinely appreciative of the smallest act of kindness. When she loved you, you knew it, because she told you so. And showed you in some tangible way- like a little card out of the blue, just to say she was thinking of you.

Aunt Jean was all about family. One day,I asked her to tell me about how she and Uncle Tommy met. As she talked, her eyes lit up with love and memories. I always saw the same look on her face when she showed me pictures of her kids and grandkids. And her kids also included her daughters-in-law and son-in-law. She was so proud of all of her family.

She made The. Best. Christmas cookies.

One of my favorite photos of her was taken in the kitchen of her parents’ home at 9th and Crittenden in Arkadelphia on Mother's Day in 1967. Aunt Jean was goofing around with her sisters as they did the dishes after one of those HUGE meals. I’ll always think of that photo as the Burris sisters chorus line.

 photo MaryAnnRutherfordJeanLensingandWandaNeumaninkitchenonCrittendenMay1967.jpg

Aunt Jean was my go-to person for “the rest of the story” about our Burris family history. My Dad had told me about the time as a kid when he got bitten by a rattlesnake while he was fishing. Aunt Jean rode him to the hospital on her bike. When I asked her about it, she furnished a little detail Dad left out. Turns out Dad and his buddy were fishing on a Sunday, strictly forbidden in the G W Burris home.

I can only recall one instance in which Aunt Jean was visibly annoyed with me. It was a few years ago when she and I wrestled for the check at US Pizza. I thought it was a draw - that we had split the check. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my bank statement and saw that in the end, she had won that match. She had US Pizza credit back what I thought they had charged to my card.

We talked about that later. She told me then that if there were such an occasion again, I was to let her buy, and drop the matter.

There really wasn't anything else to say then but yes ma'am.

She smiled and reminded me that both she and I had inherited that mile wide streak of stubbornness known to anyone who is a Burris, marries a Burris,or happens to more than casually cross paths with a Burris. The “Burris bullhead.”
My Aunt Jean finished this part of her journey on 13 Dec 2013.

She was dearly loved,and will be sorely missed. I hope I honor her memory by remembering the past, but living in the present, by being truly appreciative of small things, and always taking the time to say,“I love you.”
She’s left us the legacy of a life well lived.

And we’ll see her on the other side.

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Jean with her youngest granddaughter, Ava
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-11-21 10:03

Wedding photos...

My mother and father married on 19 May 1956.

These photos were taken in the home of my maternal grandparents, Joe Duffie Williams and Doris Geneva Balding.

.

.

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Judith Ann Williams, 1937-2004

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 photo cake.jpg

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I cropped this one. It shows a happy young couple, envisioning a wonderful life together.
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Sadly, that wonderful life did not materialize in the 23 years of their marriage, although there certainly were happy moments.

That, however, as well as my complex relationship with my parents - both highly complex people - is a subject for future posts.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-11-10 12:00
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Thinking about Grandma and her quilt...

Unlike some of my ancestresses undoubtedly did, we don't have a specific wash day here at the cottage.

For the most part, I just eye the sky and look at what is in two laundry baskets. Some days I just feel led to bring some fresh air and sunshine indoors, and sleep under my quilts scented with nature.

Today, I washed the quilts and hung them to dry.

One is a twin sized quilt, hand pieced and hand quilted by my paternal grandmother, Louise Herrington. It is the most recent one of two quilts she made for me before she died. I got it when I was in my early 20s.

It's a split rail fence quilt.
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Earlier this morning, I took the quilt out of the washer and hung it on the line.

And then stood back and looked at it. Some of the pieces have torn in the 35 years or so I've had it. I'm not sure how to repair them, or if I should. The quilting is holding up very well.

As I looked it over, conveniently opened full so I could really see it, I wondered.

Where did she get the pieces she used?
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I know she didn't use new fabric. That would have been scandalous on so many levels - a slap in the face of the frugality that so many of our female ancestors had to practice to run their households.

So I wonder...are Granddaddy's pajamas in there? One or more of her old aprons? Did she ask some of her friends to save scraps for her to use? How long did it take her to lay out these pieces in a way that pleased her eye?
Missing you, Grandma.

I'll see you on the other side.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-11-01 08:58
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Our Burris DNA maps...

Three years ago, my dad took a DNA test to see if we could resolve the "who's-the-daddy" issue for our most distant Burris ancestor, William Burris, born about 1782 in North Carolina (we think North Carolina was his birth place, as our oral family history for the past four generations has told us that.)

When we got the results, Dad also consented to me entering his results in the Burris surname project at Family Tree DNA.
From time to time, I get emails noting matches to Dad's DNA on 12, 25 or 37 markers. I have already identified two other men who have 37 marker matches to Dad, and have corresponded with them by email. It seems we are all stuck in the same generation with our earliest known Burris ancestor.

I think the guys back one more generation must have been brothers or first cousins.

Today I took a look at a new feature on FTDNA. The DNA test results maps for Dad.

12 marker matches
 photo DadsDNAmap12markers.jpg


25 marker matches
 photo DadsDNAmap25markers.jpg


37 marker matches
 photo DadsDNAmap37markers.jpg

So what am I going to do with this information?

Starting with the 37 marker matches, I am going to contact one man - the one in Somerset England. The guy in Ireland has his information marked private, which irks me, because the main point of all this is to find relatives.

Our family lore says William Burris' ancestors were Scotch-Irish.

Oh well. Gotta start somewhere.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-10-31 13:06

Sepia Saturday 201: The places they called home...

Jasper and Julia Herrington house, Clark Co., AR
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George W Burris Jr. house, 8th and Crittenden, Arkadelphia, Clark Co., AR
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Jo Desha and Maxie Williams house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. Original construction.
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First addition
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Last addition
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George W Burris Sr house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. 500 Glenwood, after the family moved to town from the farm.
 photo GWBurrisSrfamilyat500GlenwoodRsvl.jpg

This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Head over there for more wonderful sepia memories.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-08-25 11:11

Sometimes the answers are on the other side

Have spent a lot of time the past two weeks on several family trees.

For the ones unrelated to my own family, there are friends looking for answers.

They didn't even know there were questions, because - well, every family has some secrets. If not created in recent generations, then the secrets of the ancestors can be startling and unwelcome surprises to their descendants.
I have no farther to look for evidence of family secrets than my own great great grandfather, who had an entire second family a half mile away from his farm.

For at least 14 years, James Littleton Burris had a relationship with a woman young enough to be his daughter. They had at least 5 children together, possibly more.

You can't really call that a fling. So I wonder...did my great great grandparents have some sort of understanding? Our family lore says Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore walked beside James Littleton Burris on almost the entire journey from Lawrence Co., TN to Arkansas in 1838, and fell deeply in love with him. So, did she just look the other way when he left to go see his other family three decades later? Was my great great grandpa polyamorous, and his wife accepted that?
Then, there are the other families...

The yearning and pain I see in the eyes of two half-brothers, who desperately want to find the body of their half-sister who just disappeared one day, and whom they fear was murdered by her own parents...

A dear friend who didn't find out until he was in his 30s that his grandmother stabbed his grandfather to death with a kitchen knife. Had she finally decided, after leaving him and moving to Memphis with their daughters, that she just wasn't going to take one more beating after he arrived drunk at her house that Saturday?
Sometimes the answers died with them.

But it doesn't make me stop wondering. And if nothing else, I'll ask them on the other side...
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-08-04 07:13

Sunday's Obituary

There may or may not have been an obituary for John Donald Burris. He died the day before his fourth birthday in Lubbock, TX of laryngeal diphtheria. He was the son of Ira Herbert Burris and Etta Minnie Price.

I found his death certificate while researching the children and grandchildren of William Andrew Burris and Maria Isabell Wharton.

 photo JohnDonaldBurrisdeathcert.jpg
Laryngeal diphtheria can cause a membrane to form in the throat, cutting off the supply of oxygen. That's why this death certificate notes that John Burris had a tracheotomy.

The combination diphtheria and tetanus toxoids for pediatric use was first licensed in the U.S. in 1947 - too late to have saved John Donald Burris.

He was buried in Becton Cemetery, in Lubbock County, TX.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-01-11 07:15

An Ashmore cousin came to call...

He found me through my Find a Grave entries.

We've been corresponding for the past few days, and made an interesting discovery.

One of my Burris cousins was his first grade teacher in a little one room schoolhouse at Gumlog in Pope Co., AR.

I love it when this happens.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-11-21 08:27

Random musings...

I started this blog to share - photos, memories, documents, places and people - with other people.

Freely sharing was important to me because of the sharing of information I experienced in the early years of this journey when I asked for information.

On surname message boards. Hard to believe, but I still find posts of my own from 1999 on some of those boards.

Distant cousins found the blog in Google searches. I correspond with several of them still. All the other bloggers were right.

If you build it, they will come.
In the last few months, I've started getting emails that go something like this:
I am making sure that this e-mail doesn't bounce. I am researching a possible family connection in Arkansas. (That's the actual text of a message I found in my inbox this morning.)

I always reply to those, to let them know the email address is still good. Sometimes, there is a distant family connection.

Sometimes, people have seen how Arkansas-intensive my tracks are on the internet, and they just need help with their own trees.

What can I say? I'm a Scorpio, and always intrigued by a mystery.

Even when it doesn't have one of my own surnames on it.
You know how people say that they hope they don't find out they unwittingly married their own cousin?

I've always figured that somewhere downline - closer to my generation - I'd find out someone was a cousin of their spouse.

I decided last week to start looking at my nephews' and niece's families on the *other* sides of their families.

I started with my niece. Her father's surname is Rankin.

Started with her dad and went backward.

After about 3 hours, I sat here grinning like a fool.

Her dad is my 4th cousin, twice removed. The connection starts in 1877, when John James Rankin married Margaret Ann Lemley in Pope County.

Margaret Ann was the daughter of Ephraim Lemley, Jr. and Cynthia Elvira Burris.

So my niece is also my 4th cousin, three times removed.
Of course, I didn't stop with the pedigree.

I'm looking for bits and pieces of information that give the third dimension to the names, dates and places.

Turns out the Rankins (and their allied families) were quite the movers and shakers in Perry County, AR.

And some of its earliest settlers.

The Rankin family will have blog posts of its own.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-11-06 16:52

~Squee~ My cousin started a blog

She's telling stories from her mom and dad's families.

Click here to go take a look.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-10-25 07:54
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My Burris aunts acting silly...

Nancy, who publishes My Ancestors and Me, has a post up about The Photos Not Taken for her Wishful Wednesday post.

In it, she said she wished that folks had taken photos of the way their kitchens were set up back in the day. She also opined that our ancestors probably felt film was too dear to waste on a shot of something so mundane as the old Frigidaire.
That got me to thinking about one of the only photos I can recall having of a kitchen. My Burris aunts taking a moment to goof off on KP duty on Mother's Day, 1967 at my grandparents' house.

Photobucket

They are standing in front of the enameled double cast iron sink that was the only "dishwasher" my grandma ever had - aside from my granddad, of course.

And there are the old Venetian blinds covering the window that looked out into the side yard and detached, one-car garage...

Sadly, I cannot remember the color of the countertop, or the pattern and color of the lineoleum floor. But I do still remember the bacon cooking fork.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Nancy.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-10-13 07:30

Sepia Saturday: My Dad

For most of my younger life, my dad owned his own business. He was a masonry contractor here in Arkansas - mostly commercial construction.

I got this photo yesterday in my email.

I had never seen it before.

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Photo taken September 1958


I had no idea he had the same type of business when he and my mom lived in Florida, where I and my middle sister were born.

That's my 22 year old dad in the driver's seat. The photo was taken in 1958, the same year I was born.

Here's that street address today.

Photobucket

Dad will be 76 years old tomorrow.

Happy birthday, Dad.

I love you.



This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for more interesting old photos and postcards.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-10-11 21:48
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Been following another Burris post on Rootsweb...

And marveling at the clues thrown out to the poster, who is looking for her father's family.

She hasn't done anything with the tips except say they lead nowhere.

So I started following them myself. I used the mortuary notice for her father's death as my beginning.

And in four hours this evening, created another Burris family tree.
Nope, as far as I can tell, we are not related.

But I have to look at any Burris clue.

Now, off to bed. It's a "school night" for me.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-09-08 07:45

Sepia Saturday: Hats

I have a fair number of photos of my family decked out in their hats.

I even have an ancestress who made them.

The millinery shop of my g-g-grandmother, Mary Emily Conner, in Grenada Co., MS, about 1870-1875.

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My grand-aunts, Ocie (left) and Arkie Burris, photo about 1909.

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My grandfather, his brother and their double cousins, Elbert and Earl. Photo about 1905.

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Left to right - Elbert Burris, Homer and George Burris,Jr. (brothers) and Earl Burris (brother of Elbert)



This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for more cool old photos and postcards.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-08-27 13:17

Treasure Chest Thursday: Photos

Yes, I know it's not Thursday, but I am planning ahead...so go with it, please...

I went to my dad's house last week, and took my aunt (his "big" sister) along for the ride.

Along the way, I asked her how she met her husband, and got a new little tidbit of information for the family archives.

Went graving at St. Joe Cemetery, which I refer to as the Burris burying ground. Found Aunt Margaret Jane Burris Moore's stone and photographed it.

After lunch at Dad's, we wandered downstairs and I spied a couple of photos I didn't have in our electronic archives.

A photo of my step-mom's dad in 1956 with his dog, Lonesome.
Photobucket
Paul Pettit, with Lonesome


There was one of Aunt Emma, and her husband, Tom Crites, taken about 1935. They don't look 50 years old to me.
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Dora Emma Burris and Walter Thomas "Tommy" Crites


I asked my step-mom to scan and email the pics.

Got them today.
And a bonus.
Photobucket


When I called to thank her, dad answered the phone. I asked him about this last one, which is a photo of my dear step-mom on her 60th birthday.

He said he had been out and about and just ran by a store that made birthday cakes.

When he got it home, my step-mom told him it was the first birthday cake she ever had.

Ever.

So this one is precious to all of us...
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-07-07 11:08

For the descendant on the Rootsweb Burris message board...

She posted in a thread with requests for information about William Burris, born 1782, and any descendants.

She thinks her g-g-grandfather, John Crockett Burris, died in Texas...if she's talking about John Crockett Burris who was the grandson of our brick wall William, then...

That's not exactly the way it went. See this entry for photos of his gravestone, and that of your g-g-grandmother, Sarah Ann Harrelson.

They are buried, with three of their children, in Ford Cemetery in Pope Co., AR.

And none of John's siblings died in Morgan Co., AL.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-06-10 20:50
Entry tags:

Another Burris family photo...

This one on the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary of George W Burris, Sr., and Mary Mathilda Wharton - so that makes it on or around 7 Oct 1927.

This is another one where they left the spouses of their offspring out of the photo. (Did you have to pay by the person back then?)

Photobucket


Standing, left to right:
Richard Benjamin Burris, Ernest Arthur Burris, Dora Emma Burris Crites, William Homer Burris, George W Burris, Jr., and Ottis Gileston Burris.
Seated were the honored couple.

Missing was Walter Monroe Burris.

They were standing in birth order. Ott took his hat off, like a gentleman should.

Someone must have been very Type A - like me.

Now I know where I get it.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-06-10 19:21
Entry tags:

Mystery Monday: My Burrises continue to surprise...

So I'm nattering around at FamilySearch, looking at marriage records.

And run across Elbert...

His second marriage.

Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957
name: Elbert Burris
event: Marriage
event date: 09 Mar 1931
event place: , Pope, Arkansas, United States
age: 43
estimated birth year: 1888
residence: Russellville, Pope, Arkansas
spouse: Ethel Harrison
spouse's age: 29
spouse's estimated birth year: 1902
spouse's residence: Russellville, Pope, Arkansas
marriage license date: 09 Mar 1931
page: 257
film number: 2132055
digital folder number: 004331571
image number: 00072
But wait.

Elbert and Ethel were already married, weren't they? I mean, she's living with him as his wife in the 1930 census...

1930 Census
Name: Elbert Burris
Home in 1930: Illinois, Pope, Arkansas
Age: 43
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1887
Birthplace: Arkansas
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Ethel
Race: White
Household Members:
Name Age
Elbert Burris 43
Ethel Burris 28
Bernice Burris 15
Loraine Burris 12
Bobbye J Burris 6
Okay Dad and favorite aunt...

What do you guys know about that one?