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dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, February 12th, 2015 09:36 am
In 2011, I wrote this entry about another of James Littleton Burris' children from outside his marriage to Adaline Ashmore.

Nancy Elizabeth Burris Jones, the eldest of the surviving children of James Littleton Burris and Adaline Ashmore, had her younger brother, Irving, living with her in the 1880 census in Conway County.

She knew he was her brother. But she didn't know where his parents were born.

Sure she didn't. She was - reluctantly or otherwise - part of the conspiracy of silence surrounding her father's infidelity.
We have already established that James Littleton Burris had a relationship of many years standing with Martha Vick.

I've documented five children born to them.

But could there have been a sixth? Was little 8 year-old Irving one of their children?

I now believe the answer is yes.
After a renewed search this week, I think I found the sixth child of Martha Vick and James Littleton Burris.

His name was Ervin D Burris. His Find a Grave memorial says he was born on 3 Jun 1871.

That causes a conflict with the birthdate of a presumed (my presumption) brother - Benjamin Flemons "Flem" Hill. (Most of Martha's children took the surname Hill, even though Martha Vick's husband, William J Hill, had not been living with her since she began bearing James Littleton Burris' children.)

Flem Hill's Find a Grave memorial says he was born in 1871 also.

Unless Flem Hill and Ervin Burris were twins, that is unlikely.

So I looked at the 1900 census for Flem Hill, who was living in Wilson Twp, Yell Co., AR.

Census enumerators asked you how old you were on your last birthday. In the 1900 census, they asked for the month of your birth.

In this census taken on 21 Jun 1900, Flem Hill said he was 27 on his last birthday, and his birth month was August.

So he was born Aug 1872 - not 1871.

Which would make him the younger brother of Ervin D Burris, who obviously kept that Burris surname all his life. The oldest of the Vick/Burris brothers had tried to keep the Burris surname, up to 1888, when he married for the first time.

After all, he was James Littleton Burris, Jr. - later, James L Hill - and he knew it.
A couple of other Burris researchers have picked up on Irving Burris living with his big sister, Nancy Burris, in 1880.

And they have made him the son of James Littleton Burris and Adaline Ashmore in their family trees.

Because they don't know that the last child born to James and Adaline was Richard Burris, on 9 Apr 1868 on Isbell Creek.

And that when James had his first son with Martha Vick - James Littleton,Jr., - almost a year to the day later on 8 Apr 1869...

Well, Adaline was just done.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, May 6th, 2012 09:09 am
(Yes, I know the prompt is Mystery Monday, but I have time to write about it today. Go with it, please.)

Dad called me the other night. One of his local genealogy buddies had called him and read him a newspaper article from August 1882, where a couple of guys had busted out of the Dover jail in Pope County. The posse was hot on their trail.

One of them was a Burris. The other was a guy named Goodner. When the law caught up to them, Goodner was shot, and Burris gave it up.

No first names in the entire article.

So Dad went the next day to the Pope County Library and looked through microfilm for a couple of hours.

Found another article. It talked about Goodner and Burris. No first names.

I found a snippet of an article from the Arkansas Gazette dated 1 Aug 1882, where it gave Goodner's first name as John. It said he was wanted for shooting a sheriff.

And that's all we know.

But the Burris had to be one of ours, and from one of the articles, we know the manhunt centered around land very close to our homeplace.

My Burrises sure had a lot of secrets...
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, August 5th, 2011 06:23 pm
Photobucket

Well, except for that 10+ hour long power outage on Wednesday afternoon until 2:09 a.m. on Thursday.

The hottest day and night since they have been recording such for Arkansas.

But the Entergy heroes came through, so we won't dwell on that...
Started looking into my brother-in-law's family genealogy for him this week, and today, I hit the mother lode.

Got my monthly update email from Genealogy Bank.

Looked to see what was new.

And swooned. (Okay, not really, but you know what I mean.)

They added the Dover Sun, published in the little New Hampshire town all his Rollinses are from.

About 40 years worth from the late 1700s through the beginning of the 1800s...

And so I have been, as we say here in the South, in high cotton all day long.
And then, what to my wondering eyes should appear...

No, not the sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, although I could stand some of *those* temperatures...

An email from a guy who found my online tree while trying to clear up a mystery in his own.

Turns out the wife of my paternal grand uncle, who married him at age 17, was married before that to this guy's great grandfather...at 15.

Mama signed a note.

But my grand-aunt still called herself "Miss" two years later when she married Uncle Homer...

So now Dad and I are wondering...did Uncle Homer know?

Surely...

But maybe not. If I've learned anything in the last few years of shakin' the family tree, it's that these Burrises could damn sure keep a secret...
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)
Monday, November 1st, 2010 06:32 pm
It started a few weeks ago with an email I got from a young woman trying to break down a brick wall in her own family history.

Little did either of us know that we were getting ready to uncover a 140 year old secret.

Cut for length... )