dee_burris: (Default)
It's taken almost 7 years, but I finally found the parents of my great great grandmother, Catherine Mueller.

In 1832, Georg Jacob Mueller and Eva Elisabetha Hemberle moved their family from Blankenloch, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany to the United States. They left Bremen aboard the ship Elisabeth and disembarked at New York on 5 Sep 1832. Georg Muller paid for his ticket - he was not sponsored. His destination when he left Germany was the United States of America. Accompanying Georg and Elisabetha were daughters Christine (age 11), Catherine (age 5), Elisabeth (age 2) and son, Jakob (age 6 months).

According to this website:
...For most German emigrants going to America during these years, Bremerhaven was the major port of departure. It would become port to 7 million emigrants leaving Europe between 1832 and 1874.

The first leg of an emigrant’s journey would have been the trip to Bremen itself by train or in a coach. Some poorer emigrants had to reach Bremen by foot. Many had never even set foot out of their small villages before, and just making this step was in itself a life-changing experience. Once in Bremen, most would stay at an inn and take in the sights...


From Blankenloch north to Bremen is 566.57 km, or 352.05 miles. That trip takes 5 and a half hours by car today. I have no idea how it took Georg and Elisabetha Mueller to get to Bremen in 1832, but my guess it that at least one overnight stay at an inn or making camp would have been required.

Once in Bremen (Bremerhaven), there was a three day journey on a river barge traveling down the Weser River to board their ship.
...The new harbor of Bremerhaven received its first customer in 1830, the American schooner Draper.

When Bremerhaven first opened, passengers would have to travel for miles down the Weser River from Bremen to Bremerhaven on crowded river barges, a journey taking three days, until they were brought to the side of their large sailing ship. The final stretch to the ship could only be taken during ebb tide, when water from the arm of the Weser flowed toward the North Sea...
Sourced to the website above.

Once the ship left the harbor, it was weeks before America appeared in the immigrants' sight. The ship sailed into the North Sea and on to the English Channel, then out into the Atlantic Ocean.I don't know where the family settled after arriving in New York. I couldn't find them in the 1850 census. I do know that Catherine Mueller married a man named Bashett or Baskett before she married my great great grandfather Jacob Williams on 1 Oct 1846 in Shelby Co., KY.

I found Georg and Elisabetha Mueller in 1860 in Jackson, Monroe Co., PA. Living with them were a son William and a granddaughter Amelia (shown as Emma in the 1870 and 1880 censuses), both born in Pennsylvania. William was 17 years old, so it seems that by 1843, the family must have been living in Pennsylvania.

The 1860 census also shows that the family had Anglicized their names. Georg Jacob Mueller became George J Miller. Eva Elisabetha Hemberle was now Elizabeth Miller.

Three of Georg and Elisabetha's children did not make the journey from Baden to America. Three small sons - Jacob Friendrich Mueller, Christian Mueller, and Johann Jacob Mueller - all died before the trip. The first two died in 1824, and Johann Jacob Mueller died in 1830. All of the infants died in Baden.

It was not uncommon in the 19th century for parents to "recycle" a child's name if an older sibling died very young. In this family, Johann Jakob Mueller had the same name as his brother born four years before he was.

The youngest of Georg and Elisabetha Mueller's children was Sarah A Miller, born in Monroe County, PA., on 23 Oct 1843. She married Henry H Marvin and they had two sons. Henry died in 1868. Sarah followed him in death in 1872. Her parents raised their sons, Ira and Steward, who were 7 and 8 years old at the time of their mother's death.

Eva Elisabetha Hemberle, daughter of Georg Martin Hemberle and Christina Zorn, died on 18 Sep 1870 in Monroe County. Georg Jacob Mueller died on 7 Sep 1885. They are buried in Saint John's Cemetery, Neola, Monroe Co., PA.

And at last I have found great great grandmother Catherine C Mueller Williams' parents.

Another brick in the wall is gone.
Then, in my everlasting quest to find all of the children of my great great grandfather James Littleton Burris' other family, I doubled down on Richard Hill, since he was the last remaining child I needed to find.

And I found him. And his children. (I already knew he was married to Annie P Moore, daughter of William Newton Moore and Delila Mexico Young.)

The Hill brothers always knew they were really Burrises. I already knew that James L Hill - whom I seriously believe was named James Littleton Burris, Jr at birth - used the Burris name until he was at least 40 years old, after which he gave up, moved to Oklahoma and gave his surname as Hill.

Ervin Burris used the Burris surname all his life.

So, I said to myself, what if Richard changed his surname from Hill to Burris?

I found that by the time of the 1910 census, that's exactly what he did.

The children - six of them I have been able to document - seem to have a mix of surnames, with the oldest three using Hill and the younger three using Burris. This information is found in census records, so I haven't been able to find out yet if they continued the use of their original surnames as adults. Except for son Marion Hill, who died at the age of 19 on 19 Dec 1915 when the family was living in Fort Smith.

Richard began using Richard H (for Hill, I think) Burris on census records. His gravestone in Holdenville Cemetery, Hughes Co., OK says Richard M. Burris. Annie's says Annie P Burris.

So there, great great granddaddy. Unless the universe throws out another of your secret children, I believe I found them all.

Persistence pays off.

The journey is good.
dee_burris: (Default)
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)
(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)
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)
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)
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... )

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Dee Burris Blakley

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