Nov. 4th, 2010

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Crossroads Cemetery, Pope Co., AR

John James Burris was the son of William James and Mary Jane (Matthews) Burris. He was born 20 Jan 1855 in Pope Co., and died there on 1 Mar 1938. He outlived a wife and 12 of his 20 children.

The day that my dad and I went to Crossroads Cemetery, it was because I had a hunch we would find Burrises buried there. Crossroads is not far from where our Burrises settled after their 1838 journey from Lawrence County, TN., and was a very neatly tended cemetery, located - naturally - at a crossroad.

The first Burris stone we found was John James' because of its height. I already knew he had two wives, but did not realize that the first, Mary Ann Cole, was so young when she died. Mary Ann was the daughter of James and Rebecca Jane (Vinson) Cole, and was only 14 years old when she and John James Burris married on 17 Dec 1876. Their first child, Sarah F Burris, was not quite 2 when she died of flux, according to the 1880 federal mortality census.

Mary Ann died the day after giving birth to a stillborn son on 8 Dec 1878. Both of the children were buried at Crossroads.

Dad and I kept on moving, calling out to each other as we found graves. The next was the footstone for John's second wife, Sarah L Ann Burks, daughter of James Edward and Nancy Mildred (Patterson) Burks.

We quit talking as we kept moving...each child had his or her own stone, almost worn smooth by time and the elements, but still readable.

The children of John and Sarah Burris buried in Crossroads Cemetery were:
Infant Daughter Burris, born and died on 26 May 1880;
Infant Son Burris, born and died on 10 Jun 1881;
Evert L Burris, born on 18 Jul 1885 and died on 15 Aug 1885;
Infant Burris, born and died on 25 Oct 1889;
Minnie E Burris, born on 20 Jul 1891 and died on 25 Jul 1892;
Bevin O Burris, born on 10 Jun 1895 and died on 5 Jul 1895;
Twins Lear and Luther Burris, born on 10 Dec 1896 and died on 20 Dec 1896;
Infant Daughter Burris, born and died on 6 Dec 1898; and
Ira J Burris, born on 8 Dec 1900 and died on 24 Dec 1900.

Eight of John and Sarah's children survived to adulthood.

Dad and I talked about it in the truck on the way back to his house. The only thing we could come up with was maybe the significant number of stillbirths and early infant deaths in this family might be related to Rh incompatibility in mother and child.

We have a shot for that today.

Here is the findagrave memorial for John James Burris, with links to the other members of his family.


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Dee Burris Blakley

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