Burdick Newsletters

August, 2000

The Joys of Proof Reading

by Howard Burdick

As you know, Dakin Burdick has taken on the monumental task of digitizing Nellie Johnson's book, "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island". All 1400+ pages of it. Later in this Newsletter is an up-to-date status of the project.

There are several Burdick family members who are helping proof read the scanned pages. Thanks. Without your help this important project could not be done. So far I have reviewed 40 pages and am ready to check another 20, with a goal of completing 100 or more.

As I've read these pages -- word for careful word -- I've discovered some interesting stories about our Burdick forefathers, which I've highlighted below. Finding these nuggets of historical past is a joy, and is one of the reasons I am helping out on this project. If you are one of our proof readers and have found some interesting tid-bits, let me know so that I can share them with the rest of the extended family!

Crandall/Burdick Fight

The Crandalls and Burdicks have a long, intertwined history. Usually good, sometimes bad. An entry in the Westerly, RI Council and Probate records, dated October 24, 1731 (Vol. 2, P. 142) indicates one of the low points. Seems as though Hubbard Burdick, Jr. and Joseph Crandall, both about 15 years old, got into a quarrel near Capt. Oliver Babcock's house. The Crandall boy got the upper hand -- or tooth as the case may be -- and bit off the lower part of young Burdick's ear! The incident was brought before the Council to refute any possible future slander of one party against the other.

18th Century Preservative

Capt. Jonathan Brown married Elizabeth Burdick in Westerly, RI on March 1, 1757 and had two children. Elizabeth sometimes accompanied her husband on his journeys of commerce. She passed away on one such voyage, at St. Christopher, Leeward Islands, West Indies on October 18, 1794 to be exact. Capt. Brown wanted his beloved wife of nearly 40 years to be properly buried in their hometown of Westerly, so he placed her body in a cask of rum to preserve it for the long trip home. I'll never look at a bottle of Bacardi the same way again.

Conscientious Objection

Deacon Amos Burdick, or "Brother Amos" as he was known, was a mover and shaker in the Westerly Sabbatarian Church in 1777. But he tested the Church's limits with his objection to the official stance on the ensuing revolution. He was told that he had the right of his opinion to not take up arms against the Brittish on religious grounds, but he was not to influence others to his way of thinking. Borther Amos appealed the decision and was turned down. After the war he moved to Connecticut where he continued preaching and was a leader in the Seventh Day Baptist Church until his death in 1803.

Until Death Do We Part

Jonathan Burdick and his wife, Roxey Foreman, were both born in 1805, their birth dates being only about 10 weeks apart. They were married at the tender age of 22 and helped carve out the wilderness of New York, around Sidney Center, in 1836. They lived there for the rest of their days, until the ripe old age of 91. They were married for 69 years. But it is the story of their deaths that gives us pause. Jonathan died first, on September 28, 1896. Roxey followed shortly afterwards. One hour afterwards to be exact!

A Pioneer Mother

Rebecca Burdick married Hiram Winters in New York in 1824. In 1833 they were baptised into the Later Day Saints faith near Jamestown, NY. They moved with the persecuted church members, first to Kirkland, Ohio then onto Nauvoo, Illinois. The final trek would take them to Utah, but Rebecca did not make it. She was stricken with disease and died near Scottsbluff, Nebraska where she was buried on the trail. A tire from a broken down emigrant wagon was cut in two, her name and age chiseled on it and placed over her grave. In 1902 surveyors for the Burlington Railroad stumbled into a clump of sagebrush directly in the path of their line. Kicking aside the scrap of wagon tire they read the pathetic memorial of previous years. "Turn back," said the leader. "We cannot desecrate the last resting place of a Pioneer Mother." So they made a detour of several miles to leave the grave in its peaceful solitude. The grave became a Mecca of those who would pay tribute to mothers of the pioneers, just as now we remember the grave of the Unknown Soldier in token of our remembrance of the many, many unmarked graves on the battle-field. The railroad put up a fence, and her family erected a suitable monument over the rediscovered resting place.

The Inventor

Francis Burdick was a carpenter by trade, but devoted most of his life to inventions, although at several periods he was interested in manufacturing. He invented a process for making hat bodies and at one time manufactured hats using his own process. He also invented, about 1842, the first explosive artillery shell ever used in this country. Shells used in the Civil War were designed after his model.

HMO Problems

by Joyce Burdick (joyburd@webtv.net)

(Since this is an election year, I think Joyce's story is well-timed. Be politically involved, for whatever reason or cause, it will benefit everyone. - HB)

We live in a sparsely populated area. Members of HMOs in at least 5 counties in the extreme northern part of Pennsylvania are being notified that as of January 1, 2001, we senior citizens are being dropped from their health plan. We are left with no other alternative except medicare. Other HMOs have left the state entirely.

What a way to treat the ones who have done so much for our country! If it can happen to us it can happen to you and eventually probably will if it already hasn't. I thought we were safely insured as you all probably do, too.

Health care for seniors is a political football. There is money spent (wasted) for every thing else except health care. If you have any concern that your HMO may not be viable, I urge you to bombard your congress people with letters. Show your outrage and come election time in November vote for the one with your best interest in mind and heart.

Burdick News... Up-To-The-Minute!

Dakin Burdick (burdickd@indiana.edu) sends along the latest status of his project to digitize Nellie Johnson's Burdick book (see the June, 2000 issue of the Burdick Newsletter for full details). There are 20 people working on the project. To date, 277 pages have been completed and another 333 parges are outstanding to various people for revision. That's 600 pages complete or nearly complete, over one-third of the total! Dakin has another 50 pages scanned and ready to be worked on -- anyone available to help? (subtle hint...) He has also scanned and cleaned up his father's 30+ page book, "Research on the Burdick Family in England" (1979), concerning the English Burdicks, which will be worked into the text at a later stage. It's a huge project, but we're making good headway! Thank you to all for your help!

Susan Welsh (SusanW7916@aol.com) has checked in with the Burdick website. She is the great great granddaughter of William Mansfield Burdick Harcourt, the man who complied most of the early information on the Burdicks.

Chuck Mastropoalo (CMastropoa@aol.com) of Lynden, WA has the following request for information: "I was put in an orphanage when I was about 1 year old. When I was 8 I went to live with my father in California. I just found out that I had a sister, Agnes Ann (Reide) Burdick, by the same mother, Betty Wakefield. Agnes was married to a Donald R. Burdick in 1974 in Covington, Kentucky, which is where I was born. Donald was born in Massachusetts, 10/25/31, and was a teacher in Fairfield, Ohio. My sister lived in Springdale, Ohio. She was born 9/28/49 in Kentucky, I'm not sure where. I am looking for my sister, she does not know that I am alive. Thank you for any help you can provide."

Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2019. All Rights Reserved.