Burdick Newsletters

September/October, 2001

The Cheese Store and The Bible

by Alice Burdick (aburdick@sympatico.ca)

(About a month ago, Alice sent this email to me. Neat story! Could this be a connection to some long-lost Burdicks? Could it have some real historical value? If you have or want more information, or if this hits close to your own Burdick family roots, please let Alice and me know. - HB)

My name is Alice Burdick, and I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I've been interested in learning more about the Burdick side of my lineage for some time. My father's name is Steven Burdick. He was born in 1945 and raised in Miami Fla. He moved to Toronto in 1968 with my mother, the late Mary Paisley. I have heard that my Great-Grandfather was a Fire Chief or Captain in New York City, probably in the teens or twenties. I guess there's some mystery surrounding the Burdick name for me, not having ever met my late Grandfather or any other relatives. I have a younger brother, Brendan, who is just as curious as I am.

I have an interesting story, which may illuminate why I connect "Burdick" with "mystery". About ten years ago, I worked at a cheese store in Kensington Market, which is an old market in downtown Toronto. It was the middle of winter and there was a storm outside. Not many customers. I was cleaning up the shop when I uncovered a huge old book -- an odd thing to find in a cheese store! I opened it up and realized it was an old Bible. Much to my surprise, on the inner cover of the Bible, was a handwritten name in faded ink: Alexander B. Burdick.

I leafed through the book and found old pieces of cloth, an extremely shiny old daguerrotype photo of a woman, and many other little treasures. Also, in the middle, was a family record, as most old Bibles had. Carefully inscribed were a list of births and deaths, starting in 1775. Of course I wondered how the book got in the cheese store! What are the odds?

So I asked my boss. She said something vague about how an older gentleman had "left it behind". Who carries a heavy Bible into a bookstore and then forgets it? It seemed, and still seems, a very unlikely story. But why would someone go to the trouble of finding out where I work and not wish to meet me? And still want to give me such a wonderful gift?

I still have the Bible. Every now and then I leaf through its pages. I believe this particular Burdick was a minister at the First S.D.B. Church of Hopkinton, RI, as the name "Hopkinton R.I." appears repeatedly. I just wonder how, or if, I am related to this man. Indeed, I wonder who my ancestors were, where they lived, and what they did. Hopefully, the Burdick family will help me in my search.

Watch Your Wallet!

Relayed by Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org)

(I received this from a friend, who received it from a friend, etc. I don't know the original author. Even though the summer travel season is officially over, I thought this information is still relevant and important. If anyone knows who wrote the original, please let me know. - HB)

We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed using your name, address, social security number, credit cards, etc. Unfortunately, I have first hand knowledge. My wallet was recently stolen and within a week the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a Visa credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know. As everyone always advises, cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can easily find them (having to hunt for them is additional stress you WON'T need at that point). I had previously lost a Master Card and was a wreck until I got the toll free number.

Immediately file a police report in the jurisdiction where the theft/loss occurred. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important (I never ever thought to do this). Immediately call the three national credit-reporting organizations to place a fraud alert on your name and social security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, which was almost 2 weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. I obtained records of the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks. The required phone numbers are:

Equifax 1-800 525-6285

Experian (formerly TRW) 1-800-301-7195

Trans Union 1-800-680-7289

The Social Security Administration also has a fraud line at 1-800-269-0271.

As added information to anyone who hasn't already heard, the four major credit bureaus in the US will be allowed, starting July 1, to release (sell) your credit information, mailing addresses, phone numbers, etc. to anyone who requests it.

If you would like to 'opt out' of this release of information, you can call the "opt-out" request line at 1-888-567-8688. It only takes a couple of minutes and you can take care of anyone else in the household with only one call (you'll need to know everyone's social security numbers). Be sure to listen to the recording closely, because the first opt out selection (by pressing '1' on your keypad) is only for two years. Make sure you wait until they prompt you to press '3' on your phone keypad to opt-out permanently.

Here's the link to the Federal Trade Commission page where more information (and the opt-out phone number) is available:


An International Telephone Scam

Relayed by Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org)

(This also came from a friend. I have no idea if it's true, but a version of it is listed on AT&T's web site (the link is provided below). It sounded scary enough to let everyone know about it. If anyone does have direct information concerning this, let me know. If it's just another urban legend, I'd appreciate knowing that, too. - HB)

This message came from AT&T's Fraud Division:

NEVER DIAL AREA CODE (809). This scam is being distributed all over the U.S. It is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call.

Don't respond to emails, phone calls, or web pages which tell you to call an "809" Phone Number. This scam is spreading quickly, can easily cost you $24,000 or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it. Verizon brought this scam AT&T's attention. This scam has also been identified by the National Fraud Information Center and is costing victims a lot of money. It has lots of different permutations.

Here's how it works. You will receive a message on your answering machine or your pager, which asks you to call a number beginning with area code 809. The reason you're asked to call varies. It can be to receive information about a family member who has been ill, to tell you someone has been arrested, died, to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In all cases, you are told to call the 809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the U.S., you will apparently be charged $2,425 per minute. You may get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill you'll often be charged more than $24,100.00!

Here's why it works. The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The 809 area code can be used as a "pay-per-call" number, similar to 900 numbers in the U.S. Since 809 is not in the U.S., it is not covered by U.S. regulations of 900 numbers, which require that you be notified and warned of charges and rates involved when you call a "pay-per-call" number. There is also no requirement that the company provide a time period during which you may terminate the call without being charged.

Furthermore, whereas many U.S. phones have 900 number blocking to avoid these kinds of charges, 900 number blocking will not prevent calls to the 809 area code. We recommend that no matter how you get the message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area code you don't recognize please investigate further or just disregard the message. It's important to prevent becoming a victim of this scam, since trying to fight the charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong. Things are about to get worse, because that infamous off-shore area code (809) is in the process of breaking up into smaller chunks, and you'll soon have to think twice about calling any of the following area codes:

242, 246, 264, 268, 284, 345, 441, 473, 664, 758, 767, 784, 787,868, 869, 876, as well as 809.

AT&T's fraud information page:


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

Ruth Bolton Holly ( Hbigtodd@aol.com) has an interesting question. She is wondering if anyone knows about a Burdick that was killed in Burdickville, RI many years ago. She remembers her mother, Marion Burdick Bolton, reading the newspaper one Sunday in 1950. The murder was listed in an "Unsolved Mysteries" column. Ruth's mother said the murder victim was her relative and the police never found out who did it. They thought it might have been a servant. Since some you out there know the history of Burdickville quite well, Ruth and I are hoping that someone knows something about this case. Ruth thinks the victims were shot on their porch.

Barbara Cornelius (BCornel787@aol.com) , is going crazy (her words, not mine!), and is hoping the Burdick family can help -- help her to NOT go crazy, that is. Barbara is a genalogy researcher for the Historic District Commission of West Hartford, CT and is trying to solve a mystery. She is researching Amanda Minerva Bromley, born Sept. 4, 1833 (probably in Stonington, CT), the daughter of William Gurdon Bromley and Hannah Burdick (Hannah's Burdick line is Isaac, Christopher, John, Benjamin, Robert). Amanda Minerva married George Lyman Champlin and had a son, Alonzo Lyman. Barbara is searching for any authentication that this Amanda Minerva married Joel Broadwell in Cuyahoga County, Ohio about 1857, moved to Ontario, Canada, then moved to Bristish Columbia, Canada and died there in 1901 or 1902. The real mystery is: Who married Joel Broadwell in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1857? Was it Amanda Minerva Bromley (the Burdick descendant) or Mary Amanda Thompson? Both ladies were from the same area and lived at the same time. Both supposedly married Joel Broadwell at the same time, and both died in Bristish Columbia in 1901 or 1902. Mulitple personalities? Incorrect records? On the run? Anyone know anything? (Barbara is also looking for people who know the early history of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.)

Mark your calendars! Edi Reber (ereber@telus.net) says the next Big Burdick Blowout reunion in Western Canada will take place the first week-end of August, 2002 at the Benalto, Alberta fair grounds! The first weekend of August is a long weekend in Canada. Benalto is a ways north of Calgary. Any Burdicks are welcome (I'd love to go to this one!) Contact Edi for details. Edi's family also writes a Newsletter and has been doing so for about ten years now. It keeps them all up-to-date on the family's goings on (Births, deaths, weddings, graduations, career changes, etc.) It comes out twice a year and different family members receive the honor of writing it (decided at each reunion). Put me on the list!

Speaking of Newsletters, Joe Burdick (jburdick@ee.net) also writes one! He's sent me a few, they're great. Contact Joe to get on his mailing list.

Jan Meyers (jmmeyers@netnitco.net) came across this listing of an old Civil War print on eBay. The auction is over, but the seller's email address is sjmstmp@aol.com. If it didn't sell it may still be available: "CDV of private Benjamin F Burdick of the 1st Ct Heavy Artillery. Burdick enlisted on 5/61, re-enlisted 11/63 and shown wearing veteran stripes. Mustering out 9/65 at Washington DC. Image is period signed on back 'B F Burdick, Company G Redoubt Dutton Virginia' on back and was taken by De Lameter Hartford CT. 2 cent revenue stamp on back also. The First HA was involved in many of the Army of the Potomac's battles in the East. Image is an original 1860's Civil War Carte de Visite and is guaranteed to be such."

I ran into another Burdick brethren in my travels. Russ Burdick (russ@russburdickphoto.com) was taking pictures at a wedding reception I was attending! Russ takes great photographs of events all around Colorado. Check out his web site at http://www.russburdickphoto.com.

Susan Reynolds (SPrimeMD@aol.com) has an update on Ryan, our favorite Air Force specialist. Seems he had orders to be stationed at Hurlburt Field in the beautiful panhandle of Florida. Seems he had visions of kicking back on the beach that is considered to be just this side of paradise. Seems he drove all the way from Virginia to Florida to find out that his orders had been miscoded and he was supposed to be in Dyress AFB in Abilene -- where the temperature upon his arrival was 107 degrees! SORRY! I smell a tell-all book in Ryan's future somewhere down the road! On a different note, Susan has been cleaning out her attic and has some great office and writing supplies for sale at bargain-basement prices. Contact her for a list.

I like this one! Frank Burdick (fburdick@juno.com) says that his father, when asked his ethnic background, would say he was a "Swamp Yankee" (for the uninitiated, that term is a somewhat derogatory, somewhat proud moniker for residents of southern Rhode Island). When pressed he said he was an "Orangeman". The family lived in Irish areas around westerly, RI. Frank's father knew only Irish songs and loved to sing them: "Danny Boy", "Galway Bay", "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen", "My Lovely Rose of Clare" and, of course, "The Moonshiner". Frank seems to remember that William of Orange invaded Britain somewhere around 1650 or 1660. Could this be another German connection?

Mrs. Bates (MrsBates3X@aol.com) has a copy of Usher L. Burdick's book, "Tragedy in the Great Sioux Camp", published in 1936. Usher wrote several books, many about the native tribes in the Dakotas. If you'd like to purchase the book, please contact her.

Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2019. All Rights Reserved.