Burdick Newsletters

November/December, 2001

Burdicks Lost, Burdicks Found

by Susan Frazier (RFraz34007@aol.com)
and Anita Bikowitz (Abikowitz@aol.com)

(With all the trouble in the world today, I thought this story was a great chance of pace. It's about family members that were separated, then rejoined. - HB)

Susan's Story:

I began my research on family histories as a teen in 1975. I had grown up hearing various stories about our families. One story concerned my grandmother, Laura Beaver, her two sisters, Wilma and Neomi, and her brother Jefferson.

Life being the way it is, many years intervened before I could resume my genealogical journey. Having contacted my Grandmother Laura (Beaver) Wampole, we began a short correspondence on the family history in 1982.

It was then that I was told about the Burdick, the Phillips, and the Beaver families we were descended from. It was then that I was again told the story of the four children.

Here it is. My great-great grandfather, Myron Henry Phillips, had married Learnica (aka. Lorraine, aka. Laura) Emily Burdick. Their daughter, Harriet, had married a Frederick Beaver. They had four children, the oldest two being Laura and Wilma, the youngest being Neomi and Jefferson.

At some point after 1916, Harriet and Frederick separated. For some reason Harriet placed the children into an orphanage in Wisconsin until she could find a place to stay and a way to support them. A short time later (no time span was provided) Harriet returned to collect the children, but the younger two, Neomi and Jefferson, had been adopted!

One of my goals was to find what happened to Neomi.

It wasn't until recently that Patricia Beesley, a cousin researching the families, journeyed to Wisconsin and uncovered the information that Neomi had been adopted by an Ira P. Mabie. A delayed birth certificate had been accomplished in 1937 in Fond du Lac, WI. On the certificate it reflected the adoption and the name change from Neomi Beaver to Katherine Mabie. We both continued to seek further information on Neomi.

A few days ago, fate stepped in. Having lost a lot of data to a software glitch, I renewed my subscription to Ancestry to recover information I had lost. While feeding names into the search engine, I decided to run one last name before signing off: Ira Mabie.

An entry for Ira Peter Mabie with a daughter of Katherine Mabie was available. Looking at the entry, I decided to email the submitter and ask if, by chance, my information matched hers.

As Anita has said, the rest is now history. Anita's mother was Neomi, aka. Katherine, and she is my mother's first cousin, my second. We are busy providing each other photos and information on the families.

 It has been a joy to supply her with family information, and share with her our Burdick photos and family genealogies.

Anita's Story:

The name on my birth certificate reads "Anita Jane Sanden", father: Lloyd H. Sanden, mother: Katherine N. Mabie. As I grew up, I used to ask my mother what her middle name was. She told me to take out my Bible, look up Ruth 2:1, and look at the second word in the verse. She said that was her middle name but spelled differently. She would never tell me how to spell it. My mother also told me she had been adopted when she was four and that her name before "Pops" adopted her was Naomi. ("Pops" was my grandfather, Ira Peter Mabie.) She also told me her last name had been Beaver. When I asked her more questions, she told me that she had two sisters and a brother, Jefferson, and that she had been born in Menomonee, WI. That was all she knew. My mother passed away of congestive heart failure on June 11, 1985.

Fast forward to 2001. Wanting to trace my ancestry, I began working on my family tree and posted it to Ancestry.com. Entries included Katherine Neomi Mabie, daughter of Ira Peter Mabie and Madge Allen. On October 25, 2001, I received an email asking if Katherine Mabie had been adopted. I quickly responded, and the rest is history! I have learned a quite a bit, but this is the start.

One day, in the early 1920's, a woman named Harriet Inez Phillips Beaver (daughter of Myron H. Phillips and Laura Emily Burdick) took her four children, Laura Augusta, Wilma, Neomi, and Jefferson to an orphanage, and for reasons unknown to anyone now, left them there for temporary care. A short time later, Harriet returned to reclaim her children, but found only two waiting to return home. Different families had adopted Neomi and Jefferson. I can only imagine the anguish Harriet must have lived with as she tried to find her children.

In time, Jefferson searched for his family and was reunited with them. But Neomi remained missing until the Worldwide Web managed to bring a family back together again.

I am still learning about the many branches of this amazing family tree. I can supply any information on Katherine (Neomi) and her descendants.

The Hubbards

by Lyn Scott ( lynscott@dreamscape.com)

(As Burdicks we sometime forget that there's another half to our ancestry, namely, the half provided by Robert Burdick's wife, Ruth Hubbard. Lyn Scott has investigated this side of the family, which can be traced back much further than colonial Rhode Island. - HB)

To begin with, the name "Hubbard" is a corruption of the name Hubert from Anglo-Saxon. The name dates back to the first invasion of the Danes into England in 866, when King Hubba, the Danish king, landed on the coast of Kent.

Our common ancestor, Robert Burdick, married Ruth Hubbard n 1655, in Newport Rhode Island. She was the first white child born in Springfield, MA.

Ruth's father was Samuel Hubbard, born 1610 in Mendelsham, Suffolk Co., England, and died somewhere between 1688-1692. Samuel Hubbard married Tasy Cooper, born in England in 1608, and died after 1697. Samuel came to Salem, MA on the ship "James Grant Master", which left Gravesend, England late in August, 1633, and arrived in Massachusetts Bay on October 10, 1633.

Samuel Hubbard's parents were James Hubbard and Naomi Cocke. James Hubbard's father was Thomas Hubbard who is listed in Fox's "Book of Martyrs" as being burned at the stake on May 26, 1555, in Essex, England, for refusing to recant his protestantism.

Naomi's father was a Thomas Cocke, born in Ipswich, England. He kept a diary, dated 1549, during Queen Mary's reign, which he hid under his mattress lest it be found and he be burned. Transcripts of the diary have been preserved in a historical library in Rhode Island. I am trying to locate them through a Hubbard descendent, whose grandfather had the papers in his possession and willed them to the library.

Update from Arlington, VA

by Susan McMackin Reynolds (SPrimeMD@aol.com)

(Susan provided us with a first-hand view of her experience on September 11 in Arlington, VA, just a few miles from the Pentagon. Here's an update from her, one month later, on October 11. - HB)

I'm writing my update while listening to jets overhead (very unreal ). In "normal" times it's not easy to see the days we live through as "History" but history is so obviously happening now. I'm struggling to acclimate myself to a new reality although and it looks like living through this moment in time is bringing changes in many of us, me included.

The Commander in Chief is surprising me more every day, but it's clear that he's not the only one who is "evolving". I hear that Don Rumsfield was annoyed during one of those September 11th-ish "what to do" meetings, insisting that the military guys "didn't get it" and that we needed a totally new approach in a vastly changed world situation. No kidding.

Earlier tonight I was kidding Ryan, my son in the Air Force, via email about needing to have Marines guarding the Air Force since they stress "thinking" skills rather than combat skills. He came back with a comment about a recent session with M16s, and that his skill level had gone up a couple of notches. After I got over my surprise at getting a return email the same day (actually within minutes, when it often takes a week or so) it hit me that they (meaning the USAF) did not normally stress or practice that sort of skill. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something entirely new happening on that front. Hmmmmm.

But things closer to home are changing as well. Daughter Kerry, who doesn't normally know diddly about one country or another now knows where "the Stans" are. She and Kelsey were here for dinner last night and, when I was searching in my brain for the name of each of the Stans (showing off? me?) , Kerry reminded me that the one I had skipped was Uzbekastan. This is at least as big a change as the USAF practicing with M16s. I'm in shock!

Then tonight's press conference reminded me that I could have been wrong in underestimating George W. When he said, "Show me the money", I had to laugh out loud. I find the people in this administration (with the remarkable exception of Tommy Thompson who seems totally clueless) very authentic and the president's plain-spokenness seems increasingly welcome. Who could have guessed. I can overlook stumbling into dyslexia and inventing words if I feel that someone is committed and as if I'm not being schmoozed.

This morning I went to do a very overdue job at Pentagon City shopping center. It was nearly noon when I arrived and there were virtually no cars in the parking garage; whereas the place is normally mobbed at that time of day. Unbelievably, I parked within 5 spaces of the entrance to the stores. Everywhere inside the staff far outnumbered shoppers. The entrances to Macy's had been revamped, with much less open area and offset, angled walls near the door leading from the mall into the store. Multiple "guys with toolbelts" were obviously installing a new system of some sort in the ceilings and a new detector system (detecting just what, I don't know) was in use at the doors to the garage. It was all too spooky.

After the new traffic restrictions going into effect locally, hearing from Kerry that the FBI has had agents interviewing people at her office, and this new warning from the Justice department on the FBI web site this afternoon, I'm not so sure I'm going to do the jobs that I had scheduled for tomorrow. I'll see what I can put off and what I can't. Surfing the 24-hour news channels sounds more like my speed for the day - at least until I get hungry for a bagel and the Washington Post.

In any case, I've got my emergency FEMA recommended "Grab and Go" bags and emergency supplies ready if I need to head for the hills. And I'm not going to even pause five minutes to second guess myself before hitting the road if I have the slightest clue that something fishy is afoot. So much for getting back to normal. I don't have a clue what normal looks like now.

Staying Smart, Here and Abroad

(Name Withheld)

(One of our family members sent this. I think it is good advice as we show our patriotism and return to our new reality. - HB)

I wanted to pass this on to everyone:

Please, please refrain from wearing anything that identifies you as anything other than a regular American! The open wearing of what clearly shows that you or your family is affiliated with the military makes you a target. It is not widely known, but terrorist groups have been threatening family members of our military and ranking civilian officials for many years now.

This usually occurs in foreign lands, but now the rules of the game have changed.

In many countries they use threats, rape, abduction, and torture to obtain information. Some of our recently caught "spies" were in fact doing so out of fear for their families.

If you are overseas, you WILL not be identified as an American, so go ahead and wear your red white and blue. American women are especially noticeable by the way we act and walk, which in many terrorists' eyes is arrogant and disrespectful.

How do I know? I recently got out of the service and now work as a civilian for the military. I have had the opportunity to live in their communities and I know how they think. Please don't make yourself a target by wearing anything that will show you as a military member's family. You will place yourself and your son, daughter, spouse, or parent in danger.

Show your defiance as an American if you feel the need. That is enough, don't do anything more dangerous. We are now living more like the rest of the world. I am used to seeing armored trucks and armed personnel on street corners and walking through airports. I am use to checking under my car for bombs every time I drive. I am used to seeing destruction from bombs and madmen, but not on my own soil.

This is a message from one American to others. Stay safe and keep the faith.

The Captain

Relayed by Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org)

(Some of you may have read about the United Airlines captain who, a few days after September 11, made a rather stirring speech to his passengers. This is an email relaying what he apparently said. I know the event is true since it was reported by numerous news outlets. The following words may not be 100% correct, but I think it's good advice for all of us frequent and not-so-frequent flyers. - HB)

I just wanted to drop you all a note and let you know that I arrived safe and sound into Dulles Airport tonight [9/15] at about 6:00. It was an interesting flight. The airport in Denver was almost spooky, it was so empty and quiet. No one was in line for the security check point when I got there so that went fairly quickly, just x-ray of my bags and then a chemical test to be sure nothing explosive was on them. Then I waited 2-1/2 hours to board the plane. What happened after we boarded was interesting and thought I would share it with you.

The pilot/captain came on the loudspeaker after the doors were closed. His speech went like this:

"First I want to thank you for being brave enough to fly today. The doors are now closed and we have no help from the outside for any problems that might occur inside this plane. As you could tell when you checked in, the government has made some changes to increase security in the airports. They have not, however, made any rules about what happens after those doors close. Until they do that, we have made our own rules and I want to share them with you."

"Once those doors close, we only have each other. Security has taken care of a threat like guns with all the increased scanning, etc. Then we have the supposed bomb. If you have a bomb, there is no need to tell me about it, or anyone else on this plane; you are already in control. So, for this flight, there are no bombs that exist on this plane. The threats that are left are things like plastics, wood, knives, and other weapons, or things like that can be used as weapons."

"Here is our plan and our rules. If someone or several people stand up and say they are hijacking this plane, I want you all to stand up together. Then take whatever you have available to you and throw it at them. Throw it at their faces and heads so they will have to raise their hands to protect themselves. The very best protection you have against knives are pillows and blankets. Whoever is close to these people should then try to get a blanket over their heads so they won't be able to see. Once that is done, get them down and keep them there. Do not let them up. I will then land the plane at the closest place and we WILL take care of them. After all, there are usually only a few of them and we are 200+ strong! We will not allow them to take over this plane."

"I find it interesting that the US Constitution begins with the words 'We, the people'. That's who we are, THE PEOPLE and we will not be defeated."

With that, the passengers on the plane began to applaud, people had tears in their eyes, and we began the trip toward the runway. The flight attendant began the safety speech. One of the things she said is that we are all so busy and live our lives move at such a fast pace. She asked that everyone turn to their neighbors on either side and introduce themselves and tell each other something about your families and children, show pictures, whatever. She said "For today we consider you family. We will treat you as such and ask that you do the same with us."

Throughout the flight we learned that this was the crew's first flight since the tragedies of September 11. It was a day that everyone leaned on each other and together everyone was stronger than any one person alone. It was quite an experience. You can imagine the feeling when that plane touched down at Dulles and we heard "Welcome to Washington Dulles Airport, where the local time is 5:40". Again, the cabin was filled with applause.

Last night I watched a television program with some college students. One of them said that at their campus there are no more hyphenated titles. No more African-Americans. No more Arab-Americans. Everyone is just an American. No one will ever be able to take that pride away from us.

We've Always Done it That Way

Relayed by Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org)

(How's about something lighter? A friend sent this to me. - HB)

Does the expression, "We've always done it that way!" ring any bells???

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads. Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did THEY use that gauge?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?!

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they all had the same wheel spacing.

So, it turns out that the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Specifications and bureaucracies live forever!

So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what "horse's rear end" came up with it, you may be exactly right. You see, the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two horses!

Now the twist...

There's an interesting extension to the story about railroad gauges and horses' behinds.

When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by a company called Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's rear end!

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

Barbara (Burdick) Hoevel (bhoevel@hotmail.com) reports that her grandson, Mike, went through Navy boot camp about the time that Susan Reynolds's son, Ryan, was in Air Force boot camp. Only thing different is that Mike thought it was fun! He's in Atomic Chemistry school at Charleston, SC, but that's been put on hold for now. He hopes to be assigned to an attack submarine.

Joe Burdick (jburdick@ee.net), a long time friend and contributor to this newsletter, has some important news. Joe was very close to his grandfather and prior to the elder Burdick's passing, they talked about Joe joining the reserves, particularly the SeaBee's, where Joe's grandfather had done his service during World War II. Joe has been mulling it over, even meeting with a recruiter, thinking of it as a great tribute to the man he so dearly admired. The SeaBees are one of the most important and, unfortunately, one of the most rarely recognized parts of the military. September 11 helped Joe make his decision. He's met with a recruiter and is scheduled to take his entrance exam. Joe served 3 years in the Navy, working with F/A-18's, the Navy's best fighter/attack airplanes. Joe's grandfather was proud that Joe was the first Burdick of their line, since him, to join the military. Joe feels that patriotism is more than giving blood or flying the flag. People who are able should volunteer, at least for the reserves. Joe is 32 years old wants to help this country. He believes that people his age need to set an example for young people, and he is putting his money where is mouth is. My hat's off to you, Joe.

Carol Ann Poulson (ccpoulson@surfbest.net) came across this interesting web site: http://www.hamrick.com/names. At this sight, you can type in a surname and see how it has spread among the population, state-by-state in 1850, 1880, 1920 and 1990. It is fun to see how the Burdicks really spread out!

Lauren Maehrlein (Heirleins@aol.com) knows her "Swamp Yankees"! I made a reference to the term in the last Newsletter, and Lauren responded. For a complete history of why our Rhode Island ancestors got that name, go to Genforum's "Rhode Island" or "RI Washington County" forums.

Steve Yates (syates@cfl.rr.com) has some great digitized photos of his Burdick ancestors from around 1900: Arthur, Vivian Burdick Wilde, Francis Burdick Moore, Florence Burdick Yates, and Harold Burdick. Steve's mother is Florence Burdick and his grandfather was Abraham Burdick, who came from western Pennsylvania and was born around 1860-1865.

Gary Burdick (seatern@msn.com) suggests checking out the National Park Service web site for people researching Civil War Burdicks. The site contains a recently completed list of all soldiers in uniform during the Civil War. (A listing of black sailors has been started with the assistance of Howard University.) The listing includes the soldier's regiment identification and, in some cases, personal information. At last count, there were 260 Burdicks on the list! Of these, 257 wore blue. Of the 3 Burdick Confederates, 2 were from Tennessee and 1 was from Texas. Several Burdicks were white officers leading black troops, and quite a few served on the Northwestern Frontier during the great Sioux uprising in Minnesota. Gary was surprised that there are many more Burdicks listed than names your would have thought to be more common. The site is at: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss , select "Soldiers."

Fawn DePuy has received some census records showing that Nancy Burdick was born in Vermont. She would like to contact anyone who knows of the Burdicks in Vermont.

Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2019. All Rights Reserved.