by David LaGesse
U.S. News & World Report, July 22, 2002
(I saw this article and thought it may be helpful for many of you who are preserving the past. - HB)
Marcie Latham lost a lifetime of mementos -- the photos, tokens, and clippings stuffed in boxes and albums -- when a fire swept her family's farmhouse east of Cincinnati in 1989, leaving one brick wall and a blackened hole where the basement had been. "You're just devastated when you think of the baby pictures, the things that can't be replaced," she says. So Latham hauls a laptop PC and scanner with her as she rummages the basements of elderly relatives and sows the resulting CDs with siblings like so many kernels of conservation.
Digital preservation of treasured documents is mostly done by cutting-edge techies like Lathams, a 39-year-old computer programmer. But her commitment to family history is typical of a growing number of Americans who, charmed by their past, want to save it for the future. Call is nostalgia, a yearning to connect with easier times -- or perhaps the fear of seeing history dissolve altogether.
It became clear decades ago that acid, first added to paper in the 1850s, was eating away at letters, photos, and albums. Disappearing heirlooms gave rise to conservation as a profession, and tricks of the trade are now widely available to genealogists, scrapbookers, and personal pack rats via the Web. But as elderly items grow ever more fragile, the conservation-crazed are increasingly consulting pros and attending workshops at houses of preservation like the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Acid Test. Most do-it-yourselfers could use a little professional help, as what passes for common sense doesn't cut it for conservation. A brief lesson: no attics and basements, unless they stay dry and temperate all year. Never laminate or use scotch tape, and either display copies or shield originals behind "conservation glass" with ultraviolet protection. "Acid free" is the sacred mantra of conservators. Buy acid-free envelopes, albums, and papers from specialty shops or catalogs. "'Archival' is a hot word in products these days, but there are no standards," says Julie Reilly, director of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha.
When in doubt, check with a professional. The Omaha center, for one, offers a half-hour consultation for $25. Actual repairs cost $85 an hour, more in bigger cities. Rejoining and restoring a ripped photo might cost $500. Local experts can be found through the American Institute for Conservation (aic.stanford.edu). Or watch for local programs, such as the how-to exhibit on textile, paper, and photo preservation running through July 26 at the Berkeley Historical Society in California.
About a dozen conservators staffed the busy Library of Congress clinic last fall (there's another in October), and Sue Taylor, 33, consulted a number of them. She arrived from Edgewater, Md., with a fragile cache of papers, photos, wedding dress lace, even a ship flag salvaged from her parents' attic. She left armed with techniques like carefully steaming an old newspaper to unfold it and see why it was saved. "For all I knew, it had just been lining a suitcase," she says. Turns out it's a reprint of a Jan. 4, 1800, paper eulogizing George Washington, apparently a souvenir from the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.
Flip-floppy. Professionals have settled on ways to maintain most traditional keepsakes. But confusion reigns when it comes to digital photos, E-mails, and other valued computer files (like the embarrassing first attempt at a family Web page) -- and how, or even if, we should be archiving mementos into digital format. Storage technology changes so fast (think 5-1/4-inch floppy disks) that nervous conservators value digital copies only as backups or for ease of access. "The importance of the original will never go away," says Mark Roosa, preservation director at the Library of Congress.
For keepsakes of the future, there often is no analog original, such as the millions of digital photos shot by consumers. Files can be saved in universal formats -- such as text or E-mails -- and moved as storage media evolves. The best preservation advice for digital photos? Print them at high resolution on acid-free paper, says Roosa. Then keep them in a dark, dry place, in envelopes and boxes that are, all together now -- ACID FREE.
Web conservation resources are available at www.usnews.com/photos.
The Shadrach Burdick Story
(The Burdick family has a long and proud history in Wisconsin. Kathy has kindly provided a history of one of the founding Wisconsin family members. You can see pictures of the farmhouse by pointing your browser to http://www.burdickfamily.org and selecting the "Historical photos" button. - HB)
In 1844 Shadrach Burdick and his wife Aurelia Worden Burdick came to Green Lake/Ripon Wisconsin from New York with his father Abraham Burdick and his wife Deborah Ferris Burdick. Shadrach had a son, Shadrach II, and Shadrach II had a son called Shadrach III (known as Ted).
Ted, a well known and well-liked politician-farmer, was a county supervisor for many years. Ted passed away a few years ago after celebrating his 50th anniversary with Adeline. Ted's wife Adeline, a lovely and kind lady still lives on the same land in a home built in 1845 by Shadrach (see story below). Adeline and Ted's son William II and his family also live there, their other son James lives in town.
The article below was originally printed in the Ripon newspaper in 1944. The Shadrach Burdicks of Green Lake are truly a pillar in the Burdick Family. But more than that, they are a living historical monument.
Adeline has a little trouble getting around now, so I think she might appreciate cards and notes from other Burdicks around the country. Her address is:
W1146 Hy K,
Ripon, WI 54971
"Burdick Farm in Possession of Family More Than 100 Years"
Nestled against a picturesque woods, far back from the road that leads from Koller's corners to Green Lake Center, sets a century-old home that housed five generations of the Burdick family and saw the fulfillment of a homesteader's dream, envisioned 104 years ago.
Homesteaded in 1844 by Shadrach Burdick, who came west from Otsego County, New York, to make his way in the Wisconsin territory, the prosperous 240 acre farm bears mute evidence of the industry displayed by ensuing generations.
Oldest Farm in Region. The history of one of the oldest farms in this region began in 1844 when young Shadrach Burdick staked his claim to 320 acres of fertile farmland.
Discontent in New York, Burdick moved west in the early 1840's leaving his family in Chicago while he struck out north for Marquette county where he worked for ex-Gov. S.N. Beal.
After earning enough money as a farm hand, he sent for his family and set up a homestead in Rippon, at the old Ceresco site. After several brushes with the Fourierites who set up a colony in Ceresco, he left his 160 acre farm and in 1844 entered a homestead on the present farm site.
Built House. In 1845 he, with the help of his father, Abraham, and a carpenter built the house presently occupied by Mr. and Mrs. William Burdick. At present three generations of the family, William, his son, Shadrach III, and his grandson, William II, are on the farm. Shadrach III, known as Ted, and his family live in a newer home built next to the old homesite.
The lumber in the house and barn was all hand-sawed and came from the trees in the Burdick forest. Carpenters who remodeled the house several years ago found siding an inch thick and a foot wide.
Excerpts from the obituary notice of Shadrach I, who died in 1890, at the age of 84, tell a little of the character of the man who settled here.
An ardent church-goer, Burdick helped build the Methodist church at Green Lake Center and fought to keep it going. The obituary tells how this settler boarded the minister and paid him $100 a year besides "rather than see the church go down."
Shadrach II, who was born in 1857, was the third generation of the family to live on the site. He ran the farm until his death, when it passed down to William I, present owner.
The prosperous 240 acres are now run by William and "Ted," his only child, under whose ownership another house and other buildings were added. As farsighted as the past generations of the Burdick family, the present owner has employed thousands of dollars of labor saving farm machinery to keep pace with the latest trends in agriculture.
Today, the 104-year-old farm depends on the fifth and sixth generation Burdicks, Shadrach III and William II, to keep alive this farm family's tradition.
Burdick News... Up-To-The-Minute!
Michael Jason Burdick
(firstname.lastname@example.org) is the last male in his line of Burdicks in Salt Lake City. His father is Max Leroy Burdick Jr. and grandfather is Max Leroy Burdick Sr. Can anyone supply more info?
Perhaps Kit Linford (email@example.com), another Utah Burdick, can help Mike, or perhaps you can help Kit. Kit read the name "Hancock" in the last Newsletter regarding Lt. Burdick, which was an interesting coincidence. Kit's grandparents lived in a big old gray clapboard saltbox house on East 5th South in Salt Lake City, next door to a widow named Hancock. They were good friends, and Mrs. Hancock (that's how Kit always knew her) had rooms to "let", including some to Burdick relatives. Before Kit's mother died, they went to the Salt Lake cemetery to see her parents' graves and the new marker for Kit's brother. It turns out that Mr. and Mrs. Hancock are buried in the next plot, and now the name Hancock pops up again! Kit's mother had spoken of a connection between the families but it's unknown whether it was as family or friends. Anyone know more?
Tom Gross (Thosgross@aol.com) has a photo of the grave stone for William Burdick of Almond, Allegany County, NY, that he took a couple of years ago. The stone was in the Tefft cemetery, a small family plot surrounded by farms that lies between Almond and Alfred, NY. William and Mary Ann (Hancock) Burdick were Tom's ggg-grandparents on my mother's side, and he has extensive information on that Burdick line. There's that name "Hancock" again!
Daniel Lebensohn (DLebensohn@aol.com) owns two original oil on canvas paintings by an artist named Burdick. One depicts a man riding a horse on its hind legs and seemingly in battle with a helmet on his head. The other has two horses, one in the foreground one in the rear, also in battle. Daniel believes the artist may have lived in New York, where he lives. Anyone know more about this Burdick artist?
Jan Hellewell (JGsHerbs@aol.com) and her sister have been working on their genealogy for over 20 years. About two years they discovered their Burdick connection, through Abigail Burdick, daughter of James and Phoebe Choate Smith Burdick (James is the son of Hubbard and Avis Lewis Burdick). I seem to remember there are others researching this line, perhaps you can get together with Jan to compare notes.
Ron Schmurr's (firstname.lastname@example.org) mother is Muriel Leone Burdick. This Burdick line is documented in a genealogy booklet entitled 'The Ancestors and Descendants of Charles Edwin Burdick'. It was prepared and published by Ralph E. Burdick in 1985. Ralph extracted information from the 1937 book by Nellie Johnson for the first six generations and then updated the Charles Edwin Burdick line from there. The booklet is out of print, but Ron is making it available in digital format to anyone who would like it. Contact Ron if you would like a copy.
Claudia Houston(Cbhfulmoon@aol.com), has received her photo of our Civil War ancestor, Lt. Frank Burdick (see the November/December 2002 Burdick Newsletter). She was shocked to see his face, says it is rather haunting, and so young! Claudia says his picture brings all the sorrow of the Civil War to life. If you would like to purchase your own copy of Lt. Burdick's picture from the Photo Archives of the U.S. Army Military History Institute ($29 for an 8x10 glossy) contact Claudia for instructions.
Mark Hansen (email@example.com) is a direct descendant of Alden Burdick Sr., one of the original followers of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Unfortunately, Alden Sr. died before the trek to Utah, but his wife, Jerusha (Parks) Burdick and their 11 children made the journey in 1852. Alden Jr. is Mark's great-grandfather and the subject of his inquiry. Mark's records show that Alden Jr. died in Fruit Vale, California, and he is wondering if any family members know more. Alden Jr. is listed in Nellie Johnson's book as living, in 1930, the father of 15 children, 31 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. Any leads would be appreciated.
By unfortunate coincidence, Phyllis Raymond (firstname.lastname@example.org) submits the following obituary as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune. Phyllis' gg-grandfather was Alden Burdick Sr., same as Mark Hansen, but her g-grandfather was Lutellus Burdick. This Alden was the son of her grandfather's brother:
"Alden Lutellus Burdick, 4/4/18 - 12/10/02. Alden Lutellus Burdick, 85, of Orem Utah, passed away Dec.10 2002 He was born in Bonitaa, Utah to Francis Eugene and Millie Ferron Cook Burdick. He married Bernell C. Olson of Feb 14, 1942. Alden is survived by his wife, Bernell and his three sons and one daughter: Butch (Michele) Burdick, Dubois, WY, Bruce (Vicky) Burdick, Orem, UT, Ken (Janene) Burdick, Omaha, NB, and Christine Burdick of Santa, Cruz. CA. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec 13, 2002 at 10 am at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 E. 800 N, Orem, Ut. Friends may call at the funeral home Thurs. eve. from 7-9 PM. Burial will be at the Price City, Cemetery."
Judy Woodley (email@example.com) is trying to find out who the BURDICK was that married a Sarah LEWIS born May 11, 1800, Voluntown, Connecticut. They had two daughters: Lucy Melinda BURDICK born December 19, 1827, Voluntown, and a Susan Lucrecy(?) BURDICK born July 12, 1826, Voluntown. Sarah LEWIS BURDICK married a second time to someone with the surname of WINTERBOTTOM, and had a daughter by the name of Mary E. WINTERBOTTOM born May 17, 1834, Voluntown. Sarah LEWIS BURDICK WINTERBOTTOM married a third time to a Teft/Tift Lillibridge BARBER born December 14, 1805, Rhode Island. Sarah died March 25, 1871, Galesburg, Illinois. Judy believes the father of Sarah LEWIS was a Caleb LEWIS born April 22, 1757, Voluntown, Connecticut. She would appreciate any information you can provide. Lucy is Judy's husband's Great Great Grandmother.
Joe Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in Puyallup, WA and is trying to find some connections. Joe's father is Arthur Ray Burdick of Tacoma whose roots are in Dayton, WA. His grandparents are Lloyd and Fay (Lowery) Burdick, Lloyd's parents are Henry and Carrie (Stark) Burdick, who are buried in the Dayton Cemetery, along with Lewis Burdick who is probably Henry's father. Lloyd may have had six siblings but Joe can only identify two: Betsy and Millie (Milly?). An interesting twist is that Lloyd's brother, Alvin, was adopted by Presley and Alice May (Weedon) Rainwater, also buried at Dayton. Joe wanted to make everyone aware that Alvin may have been known by either name, Burdick or Rainwater, in case someone is searching this line. Can anyone help Joe in his search?
In the last Newsletter, Ellen Scheffler (email@example.com) had a notice about a recently purchased Bible that belonged to E.B. Burdick. She wanted to return it to one of his descendants. Patricia Pillsbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) took Ellen up on her offer. The Bible is full of Pat's ancestors and she says it is wonderful to have this cherished book. Thanks again, Ellen. If anyone is researching the Uniondale, PA Burdicks, drop Pat an email, she would love to hear from you. Pat has a big mystery left to solve: what do "E.B."s initials stand for? She thinks his first name was Elisha but can't be sure. E.B. (born May 15, 1824, died Dec 24, 1892) had two wives: M.E. Burdick (b. March 13, 1838) and Ruth Wells ( b. June 19, 1845). E.B.'s children are Owen E., Sarah, Mary, Wells, Milo, Hugh, John, Edith, Gerald.
Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2019. All Rights Reserved.