Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his Ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
Many of us take our liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
Remember: Freedom is never free!
Share this with as many people as you can. Patriotism is not a sin, and there is more to the 4th of July than beer, picnics, and baseball games.
Most family books and other genealogy records that have been digitized are simply scanned versions of the original work, basically a digital photograph of each page, with no ability to search for names, places, or other key words. On this CD, Nellie's entire work has been converted to text format which makes searching a snap. Anyone frustrated by the difficulty of locating information in Nellie's book will understand the benefit.
For example, a search of "Civil War" quickly reveals over 300 family members who served in the conflict. Each entry reveals its unique story: one fled to Canada to escape enlistment, another sent a surrogate so he could keep his business open. Some fought for the entire War. Many did not come home. Most were very young.
You can search by any word or phrase such as a town, a state, an occupation, or a date. For example, there are 45 Burdicks with direct connections to Janesville, Wisconsin. There are 13 connected to Saratoga Springs, New York. Trying to extract this type of information from the hardcopy book would be monumental.
Nellie's 1952-53 supplement, which consists of 180 typewritten pages of corrections, clarifications, and additions to her original work, has not been widely circulated. This almost-forgotten resource has been underutilized for 50 years due to its poor reproduction quality. The CD includes the supplement as fully searchable text transcribed from Nellie's original notes.
The book and supplement contain references to over 5,600 unique surnames. The Burdicks are, of course, connected to the Babcocks, Crandalls, Fosters, Maxsons, and a host of other founding American families, but we're also connected to the Frelous, the Lovejoys, and the Stutzmans. The list of all surnames is included on the CD.
For all the benefits the CD version provides, it is not meant to replace the hardcopy book -- sometimes you just want that feel of paper between your fingers. However, I find myself bypassing the hardcopy more and more as the CD becomes my primary resource. It's easier to pop a CD into the computer than drag that 12-pound book off the shelf!
The CD has been professionally produced and runs on PCs using Microsoft Windows(tm) 95 or newer. The cost is $49, including shipping. Given the added benefits, extended capabilities, ease of use, and a price one fourth that of the reprint book, this CD is a great bargain for any library.
For more details, please visit the newly updated Burdick Family Association web site (http://www.burdickfamily.org) and click on "Store" to order. For your convenience I'll send the order form in a separate email.
Digitization of Nellie's book is long over-due and is a great aid to family researchers. Genealogies of this sort are never perfect, so if you have corrections to Nellie's work you can register them on the Burdick web site under "Research".
Finally, initial preparations are under way for the biggest step of all: updating the entire Burdick genealogy for the 21st Century. But more on that later...
Connie Lear Wright (DBBFAN111@aol.com), who supplied this month's piece on the 4th of July, is pleased to report that her mother if doing better after triple bypass and pacemaker operations. Keep praying for her!
Steve Dahlstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Rootsweb list moderator for the Bemis family. He is looking for information about the descendants of Wesley Haselton Burdick. Steve is compiling information about the family of Wesley's wife, Delia Alzada Bemis. There are a few references in the Burdick book, but can anyone supply more information?
We have another Burdick author! Melissa Burdick Harmon (Melissaharmon@cs.com) is the author of "Diana: The People's Princess" that was mentioned in a Newsletter earlier this year. She is the daughter of John Robert Burdick of Newfoundland, PA and is a direct descendant of Robert Burdick. Melissa writes about people and travel for Biography Magazine. On several occasions, as when writing about Newport and Queen Elizabeth I of England, she has included bits of Burdick history. Glad we found each other, cousin!
Laura Berkshire's (email@example.com) great great grandfather was Truman Burdick Maxson through his second wife, Amanda Engle. His mother was Lois Burdick (1793-1865) of Plainfield, Otsego County, NY. Her parents were Amos Burdick (1762-1839) and Phebe Covey (1766-1849) of Stonington, New London County, CT. Laura is trying to find out where and when Truman died and about his first wife, Angeline Clarke. Can anyone help?
Joe Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) came across the obituary of John Burdick. He passed away in Myrtle Beach at 82 years of age and was from Aurora, Ohio. On a different note, Joe wants to know if anyone knows Matthew Burdick, who played football for Wake Forest and beat Navy (me too!) By the way, Joe's latest Newsletter can be found on http://www.burdickfamily.org .
Deborah Burdick Drozen (Ddrozen@aol.com), who's dad is Tyler Bragg Burdick, Jr., is looking for information about her grandfather, Tyler Bragg Burdick, Sr. Her grandfather, born in the late 1890's, is from New England and was separated from most of his family as a young teen. He had a sister named Grace and one of his brothers was named Orin. Deborah's dad, Tyler, Jr., was born in 1922. Can anyone make a connection?
Pam Warren (email@example.com) is having some problems researching the Burdicks of Wexford County, MI. Her first Burdick ancestor in Michigan was George Washington Burdick of Wexford County. Pam is also trying to track a seemingly completely different branch, that of Harrison Burdick (1824-1906) and Ann Martin (1861-1920). She finds them first in Porter Township, Cass County, MI in the 1880 census, and in Colfax Township, Wexford Co., MI by 1900. Does anyone know more?
Andy Penaluna (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an airbrush artist in England and wanted to be sure everyone knew of Charles L. Burdick. Charles features prominently in the history of the airbrush and spray guns. He came to London in 1893 following the World's Fair in Chicago to set up the "Fountain Brush Co." This, in turn, became the Aerograph Company, then DeVilbiss Aerograph, and these days is a division of ITW. Charles was the inventor of the needle/nozzle system. Andy is currently documenting his patents as a part of a thesis for the University of Wales. Check out Andy's research at http://www.andypenaluna.com/history/1893pages/1893burd.html. If Charles is your relative, Andy would love to hear from you (so would I).
Amy Adams (email@example.com) is also looking for a few Burdick ancestors. Her gg-grandmother was Nancy Roame(?) Burdick (b. Aug. 29 1831/4, E. Pembroke NY, d. May 10 1910, Yorkshire NY, married Nov. 26 1850 to Isaac Edwin Davis). Nancy's mother was also a Nancy, last name may have been Wingette. Amy has found the elder Nancy's grave in Delevan Cemetery, Delevan, NY: "Burdick, Nancy, 1798-1876, wife of J. Burdick", as well as a "M.P. Burdick, 1834-1919". Can anyone provide more information? Amy would greatly appreciate it.
Pat Watts (firstname.lastname@example.org) is tracing her Forman roots and has encounter the Burdicks. Jonathan Burdick (1805-1896) married Roxey Forman (1805-1896). Seems to be some confusion. If you have information about the Forman family, please contact Pat. Thanks.
Elia Sepulveda (email@example.com) has some Burdick memorabilia that may be of interest to someone out there. Elia found an old book that had been sent to Mrs. H. L. Burdick of Rockford, IL. Inside the book is a handkerchief that probably belong to Mrs. Burdick. There is also a promissory note dated 1899 to the Winnebago National Bank of Rockford. The book is titled "Bachelors Children", dated 1939. If you are interested in knowing more, contact Elia.
Phyllis Movius (firstname.lastname@example.org) is researching her 88 year old mother-in-law's Burdick line. She is stuck on one ancestor, Elisha T. Burdick, who was born, married and died in Grafton, Rensselaer Co., NY in the 1800s. She has been unable to identify Elisha's parents, can anyone help? The Nellie Johnson work contained a possible lead, but it was inaccurate.
Robert Burdick (c/o email@example.com) is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy and is looking for his Burdick ancestors. He was born in Peoria, IL in 1949. His father was Russel Burdick, born in LaHouge, IL in 1916, who was the son of Roderick Rexford Burdick, of Gilman, IL. Does anyone know more about this line?