Dana Mierky, California
July 1, 2006
After a long period of empty attempts to find who my great-grandparents were I finally found light at the end of the tunnel just when I was about to give up. I had my grandmother’s name: Mary Agnes Burdick. Period. Nothing else. No name for her mother or her father. Literally nothing to work with. My Aunt Beth remembered that she was named after her grandmother whom she’d never met, so I was able to get Elizabeth Burdick as my great-grandmother’s name. That was still all I had to work with, no name for my great-grandfather. And I was unable to find my great-grandmother Elizabeth Burdick anywhere.
I found message boards for Burdicks and just randomly e-mailed strangers who were Burdick descendants asking for help and ideas. No one responded until Sally Chirlin. It was so exciting to receive an e-mail back from someone who also shared Burdick lineage. At first I thought it was just polite kindness, perhaps even curiosity, her responding back to me but the story changed. This kind lady, a complete stranger, stepped in and started a long challenging process of helping me find my people.
She worked exceptionally hard since I had so very little information to provide her with. Most people would have turned away at such a challenge, but not Sally. She found my family, my great-grandfather Columbus Burse Burdick, then validated my great-grandmother Elizabeth Burdick as his wife with my grandmother and her two sisters as their children.
Through Sally I came to know the Burdick lineage as wells as the Tufts lineage which was Elizabeth Burdicks’ maiden name -- a name which went all all the way back to Governor William Bradford and the Mayflower. Such colorful exciting history, getting to know all about my ancestors, just incredible! Sally went on the long journey with me to track the ever-elusive Elizabeth Burdick. There was so little information on her, while Columbus Burse Burdick’s name and line was rich in history and information.
I have met lovely people along my journey through e-mail contact, people who share the same lineage and interests. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and caring of others. With some goodhearted people in the genealogy world like Sally, someone, somewhere will be able to find lost forgotten relatives. A sincere heartfelt thank you to Sally for bringing it all together for me, and encouraging me to continue on my quest for more information on the ever elusive Elizabeth Burdick which recently led me to find her resting place in Petaluma, CA.
As I struggled to find each clue, my Dad, Jack Richardson, and his sister Elizabeth, rejoiced with me about each new piece of family history. Both Dad and Aunt Beth contributed what they could for leads but it was difficult for them as they never knew their grandparents and had heard very little about them as their mother Mary Agnes (Burdick) Richardson had not talked about her family. They only had heard the Burdicks were devout Mormons and that their grandmother Elizabeth Burdick had fascinated the Indians with her yellow hair as she crossed the plains in a covered wagon.
Dad and Aunt Beth had been told their grandmother was a direct descendant of Gov. William Bradford which intrigued them. They had not learned about Columbus Burse Burdick, their grandfather, who was descended from Robert Burdick and Ruth Hubbard and all that additional rich history. They were shocked to find out their grandparents had both been married previously and had children by their first spouses.
Columbus Burdick was first married to Rhoda Hollingshead and had children from that marriage. Elizabeth Burdick had been married to John Wesley Ellsworth and had two children with him. This seemed incredible to my Dad and his sister that there was even more relatives near by that they’d never known existed.
It has been so wonderful and such an honor to be able to share my finds with my inspiration, my Dad Jack Richardson and his sister Elizabeth (Richardson) Anderson. That is the joy of genealogy -- not only finding but sharing loved ones who have passed with loved ones who are still living.
Previously published in RootsWeb Review; 28 December 2005, Vol. 8, No. 52.
It is New Year's Eve 1852 and Henry Hydemwell sits at his desk by candlelight. He dips his quill pen in ink and begins to write his New Year's resolutions.
1. No man is truly well-educated unless he learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well-educated in the coming year.
2. I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.
3. My age is no ones business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list the same age or birth year twice in the same document.
4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different church -- either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.
5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once every 10 years -- just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly questions.
6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.
7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record keeping or in participating in military service.
8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I'll loan him my pen, which has been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.
9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another Mary.
10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?
Although I haven't connected directly to him yet, I'm quite sure that a good many of us are related to Mr. Hydemwell.
This poem is based on historical fact and is dedicated to the fine folks who work to preserve this railroad history. The narrow gauge railroad days are gone, but during its heyday, it was a very important link for the shipment of goods and the transport of passengers, including children going to school. I had, for a while, the great pleasure of driving the horse-drawn train at Ardenwood Historical Farm in Fremont, California. It was an amazing step back in history. For more information, visit the SPCRR (Society for Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources.)
Henry hitched his sorrel up
To a Carter car on a narrow gauge railroad track
Reins in hand he'd let the brake off
And he'd drive the 209 from Newark to Centerville and back
You might think it's crazy
But Henry made the most
Of a three mile spur that connected to
The South Pacific Coast
For thirty years his milk train ran
And the local kids all rode to school with Henry
Then the narrow rails all went to standard gauge
And a steam locomotive hauled out the last strawberry
You might think it's crazy
But Henry made the most
Of a three mile spur that connected to
The South Pacific Coast
Henry's not forgotten
Though he's left this world for good
I think of him every time I drive
The train at Ardenwood
FREDERICK A. BURDICK, one of the pioneer stockmen of Stanley county, comes of staunch Scottish lineage, and the family was founded in America in the colonial epoch, while representatives of the name were found among the valiant soldiers in the Continental line during the war of the Revolution. Mr. Burdick was born in Brasher Falls, St. Lawrence county, New York, on the 17th of October, 1864, and is a son of Charles B. and Alice L. (Smith) Burdick, both of St. Lawrence county, New York. John Burdick, the grandfather of the subject, was born in Chateaugay, Franklin county, that state, and was a son of John Burdick, who came from Scotland prior to the Revolution and settled in the old Empire state, with whose history the name has been ever since identified. The father of the subject was a machinist by vocation and devoted the greater portion of his active life to this line of enterprise. In 1864 he enlisted in the Sixth New York Artillery, and met his death in an engagement in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia about six months later. In 1867 his widow removed with her family to South Bend, Indiana, where they remained about eleven years, and then removed to Minneapolis, where she passed the remainder of her life, her death occurring in 1885.
F. A. Burdick received his early education in the public schools of South Bend, Indiana. He then learned the trade of plumbing, and was engaged in this line of business for himself, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, until February, 1892, when he started for Fort Pierre, South Dakota. Upon his arrival he engaged in the raising of sheep, securing a tract of excellent grazing land in Stanley county, and he continued in this line of industry for six years, at the expiration of which he disposed of his sheep and turned his attention to raising of horses and cattle, in which he has since been successfully engaged. His well-improved ranch is located on the Cheyenne river at the mouth of Big Plum creek, so that an ample supply of water is afforded. The ranch is located five miles south of the village of Leslie, which is the post office address of Mr. Burdick. He gives preference to the Hereford breed of cattle, his range stock in the line being three-fourths Hereford blood. He is a man of progressive ideas and superior business judgment, and is one of the loyal and enthusiastic advocates of the advantages and great resources of South Dakota, having selected this state as his place of residence in preference to the many other sections of the Union in which he has been. When he and his family took up their residence on the present homestead ranch their nearest neighbor was one mile distant, while no others were to be found save at distances varying from ten to forty miles. The famous Dupree herd of wild buffaloes grazed in the vicinity, while deer, antelope, wolves and coyotes were in evidence on every side. The family lived an isolated and somewhat lonely life for the first few years, but manifested the courage and determination which have been so characteristic of the sturdy citizens who have developed the great resources of the state. Mrs. Burdick is a lady of education and distinctive refinement. She completed her education in Tabor College, at Tabor, Iowa. In politics Mr. Burdick gives his support to the Republican party.
On the 7th of May, 1886, Mr. Burdick was united in marriage to Miss Alice L. Percival, who was born in the province of New Brunswick, Canada, being of staunch English lineage. She is a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Loye) Percival, who are now dead, and at the time of her marriage was a resident of Minneapolis. Of this union have been born five children, all but one of whom are living, namely: Henry M., Percival S., Samuel L., Grace A. and Frederick A., Jr.
Lorena Auwarter (firstname.lastname@example.org) informs us that the town of Clifford, PA celebrated it's 200th anniversary this last summer. They have published a wonderful history of the area with pictures and stories of many Burdick's who helped to settle the area. Just type in Clifford, PA to get the pictures and information.
Bonnie (email@example.com) passes along word that the Burdick Clan in McKean County, PA lost a member. Her father, Jack L. Burdick, of Port Allegany, Pa died on Novemeber 21, 2005. He was the son of Howard A. and Laura M. Burdick from Smethport, PA. He was a retired electrician from Pittsburgh Corning Corp in Port Allegany.
You may remember that Alan Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote a wonderful non-fiction book entitled "Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion" (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2005). The book was named a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award, and it won the Overseas Press Club award for environmental reporting. Great work, Alan! Even better, Alan and wife, Susan Dominus, have added a couple new Burdicks to the genealogy: twin boys Joshua Walter Dominus Burdick and Robert Leo Dominus Burdick. They born July 4, 2006 -- how patriotic! All family members are thriving and happy. (As you can probably tell, I LOVE to report good news!)
Bill Andrews (email@example.com) is looking for information about his GGGrandfather, Henry L.F. Andrews, who married Betsy Marion Fitzpatrick. Henry was wounded at Cold Harbor, VA (very close to Richmond) during the Civil War and is buried in Ledgyard, CT. There are other Burdicks in this branch of the family tree. Bill Burdick married Evelyn Perry (a cousin); Agnes Burdick was mother of brother-in-law, Ira Thorp, and lived in Ashaway, RI all of her life. bandrews5 has hit a brick wall with Henry L. F. Andrews. Any information would be appreciated.
Kem Hart-Baker (Ptownpest@aol.com) is trying to locate inforation about the families of Lyman G. Burdick (b. abt 1834-36 NY) and his wife, Hannah (or Harriett) (unknown maiden name), b. about 1836 NY. They were married about 1853 and had seven known children - all born in MA. One child, Emily E., is Kem's GGGrandmothers and married Lorenzo GARDNER in 1881. One of their children, Lyman Burdick Gardner (1882-1947) is Kem's GGrandfather, who Married Eva E. REYNOLDS). Both the 1870 and 1880 Federal census for North Adams, Berkshire County, MA, indicated that both Lyman G. Burdick and Hannah's parents' were born in Vermont. Kem has hit a brick wall regarding the Burdick/Gardner families and is hoping someone might have information on these lines. Any help would be most appreciated.
Former President George Bush, Sr. does not have an exclusive on adventure. Rodney Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports that his uncle, Norman Burdck, decided to jump out of an airplane to celebrate his 90th birthday! (The former president only did it on his 80th birthday.) Norman was born October 12, 1916 in Pawcatuck/Stonnington/New London, CT, to Clarence Earl and Mina Drusilla Sugden Burdick. Norman retired from The Westerly Sun in 1978 and now lives with his wife Carmela in Port Orange, FL. In addition to Carmela and daughter Judy, family members from Nashville, TN, Savannah, GA, North Stonington, CT, Westerly, RI and Edgewood, FL traveled to Lubbock, TX, where Rodney lives, to witness the event. A great picture of Norman is posted on the Burdick Family Association web site, http://www.burdickfamily.org. Click on "Photos" and scroll down to find the link to Norman Burdick skydiving!
Mae Pagdin (email@example.com) is hoping you can provide more information about a Burdick researcher. Thomas H. Roderick CG, PhD of Bar Harbour, ME began a Burdick-Smith Newsletter in October 1982. He is descended from James (1744-1807) and Phebe (Smith) Burdick's son, Isaac. Mae has seen only the first two issues of his newsletters, but has been unable to track down any other issues. Mr. Roderick stated in the first newsletter that "James Burdick may be the son of Hubbard and Avis (Lewis) Burdick. From the research I have done in collaboration with others, I believe this hypothesis is false. In the next issue of the Newsletter I will set forth my reasons for believing that he was the son of Joshua and Abigail (Lanphere) Burdick. The problem still remains to prove this relationship, but working through the newsletter will help. In the near future I will go down to Providence and Hopkinton, RI to delve more in wills and deeds. Court records may also give us some help there." Does anyone know of Thomas H. Roderick and if he produced any further newsletters after the second one, dated January 1984?
Mark Alan Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) is searching for information regarding Burdick families from around Smethport, PA. Mark is the son of Rex Owen Burdick and Patricia (Ramsey) Burdick. He has two brothers, Michael and Morgan. His grandfather was Leo Hyde Burdick of Smethport. Leo had at least one sibling, Wade Burdick. Mark believes there were also relatives that lived in and around Buffalo, NY. Mark's family have lived in Alaska since 1960 when his dad (Rex) came to work on the DEW Line and in communications after serving in Korea. Mark would love to hear from anyone who may know this family line.
Yuvona Cunningham (email@example.com) reports that her nephew, Jake Cunningham, has returned safe and sound from Iraq. This Burdick-family Marine is now stationed at Camp Lejune, NC. His great-great-grandpa Elmer E. Burdick of Norwich, PA would be very proud of him, as is Yuvona and, I know, the entire Burdick family. If you have a chance, send Yuvona an email of thanks to pass onto Jake for his service to our country.
Suzanne Casella (firstname.lastname@example.org) is trying to trace the family of her fiancee, Charles Lee Burdick. His grandfather's name is Weyland Burdick. I believe he is from New York. His wife is Berta (Parker) Burdick. Charles' father is Harold Burdick of Delaware. Can you help find any relatives? Thank you.
Karlyn Maurer (email@example.com) would like to verify some information. Her records show that Job Burdick was born 1802 and is a descendent of Robert Burdick. Job married Polly Ann Kenyon and Karlyn believes they are the parents of Sally Ann Burdick, Karlyn's great-great-grandmother. It appears Job was married four times: Polly Ann Kenyon, Sarah Ross, Harriet Allen and Mary Wells. Karlyn would like to be sure she has the right mother for Sally Ann Burdick.
Kenneth Mooney (firstname.lastname@example.org) has a mystery to be solved. He is a member of the Maxson family with many ties to the Burdick, Barber, Crandall and other families. Kenneth's grandmother's sister, Maud Maxson, lived in Mainsettlement, New York (the area is now called Portville, near the Pennsylvania border.) One day, around 1895, she disappeared. Kenneth contacted the local historical society which produced a census showing that she lived with Delbert Burdick and his parents around that time. The rumour is that she got pregnant and had to leave. Kenneth can find no other mention of Delbert or Maud after that. They do not appear in any census or anywhere else that he has found. Perhaps you have heard something and can shed some light on this mystery.
Gerald Gray (email@example.com) just discovered he is a Burdick. His father is Donald Gray, but it was just brought to his attention that his father's name was Duane E. Burdick before he had it changed some time in the 1960s. If anyone has information on Duane/Donald, please contact Gerald. Thanks.
Marlene Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org) is trying to trace a Burdick family who lived in Albany County, NY in 1850-1880. William H. Burdick was born about 1817 in NY, according to the census. His first wife was Laura from MA and his 2nd wife was Mary from England. He was a Boatman & Boat Captain on the Erie Canal, living in West Troy, NY. The names of his children and approximate years of birth are: Emily Ann (1841), Ann E. (1844), William H. (1847), Elias V. (1851) and Cordelia (1855). William moved to Cortland County after the 1880 census with sons, Elias & William H., and died there in 1897. Any help or suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Kelly Burdick (email@example.com) has done a great job tracing the family line, and is trying to find anybody out there with the same lineage. William W. Burdick b. 10 Sep 1787 in CT married Rebecca Patten sometime between 1821-1825. They had the follow children: Angeline, George D., James L. (1829-1850), Orlando, Nancy (Burdick) Cole (1833-1911), Columbus (1836-1850), Judson, and Mary Jane Burdick. The line goes from George D. Burdick, to William Orlando Burdick, to George Edward Burdick, to his children: Ruby Alene, Glee Elaine, Lorraine Valentine, Joyce Narrcissa, Chickering Wysong and Chauncey "Butch" Newhart Burdick. Kelly has much more information about these generations, but cannot make the link to known Burdicks. Can you?
Shelley Cardiel (firstname.lastname@example.org) has rescued an old photograph of Mary Stewart which was taken at the Avery’s Studio in Pulaski, New York. The photograph appears to have been taken in the 1860’s or 1870’s with Mary likely in her 20’s at the time. In addition to her name, someone has written “whose Mother Elmira HUBBARD STEWART was sister of Caroline HUBBARD wife of Daniel J. BURDICK, Grandfather of Bertha HUTCHINS CHASE and others” in addition to her name. The photo is posted on the Burdick Family Association web site (http://www.burdickfamily.org) under "Photos". Shelly also performed some research, which is contained with the photo. Contact me if you have a connection to Mary Stewart.
Carol (Burdick) Reppard (email@example.com) is trying to find an unusual family item. A relative of hers, Marcia Fish, lived in Cortland, NY. Marcia and her husband ran a bowling alley on Route 281 in Cortland for a number of years. She was the secretary/historian for the York family reunions (on Carol's father's Burdick side of the family) in that area. The Yorks had large family reunions when Carol was young and Marcia kept a large ledger with the York Family Tree in it, traced back to the Duke of York. Carol would like to know if anyone out there has ever seen or knows the whereabouts of this book. It would help her complete her lineage search. Thanks in advance!
David Hitchcock (firstname.lastname@example.org) is researching his great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Burdick. She was most likely born in or near Coeymans, Albany, New York in 1802. She married Caleb C. Sweet in 1820, and their three children, Susan Maria, Eugenia M., and Robert Joshua, all seem to have been born in Westerlo, Albany County, New York. The family Bible kept by her daughter, Susan, surprisingly omits reference to her death, although her husband's is recorded (1875). It appears Elizabeth Burdick Sweet died sometime between 1827 and 1832, as several old photographs, census records, and burial records and gravestone inscriptions show that Caleb Sweet remarried and had two children with his second wife, Mary Peers Chapman, a widow. Caleb and his "second family" are all laid to rest in Guilderland, near Albany, New York. There are tombstones in Franklin, Delaware County, New York for Susan Sweet Hitchcock and her sister Eugenia Sweet Benedict. Any information about Elizabeth Burdick and/or any Burdicks living in Coeymans, Rensselaerville, or Westerlo circa 1800 would be greatly appreciated.
Leda (email@example.com) purchased an old photo of a baby girl. Under it was a Civil War photo of Dyer W. Burdick of Wisconsin, Camp Randale, Co.H 16 Regt Wis. Vol, age 18 with a note to his father. He made it through the war and Leda, who also does genealogy research, was wondering if he had any family. Do you know this line?
Robert West (firstname.lastname@example.org) is seraching for the father of his great-grandfather Reuben W. West. According to documents he was born in Grafton, NY in 1817 and was present in the 1840 census in Grafton and then moved to Verona, NY. He first son, Francis Reuben West, was also born in Grafton. Several Burdicks married Wests and it is possible that a Francis West, Jr. married a Burdick prior to moving to Saratoga County, NY. Any help locating the father of Reuben would be appreciated.
Joanne Davidson (email@example.com) is trying to find the family of her husband's Burdick line. Darryl Jack Burdick was born in New York in 1941 to Glenn Irving Burdick and Doris Smith. Unfortunately there is no one left in the family who can provide additional information. Can you?
Carol Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) has just started researching her family history. Her father's name was Raymond Leroy Burdick, her grandfather was Harold Burdick. They were from CT and/or RI. Carol never met her father so she has little to work with except her birth certificate. A few years back Carol was in touch with George Asterfield (his wife is a Burdick) to help find her family but they have since lost contact. If George is still out there, Carol would love to hear from you again.