Burdick Newsletters

Spring, 2010


The Strange History of Edward/Edwin Burdick

by Tim Hall (timhall1@gmail.com)

(As I have stated many times, I am always impressed by the work of genealogy researchers! Tim has uncovered the story of his ancestors, and what a story it is. It reminds me of the old adage that when you start looking in family closets you never know what skeletons you will find. I am sure you will agree that Tim has done a superb job and we should all thank him for bringing this odd little corner of Burdick history to light. -- HB)

For some time, I have struggled to connect my wife's 3rd great grandfather Edward Burdick (~1812-1899) to the "main" Burdick family tree. Karen's 3rd great-grandmother was Emeline Casselman Burdick (1833-1885); we always suspected she was Edward's second wife, due to the difference in their ages, and the Casselman tree connected to the "main" Burdick tree in a few other places, so I was pretty sure the answer was right under my nose. When I saw an Edward Burdick on the main Burdick tree who was born about the same time as mine, I got my hopes up... until I saw the 1860 census. The "main" Edward Burdick was living in Ephratah, Fulton, NY, with a wife named Catherine, and "our" Edward Burdick was living in Forestburgh, Sullivan, NY (listed as Edwin Burdick) with his wife Emeline and their first few children, including my wife's great-great-grandmother Clara. So I abandoned the hope that "my" Edward Burdick was the "main" Edward Burdick.

Last month, we visited Port Jervis, New York, and found some more old newspaper articles, including Emeline's obituary. After our vacation, I was sitting up late one night entering these newfound articles into the family tree. I was reading Emeline's obituary, which contained a lot of information about the places she had lived. I learned that Emeline was from Ephratah, Fulton, NY, the same town where Edward (and lots of other Burdicks) lived. But they went to New Jersey to get married, and immediately moved to Canada. That's a pretty strange course of events for a small-town farmer. All of a sudden it hit me. Could Edward be a bigamist?

The following timeline has been pieced together from census records, obituaries, and a little bit of information from other family trees. These are all "secondary sources," and thus don't actually prove anything, but when put together, they sure appear to tell a story. I have to conclude that Edward and "Edwin" are the same person, and that he was married to two women, seemingly for at least five years (1855-1860). Upon hearing my theory, my mother-in-law Helene Griffin Schulze immediately recalled that there was a story passed down through her family about a big scandal involving a Burdick ancestor who led a double life and kept two families in different towns.

1812 (approx.): Edward Burdick is born, probably in Ephratah, Fulton, NY.

1833: Emeline Casselman is born in Ephratah, Fulton, NY (her birth location was mentioned in her obituary).

1850: Edward and Catherine Burdick are living in Ehpratah, Fulton, NY with 8 of their first 9 children (William, Edward, Daniel, Tryphena, Mary C, Anna/Fanny, Hellen, and Harriet; eldest daughter Anna Elizabeth had passed away in 1845).

1851-1854: Edward and Catherine have two more children, Emmogene and James.

1855: 1 year after the birth of Edward and Catherine's 11th child, James, 43-year-old Edward Burdick marries 22-year-old Emeline Casselman. Although they are both from Fulton County, NY, and living in Emeline's hometown of Ephratah, they get married in New Brunswick, NJ, and move to Canada, where their first child is born in 1856. Amazingly, they name the child Catherine (same first name as Edward's first wife).

1857 or 1858: Edward and Emeline move to Watertown, NY, where their second daughter Clara is born.

1859: Edward and Emeline move to Forestburgh, Sullivan County, NY (not far from Port Jervis), where third daughter Elizabeth is born.

1860: Edward and Catherine still appear on the census in Ephratah; their eldest son William has moved out. "Edwin" and Emeline appear on the census in Forestburgh with their first three daughters Catherine, Clara, and (Mary) Elizabeth. A few doors away from "Edwin" in Forestburgh, there is a William Burdick, 23, who is the right age to be Edward and Catherine's son.

1861 or 1862: Edward ("Edwin") and Emeline move a few miles to Huguenot, Orange, NY.

1870: Edward's first wife Catherine is living on her own in Johnstown, Fulton, NY: Catherine Burdick, 51 (glove maker) is living with John and Emma Spinable (probably a typo for Sponable, a last name I have seen in cemetery records in that area), ages 25 and 18 (John worked in a file (tile?) factory; Emma may well be Catherine's daughter Emmogene), and next door to Triphena Fonda, 28, glove maker, with sons Jacob, 9 and Zachriah, 7. This Triphena appears to be Edward and Catherine's 4th child, and I believe she must be the "Josephine Burwick" who is listed as the mother of Jacob and Zachariah Fonda (and wife of David Scott Fonda) on the Fonda side of our tree (I see some other family trees list David's wife's name as Josephine Burdick). "Edwin" and Emeline are living in Lackawaxen, Pike, PA (just across from Port Jervis, NY and not too far from Forestburgh as the crow flies) with the first 8 of their 9 children (Catherine, Clara, Elizabeth, Louisa, Maurice, Mary "Mae", Edward and Cora). Also in this household is a James Burdick, 16, who wasn't present in the 1860 census household, and who appears to be Edward's 11th child from his first marriage! Later this year, Emeline's father dies. His will indicates he has a daughter Emeline Burdick, possibly living in Canada. Perhaps he never saw her again after she married Edward, and knew they had fled to Canada, but never knew she had moved back to New York.

1880: "Edwan" and Emeline are living in Montague, Sussex, NJ, where "Edwan" (Edward) is managing a farm. James is living in nearby Deerpark, NY and working as a railroader, probably in Port Jervis.

1883: James dies (presumably around Port Jervis; we need to locate his obituary), and is buried in Ephratah Rural Cemetery with his sister, Edward and Catherine's eldest daughter Anna who died in childhood.

1885: Emeline dies. Her obituary (and her tombstone in the Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Jervis) list her as the wife of Edward Burdick, manager of a farm in Montague. It lists her as the mother of nine children, 7 still living (Catherine and Della had died by this time).

1888: Edward and Emeline's son Edward Jr. (born 1867) dies in a railroad accident. His obituary and tombstone (he is buried with Edward and Emeline in Port Jervis) both list him as Edward Jr.

1891-1892: Edward's name is mentioned in the local newspaper several times as he visits his children from the second marriage.

1896: Edward's first wife Catherine dies and is buried with her youngest son James and eldest daughter Anna in Ephratah. She had apparently remarried because her last name at the time of her death was Gray.

1899: Edward dies at the home of his daughter Elizabeth Burdick Griffin. His obituary lists his children from his second marriage. These are the same children who appeared in the household of "Edwin/Edwan" in the 1860-1880 census records.

I would have to assume that Edward did not divorce his first wife Catherine before running off to marry his second wife Emeline. In 1860, he was seemingly maintaining two households in two different counties of New York. Whether he was actually present in Catherine's household at the time of the census (or whether she included his name out of shame, or in the hope he would return to her someday) is unclear, but it seems inevitable that some sort of divorce or perhaps even a bigamy trial must have eventually taken place, most likely between 1860 and 1870. (Fulton County court records prior to 1860 were reportedly destroyed in a fire, but the records after 1860 apparently survive, so there is some hope we could someday return to New York and examine old court records).

Well, there you have it. As Oliver Hardy used to day, "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it." And as Stan Laurel used to say, "That's his story, and he's stuck with it."


Life after Iraq

Submitted by Jane Maxson (jhm2727@cox)

(A couple years ago Bethany Burdick went to Iraq as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard. Several of you provided messages of support for her. She returned safely, thank God, and is back to civilian life in Rhode Island. The Westerly Sun ran the following article on her and I thought you would also like to know how she is doing. -- HB)

Bethany Burdick served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Now that she's back, she is seeking a way forward in the civilian world.

December 27, 2009
By Liz Abbott (labbott@thewesterlysun.com), Sun Staff Writer
The Westerly Sun (thewesterlysun.com)

For the better part of a year, U.S. Army Spc. Bethany Burdick lived in the Iraqi desert, sharing what seemed to be an old pump house with fellow soldiers in her platoon. They were men mostly, who insisted on calling her "Betty" and managed to make her feel at home in the scorching heat of Iraq, even though home was really Ashaway, Rhode Island, more than 6,000 miles away.

"I was one of the guys," Burdick said.

A 2003 graduate of Chariho High School who enlisted in the R.I. National Guard soon after leaving school behind, Burdick said she thrived as a soldier. She loved the discipline, loved the intense physical challenge, but most of all she loved the camaraderie that developed in her military police company, the 169th, and the knowledge that she was doing something useful with her life.

"It was very fulfilling," Burdick said.

The 169th was stationed at Al-Asad, a base outside of Baghdad. Their job was to help to train the Iraqi police, a job the military deemed critical to the success of the war.

So what if sometimes she couldn't shower for days on end or that desert temperatures could soar to more than 120 degrees? So what if she had to sleep with a weapon by her side in a room with more than a dozen guys? To Burdick, a woman who vaulted on top of horses as a teenager, this was living and the men and women in her platoon became family in the truest sense of the word.

"I loved it," she said.

The bond she developed with her fellow soldiers is difficult to describe to someone who hasn't been in the military, she said.

And then, suddenly, it was over. After a year of this intensity, a year of being plunged into a different culture with the threat of death hanging over her head every day, she was back in Westerly again, back in a world of cook-outs and looking for work and people who had no idea, really, what she had just been through.

"It was definitely a change," Burdick said.

Burdick's deployment came to an end in June 2008. Since that time, the 25-year-old Westerly native has been readjusting to life as a civilian, which is literally, a world apart and miles away from being a soldier on a mission in the Middle East. "Stressful" is the word she used time and again during a recent interview to describe her first few months back home.

With skin the color of pearls, long shiny brown hair and painted nails, Burdick doesn't appear to be the tomboy she says she is, or a war-hardened veteran for that matter. And yet, since she has been home, Burdick has experienced many of the problems returning veterans have reported.

It's not that she saw a lot of violence in Iraq, because she didn't, or that she suffers from post-traumatic stress because she doesn't believe she does, Burdick said. It's just that she couldn't relax when she came home and she had difficulty being in social situations with family and friends.

"It was very overwhelming," Burdick said.

"With military friends, you know what to expect, what they're going to do and say," said Burdick.

But civilian life isn't so predictable, and dealing with the varied personalities who make up her life in Rhode Island was a bit challenging, she said. Then there was the sleepless nights.

"I had insomnia for a year," Burdick said.

In Iraq, she slept like a baby, surrounded by her "family." But when she got home, she found she couldn't sleep in a room without a lot of people.

"I really didn't like sleeping alone," she said.

Coming home has never been easy for soldiers. Whether it was World War I veterans coming back shell-shocked from European trenches or Vietnam veterans who returned to ridicule from the country they served, the experience has often proved challenging and, sometimes, has ended in tragedy.

In past wars, it has usually been men who have come back scarred. But, with the proliferation of female soldiers serving on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problems associated with transitioning to a post-war life are increasingly affecting women, too. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 19,000 female veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan have been diagnosed with mental disorders since June 2008 - the highest number ever in the history of women serving in the military. Of that total number, roughly 8,400 were diagnosed with P.T.S.D.

At one point, Burdick said she felt funny talking about her problems since she knows they are minor compared to what many of her fellow soldiers have experienced. And yet, there can be no denying that her year in Iraq changed her life. Before enlisting, Burdick said she planned on a career in law enforcement, thinking it would satisfy her taste for adventure and her love of law and order. But now she's not so sure.

"I've been there, done that," she said.

Copyright 2009, The Westerly Sun, Westerly, RI
Reprinted with permission


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

Robert and Jackie Berkley (r.berkley@verizon.net) answered my call for help in the last Newsletter regarding inconsistencies in Nellie Johnson's book regarding Joseph Lewis and Sally Ann Baker. Jackie sent a complete genealogy of this Lewis family that will greatly expand this line in the Burdick genealogy. It turns out Sally Ann was Joseph's first wife and he later married Sally's sister, Chloe Anstrus Baker. It also turns out there is an over-abundance of Sallys and Sarahs in the Lewis family which adds to the confusion. Thanks for your help, Jackie! I appreciate it.

Jeanne Davis (jeannedavis896@gmail.com) needs your help to confirm the parents of her husband's grandfather, Franklin Pierce Davis. The 1870 Federal Census shows a Frank Davis living with the family of Samuel and Sally Burdick in DeRuyter, NY. He is listed at age 17 and "working in a cheese factory". This Frank could be the son of Richard R. Davis and his first wife, Eliza, but some records show him as Franklin Pierce Compton, the son of Richard's second wife and her first husband, named Compton. It is thought by some that Frank took his stepfather's name -- Pierce. But at age 18, he is still listed in census records as "Frank Compton". Now, there was a Franklin Pierce Davis, not Compton, was born in Lincklaen, N.Y. (close to DeRuyter) and Jeanne believes that when this Frank's father moved to Wisconsin with his second wife, Frank stayed in NY and went to live with some of his mother's family -- possibly Sally Burdick. But this is a guess as Jeanne does not have a surname for Eliza. So Jeanne is looking for descendants of Samuel and Sally Burdick. 1870 Census shows Samuel and Sally as both 38 years old with two children: Ann, age 17 and Delloyd, age 3 (Nellie Johnson's book also shows this.) If anyone knows of a Frank Davis living with this Burdick family, Jeanne would love to hear from you. Her Frank Davis married Ella Corine Babcock in Lincklaen, NY, and their first four children were born in DeRuyter, NY. The family later moved to the same place in Wisconsin where Frank's father had moved.

Ed Chilton (edchilton@charter.net) is a Mayflower family descendant and Virginia colonial name from the 1600s. He had a Burdick family puzzle dropped unexpectedly in his lap and is hoping someone will be able to help. Cyrus Ray Burdick lived in Detroit and St. Clair Shores, MI from June 1, 1892 to April 21, 1971. He appears in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. In 1930 his first name gets recorded as Syrus. By the 1920 census he has married Emma E. Rapp, b. Sept. 9, 1890, d. Nov. 3, 1973. By the 1930 census Cyrus and Emma are the parents of a boy, age 8, named Ralph. Whether he was their one and only child, Ed does not know. Ralph C. Burdick appears to have lived in Michigan from July 26, 1921 to December 5, 1975, passing away at the age of 54. He enlisted in the Air Force March 30, 1943. And that's where Ed's trail ends. He is seeking the descendents of Cyrus and Emma Burdick, and mostly are obituaries for these 3 Burdicks, who died 1971, 1973, and 1975. Ed does not know if Ralph was married. Can you help?

Dan Starr (doubledstarr@netzero.net) is trying to find his Burdick connection. His mother's maiden name is Oweda G Burdick, born Shawnee, OK and her father was Fred Lewis Burdick born in Kentucky before 1900. Dan's parents have passed away and they hardly ever mentioned their ancestors. Dan would like to have his Burdick family recorded for his brothers, sisters and their children. Being from Kentucky, Dan thinks they were never quick to participate in any census. Any help would be appreciated.

Greig Burdick (gbsc@sc.rr.com) wanted to let us know of the birth of his granddaughter, Lilly Davis Burdick, who was born August 13, 2009, in Durham, NC, to Matthew Grey and Keisha Arrowood Burdick. I am always happiest to announce the arrival of the newest Burdick family members!

You may remember Laurent Chesneau (lchesneau@hotmail.com), one of our Burdick relatives in France. He was featured in the January/February 2004 Newsletter in an effort to find links to his great-grandfather, George Burdick, who fought in France during World War I, fell in loved, and stayed there. We haven't heard from Laurent in a while, but he has been busy! He has gotten married and has two daughters, leaving little time for family research. He is sad to report, though, that his grandmother, Lucy (George's daughter) passed away on January 31. If you have a moment, please send him an email and welcome him back to our family. And of course, if you have any information about his great-grandfather please let him know.

Michele Rinn (mrinn30@yahoo.com) is trying to find her grandfather. Her father, Charles Curtis Carlin, was born in 1945 and his father's name listed on his birth certificate is Charles Curtis Burdick. Charles Sr. lived in the Newark, NJ area (possibly Bloomfield, Kearny or North Arlington) at the time when he met Michele's grandmother. Charles was 31 when Charles Jr. was born putting his date of birth about 1914. Michele's grandmother was only 21 and took her son to Pennsylvania to be raised by his grandparents. Charles Sr. was married and had a family of his own. Michele's father later changed his name and only saw his father twice. Charles Sr. has likely passed away, but Michele would like to know more about him and his family. Can you help? Thanks.

Randall Storm (rqsmbs0607@academicplanet.com) is trying to locate shipmates who were aboard the USS BOSTON (CAG-1) from 1964 to 1967. Howard Burdick (not me!) was assistant weapons officer during some of this time frame. Randal believes Howard was living in the Northeast, perhaps Rhode Island, New Hampshire or maybe Vermont. Howard, are you out there? If so, please contact Randall.

John Brown (flintheart22@yahoo.com) has a research problem with which you can possibly help. The wife of Benjamin Burdick (I7) (~1666-1741) is listed as Mary Reynolds(?). Note the question mark. According to the Burdick genealogy, Mary bore 8 children until mid-1716; Benjamin's second wife bore him no children according to Jas. Austin's Gen Dictionary of RI. Two different Reynolds' daughters born prior to 1667 have been postulated as Benjamin's wife: Mary, daughter of John and Anne (Holbrooke) Reynolds, born in 1660 at Weymouth; and Mercy, daughter of James, b. 12-22-1664, perhaps in Plymouth Colony. If there is no record of the surname of Benjamin's first wife Mary, then the Reynolds connection is unproven, and the two most common claims appear to be wrong. Does anyone know more?

Penelope Ray (penray@hotmail.com) is researching the Flagg family and has not been able to find Enoch Flagg's parents. Enoch's son, Abner S. Flagg (I1003089) married Edith Coon (I210606 ), the daughter of Maria Burdick (I606) and John Stillman Coon. Can anyone help provide this information?

Penelope also has some sad news to report. Mable Myrum Flagg, a descendant of Maria Burdick, passed away on January 17, 2010 at the Lakeview Methodist Healthcare Center in Fairmont, MN. She was 102 years old. Mable Myrum Flagg was born on July 26, 1907 in Worthington, MN, the daughter of Hans and Bertha (Hanson) Myrum. She was married to Charles Flagg on June 25, 1937 in Ironwood, MI. Their son Charles died in 1947. Her husband, Charles passed away in 1973. She is survived by one daughter, Jan Shaffer and her husband, Kim, of Blue Earth, MN; three grandsons, Allan Shaffer and his wife, Katie, of Houston, TX, Scott Shaffer of Los Angeles, CA, and Ted Shaffer of Ames, IA; one great granddaughter, Hailey; nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. In addition to her husband and son, Mable was also preceded in death by two brothers, George and Oscar; and six sisters, Borghill, Helen, Ruth, Pearl, Viola and Virginia Mae.

Emily Yungfleisch (jay001@cox.net) is a descendant of Hiram and Rebecca (Burdick) Winters and has traveled to Rebecca's gravesite with her father and grandfather. Emily is now seeking some information. She was once told that Oscar Winters served in the Mormon Battalion, but cannot find him listed on the online rosters. She found Jacob Winters but not Oscar. Does anyone have any information about whether Oscar also served? I know there are some other Winters descendants out there who can perhaps help. Thanks.

Frank Schipani (fschipani@netzero.com) is at a dead end. He is attempting to join the SAR through his 6th great-grandfather, John Burdick. Frank has run into trouble trying to document John's son, Hezekiah Carpenter Burdick, b. 3 Jun 1786 in Seneca Co, NY and died 23 Mar 1861 in Delaware Co, OH. He is looking for leads on where to find documentation (other than the Nellie Johnson book) linking Hezekiah Burdick to his father, John Burdick, and his daughter, Hannah (Graham) Burdick, b. 6 Jun 1807 in Beaver Co, PA. I know there are several of you who have gained DAR/SAR membership, perhaps you can help a fellow Patriot descendant. Thanks!

Scott Bill Hirst (scottbillhirst@yahoo.com) wanted to let us know about the National Society of the Descendants of Textile Workers of America, Inc. (phew! that's NSDTWA for short). The organizations web site is www.textileworker.com and is dedicated to the honor of those American textile workers whose contribution to our culture is a legacy of hard work, patriotism, and family strength. If you are a Mayflower descendant you are likely qualified for membership.


Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2018. All Rights Reserved.

howard@burdickfamily.org