(For those of you who don't know, Burdicks were some of the first settlers of Alfred, NY. Alfred University, a Seventh Day Baptist school, saw a lot of our family members attend. My great uncle, Donald Langworthy Burdick, was a student there in the 1910s. John sends this excerpt of the early history of Alfred. -- HB)
Ancient Cemetery Reveals Early History of Alfred http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/allegany/CemeteryPages/ALFREDRuralCem/AlfredRuralCem.htm
Originally from the Alfred Sun, Allegany County Democrat, January 4, 1934
The remains of some of the first settlers of Alfred, which were buried on what is known as “the old Thacher cemetery,” have recently been moved to the Alfred Rural Cemetery and placed together in a plot reserved for them.
The old burying ground from which they were transferred, is situated in a dense thicket off the main road to Alfred Station across from the Motor Filling Station. On one side is a steep wooded hill. A grove of pines has grown up and flourished since these pioneers were interred there ant the ground is covered with myrtle. So thick have the trees and thorn bushes become that a casual passerby would never observe it. Indeed, it could be found only with difficulty by someone in search of it. There on this little wooded knoll, peacefully sleeping, some of them for more than a century, have lain this little band of study pioneers. This abandoned cemetery might well have been the inspiration of Gray’s “Elegy.”
While one or two of the stones were of marble, most of them were of common field stone, a material so soft that some of the inscriptions have been totally obliterated by the elements and otherwise are almost illegible. The project of moving these remains was accomplished through the untiring interest of Harley Sherman, and those who are interested in preserving these historic graves are grateful to him. They will receive the care they deserve in the Alfred Rural Cemetery, otherwise in another decade or two all trace of them would have vanished.
Little is known about many of the individuals who were buried in this little plot so long ago. A name almost erased from a crude stone is all the record that we have that they worked, struggled and died here. Of the life in general during that period we have, however, a very clear picture. The land that they settled was sold by Robert Morris in 1791, to Pulteney, Hornby and Colquhoun of London, Eng., and their agents whose office was at Bath sold it to the settlers for from $2 to $4 an acre.
Early in the 19th century Alfred and the land about it was an uninterrupted forest. The History of Allegany County tells us that ”the earliest settlers followed Indian trails and the roads were bridgeless and of the most primitive kind, making travel tedious and difficult. From Hornellsville westward for many years the roads were little more than wood paths marked by blazed trails.” Into this untamed wilderness came these early residents of Alfred. They felled trees, erected their log cabins, cleared land for orchards and pastures, built roads schools and churches and contributed in no small way to the ease and comfort now enjoyed by those of us who live here. The year 1817 was one of unusual hardship. It is called the “season without a summer,” for severe frosts in every month practically destroyed the crops, and the inhabitants subsisted on ground nuts, “putty root” and leeks.
Abel Burdick was among those buried in the Thacher cemetery. His marker records his death in 1854, at the age of 80 years, and on it is inscribed this quaint epitaph:
“Dear friends on earth who now survive
Obey the voice of God and live
That you with me may dwell in love
Around the throne of God above.”
By his side lay his wife, Elizabeth, who died November 28, 1852, aged 77 years. Her epitaph reads as follows:
“Come back this is the way
Come back and walk herein
Oh may you harken and obey
And shun the path of sin.”
Abel Burdick was from Brookfield and settled in Alfred in 1814, on the farm which adjoins that now owned by Harley Sherman. Slight of stature, weighing less than 100 pounds, he must have possessed the sturdy virtues of the pioneer, surviving hardships and living to the ripe old age of 80. It is said that he and his three sons not yet grown, made in one year 2,900 pounds of maple sugar. The sap was caught in troughs hewn out of cherry and basswood trees, and gathered with shoulder yokes and buckets. It was boiled out-of-doors in cauldron kettles. Thereafter the neighborhood was always known as “Sugar Hill.”. He appears to have been a man of considerable education and in later life wrote articles which appeared in the early agricultural papers. His orchard was planted with trees which he raised from seed, but after they were set out, he discovered that he had planted them on the adjoining tract of land. So he made a trip to Bath and succeeded in buying it, and to this day there is included in this farm the extra piece of land where Abel planted his first orchard.
(You may remember the news reports of the floods in Rhode Island this spring. The area was hit by exceptionally heavy rains that caused rivers to overflow and low-lying areas to turn into lakes -- or "ponds" as they are called in Rhode Island. Our intrepid Colonial relative, Jane Maxson, provides the following first-hand account of her immediate community. -- HB)
It's supposedly a 500 year flood. Even worse that a hundred year one! We are lucky, having chosen our home site in the 70s with hurricane tides in mind. Rhode Island is usually well drained, but with something like 9 or 10 inches in little over a week, there's no place for the water to go. Even the ocean is pushing the water back. Mostly, you have seen pictures of Cranston and Warwick . The air photos of the mall are amazing with water up to the top of the entry doors of Macy's.
Westerly, seldom mentioned, has been hard hit. The town is divided by the Pawcatuck River which marks the state line. The river, usually low and calm was so wild that it was closed off, making a ten mile detour necessary to get from one side of town to the other. Many people visiting town don't realize there's a river there and that they're going from RI to CT when they cross it. If you live in CT and work in RI, it's a long commute!
The swamp Yankees have seen their swamps overrun the roads. In order to reach Route 1, we had to ford two ponds; one a vernal pond which is a mud puddle most of the year and one which appeared out of nowhere giving two of our neighbors on opposite sides of the road a connecting lake.
The weather is mild and the forecast is for a sunny Easter.
We consider ourselves lucky. Our swamp only crept onto a few feet of lawn.
(It has been about 18 months since I first put the Burdick genealogy on-line as an interactive database. I thought this might be a good time to provide you with an update on how this work is progressing and what is still in store. -- HB)
I knew it would be a big job when I first decided to implement the Burdick family genealogy as an interactive on-line database. Well, I'm please to announce that my initial perception was correct!
To refresh your memory, my goal was to transform Nellie Johnson's 1937 book, "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island", into a web-based application. I wanted to make this important information available, for free, to a wider audience. Unless you are lucky enough to own one of these cherished original books or a reprint, your only option was to visit a genealogy library around the country that happen to have a copy. For a lot of people, this may not be convenient or possible as it may require a journey of, in some situations, hundreds of miles. I wanted to change that.
I still remember the joy my mother had when, as a child, I accompanied her to the main Detroit Public Library when she "discovered" my grandfather's entry in Nellie's 1400-page book. If that joy could be duplicated by one person due to my work, it would make the effort worthwhile.
But I wanted to go beyond this step. As readers of this Newsletter know, I wanted to fill in all those people that have entered --and left -- the family since Nellie's book was first published in 1937. That's where you come in. Many of you have responded to my call for updated information that fills in the generations from where Nellie left off. As usual, you have responded. I don't have a specific count, but you have provided 70-80 family lines.
Now for the bad part. Due to my limited time to devote to this project, a lot of those family lines are waiting in my computer. I want to explain why you have not yet seen your data on-line, and ask for your continued patience.
One of the many decisions I had to make when starting this project was when to release information on the web. That's not as easy of decision as it may appear. I knew I would be entering information in three phases. First, I would enter all the names and family connections in Nellie's book. This turned out to be over 49,000 individuals and nearly 18,000 families. Oh, I also needed to perfect my procedures for converting all this information into a format that was loadable into the application I was using. But that's a subject for another Newsletter.
The second phase would entail entering all birth, death, marriage and divorce dates and places. The third phase would be the entry of all notes about individuals and families. Right now, I'm about half way through phase 2. I estimate that I still have about 6-8 months to go on this phase, and another 8-12 months beyond that for phase 3.
I decided to "go public" with my database after phase 1. I figured that I did not want everyone to wait 4-5 years for me to complete all three phases. While having a database populated with just names and families, devoid of dates, places and notes, was not optimal, at least it could possibly help some people searching for their Burdick roots. And, having heard from some of you, it has.
Similarly, I did not want you to wait 5 years before I asked for your input. So I made another decision. I would simultaneously continue my work on phases 2 and 3 while I entered new information on your Burdick lines. This would cause both tasks to be slowed but I thought that was an acceptable trade-off. I would get your family information installed while continuing progress of transforming Nellie's book.
But things would get worse. At least, worse for demands on my time. As I started entering information I had received from some of you, sometimes it did not make sense. There were "overlaps" of names and families, incorrect roots within the current genealogy, and other discontinuities. Suddenly a chance comment in an email from one of you made it all clear. There were other "Unclassified Burdicks", as Nellie Johnson referred to them, recorded in her 1952-53 supplement to her 1937 book and those lines were not included in my phase 1 release.
So, back to data entry. I recently finished entry of the "Unclassified" Burdicks. The task consisted of another 1,000 names and a few hundred more families. And while I was struggling with the supplement (those of you who have seen it know how difficult it is to read and interpret) I went ahead and entered the dates, places and notes. I will have to visit the supplement in the future, but for now I don't want to look at it again!
In the middle of May I released an updated version of the database. In addition to the supplement information, it contains 12 additional family lines that I have received from you. That may not sound like much, but those 12 families account for nearly another 1,000 names and families. We Burdicks are a productive bunch!
This latest version also includes the dates and places of the first 7 generations. So slowly, but surely, I am getting there. And, of course, every 3 months I need to devote a lot of my free time to generating these Newsletters and answering the email I happily receive from all of you.
So I appreciate your patience. Now that work on the supplement is over for the time being, I plan to turn my attention to the backlog of your input. Please bear with me, I have everything you've sent to me and I'm as anxious as you to see it on-line.
Jo Anne Fitzgerald (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sorry to report that her sister, Yuvona (Nonie) Cunningham, died on January 12, 2010. Her husband, two children and four grandchildren are missing her, as is Jo Anne. You may remember that Nonie was the main character in the story "Brought in a Little Black Bag" in the Winter, 2006 Newsletter. Here is Jo Anne's tribute to her sister entitled "Who Now?":
Nonie died the other day.
Now who will
put on rubber gloves and
make jalapeno pepper jelly
just for me?
On a bright note, Jessyka Greene (email@example.com), g-granddaughter of William Phinneas Cooley Burdick, wanted to let us know that her new baby girl, Evelyn Stella Greene, was born February 1, 2010.
Loretta Eastman Landerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is still looking for her Burdick connection. All she has to go on is this account from the Vernon County History 1884: "He (John B Eastman) and his brother Ebenezer and family arrived from New York April 11, 1856, to Green County, Wis. and stayed with their aunt a short time. In June the brothers visited their new location (Vernon County) and built a log cabin. They then returned to Green County and remained until September at which time both men and their families arrived in Vernon County." They settled in section 12 next to the D.C. Burdick farm and I have seen other references to their aunt, Mrs. Burdick, so I assume they were related. Daniel Burdick was born Dec 3, 1840 and died Dec. 25, 1891 and is buried at Mount Tabor Cemetery, Vernon County WI. The 1870 Census for the Town of Union, Vernon County shows these facts about the Burdick family:
Daniel Burdick, age 46, farmer, born in New York
Susan B. Age 28, Keepinghouse, born in New York
Iolor (?) Age 19 Attending school, born in Wisconsin
Laura E. Age 16, School Teacher, born in Wisconsin
Adolor M. (?) Age 10, At Home, born in Wisconsin
Tucker Nancy, Age 85, At Home, born in New Hampshire
Lowman Samuel, Age 3, At Home, born in Wisconsin
D.C. Burdick is also listed as postmaster of the Goole post office during the war. His wife is listed as Cynthia, mother of Martin Burdick, born 1871, Green Lake County. But she is not listed in the census. If anyone has any of these people in their line Loretta would love to hear from you. She wonders if Nancy Tucker could be the aunt next door since there doesn't seem to be a Mrs. Burdick of the correct age.
email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) and his Tefft Family is connected to the Burdicks through William Henry Jr., son of William Henry Burdick Sr. and Grace (Brown) Burdick. Bill Jr. was born on 2 Sept. 1821 in Westerly. But ??? has run into a brick wall on his Andrews family roots, namely Henry L.F. Andrews. He is buried in either Ledyard, or Griswald, CT. Henry was married to Marion Fitzpatrick, was a Civil War Veteran who was wounded at Cold Harbor and died in 1921. He had 5 children including George Warburton Andrews (???'s grandfather). Any information about Henry would be greatly appreciated.
Vicki Marrin (email@example.com), whose mother is Elizabeth Burdick, the daughter of Reginald Houghton Burdick, is hoping you can help her make a connection. Several years ago she copied a book about a Thanksgiving Burdick reunion (circa 1889) and family pictures in Auburn, NY. Vicki sent a copy to Katharine Hepburn since her father's name was Houghton, related to the Houghtons of Corning Glass in Corning, NY. Vicki was trying to establish a connection between Ms. Hepburn and Edward Burdick of Syracuse or his descendant, Reginald Houghton Burdick, of the Syracuse/Auburn/Corning area. Do you know of any such connection?
Barbara Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org) continues to try to find the parents of James Bond who married Amarilla Burdick (I2179). She recently wrote to all the Vermont probate courts where a Bond had lived, based on the 1810 and 1820 census. She is also checking for guardianships and writing town clerks (Barbara has discovered the clerks are sympathetic to genealogical research). Barbara obtained Moses Bond, Sr.'s will from Rutland Co., Vermont, but there was no mentioned of James.
The 1837 City Directory of Cleveland held a possible clue: James Bond was in a business named "Bond and Bishop, Painters and Glaziers". His partner was Jacob Bishop, son of Abram Bishop and Anna Truman/Tremain Bond. Also in Cleveland were Anna's brothers, Elial Bond (painter) and Moses Bond (carpenter). James Bond later appeared in the 1839 City Directory of Chicago and a few years later had a business called "Burdick and Bond", probably with an Amos Burdick. Barabara has also contacted some descendants but nobody seems to have even the slightest clue. Any ideas? If so, please contact Barbara.
Scott Bill Hirst (email@example.com) wanted to let everyone know about the Wequetequock Burial Ground Association (WBGA). If interested in joining, contact Mary Pinkowski (firstname.lastname@example.org). You must be a direct descendant of one of the Four founders of Stonington: William Chesebrough, Thomas Stanton, Walter Palmer and Palmer's son-in-law Thomas Minor to be eligible for membership.
Cupadyne Burdick (email@example.com) and her sister are trying to find out anything about their grandfather, Augusta "Bob" Burdick. All they know is that he was born in 1884 in Lapine, Alabama and died Nov. 30, 1967 in Theodore, AL. They met in the Florida Everglades and that she was possibly a Seminole Indian. Any clues?
Christine Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) has done extensive work on her Burdick heritage. But she has also traced her Arenburg line to the early 1700s and her Christ line to the late 1500s. If you have these families in your past, perhaps you and Christine can compare notes.
Colleen Otash (email@example.com), who's gg-grandmother is Mary Jane Burdick who married George C. Houck. She is looking for other descendants of this line. If you are, or if you know of any, please contact her.
Carol Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) recently discovered that her great, gg-grandmother was Mary Burdick who Charles Miller. Their son, Charles Burton Miller married Elizabeth Culver and they had a son named Arthur Lester Miller. Arthur married Juliet (maiden name Miller), and one of their children, Reuben Lester Miller, born in 1886 around Atchison, Kan., is Carol's grandfather. His daughter, Carol's mother, was Lilian Ruth Miller Overmyer. Carol has been learning more about her roots. Can you help? If you know any of these names please contact her.
Carole Burdick (email@example.com) has a friend who came across a civil war journal written by a John Burdick from Illinois. Do you know this person? If so, Carole and I would like to know.
Barbara Bond's (firstname.lastname@example.org) husband's great-great grandfather, James E. Bond, who married Amarilla Burdick. After researching this family for 5 years, Barbara is yet to be able to find James' parents. She has written to all the Vermont probate courts where a Bond had lived, based on the 1810 and 1820 census. She is checking for guardianships, writing to town clerks, and even contacting some descendants, but nobody seems to have even the slightest clue. The 1837 City Directory of Cleveland lists that James Bond had a business named "Bond and Bishop, Painters and Glaziers." His partner was Jacob Bishop, son of Abram Bishop and Anna Truman/Tremain Bond. Also in Cleveland were Anna's brothers, Elial Bond (painter) and Moses Bond (carpenter). James Bond later appeared in the 1839 City Directory of Chicago and a few years had a business called "Burdick and Bond." The Burdick involved was an Amos Burdick. Can you help Barbara in her quest?
Brent Burdick (email@example.com) is looking for the burial site of Gideon Burdick, the Revolutionary War soldier who died in Adams County, Quincy, IL on April 5, 1846. Gideon is also the father of Rebecca (Burdick) Winters of LDS Church fame. Does any one out there know where they buried him? Brent has researched the Adams County Cemeteries and cannot find his burial site.
Dolores Hansen Nelson's (firstname.lastname@example.org) gg-grandfather, Jabez Clemons, was born in 1820 in Oswego, New York. And that's as far as she has been able to go. There are other Clemons listed in that area, but it was before the census gave children's names. Dolores and another researcher believe that Joshua Whitford Clemons, born in New York in 1805, is a relative of Jabez, perhaps a brother, and that their mother's maiden name is Burdick. It's not much to go on, but if you have any information that would help, Dolores would be most grateful.
Diane Kurlansky (email@example.com) has volumes of information on the Moon family (Kate L. Moon, 1865-1925, was the daughter-in-law of Oresta Lewis Burdick) and she always willing to share. So if you need any help with this family, contact her. She is researching the Hiller and Moon families. Oresta Burdick married William Hiller. Diane is trying to find the place of death for their son, Frederick B. Hiller, and his son, Mayfred Hiller. If you know, please contact Diane.
Jim Sternitzky (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends word that Anna (Burdick) Pernsteiner, his grandmother's sister, 106 years old, of Greenwood. WI, died Monday, June 21, 2010, at the Marshfield Care Center, in Marshfield. Anna Burdick was born March 2, 1904, in Clark County, the daughter of Alfred and Flora (Kiser) Burdick. She was united in marriage to Manuel Marcou in 1922. They later divorced. Anna was a homemaker and also went to work for Briggs & Stratton in 1934, where she operated a drill press for 25 years until retiring in 1959. Anna was united in marriage in 1939 to Leo "Jimmy" Kazmierczak. She was married to Joe Pernsteiner in 1970 in Greenwood. She is survived by one granddaughter, Donna Marcou of Wauwatosa; one grandson, James Marcou of Hales Corners; three great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jimmy Kazmierczak and Joe Pernsteiner.