Burdick Newsletters

Spring, 2012


Edmond Schuyler Burdick

by Nina Hager (NHager@edmondhistory.org)

(You may remember that in the Summer 2010 Newsletter I mentioned that Edmond, OK is named after Edmond Schuyler Burdick (I110603). Nina is the Exhibit Director of the Edmond Historical Society & Museum and has been extensively researching Edmond's past and has graciously provided us with the following encapsulation of her work. So if you happen to find yourself in Oklahoma, please drop by Edmond to see a wonderful exhibit of our family member. -- HB)

Our new exhibit opened last week and I wanted you to be privy to this major announcement for our museum. My hope is that some living Burdicks related to Edmond's family would be interested in this information...

The Namesake of Edmond, Oklahoma

A new discovery has been made in Edmond, Oklahoma! After more than 120 years, the first photograph of Edmond Burdick, the namesake of Edmond has been uncovered. While Edmond’s residents have always known Burdick, a traveling freight agent for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway was our town’s namesake, no one had ever been able to track down his identity. After two years of concentrated research, Nina Hager, Exhibit Director of the Edmond Historical Society & Museum was able to locate his whereabouts. None of Edmond’s past historians could have foreseen the digitization of such publications like “Railway Officials of American from 1901,” held by the University of Wisconsin. Now available as a digital publication on the internet, the key information in this old Railway Age publication revealed Burdick’s full name and birth date which opened the door to more documentation and actual photographs of him in the Wisconsin Historical Society Collections.

The town of Edmond, Oklahoma was named for Edmond Schuyler Burdick, a Traveling Freight Agent for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Formerly designated “Mile Marker 103” by a party of surveyors with the Southern Kansas Railway, the name was officially changed on March 28, 1887 by Santa Fe officials. The place names along the Santa Fe rails served, at that time as a roster of its official personnel. Name changes of towns in Indian Territory were quite common, including the neighboring town of Guthrie, which took its name from Judge John Guthrie, an ATSF attorney and stockholder.

Hager’s discovery that Edmond Schuyler Burdick was born on July 16, 1858 to Elisha and Maria (Edmond) Burdick in Madison, Wisconsin, came with the exciting existence of photographs held by the Wisconsin Historical Society. She further uncovered that Burdick attended Madison High School and graduated the youngest member of his class at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1880. His father was an active pioneer, attorney and real-estate developer in Territorial Wisconsin. Edmond’s first name was his mother’s maiden name. Edmond began his railroading career in 1881, working first for the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. Afterward, Burdick practiced law for three years in Madison before returning to the rails. Over the course of his professional life, Burdick worked for many different railroad companies, however, the majority of his career was spent with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.

As early as 1884, the Wichita Daily Eagle reported that Burdick was making business trips to Wichita, Kansas. In November 1885, when the Southern Kansas Railway was pushing their road construction south toward the Unassigned Lands, Burdick joined the engineering department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. In March 1887, when Burdick had begun working as an assistant right of way agent for the same road, station points along the Arkansas City extension were being named by the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1891, Burdick was listed in the Wichita City Directory as a Traveling Freight Agent. That same year,The Edmond Sun published what would become an important link to the town's namesake. Just two years after the Land Run of 1889, on a business trip south in August, Burdick told the locals that he was very pleased to see the town that was named after him doing so well.

Burdick traveled his entire professional life, living in major cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and New York. On June 26, 1895, Burdick married Katherine Thayer Walker in Manhattan, New York when he was 36 years old. In 1898, Burdick began working as a U.S. representative for the Mexican Central Railway. Edmond Burdick died on March 26, 1909, at the age of 51, from complications of typhoid fever in Mexico City where he had been living the last six years of his life.

Perhaps the earliest citizens of the 1889 territorial town knew who loaned his name to this place on the prairie; but without an official chronicler, that knowledge was lost. Fortunately, when Stella Barton Fordice wrote her thesis, “History of Edmond, Oklahoma” in 1927, John and Cordelia Steen, the town’s first residents, were still living and told her that the name came from a Santa Fe railroad official. However, that declaration was also largely forgotten and some stories found their way into print that the town’s name came from Eddy Townsend, a key settler and city father.

Resident author and historian Dr. Stanley Hoig reported in his 1976 publication, “Edmond-The Early Years,” the dates and events surrounding the official naming of the town. But despite trips to Washington, D.C. and Topeka, Kansas to plow through existing Santa Fe Documentation, he had to admit in his 1987 book, “Edmond-The First Century,” that no namesake “has yet to be discovered.”

Then in 1991, while reading every copy of The Edmond Sun available on microfilm, Lucille Warrick found a small article that Edmond Burdick, the railroad’s agent for “traveling freight,” had just visited here in August 1891 and found the town named for him to be a “source of pleasure.” Her discovery was fully noted in Dr. James L. Crowder’s book: “Historic Edmond,” in 2000.

“It is very satisfying to know that Mr. Burdick is reconnected to Edmond after more than 120 years,” said Crowder at the recent unveiling of Mr. Burdick’s photograph at the Historical Society’s Wine Through Time event, Nov. 10.

For those of you curious to see the man himself, you can see a portrait of Edmond Schyuler Burdick in the new “I was Lonesome, Awful Lonesome: Niners & Pioneers of Edmond,” exhibit designed and installed by Hager, now on permanent display in the Edmond Historical Society & Museum.


Visiting Winston County, Alabama

By Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org)

(Lois and I visited Winston County, Alabama last Thanksgiving. We had a chance to visit the grave of Frank (Fernando) Cortez Burdick. This ancestor, as you may recall, was an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War who went to Winston County to help the residents of that area form the 1st Alabama Cavalry, who fought for the North. He apparently liked the area because after the war he stayed, married a local lady, and had a large family. We had a great trip, as you'll see. -- HB)

Early in our marriage my wife, Lois, and I decided we would make an effort to travel around the United States instead of more exotic locations overseas. Now, 37 years later, we have been to nearly every popular place this great nation and for the last few years have concentrated on more out-of-the-way places.

Last November it was a toss-up between exploring New Mexico (to revisit some of our favorite places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces) or Birmingham, Alabama (somewhere we'd never been). Birmingham won out.

We started our trip be dropping by Memphis (we like to drive instead of fly as it gives us time to relax and talk.) Whenever life brings us close to Memphis we arrange to be in the city for lunch or dinner in order to have what we think is among the best fried chicken around: Gus' Chicken on Front Street in downtown Memphis.

After filling ourselves with these spicy delights we made our approach to Birmingham. The drive was great on US-78 (soon to be I-22). Rolling hills, a road to ourselves and perfect weather. The drive took a little longer than I anticipated (something Lois has learned to accept but nevertheless continuously reminds me.) It was just turning dark on Sunday as we reached the city limits. Traffic was busy but we got to our hotel on the south side of town and had a relaxing dinner and an evening of watching football.

We played "tourist" for the next couple days. We found plenty of things to do, taking side trips to Montgomery and Huntsville. We knew that everything would be closed on Thursday (Thanksgiving) so that was our day to venture to Winston County.

Thanksgiving was a crisp, clear morning and the countryside was beautiful. Even though peak fall color season was over, what was left was impressive. We could only imagine what it must be like in full regalia!

We arrived in Winston County and first encountered the county government building in Double Springs. It is a very nice structure, but what I liked best was the statue out front commemorating the county's Union and Confederate soldiers who fought and died for their beliefs. It was quite moving and a suiting memorial, I thought, for families that literally had brothers fighting brothers.

The Burdick Cemetery, where Frank and Nancy Burdick are buried, is outside of a little town called Houston. It was about a 30 minute drive through more beautiful scenery to reach Houston. Actually, it would be hard to call Houston a "town", it's more like the proverbial wide spot in the road. Actually, we drove through it before we knew we were there! But it is home to the oldest wooden jail in Alabama and holds a bust of Gov. Winston for whom the county is named. These people are rightfully proud of their heritage.

Before leaving home I had been in touch with Glenda Todd, the historian who has expert knowledge of the 1st Ala Cav. She provided me with a detailed satellite image to locate the Burdick Cemetery, which is just outside of Houston. I am glad I had it as we would have never found the cemetery without this visual aid. After pulling down the little dirt road on the outskirts of Houston, there was the cemetery.

I was immediately struck by how good of condition it is in. I have seen many old cemeteries and some are nothing more than an overgrown patch of trees and shrubs with a few headstones popping up. But this one is well maintained with a manicured lawn and holds families other than Burdicks. After a few minutes a car came down the road and I had my answer. A very nice couple (I can't remember their names) live next to the cemetery and many of their relatives are buried there -- some quite recently. They are the ones who keep this historic spot in pristine condition and we should all be thankful for their care of our loved ones. Once again, I was quite moved.

So after stepping around headstones and getting excited about seeing the names I've only known from Nellie Johnson's book, it was time to leave. Lois took my picture beside Frank and Nancy's headstone and I now feel a little closer to them. If you happen to find yourself in Northern Alabama, it would be worth your while to take a detour to make your own connection.

Standing in this serene spot it was hard to imagine the horrors placed upon these people over 150 years ago. It seems like they were not fully trusted by their Union allies and they were hated by many of their fellow Alabamans. Ms. Todd has recorded, in her books, many instances of rape, murder, torture and plunder they were forced to endure. I have to admit, I'm not a Civil War buff, but learning about this forgotten corner of our nation's history has given me new insight into the despair that must have run rampant through the land. It makes our current political tensions seem calm by comparison.

I believe the words of Donald B. Dodd that appear on the commemorative plaque of the statue standing in front of the Winston County Court House sums it up well:

"The Civil War was not fought between the North and South but between the Union and Confederate Armies. Perhaps as many as 300,000 Southerners served in the Union Army. The majority of the Appalachian South from West Virginia to Winston County was pro-Union. Winston provided 239 Union and 112 Confederate soldiers, 21 of whom shared last names."

"The Civil War soldier, one-half Union and one-half Confederate, symbolizes the war within a war and honors the Winstonians in both armies. Their shiny new swords of 1861 were by 1865 as broken as the spirits of the men who wore them; and their uniforms of blue and gray, once fresh and clean, were now as worn and patched as the bodies and souls they contained. Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, disillusioned by the realities of war, shared dual destinies as pragmatic Americans in a reunited nation."

After a couple more days in Birmingham, it was time to come back to Dallas. I left the state thinking that if I had been born a southerner, Northern Alabama is where I'd most like to call home. But, alas, my roots are from Michigan and my life is in Texas. I would, without hesitation, recommend Birmingham as a destination for anyone wanting to get away to someplace a little different and surprising. Lois and I may be back someday, if for nothing more than to get another dose of energy from the homeland of this unique branch of our Burdick family.

Where's our next destination? We don't know yet, we'll probably determine that later this year. I'm sure it will be filled with wonderful new experiences -- our trips always are. There is one place I've been wanting to take Lois, but have so far been unable to convince her to go: Israel. I have had the privilege of going there twice on business, and each time I was able to "steal" a day for site-seeing. What an amazing place! I was accepted as a "member of the tribe" from the second I arrived until the moment I left. It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are, or even if you have any beliefs. The history, people, and scenery are something amazing to see.

Lois is concerned about safety, but I never felt endangered. Actually, the crime rate in Israel is lower than most other countries, including the United States. Unfortunately, terrorism is a part of these brave people's lives, but even that is a relatively tiny concern for visitors. Hmm... maybe I'll talk to Lois again...


Name Spelling

by Jane Maxson (jhm2727@cox.net)

(Our family friend, Jane Maxson of Westerly, RI, passes along some great tips when searching for family names that are often spelled differently than what we think. We Burdicks are not immune. Frank Mueller, in his book "The Burdick Family Chronology", identified Burdic, Burdich, Burdit, Burditt and Burditte all as alternate spellings. And, of course, we Burdicks may be related to the Burdettes who have alternate spellings of Burdett and Burdet as their names. Keep this and Jane's other thoughts in mind as you search for ancestors. -- HB)

Our family spells it Maxson, but there are many families and descendants who spell their name Maxon. All are descended from the same immigrant ancestor, Richard. One Maxon wrote that her family changed the spelling when they moved from the Seventh Day Baptist Church to the Baptist Church. There’s a manuscript in the Westerly Library vertical files telling of a Maxson in upstate New York who removed the ‘s’ from his name for no explained reason. Did he think it was too fancy, or was he reluctant to write the extra letter? Some of his family kept that spelling, but two of his grandsons changed back to the original spelling…the ones who went to college.

Then we have the Hoxsies, my family, originally spelled something like Hawkse, or Hawksie. Great Grandfather Wanton, for some reason, rejected the ‘s’ and became, with some other families in eastern Rhode Island, a Hoxie. Then there’s that other bunch…they spell it Hoxsey.

My Hoxies were farmers, and did not partake in the Revolution. Last year I was traveling in the backwoods around Exeter, RI. One of the side streets was Hoxie Road. My son, who found the place with his GPS, told me the sign at the other end was Hoxsie. I did have a great-grandfather who ran away to sea on a whaler, but can find no proof further than his obituary. There is a book giving names of many Rhode Islanders who went to sea on whalers, but not his.

His name was Wanton Weeks Hoxie which mystified me for years until I found the family in one of the 1800s censuses. He was named for a neighbor. The name Wanton was carried down two more generations. (Would I have been blessed with it if I had been male? I’m the only descendant of that line!) My grandfather was George Wanton, my father Wanton Porter, always called Porter which was his mother’s maiden name.

Matilda was a Willcox, but in some records, her family’s name is spelled with one ‘l’. Are there any two-l Willcoxes around today? In South County they’re all one-l Wilcoxes.

In the early census lists, some name spelling is completely phonetic, or just plain wrong and hand-writing can be illegible. I couldn’t believe that my paternal grandmother’s grandfather was Jerusha. That was a feminine name. Right! It was actually Joshua - another census taker who couldn’t spell. As for Joshua’s grandfather whose name was Elkanah, the census-taker mangled that spelling until it was completely unrecognizable. Not even Soundex could find it.

One final thought... Why have so many of our relatives been called by their middle name? Jonathan (my husband), his father and his grandfather were all known as "J. Irving". Jon changed to his first name when he entered the business world. Had he remained in Westerly, he’d have stayed J. Irving. I am Ethel Jane and have never used Ethel. Dad, as I said, was W. Porter. There are lots more, but enough is enough.

So, if you’re looking for that missing relative, consider the spelling ability of early census-takers and use Soundex, it could work, and then again...


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

Rita Boyd (foxyinslc@aol.com) is wondering if there are any Burdicks in Bourbon or Allen Counties, Kansas, who know of or are related to Effie Sarah McGinnis, daughter of George Washington Reeder and Frances Potter of those counties. Effie married Charles McGinnis and was Rita's great-grandmother. There is one Effie that appears in the Burdick genealogy around this time and place, but it may not be the same one. Effie P. (Reeder) Davis was born in 1881 in Labett Co., KS and married William Spencer Burdick in 1921 and was alive in 1934. Effie was his third wife and no children are reported. It appears Effie was a Davis by birth and married a Reeder before marrying William Burdick. Do you know more?

Roger Schmurr (rschmurr@yahoo.com) wanted to pass along word that his mother, Muriel Leone (Burdick) Schmurr died December 17, 2011 in Beaverton, OR, at the home of Roger's younger brother, Peter. She was the younger daughter of Frances and Leroy Burdick and was born October 24, 1916. She and her husband, Leonard, enjoyed 63 years of marriage together. They had 6 children, 14 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Just 5 weeks before her death, all six of her children and many other relatives and friends gathered to celebrate her 95th birthday.

David Martin (martind@westelcom.com) is searching for Billings Burdick. There are 11 Billings in the Burdick genealogy, but none of them are shown as dying during the War of 1812. David's Billings was killed at the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814. There is one Billings (I110292) who died December 1822 on the Coast of Africa; he was Master of the ship 'Diadamia' of Newport. Perhaps they were related. One more interesting item... Billings Burdick (I292) and Billings Burdick (I498) are the same person listed in Nellie Johnson's book as the have the same birth and death dates. Can you help straighten out these Billings puzzles?

Like many of us, Brian Burdick (bblb1981@verizon.net) is trying to figure out whether our Burdick ancestral lineage comes from England, Scotland, France or somewhere else. He is attempting to find out the various tartans/plaids associated with the Burdick name but is not having much luck. Can you help him in his "tartan" quest? Or at least point him in the right direction?

My uncle, Bill Burdick (bg_bd_billy@yahoo.com) noticed something in his NIV Study Bible: one of the editors was Donald W. Burdick. The New International Version Bible was first copyrighted in 1973 by the International Bible Society and is published by Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids, MI. Bill contacted Zondervan but they do not have any information about Donald Burdick. Do you? If so, let us know.

Speaking of Bibles, I (howard@burdickfamily.org) have come into possession of a very old Bible that belonged to Josiah Burdick (1810-1882). There is no publication date, but it is well-worn leather-bound, probably from the early or mid-1800s. A very nice gentleman in Florida has had it to 40 years, having bought it at a yard sales when he was in college. He has no connection to the Burdicks but wanted to be sure it found a home with a family member. This is yet another example showing how good people are, even strangers. Josiah was married to Philena Dyer/Wright (1813-1850). Their children were George R. (b. 1834), Ann M. (1836), Joseph H. (1837), Francis (18??), Leonard E. (1843) and Austin (18??). This family does not appear in the Burdick genealogy. If you are a descendant or know this line please contact me.

Bill Streifer (bill.streifer@gmail.com) has a photo of Emmor Graham Martin who was a full Colonel with dark black hair and mustache taken in 1945. It appears that Col. Martin is the husband of Ann Elizabeth Harrington (I10200302), gggg-granddaughter ot Mary Burdick (I10200001), daughter of Edward Burdick (I30). Does anyone know this family line and can verify Bill's picture? Thanks.

Robin Moore (dragonbard13166@yahoo.com) passes along word that Dorothy M. Burdick, 91, passed away on Tuesday, February 14, at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. She has a surviving daughter, Donna Morse, of Parish, NY. She will be buried in Caughdenoy Cemetery. If you know of this family, I would appreciate hearing from you, as I do not know how Dorothy fits into the Burdick family tree. Thanks.

I like this kind of news a lot better. Becky Stewart (becky.stew@sbcglobal.net), a descendant of Lutellus Burdick (I511824) wanted us to know she had a baby in February! Congrats!

Over the years, I (howard@burdickfamily.org) have been asked several times about Burdicks who spell their names without the "k". It was discussed in the May 2005 and Summer 2008 Newsletters. I came across the entry in Nellie Johnson's book for DeForest Burdick (I3820) which states that this branch of the family spell their name without the "k". Unfortunately, there is no explanation as to why. This line ends in the early 1900s, so if you are a descendant, please contact me.

Ed Jones (edjohns@earthlink.net) has hit his stone wall. John Burdick (b. 1772, d. 11/1855 in Allegany County, New York) married Sarah Odell (b. 1774 in Grafton, New York, d. 1/30/1870) in Allegany County, New York) about 1796. (Nellie Johnson shows that John Burdick, I1047, married Sally Odell.) They had eight Children: John, Vica, Truman, Randal, Joshua R., Martha “Patsy”, Lewis, and Mary “Polly”. Most records show John was the son of Jane Burdick; no father is shown. Jane had four children: Eunice, John, Amos Sr., and Alpheus O. Other records show Jane Burdick was Jane Button. Was she Jane Button and married to a Burdick? Was a Burdick the father of the four children? Ed has been unable to find anything more but has lots of speculation. Like who was Jane Button Burdick? Did she marry a Burdick, if so who? A Jane Burdick was the daughter of Caleb Burdick, son of Joshua Burdick and Abigal Lanphere. If this is true. Where the children born out of wedlock and took Jane’s maiden name? Or, is a case of a burdick marring a Burdick. Who were the Buttons? Any help or leads with be appreciated.

Dee (Vance) Kormanik (cc.dee@embarqmail.com) has been looking for more information about Phebe (Burdick) Vance (I1361) for a long time. Phebe's father was Hezekiah Carpenter Burdick (I518) and her mother was Mary Polly Richey. Phebe married John Vance and their child, William Findlay Vance, was Dee's g-grandfather. Besides William, they had seven other children: Elizabeth, Mary, Nancy, Sarah, Minny(Minnie), Albert, and Thomas Duncan. Phebe lived in Mt. Victory, OH in 1903 and would have been about 75 at the time. But there the track went cold -- until recently. A researcher at the Kenton Historical Society found that Phebe had died in Bornholm, Denmark! Dee would really appreciate hearing from anyone who knows more. Can you help?

Tamara Langford (nalmat59@yahoo.co.uk) sends this bit of good news... She received a Dick Eastman newsletter containing an article that Ancestry had acquired early vital records for Massachusetts. This means that Burdick descendants can now see Ruth Hubbard's birth record for Agawam (now Springfield). This is a great example of how new information about old history is always appearing, so all of you with roadblocks: Keep the Faith!

Kim Rodgers (dnkrodgers@gmail.com) is searching for her g-grandmother. Kim's grandmother passed away around the time her mother was born, so this important source is unavailable. Here's what Kim knows... "Mae" Burdick was born about 1876 in either Illinois or Kansas. She shows up in the 1900 Census living in Kansas with Fountain Alva Gore (her husband) and daughter Nell (born in 1897 in Missouri). Mae gave birth to Kim's grandmother, Irene, on April 1, 1903 in Nez Perce, Idaho. Fountain Alva Gore remarried in February, 1914 and Mae went to Seattle in September, 1917. She was the proprietor of a roadhouse, according to the 1930 Census. And that's it. There are no birth records, no death records, and no divorce records. Kim would really like to know where her g-grandmother is buried, especially for her mother, who is 77. Fountain Alva Gore's g-granddaughter told Kim the family bible states that "Mae" was listed as "Elsie" Burdick. She also went by the name of Mabel (that's how Kim found her in Seattle). It seems that Elsie/Mae/Mabel was rather elusive. While in her late teens, Nell, Mae's older daughter, traveled to Vancouver, BC and also to Ketchikan, Alaska. Census records show Mae's father was born in New York and her mother in Illinois. Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2018. All Rights Reserved.

howard@burdickfamily.org