(As I was reformatting all of the old Burdick Newsletters for inclusion in the new Burdick Family Association web site, I came across an article I wrote for the September/October 2004 Newsletter issue. It is entitled "Looking Back (and Forward)" and chronicles the first 8 years of my production of the web site. It also outlined my goals for the future. Now, 11 years later, it is interesting to see how accurate my predictions were. It's also time to make some more plans for the future. -- HB)
It's hard to believe that I first created the Burdick Family Association web site in 1997 and have been producing these Newsletters since January, 2000. I like to think I have given something of worth to our family and friends. But I still have more to do. When I first published my original "Looking Back (and Forward)" article in 2004 I was lamenting nearing the age of 50. Well, now I have turned 60 and figured it was a good time to review what I have accomplished and what I plan for the future.
As always, I could not do what I do without your support. It is you who provide me with encouragement to continue. You provide me with the raw material I need to document our family's history. So please, keep sending me your information. It is important.
At the time of the first article the Newsletter had about 600 readers. Today there are well over 1300. That is not a lot by many people's standards, but for an unpromoted, narrow-interest market I believe it is substantial. Besides, even if the number was still 600, or 60 for that matter, I would be pleased. I never started this endeavor to see how many "followers" I could get, I did it to provide information and help to family members who might find it useful in their own genealogical quests.
As happens with everything, though, there is a beginning and an end. I have not yet reached the end of producing these Newsletters but at some point that will occur. It may be 10 years from now, or 20, or more. I don't know. One of three things will end this run: 1) I am no longer able to produce it due to my age and/or health, 2) There are no more interesting subjects to cover, or 3) You, my readers, no long have an interest in what I produce. Until one of these occur you'll be receiving your periodic update on our greater family - I hope my last issue is a long way off.
In addition to the Newsletter, there were several other items mentioned in my original article 11 years ago. First, my immediate family. Lois and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last year, and are looking forward to number 41 in a month and a half. I am still working (as a Business Analyst) and Lois is still "retired" (I say that with a smile because she has a full time job managing our household and putting up with me - she is hardly retired!)
My father passed away a few years ago and now lies next to my mother in Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit. My brother John and sister-in-law Janet are still going strong in the woods of Northern Michigan. Their three daughters, Nellie, Annie, and Emily, are doing well with families of their own. John and Janet now have 8 grandchildren with another on the way. My dad's brother, Bill, is still kicking around in the Mobile, Alabama area. He is 84 now and in good health. His 4 kids and their families are also doing well.
Unfortunately we recently lost my dad's cousin, George Allen. George was the son of my grandmother's sister and was a very special person. He never married and had no children, so that branch of the Gleichmann family tree has ended. George lived on his own and had a serious fall at home. He never recovered from those injuries - we miss him a lot.
Lois and I had hopes of eventually retiring to our lake property in East Texas, but that was not to be. We realized that as we age, maintaining a property of this type would be too much for our old bones to handle. So while we will likely stay firmly rooted in Texas it will likely be in the Dallas area.
But back to the goals I set forth 11 years ago. First was digitizing Nellie Johnson's 1937 book, "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island". This task was completed and provided the groundwork of all successive accomplishments.
Most important of these was my second goal: to produce a relational database of Nellie's work. In 2008 one of our family members (Lynn Massey, my second cousin) pointed me to a wonderful piece of software called TNG, "The Next Generation". As I have reported in other Newsletters, this is an amazing application that is, in my humble opinion, superior to every other web-based family tree program on the market. I am not alone in my opinion, as I recently read that over 15,000 copies of the software have been sold around the world.
I think what I am most proud of is the work I have done in implementing Nellie's book as an on-line resource and extending her 44,000 entries to nearly 84,000 today. Updating the genealogy was my third major goal and while it is (and will be) an ongoing process it is available free for all to use today. To date there are 255 of you who have provided me with your updated family lines, and another 140 who have helped with small additions and corrections. But that is not good enough. I know there are many more lines to bring up to date so, as always, if you have not provided me with your family information please do so. Initially I was overwhelmed with the huge amount of information you provided, but I have cleared that backlog and am responding much more quickly to new information. OK - no more lecturing.
So that brings me to the future. I still have a couple big items to accomplish before my days on this earth are done.
First is a rewrite of the Burdick Family Association web site. Actually, I just completed the rewrite a couple of months ago. I had been trying to do this for a few years but other priorities got in the way. The old site had been around for many years and was ready for a facelift. Several of you have already sent me historic pictures and information about our family military members, both of which are now more prominently featured. I hope more of you will do so. While I could cross this one off the list, there will likely be ongoing updates to the web site for a while so I won't say it's done just yet.
And that leads to my second, and most significant, goal. While I will continue to add to the Burdick genealogy I am also preparing for that day when I am no longer able to proceed. One of the "nice" things about being involved in genealogy is coming to terms with your own mortality. I have seen too many instances of family research disappearing with the death of the person who created it. I do not want that to happen to what I have produced.
I have investigated numerous methods of preserving genealogic information for future generations and have written about them in previous Newsletters. I have decided the best way to preserve my work is through two channels: GEDCOM and e-books.
As we know, the "language" of genealogy in the digital world is through GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) files. The entire Burdick genealogy is contained in one such file that is, today, about 18MB in size. It is what drives my own web site and TNG implementation. At some point in the future I will be making this file available to genealogists.
I realize that distributing this file will create problems, namely the divergence of different individuals adding their own information with no single source of consolidation. But I also realize this fate in inevitable. After all, it happened after Nellie Johnson produced her book and it took 80 years for someone (that would be me and 255 of my family friends) to once again bring it to a single source of "truth". So I will distribute my information as a baseline to provide a starting point for future researchers. I'll leave it to some industrious future family member to create the next point of consolidation. I hope my work makes that task easier.
I also realize that having a single source of information is not enough. I do not want to put "all my eggs" in the single "basket" of a GEDCOM file. Looking back at our family's history I am struck with how it was preserved - and almost lost. Where would we be if the original work of William Mansfield Burdick Harcourt from the late 1800s had not been rescued from oblivion by Heber Grant in the 1920s? Where would we be if Nellie Johnson had not consolidated her massive correspondence into the book we so treasure? And even though a lot of his original files are lost, we have a different perspective of the Burdick family thanks to Frank Mueller.
The common thread running through these milestones is that something tangible was produced: a book. A couple years ago I did a quick analysis of what a book of our family tree would be like now. It was over 5,000 pages! And our tree continues to grow ever larger. In today's world it would be inconceivably expensive (and heavy!) to produce a book of this size, so I have decided to do the digital equivalent. I will be producing an e-book of the Burdick genealogy.
Actually, it will be multiple e-books - I'm still working on the details. A single e-book, like its hardcopy equivalent, would be too massive to be used effectively. The style will be a cross between Nellie's book and modern descendant reports. Production of the e-books will be semi-automated and based on the Burdick GEDCOM file. I have already started on this task and will periodically keep you posted my progress. And when the time comes I'll need the help of some volunteers to review them.
So that's my look back and forward. I'll try not to let another 11 years go by before my next update. Thanks again for your support and help.
(Every once in a while I receive a story about a Burdick family member that is, well, different. This is one of those. I guess it shows that marital bliss was just as difficult to reach in 1912 as it is today, although the methods may be somewhat different. The story of Francis LeRoy "F.L" Burdick (I2539) and his wife, Emma, was carried by both Syracuse, NY newspapers. Looks like readers were interested in "human interest" stories back then, too. -- HB)
Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., March 28, 1912
Novel Diversions Subdued Morpheus in Burdick Home
F.L. Burdick, Late of Syracuse, Claims He and Sleep Were Strangers
Pins as an Awakener
Wife Says She Will Have Plenty to Say When She Cares to Talk
Because Mrs. Emma Louise Burdick used novel methods to get what she wanted out of her husband, F.L. Burdick, formerly of Syracuse and now a resident of Houston, Texas, he has begun suit for a divorce.
Burdick claims that his wife made life miserable for him by inventing a new line of tricks to keep him awake when he wanted to enjoy a good, hearty snooze.
The summons and complaint in the action were served upon Mrs. Burdick at 206-1/2 Slocum Ave. where she is now staying. The service was made by the sheriff's office Wednesday night.
The husband claims that he was forced to break up his home and desert his wife and insists that it was her actions that made the step necessary.
The couple were married on Aug. 20, 1895, and lived together until Aug. 12, 1911, when they separated, Burdick taking the initiative on account of the alleged actions of his wife.
Burdick says in his complaint that why he left home was on account of the cruel treatment of his wife and sets forth that her cruelty was practiced in order to supply her with things she demanded which were out of proportion with the salary he earned as an accountant.
About nine years ago, the paper says, the Burdicks moved to a town of about 600 inhabitants near this city, but it neglects to state which particular small town answers the qualifications.
While there Burdick alleges that his wife's temperament became evident. He claims that she began to show tastes in dress and desires for things which were way beyond his income.
How she got what she wanted is set forth in the complaint. Burdick tells that she would sit down beside his bed when he wanted to go to sleep. Then he says she would start a program which forms the basis of something now in divorce actions.
The husband says that his wife would sit there by his bed and whenever he showed signs of dropping asleep would stick pins into him so as to thoroughly arouse him each time.
Then, for diversion, the complaint says she would pinch him and when that did not work she would take a chair and knock it on the floor continuously to keep plaintiff awake and force him to comply with her wishes. If he did not promise to do this she would cease only when completely exhausted and continue the next night and keep this conduct up for a week until the plaintiff, for the sake of peace, rest and sleep, would give her anything she wished, no matter how ill he could afford to do so.
The complaint states that Burdick is an accountant and needs a clear brain and unclouded mind to keep him fit for his work. By reason of his wife's persecutions, it is alleged, "his nerves are shattered and his mind is clouded, and he prays for release from his marriage bonds in order that he may maintain his mental balance and be able to perform his duties."
Henry W. Albrecht of Houston, Tex., is Burdick's attorney. Mrs. Burdick is living in Syracuse and when the complaint was served upon her she received it with equanimity.
(As you likely know William Mansfield Burdick Harcourt, or WMBH for short, was the first Burdick genealogist. He compiled most of the information on the early generations of the Burdick family during the last years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th. Jeff has kindly provided us with a letter from WMBH to his g-grandfather, Eugene W. Burdic (I211180) asking for family information. The actual scanned letter is in the "Photos" section of the Burdick Family Association website. It is surprising how similar this letter is to the emails I send to all of you asking for the same kind of information! -- HB)
Raspeburg, Baltimore Co., Md.,
December 27, 1906.
Mr. E.W. Burdic,
Dear Sir -
Believing that "Burdic: is one form of spelling the name "Burdick," I herewith inclose[sic] a printed circular announceing[sic] that I am compiling a "Burdick Genealogy" and request that you send me whatever information you possess as to your Burdic or Burdick ancestors and their descendants, with addresses of relatives who can give additional facts, as names and dates, of which you may have no record or remembrance.
Your form of spelling "Burdick" is favored by many descendants of Perry Burdic, a former Mayor of Syracuse, N.Y.
Some descendants of Robert and Ruth (Hubbard) Burdick spell the name with a final "t"; thus - Burdict.
Some of my Burdick ancestors spell the name Burdett and claimed that Burdick wass[sic] a corruption of the old English name Burdett.
In the Massachusetts records concerning the dispute with Rhode Island over the jurisdiction of Misquamicut (Westerly) Robert Burdick is always referred to as "Robert Burdett."
The circular fully states the kind of facts I endeavor to obtain about all Burdicks and the persons they have married. Information is also desired of births, deaths and marriages among children of married daughters of Burdicks.
Hoping that you wish me success in this work, I ask that you aid thereto by sending the information requested.
Very truly yours,
Wm M.B. Harcourt
Compiler of the "Burdick Genealogy" and grandson of Rowland and Sarah (Thompson) Burdick - she a daughter of Capt. Joshua and Sarah (Burdick) Thompson.
(Pearl has done extensive research on the John Burdick (I981) family, primarily because one of her ancestors, Moses Decker, married John's daughter, Delia. If you are a Decker family researcher please contact Pearl, perhaps you both can obtain new information. Luckily for us, her research has helped fill in many holes in this Burdick line. One item of interest Pearl uncovered is that three of John's children were early settlers of Leelanau County, Michigan near Traverse City including the Manitou Islands. Pearl has provided us with the following accounting of their efforts. -- HB)
Grand Traverse Herald (Traverse City, Michigan)
July 31, 1873
Burdickville - This village is located on an elevated table-land near Glen Arbor. Wm. Burdick came to this place some 10 years ago, cleared some land and built a sawmill and gristmill, which were burned down some four years ago.
Leelanau County Michigan Genealogy and History
History of Leelanau County
The Traverse Region
H.R. Page & Co 1884 Pg 222-248 Chapter XXXI XXXIV
Northport, Leland, Glen Arbor, Burdickville, Suttons Bay, New Mission, Provement
George Ray, of Glen Arbor, Leelanau County, Mich., was born in Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Mass., in 1819. He went thence to Ohio in 1832 and clerked and taught school until he was twenty-one years old, when he engaged in merchandising. In June, 1855, he came to Leelanau County, Mich., and selected several hundred acres of land. Returning to Ohio and thence to Buffalo he chartered the steamer Saginaw, loaded upon it a sawmill, household furniture, two cows and other freight needed for a new settlement and came to Sleeping Bear Bay.
This was the first steamer which ever entered the bay. There were fourteen passengers for this point. Besides Mr. Ray and his family there were W. D. Burdick and Erasmus Nutt and other families and others without families. Soon after his arrival a post office was established, and Mr. Ray was appointed postmaster, holding the office nearly all the time since.
He has been county clerk, coroner, U. S. commissioner for the western district of Michigan, government agent for the sale of revenue stamps, customs house officer, and town clerk and justice of the peace most of the time since his coming. Mr. Ray was married in 1816 to Jane S. French, a native of Massachusetts. They have two sons, Welby C., who is with his parents, and Edmond F. in Ludington, Mich.
Pearl McDonald's Notes:
The following Burdicks were children of John Burdick (1797-1887) and in 1850 all lived in Ashtabula County, Ohio.
WILLIAM D. BURDICK (1832-1914)
1860 U.S. Federal Census shows William and Anna (Randall) Burdick living in Glen Arbor, Leelanau, Michigan; 1870 in Sleeping Bear, Leelanau, Michigan. 1880 William has moved to Taylor County, Kentucky.
AUSTIN B. BURDICK (1824-1906)
1860 U.S. Federal Census shows Austin B. and Harriet L. (Wilson) Burdick living in Glen Arbor, Leelanau, Michigan; 1870 in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.
ERASMUS NUTT (MCNUTT) and Wife, LAURA (BURDICK) (1828-1884)
The Nutt (McNutt) family lived in Michigan less than 5 years. 1860 U.S. Federal Census shows Erasmus and Laura (Burdick) McNull (McNutt) living in Cato, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Austin Decker, 12 year old son of the late Moses and Delia (Burdick) Decker is also listed with this McNutt family in 1860.
Karyl Hubbard (email@example.com) has used a great website and wanted others to know about it: the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (http://immigrantships.net/index.html) contains lists of over 16,000 passengers who immigrated to the United States. I did a quick search and found that Franz and Lisette Burdick arrived in Baltimore on the Bark J.L. Thiermann in May, 1866 from Bremen, Germany. Also landing in Baltimore from Bremen, Germany on the Bark Bremen where Joseph and Elisabeth Burdick in August, 1866. Finally, Capt. R.E. Burdick and Miss A. Burdick arrived from Hamburg, Germany on the SS Blucher in New York on August 17, 1903. So let's see... 3 Burdick families arriving from Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s... more evidence that our family originated in Germany? I'll leave it to others to decide.
Karyl also has a request. Her husband's grandfather, Oliver Alanson Burdick, son of Abram Wesley and Lydia (Cain) Burdick, was adopted by the Hubbard family after the death of his mother. Karyl has Peter and Elizabeth (Mallory) Cain as Lydia's parents and would like to know if anyone knows anything more about the Cain family. Lydia was born about 1835 in Pennsylvania and died in 1878 in Forest City, Meeker County, Minnesota. Abram was born in New York but got to Meeker County by way of Green Lake, Wisconsin and, Karyl believes, is where he met Lydia. Do any of the Green Lake descendants, or anyone else, know any more about Lydia?
In the last Newsletter I asked if anyone knew more about the death of John Burdick, a Dearborn Heights, MI, police officer. My uncle, Bill Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) had the unfortunate answer for me. Officials determined that the cause of the officer Burdick's death was an accidental drug overdose. The exact cause in the officer's death was cocaine fentanyl toxicity, said Ryan Bridges, spokesman with the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. Fentanyl is a prescription drug and a synthetic opiate more powerful than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Very sad.
Nate Bramlett (NateBramlett@aol.com) passes along a very sad story that occurred October 2, 2015. George Burdick (46) and his sister, Gina Burdick (48), of Worcester, MA died after being hit by a black Dodge Charger driven by 29-year-old Daniel Depew of Ayer, MA. The siblings were struck while unloading groceries from their vehicle.
Marylou Mandell (email@example.com) sends word that Earl L. Burdick, 93, of Alton-Bradford Road, Bradford, passed away on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 at his home with his loving children by his side. He was the husband for 70 years of the late Clara A. (Courchaine) Burdick. Born in Budickville Hopkinton, he was a son of the late Clinton Burdick and Edith Burdick Pelcher. A US Navy veteran who served during WWII, Earl later worked as a Lace Weaver and a Machinist at BDA for many years until his retirement. He leaves six children, Stephen, Arthur and Michael Burdick, Teresa Bettez, Gloria Ring and Mary Thayer; 13 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Earl is also survived by two sisters, Mary Ethel Caddick and Edith Geraldine Durfee. He was predeceased by a daughter, Elaine Burdick; six brothers, Sylvester and Robert Burdick and Harry, John, Elliot and David Pelcher; and four sisters, Hellen Burdick LoPriore; Janette Burdick Pelchat, Alice Pelcher Kenyon and Laura Pelcher.
In the last Newsletter Homer Burdick, whose name appears on the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, was wondering if there were more family members who served but are not listed. Both Marylou Mandell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Becky Gourley (email@example.com) responded with the answer. The World War II Memorial website (https://www.wwiimemorial.com) maintains a registry of those who served in the War, including 220 Burdick family members. There is a mechanism to add others, so if your loved one is not there please add them. Becky also provided memorial sites for the Vietnam War, ABMC and the Civil War. I have incorporated these links on the Military section of the Burdick Family Association website, please visit them.
Liz Burdick (Lizb2550@comcast.net) sent me some interesting information about the Burdick family that she received from the New York Historic Society. There was some good confirmative information about family members in the Leonardsville, NY area, but there was also a mystery. Abbie Whitmore Millard is recorded as being married to D.D.J. Burdick in Edmeston on June 15, 1897. But Nellie Johnson shows Abbie being married to Lewis Grant Burdick (I2710) in West Edmeston on December 24, 1908. Does anyone know who D.D.J. is and how he relates to Lewis? Was Abbie married twice - both times to Burdicks?
Cathy French (Raec2728@rochester.rr.com) is trying to complete the family sheet for John Rodgers (I1085) and Betsey Ann (Austin) Burdick. Betsey is part of her Austin line. Cathy has found that John and Betsey are buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Howell, Michigan along with two of their children, William and Perry. She has also found information that John and Betsey's daughter, Mary Edwina (Burdick) Kirk, was buried in Hartland, Michigan, but she cannot identify the cemetery. Do you know in which cemetery Mary and her husband Arlington Kirk Sr. are buried?
Tom Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is trying to find the link between Robert Burdick of Putnam, CT, born in 1838 and married to Phebe Wilbur, and the Burdicks of Rhode Island. Robert was Tom's ggg-grandfather and father to Robert W. Burdick and grandfather of Robert H. Burdick. I'm sure someone out there can make this connection for Tom. Thanks!
Mark Burdick (email@example.com) has an interesting question that both of us are hoping someone can answer. Mark has come across family trees on Ancestry.com stating that Dorcas Lewis (I10014), wife of Robert Burdick, lived from 1673 to 1746. Their children, though, were born between the years of 1721 and 1742 which would mean she gave birth to her first child at age 47 and her last at age 69! Nellie Johnson did not provide a birth or death date for Dorcas, so it is likely that Mark's information is one of those "facts" that float around the Internet. Is could also be that the dates for their children are wrong. To make matters worse, Dorcas' parents are listed as Daniel Lewis and Mary Maxson, but Mark's records for them do not indicate a daughter named Dorcas! If anyone can shed light on this, please do.
Nancy Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) is seeking information about Alvira Hunt, the wife of Lyman Berry Burdick (I1886). They were married on February 13, 1844 in Clarence, Erie County, NY. But Nancy would like to know how and when she came from Pownal, VT where she was born in 1824 to her Clarence, NY in 1844. Many Hunt families followed this migration route. Alvira's father, David Hunt, appears in the 1830 Pownal, VT census but Nancy cannot find him after that. Any additional information about Alvira and her family would be appreciated.
Cindy Smith (email@example.com) came across this extensive history of Alfred, NY, written by Silas C. Burdick: http://history.rays-place.com/ny/alfred-ny.htm. She thought it might help those researching New York genealogy, as the town founders were Seventh Day Baptists.
Nancy Burdick (firstname.lastname@example.org) has traced her husband's, Bryan's, Burdick ancestry back to the early 1800s: Roland (Rollen) C. Burdick (1828-1881), to Judson C. Burdick (1861-1933), to Francis Lester Burdick (1889-1931), to Dr. Francis Dale Burdick (1913-2000), to Bruce Francis Burdick (1939-2009), to Bryan. Unfortunately, Nancy cannot identify Roland's parents or connect him to the Burdick family tree. Can you help? if so please contact her.
Carol A Reppard (email@example.com), who regularly send us word of family members who have passed away in New York State, is very saddened to tell us that her own first cousin, John A. Burdick, 63, of DeRuyter, NY, passed away on October 12 at his home. Coincidently, October 12 is the same day Carol's father passed away 55 years ago. John was born in DeRuyter and had retired from Carrier Corp. in Syracuse. John was a member of the Apple Creek Country Club. He enjoyed hunting and golfing. He was a former member of the DeRuyter Fire Dept. Surviving are his wife, Sandra of DeRuyter; sons, John Jr. and Jeffrey (Kristin) of DeRuyter; his mother, Lora Burdick of DeRuyter; sister, Teri Burdick of DeRuyter; grandchildren, Brandon and Bree Burdick.