Burdick Newsletters

Winter, 2017

From Pearl Harbor to Calvary

submitted by Marge Burdick (m.r.b@comcast.net)

(If you recall, the last Burdick Newsletter featured articles by and about Marge Burdick, the wife of Clark Donald Burdick. They have experienced much in their lives, but one item in particular is extremely interesting and historic. Marge and Clark knew Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese Naval Officer who led the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After the War Fuchida became a Christian Evangelist, traveling throughout America and Europe spreading the Gospel. Marge has provided the following pamphlet written by Fuchida in association with his "Sky Pilots" tour in 1959. There is a wealth of information on the Internet about Fuchida and his work, as well as several books on the subject. I hope you will be pleased by these historic words and realize, as I do, that our family has been involved in the history of America since its founding. -- HB)

From Pearl Harbor to Calvary
My Testimony

It is truly by the grace of GOD that I am able to be here.

I am MITSUO FUCHIDA, a former Japanese Navy Captain who led the attack on PEARL HARBOR. But since I have accepted JESUS CHRIST as my personal SAVIOR, I am now working as an evangelist of the Gospel of the LORD. I am no longer your enemy, but your brother in our wonderful LORD.

I would like to speak a little of my salvation, how I became a Christian, for I was a typical Japanese military man since I had served in the Imperial Japanese Navy for 25 years, as a most loyal soldier of my Emperor whom We considered to be God. Naturally, during my 47 years I had never heard the name of JESUS. You might ask, “How can this typical Japanese military man become a Christian?” Only the miracle of the love of GOD could have brought me to CHRIST.

l was born in 1902 in a lonely village in Japan. When I was 3 years old, the Russo-Japanese war broke out and it ended in victory for Japan. Influenced by this victory, I aspired to become a military officer.

When I was 18, my cherished desire was realized. I entered the Naval Academy, when I graduated from the Naval Academy after 3 years, I joined the Naval Air Force. Fifteen years passed, I became an expert pilot with a record of 10,000 hours of flying. At that time I was No. 1 Ace flyer in the Japanese Navy. Then came that never to be forgotten day when I was appointed as the general commander of the air squadron to attack PEARL HARBOR.

The year was 1941 and the day was December 7. As the general commander of the air squadron, I was seated in the first plane from which I led the whole squadron of 369 aircraft. We took off from 6 aircraft carriers 200 miles to the north of PEARL HARBOR.

After seeing that the main force of the American Pacific Fleet was at anchor in the bay, I gave my first order, “whole squadron plunge into attack!” And that terrible war was opened.

From that day on I took a leading part in the war. I spent myself as a most patriotic soldier to my mother country. During those years, I faced death a number of times, but every time I miraculously escaped.

When the war ended, I‘d come to believe that I had been supported by some great Unseen Power, for I am the only officer left alive out of the 70 officers participating in the PEARL HARBOR Raid. All the others were killed in action during the war.

Looking back, I can see now that GOD was seeking me before I found HIM. HE preserved my life that I might serve HIM.

Now my mind turned toward GOD, the Creator of all things. I was seeking GOD honestly.

The Bible says,

“Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Then, GOD worked in a mysterious manner to open my heart to HIS great love.

I would like to tell you of the two outstanding episodes in which GOD revealed to me HIS great love through two of HIS faithful servants.

One day, I learned that some Japanese war prisoners were returning from America.

In the list of returning men I found the name of a Lieutenant whom I had known very well. I went to URAGA HARBOR to meet him and to ask about how the Americans had treated the Japanese war prisoners in American camps for I had much interest in these matters since I had been used as a witness at the war crimes trials by General MAC ARTHUR against the Japanese war criminals.

My Lieutenant friend was very glad to see me. While talking with him, he told me this amazing story.

A certain American young lady came to the prisoners of war camp every day. She was about 18 years old. She began to help the Japanese war prisoners with her whole heart and strength. She did her best to make them happy and comfortable.

They could not understand why she did these things for her enemies.

For a long time she said nothing while she was doing continually these acts of kindness, but one day she told them her story.

Her name was MARGARET COVELL and her parents had been Christian missionaries in the PHILIPPINE Islands. During the Japanese invasion of the PHILIPPINES, her missionary parents were executed by some Japanese soldiers as being spies.

The daughter who was living in the UNITED STATES at the time did not hear about the fate of her parents during the war. When the report came back to the young lady, she was shocked at the tragic news of the loss of her parents. At first bitter tears of grief blinded her eyes and she was filled with terrible hatred toward the Japanese soldiers, but when she meditated upon her parents’ last hour she knew that before her parents were executed they had prayed.

“What was that prayer,” she wondered. Then she realized that her parents who were dedicated to give their life for the cause of Christ, must have prayed those last few minutes that the Lord might forgive their executioners.

And that was the reason, she told the Japanese prisoners, that she was giving so much time to them with these acts of mercy.

What a beautiful story this was! It touched strongly upon my heart and I too wondered what was that prayer. But I could not understand clearly, “where does this great love that can forgive enemies come from?”

Also about this time, I was summoned by General MAC ARTHUR to his TOKYO Headquarters. On my way to his Headquarters, in the SHIBUYA railroad station, I saw an American handing out tracts to the passers-by.

He gave me one. The tract had a startling title, “I WAS A PRISONER OF JAPAN.” There was a picture of an American sergeant on the cover.

This tract told the story of JACOB DESHAZER, a member of the Doolittle squadron that bombed TOKYO on April 18, 1942.

In the tract, DESHAZER testified that his hatred toward the Japanese was born in his heart on the morning of December 7, 1941 - that morning I led the attack on PEARL HARBOR.

This was of great interest to one and then I read all of his tract.

After DESHAZER’S raid against TOKYO, he was in prison for 40 long months.

At one time he said that he almost went insane because of his violent hatred of the Japanese guards who treated him so unkindly. However, after a while, he began to think “why should there be such hatred among human beings?” He remembered what he had been told as a child while attending Sunday School, that JESUS CHRIST could change hearts to make them love instead of hate.

He begged for a copy of the Bible. His request was denied him at first, but finally after asking again and again he was given a Bible.

He read its pages eagerly every day and he was saved in that Japanese prison camp. He accepted Christ as his personal SAVIOR.

The Bible says,

“Therefore if any man be in CHRIST, he is a new creature, world things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Now DESHAZER was a new creature. His heart was changed and his hatred for the Japanese people was turned to love.

He promised GOD to return to Japan after the war as a missionary. This promise he has fulfilled. He came to Japan and is working faithfully among Japanese people, telling them how to come to know JESUS CHRIST.

I marveled again at this beautiful story. But this time, I realized it was when he read the Bible that this great thing happened to him. This story inspired me to buy a Bible so that I might read this wonderful book for myself. I bought a Bible and I read its pages eagerly day after day.

When I came to Luke 23:34, I read that JESUS said, While hanging on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Now there was JESUS CHRIST who was nailed to the Cross of CALVARY, asking GOD to forgive the very soldiers who were about to thrust his side with the spear.

Immediately my mind flashed to the story of the American young lady, MARGARET COVELL. Now I could understand clearly “what was that prayer?"

Their prayer must have been the prayer of CHRIST. Before her missionary parents were executed they possibly prayed, “Father, forgive these Japanese soldiers, for they know not what they do.” And that prayer changed the young lady’s bitter heart into one of love.

The young lady’s mercy for the Japanese prisoner of war must be the answer to the prayer of her parents.

I am not ashamed to say that my eyes filled with tears. I found the source of the love that can forgive enemies. It comes from the Cross of CALVARY. Right at that moment I met JESUS CHRIST. HE came into my heart. Right away I accepted CHRIST as my personal SAVIOR.

How I praise GOD for sending HIS only son, the LORD JESUS CHRIST to die for my sins, for HE has truly changed my bitter and sinful heart into a cleansed and loving heart.

This is my testimony, how this typical Japanese military officer became a Christian, and “there is no secret what GOD can do”.

Since the love of CHRIST has transformed my life, I have been working as an Evangelist through all of Japan with the great vision of changing the land of Japan from a land of heathens to a land of followers of the LAMB of GOD. Just in faith and trusting HIM.

You will forgive me for saying this, but I am very famous in Japan known as the PEARL HARBOR Raider.

When I speak under the title “From PEARL HARBOR to CALVARY” so many people come to hear what I have to say. Always the meetings are full to capacity, and many times to overflowing where many people would have to stand outside.

Just for example, while preaching the Gospel of Christ all over Japan from the smallest Islands to the high mountain village workers the name of Jesus has never been heard, I had a meeting at Kobe where 2000 people attended and after I gave my testimony 550 people accepted Christ as their personal SAVIOR upon invitation. Also, another Grand Rally at Hiroshima where 2500 attended there were 650 decisions to accept Christ.

God has blessed me so good to be able to draw so many people that I can tell them about JESUS CHRIST.

In Romans 8:28 the Bible says, “And we know that all things Work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.”

I am sure that GOD is leading me to tell the people of the whole world of the transforming power of HIS love and grace upon my life.

The tragedy of PEARL HARBOR is only to remind us of man’s need for a SAVIOR who can deliver us from hatred and fill us with HIS love for mankind.

This is my third trip to the UNITED STATES.

Upon my last two trips, I learned many wonderful things in AMERICA. I must confess that at first I was afraid that I might run into some unpleasant situations because I was the one who led the attack on PEARL HARBOR.

But on the contrary, I found a warm welcome from all Americans. Everywhere I went the people were very kind and understanding, and when I returned to Japan, my heart was full of love and understanding for the American people.

I knew that I must tell the Japanese people about the beautiful Christian way of life that I found in AMERICA. For I then knew I had discovered the reason why AMERICA was a great nation. I was determined to help the Japanese people to learn more about JESUS CHRIST who is the source of all things.

This time I come to the United States as Vice President of Sky Pilots International to accomplish these following missionary Deputation Duties:

1st. We believe that all churches are in great need for such a program as Sky Pilots for the training of boys and men into WITNESSES and SOUL-WINNERS - and Obedient Soldiers unto our Commander in Chief The Lord Jesus Christ. And also our similar work for girls and women called Co-Pilots. So we are urging all churches interested in this style of missionary training to write us for information on how they can help us to spread this world-wide missionary army - through all churches of all nations throughout the world.

2nd. At this time God is leading us to produce this testimony “FROM PEARL HARBOR to CALVARY" into 16 mm-colored sound movie film - that we might place this film in the hands of many missionaries and church groups to reach and win thousands of people to accept Christ and take their rightful position in some church, that we might win the warfare for peace - through the only source of peace - namely the Lord Jesus Christ - the Prince of Peace.

3rd. Rev. Sachs and I are willing to do these things and to travel all over the world with this testimony as Ambassadors for Jesus Christ our Lord.

We will appreciate your prayers and financial assistance, as the Lord may lead you, to assist us in accomplishing these projects.

Surely, I can say with my heart as did the Apostle Paul, in Philippians 1:12 -

“But I would ye should understand Brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel.”

The Title and Testimony “From Pearl Harbor to Calvary” by Mitsuo Fuchida is copyrighted March 1959 -- With all rights reserved by:


Buried in One Grave

submitted by Pat Watts (pwatts@metrocast.net)

(I had heard about Jonathan and Roxy Burdick before, Nellie Johnson included them in her 1937 book. They were married for a LONG time, died one hour apart and were buried together in the same grave. That can only be described as true love. Pat came across an old scrapbook containing a couple newspaper articles about them. Both are from the Sidney, New York newspaper. The first a few years before they died and the second described their final time together. It is these kind of stories that show our ancestors were real people, not just names and dates in a database. -- HB)

February 23, 1893

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Burdick of Sidney Centre are a remarkably preserved couple. Both are enjoying good health considering their age. Mr. Burdick has reached his 87th year and Mrs. Burdick her 88th year. They have been married 66 years. They have lived in the town ot Sidney fifty-five years. Mr. Burdick's grandfather was a soldier in the French and Indian war and his father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Mr. and Mrs. Burdick have cleared upwards of 400 acres of land and are remarkable examples of what plain living, plenty of work and a clear conscience will do toward good health and longevity.


October, 1896

Buried in One Grave
The Oldest Couple in the County

Jonathan and Roxey Burdick were buried in one grave in the Sidney Centre Cemetery, October 1st. He was 89 years and nine months old, and she 90 years, 11 months and 14 days. They had been married nearly 70 years. Mr. Burdick was born in Dutchess County, December 29, 1806, and moved to Kortright with his parents when he was only four years old. On March 29, 1827, he married Miss Roxey Forman, who was born at Kortright, Oct. 14, 1805. They went to Sidney and settled on a farm not far from Franklin Depot. They were industrious and became one of the most substantial couples in the town. After a life of 56 years on the farm, they moved to the village, where they have spent their declining years.

September 18, Mrs. Burdick suffered a shock of paralysis, and it soon became evident that it was her last sickness. It was a source of great grief to her aged husband. As she gradually sank into unconsciousness, he frequently said he did not want to live a moment after she was gone. Providence arranged all well.

Sunday evening Mr. Burdick was also stricken with paralysis, and on Monday morning at 7 o'clock, he died. He wife was still unconscious, but an hour and a half later she followed him. Thus ended the long and useful lives of this couple of pioneers who did their full share in making that vicinity what it is.

They are survived by two sons, Thomas Burdick of Undilla Centre, and Green Burdick of Sidney Centre, and one daughter, Mrs. Francis Foote, also of Sidney Centre.

Ancestors of Mary Caroline Burdick

by Julie Nathanson (jnathanson123@verizon.net)

(Usually I include people's requests for ancestor searches in the "Burdick News" section of the newsletters. But sometimes the stories surrounding those requests for assistance are compelling or really interesting. Julie's call for help with the ancestors of Mary Caroline Burdick is one of those. If you can provide guidance or help for her in her search please do. -- HB)

Mary C. Burdick (I110681) married Asa Sheldon Briggs, February 11, 1847. I found their gravestone in Oak Grove Cemetery, Hopkinton (Ashaway). Headstone lists Mary C. Burdick, wife of Asa S. Briggs.

Mary C.'s mother was Mary "Polly" Burdick (I681) (b. 1800; daughter of Thompson and Amey (Sisson) Burdick), but I don't know her father's name. "Polly" Burdick married Sands Palmer March 28, 1846, as his second wife. Susan (Crumb) Palmer (Sands first wife) who died in 1845, was b. Jan 29, 1800 - roughly the same age as Polly. Polly and Sands (and Susan Palmer) are buried next to Asa and Mary C. in Oak Grove Cemetery in Ashaway. I have found no other children born to Polly.

I have looked in the birth records of Hopkinton and Stonington (where Sands is from) and did not find a record of Mary C.'s birth. I found her death record and her mother is listed, but UNKNOWN under father. Death record: Mary Caroline Briggs.

An interesting aside: The undertaker was a Gavitt and her physician was her son Alexander Burdick Briggs.

in "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island" Nellie Johnson lists a first marriage of Mary “Polly” Burdick as ______Burdick. Same text claims Sands is the father of Mary Caroline (even though she was 19 when her mother married him (???). But also gives incorrect parents of Amey Sisson (correct parents found in Arnold’s VR), so what else might be in error; under the listing for Mary or Polly Burdick, it gives the marriage to Sands Palmer and says the following:

Child (Palmer), b. at Hopkinton, RI
A. Mary Caroline, b. 1827, July 8; d. 1909, Mar. 5.....

Sounds like a real life soap opera, right? Any knowledge of this family or where to look next? I think the family (Burdicks) at this time were still Seventh Day Baptists, so are there church records available somewhere?

Bottom Line: who is the father of Mary Caroline Burdick? My gut tells me she may have been an illegitimate child – either by Sand Palmer or someone else. But as I said, I have no proof of who the father is, so for now I am not attaching and branching to Sands Palmer. It just occurred to me that perhaps I should check Sands Palmer's father’s will and see if there is a mention. Or maybe Thompson Burdick’s will. I did get obituaries from the Sabbath Recorder but didn’t find anything in them.

I have not been able to find any source to “prove” Sands is the father of Mary Caroline. If you know of any living descendants of Sands Palmer thru his first wife I would welcome a contact from them. Any leads or thoughts you might have would be greatly appreciated!

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

Carla White (tiasaunt@aol.com) is proof that persistence pays off. After years of looking for Rhoda Burdick's (I1101068) twin, Rhobe, b. March 25, 1865, (and thinking she had died young) Carla found her! Her headstone, listed on findagrave.com, gives her name as Roby Tanner. She died in Michigan in 1908. She first married Franklin Haskins and had 2 children, Emery Edward and Edith Evelyn. She then married Leander V. Tanner. He is on the 1910 census with his stepdaughter, Edith Haskins, in Wexford, Michigan. If you know more about Roby or have a picture of her, please contact Carla.

Jennifer Burdick (dj89706@yahoo.com) is trying to find information about her grandmother, possibly a Shirley Reynolds. William Spencer Burdick (I2303) is the father of Ernest Burdick (I122303). Ernest had a son named William C. Burdick who is Jennifer's grandfather. William C. Burdick had a son, Ernest Jeffery Burdick, who is Jennifer's father. But she cannot find any information about her grandmother, Shirley, probably since her grandparents parted ways when her dad was a toddler and he never talked of her. If you can help fill in the blank spaces please contact Jennifer.

You may recall that in the last Newsletter, Ziggy Pijewski (zpijewski@gmail.com) had come into possession of a set of silver Air Force wings with the name "James T. Burdick" and the number "6698968" etched on the back. Ziggy has been searching for information about James and has located his grave in the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. He also found out that James was a veteran of World War II and Korea, was born August 3, 1909 and died November 28, 1957. But that is it. With this much information, it would be great to find a family member of James. If you are one, or know of this family line, please let us know.

One of our family members suffers from a condition called hemochromatosis, which means their body stores an excessive amount of iron in their body. It is a genetic affliction that is passed on to 2% of all persons who's ancestry originated from Northern Europe. As we know, many Burdicks descend from these types of ancestors. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the suggested way to control the build-up of iron is to give blood regularly, every 2-3 months. We are trying to find out which side of the family tree this gene originated by the process of elimination. If you have this malady in your family please contact me, Howard Burdick (howard@burdickfamily.org), and I will pass your contact information onto our family member.

Terry Barwin (terrybarwin@gmail.com) has been researching Margaret Burdick (I110062) and needs your help. She has determined a lot about this unknown family line, such as Margaret's husband being William Cole, son of Joseph Cole (both of Hopkinton, RI). The couple moved to Plainfield, Otsego Co., NY, near Margaret's brothers Charles and Amos (who lived across the river in Brookfield). Their children are Samuel, Hannah, Charles M., and Amie/Amy. William Cole died in 1822 or 1823, but Terry cannot find a death date for Margaret, who died after her husband. There are also no gravesites to be found - it appears that no one has traced this line. Any help is appreciated.

James Burdick (et2653@yahoo.com) sends word that his mother, Frances E. Burdick, passed away on December 21 at the age of 80.

Tim Hall (timhall1@gmail.com), long-time supporter of this Newsletter and excellent genealogy researcher, sends word that his mother-in-law, Helene Griffin Schulze (I10120121), passed away on May 19, 2016 at the age of 90. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Edward "the bigamist" Burdick whom Tim has researched extensively. Helene always enjoyed the stories he found about her Burdick ancestors. Tim reports that was a sweet lady who treated him like the son she never had. She will be missed a lot.

Kem Hart-Baker (Ptownpest@aol.com) sends word that Fredrick S. Burdick, Jr. of Cortland. NY passed away October 5, 2016 in the Cortland Regional Medical Center following an extended illness at the age of 65. Born December 25, 1950 in Derby Connecticut, Fred was the son of the late Fredrick S. and Lavina Eldridge Burdick, Sr. He served in the US Army during Vietnam was employed as a maintenance man for Lucente Homes, Ithaca. Fred was a member of the Dryden American Legion, the VFW and DAV. Surviving are his children, Kathy L. Burdick of Phoenix, AZ; Tracey A. Burdick of Cortland; Michael (Beth) Boledovic of Putnam, CT; Fredrick S. Burdick, III of Cortland and Mark W. (Vickie) Burdick of Binghamton. Also surviving is a brother, David J Burdick of Oxford, CT and his loving grandchildren, Rodney, Nevaeh, Rena-Mae, Arabella, Reagan, Erika-Linn, Benny, Lorenzo and Maddison.

Don't forget to search the obituary web site that Carol Reppard (reppardc@gmail.com) has told us about: http://www.legacy.com/ns/obitfinder/obituary-search.aspx.

Copyright Howard E. Burdick 2019. All Rights Reserved.