Success Stories

It's true. Brick walls can be broken. Following are accounts of Burdick family members who have done just that. So if you have your own seemingly insurmountable problem keep working and have faith that your answer, too, is out there.

Tracking Ocie Burdick

Researcher: Kim Mabee (
Posted: October, 2017

(You may recall that in the Fall 2017 Newsletter Jack Burdick requested help tracing down the parents of his g-grandfather, Ocie Burdick. Kim Mabee found evidence of who it is, but Alexandra Stocker, a retired genealogist, produced some amazing documentation. I wanted to share her findings with you to illustrate how a professional gathers those elusive bits and pieces of information to build a story. -- HB)

Original Post, Fall, 2017:

Jack Burdick is trying to find his link to the Burdick Family tree. Jack has traced his line back to his g-grandfather, Ocie Burdick (who went by "O.C."), but cannot find O.C.'s parents. He did not have a middle name but did have two sons, Jack and Clyde. O. C. died in 1969 in Oregon. He married Blanche Snyder in 1921 or 1922. Jack has a lot of his papers including his World War I military draft notice, selective service card, discharge paper, marriage license, and death certificate. But with all of this, there is nothing that references his father. If you know this line, or can help Jack find his roots, please contact him.


Alexandra's response:

Dear Jack,

I read in the Burdick newsletter this morning that you were seeking info on the parentage of Ocie ďOCĒ Burdick. I am a retired professional genealogist and thought Iíd take a look for you.

Please forgive me if I am just re-hashing information you already know.

As you likely know, OCís WWII draft card states that he was born in Texas in Jun 1891.

In the 1900 US Census for the Justice Precinct in Wood County (later this precinct was in Kaufman County), Texas, Ocie, his brother Clyde and sister Ollie are all living with their mother Ellen Burdick who was widowed. See attached census. It shows that Ellen was born abt 1878. Her brother George Roberts is living with her as well, so that is how we can ascertain a maiden name of Roberts. However, one researcher on Ancestry has her surname as Roberson, daughter of William Roberson (b.1843), that researcher cites the 1880 Census for Precinct 4 of Wood County Texas (attached). I tend to agree that the surname may have been Roberson. If you look at the 1900 census, living next door to Ellen Burdick is Mary Voorhees whose brother is name Roberson. I bet these two family groups were closely related (siblings). In 1880, William Roberson did indeed have girls named Ellen V. and Mary (Mary was his step daughter). The 1910 Census, has Ellenís first two initials. E.V. So I believe her full maiden name was Ellen V. Roberson.

The 1900 census states that OCís father was born in Alabama and his mother was born in Texas. But, in the 1910 Census, it states his father was born in Louisiana.

The widowed Ellen married William Hanesville Burkett and they can be found in the 1910 and 1920 censuses (see attached). Her son Clyde sometimes went by Burkett, but on legal documents, like his WWI draft card and his motherís and his own death certificates, it clearly states his name was Clyde Burdick/Birdick.

((( Clyde Jackson Burdick World War I Registration Card )))

If we follow OCís brother Clyde Burdick, born in Texas in 1900, we find that he is listed as Clyde Burdick, Jr. in the 1940 Census for Justice Precinct. If this is indeed ďJrĒ, it might infer his fatherís name was Clyde Burdick Sr. But, we also know that Clydeís middle name was Jackson. See below.

((( 1940 Census for Justice Precinct listing Clyde Burdick Jr. )))

According to his death certificate, Clyde Jackson Burdick was never married. He died in 1979, and the friend that reported his death did not know his parentsí names.

Attached is Ocieís mother Ellenís 1940 death certificate. Youíll see that Clyde Burdick was the informant.

Ocieís sister Ollie married William Bailey and they are living in Kaufman County, TX in 1920. They had a daughter Willa Mae Bailey (1913-2005). I canít seem to find anything on Ollie after that. If you could figure out what happened to Ollie and find her death certificate, it might state who her father was.

Also, as a possible lead you may want to research: in the same 1900 census for Justice Precinct is the household of an Otis Burdick (full name James Otis Burdick) born abt 1873 in Texas. 20 years previously, he can be found in the 1880 census in Tarrant, TX with his parents Benjamin F. & Mary M. Burdick. Perhaps this family is somehow related to yours. Iíve attached this 1880 census as well.

So, the only evidence I can show for Ocieís fatherís name would be that his name may have been Clyde Burdick, Sr. The censuses place his birth in Alabama or Louisiana. In Louisiana, there was a William Clyde Burdick (b.1876 in Cattaraugus NY) who registered for the draft in New Orleans in 1917. Itís possible this man could be the father Ė and perhaps left his wife. I have seen a number of cases where women claim widowhood when the husband is still alive Ė but has left the family. Itís a long shot. But you may want to look into this man.

I hope something here is of help. Good luck with your search!

Kind Regards,


Kim's response:

Ocieís father is Jack!

Jack Burdock in the Texas, County Marriages, 1817-1965:

Name: Jack Burdock
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 25 Oct 1896
Marriage Place: Wood, Texas, USA
Spouse: Ellen Roberson
Film Number: 001632007

Nathan Joshua Burdick - A Successful Search

Researcher: Homer 'Bud' Burdick (
Posted: October, 2017

(It was over 2 years ago when Bud contacted me looking for his Burdick connection. He knew his line of descent from his gg-grandfather, "Nathaniel" Burdick, but could not find his ggg-grandfather. After 2 years of searching Bud has broken through his brick wall, and I wanted to share it with you. It is yet another example of how opening your mind to unlikely possibilities and seeking help from every imaginable source can pay off. -- HB)

Original post in the Fall 2015 Newsletter:

Homer also has some exciting news about the Burdick family. We all know about Robert Burdick immigrating to Rhode Island in 1651, but did you know there were other Burdicks who arrived after that? Homer is the descendant of one of those immigrants, specifically his gg-grandfather Nathaniel Burdick. The story passed down in Homer's family is that Nathaniel's first wife died during childbirth on the ship enroute to America and that he took an Indian maiden as his second wife. He is supposedly listed as Scottish-Irish. Homer estimates Nathaniel arrived around 1820-1825, as his first child was born in 1827. If anyone knows more about or can substantiate this important finding please contact us. If anyone knows where ships' registries and manifests from this era can be found that would also be helpful.

Bud's latest findings:

My search has taken a turn for the better. You may recall my searching for my gg-grandfather, whom I had assumed was named Nathaniel, and had come to America separately from being descended from Robert Burdick. But here's what I now have regarding my Burdick ancestry.

A family legend tells that my gg-grandmother was a Native American, which would make me 1/16 Indian. I thought that if I could verify that, it would be an interesting fact to mention in my family history. During my search, I came in contact with several distant cousins who were performing the same search. These contacts provided enlightening information and fascinating stories. Our grandparents or g-grandparents were siblings, all children of my g-grandfather, Nathan Burdick.

Somehow, I got the idea that his father was named Nathaniel Burdick, and that Nathaniel was married to a Native American. My search stopped with Nathan Burdick, born 1827, in Frewsburg, NY as I found no records of a Nathaniel, his father.

With help from the historian at the Fenton Museum in Jamestown, NY I have a copy of the 1850 census which listed a Joshua, age 21, Nathan 26, and Philena, age 47, and a Susan, age 10. I assumed Nathan and Joshua were brothers. But the thought was advanced that since Joshua was listed first, as is the custom for the head of household, Joshua could be Nathan's father.

Thanks to Donna Bowman and her sisters it fit that if Joshua's age was entered incorrectly, or the years had faded the ink, it could read age 51 which would make Joshua Nathan's father and Philena's husband.

It is common that when father and son have the same name one will use his middle name. Thus Nathan Joshua became Joshua. My Dad was Robert and my brother is also Robert, so Dad went by Robert and my brother was called Bill.

Further searching thru the Mormon service verified that Nathan Joshua was born in 1796, and lived in Frewsburg in 1850. Nathan Joshua evidently went by Joshua, and his son by Nathan. Over the years, ages were recorded off by a couple years, and probably nicknames were also used.

Nathan Joshua, and his father Adam were born in Hopkinton, 1759, and 1796, respectively, and moved to Herkimer co. NY, and later to Frewsburg, NY. Son Nathan, b. 1827, moved from Frewsburg, to Forest County, Pa, and raised 13 children. During my search, I have come in e mail contact with several distant cousins whose grandparents were siblings of my grandparent, involved in the same search, and with enlightening information.. Also some fascinating stories.

The upshot is, now thanks to Donna's computer prowess, we have our ancestry traced back to the Robert Burdick of Rhode Island:

Robert Burdick and Ruth Hubbard
Hubbard Burdick and Hannah Maxson
Nathan Burdick and Goodeth Maxson
Adam Burdick and Hannah Burdick
Nathan Joshua Burdick and Philena Harrington
Nathan and Margaret Patterson (my g-grandparents)

In one search it was found that a Joshua Burdick owned land in the Frewsburg, NY area, but he would be too old to be Nathan's brother. So this is more evidence that Joshua was Nathan's father. In the 1840 census of Carroll Twp, page 97, lists Joshua Burdick. On the same page is Nathaniel Hubbard. Those two names seem like too much of a coincidence. Could it be Joshua came to Western NY following an uncle, perhaps?

Another finding is that Joshua's first wife died shortly after giving birth, and the baby was Nathan. So Philena was Nathan's step-mother, and Nathan was not part Indian, nor would Nathan's descendants be.

New questions have now been raised. Where was Joshua born? What brought him to western New York? What was his first wife's name? What was the motive for moving to Pennsylvania? Was it possibly to work in the oil fields, or lumbering or the railroad? Most of Nathan's sons worked in those fields.

There was (or is) a pocket of Burdicks in the Alfred/Angelica area of New York. I checked with a person there but no connection to my family was evident.

My father was Robert Burdick Jr - son of Nathan's eldest. He worked in an uncle's (George ?) saw mill in his youth and had his own saw mill in Lickingville and later in Marshburg, near Custer City.

I have lots of anecdotes regarding my branch of the tree, but this is the basics of what I and others have collected.

I would be interested to hear how other families may be connected. I am still trying to close up gaps in details and would appreciate any clarification you might have to offer.

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