Monday, December 22, 2014

Leona May Hagar - Widow of John W. Williams

My G-Grandmother, Leona May Hagar, was born 25-Jan-1862 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.  She is the daughter of John Arthur Hagar and Ellen Elizabeth Reeves.  She is the G-Granddaughter of Thomas Bilbo; one of the early settlers of Calcasieu Parish for which Bilbo Street in Lake Charles is named.

Before her marriage to James Jefferson “Jeff’ Burnett, Leona was married to John W. Williams. John was born in 24-Mar-1859 in Calcasieu Parish.  John is the son of Isaac Williams and Martha Ann Reeves. 

John Williams and Leona Hagar share the same grandmother, Nancy Anne Bilbo, but not the same grandfather.  Their mothers, Ellen and Martha, were half-sisters making John and Leona half-first cousins.  This could explain why they obtained their marriage license in Orange County, Texas instead of Calcasieu Parish were they resided.  Though Orange County is in Texas, it shares a common border with Calcasieu Parish – just across the Sabine River.  Possibly Louisiana law in the 1880’s did not allow for this close of kin to be wed?

If you look closely at the marriage certificate you will see that Minister G.W. Reeves married the couple. George W. Reeves would someday become Leona’s brother in law – George was married to Jeff Burnett’s sister Melinda.  A copy of the marriage certificate can be found below.

John and Leona had one son, John Edward “Ed” Williams, 03-Jul-1882 to 18-Mar-1975.  Ed Williams never married.  

John W. Williams died 03-Aug-1882 and is thought to be buried in Bilbo Cemetery in Lake Charles.

In 1884 widowed Leona married Jeff Burnett and they raised a family in the Ragley area.  Leona died 27-Jun-1931 and is buried next to Jeff Burnett in Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley.
John William and Leona Hagar Marriage Certificate, on file at Orange County, TX Clerk of Courts
John "Ed" Williams

Friday, December 12, 2014

Alfred Burnett - Ferry Operator

In the 1860’s Alfred Burnett operated a ferry on the Calcasieu River.  The ferry was located in what is now known as the Burnett Bay area of the Calcasieu River.  Burnett Bay is located about 2 miles east of Moss Bluff, Louisiana.  It is believed that the Alfred Burnett homeplace was located near the ferry landing. 

In the July Term 1863 Extra Session of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury minutes the following information can be found,   “Alfred Burnett granted privilege of keeping a ferry across Calcasieu river at his residence on condition he keeps the road in good condition from the landing to the Pine Woods near Marion, within a limit of 3 miles above and 3 miles below said ferry.[1]    

Marion was once the Calcasieu Parish seat and was located near Old Town Bay on the Calcasieu River. The road that Alfred Burnett was to keep is likely what is now known as Goos Ferry Road - Old Town Road on the south side of the river and Campfire Road on the north side of the river.

During the 1800’s the only way to cross over the Calcasieu River was by ferry and there were several ferries in the vicinity of Lake Charles.  Perkins Ferry which there is a park named for, Moss Ferry for which we get the town name of Moss Bluff and Goos Ferry for which Goos Ferry road is named.

In 1863 the Police Jury established the ferriage rates to be:1

Wagon or ox cart, $2.00

Horse & buggy, $1.50

Man & horse, $0.50

Lead horse, $0.75

Swimming cattle, $.06 per head

In the 1840’s Alfred Burnett’s father in law, William Seaman operated a ferry across Black Bay in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Alfred Burnett and family lived in Biloxi during this time period so is stands to reason he could have learned the ferry business while in Mississippi. 

The following photo was furnished by Molly Herrin who is a descendant of Sherrod Burnett.  Sherrod and wife Mary are standing on the right side of the porch.
Burnett Homeplace on Burnett Bay, Calcasieu River.

[1] Maude Reid Scrapbook volume 1 page 140. From microfilm at Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library, Lake Charles, LA.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The History of the Leo Burnett Homeplace

I have been told my paternal grandparent’s homeplace has been occupied by my Burnett family for a long time.  The homeplace is located on 20 acres of land in Ragley, Louisiana and is known for its large live oak trees, several which could be 100 years old. 

Leo Burnett Homeplace, photo by Michael Burnett, 09-Aug-14.

Being inquisitive of the properties history, I have now located the conveyance records documenting this property ownership since the US Government acquired it from France as part of Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

The legal description of the home site is the east half of the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 6S, Range 9W of Louisiana meridian. The land is surveyed in the Public Land Survey System which you can read more about here.  After the land was purchased from France, the first US Government survey of the area was conducted in 1833. A digital image of the 1833 survey can be found online by clicking here

In 1890 William G. Mitchell acquired this land in a purchase of 162 acres from the US Government.    He paid $16.77 or about 10 cents per acre![1]   The US land patent for the 162 acres can be found here.
Tract Book showing purchase of land from US Government. See note 1.
William Mitchell and wife Mary E. Flurry, Find A Grave Memorial# 6667382, photo provided by Cheryl Mitchell Murray.

In 1905 William sold 20 of these 162 acres to his son Henry H. Mitchell for $30.00.[2]
Henry Mitchell and wife "Bash" Cooley, from Cheryl Mitchell Murray's Ancestry "Murray/Mitchell Family Tree".

In 1913, Henry H. Mitchell sold the same 20 acres to Frank A. Hodges for $150.00.[3]  There is a connection between Frank Hodges and Henry Mitchell –Frank Hodges sister Annie Isabel was married to Henry Mitchell’s brother, Samuel F. Mitchell. The conveyance records show the land sale included “all buildings and improvements” – it is unknown if there was a house on this land at the time of the sale.  Frank and his wife Beulah Burnett Hodges raised a family at this location.  Lydia Mae Hodges Anderson, their youngest daughter, recalls that of she and all of her siblings were born in this house.

Frank Hodges and wife Beulah V. Burnett.

In 1932, Leo E. Burnett, my grandfather, purchased the 20 acres from Frank Hodges.  This purchase also included an additional 10 acres, known as the "big field".  The cost for these 30 acres was $550.00.[4] There is also a connection between Frank Hodges and Leo Burnett – they were brother-in-laws.   This homeplace is where Leo and Ruby Hollingsworth Burnett raised a family and three of their four children were born in this home. The original house has been improved upon, but it is still lived in today by Jo Ann and Linda Burnett – daughters of Leo Burnett and Ruby Hollingsworth. 

Leo Burnett and wife Ruby V. Hollingsworth.
Leo Burnett in front of homeplace, circa 1960.
Leo Burnett Homeplace, photo by Michael Burnett, circa 1976.
Leo Burnett Homeplace, photo by Michael Burnett, 09-Aug-14.

[1] State of Louisiana, Division of Administration, Office of State Lands, U.S. Tract Book, Volume 20, Page 080, Opelousas District, Online Record, Accessed 29-Nov-14. 

[2] Beauregard Parish, LA Courthouse, Land Records, Book 5, Page 263.

[3] Beauregard Parish, LA Courthouse, Land Records, Book 6A, Page 424-425.

[4] Beauregard Parish, LA Courthouse, Land Records, Book 44, Page 574.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leaving a Legacy

Alfred and Julia Burnett had 10 children, 51 known grandchildren and at least 180 great grandchildren.  There are no children or grandchildren still living today.

The known living great grandchildren are:
1.       Mid D. Burnett

2.       Roy Hodges

3.       Lydia Mae Hodges Anderson

4.       Jake Andrus

5.       Pete Andrus

6.       Melva Jane Burnett Waldrip

7.       Travis Burnett

8.       JoAnn Burnett

9.       Linda Burnett

If I have missed any of the living great grandchildren please let me know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ruby Virginia Hollingsworth Burnett - Born Nov 19, 1901

Happy Birthday to my paternal grandmother, Ruby Virginia Hollingsworth Burnett.  Ruby was the daughter of Augustus H. Hollingsworth and Ida Ann Lyles.  She was the wife of Leo E. Burnett and was born in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana November 19, 1901.

Ruby was known to recite the poem “Jonah and the Whale”.  Click below  to hear her recite the poem. 

Ruby Virginia Hollingsworth Burnett
19-Nov-1901 to 07-Mar-1990

Saturday, November 15, 2014

James Jefferson Burnett - Tenth Child of Alfred and Juila Burnett

James Jefferson “Jeff” Burnett was born in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana on 10-Mar-1865 - one month before the Civil War ended.  He is the tenth and last child Alfred and Julia Burnett.  When Jeff was three years old his father died and his mother died when he was 15.  After his mother’s death, it is thought he lived with his brother Sherrod.

In 1884[1] Jeff married Leona Mae Hagar, born 25-Jan-1862 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.  Leona was a widow and the daughter of John Arthur Hagar and Ellen Elizabeth Reeves. She had previously been married to John W. Williams who died in 1882. John and Leona had one son, John Edward “Ed” Williams.

 Jeff and Leona had 9 children together.

1.    Lillie Ann Burnett, 06-Nov-1884 to 19-Jun-1910, wife of William Eugene “Bud” Andrus.

2.    Harvey Elbert “Ebb” Burnett, 19-Sep-1887 to 29-Oct-1964, husband of Maude Rena Hodges.

3.    Julia Elizabeth “Bessie” Burnett, 03-Dec-1889 to 10-Oct-1970, wife of Samuel Henry Hodges.

4.    William Alfred Burnett, 31-Dec-1892 to 11-Sep-1965, husband of Lola Laura Andrus.

5.    Beulah Virginia Burnett, 19-Feb-1893 to 20-Oct-1968, wife of Frank Augustus Hodges.

6.    Annie Eudora “Dora” Burnett, 31-Jul-1896 to 13-Oct-1975, wife of Anderson Stephen Andrus.

7.    James Jefferson Burnett Jr., 23-Sep-1898 to 24-Oct-1939, husband of Mary Ann Reeves.

8.    Jesse Adolph Burnett, 17-Oct-1900 to 26-Oct-1958, husband of Laura LeNora “Nora” Hodges.

9.    Leo Ellison Burnett, 13-Sep-1904 to 05-Oct-1966, husband of Ruby Virginia Hollingsworth.

Also in the household was Leona’s son from her previous marriage.

10.  John “Ed” Williams, 03-Jul-1882 to 18-Mar-1975.  Ed Williams never married.  

Jeff and Leona made their home in Kernan, in what was then Calcasieu Parish, LA.  Today, Kernan is in Beauregard Parish.  In 1889 Jeff purchased 162 acres near the intersection of Bill Gilbert Road and Sid Cormier Road.   Jeff and Leona raised a family on this land and made a living by farming and raising livestock.  An 1880 map of this area shows the home place to be near or once where the Thomas Gilley farm was located; a map of this time period can be found by clicking here

Jeff and Leona were founding members of Bear Pentecostal Church where Jeff held the office of deacon.

Leona died 27-Jun-1931 and Jeff lived for another 5 years dying on 25-Feb-1936.  They are buried next to each other in Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley, LA.  Interesting note – all 10 of Jeff and Leona’s children are also buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

I have located a copy of Leona’s death certificate, however Jeff’s death certificate is not on file in Louisiana Secretary of State’s archives.

Four of Jeff and Leona’s children married children of William Henry Hodges and Laura Jane White.  Another three of their children married children of James Allen Andrus and Frances Elizabeth Smith.   This created many double first cousins.  The Andrus and Burnett homes were less than one mile apart which helps explain the relationship between these two families.

Son, “Ed” Williams had one leg.  It is believed, as a young man Ed lost the leg in a hunting accident.  Another son, James Jefferson Jr. was killed at age 41 in a sawmill accident.  Daughter, Lillie died at the age of 26; it is unknown what caused her to pass at such a young age.

The succession of James Jefferson Burnett is on file at the Beauregard Parish Clerk of Court’s office.  I will address the succession and other interesting facts about Jeff Burnett in a subsequent blog.

Jeff and Leona Burnett, scan of photo provided by grandson, Roy Hodges.

J.J. Burnett, Magnolia Cemetery, Ragley, LA, Photo by Michael Burnett 29-Mar-13.
Leona Hagar Burnett, Magnolia Cemetery, Ragley, LA, Photo by Michael Burnett, 29-Mar-13.
Jeff and Leona Burnett gravesite, Magnolia Cemetery, Ragley, LA, photo by Michael Burnett 11-Oct-14.
Leona Hagar Burnett Death Certificate

[1] Year: 1900; Census Place: Barnes Creek, Calcasieu, Louisiana; Roll: 561; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1240561.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Granny and the Bull - Burnett Family Memories

Besides my attempt to document our Burnett family genealogy and history, there are other Burnett descendants who are writing and collecting memories of our ancestors.   For many years Katherine Winstead Martin has been archiving these family stories.  Katherine is the daughter of Betty Joyce Burnett Winstead, granddaughter of Allen Arnold Burnett, G-granddaughter of William Lander Burnett, GG-granddaughter of Loren Elbert Burnett and GGG-granddaughter of Alfred Burnett - making her my 3rd cousins once removed.
Katherine has been gracious enough to share some of these memories. If anyone would like to know more about these stories or perhaps send some of their own memories to Katherine; let me know and I will forward her contact information.  Below are some memories of Katherine’s grandparents, Allen Arnold Burnett and Gladys Mae Green Burnett.

Granny (Gladys Mae Green Burnett) and the Bull
Don and Kathy Martin, Granddaughter

One fall day we went to visit Granny. She was in her 80s. She would usually greet us on the front porch, but on this day we had to knock on the door. She hollered for us to come in. She was sitting in one of her glider rocking chairs, huddled under a shawl. Her hips were hurting so bad that Kathy went into the kitchen and cooked supper. Now, you know that she was really feeling bad, because, she never sits down while someone else does the cooking. The whole time we were visiting, she was moaning about her hip. We served her supper right there in the rocking chair. She could not even make it to the table. After supper we cleaned the kitchen and visited with her until early evening, just before dark. I remember thinking, how glad we were to be there to care for her while she was not feeling well. When we were getting ready to leave, we noticed that Randy's bull had jumped the cattle guard. We went back into the house to tell Granny and call Randy. Well, there was no need to bother Randy for something like that. Granny flung her shawl down, grabbed her white boots, quickly stuffed her feet into them, and ran out of the house. She ran down that bull and chased him back across the cattle guard. Yes, we sure were glad that we were there to take care of her while she was not feeling well.

Granny (Gladys Mae Green Burnett) and the Woodpecker
Don and Kathy Martin, Granddaughter

September 1990, while we were visiting with Granny, she saw a woodpecker pecking on one of her Japanese Plum Trees. She calmly got up from her chair on the porch and went inside. Granny came back with her shotgun. When I saw Granny coming with that gun, I grabbed my stomach, thinking that Margaret would jump and kick. I was 8 ½ months pregnant with her at the time. Granny stood on the porch and started shooting at that woodpecker. She missed, and Margaret didn't even flinch. Of course, Margaret still doesn't move unless it is absolutely necessary. We were so thankful that she missed our brand new van, too. The woodpecker wisely chose not to return that day.

I Remember Granny, Gladys Mae Green Burnett, and Grandpa, Allen Arnold Burnett
Carolyn Elizabeth Winstead Gresham, Granddaughter

·         I remember eating watermelon and sugar cane on the porch.
·         Mixing butter into my cane syrup with a fork and putting it on my biscuit.
·         Biscuits always on the table. (I have Granny's flour sifter and biscuit bowl.) The flour sifter was stored in the biscuit bowl. The biscuit bowl was always stored in the flour bucket.
·         As a small child, I remember visiting them every Saturday. Grandpa would be at the Sale Barn. Everyone else would be visiting on the porch.
·         Every time it was time to go home, I would stand on the porch and wave bye to my parents until Daddy made me get in the car.
·         The only times that I saw Granny in pants was when it was very cold in the winter. She would put on a pair of Grandpa's pants to go out to the barn early in the morning.
·         Grandpa always wore overalls and a long sleeved khaki shirt, except when he went to church.
·         I remember sitting on the porch, trying to spit through my fingers like Grandpa did. I wasn't very good at it.
·         I remember walking to the shed out behind the house with Grandpa. He had a ‘banny’ (That’s what they called it anyway. It was actually a Bantam) rooster that would attack you. When it attacked him, he hit it on the head with a pipe wrench. That stupid rooster attacked him again. He whacked it again with the pipe wrench. It took that dumb rooster 3 times before he left Grandpa alone.
·         Grandpa taught me how a horse bites corn.
·         If you walked too close to Grandpa at the end of the day, he would grab you and "beard" you. He would rub your face with his whiskers until your face was red.
·         He told us about when he was out in the woods one day when a wasp stung his lip. His lip did not even swell because of the tobacco (or tabaccer as he would say) juice that was in his mouth.
·         I remember all of Granny's funny little sayings:
o   Butter, butter makes you stutter.
o   My nose itches, I smell peaches. Someone is coming with a hole in their britches.
o   What fur? Cat fur, to make kitten mittens. Old cat dies, you can have a pair.
·         I remember the songs that she would sing:
o   The choo choo train was a funny old thing and he huffed and he puffed like a big fat man. He'd toot his whistle, and he'd blow his horn, and his wheels go as fast as they can. Toot! Toot! Whoo! Whoo! Chugga, Chugga! I love that choo choo train.
o   I like to help my mama when she cleaned my room. I like to help her sweep the floor with my little red broom, but sometimes my broom was a pony strong and through the house we'd gallop along. Giddy-up, giddy-up. Whoa. whoa, whoa.
o   I am in the Lord's Army
·         I remember Granny telling us about Robert sitting under the table singing when he was barely able to talk. He was singing "Doy, Doy, Doy" He had his hand over his finger like he was singing "This Little Light of Mine". He was confusing the 2 songs "I Have the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart" with "This Little Light of Mine"
·         Granny would always fix whoever visiting (well at least her Grandkids), their favorite foods. Mine was smother fried, stewed, mashed, or any kind of potatoes.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Isabelle Burnett - Ninth Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Isabelle or Isabel was the ninth child of Alfred and Julia Burnett.  She was born in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana about 1859.  Isabella can be found living in her parent’s household in the 1860 and 1870 US Census.

The 1870 census indicates she could not read or write; not uncommon for that era, but still interesting for a ten year old.  After 1870 no trace of Isabelle can be found.  Maybe she died as a youth?
1870 Federal Census

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ben - My 4th Cousin

Remember Alfred and Julia Burnett?  Julia Jane Seaman, the matriarch of our Louisiana Burnett family, is the daughter of William Christopher Seaman.  The Seaman line is fairly well documented and I have input these ancestors into my online family tree.

In conjunction with the Family Search tree, there is a free online utility named Relative Finder.  This utility, developed by Brigham Young University, lets one search their family tree and determine if they are related to famous folks.

I used the Relative Finder tool to generate the below chart which shows how we are supposedly related to Benjamin Franklin!  For those that are counting, Ben would be my 4th cousin 6 times removed.  Apparently, we are also related to President Calvin Coolidge - 10th cousins once removed.   

The further back in time you go the more dubious the Relative Finder tool becomes.  Through my paternal grandmothers family, Relative Finder shows I am a sixth cousin 16 times removed to King Henry VIII.  Who would have thought?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Elizabeth Burnett - Eighth Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Elizabeth Burnett is the eighth child of Alfred and Julia Burnett and was their first child born in Louisiana.   She was born January 1856 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

1n 1871 at age 15 she married Thomas Jefferson Gilley.[1]  Thomas was born 31-Oct-1848 and is the seventh child of George Gilley and Pheriba Davis.

According to the 1910 census[2], Thomas and Elizabeth had 13 children of which 8 were living in 1910. (Reported by Thomas, as he was a widower in 1910)

 The known children are as follows.

1.    Lydia Gilley, 24-Dec-1871 to 05-Apr 1925, wife of Asa C. Koone.

2.    Thomas Jefferson Gilley, 18-May-1874 to 23-Oct-1962, husband of Ila Dobie.

3.    M.F. Gilley, 1877 to Oct-1879, died as a young child.

4.    Elpheus Gilley, Aug 1878 to ?

5.    Virginia Gilley, 1879 to ?

6.    Ida Malora Gilley, 1881 to 11-Apr-1969, wife of Robert A. Hightower.

7.    Wilma Lavonia Gilley, 07-Sep-1882 to 10-Jan-1970, wife of William Charles Fowler.

8.    Elbert Cornelius Gilley, 29-Oct-1884 to 03-Jan-1961, husband of Vera Simpler.

9.    Grover Cleveland Gilley, 10-Nov-1886 to 15-Dec-1978, husband of Catherine Johnson.  Second marriage to Marie Melissa Carley.

10.  Nolia Mae Gilley, Apr-1892 to 01-Jul-1950, wife of Robert Henry Darby.

11.  Charles C. Gilley, 21-Jan-1895 to 28-May-1935, thought to have never married.

After they married, Thomas and Elizabeth made their home in the Barnes Creek area of Calcasieu Parish, LA.  Sometime between 1892 and 1895 the family moved to the El Campo area of Wharton County, Texas.  El Campo is located about 70 miles southwest of Houston, Texas.

In 1898 Thomas purchased land in El Campo, Texas and sold the land in 1912.[3] The current address of this property is 612 E Hillje, El Campo Texas, which is a vacant lot.  It is unknown if the family once resided on this lot.  If anyone is interested, I have a copy of the deeds which I can email.

Elizabeth died between 1900 and 1910.  The date and location of Elizabeth’s death is not known.  Some believe she is buried in El Campo others feel she died in San Antonio.   After Elizabeth’s death, Thomas lived near his children in San Antonio, Texas and then in Los Angles California.  Thomas died 02-Jul-1926 and is buried in San Gabriel Cemetery in Los Angeles County, CA.

The following family photo was provided by Laurie Sutton who is a direct descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth Gilley. Photo circa 1897.
Back row L-R, Ida, Ephesus?, Thomas Jefferson Jr., Wilma
Center Row L-R, Elizabeth, Grover, Thomas Jefferson Sr.
Front Row L-R, Charles (in lap), Nolia, Elbert

[1] Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Wharton, Texas; Roll: 1678; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1241678.
[2] Year: 1910; Census Place: San Antonio Ward 1, Bexar, Texas; Roll: T624_1531; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0005; FHL microfilm: 1375544.
[3] Wharton County, TX deed book Volume W, page 149, Volume 32 page 423.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rev. George W. Reeves - Husband of Melinda Burnett

Rev. George W. Reeves was married to Melinda Burnett and is the son-in-law of Alfred and Julia Burnett.  His obituary states his funeral was held at Broad Street Methodist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  This church is now known as the First United Methodist Church.

I contacted the church to see if they had any record of Rev. George W. Reeves.   Melinda Losey, Guest & Membership Care Coordinator, responded and was extremely helpful in my search for information.  There is a church history book compiled by members titled “A History of the First Methodist Church”.[1]  This book contains information about George Reeves; an excerpt can be found below.  The book goes on to state that George Reeves was a charter member of the First Methodist Church and a member of Reeves Chapel.

"A History of the First Methodist Church", page 22
In the church library there is a photo of each of their past ministers.  Below is the photo of Rev. George W. Reeves that is hanging in the church library.

Photo Displayed in First Methodist Church Library

There are discrepancies on where George W. Reeves is buried.  During a 1971 cemetery reading  of the Orange Grove/Graceland Cemetery in Lake Charles a tombstone for George W. Reeves was located.  As well, during a 1994 cemetery reading of Richie Cemetery in Moss Bluff, Louisiana a tombstone for G.W. Reeves was located. Both tombstones have the correct birth and death date.  His death certificate states he was buried in Lake Charles.  There are many Reeves buried in Ritchie Cemetery and it is possible he is buried with family in Moss Bluff. 

George W. Reeves Death Certificate

[1] First United Methodist Church, A History of the First Methodist Church Lake Charles, Louisiana 1875-1965”, author and date unknown.

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 Ragley Heritage and Timber Festival

The Annual Ragley Heritage & Timber Festival will be held this coming Saturday at the Historical Society Park in Ragley, Louisiana. 

For those interested in our Burnett Family History – Ragley and the surrounding community is ‘ground zero’ for our Burnett family. 

The Historical Society has printed several books about the Pioneer Families of Ragley and the History of Ragley.  These books will be available for purchase at the Festival.  The Festival flyer can be found below.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Loren Elbert Burnett - Seventh Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Loren Elbert Burnett is the seventh child of Alfred and Julia Burnett.  In 1853 Loren was born in Biloxi, Mississippi.  At the age of two he moved with his family to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

Loren Elbert Burnett had a first cousin named Loren Elbert Seaman.  Research is needed to determine if other Loren Elbert’s can be found up the family tree. 

In 1875 Loren married 15 year old Margaret L. Cooper.  Margaret was born 30-Nov-1860 and is the daughter of Daniel Cooper and Nancy Crumpler.

Loren and Margaret had 5 children.

1.    William Lander Burnett, 09-Jan-1878 to 03-Jun-1945.  Husband of Missouri Irene Gray.  Second marriage to Aments Clement.

2.    Ellen Burnett, Jan 1880 to ?  Likely to have died at a young age.

3.    Loren Fred Burnett, 22-Jan-1881 to 19-Feb-1949.  Husband of Margaret Zelma “Nim” Ware.

4.    Laura L. Burnett, Aug-1886 to 1966. Wife of Lewis Smith.

5.    Walter Jefferson Burnett, 28-Dec-1892 to 11-Feb-1983.  Husband of Josie Lee Dill.

Loren was a farmer and from 1880 to at least 1910 can be found residing in the Sugartown/Dry Creek area of Old Imperial Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. In 1912 Beauregard Parish was carved from Calcasieu Parish; after that, Loren can be located in Beauregard Parish Ward 6 residing near his nephew Luther Burnett.   Present day Ward 6 is the Ragley area.

Loren’s actual birth date is unknown.  His death certificate shows a birth of 04-Jul-1846, and tombstone lists birth as 04-Jul-1848.  However, he is not found in 1850 census and the 1860 census lists him as being 7 years old.  Being born in 1853 is likely the most accurate date because this is the year his parents provided when the household was counted in the 1860 census.

Loren died 27 or 28th of August 1923.  Margaret lived until 18-Feb-1937 and is buried next to Loren in the Dry Creek Cemetery in Dry Creek, Louisiana.   Next to Loren and Margaret’s grave, there are two tombstones that cannot be identified.  These could have been children of Loren and Margaret’s that died young.    More information about these tombstones can be found in the blog Dry Creek Cemetery – Una and Ella Burnett.

Interesting note - the 1920 census shows a 3 year old female granddaughter named Ana living with Loren and Margaret.   Ana was the daughter of their son William Lander Burnett.   Ana’s birth year coincides with the death year of her mother Missouri Burnett.  Possibly, her mother died during childbirth.  At age 14 Ana was still living in her grandmother’s household and likely was raised by her grandparents.  

Even though Loren lived until 1920’s, no photographs of Loren or Margaret can be located.  
Loren Elbert Burnett Tombstone, photo by Michael Burnett 2002.
Margaret L Burnett Tombstone, photo by Michael Burnett 2002.
Loren Elbert Burnett Death Certificate.