Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Melinda Burnett - Second Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Melinda, sometimes spelled Malinda, is the second child of Alfred and Julia Burnett. Melinda was born in Biloxi, Mississippi around 1841 and lived there until about 1855 when her family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

She was likely named after her aunt, Melinda Seaman.
Melinda was married to George W. Reeves (25-Mar-1832 to 21-Feb-1916).  George was the eldest child of Isham Reeves and Nancy Bilbo.  George was born in Calcasieu Parish, LA and was a Civil War Veteran, Minister of the Gospel, Mason and a farmer.  They had two children, both girls.

1.       Nancy, 1867 – unknown.

2.       Jane (Apilony) 1869 – unknown.

From the 1870 and 1880 census records we find the George Reeves family living in close proximity to Melinda’s brother Sherrod and her sister Nancy’s families.  This was in the Barnes Creek region of Old Imperial Calcasieu Parish.

Melinda preceded her husband in death and died sometime between 1880 and 1900.
George is not listed in the 1895 Lake Charles City directory; however the 1900 census finds him living in Lake Charles.   By 1900 George was widowed the two daughters were no longer living in his household.  George is buried at Orange Grove cemetery in Lake Charles.  The gravesite of Melinda is unknown.

George Reeves
There are several inconsistencies in George’s obituary[1].  The marriage year of 1869 could be questioned because the 1870 census indicates they already have a 3 year old daughter.  George’s obituary also lists a surviving daughter as Mrs. Gilmore Harveson.  I can locate a Mr. Gilmore Harveson in Lake Charles during the early 1900’s, but his wife is named Ada.  Ada lists her parents as being born in Ohio.  More research is needed to confirm the connection between George Reeves and Mrs. Harveson.
Succession number 2430 of George Reeves was filed in Calcasieu Parish. Nephew, Virgil Reeves was appointed as administrator of the estate. 

Little else is known about Melinda Burnett.  Maybe a blog reader has some insight into this family?

[1] “George W. Reeves”, Lake Charles American Press, 22-Feb-1916, p. 1. Print


  1. Michael, since Melinda was Bilbo, I wonder if she could be buried in the Goos (the name rhymes with boss) Cemetery? It's a privately owned cemetery at the end of Shattuck Street in Lake Charles. The Bilbo family is one of the founding families of the town, and the Goos Cemetery is where many of them are buried. My husband and I are going home to LC in early October. If you like, I can check and see what info there is on who is buried there.

    1. Debby,

      Thanks for the great information. It is possible she is buried in the Goos cemetery. Her mother-in-law was a daughter of Thomas Biblo to which Bilbo Street in Lake Charles is named. There will be more about Thomas Bilbo in a future blog - his was an important figure in Mississippi and Louisiana during the early 1800;s.

  2. Okay, I may have found more info about Nancy Bilbo. Some one Ancestry has a Thomas Bilbo, b. 1776 d. 1846 in Lake Charles, LA. He was married to Ann Lawrence, b. 1788 d. 1871 in Lake Charles. One of their children was a Nancy Ann Bilbo, b. 1808 d. 1908 in Calcasieu Parish.

  3. You know, interestingly enough, I had someone contact us via 23andme about two weeks ago, that he is related to my husband, Jerry, somehow and he thought it would probably through a Reeves connection. I checked my database, and the only one with that name was a Charles Quintin Reeves, But, he married into the Gimnich side of our family, however, so not a Burnett and not George Reeves. I have not done research on Melinda's you did of Melinda's immediate familyy other than her, but, when I checked her hints today, I got exactly what you have already given us. Perhaps THAT is the Reeves who is my husband's connection with the 23 and me guy. Good lead! THANKS!