Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dorinda Burnett – Fourth Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Dorinda Burnett is the fourth child of Alfred and Julia Burnett.  She was born 17-Dec-1845 in Biloxi, Mississippi and lived there until about ten years of age.  About 1855, she moved with her family to Calcasieu, Parish Louisiana.

In 1873 Dorinda married John Archibald Morrogh.  John, 05-Dec-1846 to 17-Sep-1921, was born in Calcasieu Parish and is the son of John Francis Morrogh and Leonise Corbello.  John and Dorinda had three children.

  1. John Francis Morrogh, 14-Oct-1874 to 26-Sep-1950, husband of Lodora Fannett.
  2. Alfred Alexander Morrogh, 20-Mar-1882 to 20-Jul-1939, husband of Nora M. McMain.
  3. William Henry Morrogh, 28-Oct-1883 to 11 Nov-1913, husband of Mabel G. Nelson.

John was a Civil War veteran.  In 1863, at age 16, John left home and joined the Confederate Army.  John served in Company “A” in Waller's Battalion of the Texas Mounted Volunteers.   John served until the end of the war and surrendered at the Little Brazos River in Robertson County, Texas.

John was a carpenter by trade. From census and city directory records we find that his sons followed in his footsteps and were also carpenters.

John and Dorinda lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana from the time they were married until some point before 1900.  During their time in Lake Charles, Dorinda’s mother Julia Jane Burnett died in their home; though we do not know if Julia was living with Dorinda at the time of her death.   The 1900  Federal census finds John and Dorinda now living in St. Landry Parish.   

By 1907, the family was back in Lake Charles.  During 1907 John applied for a military pension stating he could not work due to chronic soreness in his leg.  This pain was caused by his leg being crushed in a mill accident.  It is unknown if the pension was granted.  The pension application can be found below and contains a gold mine of family information.  Thank you, Debbie Morrogh for sharing.

By 1913 John and Dorinda were living in Houston, Texas where Dorinda died on 17-May-1913. Dorinda is buried in Glenwood Cemetery near downtown Houston.  Her unmarked grave is located in the New Strangers Rest section in lot 277.  In the Glenwood Cemetery hand written records Dorinda's name was misspelled as Mrs. Mirinda Marragh. Her son William Henry Morrogh   is also buried in Glenwood in the same section – New Strangers Rest plot 318. William's name was also misspelled in the records as William H. Marraugh.   I have contacted the cemetery and their records have now been updated with the correct spelling.  Also, I have also emailed them copies of Dorinda and William's death certificates.  The cemetery office has now opened files for these two interments.  Glenwood Cemetery is a large cemetery with many notable people buried there, among them are Howard Hughes, Denton Cooley and Roy Hofheinz.

The address listed on Dorinda’s Death Certificate is 3310 Center Street Chaneyville.  Chaneyville is another name for the sixth Ward in Houston, Texas.   In 1913 the sixth Ward was located to the west of downtown bordered on the north side by White Oak Bayou and on the south by Buffalo Bayou.   Today, Harper Alternate School is located at 3310 Center Street.

After Dorinda’s death, John A. Morrogh can be found living near his sons.  In the 1920 census John is listed living with his son Alfred in New Orleans, Louisiana.  By 1921 he is in Beaumont, Texas near his son John F. Morrogh.   John A. Morrogh died 17-Sep-1921 in Beaumont TX.  He is buried in an unmarked plot at Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont, TX.[1]

Six months after Dorinda’s death, son William H. Morrogh was murdered in Houston, TX.  There is a newspaper account that tells of a Mrs. May Belle Cox shooting William, reportedly in self defense. [2]  The article goes on to say that William was divorced and they were engaged to marry.  This conflicts with Williams’s death certificate which shows he was married at the time of his death.

An interesting note about William – he is listed on his mother’s Death Certificate at the informant of her death.  Dorinda’s death certificate shows his address as 1616 Franklin Avenue in Houston.  Today, this address is a parking lot across the street from Minute Maid stadium.  Minute Maid stadium is where Houston Astros professional baseball team plays. 

John A. Morrogh Pension Application p.1

John A. Morrogh Pension Application p.2

John A. Morrogh Pension Application p.3

John A. Morrogh Pension Application p.4

[1] Jimmy Sparks. Magnolia Cemetery ,, personal communication, 14-May-14.

[2] “Houston Women On Trial for Killing Fiancee: Jury Named”, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 24-Mar-1914. Citation taken from, accessed 13-Sep-14.

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