Friday, September 5, 2014

Nancy Burnett - Third Child of Alfred and Julia Burnett

Nancy Burnett is the third child of Alfred and Julia Burnett.  She was born in Biloxi, Mississippi about 1842.  In about 1855 she moved with her family to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

Nancy could have been named after one of her aunts, Nancy Seaman.
Sometime around 1860 Nancy married James Smith.  James was born in Louisiana about 1836 and is the third child of George Smith and Elizabeth Iles.  Nancy and James had one child.

1.            Sophronia Madora Smith, 11-Jul-1861 to 01-Jun-1928, wife of George Dolphus Gilley.[1]
James and Nancy appear in the 1860 US Census residing in Imperial Calcasieu Parish where  James lists his occupation as a teamster.  James disappeared sometime between 1861 and 1870. There are several James Smith's that died during the Civil War and are buried in Louisiana Civil War Cemeteries.  More research is needed to determine if one of these soldiers was the husband of Nancy.

After James died, Nancy married William C. Reeves. William was born in Calcasieu Parish and is the third child of Isham Reeves and Nancy Bilbo.  Nancy and William had five children.
1.            Joseph Allen, 19-Mar-1871 to 08-Oct-1935, husband of Clara Morgan.

2.            William Walter, 1874 to 1932, husband of Eliza Shuff.

3.            George Augustus, 1877 to 1932, husband of Mary Stack.

4.            Lillie, 01-Jul-1879 to 02-Sep-1935, wife of Joseph Myers.

5.            Fred, 18-Nov-1887 to 22-Dec-1962, husband of Susan A. Parker.
The 1870 census records show that Nancy and William were married and resided in the 9th Ward of Calcasieu Parish.  By 1880 the family had moved to the 8th Ward of Calcasieu Parish. During the 1880’s they lived near Nancy's brother Sherrod Burnett and William’s brother George Reeves. The family was most likely farming in the Barnes Creek area between Ragley and Reeves, Louisiana.  

At the time of William's death the family was residing about 4.5 miles N.E. of Moss Bluff, Louisiana.  This is near the east end of John Koonce Road where they owned 20 acres of property.  William died 22-Feb-1888 and Nancy died six years later in 1894.  It is not known were William or Nancy are buried.
After their death there was a succession filed in Calcasieu Parish - number 2956, opened 22-Sep-1922.[2] An excerpt of the succession can be found below.  This particular page was rich with family information and some of the subject matter was used to write this blog.

Calcasieu Parish Succession # 2956

[1]Fischer, Valma D. History of the Gilley Family, self-published, 1981. Print.
[2]Calcasieu Parish Succession # 2956,  S.W. Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Library. Microfilm.


  1. Michael, were you aware of Burnett Bay, a small bay on the Calcasieu River just northeast of Lake Charles? It's part of the old Camp Fire Girls camping grounds. As I child I remember being told it was named Burnett's Bay because that's where my great-grandfather, Sherrod Allen Burnett, and some of his family lived and had their lumber business. Is it possible for there to be a family burial site in that area?

  2. Debby, you bring up a good point. This is where Alfred A. Burnett - Sherrod's father operated a ferry. It is my belief this the first place the family settled when they moved to Calcasieu Parish. It would be interesting to know if they owned the property and how long did the property stay in the family. I hope to cover the ferry in a future blog. Thanks for sharing.