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