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.

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