God only knows we Americans were an adventurous and westward -moving bunch. We all have it in us. And at the same time, we all have the 'settling gene', from those more home-bodied individuals, who pretty much stayed where they landed and made babies, some who would remain and others who would venture forth into the unknown. It was those adventuresome individuals from whatever country of origin they came, who got us here. Whether the brave were those ancient Asians who crossed the Bering Strait, the warring Vikings who explored the wide seas, the intrepid French following game across a frozen ocean, the daring Polynesians whose boats would land on the rugged shores of Oregon, the hopeful Welsh escaping chaos with Prince Madoc, the Spanish explorers in search of cities of gold, or the English religious refugees seeking a place to worship in peace, all of them had that gene that drove them to go. Even those Americans who ancestors arose from individuals who were brought here against their will, when here, some had the drive to flee elsewhere to seek freedom, or later, when freedom came, some ventured penniless and hopeful into the great unknown, while the more timid stayed behind and adapted to the change upon the lands they had always known for their lifetime.
The science of DNA and using it for ancestoral research is a rather recent phenomena, but is helping us to visualize the exact times and means and places these migrations took place.
Most of the research I do within my own tree has been touched upon by generations past, and I much admire this work. They did not have computers to access information halfway across the country, like we do today. It was gotten by relentless legwork and pouring through stacks of dusty books in courthouse basements, foraging through trunks in grandparents abandoned farmhouses and the like.
But one other disadvantage these past generations had was their sense of propriety and civility. Those dirty little secrets swept under the rug were not touched upon. Everything in its due were left to lay, and the prickly little briar bushes were left to twist and weave their deceipt into impassable barriers for generations to come. Children born 5 years after their "father" died during the Civil War were conviently explained as someone got their year of birth incorrect, yeah, that had to have been it, even though the 1870 census shows them as 3 and the 1880 shows them at 12, really, you know, they must have been 18.
Or ancestors were given no background at all. The beginning and ending was with Grandpa Bob. He had no parents.
For some odd circumstance, it seems to have been given me the role to clear these thickets, break down brickwalls, tie up loose ends, and sometimes, I can. I am now discovering people using my research and dna is confirming and corroborating it.
Just this morning, I discovered a young Hispanic guy in Colorado (well, he's not entirely Hispanic of course) who had accessed my research on Jane Murray.
Jane was the oldest daughter of Jesse Murray, my 4th Great Grandfather, whose remain lie in one of those cornfield cemeteries on a high bluff above Long Creek near its confluence with the Rocky River in southern Stanly County. Jane was likely born in Chatham County, where her family was before arriving on the Rocky River and was born about 1800 or 1801. Her nickname was "Jincy" and she never married. She first appears in the 1830 census living next door to Joshua Burris and with two little boys in her home under the age of 5. She later has a daughter who she names Judith Wilmertha Murray, who was born in 1834.
Murray Cemetery, Prince Road, Stanly County
The court records report that her daughter Judy had been bound to Alexander McLester in the 1840 session of Montgomery County, NC, of which Stanly was part of in 1840, and then released from that bond in the first session of the new county of Stanly Court in 1841. She is found at 16 in the 1850 census, living with her mother.
Tombstone of Jesse Murray
Her son Solomon was first living with his paternal grandfather, for who he was named, Solomon Burris, the old Revolutionary War Soldier, and was brought to court a few years later and bound to McCamey Willis and Obedience Burris Willis, a childless couple who became his foster parents and were biologically his Aunt and Uncle. He so loved them that he named a son for McCamey. Likewise, it appears Judith Murray was also named for her paternal grandmother, Judith Taylor Burris. The other son of Joshua Christian Burris and Jane Murray, who was less than 5 years old in 1830 has not been determined. He may have passed away as a child, as the child mortality rate was very high in those days.
So I know that Jane Murray and Joshua C. Burris Sr. had at least 2 children who lived to adulthood and went on to procreate.
Judith Wilmertha Murray married Thomas Jefferson Poplin and they settled around Lilesville in Anson County. Her mother lived with her. Tom outlived her and remarried, so his older children are by Judy and his younger children were by his second wife.
Solomon inherited his father's wanderlust gene and had children with multiple ladies, some he married, others he didn't. He ended up settleling most oddly, in Eastern North Carolina. Some of his children remained here, others lived on the coast.
So this morning I discovered this young man had attached into my research and hooked himself up to Jane Murray's wagon. I check his profile and "Wah-Lah"! We share DNA. He is my 5th to 8th cousin, which would be consistent with the generations between us and our common Murray/Burris ancestors.
Congratulations Hispanic- named millenial from Durango! You have found your Stanly County roots.
Mary Anna Burris was my third Great Grandmother. That fact is not disputable. Other facts that are not disputable are that she was born in Stanly County, North Carolina around 1833 and died in the same in 1880. She married Charles McKinley Honeycutt on March 11, 1856 in Stanly County and together, they became the parents of 6 children, the firstborn being my Great Great Grandmother, Ellen Honeycutt Burris.
Where the mystery falls is who her parents were.
There is little doubt that she was a granddaughter or great granddaughter of the Patriarchial couple of Solomon Burris and Judith Taylor Burris, who settled in the area and spawned a huge family of Burris's and Burris descendants.
The first census that Mary Anna shows up in is the 1850, as it is the first one that lists the names of women and children. In this census she is living in the home of her future husband, Charels McKinley Honeycutt as a boarder.
Name:Mary Ann BurrisAge:17Birth Year:abt 1833Birthplace:North CarolinaHome in 1850:Smiths, Stanly, North Carolina, USAGender:FemaleFamily Number:663Household Members:
I first encounter Mary Anna in the court records, however. The August 1844 Session of the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarters has this entry:
"Sherriff to bring Ann Burris, orphan, to next term of court to be bound out, now lives at Susanna Huneycutt's."
This happened, as during the December 7th, 1844 session of court, we find this additional entry"
"Anna Burris bound to John Huneycutt until age 18. For condition, see bond filed."
Then, of course, Mary Ann Burris shows up in the home of John and Sylva Honeycutt as a 17 year old in 1850 and 6 years later, marries their oldest son, Charles McKinnley Honeycutt.
By 1880, Ellen was already married and 5 children remained at home. Mary Ann would die later that year, as her husband, "Kin" would remarry to Sarah Ann Hathcock Efird, daughter of Lloyd and Polly Hathcock and widow of Simeon Howell Efird on September 16, 1880.
As Mary Anna was still alive when the census was taken on June 16, 1880, so that narrows the time of her death between those two dates.
So, what was my theory? It goes back to that very first mention of her as a child in court in 1844.
She was living with Susanna Honeycutt. So, who was Susanna Honeycutt?
She was the sister of John Honeycutt, who Mary Anna was bound to by the court and whose son, Charles M. Honeycutt, she eventually married. Susanna apparently lived very near John Honeycutt, right next door, and even more likely, on land he owned. Maybe in a "tenant house".
Ten years later, Susan and Silvia are listed living right next to C M Huneycutt and wife Mary Anna Burris Huneycutt and their family on one side, and the family of Margaret Perry on the other side.
The very next year on March 1871 Silvia Lovina Burris, daughter of Susie Honeycutt and Joshua Burris married next door neighbor, Caswell Perry, son of John and Margaret Perry. Lovina is 28, Caswell is 42.
This document is one that leads me to the conclusion of where the name "Burris" on my GGG Grandmother, Mary Anna Burris came from.
It doesn't appear that Susanna Honeycutt made it to 1880, when she would have been 75.
Caswell Perry and wife Sylvia Lovina Burris (Honeycutt) Perry have had 3 daughters, however, and are still living in the western Stanly community of Big Lick.
Oldest daughter Mary Ann, would marry Ulysses S. Whitley, son of Benjamin Lindsey Whitley and Elizabeth Eudy, about 1891 She would give birth to one child, Benjamin Lindsey Whitley II, and then pass away. Her husband would marry her younger sister, Sarah Elizabeth Perry, the year of her death and her son's birth, in 1893, at the young age of 21.
This marriage would last a little while longer and produce 3 children: James Alfred, Mary Ann and Manorah "Nora" Whitley, and then Sarah Elizabeth Perry Whitley would also die young, in 1902, at the age of 25. Her husband would marry a Great Great Aunt of mine, Flora Jane Aldridge, and they would have a large family together.
Third daughter, Sylvia Samara Perry, was the longest lived. She was born on March 10, 1879 and on November 16, 1897, she married Titus Monroe Tucker. They became the parents of 8 children and Samara would pass away on April 11, 1955 in Stanfield, Stanly County, at the age of 78.
Oddly, in the 1900 census, we find Caswell Perry living alone and giving his marital status as "Widowed". His daughters were married and the eldest already passed, but one person who was still very much alive was his wife, Sylvia Lovina.
Caswell and Sylvia Lovena Burris-Honeycutt Perry did not make it to the 1920's.
Caswell "Cazell" Perry died September 27,1915. He was buried at Running Creek Church near Locust, Stanly County, NC. He was 87 years old.
Sylvia Lavina Burris (Honeycutt) Perry passed away on July 23, 1915 at the age of 73, two months before her husband. She was also buried at Running Creek.
Now, back to Mary Anna. I fully believe that she was the daughter of Joshua Christian Burris Sr and Susanna Huneycutt. And not just Mary Anna. She had a brother, Joshua.
Back to the pleas and quarters. In the February Session of Court, 1844, before Anna was said to be living with Susan Honeycutt and then later to be bound to John Honeycutt in the August and December 1844 Sessions of Court, there was another entry. And it was very telling. "Sheriff to bring 'Ame' Hunycut and Joshua Hunycut to next term of court to be bound out. (Huneycut or Burris)."
The above is what was transcribed in the book, but having the ability to look at the original script on a CD, it's not 'Ame' but Anne, and at the end of the statement, it clearly identifies the children's surnames as "Huneycut or Burris', meaning they went by either surname.
Then, in the May 1844 session, "Joshua Huneycutt bound out to George Cagle Jr, who gave bond."
Then, in the 1850 census, there is Joshua, age 15, living with George Cagle and family.
What is certain, is that Susan Honeycutt's youngest daughter, Sylvia Lovina, is definately the daughter of Susan and Joshua Burris, Sr. She lists her father on her marriage license and she also went by both Honeycutt and Burris as surnames. In the census records with her mother, she is listed as a Honeycutt, but on her marriage license to Caswell Perry, she is listed as a Burris.
The "bounding out" system for children in the 1800's typically left children born out of wedlock with their mothers for the first several years of their life. A bond, referred to as a bastardy bond, was placed upon the father of the child or children, for their care until the reached the age to be able to be educated or perform manual labor. This was a much younger age than we would consider in modern times, normally between 7 and 10, to end at age 18 for girls and 21 for boys.
So, in February of 1844, Anne and Joshua were ordered to be brought to court to be bound out. At this time Anne would have been 10/11 and Joshua would have been 8/9. Their surnames were noted to be Burris or Honeycutt, an ambivalence seen in records for person born outside of marriage.
Anna was said to be living with Susan Honeycutt in August of 1844.
She was bound to John Honeycutt, the married brother of Susan Honeycutt, who lived very near to Susan, in December of 1844. Joshua was bound to George Cagle, who also lived in the same community.
Susan's youngest daughter, Sylvia Lovina, is recorded as being the daughter of Joshua Burris. So, we know Susan was one of his mistresses. He had at least one other, Jane Murray, sister of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Priscilla Murray Aldridge. So, he was known to stray outside of marriage. He and his namesake son, both.
With these facts in hand, it certainly appears to me that Susan was one of Joshua Burris's long held mistresses. She named her son for him. All 3 children went by both Honeycutt and Burris. She never married.
The other theory is that Anna was the daughter of William Burris, who was the most mysterious of the sons of Solomon Burris, Sr. and Judith Taylor Burris. The problem with that theory goes back to the court records. The Burris/Honeycutt children were brought to court to be bound out in 1844.
William Burris was called for jury duty in May and February of 1845. He served on the jury again in 1846. And again in 1848 and 1850. In other words, he was alive. Any child of his would not have been bound out in 1844.
As an aside, there could have been 4 children born to this union of Joshua Burris and Susan Honeycutt.
In the February Session of 1848, a John A. Honeycutt was brought to court and bound out to James W. Hartsell. In the 1850 census he was living with Wiley Hartsell. I am not so sold on this one. There is ambivalence in his surname. Susanna isn't mentioned. It's not sure where exactly this young man came from, it's just possible that he could be a sibling of Mary Anna too. The ages fit.
There may never be more known than this about Mary Anna Burris Honeycutt. There is little doubt she was a grandchild of old Solomon and she is definately my third Great Grandmother. If my theory is true, her marriage with C. M. Honeycutt was a first cousin marriage, and was fairly common in those days.
Then, her eldest daughter Ellen, turns around and marries another Burris. Maybe that is why David T. and Ellen look more like siblings than a married couple in this picture.