Sunday, May 13, 2018

My Theory on the Origins of Mary Anna Burris

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.

Image result for girl looking at pasture

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:
John Honeycutt47
Sylva Honeycutt42
Charles M Honeycutt20
John F Honeycutt18
Asberry Honeycutt13
Ephraigm Honeycutt11
Eben N Honeycutt8
Sylva Honeycutt6
Maria Honeycutt4
Levi P Honeycutt2
Mary Ann Burris17

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.

Name:C M Honeycutt
Birth Year:abt 1830
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:965
Family Number:980
Personal Estate Value:100
Household Members:
C M Honeycutt30
Mary Ann Honeycutt25
Ellen Honeycutt5
Evy Honeycutt4

By 1860, C M and Mary Ann Honeycutt are shown as a farm family with their first two daughters, Ellen and Evy.

Name:M A Huneycutt
Age in 1870:36
Birth Year:abt 1834
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:14
Home in 1870:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Cannot Write:Y
Inferred Spouse:C M Huneycutt
Inferred Children:Ellen Huneycutt 
Eva L Huneycutt 
C M Huneycutt 
E G Huneycutt
Household Members:
C M Huneycutt40
M A Huneycutt36
Ellen Huneycutt15
Eva L Huneycutt11
C M Huneycutt7
E G Huneycutt5

By 1870, the family had welcomed 4 children as two sons had joined the family.

Name:Mary Huneycutt
Birth Date:Abt 1833
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Almonds, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
House Number:20
Dwelling Number:156
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Kin Huneycutt
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
Kin Huneycutt50
Mary Huneycutt47
Lucy Huneycutt20
Adam Huneycutt19
Charles Huneycutt17
Ephram Huneycutt15
J. L. Huneycutt6

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?
Image result for old house in a corn field

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".

Name:Susy Huneycut
Birth Year:abt 1805
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:48
Family Number:48
Real Estate Value:35
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household Members:
Susy Huneycut55
Sylva L Huneycut18
Fanny Robins14

1860 finds her living near her brothers John and Edmund, with her daughter Sylvia and a 14 year old girl Fanny Robbins. Another neighbor is a 70 year old Francis Robbins.

Name:Silvia Hussey
[Silvia Huneycutt] 
Age in 1870:28
Birth Year:abt 1842
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:13
Home in 1870:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina
Occupation:At Home
Cannot Write:Y
Inferred Mother:Susan Hussey
Household Members:
Susan Hussey65
Silvia Hussey28

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.

Name:S. Lovina Perry
Birth Date:Abt 1842
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:304
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Casuel Perry
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping Hose
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
Casuel Perry50
S. Lovina Perry38
A. Mary Perry8
S. Elisabeth Perry4
S. Samira Perry1

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.

Sarah Elizabeth Perry

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.

Image result for old farmer in field

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.

Name:Casull Perry
Birth Date:May 1830
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1900:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina
House Number:8
Sheet Number:8
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:146
Family Number:146
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital Status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Months not employed:0
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:O
Home Free or Mortgaged:F
Farm or House:F
Household Members:
Casull Perry50

The 1910 census shows the couple back together, living with their only living child, Sylvia Samira Perry Tucker, and her family.

Name:Caswell Perrie
[Caswell Perry] 
[Caswell Perrel] 
Age in 1910:78
Birth Year:abt 1832
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Big Lick, Stanly, North Carolina
Relation to Head of House:Father-in-law
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Silvia L Perrie
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Able to Read:No
Able to Write:No
Years Married:35
Household Members:
Mr. Tuties Lucker27
Samarra S Tucker32
John A Tucker0
Caswell Perrie78
Silvia L Perrie67

Caswell and Sylvia Lovena Burris-Honeycutt Perry did not make it to the 1920's.

 Cazel Perry

Caswell "Cazell" Perry died September 27,1915. He was buried at Running Creek Church near Locust, Stanly County, NC.  He was 87 years old.

 - BIG LICK. Cotton sold here last Saturday...

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.

 Lavina Perry

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."

Name:Joshua Honeycutt
Birth Year:abt 1835
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Smiths, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:719
Household Members:
George Cagle37
Elizabeth Cagle38
Barthena Cagle10
David S Cagle15
Sarah Cagle13
Mary Cagle12
Martha Cagle10
Elizabeth Cagle8
Methena Cagle7
Catharine Cagle3
Melinda Cagle9
Joshua Honeycutt15

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.

Image result for 19h century children

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.

Image result for well

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.

Name:Jno A Honeycutt
Birth Year:abt 1836
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Smiths, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:707
Household Members:
Wyley Hartsell26
Ellender Hartsell21
Ephraim Hartsell4
Jacob Hartsell3
James W Hartsell0
Jno A Honeycutt14

 - SALE OF VALUABLE LAND, By virtue of a Judgment...

The Enterprise
(Albemarle, North Carolina)
  • Page 4

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.

David & Ellen Honeycutt Burris

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