1. Latest News July 16th, 2009

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    did not expect the last month and a half to top my last update but indeed it has. Following my vist to the Reber's in Glen Moore I was contacted by Gladys Bond a half cousin also descended from John (1841). It seems that after my visit Gladys got one of those, "You will never guess who came by the house" calls from Tom Reber.

  3. She recounted to me that she was the daughter of Ella Cordelia Burgess, grand daughter of Arthur Burgess patriarch of the Glen Moore clan. Whereas John our common ancestor was the founder of the US branch, he did not stay put in one place for very long. Arthur was more of an anchor, he lived almost his entire life in Glen Moore and was married to his wife Ella Gaugler for 66 years. Much of the Burgess family communications in the U.S. gravitated around Arthur and Ella.

  4. Gladys explained how her mother "Cordie" was the keeper of family history for the Glen Moore clan. She had provided the information that Beulah used to produce the needlepoint and also had family heirlooms that were passed down to Gladys.

  5. Included in the treasures she had were: a bible with inscription, a photo of John (1841), John Burgess' black book with poetry and various notes. Many fascinating letters of correspondence between family members, citizenship papers, a photo of the sign on John's shoe shop in Glen Moore, his shoemaker tools and more. To put it crudely it was the jackpot.

  6. We spoke on a couple of occasions and sent a few e-mails. I hope to meet her soon to learn more about our US branch of the family. She also gave me contact information for her 2nd cousins Babara and Georgeann. Georgeann has a vase that John won in England for his gardens. I hope to see it one day. I am gradually incorporating the information Gladys has provided on this website. Check in every now and then and click on the what's new in the left border of the home page.

  7. Some of this information is confirming other research I have done and tying some loose ends hat have hung around for years.

  8. For example; it was mentioned by family in England that John left for Philadelphia in 1913 and that his daughter Laura saw him off. I always discounted this as being a wrong date as he would have been in his 70s and therefore very unlikely to have run off with another woman as the rest of the story went. In reviewing the John's black book that Lewis Bond had, I found the truth. John had come back to England for a visit in his final years to see the family he had left behind. Perhaps he had some regrets. The 1913 date was for his return trip from Liverpool to the USA. His black book records the addresses of his sons in the US, George, Arthur, Joe. It also records the address his son Peter and daughter Laura in England but interestingly makes no mention of his son John in Montreal. It is known that he left England before John (1878) was born. It appears that our own grt grandfather never met his own father.

  9. The bunch from Glen Moore are the closest relatives to the Montreal branch. An interesting fact is that there appear to be no living male descendants carrying the Burgess name. This line consists of daughters which is curious as John did have 3 sons but these in turn had grand-daughters. The line includes Lawrence Burgess who founded a museum of early American artifacts in Maryland. Betty Ann Blair editor of a magazine on Azerbaijan. Family in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Florida, Tennessee, New Jersey and many other places. Stay tuned more to come.

  10. Latest News May 30th, 2009

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    he last two months have been tremendous for research on the Burgess family. Following the discovery of John Burgess (1841) in Wallace Pennsylvania I took a brief trip on May 21st to the picturesque county of Chester to visit his burial site at Fairview Presbyterian and confirm that in fact this was the right John.

  12. I had a business trip to Boston and Philadelphia so I rented a car and drove the 340 miles between the two cities. I left Boston at about 6PM and only stopped to eat at a Subways in Tolland Connecticut. Along the way I called up Jay who was responsible for the cemetery at Fairview and arranged to meet him at 1PM the next day. I had very nice cool evening weather for the whole trip. I was able to enjoy the beautiful countryside and the only slow point was in crossing through New York between the Triborough and the New Jersey turnpike via the George Washington bridge. I arrived around midnight and checked into a Comfort Suites in Exton.

  13. The next morning I went for a leisurely breakfast at the local McDonald's and then made my way to the land records office for Chester county. The records are all indexed and very well organized. It was very easy to dig up 3 entries for land purchases by a John Burgess. I had copies printed off for a purchase of 38 acres of land 1905 between John Burgess and Levi Snyder. I also got a copy of another transaction in 1879 between John Burgess and George Rice. I simply filed these away for future study. Then I set off to the Chester County Historical Society that was walking distance away and rummaged through their records.

  14. With the help of Pam, the friendly and knowledgeable archivist at the CCHS, I found several very useful pieces of information. Several articles on Arthur Burgess and Ella Gaugler, mainly wedding anniversaries and a few short snippets on John Burgess and his shoeshop. A key article was an entry for the burial of John Burgess which confirmed he died in Watts, Los Angeles and therefore links to a 1930 census entry for him and his son Joseph. Pam also showed me an 1883 map of Glenmoore with a J. Burgess showing across from the Methodist Church that still stands there today. I later found that this is where John lived and had his boot and shoe shop. This is likely the property purchased in 1879.

  15. It was now near one o'clock and I had to hurry back to meet Jay at the Fairview Presbyterian so he could show me the Burgess headstones in the cemetary. It was great to finally meet the man I had spoken to on the phone I was very surprised with what he had to show me. A neat row of 5 headstones all carved from the same stone with the same artwork. A big contrast to the Burgess graves in Montreal which were spread between 2 cemeteries and which did not have individual markers for individual family memebers. Standing before the headstone marking my great great grandfathers burial plot stirred emotions. Here I could confirm by seeing the correct birth date carved in stone that the long search was over. My research was found to be correct. I didn't say much but I think Jay could get a sense of the big deal this was for me. Jay then led me on a short drive down Creek road to the location of the Methodist church where I could see the property that was once John Burgess' shoe shop. We then went to lunch and Jay gave me a couple of names of people in town that may know the local Burgess family. One headstone in the Burgess row was for a Tom Reber and his wife. Tom was still living and Jay gave me his number. Jay and I parted ways and I headed to the Chester County Archives.

  16. The County Archives for Chester are housed in a huge government building. The records I was interested in were tucked away in one corner of a vast basement. I was able to locate a petition for the appointment of Arthur Burgess as road supervisor for Wallace township. I had some copies made and had to wrap up quickly as the office was closing at 4:30. All in all I made good time so I decided to make one last visit before heading back to the airport.

  17. I gave Tom Reber a call. I introduced myself as a descendant of John Burgess and mentioned how I saw a Reber headstone among the graves and asked if he knew anything about them. Tom told me that he did know the Burgess' and explained that he had a picture of Arthur and Ella hanging in his living room. Tom invited me to his house and I was delighted to find that he lived a short distance down creek road where John had once had his shop. The day was full of surprises.

  18. I met Tom and his son Donnie and Rhonda. I believe they were surprised to meet a perfect stranger from out of town popping into their home, so I showed them some of the research I had gathered that day and showed them this website. Donnie brought out a needlepoint which was sewn by Beulah beautifully recording the whole family descended from Arhtur and Ella. We chatted briefly and exchanged e-mails and said our goodbyes. All in all a fabulous outing. I could not have imagined it being better.

  19. Latest News April 7, 2009

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    his is my first installment of "Latest News". While this website does provide a What's New link, I felt the need to supplement what was in there and give readers a better view into the discoveries being made.

  21. First some background. Research started in 1991, I was finishing up my University and decided I wanted to learn more about my family history. I can't put my finger on what precisely spawned my interest but my general curiosity and attraction to puzzles certainly played a large part in wanting to pursue the hobby. My starting point was a conversation with my aunt Emma Parsons. She was kind enough to entertain my curiosity and got me started on key dates for aunts and uncles and helped list all of my cousins. After sharing some of the basic knowledge about the family she then brought out some family papers that were in her posession. Little did I know that she had most of the key starting documents as well as a few surprises. The most significant from a research perspective was a copy of her grandfather John Burgess' birth certificate. It was a General Registry Office certificate issued in the 1940s and it recorded my starting point, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.

  22. As I was just starting out. I focused initially on the immediate family. I spoke to cousins, aunts and uncles and slowly assembled the correct dates for various events for the extended Montreal family. I did some library research and got started on my mother's French-Canadian side as well. The records for French-Canadians were much easier to gather as they only required a visit to the main city library. Years later the records would be centralized at "Les archives national du Quebec" making research even more accessible. On the English side I discovered I would need to work harder.

  23. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormons provided access to English records through their vast collection of microfilms. I had to travel to the closest mormon location in Montreal and wait my turn for a microfilm reader. Time and patience paid off and I was able to stumble upon the earlier generation in Bakewell and start filling out some of the first branches. After reviewing the parish records and census records for Derbyshire I soon came upon my first brick wall. I was not able to go any further back than John Burgess and Jane Boam who were married in Bakewell in 1809. John died in 1829 before the first workable census.

  24. For many years I struggled to try and learn more about the family in England. I sent mass mailings to Burgess families in Derbyshire and was lucky enough to locate a first cousin of my grandfather Hamilton, Arthur Hensey Burgess. While he could not tell me more about the earlier Burgesses he was able to fill me in on some family lore. He recounted having heard of my grt grandfather John who was known as uncle Jack and having heard of how he jumped ship. He also recounted that my 2XGrt Grandfather John Burgess was said to have left his wife and emigrated to Philadelphia. This corresponded to some degree with what I was finding and not finding n the English records. After his son was born in 1878 there is no trace of his father in any English record. No death certificate or parish entry, no census record for him anywhere. His Shoe Shop in Matlock bath is not recorded in any future directories.

  25. Years later around 2006 I became aware of the online resources available through various websites including Ancestry.com. I subscribed and was amazed at how much information was now available only a keyboard away. I was now able to conduct searches through the census records on a much broader scale. It was around this time that I made my investment in DNA research and contacted Professor Michael Burgess, author and founder of the Burgess DNA project. Within the span of a couple of years, several new avenues opened up. The first was discovering a remote cousin John Westray, who had his own family website with many excellent pictures at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~westat58/. This got me pointed to another fifth cousin Graham Burgess and his wife Peggy. Graham was kind enough to have his DNA tested and we were able to genetically prove a link going back to John Burgess and Jane Boam. Through them I was able to make contact with another cousin Edward Knox.

  26. The major breakthrough was the discovery of a poor relief record for John Burgess that recorded just prior to his death that he was from Daven, Cheshire. This appers to be a contraction for Davenham and sure enough a birth record is found for him there in 1784 as expected and his father is recorded as Peter Burgess a common recurring name in our paternal line. In studying the parish of St Wilfreds I discovered tht Peter was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Burgess and John Hughes.

  27. Now for some of the key news items. The main paternal Burgess lines descend from 3 Johns all first cousins. John Burgess (1841) and Elizabeth Hibbert. John Burgess (1845) and Mary Faulkner. John Burgess (1848) and Mary Ann Coker Baker.

  28. John (1848) is the ancestor of both Graham Burgess and Edward Knox mentioned above. This line is well traced and currently it is believed that all male lines are accounted for. This line is a genetic match to descendants of John (1841) and therefore establishes a genetic haplotype for their grandfather John Burgess (1784).

  29. John (1845) founded a line in Sefton Park Liverpool and had 3 male lines in 1911, Eric William, John Bertram and Norman Dudley. This family remains elusive and I am working to try and find living descendants. John maried a second time to Mary Martha Sidebottom and was recorded as a gardener.

  30. John (1841) was discovered in Wallace Pennsylvania in the 1900 census only last week. This addresses a 12 year mystery as to what became of him. true to family lore he appears to have emigrated to the United States in 1877 which would mean his son John, my great grandfther never met him. I am working to confirm the details but the evidence is compelling. It explains why he was not in the 1881 census in England. The date of birth recorded for him is March 1841 which is accurate and additionally family lore has it that he had 4 sons. The Census record indicates that his wife Annie had 4 children. Of the male lines found in the census we have John, Oliver, Arthur, and Lawrence.