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Descendants of Walter Burton

Walter Burton  was likely born in the early 1780's. He was still alive in Sept. 1862 and likely residing at St. Croix near Windsor in Hants County, Nova Scotia 1. No Burton graves have been identified in the graveyard located in the grounds of old Presbyterian Church at St. Croix, however unlike those in the newer cemetery across the road all the graves in the old graveyard are today unmarked. The Presbyterian church at St. Croix was not constituted until 1864, so if Walter or his wife, whose name is not known from records but is thought likely was named Mary, died before 1864 they may have been buried on his farm at St. Croix or in the large cemetery in Windsor.
         Walter Burton appeared in the Windsor area at the 1838 Hants/Kings county census with a household of nine including himself as head of the household 2. He likely came to the Windsor area post 1817 as a likely daughter Mary (Mrs. Hingley) was born at Latties Brook that year 7. Either Walter Sr. or his son Walter Jr. would have been the Walter Burton who with a John Burton was granted land in 1829 adjoining Latties Brook near Maitland in north eastern Hants County. These two land grants gave rise to the naming of the locality and the subsequent railway station there as "Burtons". The railway station and the rail line have long gone but the place name of "Burtons" still appears on the current topographical map. Art Burton of Nova Scotia, a great-great grandson of Walter Burton Jr., jokingly styles himself the Burton of Burtons and still owns part of the original Walter Burton land grant 3. Walter Sr.'s grandson Walter Harvie of Australia, who left Nova Scotia in 1859 when aged 15 years, wrote  he lived with his uncle William Burton in this area for two years, which would have been from about 1856-58. He named two other of his Burton uncles as Alexander and Walter and said the farms of William and Walter in this area adjoined 5.
In 1853 doubts arose as to whether St. John's Presbyterian Congregation of Windsor was correctly constituted. Such gave rise to a new deed of constitution dated 29 Sep 1853. Parties to the deed included Walter and William Burton of Windsor. It appointed William one of the five trustees to manage the church's civil affairs 4. The name of Walter Burton Sr.'s son James and that of a Sarah Burton, who was likely the wife of another son Alexander, appeared on the Communion Roll of the St. Croix Presbyterian Church in 1873 4. In a letter dated 1 Sep 1862 from James Harvie in Newport to his nephew Walter Harvie in Australia, the writer mentioned he had seen his uncle James Burton the previous sabeth at the church meeting in Newport and often met with his grandfather Walter Burton 1.
          It seems the Burtons' may have come to Nova Scotia in the early 1780's, most probably as political refugees from the east coast of America after having having either fought for or supported the losing British side at the Revolution. This group of emigrants are known as the United Empire Loyalists, and at the time of compilation under Canadian law direct descendants of an original Loyalist are regardless of gender entitled to place the letters UE after their names. It is the only hereditary title in Canada In Nova Scotia the Burton family legend has it that three Burton boys came to Nova Scotia, of whom one settled in Hants and one was in Shelburne County 3. Whilst no proof is available, it is at least possible Walter Burton of Windsor could have been a son of a William Burton who arrived in 1783 at Port Roseway (subsequently renamed Shelburne), and subsequently settled at Chester in nearby Lunenburg County. Port Roseway was chosen for the settlement of a group of Loyalists being evacuated in 1783 from New York before it fell into American hands, primarily for the access its harbour would give the evacuees to the European  trade and the easy access to the lumber trade on the River St John and Bay of Fundy. An association was formed to organise those wishing to be evacuated to Port Roseway. With the anticipated evacuation of New York and Boston many families who had remained loyal to Britain signed up, and by late March 1783 there were 400 families comprising four to five thousand people waiting for transport to Port Roseway 14.  The minutes of the Port Roseway Association record as associate William Burton, a pump maker by occupation, subsequently transported to Port Roseway together with a woman, three children and two servants 12.  It seems at least one of those children may have been named John, as there is a record of John Burton, widower, marrying on 12 Nov 1829 an Elizabeth Gorkum (or Corkum) in the Dutch Reformed Church in Chester, Lunenburg Co., Nova Scotia 13. Perhaps In addition to this John and Walter Burton of Windsor, another possible son of William Burton the pump maker was a William Burton who had a 1882 Hants Co. probate and thus a will but whose grave site is not known 11.  If the age of 87 years transcribed from her cemetery headstone inscription is correct, his wife was perhaps the Mary Burton who died on 28 Sept. 1868. whose headstone in the Latties Brook cemetery bears the inscription that she was the wife of William Burton  10
            However the alternative, and location wise much more likely in the view of this compiler to have been the parents of Walter Burton of Windsor, is an Ambrose Burton (1740-1832) and wife Mary (1754-1824) who are buried in St. Peter's Cemetery (Anglican Church) in Upper Kennetcook, Hants Co., approximately seven kilometres from the locality named Burtons. Their tombstones in this cemetery carry unusual and perhaps unique epitaphs 13. As mentioned Walter Harvie of Australia lived  for 2 years in the 1850s in this area with his uncle William Burton. It is perhaps more than coincidence that Walter Harvie named the first born of his twelve children William Ambrose. Ambrose is not a name that occurs in the well documented early Harvie/Harvey Nova Scotian genealogy. Also his uncle Walter Burton Jr. bestowed John Ambrose as given names to his second born son. If this thinking is correct then William Burton who died in 1882, for whom there is a Hants County probate, could still have been a brother of Walter Burton of Windsor, the only difference being that the two were sons of Ambrose Burton instead of William the pump maker. It would appear a brother of Ambrose may well have been a John Burton who was listed as surveyor of highways in this area in 1815 and who was likely the John Burton listed in the 1817 census as the head of a household comprising three males, of whom one who was presumably John himself was aged over 50 years. 16.
             This scenario would still accord with the Nova Scotian Burton family legend of three brothers having come to Nova Scotia of whom one settled in Shelburne & one in Hants - the Shelburne one being William the pump maker and their actually having perhaps been two - Ambrose and John who settled in Hants. There is no evidence to link the Burtons' identified in this complilation to the Burtons' of Cape Breton whose links appear to have been to Newfoundland and earlier to Dorset in England, or the large Burton family of Hantsport near Windsor in Hants County who it appears were of the Baptist faith 15.
Children of Walter Burton were:
1.   Walter Burton 5 b. ca. 1811 3
2.   John Burton
3.   James Burton 1 b. ca. 1816
4.   Mary Burton (Mrs. Hingley) 8 , b. 28 Sep. 1817 at Latties Brook 7, 2
5.   Margaret Burton
6.   Jane Ann Burton
7.   William Burton
8.   Alexander Burton
To obtain or provide further information on this Burton family 
1     Letter of 1 Sep 1862 from James Harvie of Newport to Walter Harvie (transcript held - original understood to be held by Robert P. Harvey of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia)
   Census Index of 1838-Hants/Kings County - Walter Burton, farmer, Windsor, Hants County. 1 male age 6-14; 4 males over 14; 4 females over 14 years - 9 total in family. Vol. 449, file 158, p8. Original documents kept at PANS in Halifax.
   Several Dec. 1997 email advices re the 1829 land grants, Walter Burton Jr. line etc. from Art Burton, Lower Sackville, Hants Co., Nova Scotia.
   Hants Co. Registry of Deeds, Volume 35, Doc. 1, pages 28-31.
   Letter written abt. Feb 1925 from Walter Harvie to his half-sister Caroline Hill in Bakersfield in Kern  Co., California, named Walter, William & Alexander Burton as uncles.
Email dated Feb 2002 from Tony Bearman of Canada advising Mary Burton, wife of Alexander Scott Hingley, was born at Latties Brook on 28 Sep 1817.
   Hants Co. Court of Probate,  File # 2416A for Alexander Burton who died intestate. Also Dec. 1997 emails from Sue Dyer of the West Hants Historical Society advising: (1) it held copies of some of the documents from the probate file and pencilled notes re possible names of his heirs "The records list his brother as being William BURTON of Latties Brook. The heirs were listed as the 10 children of Walter BURTON of Latties Brook; the 3 children of William BURTON of Latties Brook; several children of Mrs. HINGLEY; 1 daughter of James BURTON of St. Croix." (2) Alexander was married to Sarah Elizabeth SWEET, daughter of William SWEET. Alexander and Sarah Elizabeth didn't have any children, at least none who survived either Alexander or Sarah Elizabeth at their death.
  St. John The Baptist Anglican Church Cemetery at Latties Brook (adjoins  Burtons) - inscriptions extracted by Glenda Clooney.
  Index to Hants County Estate Files 1767-1992 - #1323A,  Burton, William  - Probate date 12 Sept. 1882.
  Shelburne Nova Scotia, Minutes of the Proceedings of The Port Roseway Associates 1782, PANS MG100 vol. 220  #16.
  Lunenburg Marriages from Primary Sources, extracted by Don Shankle (at May 2000 see URL )
15    Nova Scotia Genealogist, Vol. 9 #2 (Summer 1991), article titled "Burton Family of Hantsport" - identifies 19 members of a family, from Baptist church, Hantsport Cem. records and census. Included Rev. William Burton d. 1867 buried Hantsport Cem. Clearly not related to Walter Burton family of Windsor.
  Douglas Township book,  compiled by Douglas Eaton Eagles (note there is no Burton surname listing in the index of  Rawdon and Douglas. Two Loyalist Townships in Nova Scotia, by John V. Duncanson)

Researched and compliled by J. Raymond, Brisbane, Australia 1997 - last updated 3 March 2002