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(updated June 2015)

William Burris was born 1812 in Kentucky, the son of Thomas Burris. He married Hetty Burris, daughter of David B. Burris, in 1833 in Jackson county, Missouri. He was a resident of Cass County until about 1844 when he migrated to Texas. He is listed in the 1850 Census for Grayson county. William appears in Parker county's first tax roll in 1856. Afterward he is listed in Wise county where he settled near Eldorado. He is given credit for its current name Paradise. His son Tarlton served in Capt. Wm Fitzhugh's Texas Mtd. Batt. enlisting at McKinney. Tarlton served from December 1854 to March 1855 and fought the Commanche and Kiowa Indians in West Texas. Tarlton married Symantha Montgomery about 1856. She died 1866 and was buried near Paradise. He then married Margaret E. Armstrong 28 Feb 1867 "near Decatur". Tarlton's son Jesse was killed by Indians after 1870. Tarlton died 1898 in Ada, Indian Territory. Tarlton's brothers Mansfield and James L. also served in the Indian Wars.

William's brother Elias Burris (c1818 KY) came to Parker county after 1850 from Cass county, Missouri. He's also listed in the 1856 tax roll but died a short time after. His widow Martha Jane then married an Archibal Moore. They are listed in the 1860 Wise county census near William Burris and Thomas Vernon.

Zachariah Burris (c1820 MO) and his brother Thomas (c1816 MO) were sons of Walter Burris (1760s-1839) of Jackson county, Missouri. They came to Texas before 1850 and are listed in the 1850 Dallas county census. Zachariah and two Thomas' are listed in the Parker county tax rolls 1856-7. Zachariah is listed in Wise county 1858-62. The Thomas listed in Parker county 1858-61 is apparently William's brother who had a wife Nancy A. Nancy A. Burris is listed in the 1863+ rolls with Thomas Burris listed as original grantee of her 160 acres. The Burris' had land patents in Parker county near Springtown.

The Rev. Nehemiah Vernon (c1828 MO) and his brother Thomas Vernon (c1833 Mo) are both nephews of Zachariah Burris by his sister Nancy Burris Vernon of Miller county, Missouri. They came to Wise county Texas in the 1850s settling near their relatives near Paradise. A terrible Indian attack on Nehemiah's family from the mid 1860s is detailed in "History of Parker County" and "Pioneer History of Wise County". Thomas moved to Collin county, Texas after 1862 where his aunts Mary "Polly" Williams, wife of John, and Prudence Flannery, wife of John J. were living. Mary had lived there since about 1851 and Prudence from about 1855. Thomas died in 1889 in Collin county.

The William Fitzhugh whom Tarlton served under had a relative named Gabriel who is mentioned in Walter Burris' probate records in 1839 in Jackson county, Missouri. The Fitzhughs migrated to Collin county about 1844 and are mentioned in "A History of Collin County" by Jacob and Lillian Stambaugh. Jacob is a great grandson of John and Prudence Flannery. The book also mentions the Warden family who also migrated to Collin county about 1844. One of them, John Warden, married Louisa J. Burris, daughter of David B. Burris, 1839 in Cass county, Missouri. Louisa died in April 1860 of "inflammation of the bowels". They "camped for 10 days.. in Grayson county" after crossing the Red River in April 1844. The 1850 census lists the Fitzhughs and Wardens 14 households apart. William Burris may have came with the Wardens but stayed in Grayson county instead?

William Caroll Burrus:

William Carroll Burrus was born 12 December 1831 in Missouri, son of Jacob & Charlotte Martin Burrus. He lived in Cooper county, Missouri Wise county, Texas and Collin county, Texas. He has a biography in "A History of Collin county". He "started a store in Weston in 1854" and later owned a flour mill in McKinney. Jack Stambaugh, in his outline of Flannery descendants, wrote "John Flannery once worked at a mill owned by a Mr. Burris who was a relative of his wife (Prudence Burris)." William's biography says during the Civil War he served in company B, 15thTexas cavalry and that he was made a lieutenant later in the war. In Wise county a William C. Burris appears in a muster roll dated 1862 as a private under Captain Pickett. "Pioneer History of Wise County" mentions Captain Pickett's company reported to McKinney where the 15th Texas Cavalry was organized, they reached Little Rock where a second reorganization occured and W. C. Burress was made a lieutenant. In Wise county a W.C. Burris was a signer of a July 1866 petition asking for more army protection from "hostile Indians and...reckless white men & negroes (who) are constantly commiting crimes..." William Burris was also a signer of the petition. William moved back to Cooper county, Missouri where he married Mary Catherine Guyer in 1869. William was listed in the 1870 Missouri census for Cooper county next to his brother Thomas Jackson Burrus. He was listed age 35, born Missouri, occupation miller. Mary was age 22 and their infant was 3 months old. About 1875 William came back to Collin county. Mary died in June 1879 and was buried in Pecan Grove cemetery, McKinney, Texas. William remarried to Mary A. Covert in 1888. William died 29 June 1911 in McKinney and was buried in Pecan Grove cemetery. William's brother Thomas died 8 July 1909 and was also buried in Pecan Grove cemetery.

This Burrus family is found on the 1850 Missouri census for Cooper county listed under the misspelling of "Barnes".  William and Jackson's sister Eliza married Michael Bannister Hickey in 1858 who was the son of Middleton Hickey and Jestine Burrus. Middleton and Jestine can be found on the 1850 Missouri census for Jasper county on page 374 while John and Mary Burris Williams (d/o Walter) can be found on page 376.  Note that John and Mary had a daughter Jestin (Jeston) born in late 1850.  John Williams had came to Missouri from Overton county, Tennessee (1840 census) in the 1830s.  

The book "Biography of the Guyers" page 10 says: "In the spring of 1811-12 several families came to Cooper County. Among them were Walter, Val and David Burress (Burris) and their families.. " and page 42 it says: "In the spring of 1811, Walter and David Burress (Burrus) came to Cooper County. Hawkins Burress came to Moniteau Creek in 1818... David Burress and David Burress Jr voted in the first election held in Lamine County. They came from Tennessee at the same time Captain Stephen Cole, cousin of Daniel Morgan Boone, came to build a fort on the Missouri River. Note the spelling of 'Burrus'. They were the brothers of Jacob Burrus, father of William Carroll Burrus, Jacob was born in Overton county, Tennessee and moved to Cooper County in 1828. He died there in 1848. His wife was Charlotte Martin who was also born in Overton. She died in 1879. They had ten children and William was their fourth child."

Information from:
Lance Hall, 7841 Ella Young Dr., Ft Worth, TX 76135
Judy Wundrach, Denver, CO
Candi Seaton, PO Box 218, Plains, TX 79355
Jack Stambaugh, Dallas, TX
"Pioneer History of Wise County"
"A History of Collin County" by Jacob and Lillian Stambaugh, 1958
"History of Parker County ..." by G.A. Holland, 1937
Federal Census records
Tarlton Burris' Indian Wars Pension Record
"Burris/Burrus" by John W. Burrus
"Biography of the Guyers"