(Last updated Feb. 19, 2017)
|Walter Burris (Burrus) was born 1761-1770 place unknown. His father was likely William Burris [originally Burrows] who is documented in Laurens County, South Carolina as early as 1769. Walter Burris can be directly connected to David Burris (born 1770s SC) via a legal document. Walter Burris can also be directly connected to Isaiah Burris (born 1776 SC) via a marriage bond. David Burris can be directly connected to Thomas Burris (born 1770s).||
Census and tax records:|
1790 SC, Laurens co., p. 431
This Burris family lived in Laurens county, South Carolina until the mid or
late 1790s when they moved to Kentucky and settled in the area where Madison
county and Clark
The overlapping of 10 years of
tax roll data in Kentucky and other records
supports a related group consisting of Walter, William, David, Thomas and
Isaiah Burris. Later several descendants of Walter, David and Thomas
are documented living near each other in various counties in north Texas.
for more information.
In 1809 or 1810 Walter Burris and David Burris moved to Missouri settling at or near the "Loutre Island Settlement" in Montgomery county. By 1811 Walter and David had moved west and settled in the area that became Boonville, Cooper county, Missouri. Between 1818 and 1829 Walter Burris moved to Cole co., Missouri and between 1831 and 1834 Walter Burris moved to Jackson co., Missouri.
Walter Burris was probably a farmer which was the most common occupation at the time. Many of the Burris/Burrus families in central Missouri were also involved with grain milling.
Walter Burris was married at least twice. He married his first wife (unknown) probably in Laurens county, South Carolina mid-late 1780s. His second wife was Lydia Barnes who he married in Kentucky in 1807.
Walter Burris died in late 1839 in Jackson co., Missouri where his estate was administered by his son Henry Burris. Walter's exact death date is unknown and his exact burial place is unknown.
[Research proves our Walter Burris is not the same Walter Burris that lived in Albemarle co., Virginia. They were two different men with two different families living far apart. It's possible they were cousins though. Unfortunately most Ancestry "trees" have them merged as one person with no evidence.]
1800 KY, Madison co. (bond)|
1803 KY, Madison co., tax roll
1804 KY, Clark co., tax roll
1805 KY, Clark co., tax roll
1806 KY, Clark co., tax roll
1808 KY, Clark co., tax roll
1810 MO, Loutre Island Sett.
1817 MO, Howard co., tax roll
1830 MO, Cole co., p. 194
Wife 1 &
Walter Burris' first wife is currently unknown and would not be Mary Lively for
reasons stated. Walter and his first wife had at least two sons by 1790
one probably being Henry Burris. The 1790 census lists only one
female in the household but it's uncertain if this is his wife or a
Walter and his first wife were married in South Carolina at least a few years prior to 1790.
Census and tax records:
1790 SC, Laurens co., p. 431
|Son||● Unknown son was born in the late 1780s in South Carolina. Henry Burris in his admin bond for Walter's estate makes a list of Walter's children (evidently in birth order) and John Burris is listed first after wife Lydia and then Henry Burris.||
1790 SC, Laurens co., p. 431|
(male under 16 years)
● Henry Burris was born about 1790 South
Carolina and was "reared" in Kentucky. Henry moved to
Jackson co., Missouri in 1825; then to Cass co., Missouri in 1831; and
then to Johnson co., Missouri in 1842. Henry is mentioned as "a cousin of Mastin
Burris" and was a Cass County judge. Henry was the executor of his
father's estate. His wife's name is currently unknown. In the
biography of Henry's son David Burris it states that David's parent both
died when he was about 20 years which would be about 1844. Henry died after July 12, 1845 when
Thomas Burris made him the executor of
his estate and before November 8, 1847 when the Cass county probate
court ordered his small estate be given to his wife.
The daughters listed below are connected only based on proximity in the 1850 census. Only William, David, and Benjamin can be proven as children.
1790 SC, Laurens co., p. 431|
(male under 16 years?)
1830 MO, Jackson co., p.306
1840 MO, Van Buren co., p.146
(Van Buren = Cass)
Wife 2 &
Lydia Barnes was born about 1790 in South
Carolina. Her parents were probably from the Barnes family of Estill
county, Kentucky that came from North Carolina. In Estill county
there is a Barnes Mountain and a Barnes cemetery. Isaiah Burris lived
close to members of the Barnes family in Estill county, Kentucky and
Walter Burris evidently lived with or near Isaiah Burris.
Walter Burris (Burrus) and Lydia Barnes were married on May 28, 1807 in Clark co., Kentucky. Lydia Barnes was 17 or 18 years old. The surety for the marriage license was William Barnes who was likely her uncle or brother.
Lydia lived with her grandson Walter Green (assumed) and her son William B Burris after Walter's death. Lydia died after 1860 in Kansas or possibly Colorado.
Census and tax records:|
1830 MO, Cole co., p. 194
1840 MO, Jackson co., [with ?]
1850 MO, DeKalb co., p. 431
1860 KS, Jefferson co., p.41
● Rebecca Burris was born 1808 (or 1810) in
Kentucky. She married Elijah Green on March 18, 1831 in Cole co., Missouri.
Rebecca (and Elijah) apparently died before 1850.
1830 MO, Lafayette co., p.253|
1850 MO, DeKalb co., p. 431
1860 KS, Jefferson co., p 413-A
1870 MO, DeKalb co., page 43
● Nancy Burris was born about 1809 in Kentucky probably in Estill county (formerly southern Clark county). She married Ebenezer Vernon before 1826 in Missouri.
No marriage record has been found. Nancy died after
1880 presumably in Franklin co., Missouri where she is last documented.
1830 MO, Cole co., p. 194|
1840 MO, Miller co., p. 117
(Miller taken from Cole)
1850 MO, Miller co., p. 412
1860 MO, Miller co., p. 474
1870 MO, Franklin co., p 76
1880 MO, Franklin co., ED 67,
Page 15. (Boeuf Twp.)
● William B. Burris was born about 1811 in
Missouri. He married Besheba Masters, Jan. 30, 1834 Jackson co., Missouri.
This family lived in Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. William died after 1870
1840 MO, Jackson co., p.76|
1850 MO, DeKalb co., p. 431
1860 KS, Jefferson co., p. 417
1870 CO, Douglass co., p. 4
● Alice Burris was born about 1813 in Missouri. She married Abraham Crabtree, Aug. 6, 1929 in Cole
Abraham was believed to have been killed sometime around 1860 by
1830 MO, Cole co., p.196|
1840 MO, Jackson co., p.63
1850 MO, McDonald co., p.108
1860 MO, McDonald co., p.92
● Mary "Polly" Burris was born September 17, 1814
(or Sept. 16, 1813) in Howard?
co., Missouri. She married Isaac Crabtree early 1830s (no record). Isaac
is assumed to have died between 1843 and 1847. Mary remarried to John Williams
on Jan. 25, 1847 in Jasper
co., Missouri. They migrated to Collin co.,
Texas in 1851. John died Dec. 13, 1888 and Mary died June 15, 1892. They were
both buried in Stiff Chapel cemetery, Collin co., Texas about 8 miles
northeast of McKinney.
1840 MO, Jackson co., p.
1850 MO, Jasper co., p.
1860 TX, Collin co., p.49
1870 TX, Collin co., p.322
1880 TX, Collin co., ED 17, p.28
● Thomas W Burris was born about 1816 Missouri. He married
Barker, April 4, 1839, Lafayette co., Missouri. The Barker family traces
back to Estill co., Kentucky and Sidonia was a cousin of Mary Barker who
married Zachariah Burris below. |
Thomas and Sidonia Burris lived in: Dallas co., Texas; Tulare co., California; San Diego co., California; and Phoenix, Arizona. Thomas died in or near Phoenix, Maricopa co., Arizona Jan. 11, 1897.
1840 MO, Platte co., p. 117 |
1850 TX, Dallas co., p.75
1860 CA, Tulare co., p.11
1870 CA, San Diego co., p.477
1882 AZ, Yavapai co.,
● Zachariah Burris was born about 1818 in
Missouri. He married Mary Barker, Feb. 20, 1842 in Platte co., Missouri. Mary
Barker was a cousin of Sidonia
Barker who married Thomas Burris above. |
Zachariah and Mary were in Dallas co., Texas in 1850 and Wise co., Texas in 1860. Zachariah wrote a will in 1862 (filed Wise county, Texas) and nothing more is known about them after 1862.
1850 TX, Dallas co., p.75
1860 TX, Wise co., p.340,
post office: Cactus Hill
1858-62 TX, Wise county
● Rachel Burris was born about 1820 in Missouri. She married Reece Crabtree, Jan. 10, 1839 in Jackson
co., Missouri. Rachel died
between 1850 and Aug 1851. Reece remarried to Mary J. Mills on Aug. 15,
1851 Jasper co., Missouri.
1840 MO, Newton co., p.250|
1850 MO, McDonald co., p.109
1860 TX, Hunt co., p.324
1870 TX, Grayson co., p.115
1880 TX, Erath co., ED 149, p.23
● Prudence Burris was born 1822-24 in Missouri. She married John J. Flannery, Dec. 24, 1839 in Jackson
co., Missouri. They moved to Collin co.,
Texas in the 1850s. Prudence died in the 1870s in Wise co., Texas.
1840 MO, Jackson co., p.76|
1850 MO, DeKalb co., p.433
1860 TX, Collin co., p.36
1870 TX, Collin co., p.452
● Walter Burris was born about 1825 in Missouri. He married Martha
Ann Dalton (1827-1893), May 3, 1846 in Dekalb co., Missouri.
This family lived in Dekalb co., Missouri in 1850 and Jefferson co., Kansas in 1860 next
to William B. Burris. Walter died Dec. 11, 1864 at the Jefferson
Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. Martha remarried to George Long .
1850 MO, DeKalb co., p. 432|
1860 KS, Jefferson co., p.417
1870 KS, Greenwood co.,
Lane Twp., p. 4 (widow)
1880 KS, Greenwood co.,
Lane Twp. (widow)
Timeline, notes and documents:
Walter Burris was born between 1761 and 1770 per the 1830 census record. Walter died 11 years before the 1850 census so no census record contains a
statement from him of his exact age or where he was born. The only evidence of his birthplace or
location before Kentucky is by looking at the other Burris men he can be directly
connected with which in this case is David Burris Sr. and
Isaiah Burris who both originate in South
Three of Walter's children were alive during the 1880 census where the question
of father's birthplace was asked. Nancy
Vernon and Thomas Burris both said Kentucky and Mary Williams' entry is blank so
they had no information about their father prior to Kentucky. |
By using only the actual evidence and documented connections to other Burris men all the evidence points to Walter Burris being in South Carolina before Kentucky specifically Laurens county, South Carolina. It is there we start the Walter Burris timeline in 1769 and work forward. The following timeline details in chronological order all the evidence found so far with links to the most important documents most of which is not on Ancestry (or indexed). At many points multiple evidences converge, overlap, or successfully predict other records helping verify this timeline.
In 1769 in Laurens county, South Carolina a William Burris [Burrows] obtained land in 1769 along
Williams Creek [later named Burris Creek] which is a smaller creek that joins Rabun / Rabon
Creek. At the time Laurens county was part of a
larger area called Craven county which then became "Ninety-Six District".
"Survey for William Burrows pursuant to precept dated 7 March 1769; 200 acres on waters of Rayburns Creek in Craven Co.,. Bounding SW land belonging to Joseph Babb; [Plat shows land laid out to Oliver Mathews now property of Joseph Babb.] Certified 10 April 1769. Ord. Co. 28 October 1774. Jno. Caldwell, D.S." [SC Colonial Plats Vol. 13 page 447, item 1] Text from "Laurens County, S.C.: Rabun Creek Settlement" [page 67] [page 68]
In 1780 William Burris, William Burris Jr, appear on South Carolina Loyalist rolls. In 1782 William Burris
and Walter Burris appear on South Carolina Loyalist rolls. They were part of the Little
River Regiment of the Ninety-Six Brigade which covered part of the upland
area in South Carolina where Laurens County [then Ninety-Six District] is
today. The service date of 1782 also helps indicate that Walter would have been at least old enough (16?) for
militia service but still not born before 1761 per the 1830 census. |
1780 (14 June - 13 Dec) payroll: William Burres Sen., William Burres Jun.
1780 (14 June - 30 Dec) payroll: William Burris Sen., William Burris Jun.
1781 (3 Nov - 2 Jan) payroll: William Burrows
1782 (9 March - 5 May) payroll: William Burrows, Walter Burrows
1782 (6 May - 5 Aug) payroll: Walter Burns, William Burns [common mis-transcription of "Burris"]
1782 (6 Aug - 6 Oct) payroll: Walter Burris, William Burris
1782 (6 Aug - 31 Dec) payroll: Walter Burrows, William Burrows
Scans from the book "Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War" listing Walter Burris: [page 310], [page 316], [page 318], and [index]
|mid 1780s||Walter Burris was probably first married in Laurens county, South Carolina around 1785. His first wife's name is still unknown. There are no marriage records.|
|1786||Dec. 12, 1786: "Laurens Co., S.C. Came into Open Court Jonathan Downs, Esq. and David Allison made oath that they have known Wm. Burrows to possess a certain tract of land containing 200 acres on Williams Creek, this 18 or 20 years and no ways interrupted, in accordance with his grant of 5 December 1774, (by warrant directed by Egerton Leigh, Esq. Surveyor General, dated 7 March 1769 for this land, on waters of Reaburns Creek in Craven Co., certified 10 April 1769 by John Caldwell, SC). Lewis Saxon, CC." [Laurens County Deed Book B: 69] Text from "Laurens County, S.C.: Rabun Creek Settlement" [page 67] [page 68]|
Walter Burris' son Henry Burris born about 1790 in [Laurens
county] South Carolina. That date is based on the 1830 Census
indicating he was born 1791-1800 and the 1840 Census indicating he was born
1781-1790. So if the age ranges are both relatively correct then he was
likely born near the middle of those ranges thus 1789-1791. Henry Burris'
son William B Burris was recorded on the 1880 Census (California, Sonoma
county) and he reported his father was born in South Carolina and mother
(unknown) in Kentucky. Given that Henry Burris was born about 1790 it's
uncertain if would be one of the young males listed on the 1790 Census
(below) or if he was born right after the 1790 census. So the
available evidence tell us Henry Burris was born about 1790 in South
Carolina. The birth state
converges with the information that David Burris and
Isaiah Burris were born in South Carolina. |
A 1889 biography of Luther W Burris (son of William Burris, grandson of Henry Burris, great-grandson of Walter Burris) says "William Burris was a Missourian by birth, a son of Judge [Henry] Burris, one of the settlers there before the country was taken over from the French. His father [Henry Burris] was a member of one of the colonial families of the east, a son of a Revolutionary soldier of the name of Burroughs." Luther W Burris biography [page 1] and [page 2] The biography mirrors the previous information that Walter Burris served some part in the Revolutionary War and that the family name was originally Burrows (or Burroughs).
In the 1790 Federal Census, South Carolina, Laurens county, there was a
Walter Burress next to a William Burress [mis-transcribed on Ancestry as
William Burick]. In the William Burress household the grouping of males
above and older 16 years plus 7 females is consistent with a household where
the oldest male is at least age 20 (2 year birth spacing). This would
mean the head of the household William Burress (likely the father) would
probably be in his middle 40s to 50s in age. Next door Walter Burris
was likely in his mid 20s with two young sons. |
1790 Federal census, South Carolina, Laurens co., page 431, line 30
William Burress, head of house, [surname mis-transcribed as "Burick" on Ancestry]
4 males aged 16 and up,
2 males aged under 16 years,
1790 Federal census, South Carolina, Laurens co., page 431, line 31
Walter Burress, head of house,
1 male aged 16 and up [Walter],
2 males aged under 16 years [Henry and ??],
1 female [unknown wife]
Sep. 10, 1795 - "William Burris sic (Burrows), of Laurens Co., S.C, to John
Blackwell, of same place, for £100 stg.; 200 acres in said county on a
branch of Raiboms Creek. Bounded on SW by Joseph Babb; other sides vacant
land. Hereunto said William Burrows and Rachel Burrows, his wife, have set
their seals. Signed William (W his mark) Burrows, Rachel (her mark) Burrows.
Wit: James Abercrombie, John Pinson. Proved by John Pinson on 18 July 1797
before Joseph Downs, J.P. Recorded 18 July 1797." [Laurens County Deed
Book F: 247] Text from "Laurens County, S.C.: Rabun Creek Settlement" [page
67] [page 68] |
Oct. 21, 1795 - William Burris, of Laurens County, gives Power of Attorney to David Burriss. No relationship given. [Laurens county Deeds Vol F:33] This would have given David Burris the power to legally act for William Burris.
It appears David Burris stayed in Laurens county as late as 1803 (probably as late as 1807) because of the following deed.
Jan. 20, 1803: "David Burris, of Laurens Dist., S.C., to Thaddeus Sims and William Osbourn, of same place, for $400; 197 3/4 acres on waters of Rabourns Creek. Being part of a tract of an original grant to Pierce Butler, Esq., and by said Butler to D. Bize and by sundry legal conveyances to the said David Burris. [Plat shows bounding Lewis Saxon, Thos. Johnson, James Cunningham, A. Calder, John Cochran]. David Burris (LS) Wit: James Hunter, John Cochran. Proved by John Cochran 20 January 1804 before Josiah Blackwell, J.P. Dower of Mary Burris, wife of the within named David Burris given 31 March 1804 before Charles Allen, J.Q. " [Laurens County Deed Book H: 57] Text from "Laurens County, S.C.: Rabun Creek Settlement" [page 66]
|1795-1799||In the mid to late 1790s the Burris family evidently migrates from South Carolina to Kentucky. It's possible they could have lived in Tennessee for a few years between South Carolina and Kentucky but there is no evidence at this time.|
April 9, 1799 - William Burris and Thomas Burris are recorded consecutively
in the Clark county, Kentucky tax roll with the same collection date. They only had
personal property of 3 horses. [tax rolls] The
fact they are listed consequently with the same date in a loosely
alphabetical tax roll is a good indicator they were living near or with each
other and certainly not in different areas of the county. They had to
have been taxed together at the same time and noted at the same time in the
tax collector's original papers.|
It is still unclear if this is William Burris senior (presumed father) or William Burris junior (presumed brother). This writer believes the Burris family was sharing a farm/plantation in southern Clark county close to the border with Madison county. It may have been in the section that was made into Estill county in 1808. Isaiah Burris' residence near the other Burris men and proximity to the Box and Barnes family seems to be consistent over the years.
July 7, 1800 - Walter Burris was a bondsman (with Thomas Burgin and William Lackey) for the marriage
of Thomas Burgin to Nancy Owens. The bond was filed in Madison county.
[Walter Burris may have been living just over the border into Clark County
while Thomas Burgin lived in Madison county.] The permission slip signed by Nancy's mother Prudence "Oings" was
witnessed by Isaiah Burris. There was no actual marriage recorded
though. This is the earliest record of Walter Burris in
Kentucky and also connects Walter Burris to Isaiah Burris. [link]
May 15, 1800 - The Clark County, KY tax roll records William Burris and Isaiah Burris with same date (May 15) which may indicate proximity. [tax rolls]
|1801||Isaiah Burris married Rachel Barker on Oct. 22, 1801 and 3 weeks later Thomas Burris married Peggy Tincher on Nov. 12, 1801. Both marriages had the marrriage bonds filed in Madison county, Kentucky but the marriage record recorded in Clark county, Kentucky and performed by James Quisenberry. This may indicate they were close to the border between those counties. John Snethen married Prudence Bowles (1/2 sister of Muke Box mention below) on Oct. 6, 1801 in Clark county, Kentucky and that was also performed by James Quisenberry.|
Walter Burris was taxed resident of Madison county, Kentucky in 1803 and Clark co.,
Kentucky from 1804 to 1808. [More tax rolls]|
1803 (Aug. 11) - Kentucky, Madison county, tax roll - Walter Burris taxed on 200 acres. [image] Walter Burris is listed consecutively (same day) with William Burris and Thomas Burris indicating proximity.
1804 (April 16) - Kentucky, Clark county, tax roll - Walter Burris taxed on personal property only (horses) [image]
1805 (March 25) - Kentucky, Clark county, tax roll - Walter Burris taxed on personal property only (horses) [image]
1806 (March 19) - Kentucky, Clark county, tax roll - Walter Burris taxed on personal property only (horses) [image]
1807 - Kentucky, Clark county (no tax roll book 2).
1808 (May 9) - Kentucky, Clark county, tax roll - Walter Burris taxed on personal property only (horses) [image]
Walter evidently had no land in Clark county at that time and was taxed only on personal property a few horses. Kentucky law required that all males 21 years old and up be taxed annually. Thomas Burris appears to have been a longer resident of Estill county.
There was a Thomas Burrus Sr & Thomas Burrus Jr that also lived in Clark county but that Burrus family originated in Orange county, Virginia. They were NOT the same Thomas Burris that lived in Estill county (formerly southern Clark county before 1808).
On May 28, 1807 Walter Burris married his
second wife Lydia Barnes
in Clark county, Kentucky. The surety for the marriage
was William Barnes. The original marriage license is in the
Kentucky State Archives in the Chenault family papers. David Chenault was
the M.E. minister that performed the marriage. (The Zachariah Barnes family
lived close to Isaiah Burris in Clark/Estill county, Kentucky.) |
Marriage index to first marriage register Clark co., Kentucky, 1793-1831
"Walter Burrus to Lydia Barnes, Page 74". Page 74: "Walter Burns to Lidia Barnes, May 28, 1807" This book is transcribed from "Clark co., Kentucky, Marriage Register 1W"
Clark co., Kentucky, Marriage Register 1W [index] [Page 74] FHLC film
Marriage bonds of Clark co., Kentucky from the formation of the county in 1793 to 1850 by George F Doyle, 1933
"Walter Barnes and Lidia Barnes, surety William Barnes, April 27, 1807" Many other Burruses listed. [Image]
|1808||Daughter Rebecca Burris born about 1808 (or 1810) probably in Estill county, Kentucky. Rebecca Burris was married to Elijah Green in 1831 and if you subtract the average marriage age of 20 you get she a birth year of about 1811± 3 years. Rebecca was born in Kentucky according to her (assumed) son's answer on the 1880 census. She would have been born at least 9 months after the marriage of her parents and by before 1811 when Walter Burris had arrived in Missouri. Therefore she was born about mid 1808 to late 1811 and before or after Nancy was born 1809. The date can be further constricted to 1808-1810 because the 1830 Census indicates she would have been at least age 20 years old (between 20 and 29 years old). The 1808 date is preferred in this genealogy because of the list of children of Walter Burris made by Henry Burris in 1839 which appears to be in chronological birth order. There is no evidence she was as old as other genealogies have.|
|1809||Daughter Nancy Burris born in 1809 probably in Estill county, Kentucky. This date is consistent through 4 consecutive census records.|
|1809-1810||In 1809 or 1810 Walter Burris and David Burris migrate from Kentucky to Missouri apparently going to the settlement north of Loutre Island, Montgomery county, Missouri where other people from same area of Clark/Estill Kentucky had settled previously. John and Prudence (Bowles/Boyles) Snethen had came in 1808. On June 4, 1809 David Burris was last taxed in Estill county, Kentucky so the migration to Missouri was between June 1809 and July 1810 (see next).|
St Charles county, Missouri court files: 1811 - [Snethen
vs. Burris] and
David Burris alleged that on July 1, 1810 John Snethen assaulted David's wife Nelly [Elender] Burris. John Snethen alleged that on July 6, 1810 David Burris attacked him with a butcher knife. On Dec. 20, 1810 James Carter and Walter Burris make an agreement to pay David's fine ($300) should a judgment be made against him by the Court. The alleged assaults happened at the settlement north of Loutre Island, Montgomery county, Missouri. In the court file there is a record of a subpoena issued for Mary Box, James Cole, Stephen Cole Jr and John Savage presumably as witnesses. Mary Box had been married twice and was the mother of Prudence Bowles Snethen (wife of John Snethen) , William Bowles, and Muke Box.
Around 1811 (possibly because of Indian troubles) Walter Burris and David Burris moved west to
then Howard county and then south of the Missouri River in the area that became Boonville, Missouri
(now in Cooper county). The Cole, Savage,
Box families mentioned above and many others also came. See "A History of Cooper County" 1919 [page
66] and "History of Cooper County" 1876 [page
for more information. |
The obituary of Walter's grandson Zachariah Burris says his grandfather [Walter Burris] is credited with building the first house in Boonville, Missouri.
|In 1813 and 1814 northern tribes of Indians believed to be the Sac and Fox tribes caused depredations (property damage, theft) against the recent settlers in the Boonville area.|
Dec. 14, 1814 |
"... Samuel McMahan, who had been staying in McLain's Fort since Indians had burned McMahan's Fort, was on his way to Cole's Fort to drive up some cattle which he had corralled there. He chanced upon a group of pioneers, including Muke Box, Walter Burriss and Gilead Rupe who were cutting a bee tree beside the trail, less than three miles from Cole's Fort. It was supposed afterwards that savages were sneaking up on these settlers, when McMahan came riding along. Instead of attacking the bee hunters, they fired on McMahan. He was shot through the body and his horse was killed. McMahan jumped up and ran towards the river, but redskins overtook him and killed him with three spear thrusts in his back. Then, they scalped him, cut off his head and disemboweled the body.
Hearing gunfire, Rupe and Burriss ran to Fort Cole and gave the alarm. Box climbed a tree and shot one of the murderers as they were returning — in great glee — with McMahan's scalp. Greatly confused, the savages caught up their companion's body and bore it away, limp and lifeless. It was found later in a ravine, a mile away.
The next day, men of Cole's Fort, reinforced by some militia, went out and retrieved McMahan's mangled remains. James Cole, then a boy of 14, carried the body on the pommel of his saddle, and David McGee brought the head, wrapped in a sheepskin..." [Quoted from "Tales of Black Hawk the Red Head and Missouri Rangers" by Perkin 1974.]
In 1815 depositions from the damaged settlers were taken before J. P.
In March 1826 these claims were presented to Congress (19th Congress, 1st Session) as "Senate Document 55" titled "Memorial of the state of Missouri and documents in relation to Indian depredations upon citizens of that state." The Henry Burris and Walter Burris claims are on page 59. The David Burris "senior" and David Burris "junior" claims are on page 33. [Senate Document 55] and [Senate Document 55 summary]
In early 1830s these claims are found in a Congressional Report (22nd Congress, 1st Session) for relief of these damages and can be found in a report called "House Document 38". The David Burris and younger David Burris claims are on page 44 and page 45. The Henry Burris and Walter Burris claims are on page 63. [House Document 38] It's possible there is much existing correspondence with officials in Washington, D.C. in the National Archives.
|1816||In July 1816 Walter Burris was on a jury in Howard County, Missouri. Walter was living in the southern half of the county south of the Missouri River that was made into Cooper County in 1818. [image]|
|1817||In 1817 Walter Burris was a taxpayer in Howard County, Missouri. Walter was living in the southern half of the county south of the Missouri River that was made into Cooper County in 1818. [image]|
|It's unclear if Walter Burris actually moved east to what is now Cole county or if the county borders changed around him changing his jurisdiction from Howard/Cooper county to Cole county.|
|1820||1820 Cole county, Missouri - " Double Springs Church was organized July 15, 1820, with eleven charter members, viz., Joseph Boyer, Sally Boyer, Walter Burris, Nancy Burris, Belinda Graham, Jacob Sowder, Silba Sowder, Isaiah Stephens, John Stephens, Elizabeth Stephens, and Anna Stephens. The presbytery was composed of Elders Peter Wood, Lewis Shelton, and Jacob Chism. " The Nancy Burris must be Walter's daughter Nancy who was 11 years old.|
1830 Federal Census, Missouri, Cole county, p. 194, Walter Burris head of
1 male aged 5 thru 9 [Walter 5]
2 males aged 10 thru 14 [Zachariah 10, Thomas 14]
1 male aged 60 thru 69 [Walter 60+]
1 female aged 5 thru 9 [Prudence 6]
1 female aged 10 thru 14 [Rachel 12]
1 female aged 15 thru 19 [Mary 16-17]
1 female aged 20 thru 29 [Rebecca 19-22]
1 female aged 40 thru 49 [Lydia 40]
|Between 1831 and 1833 Walter Burris moved to Jackson county, Missouri. This date range is calculated from when his daughter Rebecca married in Cole county in 1831 to when his son William married in Jackson county in 1834.|
|1836||In 1836 Walter Burris writes his will and leaves his estate to only his widow Lydia and his children who were still dependent. His older married children received no part of the estate. It's possible Walter had other children that were Henry's age still alive that were left out of his will. Henry's inclusion in Walter's will may only have been because he was able to properly administer the estate being a county judge. [Walter Burris will]|
In late 1839 Walter Burris dies in Jackson county, Missouri. His
exact death date is not known despite what is repeated on Ancestry.
Walter's will is presented to the Jackson County court by Joseph Bradin & John R Swearingin on Oct. 12, 1839. Henry Burris presents administrator bond for the estate of Walter Burris with securities being Daniel Monroe and Job Crabtree dated Oct. 17, 1839. Henry states that Walter Burris " died testate & that he left a widow & twelve children to wit: his widow Lydia Buriss, John Burriss, Henry Burris, Rebecca Green, Nancy Vernon, William Burriss, Alice Crabtree, Polly Crabtree, Thomas Burriss, Zachariah Burriss, Rachel Crabtree, Prudence Burriss & Walter Burriss. " Henry Burris administrator bond [page 89] and [page 90]
Note that John Burriss is not listed in Walter's will and also that the children appear to be in birth order. Henry was the same age as his step-mother Lydia and so would have known the birth order of his younger 1/2 siblings. The birth order in this genealogy reflects the list Henry gave in his admin bond. Previously Zachariah was placed after Rachel but they have now been swapped and the alternate birth years from the census data supports the slightly different dates as well. Alice is now listed as being born about 1813 (and not 1815) to match the list. This also supports Mary being born later in September 1814 (grave stone) and not the alternative September 1813 (obituary).
1. Walter Burris can be connected to David Burris (1770s-1849) and Isaiah Burris (1776-1850s) both of whom are documented as being from South Carolina. In the absence of direct evidence of pre-Kentucky residence for Walter Burris you have to start looking at the other people he can be associated with who are likely his siblings. Prior to the 1900s people usually travelled in groups of immediate family, extended family and even neighbors.
2. Henry Burris (Walter's son) was born about 1790 in South Carolina according to his son William B Burris' testimony in the 1880 census (California). Taken at face value this places Walter Burris in South Carolina in 1790. The 1790 Census (South Carolina, Laurens County) does indeed record a Walter Burris ("Burress") next to an older William Burris ("Burress").
4. Walter Burris is documented in Clark/Madison county, Kentucky from at least 1800 to 1809. Then Walter is documented in Missouri from 1811 to his death in 1839. These facts prove that our Walter Burris could not be the other Walter Burris still living in Albemarle county, Virginia.
5. A clear evidence-based timeline is now established from South Carolina to Kentucky to Missouri. It's still not known where Walter Burris was born if it wasn't in Laurens county, South Carolina.
Walter Burris' genealogy on Ancestry as repeated in over 200+ trees contains errors regarding Walter's parents, Walter's origins before Missouri, Walter's first wife's name, Walter's second wife's maiden name and parentage,
Walter's siblings, and the identification and birth order of some of Walter's children. This old information was based on preliminary research that dates back 25+ years and was repeated on LDS submissions and by early Ancestry users.
information was not
verified with other evidence or cross-examined. The better alternate leads like the South Carolina were not followed up on by any researchers I know
or even this writer until 2015.
Walter Burris' true genealogy can not be assembled using only the partial data on Ancestry because the records that reveal his true connections are either not on Ancestry or have not been indexed on Ancestry. Because of these gaps previous attempts to build a genealogy has produced errors and mis-associations. A true genealogy can only be assembled through the overlapping of smaller pieces of evidence like tax rolls, deeds and other historical records in Missouri, Kentucky and South Carolina.
Research in 2015-2016 in Kentucky and South Carolina has led to many new important records and produced a radically different and vastly more documented timeline explained in detail above. Many new connections and associations between the various older Burris men in Kentucky and Missouri and others have been worked out and many record gaps have finally been filled.
This section presents a much needed and long overdue cross-examination of the old information and hopefully this will explain why the old information was dismissed by this writer (Lance L Hall).
|Year||The Virginia Walter Burrus timeline||The SC-KY-MO Walter Burris timeline|
|1790||1787 Albermarle county, Virginia - Walter Burris marries Mary Lively. His father gives his consent indicating he was underage (age 17).||1790 Census, South Carolina, Laurens county. Walter's son Henry born in SC. Walter Burris is listed next to William Burris [Burrows] who can be documented in Laurens county back to 1769!|
|1800||1800 Tax List of Albemarle Co., VA. Walter Burrass, 2 white males, 4 horses. (Only Walter Burrass in Albemarle Co.)||1800 Madison County, Kentucky - Walter Burris part of a marriage bond with Isaiah Burris. 1803 Madison county, Kentucky - Walter Burris taxed on 200 acres.|
|1805||1805 (Feb 2) Virginia, Albemarle county, Deed Book 15, Page 87, Robert and Judith Burrus and Walter Burrus and wife Mary sold to Charles Lany 63 acres for $200.Located on Buck Island Creek, part of a larger tract where Walter Burrus
||1804-1808 Clark County, Kentucky - Walter Burris taxed on personal
1807 Clark County, Kentucky - Walter Burris marries Lydia Barnes.
1809 Kentucky - Walter's daughter Nancy born in Kentucky.
|1810||1810 Virginia census, Albemarle county:
Walter Burrus, 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 26-44 [born 1766-1784], 3 females under 10, 1 female 10-15, 2 females 16-25. 9 total
|1810 Loutre Island
Settlement, Missouri - Walter & David Burris lived at or near.
1811 Boonville, Missouri - Walter Burris early resident with David Burris and son Henry.
1811 Missouri - Walter's son William born.
|1820||1820 Virginia census, Albemarle county, page 29
Walter Burruss, 1 male under 10, 1 male over 45 [before 1775], 2 females 10-15, 1 female 16-25, 1 female 26-44, 1 person engaged in agriculture.
[On Ancestry this census entry is mis-transcribed as "Walter Burrie Jr" because the transcriber mistook the old symbol for a double S (resembles a backwards cursive f ) as a "Jr"]
|1816 Howard county, Missouri - Walter Burris appears on a jury
1817 Howard county, Missouri - Walter Burris taxed
1820 Cole county, Missouri - Walter Burris original member of Double Springs church.
Previous assumptions were dismissed for lack of evidence and so as to not affect research. These assumptions included the supposed first marriage to Mary Lively, the unsupported marriage information for Lydia, the unsupported maiden name of Lydia, the supposed Virginia origin for Walter, the previous interpretations of his will. With this previous assumptions dismissed the task was then to discover what can actually be proven about Walter Burris regarding his whereabouts in the undocumented period and his origins.
There ARE stories of Choctaw (or some other tribe) blood in the Burris line but such stories are attached to EVERY family. Lydia (Walter's 2nd wife) was born in South Carolina (2 census) and therefore could not have been Choctaw Indian just based on birthplace. I'm not ruling out any Indian heritage on Lydia's side because her parents are still a mystery but it's certainly not via the Cole family of Mississippi. Walter's great-grandson Isaac Howard (and 3 siblings) " applied in 1906 for the Eastern Cherokee payout (No. 5638). In the hand written letter with the application file he says ". ..our Cherokee blood came through the Howards on my mother's side - is Choctaws and Chickasaws which came through the Burriss..." The problem with this is that our Burris family came from South Carolina which was nowhere near the historic Choctaw or Chicksaw Nations in Mississippi and Alabama. [Albemarle county, Virginia makes it even more impossible.]
If one wanted to force an Indian heritage (which I am not advocating) the best case scenario would be through Walter's unknown mother (if William Burris first married in SC) or Lydia's family in South Carolina where it actually borders the Cherokee and Creek Nations. It seems the Burris family was always on the edge of Indian country wherever they lived. If the Ancestry information was correct (it's not) and Walter's origin was Virginia then obviously there's not Choctaw (or Cherokee) through that route and I doubt there was an Indian population in that area anyways. Actually my alternate South Carolina route for the Burris family actually gives it more a possibility. I don't think it could ever be proven though.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids