Monday, September 12, 2011

71. Eliza Burton (poss. Eliza Williams Burton Anderson, 1795-1859)

There was a student named Eliza Burton on the rolls at the Mordecai school, attending for both sessions in the year 1810. There's no adult's name or hometown attached to the listing in my dissertation appendix. And I can't find any mention of her in the Mordecai correspondence.

To add to the complications of finding this student, "Eliza Burton" isn't a very unusual name; there's an Eliza Burton Conley in Wikipedia for example (who sounds very interesting, but she's not the Mordecai student). But let's look anyway...

There are a lot of Burtons in the Virginia/NC border region around 1800. The most likely candidate for a family connection is Col. Robert Burton (1747-1825) of Granville County, NC. He was politically connected and had business associations with several other men who had Mordecai school connections; his wife Agatha Williams was kin to the Bullocks (already mentioned as having Mordecai school connections). Robert and Agatha had a daughter Eliza Williams Burton (1795-1859), their eleventh child. She married a Scotsman, James Anderson (1796-1874), and was buried in Henderson, Vance County, NC. (A photograph of her gravestone is here, and a photograph of James Anderson's gravestone in the same cemetery.) This Eliza Burton's son Robert Burton Anderson (c. 1833-1889) became a Presbyterian minister and a teacher at a South Carolina "female college," and his papers are in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill.

There's a good chance she's the Mordecai student--the age and location and social status are all perfect for a girl to be at the school in 1810. But I'd still love to find a stronger tidbit of information to secure that match. Maybe there's a letter in the Robert Burton Anderson papers, recounting his mother's story.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

69. and 70. Maria Burt and William Burt

Two student named Burt were at the school for both sessions of 1810, Maria and William Burt. Maria stayed longer, through the end of 1814, one of the school's longest-running students. They were probably local kids--most boy students were--and the adult name attached to the account was William Burt.

William Burt appears throughout the school's ledger during Maria's school years, including a notation in February 1814 that she was taking music lessons as an add-on to her tuition. Oddly, for local students who stayed a while, there's very little else about the Burt children in the surviving Mordecai correspondence.

There were a lot of Burts in the vicinity of the Warrenton, and a lot of them were named William, so this took a little detangling, but.... This William Burt of Halifax NC married Martha Elizabeth Eelbank Bond (d. c. 1814), in 1797, and they had children William S. Burt, Harriet Burt (Mrs. Richard Eppes), and Maria Louisa Burt, according to various wills. Maria Louisa Burt married Henry Garrett before 1823. Her brother William became a doctor, married Priscilla M. Williams, and moved to Tennessee in 1833. (There was Mordecai student named Priscilla Williamson--hmmmm. I know from my own patronym that people add/subtract the "son" from such names very casually, maybe especially in the South, so that could be the same person.)

However! A different William Burt (1782-1848), also local, married another Mordecai student, Susan Sims, in 1812. He'd be too old to be a student at the school, but I mention him to illustrate the trickiness of all this. It'll be a while before Priscilla Williams or Susan Sims get their own entries at this blog, but when they do I'll link back to this.