Wednesday, October 22, 2014

52 Ancestors - #6: Thomas Terrell Burnette

Thomas Terrell Burnette family, ca. 1908
Thomas Terrell Burnette, the son of Samuel Pride Burnett and Millicent Virginia Overton, was born July 20, 1869 in Gwinnett County, Georgia. He was the 2nd child of 13—John William, Thomas, C. B. Annbelle, Abijah Winkfield, Oscar Lee, Mathew E., Laura J., Frances Elizabeth, Mattie Lou, Benjamin Franklin, Virginia O., Joseph Benjamin, and Mollie M. Burnett. He is my great-grandfather.

The “e” in Burnette comes and goes. First you see it, and then you don’t. I’ve chosen to use it for Thomas but not for his father, Samuel, based on what was used on their tombstones.

The Burnette family was just getting started when the enumerator came through Covington, Newton County Georgia on July 28, 1870. Thomas, at 11 months old, was just an infant. His big brother John was two. Their father farmed the land while their mother kept house. Thomas’ mother was born in Newton County so it’s no surprise that they lived there.

By June 18, 1880, the family had moved from Newton to Gwinnett County, living in the Harbins District. Thomas was 10 years old.

Thomas married Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Henry Clayborn Jones, Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Tuck, on December 10, 1893 in Walton County, Georgia. Together, they had 13 children—Luther Terrell, Eva Drucilla, Floria Mae, Jesse, twin to Jesse, Willie Loyd, Prince Albert, Claudia (twin), Maudie (twin), Henry T., Eleanor Estelle, Samuel A., and Julia Virginia Burnette.

On June 26, 1900, Thomas and family lived in the Vinegar Hill District of Walton County, Georgia. Thomas and Elizabeth have been married for six years. He’s a farmer. The record shows that Elizabeth has had five children and that five are living. However, there are only four children listed in the census record—Luther, Eva (enumerated as Ever), Flora, and a son named Jesse (age 1, born January 1899 in Georgia). According to a living family member, Elizabeth had two sets of twins. One set survived but one set died at age one. This census record is the only time I find a child named Jesse listed. Where is the fifth child? Is that child Jesse’s twin? If the family history is true, Jesse would have died shortly after this census was taken.

On April 28, 1910, Thomas and family lived in Greshamville, Greene County, Georgia. He’s enumerated as Tom and is still farming. This record shows that Elizabeth has had 10 children, 8 of which are living. This leads me to believe the twin story is true. Still at home are Luther, Eva (again enumerated as Ever), and Floria and they’ve added five more children to the family—Willie, Prince (enumerated as Price), twins Claude and Maud, and Henry.

On January 10, 1916 Thomas’ mother died, most likely in Walton County. She was buried at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Loganville, Walton County.

By February 13, 1920, the family has moved to the Walkers District of Greene County where they would stay. Thomas is still farming on a general farm. Elizabeth is enumerated as Lizzie. Ten children are living in the home. Two years after Henry was born, Elizabeth gave birth to Eleanor, followed by Samuel (enumerated as Sammie), and Julia. As often happens, Thomas’ father, Samuel, 78 years old and widowed, had moved in with his son after the death of his wife. Thomas’ son Luther and his wife Etta Belle lived next door.

Tom and Lizzie's headstone at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery
Thomas’ father died on September 2, 1926 in Monroe, Walton County, Georgia. He was buried beside his wife at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

On April 14, 1930, the family still lived in the Walkers District. Only three of their children are living in the home now—Henry, Sam, and Julia. Everyone in the house is able to read and write. Luther and his family still lived next door and have added two daughters to their family—Hazel and Francis. Thomas is still farming and now has Henry as a helper.

On February 6, 1940 at age 71, Thomas died in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. He was buried at Walker United Methodist Church Cemetery in Greensboro. His death certificate listed the cause of death as chronic myocarditis, an inflammation of heart muscle.

My Daddy remembers Thomas as being a good man and always spoke fondly of him.

The family photo at the beginning of this blog post was taken at a Jones family reunion. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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