Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jesse O. Burgess

My journey started with my paternal great grandfather. Jesse was born in Stewartstown, Eastern District, Monongolia, Virgina on December 3, 1835.

He was the second child of Edward Burgess and Catherine Pixler. He had an older sister name Louisa born in 1831 and a younger brother named James born in 1835.

Edward and Catherine were enumerated as being born in Pennsylvania. I have not been able to prove this with any written record as of yet. Catherine was quite a bit older than Edward having been born in about 1791. Edward was born about 1810. So when Jesse was born his parents were 25 and 44.

Jesse was enumerated in the 1850 Census in Virginia, I have not been able to locate him in a 1860 Census, but he was married to Mary Louise Dibble in 1862 in Iowa. He again is in Black Hawk County, Iowa for the 1870. 1880, 1900 and 1910 Censuses.

I learned about this man from his own words….my Burgess family was very lucky in that they had letters he had written to Mary, his wife during the Civil War.

She had gone to war with Jesse and was a nurse/cook for his group. And some how, I can’t imagine, got pregnant and went home to Pennsylvania to be with her Mom to have the baby.


He wrote of where he was, how far they marched and what battles they had found on their way. His unit was part of Sherman’s March to the Sea, but most of all he wrote about how much he missed her, and how we couldn't’t wait to see his precious “Ruby”. His son Reuben Arza Burgess was born in Conneautville, Crawford, Pennsylvania on September 5th, 1864. He also told her how much the men missed her cooking and help along the way.

He wrote her poetry, this is from one of the letters:


The swollen buds apon the trees
Seems bursting forth with every breeze
A sweetness fills those spring days
And warmer shines the suns soft rays
Her silver thread the spider weaves
Apon many trees there are green leaves

With every step come around the years
In spite our smiles or bitter tears.
Our yearning hearts awaits the day
When this cloud of war shall pass away
Then shall this might of sorrow cease,
And freedom dawn with lasting peace

J.O. Burgess

He was a very young man, newly married and missing his wife horribly as I am sure thousands did also.

The back round on this blog is one of his letters.

He would sign his letter to her: scan02321

“J O Burgess to Mary L Burgess the heroine of the Great Rebellion”.

His handwriting was amazing considering what kind of education people received back then.

He was very fortunate to come home to his little family, so many didn't…..

U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
about Jesse O Burgess
Name: Jesse O Burgess
Residence: Rossville, Iowa
Age at Enlistment: 26
Enlistment Date: 15 Aug 1862
Rank at enlistment: 5th Corpl
State Served: Iowa
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Enlisted in Company I, Iowa 27th Infantry Regiment on 05 Sep 1862.
Promoted to Full 4th Corporal.
Promoted to Full 4th Sergeant on 01 Jul 1864.
Promoted to Full 5th Sergeant on 10 Mar 1864.
Mustered out on 08 Aug 1865 at Clinton, IA.
Birth Date: abt 1836
Sources: Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of Rebellion

There will be more on Jesse and Mary, but this was their start in life together.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My reason for this Blog

Before I get into my Family tree and such, I wanted to let you know why I started looking for my family to begin with.
I lost my parents when I was in my late 20's...totally unexpected. They died within 14 months of each other. At the time I was trying to find out what it was like being a new wife and a new Mom. My world just exploded. It has taken years to find my way.
About 5 years ago I wanted to start scrapbooking, and decided I needed to start with the only "photo" I had of my paternal greatgrandfather, Jesse O. Burgess. ( The gentleman in the banner on the left)
My Dad was really into history and very proud of his heritage. I had listened to him talk about his grandfather and the Civil War and had seen the letters from Jesse, but that was about it. My Dad has one sister and God Bless her she is still with us. Her name is Rosemary, and we have spent a lot of hours in the last 4 years talking about the family. I would ask questions and it would spark a memory and away we would go!
One my Mom's side, everyone except some of my cousins are gone. There is no one to ask one. So that side of the family was a real puzzle and finding out about this side has lead me on some great journeys! I have more family than I ever knew!
So, the scrapbooking took a backseat and the genealogy became my passion. As with all of us, I love the hunt! I still haven't done that scrapbook page. :)
So, I will be sharing my stories, and what I learned about genealogy this last 5 years. I hope that what I write might help someone else on their journey too!