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The Burr/Burrough Family History

By Al Burr


   In December of 2006, I wrote Remembering Lonnie & Belle Burr – A Family History which contained some of the known history of my father’s parents. Since then, I have continued the research of the Burr / Burrough family history which is presented here. It was my goal to expand and supplement the history presented in the December, 2006 work rather than duplicate it; however, for the benefit of readers who have not read Remembering Lonnie & Belle Burr, I have presented enough of Lonnie’s history to give a frame of reference.


Alan T. “Al” Burr


February, 2008


Table of Contents



The Lonnie Burr Family

The Burrough Family History

Burrough Land Transactions Map

Mary Elizabeth Burrow

John Lane Burrough

Adolphus “Dolph” Burr(ough)

John Bowden & Ollie Parker Bowden





The Lonnie Burr Family


     Besides being my grandfather, Lonnie was also my next door neighbor in Watson, Alabama which is in Jefferson County. Although the postal designation is Watson, the community is also known as Mineral Springs. There was also another Lonnie Burr (Lonnie B.) who lived several miles away who was a nephew of my grandfather. Unless stated otherwise, any reference to Lonnie in this document refers to my grandfather.

     Lonnie was born in Cook Springs in St. Clair County, Alabama on June 28, 1890. His parents were Henry and Paralee Finley Burrough. Henry was born on April 20, 1849, and Paralee was born on January 13, 1856, according to entries in a family Bible. They were married on August 25, 1889, in St. Clair County. Their marriage license stated that Henry had been married before but Miss Finley had not. Henry’s first marriage was to Elizabeth Finley, an older sister of Paralee, and is believed to have taken place on December 23, 1868, in Coosa County, Alabama.

     Various documents show different spellings and arrangements of Henry’s name. Although most documents in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s showed his name as Henry or Henry F., some early documents referred to him as Francis H. or F.H. It seems likely that his original given name was Francis Henry and that later in life he transposed the names. His last name was variously spelled as Burrough, Burroughs, Borough, Boroughs, Burrow, Burrows, and Borrows. In my opinion, Burrough was probably the preferred spelling.

     Sometime around the early 1900’s, some of Henry’s family shortened the name Burrough to Burr. The most popular story is that Paralee shortened it due to her limited spelling ability, but there could be other explanations as well.

     One source of information that is cited numerous times throughout this document is referred to as the “Burr Family Bible” for lack of a better term. It has been passed down through several hands over the years and I do not know who the original owner was. Some of the information about the Bowdens, in particular their marriage details, is pretty specific so either they contributed to the recorded information or possibly possessed it at some point.

     Census reports of the 1800’s indicated several children born to Henry and Elizabeth. There are oral history accounts and/or family Bible entries for Adolphus “Dolph”, Louisa “Lou”, and Eular Lee. Louisa married a Bagley and had two sons, Frank and Jim. There are no oral history accounts of Eular Lee but her name appears in the Burr Family Bible and also in the 1900 census as “Ular”. The census reports also listed J.H. and John but no one remembers them.

     Henry and Paralee had two children, Lonnie and Zack. Paralee also had a son named John Bowden who is somewhat of a genealogical mystery. There is a later section in this document titled “John Bowden & Ollie Parker Bowden” which explores the history of John and his wife Ollie.

     Zack, Lonnie’s only full brother, married Inrous Parker. More information on her is included in the section titled “John Bowden & Ollie Parker Bowden” which was mentioned above. A mining accident claimed Zack’s life on February 29, 1916.

     With the exception of Dolph, I have not found much additional information on any of Lonnie’s other siblings. Later in this document you will find a section titled “Adolphus Dolph Burr(ough)” that has more details about Dolph and his family. 

     Lonnie was only about four years old when Henry died so there were no first hand stories for him to pass down. Death record journals at the St. Clair County courthouse in Ashville, Alabama show that Henry died of pneumonia on March 21, 1894, at age 47. His occupation was listed as “railroad hand”. According to some stories passed down from Aunt Estelle, Henry was the foreman of a crew that built railroad trestles. Included in the exhibits at the end of this document is an old photo that was passed down from Lonnie. The photo appears to involve railroad construction and one of the persons in the photo is believed to be Henry.

     Henry’s father, John, died many years before Lonnie was born. As you will read later, John was an officer in the Confederate Army. John’s wife died at either the same time as John or within a short time span. I have not been able to determine their cause of death.

       The exact location of Henry’s home site has not been determined but the general vicinity was in Cook Springs. A tax document to Henry F. Burrough from the St. Clair County, Alabama tax assessor dated January 19, 1893, (see Exhibits) has a legal description of Section 35, Township 16, Range 2 – 40 acres. The description of “SW & NE” apparently means the south west quarter of the north east quarter which would equate to 40 acres. When I plotted the information on a map of St. Clair County, I found the location to definitely be in Cook Springs, Alabama.

     On August 31, 1913, Lonnie married Nora Belle Brake in Brookside, Alabama according to an entry in the Burr Family Bible. Nora Belle was the daughter of James Marion Brake and Permelia Bandora “Dora” Eastis. Lonnie and Belle had 6 children throughout the course of their long marriage: three daughters – Lillian Estelle, Cora Mae and Marjorie Belle “Margie”along with three sons – James Marion , fraternal twins Olen Lonnie “Paul” and Rolen Henry “Pete”. As of the time of this writing, Pete is the sole survivor .( Pictured above, L to R top – Margie, Cora, Estelle, Belle, Lonnie; L to R bottom – Pete, James, Paul)

      Lillian Estelle was born on August 10, 1914, and first married Andrew Fred Grill who was born on March 10, 1908. He died on September 21, 1949, and Estelle later married William A. “Bill” Johnston who was born on October 30, 1898. Bill died on August 7, 1973, and Estelle died on December 20, 1996.

     Cora Mae was born on March 16, 1917, and married J.C. McAllister. Cora died on October 1, 1997. Her husband preceded her in death but I don’t know the date.

      James Marion (my father) was born on October 19, 1920, and married Mary Evelyn Lynch who was born on December 7, 1924. James died on August 1, 1980. At the time of this writing, Mother is still living.

      Marjorie Belle “Margie” was born on October 23, 1924, and married Frank Osborn Woodward who was born on September 4, 1919. Margie died on September 5, 2000, and Frank died on October 14, 2002.

      Olen Lonnie “Paul” was born on November 18, 1928, and married Melba McConnell. Paul died on October 16, 1957. At the time of this writing, Melba is still living.

      Rolen Henry “Pete” was born on November 18, 1928, and married Betty Carreker. At the time of this writing, both are still living.

         Belle died on June 2, 1959, at Carraway Methodist Hospital during surgery to repair complications from an emergency appendectomy that occurred about a month earlier.     Lonnie held on for a few more years and died on February 23, 1961, at the home of his daughter, Estelle. His was buried in Bivens cemetery next to his wife Belle.



The Burrough Family History


     There is no oral history or family record of Henry’s ancestors so the only clue to his lineage is through census records and other public documents which are often sketchy and sometimes contradictory. Family names are often repeated, making it very confusing to trace lineages. During a period of time in my life, there were three living persons named James Burr and two named Lonnie Burr (three including Olen Lonnie Burr). Research also shows that the names Henry and John were repeated several times.

     The census records are the most prolific source of data but they are often flawed because a lot of the working class folks were unable to read and write and relied on the census taker to decide the spelling of names and to compute ages from birthdates, etc. It is not at all unusual to find different spellings and different ages for the same person.

     When working with census data, it is also important to note that the boundaries of the various counties in Alabama have been changed over the years. This is obvious when you look at the maps above for 1830 and 1880. (Maps courtesy of the University of Alabama Department of Cartography). In some cases, parts of different counties were used to form new counties. Coosa County was not formed until December 18, 1832 by the Alabama Legislature. For this reason, the fact that someone was listed in one county in one census and another county in another census does not necessarily mean that the person moved.

     Based on census records, it appears that Henry’s parents (Lonnie’s grandparents) were John and Martha Posey Burrough. John’s father was also named Henry and was born in North Carolina in 1783, according to census reports.  Henry (John’s father) was married to Winney Posey. According to the 1850 census, Winney was born in South Carolina in approximately 1800. Her birth year is somewhat contradicted by other documents which indicate that she was married in 1810, which would mean that she was only 10 years old when she got married. Obviously either the census or the marriage information is incorrect. The belief that Henry and Winney were John’s parents is mostly circumstantial although the preponderance of evidence strongly supports the theory. Proximity of households, ages, and financial and legal transactions infer such a relationship; however, to date I have not been able to find any document such as a will that is conclusive proof.

     There are some family legends that suggest a kinship to Rube Burrows, the infamous train robber of the late 1800’s. If correct, that would open the door for documenting more of the past, since considerable family research has been undertaken by descendants of Rube Burrows. A later section titled “Mary Elizabeth Burrow” explores this a little more.

     The earliest information about the older Henry (John’s father) was gleaned from pension records, copies of which I obtained from the National Archives. According to these records, Henry served as a private in the Georgia Militia during the War of 1812. A wealth of information was contained in the documents and will be presented later in chronological order. For now, the pertinent information showed that he enlisted in November of 1814 and served in Captain Samuel Lane’s Company. One document showed an enlistment date of November 8 while another showed the date to be November 21. He served at Mobile, Alabama and was discharged in March or April of 1815, depending upon which document you read. One of the documents also indicates that he married Winney Posey on August 10, 1810, in Jasper County, Georgia.

     Evidence suggests that John had at least two brothers, Thomas Coleman A. and Francis M. According to census reports, John and his brothers were born in Alabama and in the mid 1800’s they lived in Coosa County, Alabama. John was the oldest of the three and he was born around 1823. Some researchers believe that they had a sister named Mariah who later married James Finley. Mariah and James Finley were the parents of Paralee Finley, the second wife of Henry (Lonnie’s father). There was a documented marriage of a Maria Burrough to a James Findley in nearby Autauga County. However, it is possible that it was just a coincidence because Paralee’s death certificate lists her mother’s maiden name as being Bates.

     Some of the earliest references to the Burroughs family in Alabama in the area of Coosa County are mentioned in neighboring Autauga County but there is no way to establish with certainty that they are of the same lineage. Records in Autauga County show a list of letters remaining in the post office at Washington (Autauga County) on the 1st of July, 1822. On the list is a letter to Henry Borough. The Posey and Dennis families who intertwined with the Burroughs through several marriages had definite ties to Autauga County. You will read more about the Posey and Dennis families a little later.

     The 1830 census for Autauga County listed a H. Burrough. Interestingly, he lived in the Captain Borough’s District. Keep in mind that Coosa County had not been formed in 1830. As you will read a little later, the early census reports had only summary information for family members other than the head of household. Based on that information, the data was reconcilable for the male members of the household of

H. Burrough with that of the Henry Burrough who appeared in the 1850 census. The age of the oldest female was consistent with that of Winney, Henry’s wife. However, there were four other females listed, presumed to be daughters, although the census did not identify the relationship of occupants of the house. One was under 5 years of age and another was at least 5 but under10. The third person was at least 10 but under 15 and the fourth was at least 15 but under 20. Later, I theorize about the possibility of a daughter named Sileney but that would still leave three females unaccounted for. 

     Although it is difficult to determine exactly when Henry and Winney moved to what is now Coosa County, a deed at the Coosa County Courthouse dated February 2, 1837, documented a sale of land by them to John Duncan. The property was described as “Section 4, Township 22, Range 16 East, also the East half of Section 5, Township 22, Range 16 East all of the Tallapoosa Land District”. A Section consists of 640 acres so it appears that they sold 960 acres (1 ½ Sections). They received $ 500 for the property.

     Near the end of this section, there is a current map of Coosa County (courtesy of the University of Alabama Department of Cartography) captioned “Burrough Land Transactions”. I attempted to plot the location of this land sale as well as other property sales and purchases that I was able to determine. As a bit of explanation for some of the terminology used to describe land descriptions, a Township is six miles square, containing thirty six sections, one mile square, of 640 acres each. The northeast corner of a Township is numbered Section1 and the northwest corner is numbered Section 6. The southwest corner is numbered section 31 and the southeast corner is numbered Section 36.  Remaining sections alternate as to whether the number increases from east to west or west to east. On the presented map of Coosa County, the blocks that are plotted represent a whole Section. In many cases, the transaction was for less than an entire section but I could not find a practical way to depict the exact size. The reader should just keep in mind that the described land was contained within the plotted section.

     The 1840 census for Coosa County listed a Henry Burrow. Although it is possible that he was a different Henry Burrow than to whom we are interested, it is not likely because the land sale mentioned earlier established his presence in Coosa County and he is the only Henry Burrow (or variant spelling) who appeared in that census. Unfortunately, the census for 1840 and earlier only listed the head of household by name. Other family members were only indicated by numbers of age groups and sex. His family (including him and spouse) included one male 5 and under 10, one male 10 and under 15, one male 15 and under 20,  one male 50 and under 60, one female 5 and under 10, and one female 40 and under 50. The ages of all of the males and of the older female are consistent with the ages of Henry, Winney, and their sons as listed in the 1850 census where they are listed by name along with their ages. The female between 5 and 10 years of age is a little puzzling but my theory is that she was Sileney (or Salina) whom I discuss a little later.

On June 24, 1846, Thomas C. Burrough (John’s brother) married Mary Matilda McSwain. They were married by Thomas Jordan, Justice of the Peace. As noted by the photo of the original marriage license in the Exhibits, his wife was listed as Matilda but later census reports listed her as Mary.

     John married Martha Posey on July 15, 1846. Martha was the daughter of Francis W. Posey and Delamy (or Delany) Minor. They were neighbors of John and Martha in the mid 1800’s and their family ties are well documented in numerous documents that appear later in this writing. Interestingly, Eli Posey (Martha’s brother) was married to Nancy Boothe on the same day. Both were married by John Yates, Minister of the Gospel. (See Exhibits for John Burrough marriage record.)

     The Posey families were neighbors of John and Martha during the 1850’s and early 1860’s. The 1850 census showed that Eli Posey and family lived on one side of Francis (F.W.) Posey. John Burrough and Martha Posey Burrough lived on the other side. The census listed the wife of Francis W. as being Delany and shows that both were age 50 and both were born in South Carolina. John’s one year old son was listed as Francis on that census. He apparently was named after his grandfather (Martha’s father). Later census reports and other documents showed his other name to be Henry, probably named for his other grandfather. About 40 years later, Henry (Francis) became Lonnie’s father.

      The census indicated that Francis W. Posey was born in South Carolina. John’s mother, Winney was also born in South Carolina according to the census reports and her maiden name was also Posey. Although it is speculation on my part, it seems likely that Winney and Francis W. were related. Based on their ages, it is possible that they were siblings but again, this is entirely speculation. If true, that would mean that John and Martha were cousins.

      According to the research of descendants of the Posey family, Francis W. Posey was a descendant of John Posey who was born around 1652 in Maryland. Their family history is very confusing because the father of Francis W. was also named Francis and there were several ancestors named John between Francis and the older John.

     While doing research at the Coosa County Courthouse in Rockford, I discovered several documents that intrigued me and puzzled me. One of these documents was a marriage license for Thomas Bates and Sileney Borough dated January 21, 1847 (see Exhibits). The 1850 census showed that Thomas and Sileney (Salina in the census) were neighbors of Francis M. Borough and Coleman (Thomas C. or T.C.) Burrough. According to the census, Sileney was born in Alabama. Although it could be a coincidence, it would seem likely that Sileney was related to Francis and T.C. Her age was just a few years younger than Francis and T.C. so that rules out the possibility that she was a child of John, Francis, or T.C.

      If related, the most plausible theory is that she was their sister. A little earlier, I mentioned an unidentified female who appeared in the 1840 census as part of the Henry Burrow family. Her age was between 5 and 10 years in 1840. If she were close to age 10, then she would have been about 16 or 17 in 1847. Salina was 19 in 1850, according to the census for that year and she already had a 2 year old daughter named Rhody, so she must have been pretty young when she married.

     There are other possibilities, but to me the evidence seems to indicate that she was a sibling and that Thomas Bates was possibly a sibling of Mariah Bates (later Mariah Finley). If so, that would explain the seeming connection between Mariah and Henry and Winney that is presented later.

     On August 17, 1847, Francis M. Burrough (Burraugh on the marriage license) married Nancy Martin. They were married by William Baxley, Justice of the Peace. A copy of their marriage license appears in the exhibits later.

     William Bates married Lucinda Dennis on August 26, 1847. Lucinda was the daughter of Peter Dennis. Peter is believed to be a brother of Posey Dennis, the second husband of Mariah Bates Finley. William was killed in the Civil War and Lucinda later filed for his pension. Quite a lot of history of the Dennis family is presented in The Heritage of Coosa County which is available in many Alabama libraries.


     In the 1850 census (November 14, 1850 – Hatchett Creek District, Coosa County, Alabama) Henry and Winney (ages 67 and 50 respectively) lived alone. Their next door neighbors were James and Mariah Finley and family.  (Paralee’s death certificate shows her parents as James Finley and Mariah Bates). Of particular interest is the fact that the Finleys had a daughter named Elizabeth.

      Coleman A. Burrough  (his name also appears in later census reports as Thomas Coleman A. or T.C.) , his wife Mary  and their children lived nearby. Note on the census excerpt that Coleman and Mary’s names were spelled “Burrough” and their children‘s names were spelled “Borough”. This underscores the fact that the exact spelling of a person’s name was often due to the whim of the person who completed the census forms. Coleman was apparently a son of Henry and Winney.

     Francis M. Borough and wife Nancy (ages 21 and 23 respectively) and their infant son John (John Lane, according to other sources) also lived nearby. Francis M. appeared to be another son of Henry and Winney.

      A photo of John Lane Burrough (son of Francis M. and Nancy) appears on the left. It is courtesy of Dolores Davis – one of his descendants who lives in Maryland. Dolores is an avid genealogist and family historian who provided a lot of helpful information. You can read more about John in the section titled “John Lane Burrough”.

     Last but not least, the census shows John and Martha living nearby with daughter Mary and son Francis (Francis Henry, also known as  Henry Francis – Lonnie’s father). His age is listed as one year, which matches the other sources that show him to be born in 1849.

     The 1850 census also lists numerous other Burroughs families in Alabama, but so far I have been unable to prove a connection between them and my ancestors. The main concentrations of other Burroughs families seemed to be clustered in Beat 13 of Randolph County and District 2 of Tuscaloosa County. In Randolph County, several families had heads of household who were born in North Carolina in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s whereas the families in Tuscaloosa tended to have their origin in South Carolina. Because of the proximity of Randolph to Coosa County and the link to North Carolina where Henry Burrough was born, I tend to believe that the probability of a family tie is greater for the Randolph group but entirely possible for both groups.

     Henry Burrough gave an affidavit on January 27, 1851, in Coosa County, Alabama in order to apply for bounty land for his service in the War of 1812. My transcription of the handwritten document from the National Archives is as follows:

State of Alabama, Coosa County. On this 27th day of January A.D. 1851, Personally appeared before me Elias Kelley a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid Henry Burrough age Sixty Seven a resident of Coosa County in the State of Alabama, who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Henry Burrough who was a private in the Company commanded by Capt. Samuel Lane, in the regiment commanded by Colonel William W. Jones in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June A.D. 1812 and that he volunteered in Jasper County in the State of Georgia on or about the 1st November A.D. 1814 for the term of six months and continued in actual service in said war for the term of six months, and was Honourably discharged at Fort Hawkins in the State of Georgia on or about the 28th day of April A.D. 1815 an account of affirmation of term of service, as will appear by the Muster Roll of said Company – the original discharge has been worn out or I lost – some fifteen years ago. He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Bounty land to which he may be entitled under the act granting bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States before the 28th September A.D. 1850.

     On January 16, 1852, Henry and Winney sold some land to George Lewis for $ 800. According to the deed, the property conveyed was “all of the south half of section number thirty three, Township twenty three, Range sixteen of the Tallapoosa Land District.” Apparently, the price of land increased significantly since 1837 when they sold the other adjacent property. (See “Burrough Land Transactions” map for location.)  In 1837, they received $ 500 for 1 ½ Sections and in this sale they received $ 800 for ½ of a Section.

     A second affidavit was filed by Henry Burrough on May 1, 1855, in Coosa County for the purpose of applying for additional bounty land warrants. The facts stated in it are almost identical to the affidavit filed on January 7, 1851, describing his military service. His age is listed as seventy three which is a few years out of sync with his 1851 affidavit. According to the 1855 affidavit, he had already received a land warrant of eighty acres for his earlier application.

     Henry and Winney also sold land to John and Thomas C. Burrough on February 8, 1858. The property was described in the deed as “The one half of the south west quarter of the south west quarter of section of section no. eighteen of Township no. (22) of Range eighteen. Also one half of the north west quarter of section nineteen of Township twenty two of Range Eighteen East in the Tallapoosa Land District.” The price received was       $ 400. A copy of the deed appears in the exhibits.

     A document from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management shows that John Burrough of Coosa County purchased 40 acres from the U.S. Government on March 1, 1858. A copy of this document appears later. The land was described as “the South East quarter of the South West quarter of Section 36 in Township twenty three of Range seventeen in the District of Lands subject to sale at Montgomery, Alabama”. Although the document stated that “full payment has been made”, it did not specify the amount.

     On December 4, 1858, John and Martha sold some land to Lacy B. Castleberry for $ 200. The land was described in the deed as “the South East quarter or fourth of the South West quarter or fourth part of Section Thirty Six in Range Seventeen of Township Twenty Three”.  Based on the legal description, this property was the same property that John purchased from the U.S. Government on March 1, 1858. 

     On January 6, 1859, an estate sale of the personal property of Malinda Posey was held in nearby Autauga County. Although I have not seen the original record, I have read a transcript of the proceeding. Nathaniel Posey was the administrator of the estate. The document listed each item of her personal property and the name of the purchaser. Henry Burough purchased a “maid servant Sarah” for $ 102 and a chain for $ 1.40. John Burough purchased a horse for $ 58.20. Although it is difficult to prove with certainty that they were the correct Henry and John, it seems very likely. Among the other purchasers was Singleton Posey who some researchers believe was the brother of F.W. Posey, the father-in-law of John Burrough.

      Earlier, I mentioned the discovery of two intriguing and puzzling documents at the Coosa County Courthouse. The first was the marriage of Thomas Bates to Sileney Burrough. The second was the marriage of J.T. Burrough to Louiza Lowry. As noted in the photo of the original (see Exhibits), the marriage was performed by E.T. Akins, M.G. (Minister of the Gospel) on December 17, 1859. Mr. Akins (Edmund T.) was a neighbor of John Burroughs and also as you will read a little later, he was the administrator of the estate of Francis W. Posey, John’s father-in-law.

     There were numerous Lowrey families in Coosa County during the mid 1800’s, including a family headed by Giles Lowrey who appeared in the 1850 census. Among his children was an eight year old daughter named Louisa. This means that she would have been seventeen in 1859, the year of the reported marriage. The marriage license stated that “male of lawful age, written consent of parents of female” which indicates that the bride was a young woman. In my mind, this accounts for the origin of Louisa Lowrey but I was unable to find any account of who J.T. Burrough was or where he came from. It seems unlikely that he was named Burrough, married a nearby woman, was married by a minister who was a neighbor of John Burrough, and was not somehow related to John and the other nearby Burrough families. Since he was “of lawful age” at the time of his marriage, it would seem that he was probably in his 20’s. If so, that would mean that he was born in the late 1830’s or early 1840’s. This precludes him from being a son of John or John’s brothers. It is possible that he was another brother of John, but that is purely speculation on my part. Regardless, it seems very likely that he was related.

     On December 20, 1859, Francis W. Posey (usually referred to as F.W.) married Ellen Johnson. They were married by Elias Kelly, Justice of the Peace. As you may recall, F.W. was the father-in-law of John Burrough.

     The 1860 census (July 5, 1860 – Mt. Olive post office, Coosa County , Alabama) showed John and Martha Burrough (ages 36 and 35 respectively) living with 6 children – Mary E., F.H., Enoch, Leney A., Monroe, and Altemi. Of these, F.H. (male, age 10) is of the most interest because he was later identified as Henry (Francis Henry, also known as Henry Francis) who was Lonnie’s father. The names of the children were clarified a few years later in a probate court document after John’s death. The daughter listed as Leney A. in the census was referred to as Adaline in the court document shown above but was listed in later court proceedings as Lina. Apparently her name was Lina (or Leney) Adaline. The daughter listed in the census as Altemi was apparently named Altimira . In summary, John and Martha’s children were Mary E., Henry Francis, Enoch, Lina Adaline, Monroe, and Altimira. The document that is shown states that “the only heirs of said deceased are his six children” which means that the 1860 census comprised a complete list of the children.

     Also listed in the 1860 Coosa County census were Henry and Winney Burrough (ages 78 and 55 ? respectively) Living with them were the Finleys – Mariah (age 35), Jane (age 17), Elizabeth (age 13), Zachariah (age 12), Luvana (age 8), Paralee (age 6), and George (age 3). It is important to keep in mind that this Henry is not Lonnie’s father but rather his great grandfather. The fact that the Finley’s were living with Henry and Winney was probably not just coincidence. The most likely explanation is that Mariah or her previous husband James Finley was somehow related to either Henry or Winnie. I offered a theory earlier as to one possibility.

     The census also showed that T.C. (Thomas Coleman) and (Mary) Matilda Burrough (ages 33 and 32 respectively) and their children lived next door to Henry and Winney. This adds more credibility to the belief that T.C. was a son of Henry and Winney.

     Eli Posey, enlisted in the Confederate army on July 2, 1861, from Coosa County. He was a private in Company H of the 13th Alabama Regiment. As mentioned earlier, Eli was the brother-in-law of John Burrough who got married on the same day as John. Eli died of disease in Richmond, Virginia on September 16, 1861.

     Information from the Civil War service database at the Alabama Department of Archives and History shows that on February 24, 1862, several residents of Coosa County enlisted in Company A of the 46th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Among them were Lacy B. Castleberry, age 34; James M. Posey, age 20; Giles Lowery, age 18; and Thomas J. Burrough, age 24. All enlisted at Rockford, Alabama and were Privates in the Confederate Army.

     Lacy B. Castleberry was the person who purchased land from John and Martha Burrough on December 4, 1858. According to the “Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969”, Lacy married Elizabeth Parker on September 30, 1847 in Coosa County. They were married by William E. Murchison, Justice of the Peace. There is compelling evidence that Elizabeth was the great aunt of Ollie Parker. Ollie married John Bowden, and a later section titled “John Bowden & Ollie Parker Bowden” goes into more detail about the Parker family.

     The family relationship of Thomas J. Burrough is somewhat of a mystery but there is considerable evidence that he was the J.T. Burrough mentioned earlier who married Louisa Lowery on December 17, 1859. Obviously, T.J. and J.T. and not the same name, but transposition of names was not uncommon during that era. As mentioned earlier, it appears that Louisa was the daughter of Giles Lowery. The census for 1850 also showed that she had a brother named Giles as well. The Giles Lowery who enlisted the same day as Thomas J. was likely Louisa’s brother. Documents from the National Archives show that Louisa filed for a settlement from the Confederacy after the death of her husband. The witnesses to the documents she filed were E.T. Akins and Giles Lowery.


     On March 10, 1862, Martha Burrough (John’s wife) sold a considerable amount of property to her father, F.W. Posey. The transaction was a little unusual in that she sold it in her own name, rather than jointly with John. After her name at the close of the document, John’s name appears under her name with the word “attest” to the left of it as though he was a witness. A copy of this deed appears in the exhibits and my transcription is presented below:

State of Alabama, Coosa County    Know all persons by these presents that I Martha Borrough for the sum of Four Hundred dollars to me in hand paid, hereby bargain and sell to F.W. Posey the following described tract or parcel of land to wit: the entire Section 13 except for the mineral thereon to have and hold forever and also twenty acres on the East end of Section 14 – More or less. Lying between the line and a certain Branch that runs across the east end of the said described land commencing at the South corner and running with said line and said Branch up to the mouth of and to a little Branch known and designated as the Rock Spring Branch said Branch running nearly due west to all of which I have a good title and warrant and defend against all the lawful claims and demands of any person and their Administrators, executors, to the said F.W. Posey. Whereunto I have this day set my hand and seal this March the 10th A.D. 1862

                                                                                                   Martha Borrough

                                                                              Attest                John Borrough

     Unfortunately, the person who prepared this deed failed to mention the Township and Range which clouds the location of the property. Without this information, the description relies entirely on the name of “Rock Spring Branch” to make the Section number unique. To date, I have not been able to find the location of Rock Spring Branch.

     According to information from the Alabama Department of Archives and History, John Burrough was a 2nd Lieutenant in Company B of the 2nd Battalion of Hilliard’s Legion. There is convincing evidence that he was the same John Burrough who was the father of Henry Francis Burrough, Lonnie’s father. He enlisted at age 39 from Coosa County and several of his neighbors including Rufus McSwain were in the same unit. Rufus was the son of Asa McSwain and was likely the brother-in-law of T.C. Burrough who married Mary Matilda McSwain.

     Documents from the National Archives indicate that John Burrough enlisted in the Confederate Army on April 1, 1862, at Traveller’s Rest in Coosa County, Alabama. He was enlisted by E.T. Akins and was elected to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant with a date of rank of April 12, 1862. Pay vouchers show that he received $80 per month for his service. A copy of one of his pay vouchers appears in the exhibits.

      At some point, James Finley (Mariah’s husband and father of Elizabeth and Paralee) died or was killed. On September 28, 1862, Mariah married Posey Dennis. They were married by B.H. Timmerman, Minister of the Gospel.

     Thomas J. Burrough died on October 3, 1862, in Coosa County according to Confederate records at the National Archives. No cause of death was listed. He was described in one of the documents as being dark haired with hazel eyes and fair complexion and standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall. His birth place was listed as Coweta County, Georgia.

     Louisa, the widow of Thomas, eventually collected a lump sum settlement of $129.93 from the Confederacy. Of this amount, $79.93 was for back pay that Thomas never received and $50.00 was for his enlistment bounty (see Exhibits). Sadly, Thomas never received any payment for his Confederate service while alive.   

    Documents from the National Archives indicate that John Burrough died on November 6, 1862. I have not found any records that detail the place or manner of his death. William C. McGrady was named as his successor in the Confederate Army.

           Perhaps, some of the most interesting documents that I found at the Coosa County Courthouse concerned John Burrough and his wife Martha. On December 2, 1862, F.W. Posey made application to the Probate Court for “Letters of Administration” for the estate of John Burough, stating that he was John’s father-in-law. My transcription of the original document  is as follows:

“This day (came) F.W. Posey and makes application for the Letters of administration on the estate of John Burough deceased. Showing to the Satisfaction of the Court that the death of said decedent has been known more than fifteen days & that he the Said Posey is a Citizen of Said County and father-in-law of deceased, Also filing his bond as Such Administrator in the Sum of Fifteen Hundred Dollars with Henry Burough & T.C. Burough as his Securities therein which bond hath been duly taken approved and ordered to Record by the Judge of this Court, It is therefore ordered that Letters of Administration on the Estate of the Said John Burough deceased be and the same are hereby granted to the Said F.W. Posey and that Said Letters do forth with Issue. It is further ordered that Said Administrator make and return an Inventory and an appraisement of the Estate of Said deceased as required by law, That T.C. Burough be and they are hereby appointed appraisers to make Such appraisement and that they have notice of this appointment.  A.A. McMillan  Judge.”

     Interestingly, on the same date, F.W. Posey filed an identical application with the Probate Court applying for Letters of Administration for Martha Burrough, stating that he is her father and that her death has been known at least fifteen days. An excerpt from the original document is presented in the Exhibits. Since the information is essentially verbatim of that of John’s application, I saw no need to repeat the entire document. The Henry Burough and T.C. Burough mentioned as securities in both documents were John’s father and brother respectively.

     On December 12, 1862, F.W. Posey returned an inventory and appraisement of John Burrough’s estate to the court. This was entered into the record and filed in the probate office according to the document. That particular document did not enumerate the inventory.

     F.W. Posey petitioned the court on December 17, 1862, to allow him to sell certain Real Estate “for the purpose of paying debts due from said Estate upon the ground that the personal property is insufficient therefore”. The court set a date for hearing the application and appointed a guardian ad litum to represent the interests of the minor children. The court document listed the names of the children that I presented earlier.

     The court heard the case on February 20, 1863. John S. Bentley Esq. represented the minor children. The court ruled that:

… having been proven to the satisfaction of the court by the oaths of Asa McSwain and E.T. Akins who are disinterested witnesses ….that the personal property is insufficient to pay the debts of said Estate and that it is necessary and will be to the interest of said Estate to sell the (the one fourth interest in the) following described Real Estate viz S.W. ¼ of S.W. ¼  of S.18 T.22, R.18, N.W. ¼ of S.19 T.22, R18 lying and being situated in Said County of Coosa on which there is a Saw and Grist Mill …. Said Administrator is hereby ordered to Sell Said land at Public out cry to the highest bidder for cash after having given at least three weeks notice of the time, terms and place of sale together with a description of the property by posting notices on the Court House Door and three other public places in Said County there being no news paper publisher in this County at this time ….

     I found the description of the property to include a “Saw and Grist Mill” to be interesting. The 1860 census listed John’s occupation as a farmer but listed T.C.’s occupation as being a miller. Either T.C. owned an interest in the property and operated the grist mill or he was employed by John.

     On March 12, 1863, another document was recorded in the probate court minutes. It stated:

This day came F.W. Posey Administrator on the Estate of John Burough deceased and reported an account Sale of the lands belonging to Said Estate in writing and under oath setting forth that in pursuance of an order … to the highest and best bidder at Public out cry when  Henry Burrough became the highest and best bidder for Said land at the Sum of $ 44.00  And it appearing  to the Satisfaction of the Court that Said amount of $ 44.00 bid by Said Henry Burough is not greatly less or disproportionate to its Real value , And that Said Sale was Legally and fairly made and conducted , It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the court that Said sale be and the same is hereby ratified  and  confirmed  in all things and that Said Report of Sale be entered of record and filed in office.

                                                                          Witness            A.A. McMillan Judge

     Worthy of noting in the proceedings of John Burrough’s estate is that the Henry Burrough involved was obviously the older Henry (Winney’s husband) because the younger Henry (Lonnie’s father) was born around 1849.

     Henry and Winney sold some land to William Evans on August 20, 1863, for $1200. The property was described as the Northeast Fourth of the North East Quarter of Section nineteen (19) Township 22 of Range Eighteen, Also the North West Quarter of the North East Quarter of Section Nineteen (19)  Township twenty two (22) of Range Eighteen (18).

     On October 3, 1863, a petition was filed with the court by T.C. Burrough on behalf of his brother John’s estate. In part it read “This day came Thomas C. Burrough a Citizen of Said County and State and makes application for Letters of Administration on the Estate of John Burrough deceased, Showing to the Satisfaction of the Court that the death of F.W. Posey former administrator on the estate of said deceased has been known more than fifteen days, Also filed his bond as such Administrator in the Sum of Fifteen Hundred Dollars with Henry Burrough and R. McGrady as his securities therein…”

     Apparently, the early 1860’s were turbulent times – no doubt that the Civil War was a major factor. On October 7, 1863, two separate applications for Estate Administrator were filed with the court. In the first, Salena Bates (Salena Borough Bates as you might recall) made application for Letters of Administration on the estate of her late husband Thomas F. Bates. Henry Burrough and Peter Dennis were her securities with a bond of two thousand dollars. In the second, Mary Bates made application for Letters of Administration of the estate of Francis M. Bates. Her petition states in part that “she is a sister of said deceased and that said deceased left neither child or children or Widow surviving him..” . Her securities were also Henry Burrough and Peter Dennis with a bond of two thousand dollars.

     On October 12, 1863, Edmund T. Akin made application to the court for Letters of Administration on the estate of F.W. Posey deceased. The court record stated that “…Mrs. Posey widow of decedent appearing in open court relinquished her right to administer on the Estate of her deceased husband …”. Sanford C. Clark and Elias Kelley were listed as securities with a bond of two thousand dollars.

     Mr. Akin returned to the court on October 23, 1863, and reported an inventory and an appraisement of the F.W. Posey estate. He also petitioned the court for permission to sell certain personal property for the purpose of paying debts against the estate. The court granted him the authority to sell the listed personal property at public out cry to the highest bidder. Included in the list were “one fine mare, 5 head of cattle, 5 or 6 hogs, one wagon, some corn, 1 set blacksmith tools, 1 rifle gun, cross cut saw, and some farming tools”.

     On November 4, 1863, Edmund T. Akin petitioned the Probate Court as administrator of the estate of F.W. Posey to allow him to sell properties of F.W. Posey, deceased. The document is fairly lengthy and hard to read without magnification, but the following is my best attempt at a verbatim transcription:

F.W. Posey Estate of, The State of Alabama, Coosa County; Probate Court vacation November 4, 1863.   This day came Edmund T. Aiken Administrator on the Estate of F.W. Posey deceased and filed his petition in writing and under oath praying for an order and proceedings to sell certain Real Estate in Said Petition described of the property of said decedent at the time of his death for the purpose of paying distribution among those entitled upon the ground that the Same cannot be Equitably divided among the Heirs at Law of said dec’d who are as follows viz Ellen Posey widow of deceased, W.A. Posey, John Posey, Maranda Posey, Rebecca Yates wife of Peter Yates of Lawful age. And James Posey a Minor & son of said deceased & Amanda E. Posey, Emanuel L. Posey, Frances Elizabeth Posey, Margaret E. Posey, Martha A. Posey & John F.M. Posey Minors and heirs of Eli Posey deceased all of whom reside in the State of Ala. In said County of Coosa, And the minor Heirs of Jefferson Posey deceased who reside in the State of Mississippi – It is therefore ordered that the 28th day of December 1863 be and it is hereby appointed a day for hearing the Said application and the proofs which may be submitted in support of the same. It is further ordered that John S. Bentley Esq. be and he is hereby appointed Guardian ad litum to represent and protect the interest of the Minor Heirs of said deceased on the hearing of said application and that he have notice of this appointment. Attest,  A.A. McMillan, Judge of Probate.   

     Peter Dennis and Henry Burrough filed a motion with the probate court on March 5, 1864, asking that they be discharged as securities for the estate of Francis M. Bates. They also requested that Mary Bates be cited to appear in court to post a new bond. No explanation was given in the document as to why they requested the action. The court set a date to hear the request.

     Edmund T. Akin’s request to sell the property of F.W. Posey for purposes of division was heard by the court on October 10, 1864, and the court granted the request. The court ruled that the property could not be equitably divided among the heirs and ordered it to be sold at public out cry to the highest bidder.

     On December 26, 1864, T.C. Burrough reported the sale of an ox belonging to the estate of John Burrough. The court approved the sale and ordered the account entered into the record.

     The court heard a request by Edmund T. Akins for final settlement of the F.W. Posey estate on May 8, 1865. In part, the court document stated:

…it is shown by sufficient proof that Said Administrator has received of the assets of the Estate the sum of Five Thousand one hundred fourteen Dollars & 80 cents,  And that he has justly expended in and about the cost and charges necessary and incident to Said Administration and in the payment of the just debts of said deceased the Sum of Seven Hundred fifty two Dollars & 24 cents, Leaving a balance for  distribution of four thousand three Hundred and Sixty two Dollars & 24 cents,  And Said account appearing to be full and correct , It is considered and decreed by the Court that Said account be and the Same are hereby passed and allowed in all things as above stated,  And it appearing from Said account that Said decedent left him Surviving his Widow Ellen Posey of Lawful age & two minor children viz – John Posey, Newton Posey, Miranda Posey and Rebecca Yates wife of Peter Yates of Lawful age and the Minor Heirs of Jefferson Posey Deceased, Mrs. Martha Burrough deceased and of Eli Posey deceased the names of whom are unknown, all whom are to Share the Estate of Said deceased Equally so that Said Sum of $ 4362.24 must be divided into ten Equal parts  - It is considered by the Court that each of Said heirs are Severally entitled to have the Sum of $ 436.22 paid to them respectively that being one tenth part of Said           $ 4362.24 and the proper Share to which they are Severally entitled …  

    T.C. Burrough, acting as guardian of the minor children of John Burrough filed his vouchers and accounts for final settlement with the court on November 17, 1865. The court set a hearing date for the second Monday in December, 1865. Apparently, the proceeding was continued. On November 6, 1866, T.C., acting as administrator, filed a motion for final settlement of the estate. A date of December 10, 1866, was set to hear the motion; however, the court record for that day indicated another continuance but the date was left blank for the new hearing.

     Although there are no family records of the marriage of Henry (Lonnie’s father) and Elizabeth Finley, I found a marriage record at the Coosa County courthouse that appears to show that they were married in December of 1868. There are some ambiguities in the spelling of “Henry” and “Finley” because the parties mentioned seem to be “Henly Burrough” and “E. Fearley or E. Fenley” but since the information was told to a clerk at the Probate Judge’s office it would be easy to make these mistakes in the recording. The marriage authorization was granted on December 22, 1868, and they were married the following day. Since the 1870 census indicated that they had a 6 month old child, the 1868 marriage date seems to be on track. A photo of the original document appears in the Exhibits.

     T.C. Burrough borrowed money from T.J. Penington on July 26, 1869, in order to finish his crops. The document was titled “T.C. Burrough mortgage to T. Penington” so I assume that he used his farm as collateral. In part, the document reads “… By the 1st Day of Dec. 1869, I promise to pay T.J. Penington the Sum of Twenty Two and 50/100 Dollars for advances to enable me to make & finish my crop in the year 1869, and without such advances I could not finish my crop, Therefore this note is intended to convey the lien provided for advances …”.

     The 1870 census (August 4, 1870 – Rockford Beat, Coosa County, Alabama) listed Henry Burrow and wife Elizabeth, both age 21. Two males, (J.H., age 6 months and Monroe, age 12)) and a female (Altemi, age 10) lived with them. Curiously, another female (age 23) named Matilda Dennis also lived with them. (Note: Monroe is listed on the next census page from the others so he does not show on the census excerpt on the next page. The house number for him is the same as for Henry and the others, so he definitively lived with them).

      Unfortunately, the census in 1870 did not show family relationships. J.H. was identified in the 1880 census as a son but the evidence indicates that Altemi was Henry’s sister and that Monroe was his brother. Altemi and Monroe were listed in the 1860 census in the household of John and Martha.  After the death of John and Martha, the children were apparently scattered among several family households. I am only speculating, but it would seem logical that Matilda Dennis was related to Henry and Elizabeth’s neighbors, Posey and Mariah Dennis.

     Just a few houses away from Henry and Elizabeth, the 1870 census showed the household of Posey and Mariah Dennis (ages 66 and 49 respectively). Living with them was a female named Paralee (age 15) and a male named G.Y (possibly G.F.) age 12. Although it is not possible to prove with 100 percent certainty, the evidence is very strong of several very important details.  (1) Mariah had previously been married to James Finley. (2) The Paralee living with Mariah and Posey was Paralee Finley, a sister to Elizabeth – Henry’s current wife. (3) Paralee was the same Paralee that Henry later married in 1889.

     Henry and Elizabeth’s next door neighbor in 1870 was a family headed by Lucinda Bates, age 39. She was formerly Lucinda Dennis, daughter of Peter Dennis who lived next door. Her husband William Bates was killed in the Civil War.  Five children (one female, four males) lived with her. Several other Bates families also lived in the nearby area.

     Next door to Lucinda was Peter Dennis and family (wife and seven children). Also living with them was Emily Posey, age 8. Again, this could just be coincidence but it looks like there is some connection between the Posey and Dennis families. Posey Dennis could have been related to the Posey family on his mother’s side which could account for his first name to be Posey. Henry’s mother’s (and grandmother’s) maiden name was Posey. Admittedly, all of this information is very confusing and hard to sort out.

     Also listed in the 1870 census in Traveller’s Rest in Coosa County was an elderly man named Henry Burough. According to the census, he was 95 years old and was born in Georgia. He had two females living with him - Jane age 25 and Lina, age 18. Since there are some inconsistencies (age and birthplace) in this data as compared to some other sources, the argument can be made that he is not the same Henry who was the father of John Burrough. However, my hunch is that he was indeed the same one. Henry’s age was listed differently in virtually every source. Other census reports indicated him to be born in North Carolina but he did serve in the Georgia militia in the War of 1812. Last but not least, John Burrough had a daughter whose name appeared as Lina in several probate court documents concerning John’s estate. Her age in the 1870 census was consistent with John’s daughter. After the death of John and Martha, two children (Monroe and Altemi) lived with their brother (also confusingly named Henry). It would seem logical that a third child could have gone to live with her grandfather. The other female (Jane) could have possibly been Jane Finley, the daughter of Mariah Finley. Mariah and her children, including Jane, lived with Henry and Winney in 1860 according to the census report of that year.

     The whereabouts of the other children of John and Martha are unaccounted for in 1870. Mary next appeared in the census of 1880. Enoch was married in 1872.

    A photo of the original Enoch Burrough marriage authorization is presented in the Exhibits. It is easier to read than some of the other documents and the wording is almost identical to the other marriage licenses, so I did not see the need to transcribe it verbatim. The important facts are that Enoch Burrough was married to Margrett Jacks on February 24, 1872, by T.J. Pennington – Justice of the Peace.

     The U.S. Congress passed an act on February 14, 1871, which granted a pension to soldiers who served in the War of 1812. Henry Burrough, age 92, applied for the pension on January 13, 1873. The application reiterated much of the information that was supplied on his 1851 and 1855 affidavits pursuing his bounty land warrants. His wife’s name was listed as Winney Posey but a later section of the application states that “His said wife named above is dead”. The application also stated that his post office address was Mansfield, Louisiana (Desoto Parish) and that his “domicile or place of abode is about ten miles from Mansfield”. A copy of the application appears in the exhibits.

     Henry’s pension was granted by a certificate dated March 12, 1873. The pension was eight dollars per month commencing on February 14, 1871. Written notations on the pension document indicate that he was paid on June 4, 1873, and died on August 1, 1873; however, a letter written to the Commissioner of Pensions eleven years later indicated that he died in June of 1873. A copy of this document also appears in the exhibits.

     While researching some cemetery information on the internet, I ran across a grave listing that seems to be the best candidate for Henry’s burial site. The cemetery is named Prude Cemetery and is located in Desoto Parish, Louisiana roughly 10-15 miles from Mansfield. According to the grave marker, the Henry Burrow buried there died on August 28, 1873, at the age of 96.

      On November 4, 1876, T.C. Burrough & wife sold some land to Moses Woodfin Sr. and Moses Woodfin Jr. for the sum of $ 300. The property was described as “E. ½ of N.W. ¼ and N.W ¼ of N.E. ¼ of Sect. 21, T 22, of Range 18 lying and being situated in the county of Coosa and State of Alabama”. Moses Woodfin (Sr. & Jr.) lived a few houses away from the T.C. Burrough household in 1870, according to the 1870 census report.

     John A. Jacks, acting as administrator of the estate of John Jacks, deceased, filed a motion on December 21, 1878, seeking to sell the property of the estate for distribution. This document was informative because it indicated the location of Enoch Burrough. The document stated in part “… the only heirs who are legatees under the will of Said Deceased are Margarett Burrough wife of Enoch Burrough , over the age of twenty one years and resides in Madison County, Ala., Alabama Townsend wife of George Townsend over twenty one years of age and resides in Morgan County, Ala., Monroe Jacks over twenty one years of age & resides in Coosa Co Ala., And Archer Jacks now deceased but leaves an infant Surviving him  Its name not known but it lives with its mother Ella Jacks in Coosa Co., Ala.”.

     In 1880, Enoch and his family were still in Madison County, Alabama. The census listed Enoch, his wife Margarett, and his children, a six year old son named Walter and a one month old son born in May yet to be named.

     The 1880 Shelby County, Alabama census taken on June 25, 1880, showed H.F. Burrough , age 31 and wife Eliza, age 32. Also listed are J.H. (son, age 12) , John (son, age 10), Lou (daughter, age 7), and  Idolphus (son, age 3). Although listed somewhat cryptically, this family is Henry Francis and his wife Elizabeth and their children. The daughter listed as “Lou” is more correctly Louisa but even at the time of her death I remembered her as “Aunt Lou”. Technically, she was my great aunt.

     The same census showed other Burroughs living within 10 houses from Henry. There was T.C. (Thomas Coleman), age 57 and his wife M.M.(Mary Matilda), age 55. According to the census, they had ten children – M.C. (daughter, age 37), E.A. (daughter, age 35), A.E. (daughter, age 33), M.J.(daughter, age 31), G.W.(son, age 28), Susanna (daughter, age 26), Jno.(son, age 22), M.A.(daughter, age 20), Charlie (son, age 18), and Josaphine (daughter, age 16). Apparently the census taker was lazy and used initials rather than full names. Also listed were boarders Wallace Scott and Allen Alfred, both age 18.

     Mary Burrough (daughter of John and Martha) surfaced in the 1880 census in the Rockford Beat of Coosa County. Through some good detective work by my brother, Tim, we were able to find some relatives of Mary who are also researching the family history. With their help, more information about Mary is presented in the section titled “Mary Elizabeth Burrow” that appears later.

     Incredibly, John Burrough’s estate was not completely settled until January 1882. At that time, in a rather lengthy document the court gave title to the remaining land to C.M. Cox and gave an accounting of the distribution. The last land sale was described as “the South Half of Section 14, T 22, R 17 in Coosa Co.” After deducting administrative costs, etc. the court awarded $ 39.75 each to Mary, Henry, Enoch, Lina, Monroe, and Altimira.

      Based on census reports, Henry lived in Coosa County in 1870 and Shelby County in 1880. Although I knew that he moved to St. Clair County sometime before August of 1889 when he married Paralee, I never knew exactly when he moved from Shelby County. In 2007, I did some research at the old Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana, Alabama. The building and the old records and archives are now controlled by the Shelby County Historical Society and are accessible by the public. I ran across several court documents there that were interesting and possibly shed some light on when Henry moved. Some of the documents are presented in the Exhibits. In general, they are easy to read. Basically, the documents show that Henry (Boroughs, Burrows or Borrows in the documents) was subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal case. The documents span several years, so apparently the wheels of justice also turned slowly back then as well.

     As best as I can decipher them, someone named London Swain was charged with “feloniously and burglariously” breaking into the corn crib of James Gorman with the intent to steal. He posted bond ($100) on August 15, 1881. Henry Boroughs was subpoenaed to appear as a witness for the State for the court term beginning on Monday, November 7, 1881. On November 11, 1881, the grand jury returned a bill of indictment against London Swain. H.F. Borrows and James Gorman were summoned to appear in court again for the term beginning on November 12, 1883, apparently for the trial. However, the sheriff wrote a note on the subpoena indicating that “H.F. Borrows not found in my county  Executed as to James M. Gorman by arresting him and taking bond  F.A. Nelson Sheriff”. This leads me to believe that Henry left Shelby County in the early 1880’s.

     Because of the “Borrows” name, I was a little skeptical at first about whether it was actually Henry, Lonnie’s father. A little more research convinced me; however, that it was unquestionably him. Note from the 1880 census report excerpt  that James Gorman was Henry’s next door neighbor in Shelby County.

     On June 16, 1884, a letter was sent to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, D.C. by a Mr. M. O. (or perhaps M.D.) Stribling from Mansfield, Louisiana. It read “Dear Sir, Henry Burrough an old soldier in the war of 1812 and who died in this Parish June 1873, and a pensioner up to the time of his death, has a daughter living here, who is entitled to the land grant given to such soldiers by recent act of Congress, Will you be kind enough to forward such papers immediately as will enable her to prove up her heirship, if proof is necessary. Respectfully, M.O. Stribling”.

      By 1900, Enoch Burrough had moved to Limestone County, Alabama. As indicated by the census excerpt above, he and his wife Margaret had sons Richard and Julias living with them.

Their son William lived next door.

     Some of the family of T.C. Burrough still lived near Harpersville in Shelby County in 1900 according to the census reports. I also found a World War I draft registration for William Coleman Burrough who lived in Harpersville and was born on August 29, 1896. The registration indicated that his father was born in Rockford (Coosa County), Alabama and that his nearest relative was G.W. Burrough. G.W. was a son of Thomas Coleman “T.C.” Burrough.

     Some descendants of Enoch Burrough still live in Limestone County, Alabama. I talked to a few of them in 2005 but they were not able to provide much information about the family history. They were able to give me directions to Wesley Chapel Cemetery where several relatives including Julias, one of Enoch’s son’s is buried. Of course, they still go by “Burrough”.


Burrough Land Transactions


























1.    February 2, 1837 Henry & Winney to John Duncan

2.    January 16, 1852 Henry & Winney to George Lewis

3.    February 8, 1858 Henry & Winney to John & T.C. Burrough

4.    March 1, 1858 U.S. to John Burrough

5.    December 4, 1858 John & Martha to L.B. Castleberry

6.    March 10, 1862 Martha to F.W. Posey (Location ambiguous)

7.    March 12, 1863 John Burrough Estate to Henry Burrough

8.    August 20, 1863 Henry & Winney to William Evans

9.    November 4, 1876 T.C. Burrough to Moses Woodfin (Sr. & Jr.)

10. January 1882 John Burrough Estate to C.M. Cox



Mary Elizabeth Burrow


     Mary was a sister of the younger Henry Burrough and was therefore an aunt of Lonnie Burr. After the death of her parents in 1862, there was a considerable span of time that we do not know her whereabouts. She next appeared in the 1880 census in the Rockford Beat of Coosa County, Alabama. Her occupation was listed as “Keeping House” and she was apparently the head of household because her marital status was listed as single. Peter Dennis was her next door neighbor. According to the census, she had three children: a son named Jasper who was 9 years old and two daughters, Martha E. (Elizabeth according to other sources) and Mary C.; Martha was 5 and Mary was one month old.

     The census of 1900 listed her as widowed and having a son named John in the household. Curiously, the census also indicated that she had been married for 12 years. Speculation is that she gave misleading information to the census taker to conceal the fact that she had several children out of wedlock. John Burrow, Mary Elizabeth’s son is pictured at the right. He is the older gentleman on the left. The person on the right is his grandson, Bonnie William Burrow Jr. This photo is courtesy of Rosemarie Brasington, the step-daughter of Bonnie William Burrow Jr. At the time of this writing, Rosemarie lived in Draper, Utah.

     According to Rosemarie Brasington, there are some stories and rumors that have been passed down concerning an involvement between Mary Elizabeth and the infamous train robber, Reuben Houston “Rube” Burrows. Rube was believed to me a cousin or some other distant relative of Mary Elizabeth. The uncorroborated story is that Rube was the father of John, Mary Elizabeth’s son and perhaps some of her other children.

     I have corresponded with a descendant of Mary Elizabeth Burrows who lives in Prattville, Alabama who sent me the following information:

I believe that Mary's children all had the same father.  There were rumors in a couple of family branches that Mary and Reuben Burrow were involved, but I believe that was just a cover-up of the real story, which no one would talk about.  I think that Mary and Rube were just related and because she had young children and because they had the same last name, she got attention from law enforcement.   She and her children moved from Coosa County down to Prattville around 1890, when Rube was killed.  Mary lived in a house in Prattville in 1900 with her youngest child, John.  By the next census, she was living with her daughter and son-in-law near Deatsville or the County Line area.  I'm guessing that she sold the land that she inherited from her parents and bought/built the house in Prattville.  She later bought land in the County Line area. 

     In 1910, the census indicated that she lived in the household of her daughter, Martha Elizabeth Burrows Monfee. Initially, the census listed her marital status as single but it was stricken through and “divorced” was indicated. Again, there is speculation that the marital status was changed to cover up the fact that she never married. The census taker was Mary's cousin according to some sources.

      Mary Elizabeth is buried at the County Line Baptist Church Cemetery between Autauga and Elmore counties. Her grave is not marked but a family member thinks that she knows which one it is.

     As to the kinship with Rube Burrows, no one has any hard evidence to confirm or deny it. Growing up, I heard stories that we were related to Rube Burrows but no one ever seemed to be able to explain the relationship, so I was always somewhat skeptical. Before I started doing genealogical research, I naively thought that the different spelling (Burrow vs. Burrough) showed that we were not related. After seeing so many different spellings of the name of the same person, I now realize that the spelling difference is by no means conclusive evidence of not being related.

     Rube (see Exhibits for photo) was born Rueben Houston Burrows in 1855 to Allen Houston Burrows and Martha Caroline Terry. Their home was located in what is now Lamar County, Alabama. Although his parents were honest, law abiding citizens (other than for harboring Rube), Rube became one of the most notorious train robbers of the century. His exploits are the subject of many books and stories. He was eventually caught and shot during an escape attempt in 1890. His body was shipped by train to Lamar County where he was buried.

     My brother, Tim has theorized that perhaps Rube’s grandfather, William was a brother of Lonnie’s great grandfather, Henry. Admittedly, this is a little confusing because Lonnie’s father was also named Henry. If all of this is correct, then the confusion continues because William’s father was also named Henry. To some extent though, the perpetuation of the “Henry” name adds to the belief of the kinship.

     It could very easily be just coincidence, but the names of some of Mary Elizabeth’s children seem to be common with the family of Rube Burrows. She had a son named Jasper and Rube had a brother named Jasper. She had a daughter named Martha and Rube’s mother was named Martha. I was unable to find out what the “C” in Mary Elizabeth’s daughter, Mary C., stood for. If it was Caroline, that would really be strange, because Rube’s mother was named Martha Caroline.


John Lane Burrough


     John Lane Burrough was the son of Francis Marion Burrough. Francis Marion was a son of Henry and Winney. This is a little confusing because Henry and Winney also had a son named John who was the grandfather of Lonnie Burr.

     Francis Marion married Nancy Martin in August of 1847 in Coosa County. A copy of their marriage license appears in the exhibits. According to information from Dolores Davis, Nancy’s father was Ira Lane Martin, which more than likely accounts for the “Lane” in John Lane’s name. Francis Marion is believed to have died around 1859. His place of death is unknown or ambiguous but some sources report that it was either in Texas, Louisiana, or Mississippi.

     John Lane was born in Coosa County in October of 1849. He later moved to Texas where he lived the remainder of his life. According to information in the 1900 census report (see excerpt below) his first child was born in Louisiana, so it seems likely that he migrated from Coosa County, Alabama through Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas.

    Much of the information about John Lane was provided by one of his descendants, Dolores Davis. As I mentioned earlier in the “Burrough Family History” section, Dolores lives in Maryland and is an avid genealogist and family historian.

    John Lane was married twice. The first time was to Mary J. Garlington, who was the daughter of John Hubbard Garlington and Dinnah Brister. They (John Lane and Mary) apparently had several daughters and at least one son named Brister.

     The second marriage was to Susan Anna Elisa Pearce which took place on December 6, 1891, in Limestone County, Texas. Susan was the youngest daughter of David Pearce. I am not certain how many children John Lane and Susan had, but it was at least four. Twin boys Conrad “Connie” and Taylor were born on September 29, 1894. A daughter, Chellie, was born on September 11, 1896. Another son, David, was born on August 16, 1900.

     As indicated on the 1900 census excerpt  (Limestone County, Texas), all of John Lane’s children except the oldest daughter were born in Texas. It is evident from their birth dates that only Taylor, Conrad, and Chellie were born of the marriage to Susan. Additionally, the census information indicated that Susan was the mother of three children. The birth dates for Taylor and Conrad (both September 1894) confirm that they were twins. David did not appear in the 1900 census because it was taken in June and he was not born until August. The 1910 census listed him as David M. My hunch is that he was named David Marion.

     By 1920, all of the children had moved out except Conrad, Taylor, and David, according to the census report of that year. John Lane was 70 years old and his wife Susan was 62 when the census was taken.



Adolphus “Dolph” Burr(ough)


     My oldest brother, Erroll Ray Burr passed on a story that he had heard from Cecil Burr about the departure of Dolph’s family from St. Clair County, Alabama. Although the details were sketchy, the story centered around a hasty exit during the night. I talked to Cecil, who is a son of Markey Burr and a grandson of Dolph and he shared the interesting story with me. According to Cecil, Dolph and his family lived in or near Odenville, Alabama in St. Clair County in the early 1900’s. One night they loaded as many possessions as they could on their wagon and abandoned the rest along with their house and land. They left crops in the field un-harvested and cotton in the barn. Dolph’s oldest son, Henry, who was 12 or 13 at the time parted ways with the rest of the family and walked down the railroad tracks by their house and eventually settled down in a remote area of Georgia on Sand Mountain. Dolph and the rest of the family moved to the Sayre, Alabama area where they shortened their name to Burr. They never returned to their place in St. Clair County and the property was eventually sold for taxes. Dolph remained around Sayre for the rest of his life. He farmed some, but according to Cecil he made most of his living cutting timbers for use in the coal mines.

     Cecil said that the rumor was that Dolph was involved with some “shady” dealings and was probably in trouble with the law. According to stories passed down from Cecil’s grandmother, a man on a horse would visit Dolph periodically and bring a bag of money. Dolph supposedly buried the money in an iron pot in a stump hole on their property. Years after their departure from Odenville, some family members reportedly returned to the property and recovered about $3000 in silver dollars buried there according to Cecil.

     There were stories of a cave on or near their property that supposedly contained something of considerable value. A story has been passed down that loot from the infamous train robber Rube Burrows was hidden there. However, in my opinion, this seems unlikely. A more likely explanation is that Dolph was involved in a moonshine whiskey operation and the cave, if it existed, was used to hide or make moonshine. According to Cecil, several folks tried to find the cave later in years but ran into problems with the current property owners. They found an old wagon road that seemed to disappear into the side of a mountain and thought that perhaps that the cave could have been there once and was later sealed.

     Some of Dolph’s children were listed in the 1910 census and were reported in my earlier work, Remembering Lonnie & Belle Burr – A Family History.  The complete list is Henry, Coley, Joe, Myrtle, Ruth, Markey, Willie, Lonnie B. and Eugene. In 2007, I obtained a copy of Dolph’s death certificate, which was difficult to locate because of the way that his name was spelled on the certificate. The name on the death certificate is “Idolphus Burr”. Interestingly, that was how his name was spelled in the 1880 census The informant of his death was Mrs. R.C. Wright of Dora, Alabama who I believe to be his daughter, Myrtle.. According to the death certificate, he was born on June 4, 1878, in Shelby County, Alabama and died on October 5, 1960, in Jefferson County at the age of 82. The listed birth date is at odds with the Burr Family Bible which shows July 3, 1877, and the 1880 census (Shelby County) which shows him to be age 3 on June 25, 1880. His father’s name and his mother’s name are both indicated as “Don’t know” which I found to be a little strange. He was buried in Good Hope Cemetery in Jefferson County.

      The death certificate for his son, Henry, shows that he died on January 25, 1970, (age 71), of myocardial infarction. His residence was listed as Trenton, Georgia. The informant was Opal Burr, his wife. His father’s name was listed as “Dolf Burr” and his mother’s maiden name was Mary Rich. The cemetery where he was buried was shown as “Shanty Town”.  

      I also obtained the death certificate for Dolph’s son, Coley, who was born in St. Clair County on December 25, 1905. He died in Jefferson County on May 27, 1956, at the age of 50 from chronic myocarditis. The listed informant was Mrs. Coley Burr. His father’s name was listed as “I.D. Burr” and his mother’s maiden name was listed as “Mary Rich”. After seeing the “I.D.” I remembered a newspaper clipping of Lonnie B. Burr (another son of Dolph). The caption under his picture stated that he was “the son of Mr. and Mrs. I.D. Burr of Sayre”. To date, I have not figured out where “I.D.” came from unless his real name was I. Dolphus or if it was simply to avoid his real name.

     After learning that Dolph’s wife was Mary Rich, I looked back through the census records to see where the Rich family lived. Although I have not been able to corroborate it yet, there was a family who lived next door to Dolph in 1910 who could possibly have been Mary’s family.

 As shown by the census excerpt above (Cook Springs – St.Clair County), William and Margarett Rich were well within the age of having a 27 year old daughter.


John Bowden & Ollie Parker Bowden


      Earlier, I mentioned that the remarks at the bottom of Henry’s marriage license to Paralee indicated that Henry had been married before but Paralee Finley had not. This is an interesting remark because Lonnie had a half-brother named John Bowden. Obviously, either the remark was incorrect or John was born out of wedlock. The latter is probably more likely because I remember questioning my grandmother (Belle) about why John had a different last name than Lonnie. Her response was usually something that implied that I was asking too many questions for my age. John’s death certificate lists his mother as Paralee Finley and his father as John Bowden.

       The birth dates of Paralee and John vary somewhat depending on the source but in general it appears that Paralee was probably born around 1856 and that John was probably born around 1878. If so, that means that Paralee was about 22 when John was born. Census reports indicate that John and his father were born in Alabama and his mother (Paralee) was born in Arkansas. According to the Burr family Bible, John was born in Shelby County, Alabama.

     I have been unable to locate Paralee or John in the 1880 census so it remains a mystery as to John’s early years. His death certificate (see Exhibits) his father as being John Bowden. The middle initial is ambiguous. At first, I thought that it was an L but it looks a little different from some other L’s on the page so it is possible that it was a T. There were several Bowden families who lived in Coosa County during the 1870’s but it would be purely speculation as to who was John’s father.

     Until recently, I had not been able to find out much information about John’s wife, Ollie. Last year, when I was looking through some old documents and letters in the possession of my mother, I ran across a letter to my dad postmarked Scott, Arkansas dated February 15, 1955. The author of the letter stated that on her recent visit when they were looking at family photos she apparently put a few photos in the wrong stack and took them home with her. Apparently, the photos were returned with the letter. This did not really catch my attention until I saw that she had signed the letter “Aunt Inrous” (or possibly Inous). I remembered that Zack’s wife was named Inrous or Inous. After seeing the letter, Mother seemed to recall that Zack’s wife was possibly a sister to Ollie Parker Bowden, John Bowden’s wife. For sure, the person that sent the letter was Ollie’s sister. It is possible that the term “aunt” was just used as a term of endearment rather than a family relationship, but if not then it adds more credibility that she was Zack’s wife because Zack was dad’s uncle.

     Although this section is about John and Ollie, it is necessary to lay a little ground work in order to understand their story. There are some connections among Paralee, her parents James and Mariah Finley, John Bowden, Ollie Parker Bowden, Ollie’s parents, and Zack’s wife that have to be examined in order for the story to make sense. However, like a puzzle with a few pieces missing and a few extra pieces thrown in that belong in some other puzzle, nothing fits exactly right.

     In 1850, James and Mariah Finley lived next door to Henry and Winney Burrough in Coosa County, Alabama with their children. Paralee had not been born. Ten years later, James is not listed in the census with Mariah and the children who then included Paralee and a younger brother named George. Mariah and the children lived with Henry and Winney Burrough in Coosa County. According to the census information, Paralee was born around 1854 in Arkansas and George was born around 1857 in Arkansas. The obvious conclusion is that James and Mariah moved to Arkansas in the early 1850’s and had Paralee and George there. Apparently, James died in the late 1850’s and Mariah and the children moved back to Alabama.

     According to census reports, many Finley families lived in Arkansas during the mid 1800’s so it is possible that James and Mariah went to Arkansas to visit or relocate closer to other family members. It is speculation on my part, but an older James Finley who was born in Georgia in about 1791 lived in Arkansas (see 1850 census excerpt above) and could have been the father of the James Finley who was married to Mariah. Both men were born in Georgia according to the census reports. There are, of course, many other possible scenarios to explain why James and Mariah moved to Arkansas.

     Paralee had an older brother named Zachariah who was born in 1850 according to the census of that year. That report listed his name as “Zach” which could account for Paralee naming one of her sons “Zack”. The 1860 census listed his name as Zachariah.  Another man named Zachariah Findley also lived in Coosa County in the mid 1800’s but he was born in Georgia around 1804. It is purely speculation, but he could have been a brother of James Finley.

    The name Finley was interchangeably spelled Findley in various documents referring to the same person. A good example of this is in the 1850 census where James and part of his family are on one page and Zach’s name is at the top of the following page. Zach’s last name is spelled Findley and the rest of the family on the preceding page is spelled Finley.

     According to the Burr Family Bible, John Bowden and Ollie Parker Bowden were married in Lonoke, Arkansas on December 30, 1906. I initially assumed that Ollie was born in Arkansas but according to her death certificate she was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on April 26, 1885. Her parent’s were John Parker and Ella Rampey. I was able to locate her parent’s in the 1880 census for Lafayette County, Mississippi.. The head of household was John Parker and his wife was named Ella. Several Rampey families lived nearby, so I am reasonably certain that I located the right family. Of course, Ollie had not been born yet. Although it could be a coincidence, I was surprised to find that their next door neighbor was named Zachariah Finley. The census information indicated that he was born in Alabama. His wife had a peculiar name that looked like Phronia on the census. All of this made more sense when I discovered the Parkers in the 1900 census for Lonoke County, Arkansas (excerpt below). The census listed nine children, four of which were born in Mississippi and the remainder in Arkansas. Judging from the birth dates for the children, it appears that John and Ella moved to Arkansas in 1886 or 1887. Note from the census excerpt that Ollie was born in Mississippi in April of 1885. Among other siblings, she had a brother named Idrous and a sister named Inrous who were both born in Arkansas. In my mind, this is an attest of mother’s good memory that Ollie and Inrous were sisters.

     Note also from the census excerpt that a 53 year old woman named Saphonia Finley lived with the Parkers. Her relationship to the head of household (John Parker) was listed as sister. Her son, James Finley also lived with them. Note also that John J. Parker was born in Alabama.

     The 1860 census for Coosa County, Alabama lists a family headed by John M. Parker who lived in close proximity to the Burrough families. Among his children was a 13 year old daughter named Saphrana and a 6 year old son named John. It seems plausible to me that Phronia, Saphonia, and Saphrana are all the same person. 

     It is impossible to determine what their original destination or plan was, but one possible scenario is that John J. Parker, Saphrana and Zachariah Finley left Coosa County, Alabama together in the late 1860’s or early 1870’s bound for Arkansas but stopped for whatever reason in Mississippi. Two factors may have influenced their departure from Alabama or stop in Mississippi. (1) Repercussions from the Civil War. (2) The 1880 census showed that Zachariah had a 10 year old daughter named Mollie which means that she was born around 1870. This could have accounted for their stop in Mississippi.

     There is also the possibility that their original destination was Mississippi. Many other Parker families lived there in the 1870’s. As you will read later in this section, a gentleman named Martin Parker also moved from Alabama to Lafayette County, Mississippi sometime after 1870. Martin was a brother of John M. Parker. According to some of Martin’s descendants, the reason for his move remains a mystery.

     In 2007, I visited the Coosa County courthouse in Rockford, Alabama to research the history of the Burroughs family. While looking through some old marriage books, I ran across the marriage record of Z. Finley and Saphonia Parker. During that era, there was not a marriage license document like we have today but instead a journal entry was made in a book at the probate court authorizing the marriage. After the entry, a space was left to be filled in after the marriage was performed. A photo of the original document is presented in the Exhibits. It is a little hard to read but it states:

                   “The State of Alabama Coosa County

                   To any Ordained or Licensed Minister of the Gospel, Supreme or Circuit or Probate Judge or any Justice of the Peace in or for Said County. Greeting, you are hereby authorized to celebrate the Rites of Matrimony between Z. Finley & Miss Sophrana Parker and this shall be your Suficient authority for so doing. Given under my hand this the 11th day of Sept. A.D. 1868.     Thos H. Fargason, Judge of Probate


The above married parties were married by me on the 13th day of September A.D. 1868, John C. Bulger, Justice of the Peace.”

     Earlier, in the section titled “The Burrough Family History” I mentioned that a man named Lacy B. Castleberry married Elizabeth Parker. According to the 1860 census, Lacy and Elizabeth lived just a few houses away from John M. Parker. According to other sources, Elizabeth was a sister of John M. Parker. In 1860, Elizabeth’s age was reported to be 27 and John’s age to be 35 so it seems at least feasible that they were siblings. Assuming that my theories are correct, John M. would have been Ollie’s grandfather and Elizabeth would have been her great aunt.

     The Parker’s and the Castleberry’s were neighbors and intertwined through several marriages. A larger excerpt of the 1860 census gives a better picture of this. Lacy had a sister named Mary Ann who married James Martin Parker in Coosa County on September 29, 1847. James Martin (who usually went by the name of Martin) was a brother of John M. and Elizabeth. Their parents were Carter Parker and Charity Dial.

     Martin was a minister in Coosa County and also served at the Confederate Camp of Instruction in Talladega, Alabama during the Civil War. After the death of his first wife, Mary Ann, he married Nancy Booth Posey on February 16, 1863. Nancy was previously married to Eli Posey, the brother-in-law of John Burrough. Eli died of disease in Richmond, Virginia on September 16, 1861, during the Civil War.

     Sometime after 1870, Martin moved to Lafayette County, Mississippi. As the case with John J. Parker, no one knows why he left Alabama. Martin died on February 26, 1913 in Pine Valley, Yalobusha County, Mississippi and was buried in the cemetery at Tabernacle Church where he had ministered. His sister, Elizabeth Parker Castleberry died on March 11, 1919, and was buried in the same cemetery.

     Photos of Martin Parker, Elizabeth Parker Castleberry, and Lacy B. Castleberry appear in the Exhibits. (Photos courtesy of Margie Glover Daniels).

     In the 1900 census, John (John Bowden apparently, but a last name different to hers was not indicated) was living in Leeds, Alabama with Paralee along with Lonnie, Zack, and Eular Lee. He was listed as being born in Alabama in September 1882 and was 17 years old at the time of the census - June 2, 1900. (See Exhibits for a photo of John and Ollie taken in 1938.)  His mother’s birthplace was listed as Arkansas, consistent with Paralee’s birthplace. The age and birth date on the census conflict with information supplied by John on his draft registration. He registered on September 12, 1918, in Brookside, Alabama. His birth date was listed as September 1, 1873, and his age was listed as 45.  To add to the confusion, the Burr family Bible shows that he was born on September 1, 1878, in several places but shows it as September 1, 1879, in another place. His death certificate shows his birth date as September 1 but omits the year and shows his age to be 74 when he died on November 14, 1953. My conclusion is that they did not really know his true birth year. According to the draft registration form, he was employed as a coal miner at the Five Mile Coal Company in Coalburg, Alabama and lived in Republic, Alabama with his wife Ollie. His full name was John Lewis Bowden.

     Exactly how John Bowden met Ollie and how Zack Burr met Inrous remains a mystery but it appears that Paralee’s relationship to the Parkers via Zachariah’s marriage to John Parker’s sister probably played a role. John and Ollie were married in Lonoke, Arkansas, most likely because that was the home of Ollie’s parents in the early 1900’s.

     According to his death certificate, John Bowden died on November 14, 1953. The cause of death was listed as “senile heart disease”. His burial location was shown as Mt. Hebron Cemetery, the same location where Louisa “Lou” is buried. In 2005, I visited Mt. Hebron Cemetery to take some photos of Lou’s marker and I did not see a marker for John or Ollie. At the time, I was not aware that they were buried there but I am surprised that I did not run across them because I looked at most of the graves there. Either I overlooked them or their graves are not marked.

     After John’s death, his wife Ollie Parker Bowden lived in a small house between Lonnie and us (the James Burr family). The house was built by various family members, including my father. My recollection is that Ollie did not live there very long. Her death certificate indicates that she died at the Jefferson County Home on January 13, 1955. The cause of death was influenza with contributing factors of cardiovascular disease and senility. She was buried in Mt. Hebron cemetery on January 15, 1955, according to her death certificate.

     The letter from Inrous was only a month after Ollie’s death. My guess is that the visit that she referred to in her letter was either for Ollie’s funeral or to get some of her personal effects.