The HyperTexts

Paul Ray Burch Jr. and family: the Burches, the Hurts, the Harrises, the Boytes, the Whites, the Blakes, and their relatives

compiled by Michael R. Burch, his son

Paul Ray Burch Jr. was born on Thursday, July 27, 1933 and died on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the age of 79. He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Ray Burch Sr., his mother, Lillian Christine McAdams Burch Lee, and his sister, Sandra Jane Burch. He is survived by his loving and always-adored wife of 57 years, Christine Ena Hurt Burch, his son Michael Ray Burch, his daughters Sandra Jane Burch Boyte and Debra Leigh Burch White, and their families.

Disclaimer: I have tried to include as many family members as possible, but I don't have pictures of everyone, and there are some relatives that I haven't seen in decades. If anyone would like me add someone to this page, please email me at Contributions are certainly welcome.

Related genealogy pages: Christine Ena Burch, Christine Alice Spouse, Elizabeth Steed Harris Burch,  Robert Turner Burch

Here's my father, Paul Ray Burch Jr., on the left. This picture was taken on the day of his wedding, July 14, 1956 at the Parish Church in Mattersey, East Retford, Nottingham, England. Dad looks quite dashing. His best man, on the right, was Richard A. Allen. According to the marriage certificate, my future mother was a 20-year-old "spinster"! (My, how times and the language have changed.) Dad's profession was listed as an airman first class, and mom's as a "fell-binder." His residence was listed as Sturgate AFB, hers as her parents' house at 22 Priory Close, Mattersey. Her father's profession was listed as a railway laborer. There was no mention of her mother in those chauvinistic times. Robert Wilson was the vicar.

This picture of my father and his best man walking down an English sidewalk on an overcast, rainy day, depicts something experienced by thousands of young American men who were enchanted by the English roses they found, despite the often-dismal weather.

My father was a 20-year-man in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in:

England (where he met and married Christine Ena Hurt while stationed at Sturgate Air Force Base, near Gainsborough)
Orlando, Florida (at either Orlando Air Force Base or McCoy Air Force Base)
Thule, Greenland (at Thule Air Base)
England (the second time he was stationed at Brize Norton Air Force Base, near Carterton)
Lincoln, Nebraska (at Lincoln Air Force Base)
Nashville, Tennessee (at Sewart Air Force Base)
Sacramento, California (at McClellan Air Force Base; we lived in nearby Roseville)
Wiesbaden, Germany (at Wiesbaden Air Base and Lindsey Air Station; we lived in Bischofsheim while waiting for base housing)
Goldsboro, North Carolina (at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base)

After retiring from the Air Force, dad attended Draughons Junior College in Nashville, where he obtained an associate degree in bookkeeping. He then worked as a bookkeeper and security guard until health problems required him to retire. While dad and I disagreed about many things, I admire him for the courageous, stoic, uncomplaining way he faced life, even when life was harsh. He taught me many valuable lessons that I didn't always appreciate when I was learning them, including the value of family ties, hard work, frugality, loyalty, dependability and sticking to one's guns. I will always remember how true he was to my mother, through thick and thin, and to his parents as they grew older. He never sought personal glory, and made it clear that he didn't want military honors that he felt should be reserved for the men who risked life and limb on the battlefield. He was a brave, loyal and honorable man.

Here are pictures of the love of my father's life: his English rose and my mother, Christine Ena Hurt (Burch), looking very fair, very English, and very beautiful:

The smiling woman behind my mother is her mother, Christine Ena Spouse Hurt. The man is her father, George Edwin Hurt Sr.

Here are pictures of my mother and father before their wedding. The boy in the middle picture is mom's younger brother, Colin Hurt.

Here are pictures from my parents' wedding in Mattersey, England:

Little did my parents guess what they were getting into, when they decided to have me! I would grow at a fearsome rate, reaching six foot tall by the time I was thirteen, with a crazy metabolism that allowed me to eat gargantuan amounts of food while remaining skinny as a rail. I was always hungry! The first picture is of my mother, pregnant with me around Christmas, 1957. It snowed in Orlando that winter for the first time in 70 years. The other pictures are dated September and October of 1958.

The picture below is dated 1959. The picture is of my father, me, my mother, and our refrigerator.

Here's a "very English" picture of my mother, pushing me in pram down an English lane.

Here's poem I wrote for my mother:

Mother’s Smile
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, Christine Ena Burch

There never was a fonder smile
than mother’s smile, no softer touch
than mother’s touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than “much.”

So more than “much,” much more than “all.”
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother’s there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father’s back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,
then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother’s tender smile
will leap and follow after you!

If my parents didn't know what they were getting into with me, they were really heading into uncharted waters when they had my pesky sisters! Here I am with Sandra, known as Sandy to everyone but Herself:

I think this may have been the family passport picture, made when Debby was a baby.

Here are we are, hard at play. I believe the third picture is of grandfather Hurt's vegetable garden in Mattersey, England. He definitely had a green thumb, but I think his grandchildren were mostly making a mess.

Dad's mother, Lillian Christine Lee, had a grocery store that she and her second husband, Eric Lee, owned and operated on Sixth Avenue South in Nashville. We believe Grandma Lee had Cherokee blood; she was dark-complexioned and was called Gypsy, after the famous Gypsy Rose Lee. Later on this page there is a picture of a member of her family with what I believe are decidedly Native American features. In any case, I have included my translations of Cherokee poems, proverbs and blessings that I dedicated to my father when he chose to forego dialysis and enter the final stage of his life ...

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing I
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I will extract the thorns from your feet.
For yet a little while longer, we will walk life's sunlit paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.

Here's dad at age 79, shortly before his death, but still brave, still stoic, still smiling.

Photo: Paul Ray Burch, USAF Retired  July 27, 1933 - April 20, 2013.  

Do not stand at my grave and cry.  I am not there.  I did not die. . .

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing II
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.

Here's dad at age 79 with his immediate family: Christine Ena Hurt Burch, Debra Leigh Burch White, Sandra Jane Burch Boyte and Michael Ray Burch:

Photo: Dad's last days

Cherokee Travelers' Blessing III
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you care for,
this side of the farther tide.

And when you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder,
may you always find the Rainbow.

Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

I see the longing for departure gleam
in his still-keen eye,
                              and I understand his desire
to test this last wind, like those late autumn leaves
with nothing left to cling to ...

Family Tree and History

Various roots of my family tree appear in the genealogy below (some of the dates are approximations or educated guesses; the more distant in time the more questionable some of the dates become). In most cases there seems to be no way to "prove" a connection except to do DNA testing.

The early activity in Virginia centers around the original Jamestown colony, generally moving in a southwest direction. The settlement at Jamestown became permanent around 1610, and people in my family tree began arriving there as early as 1632, so they were among the first generation of permanent English settlers in North America, although they were not the very first to arrive, but came in the "second wave." Some of the early Jamestown settlers related to the Burches include Edward Champion, Alice Champion, William Blake, Thomas Blake and Samuel Blake. Associated family names include Phillippi/Phillippe, Schupp/Schoop/Shupe/Shutte, Sessums, Stuart, Tolbert, Krieger/Crigger/Creager, Mercer, Burgess, and of course Burch/Bursch.

According to some Burch family members, Martha Johnson (1810-1875) was a first cousin of President Andrew Johnson, although I have not been able to confirm that relationship. Her father, Richard Johnson, said to have been the future president's uncle, may have helped finance the family's move to Tennessee through a series of documented land sales, although the purpose remains a matter of speculation. But in any case, Andrew Johnson did end up in Columbia, not far from his cousins, if they were indeed his cousins. Richard Johnson married Patience Mann and their last names were sometimes spelled Johnston with a "t." Over time it seems they dropped the "t" and became the Johnsons. Martha Johnson married Phillip Blake in Wake Co., NC. These details have been confirmed by a letter written by James Henry Blake, a grandson of Martha Johnson, which I have read, along with notes by Mann/Johnson family genealogists who seem to be knowledgeable and thorough. The main details from the letter and various family researchers are:

Richard Johnson married Patience Mann and had a daughter Martha Johnson
Martha Johnson Blake married Phillip Blake in Wake Co., NC, with a marriage bond date of 11-27-1827
They moved to Maury Co., TN, around 1834
In Wake Co., NC, Richard Johnston made an indenture to sell 171 acres to Philip Blake on June 6, 1830. Philip Blake made an indenture to sell 171 acres to Nail Gunther on October 20, 1832. These have been cited as helping Philip Blake finance his move to Tennessee, which according to their son took place when he was around six years old, which would have been around 1834.
Martha Johnson was born in 1808 and died April 16, 1882 in TN (but her grave marker says August 19, 1878)
Phillip Blake died Aug 14, 1875 in TN
Philip and Martha Johnson Blake are buried in a grave at the Shady Grove Cemetery in Lawrence Co., TN, marked only by large field stones.
Martha Johnson claimed to be Andrew Johnson's first cousin. Her father's name was Richard and Andrew Johnson did have an uncle named Richard. Andrew Johnson did live in Maury Co., TN, and there is a plaque to him on the downtown square.  
According to James Richards, his mother, Dorothy Burch Richards, told him that Richard Johnson had a brother named Aaron Johnson who was seven feet tall.

Rev. John MacGowan (1726-1780) was a famous Methodist preacher and author in his day. A friend and associate of John Wesley, his collected writings in two volumes can be found in the John Adams library. The book has his portrait, although I have not seen it myself. He also fought on the side of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the 1746 Battle of Culloden, the last major battle on English soil.

John MacGowan's son, the Rev. Ebenezer MacGowan (1767-1850), may have started the first Methodist church in the Nashville area. Ebenezer MacGowan was born in Greater London, emigrated to the states, then moved to Tennessee in 1816, where he founded the Bethel Methodist Church in Rutherford Co., revising the prior name "Bear Wallow" to something more biblical. Apparently, Ebenezer MacGowan first built a two-story log house where he preached until the church proper was built. I found an article that said he was short and would preach from the stairs so that his audience could see him. According to "The History of the Bethel Church" by J. T. Sanders, the first church, also built with logs and measuring 22x24 feet, was created in 1817 or 1818. Sanders said Ebenezer MacGowan purchased 1,100 acres for $2,500 and donated four acres to the church. A more modern church was built in 1887 with the original building being converted into a schoolhouse. According to Sanders, four great-grandsons of Ebenezer MacGowan were members and officials of the church. One of those grandsons was undoubtedly my great-grandfather, the Rev. Samuel Wesley McGowan (1857-1936)

The Mysterious Case of Christine Alice Spouse, Actress

Christine Alice Spouse, by Carlo Nieper

There are mysteries surrounding the birth of my grandmother, Christine Ena Spouse, and her mother, Christine Alice Spouse [1881-1968]. Here is what I have been able to gather so far. According to my grandmother's birth certificate, she was born on April 19, 1908 in Sutton-in-Ashfield, County of Nottingham, England. This was the residence of the Harrisons, her foster parents, who ran a Salvation Army boarding house and had fostered other children in the past. Her natural mother's name appears as "Christine Alice Spouse, formerly Stuart." The father's name appears as "Ernest Chatterton Spouse" and his occupation is given as "Actor." Our family believes that Christine Alice Spouse was also an actor, and there are other documents which verify this. The mother's residence is given as 32 King Street, and this agrees with what my Aunt Barbara Hurt Gallagher told me: that the mother was living in the Harrisons' house when the baby was born. If this is the case, it seems likely that Christine Alice Spouse was indeed the mother. Why would she give her maiden name as Stuart? One possibility is that she wanted her baby's last name to be Spouse. If so, she would have needed the father's last name to be given as Spouse, and she would have needed a different maiden name. Her sister Winifred Mary Spouse married Frank Stuart, so she may have "borrowed" the last name Stuart. Another possibility is that she had married Frank Stuart, or some other Stuart, or had had an affair with a man by that name. Another possibility is that Winifred had assumed her sister's identify for some unknown reason. Christine Alice Spouse later lived in London with Carlo Nieper, a member of an aristocratic German family and a portrait painter of some note. It is believed that he was on friendly terms with Hitler and painted Hitler's portrait. They had three children together: Violet Mary Carola Nieper (1911-1982), Raoul Nieper (1913-1989), and Helene Sybil Nieper (1914-) who was nicknamed "Bobbie." There is a rumor that Carlo Nieper was a German spy who fled England via a U-boat the onset of WWI. He died in Berlin on December 17, 1938. There is another rumor that Ernest Chatterton was also a spy, last seen jumping out of hotel window in Germany to escape the German police! In any case, Christine Alice Spouse married Philip Sale in 1927. She had a sister, Winifred Mary Spouse (1880-1918), who was also an actress. She also had a brother, Stanley Charles Spouse (1884-1969). Christine Alice Spouse was born on November 27, 1881 in Plumstead, Kent, England. She emigrated to Atherton, Leichardt, Queensland, Australia in 1958, presumably to be near her children, who had emigrated there earlier. She died in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on April 25, 1968.

Christine Alice Spouse Timeline

NOTE: Carl Johannes Theophil Walter Nieper was born on April 29 1869, in Dresden, Deutschland, to Johann Carl Ludwig Nieper and Caroline Wilhelmine Amalie Johanna Elise Nieper (born von Seyffarth).

1738 - Edward Spouse I (1738-?) is born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1763 - Edward Spouse I (1738-?) m. Mary Clark (1746-1813): parents of Edward Spouse II
1775 - Edward Spouse II (1775-1850) is born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1798 - Edward Spouse II (1775-1850) m. Barbara Storr (1777-1819): parents of William Spouse
1799 - William Spouse (1799-1848) is born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1810 - A 43-tonne sloop named the Trimmer is registered in France on August 21, 1810.
1820 - On August 5, 1820, Edward Spouse II of Scarborough becomes master of the Trimmer, which was captured from the French, suggesting he may have been a privateer.
1822 - William Spouse (1799-1848) m. Mary Jane Turner (1802-1857): parents of Edward Spouse III (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
1831 - Edward Spouse III is born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1843 - Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle is born in Highley, Worcestershire, England.
1848 - Edward Spouse II becomes owner of the Trimmer on July 1, 1848.
1848 - Six months later, on Dec. 20, 1848 the ship founders and sinks 12 miles off Hartlepool while en route from Whitby to Sunderland  under a Captain Smith. The crew is saved.
1850 - The death of Edward Spouse II.
1879 - Edward Spouse III marries Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle on July 24, 1879 in Erith, Kent, near London, England.
1880 - Winifred Mary Spouse is born in Plumstead, Kent, England.

1881 - Winifred Mary Spouse is baptized on September 10, 1881; Edward Spouse's occupation is listed as an accountant.
1881 - Christine Alice Spouse is born on November 27, 1881 in Plumstead, Kent, England to Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle and Edward Spouse III.
1882 - Edward Spouse III is living at 19 Vicarage Park in Plumstead, Kent, near London, England.

1884 - Stanley Charles Spouse is born.
1885 - Christine Alice Spouse is baptized at Belvedere, All Saints, Kent on April 5, 1885. The address looks like Woolwich Rd, Belvedere.
1891 - Christine Alice Spouse is living with her parents in Erith, Kent, England.
1900 - Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle dies at age 57, leaving Christine motherless at age nine.
1901 - Christine Alice Spouse is living with her father in Lewisham, London.
1901 - Winifred Mary Spouse, age 21, marries Frank Stuart. Is this the source of the Stuart name on Christine Ena Spouse's birth certificate?

1908 - Christine Alice Spouse, around age 27, gives birth to Christine Ena Spouse on April 19, 1908 in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
1911 - Christine Alice Spouse is living as a "visitor" in Kensington, London with Carlo Nieper and his mother Carole Nieper-Sayfforthy in the Jemima Croucher household.
1911 - The 1911 census shows Christine Alice Spouse (age 29, born circa 1882) living with Carlo Nieper (age 41) at Kensington Park Road, Kensington, London.
1911 - Edward Spouse dies at age 80 on April 6, 1911.
1911 - Christine Alice Nieper (?) gives birth to Violet Mary Carola Nieper on September 22, 1911 in Paddington, London.
1913 - Christine Alice Nieper (?) gives birth to Raoul Nieper on March 31, 1913 in Paddington, London.
1914 - Christine Alice Nieper (?) gives birth to Helene Sybil Nieper.
1914 - According to AskArt, Carlo Nieper returned to Germany around 1914.
1916 - Uta Nieper (1916-2006) was born in Hamburg, Germany, so by this point Carlo Nieper had returned to Germany and remarried.
1918 - Winifred Mary Spouse dies at age 38 on October 19, 1918 in Lancashire, England.
1919 - Christine Nieper is living at 4741 Vera Road, Lyndhurst, Islington, Finsbury and Fulham, London.
1927 - Christine Alice Nieper, age 45, marries Philip Sale in Holy Trinity, Hounslow, England on February 26, 1927. Oddly, her father's name was given as "Edward Nieper."
1938 - Carlo Nieper dies at age 69 in Berlin on December 13, 1938 or December 17 1938.
1939 - Christine Alice Sale is living with Philip Sale and Raoul Nieper at 63 Sussex Road, Harrow, Middlesex, England.
1949 - Christine Alice Sale arrives in Southampton on November 4, 1949.
1952 - Christine Alice Sale arrives in New York on February 5, 1952.
1953 - Christine Alice Sale, age 71, departs New York for Southampton aboard the Queen Mary on July 7, 1953.
1954 - Christine Alice Sale arrives in New York on November 1, 1954.
1958 - Christine Alice Sale moves to Atherton, Leichardt, Queensland, Australia to be near her children.
1959 - Christine Alice Sale arrives in Southampton on November 16, 1959.
1963 - Christine Alice Sale is living in Everton Park, Petrie, Queensland, Australia.
1968 - Christine Alice Sale dies at age 86 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on April 25, 1968.

The Mysterious Case of Carlo Nieper, the Artist/Spy(?)

Please note that it has been disputed whether Carlo Nieper was a German spy. It is known that he had connections to high-ranking Nazis including Hitler and that he painted portraits of prominent Germans, including Hitler, Paul von Hindenburg and Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brünning. From what I have been able to gather, Joseph Goebbels paid for Carlo's funeral: a rather grand one with horses, etc.

And he certainly had enough names for a spy, having been called Carlo, Carlos and Carl.

Carl Johannes Theophil Walter Nieper was born on April 29, 1869 in Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland (Germany). He died on on  December 17, 1938 at age 69. He was the son of Ludwig Johann Carl Nieper and Caroline Wilhelmine Amalie Johanne Elise Nieper. He was the husband of Louissa Baillie Nieper (1871-1956) and Elsa Ellen Finkenauer/Finkeuauer (1893-) and the partner of Christine Alice Spouse (1881-1968).

According to AskArt, Carlos Nieper called himself "Carlo Nieper" as an artist. He was a German portrait painter and draftsman (1869 Dresden to 1938 Berlin). He was the son and student of Ludwig Nieper (1826-1906, director of the Academy in Leipzig and a painter). Carlo studied first at the Art Academy Leipzig, 1904-07 atelier in the Künstlerhaus Dresden-Loschwitz, then received further education at the Académie Julian in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. Around 1911, he was active in England and Wales and lived in London. Around 1914, he returned to Germany and later was active in Berlin from 1924.

Carlo's first marriage was to Louissa Baillie Falconer Nieper (April 26, 1871-Sept. 5, 1956) aka "Lucy" in Oct. 1900 in London.

The 1911 census shows Lucy Baille Nilper at age 39 living in Worthington, Sussex, England with a son Ronald, age 9, and a daughter Olive, age 6. She was living with her mother, Louisa Burness Falconer, age 72. I believe the children were David Ronald Nieper (1902-1984) and Colma Lucy Charlotte Nieper (1905-1971).

According to Valerie Shaw, a Hurt family member who lives in Brisbane and is the daughter of Raoul Nieper, the name changes were due to Lucy hiding her whereabouts from Carlo. 

Carlo was the father of Violet Mary Carola Nieper (1911-1982), followed by Raoul Nieper (1913-1989) and Helene Sybil Nieper (1914-1989) by Christine Alice Spouse. To my knowledge they were partners and lived together, but were not married.

Valerie Shaw said: "Carlo was in Germany when my father was born and sent a one word telegram "RAOUL" after Raoul Dufy." Raoul Dufy was a French painter.

The dates of birth raise the question of whether Carlo Nieper was my grandmother's father. By 1901 my great-grandmother Christine Alice Spouse was living with her father in Lewisham, London. We know from the 1911 census that Carlo Nieper was living in Kensington, London with his mother Carole Nieper-Sayfforthy in the Jemima Croucher household. Lewisham and Kensington are very close to each other. It's entirely possible that Christine met Carlo prior to 1908. She was an actress and he was an artist and they might well have run in the same artistic circles. Did he ask her to model for him, perhaps? My grandmother was born in 1908, just three years before Violet Napier. My family believes the couple ended up at a Wagner festival in Germany at the time World War I broke out, at which point Englishwomen were deported and the two would have been separated. It all ties together — the proximity in London, the artists' circle, the portrait, the birth dates, the trip to Germany. Of course, nothing is conclusive, but the idea is intriguing. It would take a comparison of DNA to be sure.

Carlo was also the father of Manon Nieper (1919-1920), Cary Nieper (1918-?) and Uta Maya/Maja Ellen Carola Nieper (1916-2006) by Elsa Ellen Finkenauer (July 31, 1893-), about whom I have been able to find almost nothing.

After Carlo Nieper returned to Germany (allegedly via U-Boat!), sometime before 1915. In Germany on Feb. 9, 1915 in Wiesbaden he married his second wife, Elsa Ellen Finkenauer/Finkeuauer (1893-) and had four children by her, only two of whom survived. The children's names were Friedrich Karl Nieper (1915-1915), Uta Maya/Maja Ellen Carola Nieper (1916-2006), Cary Nieper (1918-?) and Manon Nieper (1919-1920). Friedrich and Manon died in infancy. Uta and Cary both learned ballet and danced as "Die Sorelle Nieper" ("The sisters Nieper"). Both had careers as ballet teachers. Valerie said, "I met Uta as a very aged woman in a nursing home in Gouda. Cary had died earlier. Uta said she remembered sitting on Adolf Hitler’s knee. Carlo was a friend of Hitler."

Valerie said: "Carlo wasn't a spy. When he died, Ellen had no money. They had lived in hotels and spent all the money his paintings fetched. Utta told me that her mother approached Goebbels for help and Carlo was given a grand funeral with horses, etc."

From what I have been able to gather, Uta Maya Ellen Carola Nieper (1916-2006) was born in Hamburg, Germany. She shared the middle name "Carola" with Violet Nieper so it may be of some family significance or perhaps a variation of "Carlo." Uta died in Gouda, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. She married Lukas Jan Pronk from Emmen, Drenthe; he was a member of the SS who died in Groningen on June 22, 1944.

The Mysterious Case of Robert Turner Burch

Robert Turner Burch (1887-Nov. 24, 1923) was the second-oldest child of Jefferson Davis Burch (1863-1918) and Alice Leon Medora Blake (1866-1933). His siblings were Raymond O'Dell Burch (born April 1, 1886), Morton Sewell Burch (born Feb. 24, 1889), Mary Tom Burch (born c. 1893), Edward Burch (born Sep. 1894), Laura Burch (born Oct. 15, 1897), Martha Lucille Burch (born Aug. 24, 1901), my grandfather Paul Ray Burch Sr. (born Nov. 24, 1903), Bessie Louis Burch (born March 31, 1906) and Jefferson Burch (born May 4, 1909).


Robert Turner Burch, a railroad worker, was shot to death at age 38, in a "soft drink saloon" in the vicinity of St. Louis on Nov. 24, 1923. According to family members, the shooting was over a woman. But there are some puzzling questions. The police weren't called until two hours after the shooting, which seems odd. Robert died in a Granite City hospital called St. Elizabeth's. Before he died, Robert had asked to speak to his brother Raymond O'Dell Burch of Iron City, TN, saying there was something important that he needed to tell him. But according to a newspaper article he died without making a statement. Also, there was a question about an insurance policy on his life, with his wife possibly being the beneficiary. The police were looking for a man named Stanley Dickinson, also a railroad worker, according to the article. Robert had arrived in Granite City five days prior to the shooting, coming from Dubois, IL.

In the picture below, Robert Turner Burch is on the left and my grandfather Paul Ray Burch Sr. is on the right.

Paul Ray Burch Sr.

The picture above, left to right, is my grandfather Paul R. Burch Sr., William Edward Wilson and Lucille Burch Wilson, my grandfather's sister. The picture was provided by Bettie Joyce Wilson Childers, the daughter of Lucile Burch. William was the oldest child in the Wilson family, followed by Bettie, then their sister Marie. The picture below is of my grandfather riding in a buggy with his father, the lawyer/judge Jefferson Davis Burch, whose life story appears later.

My grandfather Paul Ray Burch Sr. (1903/4-1992), was born on November 24, 1903 or 1904, in Ethridge, Lawrence County, Tennessee. His parents were Jefferson Davis Burch (1863-1918) and Alice Leon Medora Blake (1866-1933). The children of Jefferson Davis Burch and Alice Blake Burch were: Raymond O'Dell Burch (born April 1, 1886), Robert Turner Burch (born 1887-Nov. 24, 1923), Morton Sewell Burch (born Feb. 24, 1889), Mary Tom Burch (born c. 1893), Edward Burch (born Sep. 1894), Laura Burch (born Oct. 15, 1897), Martha Lucille Burch (born Aug. 24, 1901), Paul Ray Burch Sr. (born Nov. 24, 1903/4), Bessie Louis Burch (born March 31, 1906), Jefferson Burch (born May 4, 1909).

From what I have been able to gather, Paul Ray Burch Sr. was born in Ethridge, Lawrence County, a town of around 400 souls. His mother, Alice Leon Blake, died in Ethridge in 1933 and in her obituary was described as the daughter of a prominent minister, the Rev. Henry J. Blake. His father was also a prominent citizen, the lawyer/judge Jefferson Davis Burch. Grandpa Burch was 6'2" (my height) and a pretty good baseball player in his youth. At some point he moved to Nashville and became a truck driver for C. B. Ragland, where he worked until retirement. He also did some part-time preaching, sometimes taking us to black churches where we were the only whites in the audience. He was also a bit of a ladies' man and when I was a boy he would sometimes take us to visit his girlfriends. He was married three times: to my grandmother Lillian Christine McAdams ("Gypsy"), to Darkis Mary Stepp ("Dottie"), and to Marian Ruth Wheeler Hester ("Ruth"). By 1943 he was living at 40 Parkwood Boulevard in Nashville, which is interesting because our family later lived in Parkwood Estates.

Per Jackie Burch: Morton Sewell Burch may have been married to two women at the same time. He first married Helen while using the name McFarland; she lived in Los Angeles, CA. He then married Jean Martin in Little Rock, AR but didn't get a divorce from Helen. [Did he use multiple names? I found a Little Rock death certificate for a Martin Luther Burch, with the names of his mother and father and his birth date. So it seems he probably did live two lives with different names!] Morton was buried in Ethridge Cemetery and Helen called from California asking for his body to be exhumed and re-buried when she arrived there (this per Doris Pennington of Columbia, TN.). Morton worked in Montgomery, AL with the title Mineral Expert (even though he knew nothing about minerals). His name is supposed to be on a wall in the Alabama State Capitol. He had an office in the State Capitol and ran for Mayor of Montgomery but lacked a few votes from being elected (per James's Aunt Jackie). Morton got in trouble for pardoning someone while he was filling in for the Governor. He freed some prisoners and wasn't supposed to do that. He received time but was pardoned. During the Great Depression, Morton and Paul allegedly traveled around the country selling land they didn't own. They also sold silk stockings to get gas money.

According to Bettie Childers, the granddaughter of J. D. and Alice Burch, she saw a record of my grandfather's birth in one of those old handwritten books used to officially record births, and she recognized her Uncle Paul by his parents and birthdate although for some reason his name was listed as "unknown." According to the records Bettie saw, he was born in Ethridge and his mother Alice Blake was born in Blake's Mill. Ethridge is just a few miles north of Lawrenceburg, which is home to the site of the Davy Crockett Museum, built where Davy Crockett once lived in a log cabin. He had a mill very close to Blake's Mill, although I'm not sure if they operated concurrently. I have seen Crockett in the names of some possible ancestors, but I'm not sure if there is any direct connection. Paul Ray Burch Sr. was married three times: (1) Lillian Christine McAdams, (2) Darkis Mary "Dottie" Stepp, (3) Marian Ruth Wheeler (Hester). His first marriage produced my father, Paul Ray Burch Jr. His second marriage produced my aunt Sandra Jane Burch, who died in a flash flood at age ten. His third wife, whom everyone called "Ruth" had a daughter named Pauline Hester, but I believe she was "grown and flown" before they married, and was already living elsewhere. I found a 1940 census record that shows Ruth and Pauline Hester living with Otha Hester in Shelbyville, Bedford Co., TN. His full name may have been Samuel Otha Hester. I found a record of their marriage in Shelbyville in 1930, and it seems that her maiden name was Wheeler, and her father's name was W. O. Wheeler. When Ruth married my grandfather on July 31, 1971, she was living at 216 Chilton Avenue in Nashville (a house I remember well). He was 68 and she was 62. She may have told the clerk that her name was "Mrs. Ruth Hester" and then remembered the "Marian" because her first name appears above the rest of her name with an insertion mark. I remember Ruth well. She was a small woman, nice but on the quiet side, with a "permanent tan" because of some sort of medical/chemical reaction that left her skin with a grayish-silver tinge.

My grandmother Lillian Christine McAdams Burch Lee was married twice, first to Paul Ray Burch Sr., then to Eric Carlton Lee [1904-1984]. She was born on March 9, 1915 and died on October 31, 1991. This is according to her official Certificate of Death issued by the state of Tennessee, which lists her birthplace as Shelbyville, Bedford County, Tennessee. She lies buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, next to Eric Lee and Paul Ray Burch Jr. Her parents were James I. McAdams (1874?-?) and Carrie Owen McGowan (1885-1939). I have also seen her mother's last name spelled McCowan. According to the 1920 US Census, both her parents were born in Tennessee, and the family lived in Shelbyville, Bedford Co., Tennessee. Jim McAdams was 46 at the time, meaning that he was born around 1874, and Carrie McAdams was 35, meaning that she was born around 1885. Jim McAdams had stepdaughters named Ruby Thompson, Bessie Thompson, Johnnie Thompson and Annie Thompson. He also had a stepson named Ross Thompson. So it seems likely that Carrie McAdams had been Carrie Thompson by a previous marriage. And there is a Marshall County, Tennessee marriage license dated August 21, 1901 for a Miss Carrie McGowan and a J. N. Thompson, so she may have been married at the tender age of sixteen, or thereabouts.

Apparently Jim and Carrie McAdams had a baby girl, Genevy McAdams (Geneva?), who died at 7 1/2 months old on Oct. 26, 1919. The father was listed as Jim McAdams and the mother's maiden name was McGowan. She signed her name "Cary" and I have also seen it spelled "Carry" and "Carrie."

The 1920 census shows Jim McAdams working as a carpenter in Shelbyville, while Carrie McAdams was working in a "knitting mill." My grandmother, then Lillian McAdams, was four years old.

The family moved to Nashville sometime before 1924, because the 1924-1937 Nashville city directories show a James and Carrie McAdams living on 225 N. 1st, then 705 Woodland, then 326 Fatherland. His employment was listed as carpenter, then laborer, then gardener. So it seems they moved a lot and he changed jobs. After that, Jim McAdams seems to vanish without a trace. I have found a James Irvin McAdams who was born on Nov. 10, 1875, and died on Aug. 14, 1950. He apparently was born and died in Shelbyville, Bedford Co., Tennessee. His parents were William Butler McAdams and Nancy Elizabeth Mitchell. He is my "best educated guess" to be my great-grandfather.

According to a Tennessee marriage license issued in Williamson County, Paul Burch and Lillian Lee were married on July 11, 1931. His address was Lawrenceburg and hers was Nashville. According to the license, she was 18 and he was in his 20s, although his age is hard to decipher on the certificate. The document was signed by Mrs. Carrie McAdams, relationship mother.

According to the 1940 US Census, Paul Burch and Lillian Burch were living in Nashville on Fifth Avenue South with their son Paul Burch Jr., who was six at the time. My father's birth certificate, dated July 27, 1933, shows their address as 935 Fifth Ave. South. My grandfather's trade at the time of my father's birth was listed as a "caddy [something] at Shelby Park." He later worked as a truck driver for C. B. Ragland. When I was a boy, and all the time I knew her until the end of her life approached, Lillian Lee lived at 1200 Sixth Avenue South, where she and her second husband Eric Lee owned and operated a small grocery store called Lee's Grocery. I believe Eric Lee had four children by a prior marriage: James Henry "Jimmy" Lee, William "Billy" Lee, Erith Marie Lee, and Juanita Carolyn Lee.

The 1947 Nashville City directory has Paul R. Burch, a truck driver, living at 318 Stratford Ave. with his second wife, Darkis M. Burch. A 1956 Nashville City directory shows him as a truck driver for C. B. Ragland and living on Meridian Street with his wife "Dottie."

A Williamson County marriage license dated June 30, 1926 shows Eric C. Lee marrying Mary Wilkinson. I believe her full name was Mary Alice Wilkinson Lee. Another marriage license dated December 4, 1948, announces the marriage of Eric Carlton Lee to Lillian Christine Burch, both of Nashville, Tennessee. That marriage license was issued by the City of Rossville, Walker County, Georgia. Since they both lived in Nashville, an educated guess is that one of them had relatives who lived in the Rossville area. Rossville lies just south of Chattanooga, on the Tennessee-Georgia border.

According to a Memorial Contract by Eric Lee for a monument to be erected at Nashville's Mount Olivet Cemetery, his father was James H. Lee (1879-1968) and his mother was Carrie Lee (1881-1951). The contract was dated February 6, 1968, so it seems his father died on or before that date. According to a Tennessee delayed birth certificate for Eric Lee, his father's full name was James Henry Lee and his mother's maiden name was Carrie Edwards. His date of birth was given as October 18, 1904.

While I'm not sure about the picture below, the woman's features make me suspect that she may be Lillian Lee's mother or grandmother, with a strong dose of Native American blood, said to be Cherokee by my father and grandmother. The name Carrie McAdams appears as the mother on the July 11, 1931 marriage certificate (Williamson County) of Paul Burch and Lillian McAdams. But a family member says that she thinks the picture below may be of Mary McGowan Collins, the sister of Rev. Samuel Wesley McGowan. In either case, if she had Native American blood, it would have been passed on to my grandmother and father.

Carrie Owen McGowan was born in Tennessee on March 13, 1885. She was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Wesley McGowan (1857-1936) and Dillie May Shutte (both born in Tennessee). I have also seen her mother's name listed as Dillie Tolbert Shupe. On the death certificate of her son Scott Allan McGowan, her maiden name is listed as Dillie Talbert. Did Cherokee blood enter our family through Carrie McGowen's mother, Dillie, or one of her children? I believe Dillie was born in Wythe County, Virginia on March 5, 1861 and that she died in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee on June 15, 1947. It seems Dillie was raised by Margaret Crigger Shupe, the wife of John Daniel Shupe and the daughter of Ambrose Crigger and Elizabeth Phillippi. According to a book written about these two courageous pioneer women, after they lost their husbands during the Civil War, they loaded 27 family members into three covered wagons and went to make a new start in Tennessee, with a two-year-old Dillie Shupe in tow. A later census shows Margaret Crigger living with Dillie and her husband. There is a marriage license between Samuel W. McGowan and Dillie T. Shupe dated February 27, 1879. The previous day there was a marriage contract (marriage bond?) for $1,200 by a "Samual Westley McGowan" with an age listed as 17, presumably the age of the bride-to-be. I have seen the former document listed in the Tennessee State Marriage Index 1780-2002. Samuel Wesley McGowan and his daughter Carrie Owen McGowan lie buried side-by-side at Santa Fe Cemetery, Maury County, Tennessee.

This is a picture of Dillie Tolbert Shupe McGowan:

This was my father's grandfather, Jefferson Davis Burch (1863-1918), a lawyer and judge. We learned about him through extended family member James R. Richards, who has done extensive research into our family history. Jefferson Davis Burch was born June 6, 1863 in Perkinsville, Winston County, Mississippi. He died May 6, 1918 in Lawrence County, Tennessee, at age 54. He is buried in Ethridge Cemetery, in Lawrence County, Tennessee, where many of his children are also buried. He had eleven children, six of whom survived to adulthood. The third youngest child was my grandfather, Paul Ray Burch Sr. (1904-1992) who was born on November 24, 1904 in Ethridge, Lawrence County, Tennessee.

My grandfather's mother was Alice Leon Medora Blake (1866-1933). She was born on July 2,1866 in Lawrence, TN and married Jefferson Davis Burch on or around June 3, 1884. According to her obituary, she died in Sheffield, Alabama on Jan. 19, 1933, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. O. B. Landis, and now lies buried in Ethridge Cemetery, in Lawrence County beside Jefferson Davis Burch. They lived on Buffalo Road in Lawrence, TN according to the 1910 census. Alice Blake was the daughter of Henry Johnson Blake and Sarah C. (Garton) Blake. Her obituary mentions that she was a Gorton (Garton) said to be related to President Andrew Johnson, and that her parents Mr. and Mrs. Henry Blake had moved to Tennessee from Rawleigh (Raleigh), NC. I have a copy of a family letter in which Jim H. Blake, a grandson of Philip Blake, said that Henry Johnson Blake was named after Andrew Johnson and was his second cousin. Their daughter Laura Burch (1898-1976) married Oscar Bell Landis (1891-1962). I remember visiting their son Robert Charles Landis (1931-) when I was a boy. Everyone called him by his first and middle names, "Robert Charles." If I remember correctly, he was a druggist.

The father of Jefferson Davis Burch was Captain Stephen Carroll Burch (1826-1884) and his mother was Margaret Mary "Tom" Mitchell (1844-1869). According to their Mississippi marriage license, dated February 21/22, 1860, she may have spelled her first name "Margarett" or it could be a typo, as her name also appears without the double "t." There is a mystery surrounding Jefferson's birth, because according to evidence discovered by family member James Richards: "Stephen's wife left him, took young Jeff, and went home [to Mississippi] and told her family that Stephen had died." Stephen C. Burch served in the Tennessee 54th Regiment during the Civil War, so his premature death notice may have sounded plausible at the time. But he survived and was promoted to the rank of captain on April 16, 1862, according to the official journal of the Confederate Congress. According to the 1880 census, Stephen C. Burch was a lawyer and farmer whose mother and father both hailed from North Carolina, as he did himself. He may have gone by "Captain" after the Civil War, as in the book "Henryville" by Ruth Dickey, on June 20, 1883 a George Townsend was suspected of robbing Captain Burch's store in Henryville, Lawrence Co. According to one account, Stephen and Margaret Mary are buried together in Old Bethel Cemetery in Lawrence, Tennessee. But according to James Richards that this is incorrect, and she was actually buried in Mississippi. According to the Old Bethel Cemetery records, Stephen Carroll Burch was born in 1826 in Bledsoe Co., Tennessee and died on May 6, 1884, while Margaret Mary Mitchell Burch was born on April 4, 1844 and died on January 9, 1869.  But there seems to be some "family confusion" about SCB's birthplace. When he was alive and presumably providing the information himself, the 1860 census said that he was a merchant born in Tennessee. But the 1870 census said that he was a farmer born in North Carolina. The first census that moved his birthplace to Scotland was the 1900 census, with the information presumably provided by his son Jefferson Davis Burch. When Raymond O'Dell Burch filled out his father's death certificate, he listed his grandfather's birthplace as Scotland. But it seems more likely that SCB was born in Caswell Co, North Carolina, and over time the family lost track of his origins. It's easy enough to confuse "our family comes from Scotland" with an ancestor being born there, so I suspect something like that may have happened. Why do I think North Carolina is correct? Because SCB's father, Henry Clay Burch, and mother, Mary Agnes "Aggy" Stuart, were both born in North Carolina. And other children of theirs were born in Caswell County, NC, including Sarah "Sallie" Burch in 1810 and Catherine "Catie" Burch in 1812. However, Agnes Jane Burch appears to have been born in Bledsoe or Lawrence County, Tennessee in 1828. SCB was born two years earlier in 1826. So it seems possible that he was born in North Carolina but moved at such a young age that his only memories were of Tennessee. Or he could have been born "in transit" on a lengthy migration.

Here is what a Stuart family genealogist has to say about Henry Clay Burch: "He was married in Caswell County, North Carolina to our Agnes Stuart. Their first three of four children were born in Caswell County. The fourth child was perhaps born in Bledsoe or Lawrence, TN in 1828. There is a record for Henry Burch in 1790 and in the 1810 US Federal Censuses. There are no 1820 or 1830 records. The family moved and were perhaps living with other families (he may have no longer been the "head of the household"), and this may be why they are not showing up. There are other Burches in the 1820 and 1830 censuses that were left behind in Caswell, NC. They could have been brothers. Did the Stuart family and Henry and his family want to go "west" and left Henry's primary family behind? If Henry had moved after this third child, then he either died in possibly Bledsoe (if this is HIS record) where his fourth child was possibly born, or he made it to Lawrence County and died there. All of this family line was worked with Archivist, Nancy N. at the Lawrence County Archives."

Henry Clay Burch Timeline

In this timeline, please keep in mind that there could have been more than one Henry Burch in Caswell and/or Bledsoe counties. So all this information may not apply to "our" Henry Clay Burch ...

1763 - William Henry Burch marries Mary Ann Lawrence in Surry, NC. They will have 15 children, all born in NC with one possible exception (immediately below).
1770 - The birth of Henry Clay Burch, circa 1770-1774, in Caswell County, NC, or nearby Orange County, VA.
1779 - There is a Caswell land grant for 400 acres "on the waters of south hills" in the name of Ezekiel Dollarhide, Catherine's father.
1790 - The census shows Henry Burch in Caswell, NC.
1791 - Ezekiel Dollarhide died in April 1791, per a probate document of eight pages. The estate had increased in size to 600 acres. Was Catherine an heiress? According to a Burch genealogy page, Henry Burch and his wife moved west, but returned to collect an inheritance in Person County, NC (adjacent to Caswell). However, the return, if it happened, could have been after the marriage, when the estate was being settled. Or it could have been an inheritance from a different family member.
1792 - Henry Burch marries Catherine Elizabeth Dollarhide. The marriage bond and license show the marriage county as Person, NC. Had they inherited land in Person or did they have relatives there?
1793 - The birth of Henrietta Ann Burch in NC.
1801 - The birth of James Burch, but there are different dates for his birth.
1807 - There is a Caswell marriage bond of Henry Burch to Aggy Stuart (the writing is blurry) on April 21, 1807.
1810 - The birth of Sarah "Sallie" Burch in Caswell, NC.
1812 - The birth of Catherine "Catie" Burch in Caswell, NC.
1810 - The census shows Henry Burch in Caswell, NC, with two females under sixteen (perhaps Sallie and Catie?) and two boys under sixteen (James and unknown?).
1830 - The census shows Henry Burch in Bledsoe, TN with eight free white household members and one female slave.
1837 - Possible date of death for Henry Clay Burch.

According to Bettie Childers, Mary T. Mitchell's parents owned a big plantation in Mississippi. They were Thomas Jefferson Mitchell and Margaret Triplett Mitchell. Thomas received a land grant for 67 acres of land in Mississippi. They were living in Chester, SC at the time. Margaret Mitchell's father was Nimrod Duncan Triplett Jr. When the war came, he enlisted in the Mississippi infantry.

Bettie Childers: "One thing I want to share with you is regarding Mary T. Mitchell, Stephen Burch's wife. You may already be aware of this but we were always under the impression that she was buried with Stephen in Old Bethel cemetery. However, we discovered that she went back to Mississippi and told everyone that Stephen had died. She married a John Wofford on July 21, 1867 and had a child named Callie by him. She died on Jan. 9,1869. We think she probably died in childbirth. Most of Mary Tom and her family are buried in Ellison Ridge cemetery in Winston County, MS. However, we still don't know about Henry W. Burch's mother. Since he was born June 14, 1859 and Stephen married Mary Tom on Feb. 28, 1860, we think that Henry's mother died in childbirth. We have tried to find the answer to this, to no avail. Henry's mother is probably buried in Old Bethel with Stephen. A lot of the Burches are buried in Old Bethel cemetery."

There is more family intrigue, this time revolving around Jefferson Davis Burch. I found this account on a Wofford family web page: Callie M. Wofford was the daughter of Mary Mitchell and John Wofford. Mary was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Mitchell and Margaret Triplett. T.J. Mitchell was apparently quite well-to-do in the years before the Civil War and owned a significant share of land in Winston County near Noxubee County. In September 1855, he gave his wife and children a deed to a sizeable piece of land and later gave his daughter Mary approximately $1875 in "personal property". This was in the 1860's, and the fact that he had over $1000 of "stuff" that he could just give away is remarkable. Sometime during the early-mid 1860's, Mary married a man named Stephen Burch. Mary and Stephen had a son named Jefferson Davis Burch. Stephen Burch died not long after the child was born [although we know he was still alive], and Mary soon remarried to John Wofford around 1867. John and Mary had Callie (whose full name is Margaret Caroline) in 1868, but Mary died in 1869 when Callie was just 9 months old. Apparently John didn't want anything to do with Mary's son Jeff Davis, so he took Callie and left Jeff Davis to live with Mary's mother Margaret Mitchell. The irony is that a few years later in 1874, when Callie was 4 years old, John Wofford sued his mother-in-law Margaret Mitchell on behalf of the children Callie and Jeff Davis, claiming to be their "next friend" in court. He was suing Margaret because her husband T.J. had died intestate two years earlier (1872), and she had never had his estate divided up between his heirs. So John sued her so these precious children could get their fair share of this magnificent estate. Margaret responded back in court, basically saying something to the effect of the following [parphrased]: "Magnificent estate, pooey! When T.J. Mitchell died, he was only worth $65, and all those lush crops John Wofford said were growing on the land at the time of T.J.'s death were planted by ME with MY OWN MONEY while he was kicking his heels up in Texas. And yeah, I have been living on the land and enjoying its fruits since his death, but Jeff Davis Burch has been living with me since the day of his birth, and John Wofford has never spent a DIME towards the support of his deceased wife's child. So he has NO RIGHT to call himself the "next friend" of Jeff Davis Burch. Not only that, but I am old and have had to work my fingers to the bone to support myself and J.D. Burch and to keep the taxes paid on this land, so go blow".

James Richards has a theory that William Henry Clay Burch was the son of Stephen Carroll Burch, and that he was raised by Catherine Burch, Stephen's sister. According to the theory, when Stephen's wife learned that he had fathered a child by another woman, she fled back home telling everyone that her husband was dead. W. H. C. Burch was one of the administrators of Stephen's will, so there could have been a connection. I have also seen his name rendered Henry William Clay Burch.

Henry Johnson Blake (1828-1911) was born on either August 4 or September 4, 1828 near Raleigh in Wake Co., NC. He was the son of Philip Blake and Martha Johnson. He was a miller (Philip Blake also owned a mill), had a tanning yard, and was the Lawrence County Postmaster, a Church of Christ minister and a schoolteacher. He was married three times. On September 7, 1853 in Lawrence Co., he married Louisa A. Samford. On March 9, 1865 he married Sarah C. Garton. His third wife was Sally Brooks of Maury Co., Tennessee. The 1910 US Census shows him living on Buffalo Road in Lawrence, Tennessee. He died on Jan 11, 1911 in Ethridge, Lawrence, TN. Sarah C. Garton (1843-1898) was born on May 9, 1843 in TN and died on Dec. 11, 1898, probably in Lawrence, TN. From what I have been able to learn, the Blake men may have been millers by trade, as the younger Reddick Blake was a prosperous mill owner in Louisiana. But the 1870 census lists Henry J. Blake as a preacher and the 1880 census lists him as a minister of the gospel, so it seems he considered his primary occupation to be preaching. Both censuses confirm that his wife Sarah and daughter Alice were living with him during that decade. A few lines down on the 1870 census I found the names of his father and mother, Philip and Martha Blake, ages 66 and 62, respectively. Their home states were both listed as NC, and Philip's occupation was listed as grist miller. So an educated guess would be that they were living very close to each other, and that Philip Blake was running the family mill while his son Henry concentrated on preaching. But a family letter (see Phillip Blake below) says that there were two different mills. On the same census, I found S. C. Burch, so it seems probable that Stephen Carroll Burch was a close neighbor. Also, a H. J. Blake signed the November 18, 1869 will of Elizabeth Burch Revel Ashmore, the sister of Stephen, so it seems the two families were probably close and on good terms. Elizabeth named her son Stephen Carroll Ashmore after her brother and her daughter Agnes Stuart Ashmore after her mother. The 1860 census lists Henry as a farmer and miller, and living with his first wife Louisa, so it seems possible that she died young and that he changed professions.

Phillip Blake (1808-1882/1889) was born in 1808 in Wake Co., NC and died April 16, 1882 (or 1889) in Lawrence Co., TN. On November 27, 1827 in Wake Co., NC he married Martha Johnson. Martha Johnson (1810-1875) was born between 1805 and 1810 in NC and was the daughter of Richard Johnson and Patience Mann, of Raleigh, Wake Co., NC. There is a NC marriage bond with their names dated September 22, 1801. Martha Johnson died August 14, 1875 in Lawrence Co., TN. Several articles of family lore say that Martha Johnson was related to Andrew Johnson, and this assertion was made by Sara Love Trigg, but so far the relationship has not been definitively established. Andrew Johnson lived in nearby in Columbia, Tennessee, where he was a tailor. President Johnson had an uncle named Richard Johnson. (According to Dorothy Burch Richards, Richard Johnson had a brother named Aaron Johnson who was seven feet tall!) Philip and Martha Blake are buried in a grave at the Shady Grove Cemetery in Lawrence Co., TN. The grave is marked only by large field stones. Beside them lie Henry Johnson Blake and one wife, also marked by large field stones. (This, per two different family members: Jackie Mae Stutts Burch and another cousin whom James R. Richard met at the cemetery.) In a family letter, it is said by Jim H. Blake that Philip Blake "had a grist mill prior to and during the Civil War on the headwaters of Little Buffalo Creek on [the] present Lawrenceburg-Henryville Road." The same letter says that he deeded land for the Shady Grove Church of Christ and cemetery, and that he was an elder in the church. (I believe his son Henry Johnson Blake was a Church of Christ minister, so he probably preached there.) The letter continues to say that H. J. Blake had a mill two miles below the old mill site, at the fork of Watery Fork Creek and Little Buffalo Creek, that the house was called Blake's Mill, and that there was a post office there. It concludes by saying that the mill was sold to Alan Kidd and Dr. Meredith in 1876 and renamed Centennial Mills.


Raymond Odell Burch

We need family help to weave our family back to the King of Scotland.  
Written by Aunt Sadie, embellished—three hundred plus years are missing between James Stuart and our Agnes Stuart. 
Christine Bumby–Allen transcribed her letter.
Sara "Sallie" Melissa Tennessee "Aunt Sadie" Alley
Birth: 21 Aug 1886, Perry, Tennessee, USA 
Death: 2 Jan 1987, Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee, USA
James Stuart of Scotland was kidnapped when six years old and brought to the United States to keep from being made King.
Mary Stuart, the next heir, then became Queen of Scotland.
The James Stuart (who was kidnapped) had a son named James.
James Stuart Jr., married Miss Nancy Burgress. They had six children - James (Jim), John, Lemmie, Katie, Mary and Agnes.
Agnes Stuart married Henry Clay Burch. They had a daughter named Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Burch was first married to John Rebel: to this marriage she had one daughter, Tennie, who married Alexander Alley.
Elizabeth's second marriage was to Mr. Bloomer Ashmore; to this marriage there were two children: Agnes Stuart and Stephen Carroll.
Agnes Stuart Ashmore married Jonah E. Thomas Alley - (my father and mother).
Agnes Stuart Ashmore Alley's grand mother was Agnes Stuart, the grand daughter of the James Stuart who was kidnapped in Scotland and brought to the United States when six years old.
Lemmie Stuart had two children - Sparkman and Agnes Ann. Agnes Ann married Doc West.
John Markham was a first cousin to our great grand mother, Agnes Stuart Burch. He died in Rock Island prison during the Civil War.
Robert Bruce's mother was a Stuart. Robert was in battle during war in Scotland. He requested his men that if he was slain to take his heart back to Scotland, which they did take back in a silver casket and buried in some Cathedral.

Johannes (John) Adam Phillippe/Phillippi (1736-1800) was born in Leipzig, Germany. The Phillippe family occupied professional chairs at the University of Leipzig, now Karl Marx University, for more than 300 years. Due to religious pressures, the family moved to England. In 1750 Johannes came to America on the Phoenix. He first settled in Warwick, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he married Maria Eichelberger, then moved to Wake Co., Virginia. The Phillippes had thirteen children, one of whom was my ancestor Christian Phillippe (1777-1843). Johannes served with Capt. Buchanan's Co. during the Revolutionary War.

Samuel Blake (1735-1807) and Amey Reddick (1740-1818) were the parents of Thomas Samuel Blake. They lived in Southampton Co, VA, but it seems they moved to Wake Co., NC, as they both died there.

William Blake (1680-1746) was possibly born about 1680 Notoway Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia. He was married in January 1704 to Mary Sessoms (1682-1742) at Isle of Wight Co., Virginia. She was the daughter of Nicholas Sessums and Hannah Culmer. He died March 12, 1745/46, in Southampton County, Virginia. She was born 1682 in Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry County, Virginia, and died after November 1742 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Samuel Blake was their son.

Thomas Blake (1644-1707) was born 1644 in Southwest England, and died January 30, 1706/07 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. He married Alice Champion (1643-1710), the daughter of Edward Champion and Elizabeth Atkens, in 1699. She was born 1643 in England, and died after January 2, 1709/10 in Isle of Wight Co., Virginia. They were the parents of William Blake.

[1] Was "our" Thomas Blake related to the famous Admiral Robert Blake, the "father of the Royal Navy" who is considered to be the chief architect of Great Britain's naval supremacy, and whose successes have "never been excelled, not even by Nelson" according to one biographer? A bequest in Admiral Blake's will dated 1656 stated: "Item unto Thomas Blake, son of my cousin William Blake, once commander of the Tresco frigate, deceased, now aboard the Centurion frigate in the service, I give fifty pounds." According to Helene Hunt, "This information was furnished by an administrator of the [Blake] Museum. This Thomas Blake disappeared from the English records after this time. Only Thomas Blake of Isle of Wight Co., Va., has been suggested as being the Thomas mentioned in the Admiral's will. After visiting the Blake Museum in 2004, the curator showed me the files they had on Thomas Blake; also they have information where he had returned to England and gone back to America. This can also be found at the College of Arms in London. So I believe that now it is not circumstantial anymore [but] it is a fact that this is the same Thomas Blake that came to America." (Helene Hunt, March through June 2004 in England)

"We need family help to weave our family back to the King of Scotland." Written by Aunt Sadie, embellished—three hundred plus years are missing between James Stuart and our Agnes Stuart. Christine Bumby–Allen transcribed her letter. Sara "Sallie" Melissa Tennessee "Aunt Sadie" Alley. Birth: 21 Aug 1886, Perry, Tennessee, USA. Death: 2 Jan 1987, Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee, USA. A BIT OF FAMILY HISTORY. James Stuart of Scotland was kidnapped when six years old and brought to the United States to keep him from being made King. Mary Stuart, the next heir, then became Queen of Scotland. The James Stuart (who was kidnapped) had a son named James. This James Stuart, Jr., married Miss Nancy Burgress. They had six children: James (Jim), John, Lemmie, Katie, Mary and Agnes. Agnes Stuart married Henry Clay Burch. They had a daughter named Elizabeth. Elizabeth Burch was first married to John Rebel: to this marriage she had one daughter, Tennie, who married Alexander Alley. Elizabeth's second marriage was to Mr. Bloomer Ashmore: to this marriage there were two children: Agnes Stuart and Stephen Carroll. Agnes Stuart Ashmore married Jonah E. Thomas Alley (my father and mother). Agnes Stuart Ashmore Alley's grandmother was Agnes Stuart, the granddaughter of the James Stuart who was kidnapped in Scotland and brought to the United States when six years old. Lemmie Stuart had two children: Sparkman and Agnes Ann. Agnes Ann married Doc West. John Markham was a first cousin to our great grandmother, Agnes Stuart Burch. He died in Rock Island prison during the Civil War. Robert Bruce's mother was a Stuart. Robert was in battle during war in Scotland. He requested his men that if he was slain to take his heart back to Scotland, which they did take back in a silver casket and buried in some Cathedral.

Jeff Stewart: This particular letter from Sadie was important to me because it established that Agnes Stuart Burch did claim a brother by the name of James. Given that my ancestor James Stewart's children and grandchildren were living next door to Agnes in 1850, one year after my ancestor James' death in Lawrence County, TN, I believe Agnes to be my great, great, great aunt. I've had autosomal DNA and yDNA testing done and would be very interested to compare results with any of Agnes' descendants who have done autosomal testing. My autosomal test results have already shown ties to other test subjects who are descended from the Warren line that Nancy Burgess' mother Mary Warren was part of. As for the claims of descent from the Royal Stewart line, I can only say that at the level of yDNA testing I've done to date I've found nothing to suggest that this line is descended from either King James. That said, I've been told by one geneticist that my Stewart line's yDNA appears to have suffered a "recLOH" event that may cause this line to appear more distant from its nearest Stewart branches.

Genealogy / Family Tree

The abbreviation CG means "current generation," or my generation. CG-11 means "eleven generations in the past." The state abbreviations indicate the state of birth of the child, which is normally also the parents' state of residence at the time. [DNA] means relationships have been confirmed by DNA with accompanying explanations. "Co." means "county" and "m." means married. Please keep in mind that the further we go back in time, the harder it is to be sure that all the connections are to our family. I have made notes about some of the questions and uncertainties.

An asterisk (*) means that I have double-checked the records, which doesn't mean the older records can be verified with a high degree of exactness. Two asterisks means that I feel confident that the family connection is real. Three asterisks means that I'm certain.

Alaya Boyte ***
Aryanna Boyte ***

Scott Boyte m. Michelle Umboh: parents of Alaya Boyte and Aryanna Boyte ***
John Boyte m. Samantha Boyte ***
Samantha White ***
Garrett White ***
Jeremy Michael Burch ***

Michael Ray Burch (1958-) m. Elizabeth Harris (1967-): parents of Jeremy Michael Burch (Nashville, TN) ***
Sandra Jane Burch m. Wayne Boyte: parents of Scott Boyte and John Boyte;  Sandra was named after her aunt who died in a flood ***
Debra Leigh Burch m. Walter White: parents of Samantha White and Garrett White ***

Paul Ray Burch Jr. (1933-2013) m. Christine Ena Hurt (1936-): parents of Michael Burch (Orlando, FL), Sandra Burch, Debra Burch (both born in England) ***
Sandra Jane Burch (1945-1955) was the stepsister of Paul Ray Burch Jr.; she drowned in a flash flood on March 21, 1955 ***
Sandra Jane Burch's mother was Darkis Mary "Dottie" Stepp ***
George Edwin Hurt Jr. (1931-2012), Beryl Hurt Holland, Barbara Hurt Gallagher, Colin Hurt (all born in Mansfield?, Nottinghamshire, England) ***

In the 1950 census my father Paul Ray Burch Jr. was 16 years old and living with his father Paul Ray Burch Sr. and his stepmother Darlis Burch, his sister Sandy (age four) and Clint Beavers (age 10). So I assume Darlis Burch had once been Darlis Beavers. Oddly, their last names were all spelled Birch. They lived together in Hartsville, Trousdale, TN in dwelling 199 on "S. Side of College St from Damascus."

Paul Ray Burch Sr. (1903-1992) m. Lillian Christine McAdams (1914-1991): parents of Paul Ray Burch Jr. (Nashville, TN) ***
George Edwin Hurt Sr. (1907-1998) m. Christine Ena Spouse (1908-1984): parents of Christine Ena Hurt (Mansfield, England) ***

NOTE: For more information about the Spouse family tree, please see the separate Spouse Genealogy.

Jefferson Davis Burch (1863-1918) m. Alice Leon Medora Blake (1866-1933): parents of Paul Ray Burch Sr. (Ethridge, Lawrence Co., TN) ***
James Wilson McAdams (1876-1932) m. Carrie Owen McGowan (1885-1939): parents of Lillian Christine McAdams (Shelbyville, TN) ***
Ernest Chatterton (?) m. Christine Alice Spouse (1881-1968): parents of Christine Ena Spouse [see "The Mysterious Case of Christine Alice Spouse"] ***
Abraham Hurt Jr. (1878-1948) m. Ruth Wheatley (1885-1962): parents of George Edwin Hurt Sr. (Fulwood, near Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England.)

From Ann Ballinger, a probably relative: Hi Michael, thanks for your reply and friend request. My mother's maiden name was Fearn. Her father George was born in 1900, the 7th child of William Fearn and his wife Maria neé Wheatley, who married on 16 Mar 1887. I found an entry in the parish registers, in Ockbrook, Derbyshire, of the baptism of an illegitimate daughter, Ruth, in 1885 to single woman Maria Wheatley. I believe this Ruth married Abraham Hurt and is the mother of your George Edwin Hurt Sr. On Ancestry I am a DNA match to, dwhite4736 who I believe is your sister. Have you done a dna test yourself? I can send you copies of some bapt, marriage, census entries if you don't already have them. My email address is On my 'to do list' for today is to read some of your poems! Best wishes Ann

Ann Ballinger later confirmed that I am her top DNA match on and she said she suspects that William Fearn was not the father of Ruth Wheatley, based on DNA and her research.

In the 1881 census, a 16-year-old Maria Wheatley (misspelled Bhiatley) was working as a servant in the Derbyshire household of John Garrett and Hannah Maria Garrett
In the 1901 census, I found a Maria Fearn, then 36, living with William Fern, then 39, in Ockbrook, Derbyshire, England. But I have not found Ruth Wheatley living in the William Fearn household.

This from Ann Ballinger: I suspect that Ruth (and also Lucy) were brought up as children of John and Maria. I wonder if Ruth knew who her mother was. My mother didn’t know of the existence of Ruth when I mentioned her when I first came across her baptism entry, and neither did a couple of my mum’s cousins that I talked to about the family. On the 1891 census Ruth Wheatley is shown as age 6 living with her ‘parents’ John and Maria Wheatley. In 1881 Maria Wheatley, age 16, was living as a servant with the Garrett family at Turnpike Side, Nottingham Road, Risley, Shardlow. (Your sister has a son Garrett – just a coincidence I assume, or is that a clue to the father of Ruth?). Maria’s surname was incorrectly transcribed as Bhiatley on Ancestry. In 1881 John is not shown with his wife and family as he was a patient in hospital in Derby at that time. I’m not sure how Maria came to be in Cromford to meet and marry William Fearn. I assume she would have been working there. I have uploaded various documents and photographs to a folder in my Gdrive. Hopefully you will be able to access them with this link: Unfortunately I do not have any photographs of my great grandparents, William and Maria Fearn. My mother did not know her grandparents as they died when she was very young, but I have a brief description from one of her cousins, who says that Maria was a very large lady but William was small and stocky, only 5’ 6” tall. I think some of the family take after the Wheatley side of the family and are tall, like my mother, and others like Aunt Ethel were small, and take after the Fearn side. Not sure if I got that right but just an observation from bits of information I have gleaned. As most of the family lived in the Matlock area, and we lived in Mansfield I did not see them very often or get to know the wider family. I have included a photograph of my grandfather George Fearn, my mother Brenda, and a couple of sisters of my grandfather, Ethel and Sarah Ellen, to see if you can see any family resemblance. Also a couple of me. One more thing, do any of your family suffer with the inherited form of eczema and asthma? My brother suffers with this as did one of my uncles and some of my mother’s aunts and at least one cousin. I believe it originates from the Wheatley side of the family. I hope you can access the folder and find the items interesting. If you have any questions please ask as I have more information relating to the Wheatleys and Wagstaffs, and others, as well as all my other family lines.  With the help of a distant relation, Alan Wheatley, I have the Wheatley line going back to Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire in the early 1700s. I’m afraid I have not got round to looking at many of your poems so I haven’t got any comments yet, other than I liked the one on Facebook to your wife, which I though was lovely. Best wishes, Ann  


I found confirmation that Abraham Hurt was the father of George Edwin Hurt Sr. in a record of Church of England Marriages and Banns. My grandfather married Christine Ena Spouse (they misspelled her middle name Eva) on Feb. 22, 1930 in Sutton in Ashfield, St. Mary Magdalene, Nottinghamshire, England. Some of the online genealogy sites have the wrong father, but now Abraham Hurt has been confirmed. Geneanet confirmed Abraham Hurt as the father and Ruth Wheatley as the mother but I'm not sure where that info came from.

Abraham Hurt Sr. was born about 1837 in Westhorpe, Nottinghamshire, England.
According to the 1841 census, William Hart (48) and Sarah Hart (48) were living in Southwell Notts. with Elizabeth (23), Mary (18), Hannah (12), Eliza (9), Abraham (4), Emma (2), William (10 months).
Question: Was Abraham the son of William and Sarah, or perhaps the son of Elizabeth or Mary?
Abraham Hurt Sr. (1837-1911?) m. Alice Keeton/Keaton (1844-1926)
Joseph Wheatley (?) m. Mary Hallam (1852-1901): parents of Ruth Wheatley (Ockbrook, Derbyshire, England). I have not been able to verify these ancestors. It now seems more likely that Ruth Wheatley was the daughter of William Fearn and Maria Wheatley, born in 1885 before her parents were married in 1887, and thus she was recorded with her mother's maiden name.
Abraham Hurt Sr. was born in 1837 and baptized on May 10, 1837. His occupations were listed as farmer, grocer and shopkeeper.
Abraham Hurt Sr.'s children, oldest to youngest, were Sarah, Mary Ellen, William and Ernest (twins), Baletta-Violetta-Villetter (her name kept changing!), Catherine, Abraham, Maude, Israel and Vera Manuela.
There was also a child in the Hurt household named Mary Rumley.
The censuses from 1841 to 1911 are consistent about the family members except for the spellings of their names. The last name is Hart, Hunt but mostly Hurt.
The 1851 census shows Abraham Hurt Sr. (13) and his father William Hurt (47) working as servants in the household of William and Mary Saxby in Southwell, Notts.
There is a record of a marriage on June 24, 1861 between Abraham Hurt Sr. and Alice Keeton at St. Mary Magdalene, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England.
The 1861 census has Abraham Hurt Sr. (24) living with Alice Keeton (16) and her parents William Keeton (50) and Martha Keeton (52), so that relationship seems correct.
An educated guess is that Abraham Hurt Sr. married Alice Keeton and they were living with her parents.
The 1871 census has Abraham Hurt Sr. (33) living with Alice Keeton (25) with Sarah (6), Mary E. (2) and William and Ernest (both 11 months).

The birth index says Abraham Hurt Jr. was born on Apr. 25, 1878. The death index reports that died in Sept. 1948 in Mansfield.
From the 1881 census forward, it seems the whole Hurt family lived in Fulwood, near Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England. (Mom confirmed this.)
I found a Ruth Wheatley (1877-1926) who was born in Derbyshire, but I'm not positive that she is "our" Ruth Wheatley.
There is a Ruth Wheatley born Feb. 20, 1876 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire to Samuel Wheatley and Sarah Ann (?). But she seems to have married George Bostock.
I found a Ruth Wheatley who lived in Nottinghamshire but she married a man named Samuel Green in 1874. Her father was William Wheatley.
I confirmed the marriage of Abraham Hurt Jr. to a Ruth Wheatley in the marriage index. They had a daughter named Olive Ruth, so the first name Ruth seems likely correct.
Abraham Hurt Jr.'s children were George Edwin Hurt Sr. (Nov. 6, 1907-1998), Givernia Hurt (1910-?), Lawrence Vincent Hurt (April 2, 1911-1986), Alice Maud Hurt (1913-1990), Elsie Hurt (1915-2008), Florence Mabel Hurt Cattanach (Oct. 21 1918-Sept. 2004), Olive Ruth Hurt (March 14 1921-1989).
The 1911 census shows Christine Ena Spouse, age 2, living with Joseph and Catherine Harrison at King Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England.
The 1911 census shows Christine Alice Spouse (age 29, born circa 1882) living with Carlo Nieper at Kensington Park Road, Kensington, London, England.
The 1911 census shows George E. Hurt, age 3, living in Fulwood, Nottinghamshire, England with Abraham Hurt Sr. (age 73) and Alice Hurt (age 65) and his parents, Abraham Hurt Jr. (32)  and Ruth Hurt (29).
The 1911 census lists Abraham Hurt Jr. as a coal miner hewer. George Edwin Hurt Sr. also worked a coal miner hewer at one time.
The 1911 census is a mystery because there is a probate record that says Abraham Hurt Sr. died on August 22, 1901 and left 137 pounds to Alice Hurt!

Does anyone know George Edwin Hurt Sr.'s exact birth date? Was it Nov. 6, 1907?

Does anyone have any information about Abraham Hurt Jr.'s wife? Was her name Ruth Wheatley? Did she die in 1926, or do I have the wrong person? Did Abraham Hurt Jr. possibly remarry and have more children? Mom remembers an uncle Alec.

Questions: Did grandpa Hurt ever work as a railway signal lampman? (Yes) Did he have a sister named Florence? (Yes, his sister) Does anyone know his father's name (Abraham Hurt) or his mother's name (Elizabeth or Sarah/Sara)? Where did Auntie Flo live? (Fulwood, near Sutton-in-Ashfield, married Thomas Cattanach [confirmed] had a daughter named Anne Cattanach)

Christine Ena Spouse was an abandoned baby; the name of her father on her birth certificate may not be factual. The father's trail ends here.
I did find an actor named Tom Chatterton who was born in 1881, the same year as Christine Alice Spouse, but I am unaware of any other connection.
John Wilson McAdams (or James I. McAdams) has been hard to track down; he was married to Carrie Owen McGowan in Bedford TN on August 11, 1913.
The reason I believe James Wilson McAdams is correct is that he had a sister named Ludie Elizabeth McAdams Mullins and I remember the unusual name Ludie.
James Wilson McAdams was born Oct. 5, 1876 in Weakley Co., TN, and died on March 6, 1932 in the same county. He was apparently called Jim, Johnie and John.
Carrie Owen McGowan had a prior marriage to a J. H. Thompson in Marshall Co., TN, in 1901 (or perhaps J. N. Thompson).
According to the 1910 census, John Thompson was a Shelbyville "sawer" who worked in a saw mill and had been married to "Carry" Thompson for nine years.
According to the 1920 census, Jim McAdams was a Shelbyville carpenter.

Captain Stephen Carroll Burch (~1826-1884) m. Margaret Mary Mitchell (1844-1869): parents of Jefferson Davis Burch (Perkinsville, MS) ***
Henry Johnson Blake (1828-1911) m. Sarah Catherine Garton (1843-1898): parents of Alice Leon Medora Blake (Lawrence Co., TN) ***
Rev. Samuel Wesley McGowan (1857-1936) m. Dillie May Shupe/Shutte (1861-1947): parents of Carrie Owen McGowan (TN) ***
James Baker McAdams (1845-1920) m. Sarah W. Davidson (1848-1931): parents of John Wilson McAdams (Greenfield, Weakley Co., TN) **
Abraham Hurt Sr. (1837-1911?) m. Alice Keeton/Keaton (1844-1926): parents of Abraham Hurt Jr. (Fulwood, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England).
Edward Spouse (1831-1911) m. Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle (1843-1900): parents of Christine Alice Spouse (Plumstead, Kent, England) ***
Joseph Wheatley m. Mary Hallam (1852-1901): parents of Ruth Wheatley (Ockbrook, Derbyshire, England). I have not been able to verify these ancestors.
William Fearn (1863-1931) m. Maria Wheatley (1865-1934): parents of Ruth Wheatley (Ockbrook, Derbyshire, England). This seems more likely due to the DNA matches, but was William Fearn the father? According to the 1891 census, Ruth Wheatley at age 6 was living with her grandparents John Wheatley and Maria Wagstaff Wheatley.

Stephen Carroll Burch served in the Tennessee 54th Regiment during the Civil War; he was promoted to captain on April 16, 1862.
Dillie's youngest daughter Mary E. "Mollie" Shupe married the colorfully named Valentine Orphero Lafayette Rainbolt.
In his obituary, James Baker McAdams was called "Esquire" and one of Greenfield's "oldest and best known citizens."
Henry Johnson Blake wrote a letter to the Lawrence Democrat in which he confirmed his parentage and living in Wake Co., NC, until age six (around 1834). He also said he "probably" was a relative of "Andy Johnson" (i.e. President Andrew Johnson). Henry also mentioned running Blake Mills, where he had a tanning yard, mill and kept a post office.

(William) Henry (Clay?) Burch (1770?-1828/1837) m. Mary Agnes "Aggy" Stuart (1785/1786-1870/1880): parents of Stephen Carroll Burch (Caswell Co., NC, TN, or Scotland?) ***
NOTE: I have tried to clear up the mystery of Stephen Carroll Burch's birthplace in the section about him
Phillip Blake (1804-1889*) m. Martha Johnson (1805/1808-1875/1878/1882*): parents of Henry Johnson Blake (Wake Co., NC) ***
NOTE: There are comments about the Johnsons and Blakes in the preamble to this timeline
John Daniel Shupe (1840-1862) m. Margaret Catherine Crigger (1835-?): parents of Dillie Tolbert Shutte (Wythe Co., VA)
Thomas Merritt McGowan (1825-1901) m. Martha P. Rodgers (1832-1863): parents of Samuel Wesley McGowan (Rutherford Co., TN) ***
Rev. Wilson L. "Witt" Davidson (?) m. Nancy Barton (?): parents of Sarah "Sallie" Davidson (Gibson, TN)
Thomas Jefferson Mitchell m. Margaret Triplett (1840-): parents of Margaret Mary "Tom" Mitchell (Chester, SC) ***
John Wheatley (1841-1918) m. Maria Wagstaff (1838-1912): parents of Maria Wheatley (Ockbrook, Derbyshire, England)
George Fearn (1836-1871) m. Hanna Spencer (1840-1916): parents of William Fearn (Cromford, Derbyshire, England)

Thomas Jefferson Mitchell received a land grant for 67 acres of land in Mississippi, where they built a plantation.
John Daniel Shupe served in Company D. 45th Virginia Infantry Minute Men and died in the Civil War.

(*) According to his gravestone, Phillip Blake was born in 1804 and died on April 16, 1889. According to a family genealogist he died on 8-14-1875 in TN and his wife Martha died 4-16-1882 in TN.

William Henry Burch (1744-1815/1817) m. Mary Ann Lawrence (1740-1785): parents of (William) Henry (Clay?) Burch (Rowan Co., NC or Orange Co., VA?) ***[DNA]
Thomas Samuel Blake Sr. (1776/1779-1836/1840) m. Virginia Mary "Polly" Clements (1770-1812/1813): parents of Phillip Blake (Wake Co., NC) *
NOTE: There are conflicting dates for T.S. Blake's birth: 5-7-1776, 1779, 2-10-1793
Ambrose/Americus Vespucius Crigger (1810-?) m. Elizabeth Phillippe (1815-?): bore Margaret Catherine Crigger (Wythe Co., VA)
Ferguson Shupe (1809-1872) m. Catherine/Katherine Lanter (1817-?): parents of John Daniel Shupe (VA)
John MacGowan (1787-1852) m. Sarah "Sallie" Ann Holmes (1792-1833): parents of Thomas Merritt MacGowan (TN)
William Samuel Stuart (1762-1831) m. Nancy Burgess (1762-1818): parents of Agnes Stuart (Caswell Co, NC)
Richard Johnston/Johnson (?) m. Patience Mann (?): parents of Martha Johnson (NC), possible cousin of President Andrew Johnson
--or-- Dr. James Johnson (1790-1855) m. Lydia Taylor (1795-1855): parents of Martha Johnson (NC)
NOTE: There is a Wake Co. NC marriage bond between Richard Johnston and Patience Mann dated 9-22-1801
Nimrod Duncan Triplett Jr. (1790-1861) m. Dorothy "Dolly" Moore (?): parents of Margaret Triplett
After Ambrose Crigger died of typhus during the Civil War; Elizabeth Crigger and family relocated to Marshall Co., TN

While it's not clear exactly where (NC or VA) the Burches lived, they were married in Surry, NC in 1763.
[DNA] match confirmed with Steven Thomas by, with exact name matches in our family trees!
I have not been able to confirm that the Phillip Blake above is the one who married Martha Johnson in CG-5.

Thomas Burch II (1710-1787) m. Elizabeth Hammond (1711-?): parents of William Henry Burch (Caroline, VA)*
Thomas Burch II was born in 1710 in Flamstead, Hertfordshire, UK.
There is a birth record for Elizabeth Hammond being born on June 27, 1711 in Winwick, Lancashire, UK, to William Hammond.*
A death certificate dated March 21, 1764 gives the same name for her father and shows her mother as Mary Shot.*


Captain William Henry Burch Jr. (1764-1848) m. Mourning Mary Harris Burch (1764-1810): parents of William Henry Burch (Haw River, NC) [DNA, tree per Steven Thomas]

Samuel Blake (1735-1807) m. Amy/Amey Reddick (1737-1818): parents of Thomas Samuel Blake (Southampton Co., VA)
William Clements (1755-1835) m. Elizabeth Daniel (1765-1847): parents of Virginia Mary "Polly" Clements/Mary Cleamons (VA)
Henry Creager (1788-?) m. Margaret Cline (1790-?): parents of Ambrose Crigger (VA)
Christian Phillippi/Phillippe (~1777-1843) m. Catherine "Caty" Dutton (1780-1826): parents of Elizabeth Phillippe (Wythe Co., VA)
John Thomas Shoop/Shupe (~1765-1850) m. Louisa "Lucy" Farguson (1770-1848): parents of Ferguson Shupe (Wythe Co., VA)
Rev. Ebenezer MacGowan (1767-1850) m. Sally Stell (1770-1793): parents of John MacGowan (Dinwiddie Co., VA)
William Holmes (?) m. Sarah Merritt/Mariott/Mariotte (?): parents of Sarah "Sallie" Ann Holmes (Mecklenburg Co., VA)
James Stuart (1742-1777) m. Martha Majors (?): parents of William Samuel Stuart (Caswell Co., NC)
Thomas Burgess, Jr. (1714-1792) m. Mary Warren (1715-1792): parents of Nancy Burgess (Orange Co., VA)
Nimrod Duncan Triplett Sr. (~1770-) m. Catherine (?): parents of Nimrod Duncan Triplett Jr. (SC)
Thomas Moore (1766-1837) m. Pattey Martha Roe: parents of Dorothy "Dolly" Moore (Chester, SC)
James Lawrence (~1710) m. Elizabeth Richie (?): parents of Mary Ann Lawrence (Haw River, Surry, NC)
Nimrod Taylor (1756-1834) m. Mary Lotz (1756-1840): parents of Lydia Taylor (Orange, Orange Co., VA)
Joseph Johnson (1745-1792) m. Nancy Harris (1768-?): parents of Dr. James Johnson (Russell, VA)
Rev. Ebenezer MacGowan was born in Greater London, emigrated to the states, then moved to Tennessee in 1816
Rev. Ebenezer MacGowan founded the Bethel Methodist Church in Rutherford Co., TN, revising the prior name "Bear Wallow"

Samuel Blake was a planter whose presence on the north side of Crabtree Creek, Southampton Co., VA, is well-established, including two land purchases of 400 and 460 acres. He left $100 each to his sons Isham, Howell, Reddick and Thomas, and the same amount to his daughter Rebecca Daniel, so those relationships are also firmly established. The question is whether his grandson Phillip Blake is the one who married Martha Johnson.

Thomas Burch I (1681-1720) m. Anna Hammond (1686-?): parents of Thomas Burch II (Flamstead, Hertfordshire, England)*


Thomas Blake [I/Sr.] (1710-1789) m. Margaret Early/Buchanan (1710/12-1740/46): parents of Samuel Blake (VA)
John "Phillip" Dutton (1758-1810) m. Catherine Mercer (~1750-1827): parents of Catherine "Caty" Dutton (Wythe Co., VA)
Nicholas Reddick (1710-?) m. Katherine (1724-?): parents of Amey Reddick (Southampton Co., VA)
Johannes Schupp/Shoop/Shupe (1730-1812) m. Anna Catherine Slemp/VonSchlemp/Schlemb/Slimp: parents of John Thomas Shupe (VA)
Hans Michael Krieger (1762-?) m. Christina [?]: parents of Henry Creager (VA)
Michael Krieger (1718-1807) m. Catherine Mary: parents of Mary Krieger (VA)
Johannes Adam Phillippi (1736-1800) m. Maria Eva Barbara Eichelberger (?): parents of Christian Phillippi (Wythe Co., VA)
John MacGowan (1726-1780) m. Mary Harper (1725-1815): parents of Ebenezer MacGowan (London, England)
Peyton Clements (1715-1774) m. Elizabeth Harris (1733-1788): parents of William Clements (Granville, NC)
Benjamin Woodson Daniel (1736-1791) m. Nancy Gouge/Gourge (1729-1847): parents of Elizabeth Daniel (Granville, NC)
James Stuart (1718-1783) m. Agnes (?): parents of James Stuart (?)
James Moore (~1746-) m. Unknown: parents of Thomas Moore (?)
John Roe (1718-1802) m. Sarah John (?): parents of Pattey Martha Roe (?)
Johannes (John) Adam Phillippi: served with Capt. Buchanan's Co. of the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War
John MacGowan was a close friend of John Wesley and a noted preacher and author in his own right
John MacGowan fought with Bonnie Prince Charlie at the 1746 Battle of Culloden, the last major battle on English soil

Richard Burch (1640-) m. Ann Topley (1640-): parents of Thomas Burch I (Flamstead, Hertfordshire, England or Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire)
Nicholas Hammond (?) m. Unknown: parents of Anna Hammond (Downham, Lancashire, England)*
A baptismal record for Anna Hammond is dated May 13, 1686 in Downham, Lancashire, England w/father Nicholas Hammond.*
Captain William Blake (1680-1746) m. Mary Sessums (1685-1742/46): parents of Thomas Blake [1] (Southampton Co., VA)
Heinrich (Henry) Shupe (1704-1762) m. Catherine Finger (1722-1754): parents of Johannes Schupp/Shoop/Shupe (VA)
Georg Simon Von Schlemp (1695-1773) m. Anna Margaretha Zangmeister (1697-1742): parents of Anna Schlemp (Wythe, VA)
John Jacob Krieger (~1724-1806) m. Anna Barbara Brandstetter (?): parents of Hans Michael Krieger (Froschen Pfalz, Germany)
Johannes Phillipi (1698-1763) m. Maria Christina Cleiss (1698-1738): parents of Johannes Adam Phillippi (Volksberg, Alsace, France)
James MacGowan (1700-1755) m. Elizabeth Stainforth (1702-1751): parents of John MacGowan (Edinburg, Scotland)
Thomas Mercer (1648-1718) m. Katherine Biggs (1655-1718): parents of Catherine Mercer (Norfolk, Independent Cities, VA)
John Adam Derdeng/Derting (1720-1776) m. Anna Barbara Mueller (1720-1756): parents of Phillip Garrad Derting/Dutton (Germany)
Major Robert Harris (1696-1765) m. Mourning Glenn (1702-1755): parents of Elizabeth Harris (Granville, NC)
Willaim/William Hirper/Harper (?) m. Mary (?): parents of Mary Harper (Shropshire, England)
Hugh Stuart (1685-1758) m. Unknown (?): parents of James Stuart (?)
William Roe (?) m. Mary (?): parents of John Roe (Chester, SC)
Phillip Garrad Derting (1738-1776) m. Mary Wisman (1735-1778) or Barbara Grinsler (1730-1776): parents of John Dutton (Germany)
Heinrich (Henry) Shupe was born in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Baden, Germany, and died in Heidelberg Township, Lancaster Co., PA
William Blake left a will that established his relationships to Mary Sessums and Thomas Blake

John Burch (1618-1668) m. Ann Dennis (1620-): parents of Richard Burch (Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England)
Johannes VonSchlemp (1668-1726) m. Agness Burch (1665-1726): parents of Georg Simon Von Schlemp (Kandel, Germany)
Thomas Blake (1640-1708) m. Alice Champion (1643/46-1709/1710: parents of William Blake [1] (Isle of Wight Co., VA)
Edward Champion II (1635-?) m. Priscilla Moore (1635-?): parents of Alice Champion (England)
Johann George Schoop (1684-1757) m. Maria Barbara Schaffner (1678-1760) parents of Heinrich (Henry) Shupe
Johannes Phillippi (1660-1705) m. Elizabeth Ensminger (1670-1705): parents of Johannes Phillippi (Volksberg, Alsace, France)
Nicholas Sessoms/Sessums (1646-) m. Katherine (?): parents of Mary Sessoms (Lawnes Creek Parish, Surry Co., VA)
Friedrich Eberhart Zangmeister (1662-1738) m. Anna Margaretha Kappel (1673-1730): parents of Anna Zangmeister (Kandel, Germany)
Johann Wilhelm Derting (1681-1754) m. Maria Magdelena Derting (1682-1763): parents of John Adam Derdeng/Derting (Germany)
John Biggs (1615-1694) m. Johannah Norsworthy/Sawyer (1622-1694): parents of Katherine Biggs (Norfolk, VA)
Johan Phillip Wisman (1715-1788) m. Catherine Elizabeth (1718-1808): parents of Mary Wisman (Laural, KY)
Christopher Mercer (1612-1670) m. Mary Simson  (1624-1667): parents of Thomas Mercer (St Dunstan, Middlesex, England)
There seems to be some doubt as to whether Alice Champion was the daughter or granddaughter of the first Edward Champion
Nicholas Sessoms applied with the Five Nations to be accepted as a Choctaw and claimed several other family members on his application.
NOTE: The origins of the Virginia Blakes is not completely clear; there may be some confusion with a William Blake of Massachusetts.

Gilbourd Burch (1600-1660) m. Marie (1605-1655): parents of John Burch (Southwick, Hampshire, England)
Jacob Bursch (1613-1690) m. Barbara Metzger (1628-1674): parents of Agness Burch (Germersheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
William Giles Blake VI (1620-1703) m. Anna Lyon (1620-1693): parents of Thomas Blake (Bristol, Somerset, England)
Edvardus Champion (1602-1668) m. Elizabeth Atkens (1613-1670): parents of Edward Champion II (Isle of Wight Co., VA)
Deacon John Moore Sr. (1614-1677) m. Abigail Pinney (1618-1677): parents of Priscilla Moore (Hartford, CT)
Hans Georg Kappel (~1620-) m. Unknown: parents of Anna Margaretha Kappel (Traunstein, Germany)
Georg Hans Phillippi (1643-1714) m. Anna Ottilia (1650-1717): parents of Johannes Phillippi (Volksberg, Alsace, France)
William Mercer (1590-?) m. Elizabeth Ruston (1595-?): parents of Christopher Mercer (Stepney Parish, England)
Col. Tristram Norsworthy (1604-1656) m. Ann Norsworthy (1608-1656): parents of Johannah Norsworthy (Middlesex, England)
Richard Biggs (1559-1626) m. Anne Juxon (1595-1616): parents of John Biggs (Southampton, Hampshire, England)
Konrad Christof Zangmeister (1620-1693) m. Maria Goelzhorn (1627-1686): parents of Friedrich Zangmeister (Kandel, Germany)
Robert Simson (?) m. Mary (?): parents of Mary Simson
Edward Champion was born in Helston, Cornwall, England; he came to Jamestown, VA on a ship owned by William Swann
Edward and Elizabeth Champion were married in Isle of Wight County in 1632, just south of Jamestown
Their first child, Phillis Champion (1632-1691) was born the same year; she married Elias Fort
After her husband's death in 1668, Elizabeth married a planter named Joseph Poole/Pool in 1669
John Moore Sr. was born in Southwold, Suffolk, England; he died September 18, 1677 in Windsor, Hartford, CT
Abigail Pinney was born in Devonshire, England; she died December 22, 1677 in Windsor, Hartford, CT

William Giles Blake V (1594-1663) m. Agnes Thorne (1594-1678): parents of William Giles Blake VI (Bristol, Somerset, England)
John Atkens (1582-?) m. Grace Atkens (1580-1618): parents of Elizabeth Atkens (Cardington, Bedfordshire, England)
Jakob Zangmeister (1584-1633) m. Anastasia Leibfried (1580-1633): parents of Konrad Christof Zangmeister (Sulzburg, Germany)
William Lyon (1580-1634) m. Anne Carter (1594-1634): parents of Anna Lyon (Dorchester, Suffolk, MA)
George Champion (1559-1620) m. Jone Sleape (1563-): parents of Edward Champion (Helston, Cornwall, England)

William Giles Blake IV (1568-1642) m. Dorothy Tweedy (1569-1647): parents of  William Giles Blake V (Bristol, England)
Sir Richard Champion (1495-1566) m. Joan Starre (1550-1641): parents of George Champion (St. Enoder, Cornwall, England)
Lord George Atkins (1550-1632) m. Frances Blennerhassett (1555-1600): parents of Grace Atkens (Bedfordshire, England)
Hugh Thorne (1568-1616) m. Ede West (1572-1594): parents of Agnes Thorne (Pitminster, Somerset, England)
Lord William Lyon (1540-1624) m. Isabell Wightman (1559-11593): parents of William Lyon (Heston, London, England)
John Carter (1574-1630) m. Bridget Benion (1578-1630): parents of Anne Carter (Heston, London, England)

John "the Elder" Blake (1521-1576) m. Mabel Coverte (1563-1633): parents of William Blake IV (Bridgwater, England)
John Champion (~1450-1550) m. Isabel Sanchett (?-1486): parents of Sir Richard Champion (St. Enoder, Cornwall, England)
Thomas Starre (1530-1594) m. Agnes Starre (1530-1590): parents of Joane Starre (Bermondsey, Surrey, England)
John Blennerhassett, M.P. and Steward of Norwich (1493-1573) m. Mary Echingham (1526-1571): parents of Frances Blennerhassett
Sir Henry Atkins (~1530-1628) m. Frances Edwards (1547-1610): parents of Lord George Atkins (Bristol, Gloucestershire, England)
(Bartholomew?) Thorne (1540-1640) m. Unknown: parents of Hugh Thorne (Pitminster, Somerset, England)
Captain Twedy/Tweedy (1552-1572) m. Unknown: parents of Dorothy Tweedy (Andover, Hampshire, England)
John Lyon IV (1510-1592) m. Joan or Jean (1514-1537): parents of Lord William Lyon (Little Stanmore, Middlesex, England)

Humphrey William Blake, Mayor of Bridgwater (1500-1588) m. Agnes Littleton James (1501-): bore John Blake (Somerset, England)
Sir Edward Echingham (1475-1527) and Anne Everard (1487-1538): parents of Mary Echingham (Suffolk, England)
Sir Thomas Blennerhassett (1461-1531) and Margaret Braham (?-1561): parents of John Blennerhassett (Suffolk, England)
William Atkyns II (1510-1614) m. Ammy Atkyns (1521-1600): parents of Sir Henry Atkins (Sandy, Bedfordshire, England)
John Lyon, Lord of Glamis (1491-1528) m. Lady Janet Archibald Douglas (1495-1537): parents of John Lyon IV (Middlesex, England)
Humphrey Sanchett (1456-?) m. Unknown: parents of Isabel Sanchett

William Blake III (1465-1547) m. Mary Cole (1469-1500): parents of Humphrey William Blake (Wiltshire, England)
John Blennerhassett (1423-1510) m. Margaret Heigham (1427-1473): parents of Sir Thomas Blennerhassett (Norfolk, England)
John Everard (1458-1488) m. Margaret Bedingfield (1460-1518): parents of Anne Everard (Suffolk, England)
John Echingham (1450-1500) m. Anne Wingfield (1462-1498): parents of Sir Edward Echingham (Suffolk, England)
William Atkyns I (1495-1565) m. Unknown: parents of William Atkyns II (Sandy, Bedfordshire, England)
George Douglas, Master Of Angus (1469-1513) m. Elizabeth Drummond (1472-1513): parents of John Lyon (Angus, Scotland)

William Blake II (1452-1471) m. Unknown: parents of William Blake III (White Parish, Wiltshire, England)
Ralph Blennerhassett (?-1475) m. Joan Lowdham (1404-1501): parents of John Blennerhassett 
Thomas Heigham (1401-) m. Isabel Francis (1403-1452): parents of Margaret Heigham (Gazeley, Suffolk, England)
Sir John Drummond, Earl of Perth (1438-1519) m. Elizabeth Lindsay (1445-1519): bore Elizabeth Drummond (Crawford, Scotland)

Robert Blake de Calne (1412-1471) m. Alice/Avice Buck Wallop (1416-1474), heiress of John Wallop: bore William Blake II
Robert Blake de Calne is pictured as an armored knight in a Calne church stained glass window
Richard de Blennerhassett/Blenerhayset m. Joan Skelton (?-1450): parents of Ralph Blennerhassett (Carlisle, Cumberland, England)
John Lowdham (~1404~) m. Jane Kelvedon (~1404~): parents of Joan Lowdham
Humphrey Cole/Coles (1439-1558) m. Agnes Coles (1444-1469): parents of Mary Cole (Calne, Wiltshire, England)
Sir Malcolm Drummond III, Lord Cargill (~1410-1470) m. Marion Mariot Murray (1411-1445): bore John Drummond (Stobhill, Scotland)

Henry Blake II (1385-1416) m. Margaret Billette: parents of Robert Blake de Calne (Calne, Wiltshire, England)
John de Blennerhassett, M.P. and Commissioner (~1394~1400~) m. Johanna (?): parents of Richard de Blennerhassett
Sir Clement de Skelton, M.P. (~1378~) m. Joan de Orton (?): parents of Joan Skelton (Great Orton, Carlisle, Cumberland, England)
Sir William Kelvedon (?) m. Unknown: parents of Jane Kelvedon (Kelvedon, Colchester, Essex, England)
John Wallop Esq., M.P. (1351-1437) m. Alice Buck Bushey (1370-1474): parents of Alice Wallop  (Nether Wallop, England)
Sir Walter Drummond, Lord Cargill (1380-1445) m. Lady Margaret Ruthven (1382-1482): bore Malcom Drummond (Perth, Scotland)

William Blake I (1360-1461) m. Elizabeth Power (1360-1464), daughter of Thomas Power: parents of Henry Blake II (Calne, England)
Sir Gyles de Orton, M.P. (~1337~) m. Unknown: parents of Joan de Orton (Cumberland, England)
John Bushey (1335-1365) m. Unknown: parents of Alice Buck Bushey (Hampshire, England)
Thomas Wallop (1325-1361) m. Margaret Wallington (~1325): parents of John Wallop (Farley, Hampshire, England)
John Drummond (1362-1428) m. Elizabeth Sinclair (1376-1460): parents of Sir Walter Drummond (Perth, Perthshire, Scotland)

Henry/Humphrey Blake I (1330-1422) m. Elizabeth Durant, heiress of Edward Dorrant: parents of William Blake I (Calne, England)
Alan de Blenerhayset/Blennerhassett, Mayor of Carlisle (~1354~1400) m. Unknown: parents of John de Blennerhassett
Sir Richard de Wallop (1290-1346) m. Alice Husee (1295-1395): parents of Thomas Wallop (Calne, Wiltshire, England)
John Drummond (1340-1373) m. Mary Montefex  (1345-?): parents of John Drummond  (Perth, Perthshire, Scotland)

Robert Blaque (1300-1347) m. Anne Cole (1300-1394) daughter of William Cole II
John Husee (1265-1312) m. Lady Maud de Haselden (1278-1378): parents of Alice Husee (Betchworth, Surrey, England)
William de Burton (1255-) m. Joan Breton (1255-): parents of Sir Richard de Wallop (Southampton, Hampshire, England)
Malcolm Drummond II (1304-1346) m. Margaret Joan Graham (1295-1346): parents of John Drummond (Inchmohomo Isle, Scotland)
Robert Blaque of Wilts was assessed a larger sum than any other citizen in his region, which suggests that he was landed and very wealthy
Robert Blaque dropped "de" and "-land" on the Wiltshire Rolls (1347) of Edward III
Malcolm Drummond II, Thane of Lennox (1304-1346) was killed in the battle of Nevilles Cross, Durham, England

Robert de Blakeland IV (1286-1366) assessed on Wiltshire Subsidy Rolls (1286) of Edward I; m. Agnes (?)
Peter De Burton (1220-1281) m. Alicia de Wallop (1225-?): parents of William de Burton (West Barton, Hampshire, England)
Henry Hussey (1246-1290) m. Joan Fleming (?-1278): parents of John Husee (Betchworth Castle, Surrey, England)
Reynold de Haselden (~1250-1350) m. Isabel de Berewyk (~1252-1352): parents of Maud de Haselden (Berwick, Wiltshire, England)
(?) Breton (1220-) m. Alice Breton (1220-): parents of Joan Breton (Hampshire, England)

Robert de Blakeland III (1265-1286) of Calne, Wiltshire, England
Sir John de Wallop  (1180-1246) m. Amabel Wallop: parents of Alicia de Wallop (West Barton, Hampshire, England)
Matthew Hussey (1215-1252) m. Agnes de Saunford (1220-1268): parents of Henry Hussey (Sussex Standon House, Wiltshire, England)
Alard Fleming (1250-?) m. Emma Maunsell (1255-?): parents of Joan Fleming (Pulborough, Sussex, England)
Oliverus de Burton (1198-1212) m. Unknown: parents of Peter de Burton (West Barton, Hampshire, England)

Robert de Blakeland II (1242-) of Calne, Wiltshire, England
Matthew de Wallop (1150-1227) m. Christina (1155-1224): parents of Sir John de Wallop (Soberton, Hampshire, England)
Knight Sir James Jacobus de Burton (1167-?) m. Unknown: parents of Oliverus de Burton

Richard de Blakeland (1200-1236) of Calne, Wiltshire, England
William de Burton (1142-?) m. Unknown: parents of Knight Sir James Jacobus de Burton

Robert de Blakeland I (1159/1164-1200) m. Johanna (?); they lived in Calne, Wiltshire, England
William de Burgo (1084-1140) m. Isabel FitzRichard (1090-1120): bore William de Burton (Great Hodenhall, Warwickshire, England)

It seems likely that the ancestors of Robert de Blakeland I were aligned with, and perhaps related to, William "the Conqueror"
Robert de Burgo, Count Mortaigne (1037-1090) m. Matilda/Maud de Montgomery (1041-1082): parents of William de Burgo (Mortaigne)
William FitzRichard (1084-1130) m. Unknown de Mortaigne (1075-?): parents of Isabel FitzRichard (Cardinham, Cornwall, England)

Richard FitzRichard de Clare, Abbot of Ely (1062-1107) m. Matilda de Beauchamp (1068-): parents of William FitzRichard (Cornwall)

Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, Chief Justiciar (1024-1090) m. Rohese Giffard (1034-1133): bore Richard FitzRichard (Tonbridge, England)

Gilbert de Brionne, Count de Eu de Brionne (1000-1040) m. Gunnora de Anjou (1005-1024): parents* of Richard FitzGilbert (Brione)
* "Fitz" means "son" and Richard FitzGilbert was allegedly the illegitimate son of Gilbert de Brionne by Herleve de Falaise (1010-1050)
Herluin de Burgo, Viscount de Conteville (1001-1087) m. Herleve de Falaise (1010-1050): bore Robert de Burgo (Mortaigne, France)
Herleve de Falaise also bore William "the Conqueror" (aka William "the Bastard") by Robert I "the Magnificent," Duke of Normandy
Gilbert de Brionne was one of the most powerful landowners in Normandy; he became guardian and tutor to William "the Conqueror"
Herluin de Burgo was William's stepfather and father of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and Robert de Burgo, Count of Mortaigne
Thus, Odo of Bayeux, Robert of Mortaigne, Richard FitzGilbert and William of Normandy were half-brothers
William I of England was crowned on Christmas day, 1066, shortly after the battle of Hastings in which he defeated Harold Godwinson
Odo became Earl of Kent and had English estates second in size only to William's; when the king was absent, Odo was the de facto regent
Robert provided 120 ships to William's invasion fleet; he became Earl of Cornwall with vast landholdings in England
When bequeathing the monastery of Mont Saint-Michel, Robert mentioned fighting at Hastings under the banner of St. Michael the Archangel
Richard FitzGilbert was given land in Kent, Essex, Surrey, Suffolk and Norfolk; he became known as Richard de Clare for his estates there

Geoffrey de Brionne, Count de Eu de Brionne (962-1015) m. Heloise de Guines (958-1064): parents of Gilbert (Brione, Normandy)

Richard I "the Fearless," Duke of Normandy (933-996) m. Gunnora de Crepon (936-1031): parents of Geoffrey (Brione, Normandy)
Richard "the Fearless" may have introduced feudalism to France; grandson of Rollo "the Viking," he married a woman with Viking blood

William I "Longsword," Duke of Normandy (900-942) m. Sprota (911-1005): parents of Richard I (Normandy, France)

Rollo "the Viking" Ragnvaldsson, Prince of Norway (846-931) m. Poppa de Bayeux (872-930): parents of William I
Rollo or Rolf was also called "the Ganger" (walker) because he was so big that no horse could carry him
Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy; at that time a Dux was a battle leader
Rollo besieged Paris twice and in 911 was awarded Normandy by King Charles "the Simple" as a payoff, in return for his allegiance

Rognvald "The Wise" Eysteinsson, Jarl of Maer (830-892) m. Ragnhild/Hilda Hrolfsdatter Jarlessa of Maer (830-892): parents of Rollo
Pepin III Berenger, Comte de Senlis de Bayeux de Vermandios (824-886) m. Gerberge de Rennes (?): parents of Poppa

Pepin II, First Comte de Vermandios (818-886) m. perhaps Rothaide de Bobbio (818-878): parents of Pepin III

Bernard, King of Italy and the Lombards (797-818) m. Cunegonde de Septimania: parents of Pepin II

Pepin I, King of Italy (773-810) m. Bertha de Gellone: parents of Bernard

Charlemagne, King of the Franks & Holy Roman Emperor (742-814) m. Hildegarde (757-783): parents of Pepin I of Italy
Saint William de Gellone aka William d'Orange/d'Aquitaine (755-814) m. Guibour Von Hornbach (?): parents of Bertha

Pepin "the Short" Martel, First King of the Franks (714-768) m. Bertrada "Broadfoot," Countess of Laon: parents of Charlemagne
Pepin "the Short" was the first Carolingian king, and the first civil king crowned by a pope (in 754 by Pope Stephen II)

Charles "the Hammer" Martel, de facto King of the Franks (668-741) m. Rotrude: parents of Pepin "the Short"
Charles "the Hammer" Martel defeated the Moors at the battle of Tours in 732, thwarting Islam's advance into Europe

Pepin II "the Fat" de Heristal, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia (635-714) m. Alpaide (654-716): parents of Charles Martel

Duke Ansegisel/Anchises, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia (602-685) m. Saint Beggue de Landen (613-693): parents of Pepin II

Duke Bodegisel II Ansgise (560-588) m. Oda/Dode/Clothilde von Schwaben de Heristal (567-636): parents of Ansegisel

Footnotes to the Genealogy above

There is a November 9, 1703 Wedmore burial register entry for an Edvardus Champion de Blackford, so a Blake connection is possible.
Blackford, Wedmore, Wiltshire and Helston are in southwestern England, so perhaps the Jamestown Champions and Blakes were related.
When I wondered how far back in time the Blackford/Blakeland name went, it appeared on the very first page, dated 1561.
There is also a Poole in the 1561 entries, a name we quickly encountered in the Jamestown, Virginia area.
The name Champeon (Champion, Campion) also appears in the 1561 entries.
The name Blake appears on the second page, in the 1562 entries.
When I did a Google search for "Blake de Blackford" I immediately found a Thomas Blake de Blackford (1613, in the same book).
All this could be coincidental, but at the very least these are ancient names of people who lived in close proximity for many centuries.

Spouse Genealogy

Christine Ena Spouse was 21 when she married my grandfather, George Edwin Hurt Sr. They lived at 22 Priory Close in Mattersey, Doncaster, Yorks, England. Here is her genealogy, with CG meaning "current generation" or my generation.

CG: Michael Ray Burch (1958-) m. Elizabeth Harris (1967-): parents of Jeremy Michael Burch
Sandra Jane Burch m. Wayne Boyte: parents of Scott Boyte and John Boyte
Debra Leigh Burch m. Walter White: parents of Samantha White and Garrett White
CG-1: Paul Ray Burch Jr. (1933-2013) m. Christine Ena Hurt (1936-): parents of Michael Burch, Sandra Burch, Debra Burch
CG-2: Paul Ray Burch Sr. (1904-1992) m. Lillian Christine McAdams (1915-1991): parents of Paul Ray Burch Jr. (Nashville, TN)
George Edwin Hurt Sr. (1907-1998) m. Christine Ena Spouse (1905-1984): parents of Christine Ena Hurt (England)
CG-3: Ernest Chatterton (?) m. Christine Alice Spouse (1881-1968): parents of Christine Ena Spouse (Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottingham, England)
CG-4: Edward Spouse III (1831-1911) m. Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle (1843-1900): parents of Christine Alice Spouse (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
CG-5: William Spouse (1799-1848) m. Mary Jane Turner (1802-1857): parents of Edward Spouse III (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
Samuel Charles Beadle (1816-1847) m. Elizabeth Coates (?-1843): parents of Elizabeth Mary Coates Beadle (Highley, Worcestershire, England)
CG-6: Edward Spouse II (1775-1850) m. Barbara Storr (1777-1819): parents of William Spouse (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
John Beadle III (1788-1859) m. Elizabeth Susannah Read (1781-1864): parents of Samuel Charles Beadle (Erith, Kent, England)
CG-7: Edward Spouse I (1738-?) m. Mary Clark (1746-1813): parents of Edward Spouse II (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
Barnabas Storr (1795-1863) m. Ann Hart (1795-?): parents of Barbara Storr (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
John Beadle II (1760-1831) m. Mary (1759-1799): parents of John Beadle III (Erith, Kent, England)
CG-8: John Spoures/Spowers (1720-?) m. Jane Pyles (1709-1757): parents of Edward Spouse I (Scarborough, Yorkshire, England)
John Beadle I (1730-1811) m. Mary Dingley (1734-1809): parents of John Beadle II (Erith, Kent, England)
CG-9: Ephraim Spoures (1690-1733) m. Elizabeth (?): parents of John Spoures (Scotland)

The Family Tree of Elizabeth Steed Harris Burch

This is a more detailed Genealogy, in roughly reverse chronological order, for my direct line of the family


Jeremy Michael Burch was born in Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee. He attended and graduated from David Lipscomb University, where he had a perfect 4.0 grade point average his first semester. He also played tuba in the Vanderbilt marching band on an exchange program, and was seen dancing in the stands on national TV during a Vanderbilt football game. He has also acted in plays and musicals at his high school, Nashville Christian, and at the Dickson Renaissance Center. Jeremy played Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Captain Keller in The Miracle Worker, Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, Tom in Night of the Living Dead, Mervin Oglethorpe in Smoke on the Mountain, Birdshot in The Homecoming, and also acted in Annie, Tracks, Into the Woods and The Trial of Goldilocks.


My sister Debra Leigh Burch White was born in Southampton, England at the USAF hospital at RAF Burderop, Swindon, Wilts, England. This is per her official Certificate of Birth issued by the US Department of State and signed by Vice Consul Charles W. Schaller. Her middle name was spelled "Leigh" according to my mother because she and my father were afraid my grandfather Paul Ray Burch Sr. might take offense if her middle name was spelled "Lee," since my grandmother had married Eric Lee. Debby married Walter White and has two children: Samantha White and Garrett White. She graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in accounting, and is a CPA by trade.

My sister Sandra Jane Burch Boyte was also born in England. According to her certificate of Holy Baptism, she was christened on Sept. 6, 1959 in the All Saints Church at Mattersey. Sandra married Billy Wayne Boyte on January 2, 1982 at Bellshire Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and has two children: Scott Boyte and John Boyte. She graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in psychology, then worked for many years as a radiologist.

Michael Ray Burch was born in Orlando, Orange County, Florida on February 19, 1958. According to my Certificate of Holy Baptism, I was christened on the "Easter Even" on April 5, 1958 in the Cathedral of Saint Luke in Orlando, Florida. Interestingly, my birthdate on the Certificate is wrong (St. Valentine's day, Feb. 14, rather than Feb. 19) and there is a godparent named Blake that mom can't remember. Since my favorite poet is William Blake and I have a number of Blakes in my ancestry, I find that interesting also. I married Elizabeth Steed Harris on June 27, 1992 in Warren, Arkansas. I own and manage a computer software company, Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc. I also edit an online literary journal that gets around a million page views per year, The HyperTexts, and I have had articles, essays, letters and poems published more than 5,000 times by a variety of literary journals, anthologies, magazines, newspapers and websites which include TIME, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Tennessean, The Hindu, The Lyric, Light Quarterly, Unlikely Stories, Writers Digest's "The Year's Best Writing" and hundreds of others. I have also translated the work of Basho, Sappho, Miklós Radnóti, William Dunbar and other poets into modern English. I was also a weekly columnist for the Nashville City Paper until it ceased production. In my younger, wilder days I was something of a pool shark: I won a number of pool tournaments and played on the Springwater pool teams that finished first and third in the city of Nashville, winning over $7,500 in cold cash. I also won the straight pool tournament at Tennessee Technological University and qualified for the NCAA regionals. But after celebrating my victory a bit too joyously, I overslept and missed the bus to the next round! I am also a peace activist, and the primary author of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative.

Michael R. Burch chronology (PRB=Paul Ray Burch, CEB=Christine Ena Burch, SJB=Sandra Jane Burch, DLB=Debra Leigh Burch):

1958:            MRB is born in Orlando, Florida the year Walt Disney launched his search for the future home of the Magical Kingdom.
04-05-1958: MRB is christened in the Cathedral of Saint Luke in Orlando, Florida.
1959PRB is stationed in Thule, Greenland; MRB and CEB live with her parents in Mattersey, England.
1960-1963:  PRB is stationed at Brize Norton AFB in England; the Burches live in Carterton; SJB and DLB are born in England.
1963-1966:  The Burches move to Lincoln, Nebraska. MRB attends kindergarten, first and second grades there.
1967:            The Burches live in Nashville (Donelson), Tennessee. MRB attends third grade there, and is a Cub Scout.
1967-1968:  The Burches live in Sacramento (1004 Shearer St., Roseville), California. MRB attends fourth grade there.
1968-1972:  The Burches live in Bischoffsheim and Wiesbaden, Germany. MRB attends grades 5-8 there, at Lindsey American School. 
                     As a fifth-grader, MRB is reading at a college sophomore level: Dickens, Hardy, Kipling, Orwell, Poe, Rand, Twain, Verne.
                     MRB becomes a "shark" at marbles and quarters, will later win mucho dinero shooting pool. Nickname: "the Locksmith."
1973:            The Burches live on Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. MRB attends ninth grade there, is ahead of his teachers.
                     MRB, 6'2", plays center on the Faith Christian Academy junior varsity basketball team but unfortunately stops growing!
1974-1976:  The Burches live in Nashville, Tennessee. MRB attends Maplewood High School, grades 10-12.
                    MRB has poems published in The Lantern, will eventually be published more than 1,800 times.
                    MRB graduates from Maplewood with the highest ACT and CLEPT scores in school history.
1976-1978:  MRB attends Tennessee Technological University on a full academic scholarship.
                    MRB wins the R. H. Moorman award for having the highest GPA in TTU's math/physics/CSC dept.
                    MRB wins TTU's straight pool tournament, qualifies for the NCAA regionals, but celebrates, oversleeps and misses the bus!
                    MRB is the first TTU student to "turn over" Space Invaders, wins first prize and moolah in a Space Invaders tournament.
                    MRB is MVP for the Ewing Baptist Church basketball team, still playing center but no longer towering over opponents.
                    MRB has poems published in Homespun.
1979:           MRB co-ops with South Central Bell division of AT&T, teaches himself to program the first multi-user microcomputer, a Cromemco.
                    MRB hones his pool (pocket billiard) skills with Doug Almy, David Brawner, David Webb, Jim Ingram.
1980:            MRB returns to TTU, writes property management and retail inventory/POS software for Surya Data Systems on the side.
1980:            SDS folds. MRB founds Alpha Omega Consulting Group, drops out of college, also programs for Computer Consultants, Inc.
                     MRB rents his first apartment at Country Place Apartments, Nashville, lives there with Melissa "Missy" Murphy.
1981:            MRB buys his first house at 836 Beech Bend Drive, Bellevue, lives there with Missy Murphy.
1983:            MRB buys his second house at 7324 River Bend Road, Bellevue, lives there with Missy Murphy.
1987:            MRB plays on the Springwater pool team that reaches the Busch League regionals, held in Memphis
06-27-1992: MRB marries Elizabeth Steed Harris in Warren, Arkansas. They honeymoon in Destin, Florida.
1992-1993:  MRB has poems published in Golden Isis, The Romantist, The Poetic Knight
1993:            Birth of Jeremy Michael Burch in Nashville, Tennessee.
07-23-1987: MRB and CEB are aboard a Delta L-1011 leaving Gatwick for Cincinnati; it makes an emergency return landing when the flaps malfunction.
1994:            MRB leaves CCI, incorporates AOCG.
                     MRB buys third house at 716 Vauxhall Drive, Bellevue, lives there with Beth, Jeremy and up to seven dogs.
1996:            MRB plays on the Springwater pool team that wins the Music City pool championship and around $7,500 in cold cash.
                     Springwater's "rookie" team, on which MRB played and coached, finished third, only losing to the winning Springwater team.
                     The rookie team beat the number-one-ranked team in the first round; MRB defeated Keith Mayberry (6 handicap).
                     MRB and Doug Almy won their finals matches; other team members included Bud Aubrey, Steve Farrar, Tim Murphy, Sue Quick.
1998:            MRB creates The HyperTexts, an online literary journal that now garners around one million page views per year.
1998-2010:  MRB has poems in The Lyric, Light, Writer's Digest, Byline, Nebo, Poet Lore, Icon, Erosha, Black Medina, many others
2010-2013:  MRB writes a weekly column for Nashville's The City Paper, has letters published in TIME, USA Today, Washington Post, etc.
2013:            MRB's company, Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc., passes the milestones of 1,500 customers and $10 million in sales.

Elizabeth Steed Harris was born in Fayetteville, Washington Co., Arkansas. Her parents were William Sykes Harris II and Susan Elizabeth Johnson Harris. (Susan later changed the spelling of her first name to Suzan, although probably not officially, and remarried, becoming Suzan Blacksmith.) Her brother is William Sykes Harris III. Beth is a wonderful singer who had a single on the alternative charts: "Take a Walk Through the Pain," recorded as Beth Harris; it reached number nine on the Cashbox alternative charts. Performing as Beth Harris on the country music TV talent show You Can Be A Star, hosted by Jim Ed Brown, she took the opening round, and nearly won the whole shebang. (Bill Clinton, a friend of her grandfather William Sykes Harris, helped her get on the show.) Lynn Anderson was one of the judges, and when she appeared as a guest on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and he asked her to name the up-and-coming young country music singer for everyone to keep an eye on, she named Beth. Lynn also told Beth in confidence that she was the best vocalist in the talent show, and not to let the naysayers get her down. But Beth was ripped off by people she trusted, and chose to leave the country music industry to become a full-time mother when her son Jeremy was born. But she continued to sing, took up acting, and won the Best Actress in a Musical "Jimmy" Award after starring as Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" at the Dickson Renaissance Center. Beth also acted in many other plays and musicals, including Godspell; Jesus Christ, Superstar; Faith County (starring as Mildred Carson), The Odd Couple (starring as Olive Madison); A Christmas Story (as the teacher Miss Shields); A Christmas Carol (as the Ghost of Christmas Present); Beauty and the Beast; Night of the Living Dead (in which she got to act with Jeremy); and many others. Beth got started at an early age, as in kindergarten she had the lead role in Miss Hurry-up and the Runaway Packages.

Mildred on a ladder, dressed as Juliet

Beth Burch starring as Mildred Carson in An Evening of Culture: Faith County II at the Dickson Renaissance Center (March 10-26, 2006). This was Beth's 15th production at the Dickson Ren Center, where she won four "Jimmy" awards for Best Actress in a Musial, Best Actress in a Play, and two Supporting Actress roles.


My father, Paul Ray Burch Jr. was born on Thursday, July 27, 1933 in Nashville at Vanderbilt Hospital and died at Windlands East, an assisted living center, in Madison, Tennessee, on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the age of 79. He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Ray Burch Sr., his mother, Lillian Christine McAdams Burch Lee, and his sister, Sandra Jane Burch. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Christine Ena Hurt Burch, his son Michael Ray Burch (me), his daughter Sandra Jane Burch Boyte, his daughter Debra Leigh Burch White, and their families. He was a twenty-year man in the United States Air Force, and after that a bookkeeper, and then a security guard for Davis Cabinet Company. Later in life he had bladder cancer, then renal failure, but was stoic and not one to complain. He made the courageous decision to end dialysis treatments, and thus his life. His family supported this decision and came to be with him through the hospice process that allowed him to join his departed loved ones. My mother and sister Sandra were with him when he passed away.

Paul Ray Burch Jr. chronology:

1953: PRB is an airman third class at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado, where he received a Certificate of Proficiency as a disbursing clerk.
06-01-1960: PRB is promoted to Staff Sergeant. 

The first Sandra Jane Burch, my aunt, was born on December 23, 1945 and died tragically at age ten on March 21, 1955 in a flash flood that hit Nashville. She was the only person to die in the flood. Her father was Paul Ray Burch Sr. and her mother was Darkis Mary "Dottie" Stepp. According to her death certificate she was a student at Shwab Elementary School and she died by drowning at the "foot of Lucille Street" after falling in a drainage ditch. Her address was given as a doubly unlucky 1313 Meridian Street.

My mother, Christine Ena Hurt Burch, was born in England on the Ides of March, on March 15, 1936. According to her birth certificate she was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, England. At the time her parents lived at 21 Vere Avenue. Their names were George Edwin Hurt Sr. (born November 6, 1907) and Christine Ena Hurt, formerly Spouse (born April 19, 1908). If I am reading the birth certificate correctly, her father was employed as a "colliery hewer" or coal miner! (I later found confirmation of this very dangerous occupation in the 1939 England and Wales Register, along with confirmation of the address.) My grandfather George Edwin Hurt Sr. and grandmother Christine Ena Spouse were married in Mansfield in 1930, according to the England and Wales Civil Registration Marriage Index.

I have a copy of mom's 1946 report card, issued by the Nottinghamshire Education Committee for Mattersey Thorpe County Junior and Infant School, which says that she was first in her class and a "very keen and willing pupil." Her head mistress was a G. Pilkington. Mattersey Thorpe is a wee piece from Mattersey, the Nottinghamshire village where my mother lived with her parents. I also have several of her report cards from the Hallcroft Secondary School in the Retford District, dated 1947 to 1951. 

Paul Ray Burch Jr. and Christine Ena Hurt Burch were married July 14, 1956 at the Parish Church in Mattersey, East Retford, Nottingham, England. His residence was listed as Sturgate AFB, and hers as her parents' house at 22 Priory Close, Mattersey.

My English uncle, my mother's brother, George Edwin Hurt Jr., was born on February 27, 1931 and died on November 24, 2012.

Joy in the Morning
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandparents George Edwin and Christine Ena Hurt

There will be joy in the morning
now this long twilight is over
and their separation has ended.
For fourteen years,
he had not seen her
whom he first befriended,
then courted and married.
Let there be joy, and no mourning,
for now in his arms she is carried
over a threshold vastly sweeter.
He never lost her;
she only tarried
until he was able to meet her.


The birth of my English grandmother, Christine Ena Spouse Hurt, is shrouded in mystery. I have her birth certificate, issued in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, England. According to the document, Ernest Chatterton Spouse, an actor, and Christine Alice Stuart were the parents of Christine Ena Spouse, who was born on April 19, 1908. The "informant" was listed as the mother, with an address of 32 King Street, Sutton in Ashfield.

Michael Ray Burch: Here's my Native-American-style birth announcement, dated February 19, 1958:

I was born in Orlando, Florida. According to the 1959 Orlando Florida City Directory, we were living at USAF h1304 35th Street.

Here's Beth Harris Burch, the wife of Mike Burch, turned into a work of art by Lauren McCall.

Cherokee Proverbs
translations by Michael R. Burch

The soul would see no Rainbows if not for the eyes’ tears.

A woman’s highest calling is to help her man unite with the Source.
A man’s highest calling is to help his woman walk the earth unharmed.

A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.

Don't judge a man till you've walked many moons in his moccasins.

My father's father was Paul Ray Burch Sr. He worked for C. B. Ragland, in Nashville, Tennessee, as a truck driver. Paul Burch Sr. is reputed to have once lifted the back end of his truck so that a tire could be changed, a feat an English relative of the family, Russell Holland, repeated at the wedding of Sandra Jane Burch. She was named after my father's sister who died in a tragic accident at age nine ...

The first Sandra Jane Burch died on March 21, 1955. To avoid confusion with our living Sandra, I will call her Jane. Recently I came across a folder containing her schoolwork and certain other of her personal effects. Here's a picture of my sister, Debby Burch, that I found in Jane's school folder. They look like twins!

Here's a picture of Sandra Jane Burch (Boyte) ...

Here is a picture of our Aunt Jane lying in her casket, surrounded by flowers:

Jane was the daughter of my grandfather, Paul Ray Burch Sr., and his second wife, Darkis Mary Stepp Burch, also known as Dottie. Here is a picture of Jane's grave in Nashville's Spring Hill Cemetery:

Here is a picture of Paul Ray Burch Sr. visiting his daughter's grave and leaving flowers:

Jane was born on December 23, 1945 (a Christmas baby!) and she died on March 21, 1955 at age nine. Her brother Paul Ray Burch Jr. was born on July 27, 1933 and died on the evening of March 20, 2013 at age 79. So he died just a few hours short of the anniversary of Jane's death. And when he died, his sister's picture was on the wall at the foot of his bed, so hers may have been the last face he saw in this world. At the time of her death, Jane was also survived by her parents, her other brother, Clint Beavers of Cleveland, Tennessee. She was also survived by her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Stepp, also of Cleveland, Tennessee. Darkis Mary Stepp Burch ("Dottie") on the left, with Chris Burch, on the steps of the Nashville Parthenon in August, 1957.

The newspaper clippings and photos below were in Jane's school folder, presumably added by her loved ones after her death.

Here are remembrances from dad's final viewing and funeral:

Here are pictures of the children of Paul Ray Burch Jr., followed by pictures of their spouses, children, grandchildren and extended, ever-widening families.

Michael Ray Burch is the eldest of the three children of Paul Burch and Christine Burch. He was born on February 19, 1958 in Orlando, Florida. He now owns and manages a computer software company, Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc., and is a poet, peace activist and editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry.

The first picture below is of me with my father in October 1958. I believe the pictures of me with the ball were taken at the house of my English grandparents George and Ena Hurt.

Before any assumes that Russell Holland got all the muscles in the family, please allow me to offer the evidence of the "guns" on "Muscle Beach":

More evidence (and my legs are much more shapely!):

But it seem only fair to note that Russell Holland entered the Guinness Book of World Records for a feat of strength, as reported by The Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times on Thursday, July 19, 1990, when he tied Geoff Capses's strongman record in the brick lift, carrying 24 bricks end-to-end, each weighing three kilos.

Sandra Burch Boyte is the eldest daughter and second-oldest child of Paul Burch and Christine Burch. She was born on August 17, 1959 in England. She graduated from Maplewood High School (Nashville) in 1977, and from Tennessee Technological University in 1981 with a degree in psychology.


Debby Burch White is the daughter of Paul and Christine Burch. She graduated with a degree in accounting from Tennessee Technological University in 1984. She then became a CPA, and has worked as an executive for major companies such as First Tennessee/First Horizon, Verso Paper Corporation and Buckeye Technologies.

A proud father at the wedding of his youngest daughter:

Here are pictures of other Burch family members. The first picture below is of Lillian Lee holding me in May of 1959. The second picture is of Paul Burch Sr. holding me in May of 1958, when I was a few months old. The third picture, dated January 1960,  is of Eric Lee, Lillian's second husband, whom we called "Pappy."

The pictures below are of me on the beach with my grandmother, Ena Hurt, and my Uncle Colin Hurt.

Elizabeth Steed Harris Burch is the wife of Michael Ray Burch and the mother of Jeremy Michael Burch. Beth was born on December 20, 1967. She graduated from Little Rock's Lakeside High School in 1986, and attended the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), Belmont College (Nashville) and Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro), before dropping out to become a full-time mother, her true calling. She is also an award-winning actress and singer.

Here's a page of love poems I have written over the last twenty years for Beth:

O, Terrible Angel

Here is Jeremy Burch kissing his mother Elizabeth Harris Burch after graduating from Nashville Christian School, on his way to David Lipscomb University:

Photo: Graduation day for my baby boy! Yes I cried!

Jeremy kissing his mother the day of his grandfather's funeral:

Jeremy Burch and his uncle William Sykes Harris III, the day of the funeral:

Jeremy Burch:

Scott Boyte was born on June 16, 1983 in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from Oakland High School in 2001 and attended Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro). He now works as a software developer and tech support provider at Transformations Inc., where he works with his father Wayne and brother John. His wife Michelle Umboh Boyte graduated from Madison Academy in 2000. They now live in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville with their daughters Alaya and Aryanna. 

Scott Boyte with his wife Michelle Umboh Boyte:

Aryanna Boyte (left) and Alaya Boyte (right), twin daughters of Scott and Michelle Boyte and great-granddaughters of Paul and Christine Burch.

Photo: The balloon twister at Brixx is awesome!!

Aryanna Boyte (left) and Alaya Boyte (right), looking smashing in red velvet at Christmas.

Photo: Aryanna and Alaya ready for Christmas

The twins finish their first Music City Marathon:

Debby Burch White with her husband Walter White on vacation in Puerto Rico in 2012.

Photo: El Yunque

Walter White, Garrett White, Debby White and Samantha White.


Garrett White, Debby White and Walter White.


Samantha White is the daughter of Debby Burch White and Walter White. Samantha graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2010 with a degree in advertising and now lives in New York City where she is an account executive for BBDO Worldwide.

Jeremy Burch playing tuba with the Vanderbilt University marching band, as part of an exchange program David Lipscomb University, with his mother beaming her proud approval.

Beth's brother, William Sykes Harris III, with another member of the Harris/Burch family, Wickett:

Barbara Hurt (Gallagher) with Christine Hurt (Burch) and Colin Hurt:

Christine Hurt with Colin Hurt and Beryl Hurt:

Mike Burch on vacation in England with David, Beryl and Victor Holland and Victor's wife Rosella:

My uncle, Colin Hurt, with his wife Julia and their children Ivan, Julia, Andrea and Paula.

Colin Hurt, with his wife Julia and their children Julia, Ivan, Paula and Andrea:

Colin Hurt, Ivan Hurt, Andrea Hurt, Paula Hurt Harden, Julia Hurt Cox, and Julia Hurt:

Paula Hurt Harden:

Paula Hurt Harden with her husband Scott Harden:

George Edwin Hurt Jr., Pauline Hurt and Sara Hurt Afolabi:

Sara Hurt Afolabi with Pauline Hurt:

Rachel Hurt, Sara Hurt Afolabi and Joanne Hurt Devenish:

Joseph Afolabi and Sara Hurt Afolabi:

Mark Bean and Carolyn Gallagher Bean:

Carolyn Bean

Emily Grace Gamble, daughter of Cathy Gallagher Gamble:

Terry Edwards, Esther Holland Edwards and Matilda Scott:

Hannah Edwards, Jennifer Reeson and Esther Edwards: "An Edwards, a future Edwards and an adopted Edwards":

David Holland and Beryl Hurt Holland:

Russell Holland, the son of David and Beryl Holland, married Ruth Miriam Mallender, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mallender, on Saturday, February 20, 1988, at Bethel Church, Mansfield, Woodhouse, England. 

Esther Holland Edwards with Chloe Holland:

Rebekah Holland, daughter of Martin Holland and his wife Linda:

Rebekah (Becky) and Rachel Holland, daughters of Martin and Linda Holland:

Carolyn Gallagher Bean:

Danny Bean, Mark Bean, Carolyn Gallagher Bean and Joe Bean:

Jacob Ollie Gibson, Cathy Gamble, Emily Grace Gamble:

Here is Beth with the newest member of our extended, ever-widening family: Talen Jace White, the son of Elon Adriel White. Elon has been like a second son to Beth, and a brother to Jeremy.

Yes, that's an ice pack on Beth's knee in the picture above. Beth is very accident prone. In fact, I once wrote a short story about her called "The Hoblitt." Here's Jeremy with his big brother, Elon White. They look even more alike now that Jeremy has grown a beard and his hair is longer.

Beth has also decided to adopt Nicole Elizabeth Prince White, also known as Nikke, who is Elon's wife.

Photo: Dancing at the Old Bank in Swindon's Old Town district.

Here is Mike Burch on a freedom walk for Palestinian human rights. He was one of the speakers at the first freedom walk for Palestine to be held in Nashville.

Jeremy Burch "all warm and fuzzy."

Photo: My WONDERFUL son Jeremy Burch with a fuzzy face and long hair.....yes it was summer, I don't think Nashville Christian School would appreciate the rocker look!

Beth Burch channeling her inner Pocahontas!

Photo: Hubby says I was channeling Pocahontas!

Beth Burch channeling Elvira!


Beth Burch enchants (or terrifies) the neighborhood children with her Haunted House on the Hill:

Jeremy Burch as a high school junior, ready for the Junior/Senior banquet:

Photo: Here's another pic of Jeremy before banquet last year

Here's a poem I wrote for Jeremy:

The Desk

for Jeremy

There is a child I used to know
who sat, perhaps, at this same desk
where you sit now, and made a mess
of things sometimes.  I wonder how
he learned at all ...

He saw T-Rexes down the hall
and dreamed of trains and cars and wrecks.
He dribbled phantom basketballs,
shot spitwads at his schoolmates’ necks.

He played with pasty Elmer’s glue
(and sometimes got the glue on you!).
He earned the nickname “teacher’s PEST.”

His mother had to come to school
because he broke the golden rule.
He dreaded each and every test.

But something happened in the fall—
he grew up big and straight and tall,
and now his desk is far too small;
so you can have it.

One thing, though—

one swirling autumn, one bright snow,
one gooey tube of Elmer’s glue ...
and you’ll outgrow this old desk, too.

Originally published by TALESetc

In the picture below, Beth Harris performs on the country music TV talent show "You can be a Star!" When Lynn Anderson of "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" fame, who was one of the judges, appeared on the Johnny Carson show, he asked her the name of the up-and-coming country music singer to keep an eye on. Her response was, "Beth Harris." But Beth didn't like the shark-infested waters of the music business, and chose to become a full-time mother to the apple of her eye, Jeremy.

Beth's mother, Susan Elizabeth Johnson, appears in The Razorback, circa 1965. She later changed the spelling of her first name to Suzan:

Beth's cousin Tracy Burke with her daughter Amelia. Tracy is the daughter of Beth's aunt Jane:

William Sykes Harris I, affectionately called Paw-Paw, Beth's grandfather on her father's side:

William Sykes Harris, 89, of Warren, died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, at his home. The son of V. B. Harris and Luna Sykes Harris, he was born Oct. 17, 1918, in Bradley County. He received his education in the Warren Public School System. He attended Arkansas A&M College for two years and was a 1941 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He served as a pilot and instructor in the Eastern Flying Command division of the U.S. Army Corp., stationed at Moultrie, Ga., until the end of World War II. He worked at Sam Dixon Hardwood Flooring Co. and Bradley Lumber Co. and founded Wilson Oak Flooring and Sykes Flooring Co. He served as past president of the American Parquet Association for 17 years. He was past member and president of the Warren Rotary Club, a recipient of the Bradley County Citizen of the Year Award, a founding member and past president of the Warren Country Club, a member of the First United Methodist Church, and past chairman of the administrative board of the church. He was director of Warren Bank and Trust Co. for 30 years. He served a 10-year term on the University of Arkansas board of trustees with two years as chairman. He was named honorary citizen of Fayetteville and presented a key to the city. He served as director of the University of Arkansas Foundation for 10 years, and was also a member of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Board. In 1993, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Razorback Foundation. In 1995, he received the University of Arkansas at Monticello Alumni Award for Achievement and Merit. He served as a director for the Cotton Bowl Association for five years, and was awarded the Chancellors Award from University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock  He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Steed Harris; and a son, William Sykes Harris Jr. Survivors include a daughter, Sally Harris Barnett of Casscoe; a sister, Frances Harris Hedrick of Warren; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  

William Sykes Harris III, Beth Harris Burch, William Sykes Harris I, Sally Barnett (Beth's aunt), and Mike Burch (still the tallest!):

William Sykes Harris I (Paw-Paw), with Mike Burch (looking a bit scraggly):

Mike reading with Melody, another member of the Burch clan:

Mike with Sykes and Elon White, who has become like a brother to Jeremy. They look and act like twins!

Avery Barnett, daughter of Beth's cousin David Barnett and his wife Crystal:

Beth looking angelic by our front yard swing, with an American flag in the background:

by Michael R. Burch

Religion was a big part of my family's life, but I ended up being the black sheep.


The Bible says trees grew before the sun was created, that a solid-but-transparent “firmament” in the sky holds back rainwater like a dam, and that stars are tiny pinpricks of light that can fall to earth. Is it a book of science or ancient superstitions? The Bible commands slavery, sex slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing, genocide and the ghastly stoning to death of children for non-sins and misdemeanors. Is it a book of ethics and morality or primitive voodoo? The Bible according to orthodox theology says billions of souls will go to an infinitely cruel and purposeless hell for guessing wrong about which religion to believe. Are Christians wise to believe in such an evil, unjust god?

Surely those who believe in Christ should "rightly divide the word" and give Jesus the benefit of the doubt by not attributing the Bible's satanic verses to him as part of the Trinity. Nothing can be more contrary to both faith and reason, than to claim God is perfect in love, compassion, mercy, wisdom and justice, then to say he authored commandments to, for instance, stone rape victims to death. If God is good, how is that not blasphemy?

For me the Bible's most inspired passage is Paul's epiphany on Divine Love in 1 Corinthians 13. In his epiphany Paul says that if God is not Divine Love, he is nothing, and all the words of the Bible are so much useless noise: clanging gongs and tinkling cymbals. And Paul tells us that Divine Love thinks no evil, holds no record of wrongs, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, never gives up and never fails. Such love is incompatible with racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, cherry-picking people to be saved, and with hell.

Christians should use Paul's epiphany as a litmus test, and disregard all biblical commandments contrary to it.

Paul's description of Divine Love in 1 Corinthians 13 is the gold standard, so why settle for less? And why accuse Jesus Christ, if you are going to name your religion after him, of being an atom short of Divine Love?

After all, to fall an atom short of Infinity is to fall infinitely short.

The HyperTexts