Category Archives: Burgess Family

1918 Spanish Flu/Covid 19 Alfred and Ivy Burgess

So, today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This year, for as slow as it has been, has gotten away from me. Last year at this time, my youngest had come home from college, worried that she was living in a dorm and that she would contract Covid. I agreed and we moved her home lock, stock and barrel. Her classes would continue but they had moved all classes to online study to finish out her freshman year. Covid-19 was everywhere. At one point in March, I’d decided I better get to the grocery store to fill up my cart with flour, eggs, meat, and anything I thought we’d be able to use. It was devastating to walk into a Walmart Grocery Store and see row after row of empty shelves. I ended up leaving with a box of cake mix and some canned peaches and that was it.  It was depressing. From there, I decided I’d better hit another grocery store, one that I knew was not as well shopped. I had better luck there but the prices of the food they had were exorbitant (which is why I only shopped there periodically, their prices were not raised because of the pandemic, they were just expensive). After that, I had my groceries delivered every week. No more choosing my own fruit and vegetables, no more making my dinner plans and instead basing my menu upon what the grocery store had delivered or what restaurant we had deliver food.

Almost all of our occasions were spent at home. On my birthday, we did go on a hike but we ate our takeout dinner in the car on the way home. Amazon became my friend. It was great to have a place to order anything I needed and get it to my house with relative ease. I got used to wearing a mask anytime I left my home but I really only felt comfortable at home.

This year has given me plenty of time to research and to think. I had been searching for a long time and I had spotted two ancestors, husband and wife, who had died within days of each other. I thought, oh dear, that is not a good sign.

Alfred Burgess and Iva (Ivy) Blossom Nichols Burgess

Ivy Burgess’ headstone
Alfred Burgess’ headstone

Alfred Burgess was born in Kansas on February 2, 1878, 6 years after his brother Henry Carter Burgess. Alfred is the youngest child of John and Rutha Burgess. Rutha was 42 years old when she had him. When Alfred was born, his oldest siblings were 20 and 22.

Alfred married Ivy B. Nichols Burgess on January 19, 1898 in Durant, Indian Territory. He was 20 years old and his bride was 16.

Alfred and Ivy’s marriage license

On the 1900 Census, they still lived in Durant, Indian Territory and Henry C. Burgess lived with them. Henry Carter Burgess was 28 years old and met his wife LuWilla while he lived there. Grandma Flora (Burgess, Hardin, True) was born in Durant as well.

By 1910, Alfred and Ivy had moved to Taylor, Texas.  Their oldest daughter Maybelle was born in 1903 (just one year younger than Flora), daughter Rosa was born in 1906 (one year younger than Aunt Ovola), and daughter Lora was born in March of 1910.

The next document that I found for Alfred was a WWI Selective Service System draft registration card.  

They were living in Taylor, Texas and his wife Ivy was listed as his next of kin.  He was working as a laborer and was 40 years old. His description was listed as medium build, medium height with blue eyes and starting to bald but brown hair.  This form was filled out in 1918. The next form was his death certificate.

At 44, On January 3, 1919, his physician began caring for Alfred. He died six days later. His cause of death was Pneumonia with a contributing factor of Influenza.

The Spanish Flu/Influenza Plague of 1918

When the 1918 Influenza pandemic began, it was not thought of something to be panicked about and symptoms were simple sore throat, fever and headache. People were advised to follow a healthy diet. As the soldiers who were stationed at forts began to exhibit more deadly symptoms, their cases were misdiagnosed as other diseases. At an army camp in Massachusetts, one soldier was sent to the hospital. The next day, it was 15 soldiers. At the pandemic’s worst point, 1,543 soldiers were diagnosed with the flu in one day. And so it goes.

That camp was 35 miles from Boston. From there, it spread to other cities until it had reached across the U.S.. By November, physicians said that death came fast upon the people suffering from influenza.

It was thought that the origins of the influenza pandemic began with a bird flu and that perhaps it had transmitted to a pig and from there to humans.

Alfred Burgess died on January 7, 1919 and his wife Ivy died on January 13, 1919, just a week apart.

When I first discovered that this couple had died so closely together, I was saddened. I had met my grandmother’s cousin Maybelle Carthen, as my grandmother stayed close to her. Here she is with my mother and Grandma Flora on a trip to Aunt Kay’s house in Fresno. Maybelle was 17 years old when her parents died, Rosa was 13 years old and Lora just 9 years old.

My mother Jubie, Maybelle, Flora in Fresno

Alfred’s brother Jimmie and his wife Maggie had one son, Ralph, who died at the age of 20 and one baby girl that had died early. Jimmie and Maggie took in all three of the girls and finished raising them.

Maggie Nichols Burgess and her sister. She took in and raised the three orphan girls.

Maybelle and OB Carthen celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary

Now, this pandemic has certainly brought home the anguish those who lived through the 1918 Pandemic must have gone through and the terrible devastation it would have left on their psyche.

I recently received my second shot of the Moderna vaccine. I decided to go grocery shopping last week. It had been a long time since I picked my own food off the shelves and I really missed buying what I saw in the store instead of what I had ordered. Walking down the aisles, I could only picture the empty shelves I’d seen the previous year. I still wear my mask at work (I’ve been tucked away in my office, by myself, for a year!) and anytime I go to a store or am near other people. Tomorrow, it will be two weeks since we received the second shot and after that, we can be with other people who have had both of their shots too. I can’t wait for that to happen. To gather with family and friends and not be panicked.  I feel so sad for all of the families who have had devastating losses and whose lives are forever transformed because of the pandemic. We can count our blessings that our family has arrived on March 12th intact, if not a little worse for the wear. I think I shall continue researching and will continue my work on my ancestry blog. It is time to get back to the business of living.

Check Your Sources!

I am a big proponent of obtaining as much documentation as possible. You cannot verify information without it. When you are researching an ancestor, there are some records that I love.

birth certificate for Tim

This first record is my father’s birth certificate. As you can see, he was born on December 9, 1927 at 5:00 a.m. Also, my father obtained the copy of this record on March 1, 1954.  His name is spelled out as Celestino Timoteo Jaquez. He is listed as the 11th child born to this mother and that upon his birth, he was the 8th child living. My grandfather Celestino’s occupation is listed as Odd Jobs, my grandmother Tonita’s occupation is listed as housewife. Interesting to see Grandma Tonita’s birthplace listed as Gobernador, NM which was located in Rio Arriba County. The county seat for Rio Arriba is Tierra Amarilla.

Celestino is listed as being born in Blanco, NM.

I know my cousin Tom Martinez is working on the records from the church, so I hope to be able to obtain a copy of those records as well.


The next record is a death certificate for Grandpa Celestino. This one is much easier to read. I like seeing who provided the information for the death certificate. This one was provided by Aunt Della and gives Grandpa Jacques’ address as her address, 1840 Charmeran, San Jose, CA.  She reported that Grandpa Jacques had been in California for 38 years, bringing us back to 1935 when he arrived here. That fits with the information we know. He died of pneumonia and Arterial sclerosis heart disease. It lists his date of birth as November 15, 1886 and his date of death December 29, 1973.

Juan N.

The last record here is for Juan Nepomuceno Jacquez. I had a harder time obtaining this record and so I received a letter back, stating that they could not give it to me. They said only a child/grandchild could obtain it. I laughed and said, my Grandfather died in 1973 and my father died in 2003. I had to send them the death certificates for my father and my grandfather both in order to get this one. As you can see they stamped it for genealogical use only. Juan N. was born on April 8, 1856. His father is listed as Jose O. Jacquez and his mother listed as Franciquita Vigil. They were both born in Colorado. Interesting to see that this time, it is my grandfather Celestino providing the information for the death certificate. He died on May 28, 1943 and is listed as a widower.

I have been searching for a death certificate for one of my great-grandparents. My Grandma Flora’s father, Henry Carter Burgess. I have been searching for a long time. I don’t have his date of death, nor do I know where it occurred. I don’t know where he’s buried and it drives me crazy. I found a few people had a date of death for him on Now, sometimes you run across someone else who has pertinent information to your research. However, I felt like I had discounted those individuals and thought, shoot, I should revisit this information. I pulled the Find a Grave site and found this picture.

Henry C Burgess

I still didn’t feel like this was correct. Then I found the death certificate online.

HC Burgess death certificate fake

Okay, once I found this, I was certain. This is not my Henry Carter Burgess. The date of birth is wrong, the spouse name was wrong. Also, his father’s name was John W. Burgess and my Henry Carter was born in Kansas, not Indiana. This was not my ancestor.

One of the biggest lessons to remember when searching on or any other site, is that you must know what you are looking for, or you will end up with incorrect information on your tree. The best source for you is to interview your relatives now. Now, before you lose the opportunity.



Flora True Leadership Award

My grandmother was such a powerful force in my life. She was a hard worker from the time she was a young girl. She worked in lots of office jobs and in the credit department of a store. She used her initials so that no one would know she was a woman. Flora also had a gift. She could talk to anyone and everyone. Eventually, she went to work for a vitamin company. She left that company and went to work for Shaklee Corporation. She was sued by the company she left because the company knew they were losing a good saleswoman. Flora showed up to court in a housecoat and the judge had a hard time believing this was the person that companies were arguing over.

She became friends with Dr. Forest Shaklee, the gentleman who started the Shaklee Corporation. He started the Shaklee Company in 1951 and the first building was at 12th and Harrison Streets in Oakland, CA.

Early Shaklee Corporation days
Original Shaklee building

Dr. Shaklee adored Flora and he believed in nature’s ability to heal. When she first met him, she was reading an article about Royal Jelly. The article said that Royal Jelly was a cancer preventative and Dr. Shaklee told her, don’t you believe it. It was no more cancer preventative than any other good nutrition. Flora thought she had found an honest man.

in her office

Dr. Shaklee ran his business by the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This was a rule Flora lived by. When Dr. Shaklee honored Flora during a convention, Flora arrived on the stage wearing a beautiful red gown. He said she was wearing red and was always out scratching for business. Right there, he affectionately called her his “little red hen.”

flora and dr shakleee too
Neil, Flora and my cousin Bobby on the far right

Shaklee Corporation sold vitamins, diet and health products, along with all natural cleaning products. Grandma Flora became a driving force in the company. Dr. Shaklee started selling products in 1946 and by the 1950’s, the company was close to going out of business. Dr. Shaklee credited Flora as being the crusader who changed the course of Shaklee history.

Grandma and dr shaklee
Getting pinned

Dr. Shaklee was trying to keep the business going and worried about paying bills. Flora said, “Those bills are going to be paid.” That month, she went out and sold half the company’s business. It had never been done before and has never been done since. My mother used to say that if Grandma got on an airplane, she would have sold to five different people and have three more wanting to sign up to be a distributor under her. She worked her truth and believed in her products with her whole heart. It was easy to see why she was so great at spreading her message.

addressing salespeople
Addressing a sales force

Dr. Shaklee said that, above all, Flora True stands out as the leader of all other salesmen.

at a convention
Flora at the microphone

Flora earned the first car that was ever given away. It was a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.  She said it took her one month to earn that car. She earned a new car every year.

1956 Chevy Bel Air
I believe this is the 1956 Bel Air (My grandfather and cousins standing in front of it)


new car
Always a new car

In 1981, Shaklee Corporation celebrated their 25 Anniversary with a Golden Jubilee. They paid to fly my grandmother, my step-grandfather, my mother and myself to San Francisco from our home in Stockton for the celebration. My grandmother had been ill but was determined to  make it to the ceremony.

Dr. Shaklee paid tribute to Flora, as much as Flora paid tribute to Dr. Shaklee. She had suffered from breast cancer, had a mastectomy, had suffered a stroke and was in ill health. She forced herself to walk across the stage and Dr. Shaklee came out to meet her. You can watch the video here.


The next year, on the occasion of Grandma Flora’s 80th birthday, we held a celebration in Stockton for her.  Dr. Shaklee and Dorothy came to Stockton for Flora’s party, along with the rest of her family. It was the last birthday the Little Red Hen would celebrate.

flora and dr shaklee three

Flora died on May 22, 1982.

After her death, Flora’s reputation continued at the Shaklee Corporation and eventually, an award was established in her honor. They invited my mother Jubie and my Aunt Kay to attend the ceremony in Montreal, Canada in 1984. They were presented with the first award

Flora True Leadership Award Presentation
Jubie and Kay being presented the first award

Flora True Leadership Award
Letter that accompanied the award

Flora True Leadership Award statute
Flora True Leadership Award

Because we had grown up with the Shaklee products, my family had continued to use them. My father used Basic H (as a floor cleaner and a shampoo, because, you know, why not?) and so I needed to replace his bottle of Basic H and I simply looked up a sales associate in our area, called her up and went to retrieve the bottle.

When I arrived at her home to pick up my product, the lady gave me the Basic H and we spoke for a few minutes. I told her my grandmother used to sell Shaklee products and that perhaps she knew her? The lady assured me that she didn’t know anyone in the business as she had only been in Shaklee for a few years. I said, “Oh, my grandmother, Flora True, used to sell here in town.” The lady starts shrieking, “Flora True? Oh my god, are you kidding me? Never in a million years did I think when I got up today, I’d be meeting Flora True’s granddaughter.”

Haha, I didn’t realize being related to Flora was that amazing. I don’t think we really appreciated how they felt about her because she was just grandma. We knew she was an amazing person, but it was so nice to have others think of her in that way as well. I cry every time I watch the video of her, because it is such an accurate reflection of who she was, even though she was already very ill. She was damn determined that she would walk across that stage, and she did.

P.S. The picture of the Shaklee building was provided by and used with permission by the Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee Facebook page.

Henry Carter Burgess

It seems like it has been a long time since I’ve posted to my blog, but I’ve been doing additional research on several people. I have a big question mark on a piece of information that I wish I’d had the foresight to simply ask my Grandmother Flora: “When did your father die and where is he buried?” Simple question, right?

So while I am on my soapbox, waxing philosophical about jumping back 34 years and asking my grandmother the simple questions, my hope is that you are inspired to ask questions now. Don’t wait. It is so important; there is information that only your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents can give you about your family, their history, and where our families fit into history as a whole.

Okay, that’s done. Back to 2014 (or why I am ready to pull my hair out).

Henry Carter Burgess

Henry Carter Burgess was born on March 4, 1872 in Kiowa, Kansas. His father is John W. Burgess and his mother is Rutha Cox Burgess.

By June 1 of 1880, they are living in Oswego, Kansas. His siblings are as follows:

William L.A. Burgess, age 22

Perry D. Burgess, age 20

George W. Burgess, age 17

John E. Burgess, age 15

Mary E. Burgess, age 13

Charlie Burgess, age 11

Carter H. Burgess, age 9

Frank T. Burgess, age 6

Jimmie Burgess, age 4

Alfred Burgess, age 2

Full house. John W. Burgess was a farmer and with the help of son William L.A.. Perry Burgess was working in a Flour Mill. George W. was working at a bank.

Chetopa was the third largest incorporated City in Labette with both banking facilities and a flour mill. This town was lit with electricity and natural gas, waterworks, a fire department, three public schools, an opera house, church buildings, 2 newspapers and a creamery. That’s some plush living, right there.

Historically, in 1893, President Grover Cleveland had appointed the Dawes Commission, named for Senator Henry Dawes. This commission and the President of the United States allowed the Indian Territory to be broken up into small allotments, to be parceled out to individual Indians. The Five Civilized Tribes were excluded from this policy originally but then were included. The thought was that if Indians had ownership of their own land they could be assimilated into neighborhoods. This policy had a great effect on Henry Carter and Willa Burgess.

Now, since we don’t have the 1890 Census, if we instead look to the 1900 Census, we find two things. First, we find his father, John W. Burgess, living with Henry Carter’s brother, James E. Burgess, age 24, along with his wife, Maggie, age 16 and a nephew by the name of Ardee Hardin, age 8. John W. is now 68 years old and a widower. They live in Township 6, Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory. Same place that Willa Adkins, Henry Carter’s bride, lives in 1900.

However, we also see Henry Carter Burgess living with someone else, his younger brother, Alford. Henry Carter is 28 years old, his brother 22 and Alford’s wife, Ivy, is age 18. They are living in Joplin, Missouri.

Now, because of the letter Grandma Flora wrote to me, we know more about this time period in his life than any other. Henry Carter doesn’t show that he is working in 1900 but Grandma Flora says that he was in ill health. She says that he traveled from Joplin, Missouri to the Indian Territory for his health. We know he becomes taken with an Indian maiden.

We know that Willa’s father agreed to the marriage because he had told another daughter she couldn’t marry and she killed herself. He wasn’t willing to risk losing another daughter. I, for one, am very grateful.

Henry Carter Burgess and Luwilla Adkins were married on February 17, 1901 in Durant, Oklahoma.


I have looked at a lot of people on my family tree and a lot of relationships, good and bad. I think, during a period of marriage of conveniences, Henry Carter and Willa were a true love match. According to Grandma Flora, he wasn’t much of a catch for a young woman and Willa’s father probably had his reservations, but Henry C. took over the duties at the ranch that Richard Adkins owned/ran. They had a small log cabin that they made into their home.

Their first daughter Flora was born May 27, 1902.


Within two years, Richard Adkins is forced to give up his property, is enrolled on the Dawes Roll, and is included in the land allotment.

Henry Carter and Willa moved back to Joplin, Missouri where his brothers still lived. She talks about being in Joplin and how her uncles adored her and how much she is loved. Her little sister Ovola is born in Joplin in 1905. Henry found work with his brother John.

I have heard from a distant relative by the name of Melvin Bowman. His mother was Marjore Burgess, daughter of Ora Lee Burgess. Ora Lee was the son of John Burgess. Mr. Bowman has a photograph of Henry Carter and John Burgess and has promised to get us a copy of it. I can’t wait!

But, what I do have are pictures of the girls. I think their mother must have been alive when this picture was taken but I wish she were in it. But it is such a sweet picture of their girls.


These are a few other pictures of the girls when they were very young.


Henry Carter suffered from “La Grippe”, something akin to the flu. The doctor suggested a change in climate. Flora says that their neighbors, the Buffingtons, had a daughter who had married and moved to Washington State. In fact, Henry Carter had also been very deaf as his hearing had suffered from chronic infections, meaning he would have to read his wife’s lips. So they packed their meager belongs and headed to Washington State. We know they traveled by train because Flora said she ran the length of the train looking for her Uncle John. The year was 1907 and Henry Carter was paid in script. When they were in Joplin he’d had a job delivering water to the mining camps surrounding the city. All of the money paid to Henry Carter in Joplin was paper money. However, when they arrived in Washington, they were paid in gold.

Henry Carter Burgess always loved the land. He rented 10 acres of alfalfa close to the Yakima River, from which he irrigated. But this was bad luck. He paid $100 for a cow which was an enormous price in 1907 and one week later the cow ate too much green alfalfa and died. During the week, the cow had kicked Willa and knocked her down. She was wearing a white apron, was bloodied and still managed to get out of the barn and wave at a neighbor passing by for help.

Flora started school in Yakima, about one half mile away. If it was raining or snowing, her father would hitch up the team to go get her from school.

Here is the directory listing showing Henry Carter Burgess living in Yakima from 1908.


Willa did not want anyone to know she was part Indian. One day Flora went home from school asking her mother what nationality she was. Flora was proud that she had learned such a big word, but her mother quickly told her it was no one’s business.

Henry Carter had always wanted his own farm, so they had filed on a homestead in Washington called Horse Heaven Country. 320 acres. He was in 7th heaven, but soon Henry Carter would end up very disappointed and unhappy. The rancher next door had previously been using the 320 acres for free, so he made life so miserable for them that Willa said she did not want to live there anymore, that she wanted to live in peace and harmony or not at all. The rancher succeeded.

They moved to Battle Ground, Washington where Henry Carter went to work for a saw mill owned by the Blair Brothers. They lived in a big house and Willa kept busy cooking and Flora was in school.


By 1910, Henry Carter and Willa had saved enough money to buy 15 acres of land at Prebstal, where Henry Carter built a four room house on the land. While he was building the house, the family lived in a chicken house and Willa caught a cold that turned into consumption. She lived two weeks in the chicken house, two weeks in her lovely little house, two weeks in the hospital and then Willa passed away. This was on November 14, 1910. As Flora says in her letter, this was a terrible shock.

It makes me sad when I get to that part of her letter. Worse, that is where the letter she wrote me stopped. It must have been so traumatic.


Henry Carter continued working and found someone to help him with the girls. First, they lived with a Methodist preacher while Henry Carter worked at a mill. After that, two spinster sisters, Ruth Whipple and Marie Whipple, took the girls in. Henry Carter was working at a logging camp while the Whipple sisters took care of the girls. I know that they were kind to them because my grandmother spoke very highly of them.


Marie Whipple was a school teacher and I suspect this is where Henry Carter Burgess had met them. They took the girls in and made them feel like family, as if they weren’t orphans.

Henry Carter Burgess eventually moves back to Missouri, Kansas, and Texas. By 1920, he is living with Ovola in Texas and Flora is living in Tulsa, OK and living as a boarder in someone else’s home. She married Charles Hardin by 1921.

Eventually, Flora goes back to see the Whipple sisters 27 years later, to thank them and to tell them in person how much she appreciated their love and kindness.



Whipple Family




Flora stayed close to her father. She loved him greatly and he loved her equally.

And now I’ve lost him.

I finally came across one scrap of paper where my mother had written down that he died in 1928 and that he was in Kansas. Easy, right? I’m thinking, should be easy to find. So first I added the year 1928 to his profile. Nothing. Then I decided to use a different site. I went to Family Search and I got a hit. I was so excited. It came up with a specific date in 1926. I then put that specific date into Henry Carter’s profile and instantly got a hit. I was so excited. I thought, lord, that was too easy. I pulled up that hint and it led me to the Find a Grave website. I was so excited, I thought, this is so great. I’m going to have a picture of his headstone. How great is that? I pulled up the headstone and yes, it was Henry Burgess, but definitely not my Henry Burgess. I was so sad for myself. So my search continues. Lots of questions, few answers, and more questions.

Henry Carter Burgess died sometime in the late 1920’s and I have not found him on the 1930 census so I am sure that date is in the right range. I will persevere until I find the right answer. Maybe at some point I will get to place some flowers on his grave and tell him that his daughter Flora loved him and thank you for raising those girls by himself. He did a great job.

Joshua Cox (Cocks) – 52 Weeks/52 Ancestors

Back in 2008, long before this blog came about, I was contacted by a woman by the name of Angie Hampt, who said she was searching for information regarding some people on my family tree. There were several names that repeat on my tree, all interconnected families. Those surnames are Cox (Cocks), Dillard, Goad, and Shockley. These families were mid-west families and all of these ancestors stem from Rutha Cox Burgess, mother of Henry Carter Burgess, my great-grandfather.

Let’s start with Joshua Cox (Cocks).
Joshua was born on January 15, 1799 in Montgomery, Virginia to Mary Dillard Cox and William Cox. Mary D. Dillard, Joshua’s mother, was born to Thomas Dillard and Ruth Goad around 1770 in the state of Virginia. The Dillard and Goad names are both integral to this story but let’s stick with Joshua’s roots. Mary Dillard was married to William Cox who was born on May 24, 1770 in Carroll County, Virginia. They were both born just prior to the American Revolution. They were married in 1797 in Virginia. His will included the children Joshua Cocks, Reuben Cocks, Thomas Cocks, Andrew Cocks, Henry Cocks, and daughter Rebecca Cocks.
You will notice that I’ve changed the spelling now to Cocks. By the time Joshua is being spoken of in records, the name is spelled as Cox. However, it appears that William spelled his name Cocks. His will was dated August 23, 1814, which would have made him 44 years old when he died. Yikes!
Researching William has not been easy. I did find a link on a genealogy website that shows a possible spelling for William’s last name as Cocke. The spelling differences drive me crazy. Looks like there was a John Cock who was married to Elizabeth Goad and Thomas Dillard who married Elizabeth Goad’s sister, Ruth Goad. Both Elizabeth and Ruth were daughters of Abraham Goad. We’ll delve into Abraham Goad later but for now, it seems plausible. So, possible parents for William are John Cock and Elizabeth Goad Cock. However, I also found a possible parentage of John Cock and Nancy (Unknown maiden name).
William and Mary D. Cox lived in Virginia then settled in White County, Tennessee, which is where he dies in 1814. Mary sold their land in Tennessee and moved with her four teenage sons to Gasconade County, Missouri. She was 44 years old.

Here is a copy of William Cock’s will:
Dated August 23, 1814.
Last Will and Testament of William Cocks (Cox)
In the name of God Amen,  This Twenty Third day of August in this year of our Lord God, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fourteen.  I William Cocks of White County and State of Tennessee, being very sick and weak in body, but of required mind and memory, thanks again unto God. Therefor calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.  That is to say and first of all I give and recommend my love into the hand of God that gave it and for my body , I recommend it to this earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the direction of my Executors not douthin but at the general Resurrection,  I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and touching such worldly estate.  Where with it has pleased God to help me in this life, I give , divide and dispose my debts and funeral expenses.  I give to my wife Mary Cocks one third of m y estate both Real and Personal for during the term of her natural life and after her decease.  I give the same to my children herein after named,  my loving sons, Joshua Cocks, Rueben Cocks, Thomas Cocks, Andrew Cocks, Henry Cocks, and my daughter Rebekah Cocks, William Cocks, and John Cocks also and equal division among them and to be enjoyed by them as they come of age and their heirs forever by my executors whom I appoint.
I likewise ordain and constitute my wife Mary Cocks and John Duly and Peter Carter, Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other former wills or testaments by me heretofore made in writing whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal, day and year above written.
Signed, sealed, probated and delivered and declared to be the last will and testament of William Cocks, White County, October, Tennessee.

Here is a copy of Mary Dillard Cock’s will:
Notes for Mary Dillard:
Will of Mary Cox
Recorded March 3, 1849                                    Gasconade Co., Missouri
In the name and in the fear of God, I, Mary Cox of the County of Gasconade in the State of Missouri, being of sound mind and deposing memory do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say – First it is my will that all of my just debts and my funeral expenses be fully paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the first moneys that should come into the hands of my Executor from any portion of my estate, real or personal.
Second — It is my will that at my decease, a full and fair evaluation of all my Estate both personal, real or mised, except my colored man Berry, be made and an equal division of the same be made among my heirs, namely, Joshua Cox, Rueben Cox, Thomas Cox, Andrew Cox, William Cox, and Rebecca Shockley, deceased.
Third — It is my will that my Granddaughter now Rebecca Haynes formerly Rebecca Shockley, the only heir of my own daughter Rebecca Shockley, deceased, have full and equal share of my estate in the name and in full of and for my daughter Rebecca Shockley, deceased, as aforesaid.
Fourth — It is my will that my Servant, Berry, a collored man at my decease be free and that my Executor after my decease see that he has his freedom together with what little property is known to be his and that if any expense necessary occurs in making him free according to the Laws of this State that the same be paid out of the property known to belong to Berry.
Fifth — It is my will that my son, Joshua Cox be my Executor to this my Last Will and Testament revoking and annulling all former wills by me and satisfying and confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament.
In Testimony whereof, I have here with set  my Hand and Seal this 29th day of August A.D. 1846
Signed, Sealed and Acknowledged by the                               her
aboved named Mary Cox to be her Last Will                       Mary  X  Cox
Testament.  In the presence of us who she                      mark
requested to sign her as witness to the same                              his
and in her presence.                                       John  X  Branson

As you can see, looks like Mary had one slave that traveled with her and helped her. Since it was her desire that he be free at her death, any debts he had be paid by her estate, and that he have his property, it seems to me that he felt like much more than just a “slave”.
Joshua Cox was listed as her executor. So, Joshua was one of the teenage boys who traveled with his mother in 1814 to Gasconade County, Missouri.
Joshua married Sarah Shockley Cox. Sarah was born in 1797. Her parents were Isiah and Ruth Shockley. According to the Gasconade Historical Society, Thomas Shockley built his home on a bluff overlooking the Gasconade River, which became known as Shockley Bluff. Thomas was likely a brother to Sarah.

Joshua Cox had several children. Those children are:
Reuben Cox
Andrew Cox
Rutha Cox (Burgess)
Matilda Cox
William Ray Cox
James Cox
Jacob Cox

Now, as I said earlier, Rutha Cox marries John W. Burgess. Those are my Grandma Flora’s grandparents (parents of Henry Carter Burgess).
Rutha’s brother, Andrew Jackson Cox married a woman by the name of Mary Ann Burgess. Mary Ann Burgess is the sister to John W. Burgess. Brother and sister married a brother and sister. Guess that happened on both sides of my family.
I love this picture that I found online of Andrew Cox and Mary Ann Burgess because we are related to both of them. Great picture and here is one more:
Andrew Cox and Mary Ann Burgess had 10 children, all first cousins to the Burgess clan. Andrew was known as “Uncle Andy” in his region and was a Baptist Minister…yeah, he kinda looks like one.
According to the Gasconade County Courthouse, “Volume A of the County Court Record indicates that the court planned a one-story, 22-foot-square, hewn-log building; however Goodspeed’s History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford and Gasconade Counties of 1886 describes a 20-by-24 foot, log, two-story building on stone foundation, with a stone chimney and two fireplaces. The courtroom was on the first floor. Joshua Cox contracted the building for about $300.”

Joshua was a Justice of the Peace for 1834, 1835, 1839 and 1840 in Gasconade County.
Joshua Cox died in 1867 in Gentry County, Missouri at the age of 68. His wife Sarah Shockley Cox died in 1846, 21 years before her husband. I do show a possible second spouse for Joshua Cox by the name of Mary McNatt of Tennessee but I have not confirmed that information.

Going back to Angie Hampt, she was descended from Rebecca Cox Shockley. Rebecca was a sister to Joshua Cox. Rebecca is the person who must have died in childbirth or shortly thereafter as she died in 1829. She was married to Uriah Shockley. Here is a map of the properties that he owned in Gasconade County.
uriah shockley land
The child that Rebecca Cox Shockley had shortly before her own death was Rebecca Shockley Haynes. Rebecca Haynes’ daughter was Minerva Haynes Crider, who married Samuel Dallas Crider. This is their picture
samuel dallas crider and minerva haynes crider
Angie Hampt was descended from Minerva Crider and was looking for photographs of either Rebecca Shockley Haynes or Rebecca Cox Shockley. If anyone has these photographs, please feel free to let us know.

Ancestor Envy

Okay, I know to be envious is not a virtue; however, ancestor envy has taken over my life. Not in the “gee, wish I had been born in the line of a king” kind of way. Only in the “Wow, I just found a photograph of an ancestor that I didn’t know existed” kind of way.

Well, being the descendant of King Henry VIII would have been cool, but I like my ancestors. I love finding out their stories, bits and pieces of their lives, working to knit a comprehensive picture: where they lived, who they knew, and who they loved.

I am grateful for the photographs that I do have and I know one day I’ll get to shout, “Wow, I just found a photograph of Richard Adkins!” That is the person I’m looking for a photograph of and I think I will be successful. He died in 1938, so there ought to be a photograph of him somewhere. I am going to reach out to the only other descendants who might have a photograph of him, the Adkins kids. Those of Natelee, Brookielee, Lee, and Lump fame. Also Legus Adkins. I think there are one or two left and they all have kids so that is where my search is headed.

John W. and Rutha (Nee Cox) Burgess

Going back to the Burgess family, one of the hints I took away from the Ancestry day in San Francisco was to look at each family as a whole, not just one person and his parents. The John W. Burgess family was a big farming family that lived in the Kansas and Missouri areas.


The reason I think of them as scary is that Flora said her father, Henry Carter Burgess, was ill and probably dying and that his parents were starving him as they were going by the adage of “Starve a cold, feed a fever” and he was getting sicker every day. Henry Carter waited until his parents had gone to town, and then talked his brothers into giving him food. He finally started to regain his strength and that is when he moved to the Indian Territory.

Henry Carter Burgess  was the 9th  of 12 children to be born of John W. and Rutha Cox Burgess over a 24 year period. Crazy, right? Poor Rutha died at the age of 56. Ruined her body, sounds like to me. She looks angry in the picture of her and that is the only picture of her that I have, but she looks like sturdy stock. She was born in 1836, 60 years after the Revolutionary War and she was 25 years old with five young children when the Civil War broke out.

DANGER, Danger Will Robinson, I am going on a rant…

Rutha Cox Burgess is the child Mary Dillard and William Cox.

(This line goes on for a minute, stay with me.)

Mary Dillard is the child of Thomas Dillard and Rutha Goad.

Thomas Dillard is the son of Thomas Dillard Sr.

Thomas Dillard Sr is the son of Edward Dillard. Edward Dillard was born in 1672 in King and Queen County, Virginia.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Edward Dillard is the son of George Dillard, who was born in 1630 and arrived as an indentured servant in the Jamestown Colony. That’s right, ladies and gentleman, we have an ancestor that arrived and survived in Jamestown, VA. Not quite King Henry VIII, but I’ll take it.

OK, rant over…I am continuing with the John Burgess line…

John W. Burgess was 29 years old and I don’t know if he served in the Civil War, but he lived in Kansas, which was admitted into the Union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861, so he may have served as a Union Soldier. I’m still searching for those details.

The U.S. Census from 1900 shows John W. living with his son, James, and James’ wife Maggie. James is a farmer living in the Indian Territory, in the Choctaw Nation. Willa’s father, Richard Adkins is also living in the Indian Territory, in the Choctaw Nation on the 1900 census. So, both sides of Cart and Willa’s families are living in the same town during the same time period. However, when John passes away at the age of 75, he is living in Joplin, Missouri. Both of John W. Burgess’ parents were born in Illinois. I will continue my searching on the Burgess line, but have yet to make a connection with another descendant of the Burgess family.

So, I may be a bit goofy when it comes to ancestry research, but it is also very similar to the way I was taught to skip trace people for work, so this process works for me. The best byproduct of my searching has been making new friends. I have been able to connect with one of my cousins on my grandmother’s side and one on my grandfather’s side. They would both be so pleased that I have made these new connections.

Grandma Flora loved her uncles that lived in Joplin and she became the apple of their eye as well.  She says her uncles only had boys at home so her father would take her to visit and she would stay with them for a week or two. Her sister Ovola was born in Joplin, Mo and soon her parents made the decision that because a neighbor was moving to Washington State, they should move with them while they had the opportunity. Cart’s health still suffered and they hoped it would be better for him on the West Coast. As Flora climbed aboard a train for the trip west, she ran the length of the railroad car, searching for her Uncle James. By now, the year is approximately 1908 and by 1910 Flora is parent-less and heartbroken.

Avola, age 3 Flora, age 6
Ovola, age 3 Flora, age 6

Durant, OK 1902


So 1902 finds Willa (there are a lot of different spellings and variations on her name, but Flora called her Willa, so Willa it is) and Cart (also the name he was known as) with a fresh marriage and a brand new baby.

Now, I’ve had a busy week but I received an email from a friend I went to high school with, who said she had a friend who had discovered a link to an ancestor that was listed on the final 1906 Dawes Roll.  I told my friend to send me her friend’s name and I would be glad to reach out to her.  I’m no expert, but because I am passionate about ancestry research, I never mind helping if there is some way that I can help.

The Dawes Roll was an accounting of all Native Americans and was a listing created by the Dawes Commission. It included the Five Civilized Tribes: Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole.  I personally feel offended by the term Civilized,  as if every other Native American tribe was uncivilized. However, every time I make a new discovery, I am forced to remind myself to keep it in perspective. That is how the Native Americans were viewed in the 1800’s.

The path to citizenship for the Muscogee Creek Indian Nation includes an ancestor on the Dawes Roll, but it is so much more than that. It took me over three years from start to finish to gather all of the paperwork. We were so fortunate that Richard Adkins was included on that roll.

Sallie Adkins.cgi

Richard Adkins, too, wasn’t called Richard. He was called Lump. Notice the trend? I have found several documents by using variations of family member’s names and I have had great luck finding the name Lump.

When 1902 begins, Flora’s grandmother, Sallie Adkins (nee Ashworth), had been deceased for four months. As you can see from the headstone above, Sallie Adkins is known as Lump’s wife.

 As a kid, I thought it was funny that my mother had said she had cousins whose names were Natalee, Brookielee, Lee, and Lump. I thought that was hysterical. Really, they apparently loved the name Lee and who would call someone Lump?  What I didn’t know was this.

Nickname for Richard Adkins

So Lump was his nick name, given to him by his mother who died when he was a young boy. Then, further on my travels, I uncovered this little nugget


Lumpkin County in Georgia, not far from where his Grandfather lived.

Of our little family, says Flora, “My father was not well and no means of livelihood. A poor excuse for a son in law whose ambitions for a daughter ran high”.

So Lump Adkins had a great ambition for his daughter Willa. Why let her marry Cart? Why would he give his consent? Flora says that Willa’s sister wanted to marry someone unworthy and Richard Adkins had said no. The sister took a rifle to the barn and shot and killed herself. I am still looking for confirmation of that story.

Flora also said that Willa had a herd of cattle and her own cattle brand. There was a log cabin on the ranch that they fixed for their home. Cart took over the duties as foreman on the ranch.

True? Not true? Hard to say. But it adds interesting pieces that I am looking to verify.

“My father and mother were very happy.” Flora says that Cart had a third grade education and her mother a high school education in an Indian school.

Willa took care of the money. I come from a long line of women who were born to be in charge. See, I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. So, Willa was in charge of the money and most likely also in charge of where they lived. Willa was raised to have everything she wanted but she never complained about their more meager circumstances.

Flora said Richard Adkins was Cherokee Indian. All of the information I have to date shows his Grandfather Benjamin Marshall was Creek, so for now, let’s go with that. But Flora indicated that Richard Adkins was forced to give up his ranch when the territory was divided up into Indian nations and had to move to the Cherokee Nation.

Cart and Willa also had to move. Cart knew he had a job with his brother John Burgess in Joplin, MO. Flora was 2 years and 9 months old when they moved.

Next time, the Burgess connection…


Kinda scary looking people if you ask me!