Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Josiah Burnham of Essex and Acushnet, Mass.

Josiah Burnham was the third husband of my fourth great-grandmother Lucy Nye Pierce. They were married in Acushnet, Bristol Co., Mass., on 31 July 1880. Lucy was born in Wareham, Plymouth Co., Mass., in September 1809, the daughter of David and Desire (Nye) Pierce.  Lucy married, first, Rowland Bumpus and second Brownell Tripp. I wrote about Lucy here. Lucy is one of my favorite ancestors to research, but she wasn't exactly a looker!
Lucy Pierce and Rowland Bumpus (from Laurie Howland)

Lucy and Josiah's marriage is recorded in Mass. Vital Records: 31 July 1880, Josiah Burnham, of Acushnet, 66, Physician, born Essex, son Josiah and Abagail, second marriage, by Rev. William Faunce, of Mattapoisett, to Lucy M. (sic should be N) Tripp, of Acushnet, 67, born Wareham, daughter David Pierce, third marriage. (She is actually 70 years old but probably fibbed about her age since she was marrying a younger man! And a doctor no less!)

Since Josiah's not in my direct line, I haven't done a great deal of research on him. My sister worked at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum (in Essex County on the north shore of Massachusetts), so I knew that Burnham was a big name in that town, particularly in the shipbuilding trade. It made me curious to see if Josiah had a connection with Essex and sure enough he did. I haven't found his birth record but he was born there about 1811, based on his age at death as well as the 1860 census, the son of Josiah and Abigail Burnham.

Josiah married first Susan Gotchell/Getchell of Salem, Mass. Their intentions are published in April 1837 in Essex and Salem. Susan died in Acushnet on 3 March 1878, age 69.  She was the daughter of William and Rebecca Gotchell. I don't know if Josiah and Susan had children but none are listed with them in 1860.

In the 1860 Census Josiah (age 49, physician) and wife Susan were living in New Bedford, Mass. Her mother Rebecca was living with them. In the 1880 census, he is a widower living alone in Acushnet. Nathan Bumpus, Lucy's son from her first marriage, is living nearby, so perhaps that is how Lucy and Josiah met.

Josiah died 13 December 1895 at Acushnet, age 84 (MA VR vol 454, p 141). The cause of death is given as senility. He was buried on his own property on Main Street, Acushnet. His wife Susan was buried there as well, but Lucy wasn't buried with him. She, or her children, chose for her to be buried at Tabor Cemetery in Acushnet with her son Nathan Bumpus and his family. Perhaps the Burnham farm had already been sold when she passed and it was more practical to bury her in Acushnet than to bury her alongside her first husband Rowland in Wareham.

Recently Gary Lemos came across my blog and thought I'd be interested in photos he had of Josiah and Susan's gravestones. He grew up near their farm. The thoughtfulness and kindness of genealogy folks never ceases to amaze me. Thank you Gary! Sadly Susan's gravestone is broken and laying in pieces on the ground.

 Josiah Burnham's gravestone   Source: Gary Lemos
Susan Burnham's gravestone    Source: Gary Lemos

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