Richard Burnham – “Blown up at school house”

I guess everyone has “Burnhams” on their mind lately. Just now the Historic Hartford Facebook Page just randomly posted a photo of this headstone (click photo to enlarge) for the Richard Burnham, son of Elijah and Sarah Olmstead Burnham.

richard burnham headstone

Epitaph reads ” In memory of Mr. Richard Bernham, killed By ye Bloing up of ye schoolhouse; Jun 1766 aged 18 years & 3 months. Son to Mr. Elisha and Mrs. Sarah Burnham”. This accident happened during a celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act.

Young Richard was born 5 Mar 1748 in Hartford, CT. He is buried in the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford.

Thomas Burnham of Hartford/Windsor

I’m pleased to see more research being shared here. New info about Barbados is very interesting. As is the Long Crendon/Hatfield controversy. I hope we can find some answers. I have applied to Genealogy Roadshow – any cousins want to come with if they choose our story?

Ginny Burnham

How Many Thomas Burnhams Are There?

Awhile ago I had written about the question of where Thomas Burnham of Windsor, CT was originally from. You can read that post here: The Confusing Origins of Thomas Burnham. The question of his origins are still not answered, and we have other ongoing mysteries surrounding Thomas Burnham, one of those being whether or not he was in Barbados before arriving in Connecticut.

Last year I was contacted by Burnham researcher, Jim Burnham, of Massachusetts. He is descended from Thomas of Windsor. He has been interested in the Barbados connection for many years and had visited there in 1980s where he had seen a marriage and burial record for a Thomas Burnham. He found records that indicated that Thomas was a sugar cane farmer on the island. Jim didn’t have copies of those original records and so has been searching more recently for information on this “Thomas of Barbados”. Jim contacted me yesterday with a new find. The LDS Family Search website has images of the original records. Jim was able to find the burial record that he had located in the 80’s. This shows that “Mr. Thomas Burnham” was buried from St. Michael’s, Barbados on 1 Aug 1674.

Thomas Burnham burial

Thomas Burnham Burial in Barbados. ( Click to see full page)

This burial record proves that the Thomas Burnham in Barbados was not the same individual who settled in Windsor, CT in the 1640’s. That Thomas died 28 Jun 1688 in Windsor, Hartford, CT. There are enough mentions of Thomas in Windsor over the years to prove that he was in Connecticut continuously between his arrival there and his death.

Now, there may have been another Thomas Burnham (We know that there was a Thomas Burnham in Ipswich, Mass that was a contemporary of Thomas in Windsor, but that’s a whole other confusing issue) that remained in Barbados, and the Windsor Thomas was there prior to arriving in Connecticut, however, I have the feeling that these records found by Jim Burnham, are the source of the “Barbados rumor” we have read over the years.

Jim is going to try to locate the marriage record in the LDS Barbados records and promises to share his findings. In the meantime we welcome any other documents that Burnham researchers may have to either prove or disprove the “Barbados Rumor”.

Update to Descendants of James Bannon

Edward Stanford and Ellen "Nellie" Bannon

I recently had an unpleasant exchange with another “New Haven Bannon” researcher. This person was told growing up that the family was from Westmeath. This was based on the fact that their grandfather supposedly made toasts to Westmeath.

Photo Left: My Great Grandparents Edward and Ellen “Nellie Bannon Stanford

I had told this person, that while I didn’t originally know where our Bannons were from in Ireland, I had recently found quite a few records that verified what my Great Aunt Lillian had told me, that the family was from Fermanagh. This other researcher refuses to look at my work and refuses to believe that the family isn’t from Westmeath. I personally believe that they are confused with where the paternal line in their family is from, as they descend from a female Bannon back a few generations.

I want to make it clear that I never “just assume” anything when doing genealogy research. If I don’t find proof of something, I may note that “family lore says..” or I will leave the information out of my report. This person went on to accuse me of stealing a tin type photo (from a house I’ve never visited!!) and told me that I was flat out wrong about my connection to this family. I was insulted by these accusations as I have been doing extensive genealogy research for over 35 years. I pride myself of double checking records and always proving connections based on “family stories”. I’ve found more than one instance of incorrect information passed down from relatives.

Because of this recent interaction, I have updated my Bannon page with the following information. It is the introduction to my recently finished book about the Bannon family history. It includes maps, records, stories etc as well as the genealogy information. It has a lot of info on the area in Fermanagh that our family was from.

Here is the introduction to the book, explaining about some of the new information that I found in both New Haven and Irish records.

Please also note that the genealogy information listed on my Bannon page is NOT up to date. Click here to visit my Bannon page:The Descendants of James Bannon
If you think you may be related, contact me at mpitkin (at) and I will be happy to share my most uptodate info.
It’s just too difficult to update the site continuously.
Continue reading

Rundle in Baltimore Update: An Interesting Branch

About 30 years prior to my branch of the Rundle family coming to the US and settling in Michigan, New Jersey, then Connecticut, there was another branch that immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. Jonathan “of Pengelly” Rundle was a sibling to my 4xGreat Grandfather Hugh Brice Rundle. Jonathan stayed in St. Neot, however, four of his children and eventually his wife did leave for the United States, settling at first in Baltimore.

I hadn’t really finished this line until now. I’ve updated the site with a page just for this branch. You can find it here: Rundles of St. Neot & Baltimore.

While researching this family I ran across a few interesting stories. The first involved the fact that some of the cousins in this line fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War and others fought for the Union Army. In one family, brothers fought for opposite sides.

John William Rundle

John William Rundle

Four of the sons of Jonathan Rundle and Elizabeth Butcher fought for the Confederate cause. Jonathan and John both were in the 36th Virginia Infantry. The family lived in Wheeling, which would later become “West Virginia” but at the time was part of Virginia. Two other sons, George and William Marvin, also fought for the Confederate Army.

John William Rundle rose to the level of Captain and local lore says that as a publisher of the local paper prior to his service, as he “was about to return to his old home in the Kanawha Valley. He published a notice to the public reading: ‘ If you (the Union men) will treat us right and not insult us, we will keep quiet; but if you don’t, these hills will be filled with sharpshooters’.”

Jonathan RundleHis brother, Jonathan Theodore Rundle, has another interesting story linked to his service. After being injured in fighting, he was “taken by the Federals he was made prisoner and placed in the Federal hospital at Nashville. From that place he was stolen away one night by three noble Southern women who loved and cared for the soldiers. Mrs. Robert Gardner, Mrs. Fort, and Mrs. M. Taylor, a dead comrades body being placed on his cot. For two years he was unable to go about, but when he did get out it came his way to render a valuable service to Governor Johnson, who never forgot it, and he gave to Mr. Rundle special protection and privileges.” After the war, Jonathan ended up marrying the adopted daughter of Mrs. Taylor.

Towards the end of the war, the family was told that William Marvin Rundle was killed in action. Then when George Rundle was on his way home after the war ended, he ran into his supposedly dead brother also walking home!

Another brother, Charles Wesley Rundle, had been living in Illinois when the war broke out and he enlisted as a Private in Company A, Illinois 116th Infantry Regiment on 06 Sep 1862. He was mustered out on 07 Jun 1865 at Washington, DC.

Charles W. Rundle

Charles W. Rundle

Charles was a Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery in a “forlorn hope” Union Army assault on Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863. His citation reads “Gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party.”

I can guess that since Charles never returned to live near his brothers, there wasn’t too much conflict over his fighting for the Union, or perhaps that is why he never returned!

Also serving in the Union Army was the son of Jonathan Sr’s brother, Joseph Rundle and Elizabeth Bookholz, Joseph Rundle Jr.

Marvin Rundle SuicideAnother interesting story involved George and William Marvin Rundle again. “Marvin” as he was called, was a “wandering cowboy” who never married and traveled around the west. He did keep in touch with his brother George who was a traveling salesman and lived in Kansas City, Missouri. Marvin was especially close with George’s daughter, Effie. In December 1900, George’s wife and daughter were told that George had committed suicide while traveling in Oklahoma. They had not heard from him in over 10 weeks and so they feared that it was him. When the body arrived, the women looked at it and realized it was Marvin not George! It seemed that Marvin had an unsealed letter addressed to Effie and one of George’s business cards on his person, leading the authorities to believe that he was George. Interestingly, when their prosperous brother, John, a Printer in Nashville, TN, was asked to help pay burial expenses, he refused. Marvin’s body ended up being donated to the Anatomical Society for research.

Research Update: The “Rundle” – “Brice” Mystery Solved

When I began doing research on my Rundle line, I quickly noticed that many Rundle families had at least one child with the first or middle name of “Brice”.  The name “Hugh Brice” was very common. My 3x Great Grandfather was named “Hugh Brice Rundle”. It made some of my research easier than most.  For instance, when I saw a name like “Jeremiah Brice Rundle” in Australia, I knew that he had to be related to my Rundles.  I tried to find out where the name came from, but ran into a brick wall.

I was able to ascertain when the naming pattern started. John Rundle married Eleanor White in St. Neot. They were the first couple on the Rundle side to use the Brice name.  I also found that Eleanor had a brother, John White, who married Mary Pomeroy in St. Neot and they also named children Brice or Hugh Brice. I knew that their father was John White, the Vicar in Pillaton, Cornwall but I was not sure of their mother’s name. I assumed that her maiden name was probably “Brice”, however, I could never prove it… until now. This discovery is doubly important, since the descendants of Elizabeth White Rundle and her brother, John White, intermarried a few times, strengthening the Rundle – Brice connection.

I recently found a Brice family tree on Ancestry researched by Rhona Brice. I noticed that she had Eleanor White’s mother as Margaret Brice. There was mention of a will that proved it. I was able to download the will from the UK National Archives and now know for sure that Eleanor’s mother’s surname was in fact Brice and that her first name was Margaret, not Eleanor, as Richard Crow had stated in his book.

The will that I downloaded was for Margaret’s brother, Hugh Brice.  Margaret’s children John White, Margaret White and Eleanor White Rundle are mentioned in the will dated 1793. Margaret is listed as his “late sister” at that time the will was first written. Based on the fact that in that when the original section was written, Eleanor was not yet married to John Rundle, it would mean that Margaret died prior to 1761.

Here is the early section mentioning his “niece”, Eleanor White daughter of his “late sister” Margaret and John White. Hugh left Eleanor a diamond ring. This portion of the will was written prior to Eleanor’s marriage.

Hugh Brice will

Click to enlarge


Here is the later section of the will that mentions Margaret’s children. It reads “Eleanor Rundle, formerly White, wife of John Rundle, Margaret, formerly White, wife of Edward __ and John White… nieces and nephew of the deceased”.

Hugh Brice will part 2

Click to Enlarge

Here is an abbreviated report for the family of Margaret Brice White. It includes her parents, siblings, and children. Since I am in the middle of finishing up my Rundle research, I haven’t had time to really fill out the rest of the Brice line, when I do, I will update the site.  For now, this gives you a basic idea of the Brice – Rundle connection


1. Peter1 Brice M.A., b. c. 1673 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England, (son of Hugh Brice Gent. [1631 – 1703] and Grace (maiden name unknown) Brice), d. 30 Jul 1740 in Netherbury, Dorset, England, occupation Minister; Vicar of Netherbury, Dorset, England, buried 4 Aug 1740 in Netherbury, Dorset, England. 1673 Peter Brice baptized at Crewkerne son of Hugo Brice.

Brice, Peter, s. Hugh, of Crewkherne, Somerset, gent. Wadham Coll., matric 7 April, 1690, aged 17; B.A. from New Inn Hall 8 March, 1693-4, incorp. at Cambridge 1708, and M.A. from Peter House 1708, vicar of Worth Matravers 1696, rector of Church Knowle 1708, and vicar of Netherbury, Dorset, 1709.
Source: Oxford, University Of. Alumni Oxonienses. 1891. Reprint. London: Forgotten Books, 2013

There is a land record in 1725 for 500 acres in Pendomer, Somerset that is recorded as being owned by “Thomas Brice, Peter Brice, Jane wife of Thomas”. A later amendment has Peter scored out and “Son Thomas” added. I don’t know who this Thomas is.

Peter Brice, M.A., died July 30th, 1740, aged 70; he was interred in Netherbury Church. A mural tablet there, in the chancel, states that he was the Vicar for thirty years.

Peter was married to Katherine Pocock, b. 1677, d. 1742 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,4 buried 21 Sep 1742 in Netherbury, Dorset, England.4 Katherine was mentioned in her husband’s will. There is also a mention of Rev. John Pocock, who I assume is probably her brother.
Burial record lists her as “widow”.


i. Elizabeth2 Brice, b. 1711 in Netherbury, Dorset, England, baptized 25 Sep 1711 in Netherbury, Dorset,         England.5
ii. Grace Brice, b. c. 1712 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 d. 1738 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,4 buried 27 Dec 1738 in Netherbury, Dorset, England.4
2. iii. Margaret Brice b. 1713.
iv. Ann Brice, b. 1715 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 baptized 1 Oct 1715 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 d. 1730.
v. Hugh (Rev.) Brice, b. 1719 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 baptized 1719 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 d. 1793 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England, buried 10 Jan 1793 in Netherbury, Dorset, England.4 It seems as if Hugh may have been his grandfather, Hugh Brice of Crewkerne’s, heir.

Hugh Brice, son of Peter, matriculated at Oxford 5 Dec 1738, age 19.

In 1741 Rev. Hugh Brice of Netherbury, Dorset subscribed to a collection of sermons.
Generation Two

2. Margaret2 Brice (Peter1), b. 1713 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 baptized 22 Feb 1713 in Netherbury, Dorset, England,5 d. pre 1761. I can’t find marriage for Margaret and John yet, however at the time of her father’s death in 1640, she did not seem to be married yet. I based marriage on that and age of first child.

Margaret’s children John White, Margaret White and Eleanor White Rundle are mentioned in her brother, Hugh Brice’s, will in 1793. Margaret is listed as his “late sister” in the early section of the will, and daughter Eleanor is not married at that time. That would mean that Margaret died prior to 1761.

I could not find a burial for Margaret in either Pillaton or St. Neot.

She was married to John (Rev) White, on c. 1742, b. 1673, d. 1759 in Pillaton, Cornwall, England, buried 8 Dec 1759 in Pillaton, Cornwall, England,7 occupation Vicar of Pillaton. John: According to Richard Crow, this was a prosperous family, a part of which had come to St. Neot to settle at Woodland.

John’s children were all baptized in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall between 1744 and 1747. He may have been vicar there before moving to Pillaton. St. Julitta is the parish church for Lanteglos by Camelford.

John was the Rector at Pillaton from 1746 to 1758. Burial record says “The Rev’d John White”.

i. Eleanor3 White b. 1744 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 baptized 7 Jul 1744 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 d. 10 Oct 1808 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG,8 buried 18 Oct 1808 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG. Could be the Eleanor Rundle bur. in St. Neot 10 Oct 1808. In Richard’s Crow’s research, she is listed as “daughter of John White, Vicar of Pillaton”.

She was married to John “Gent” Rundle, on 14 Apr 1761 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG,9 b. c.1733 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG, (son of Jonathan “of Hole and Pengelly” Rundle [1676 – 1740] and Jane Rowe [1710 – 1788]), baptized 3 Feb 1736 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG,10 d. 12 Feb 1806 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG, , ,6 buried 17 Feb 1806 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG,9 resided “Little Gent” in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG.11 John: Witnesses to marriage of John and Eleanor were Charles Danger and Millicent Thomas. The couple were married by Banns which were read March 15, 22 and 29th.

Obituary says that John “was beloved and respected by all who knew him, particularly the poor of that neighborhood, to whom he was a most charitable friend”.
Obit says that he was 73 yrs old, so there is the possibility that he was baptized at age 3.
Sons Jonathan and Brice were his heirs with note that “widow having renounced her right”.

ii. John White b. 1745 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 baptized 16 Jan 1745 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 d. 1795 in St. Neot, Cornwall, England,9 buried 26 Jan 1795 in St. Neot, Cornwall, England,9 resided in St. Neot, Cornwall, England.9 The couple was married by License. Witnesses were John Parson and Phillip Hillman.

He was married to Mary Pomery, on 11 Sep 1769 in St. Neot, Cornwall, England,9 b. c. 1744,9, d. 1829 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG,9,13 buried 10 Jul 1829 in St. Neot, Cornwall, ENG.9 Mary: Mary (Pomery) White was age 84 at the time of her death at Treddinick.

iii. Margaret White baptized 21 Sep 1747 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 b. 1747 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 d. post 1793. Margaret was mentioned in her uncle, Hugh Brice’s, will in 1793. She is listed as “Margaret, formerly White, wife of Edward ___?”. I don’t have that marriage info yet.
iv. Jerome White b. 1747 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 baptized 21 Sep 1747 in Lanteglos by Camelford, Cornwall, England,5 d. 1751 in Pillaton, Cornwall, England,7 buried 14 Aug 1751 in Pillaton, Cornwall, England.7


[1] Oxford, University Of. Alumni Oxonienses., 1891. Reprint. London: Forgotten Books, 2013.

[1] Richard Hine, The History of Beaminster.

[1] Parish Printout Braunton, Devon, England; 1538-1812; Baptisms.

[1] Dorset, England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812.

[1] England Select Birth and Christenings 1538 – 1975.

[1] Wills : National Archive Download.

[1] Parish Registers for Pillaton, Cornwall, England.

[1] Richard Crow, The Hole Story: The History of a Cornish House , Self Published; 1996, Based on extensive research including: Parish Registers; Cornwall Diocesan Records (vital wills and inventories for probate), Manorial Records, National Census, Deeds to property of Hole, interviews with relatives of past owners and neighbors and misc documents.

[1] Parish Registers for St. Neot, Liskeard, Cornwall, Eng, Baptism to 1812;Baptisms 1813-1835; Baptisms 1836-1855; Burials and Marriages 1550 to 1900.St.Neot Parish Records; Church of England & Ireland; Bapt. 1549-1837. 1593-1600 Missing.

[1] Bishops Transcripts for St. Neot, Liskeard, Cornwall, Eng.

[1] Research by Arthur Runnells;.

[1] Obituary (newspaper clipping).

[1] Collection of Headstone Inscriptions and Photos.