Thomas Burnham: In Process of Updating

I just posted this on the page for the Descendants of Thomas Burnham of Windsor, CT.
The info on that page is a mess..and I’m happy to say that I’m going through it .. checking sources, adding info etc.

As always, I’m happy to hear from anyone with additional information with sources!

* Note: 14 June 2016
I am in the process of going over ALL of my Burnham info. I have found a lot of errors and /or missing info. I will update this page as soon as I get the review done (I’m up to 5th generation of Descendants of Thomas). Please don’t use any of this information, except as a starting point for your own research, until I update. Many thanks to Jim Burnham for spurring me on! I had lost a lot of info in a computer crash years ago..and he got me motivated to go back and re-do this entire line. I’ve found a lot of new info as well!

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.