Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
One theory in regard to the origin of this patronymic says that it was anciently and properly written Beur, and that the name is one of locality, as any map of the Netherlands will show. Another theory is that it is from the German buer, meaning a rural district. The Buri were a German tribe mentioned by Tacitus. The name is not a numerous one in England, but it can be traced to an ancient date, even to Baldwin de Bures of Suffolk, who was living in 1193.
There are several families of Burrs now seated at Essex county, and their escutcheon is described in the College of Arms: Ermine, on a chief idented sable, two lions rampant, or. Underneath is the motto: "Virtus Honoris Januar" - Virtue is the door of honor.
The Burrs of this country are descended from four different ancestors. The first to arrive in America was Jehu Burr, who came with Winthrop's fleet in 1630, and settled in Roxbury, Mass., eventually making his home in Fairfield, Connecticut, where his descendants became pillars in the old colonial structure. One of his descendants in the fifth generation was Aaron Burr, who became vice-president of the United States, but whose name is less recalled in that connection than in his subsequent career of spelndid infamy. He was the son of Rev. Aaron Burr, president of Princeton College, and of his wife, the saintly Esther Edwards, daughter of the great theologian, Jonathan Edwards.
The second Burr, in point of time, to come to this country was Benjamin, a member of the sturdy and gallant band that marched through the wilderness to found the city of Hartford in 1635. His descendants became among the solid men of their various communities, and settled principally in Connecticut and New York, and are also quite numerous in Illinois and Iowa.
The third emigrant was Rev. Jonathan Burr, founder of the Dorchester, Mass., branch, and the ancestor of the following line. He was a man of finished education and eminent abilities, but was cut off in the prime of life before his career had really begun.
More than forty years after the first three founders arrived, the fourth, Henry Burr, came to New Jersey about 1681. He was a wealthy Quaker and an associate of William Penn; his descendants settled largely in New Jersey and eatern Pennsylvania.
(I) Rev. Jonathan Burr, who spelled his given name with an extra h, which his descendants have discareded, was born in the parish of Redgrave, county of Suffolk, England, in 1604, and was baptized on April 12 of that year as the son of Joseph Burr. He was entered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1623, and was graduated in 1627. At this period the death of his father necessitated his going out into the world, and he taught school for a while, then preached at Horniger, near Bury, in Suffolk, and afterward for several years at Rickingshall. The latter living was under the jurisdiction of the famous Arch-bishop Laud.
Mr. Burr, having advanced religious opinions, could not remain in his native land, and early in 1639, with his wife and three children, he sailed for the New World, and on his arrival in Boston proceeded at once to Dorchester, where we find him signing the Presbyterian church covenant in December of that year. His piety, zeal and eloquence were soon discovered by the church, which invited him to settle with them as a colleague of their pastor, Rev. Richard Mather. He accepted the call, but before being ordained a difficulty in regard to some points of doctrine arose between him and Mr. Mather. According to Governor Winthrop, Mr. Burr "delivered some points savoring of fatalism." The discussion grew so warm that it was thought expedient to call in help from other churches; accordingly, a meeting was held at Dorchester, composed of the govenor and ten elders of the neighboring churches. After four days consideration of the case, they rendered their opinion that both Mr. Mather and Mr. Burr had "cause for humility" and advised a reconciliation. This advice was heeded, and in February, 1640, Mr. Burr was settled as colleague; but his pastorate was of short duration. He died on Aug. 9, 1641, from a debility following smallpox.
Rev. Cotton Mather, in Book III of his famous Magnalia Christi, speaks in eloquent terms of the life and character of Rev. Jonathan Burr. The famous Thomas Hooker, hearing him preach at Charlestown, said: "Surely this man won't be long out of Heaven, for he preaches as if he were there already." His sickness was of but ten days duration; and "a few minutes before his death he requested the bystanders to withdraw, that he might have the opportunity to pray by himself a while, but they being loth to go, he prayed in Latin as long as he had strength to do it."
His widow, whose given name was Frances, married, some years later, Hon. Richard Dummer, of Newbury, Mass., and died Nov. 19, 1682, aged seventy years.
Jonathan, John and Simon, all born in England.
Jonathan, the eldest was educated by his stepfather, Hon. Richard Dummer, was graduated from Harvard in 1651, became a physician, and spent the last years of his life in England, where he died in 1691. It is thought that John Burr also returned to England, as no traces of him are found in America. The sketch of Simon Burr follows:
(II) Simon, youngest of the three sons of Rev. Johnathan and Frances Burr, was born in England, and when an infant was brought to this country by his parents in 1639. He died in Hingham, Mass., Feb. 7, 1692-93, intestate. He was granted lands in that place from 1645 to 1670, and was town overseer in 1659, surveyor from 1660 to 1662, and freeman in 1664. He was juror for the county of Suffolk in 1675.
Of his first wife we have no knowledge. The Hingham parish records merely inform us that on July 23, 1647, Simon Burr's wife died, and on Nov. 28, 1648, he married Hester _____.
Children by 2d marriage:
1. Simon, baptized Feb. 25, 1655.
2. Hannah, married John Hobart, of Hingham.
3. John, whose sketch follows.
4. Jonathan, born June 13, 1668.
(III) John, second son of Simon and Hester Burr, was born Jan. 6, 1660, at Hingham, Mass., died in that town Dec. 4, 1716. On Dec. 24, 1685, he married Mary, daughter of John Warren, of Hingham. She died July 26, 1742.
1. Mary, born Sept. 13, 1686, married Thomas Marsh, of Hingham.,br> 2. John, born Nov. 4, 1687, died in infancy.
3. Deborah, born Jan. 22, 1689.
4. Sarah, born Jan. 20, 1692.
5. John, born June 24, 1695. [trans. note: MINE!]
6. Jonathan, whose sketch follows.
7. Joshua, born Oct. 27, 1699.
8. Lydia, born Aug. 17, 1701, married Israel Vickray, of Hingham.
9. Abigail, born Aug. 17, 1701, married David Baldwin, of Hingham.
10. Elisha, born Dec. 3, 1703.
(IV) Jonathan (2), third son of John and Mary (Warren) Burr, was born at Hingham, Mass., Feb. 3, 1698, and died an accidental death, June 23, 1762. He was a cooper by trade, and received lands in Hingham and Cohasset by will of his father. Beside this property, his will mentions lands in Weymouth, Abington and Hanover. His estate amounted to nearly fourteen hundred pounds, a large sum in those days. He was killed by having a cart-wheel run over him.
On April 19, 1720, he married Mary Lincoln.
1. Mary, born June 7, 1721, married Moses Lincoln.
2. Sarah, born Feb. 6, 1723, married Jonathan Lane.
3. Jonathan, whose sketch follows.
4. John, born April 4, 1729.
5. Deborah, born Aug., 1731, married Thomas Andrews.
6. Thomas, born Aug. 24, 1735.
7. Levi, born March, 1738, died Oct. 4, 1741.
8. Samuel (twin), born March, 1738.
9. Silence, born April 3, 1742, married Peter Cushing.
(V) Jonathan (3), eldest son of Jonathan (2) and Mary (Lincoln) Burr, was born Dec. 28, 1726, at Hingham, Mass., and died there Dec. 17, 1804. On Jan. 30 1759 he married Hannah Bates.
1. Charles, whose sketch follows.
2. Warren, baptized Sept. 20, 1761.
3. Hannah, baptized Jan. 29, 1764, married ____ Lincoln, and removed to Maine.
4. Joseph, baptized Aug. 19, 1770.
Mrs. Hannah (Bates) Burr, widow of Jonathan, died Sept. 29, 1806.
(VI) Charles, eldest child of Jonathan (3) and Hannah (Bates) Burr, was born at Hingham, Mass., Aug. 31, 1759, and died at Brewer, Maine, Aug. 7, 1820. With his younger brother, Joseph, he migrated to Maine, and they were among the first to settle in what is now the neighborhood of Bangor. The exact year is not remembered, but it was between 1785 and 1790.
Charles was a maker of sugar-buckets and boxes, which was the trade generally pursued in Hingham at that time, and Joseph was a house-carptenter. Charles Burr was a strict disciplinarian of the old Puritan type, was a constant supporter of the Congregational order of faith, adn was always a Jeffersonian Democrat, as were all his children, male and female.
On May 24, 1795, Charles Burr married Polly Holyoke, of Brewer.
1. Charles, died in infancy.
2. Warren, mentioned below.
3. Caleb, born April 7, 1800.
4. Edward, born May 5, 1802.
5. Mary A., married Watson Holbrook.
6. Hannah, married Calvin Wiswell, living at Holden, Maine.
7. Gerry, born March 1, 1809.
8. Samuel, born July 6, 1812.
11. Charles, born May 14, 1818.
Mrs. Polly (Holyoke) Burr, the mother of this family, died Feb. 7, 1849.
(VII) Warren, second child of Charles and Polly (Holyoke) Burr, was born at Brewer, Maine, March 22, 1798, and died at Argyle in 1864. He married Eliza Emerson.
1. Warren, married Lois Spencer.
2. Mary, married Gilman Comstock.
3. Gerry, married Annie Dow.
4. Eliza, married Paul Dudley.
5. Sarah, married Wesley Foster; children: Ralph, married Sadie Pond; Isaac, married Etta Mann; Rachel, married Fremont Bussell.
6. Hannah, died aged two.
7. Hannah, married Stephen Higgins.
8. Abbie C., married to Wentworth Maxfield.
9. Jacob, married Jennie Durby, of St. John, New Brunswick.
10. Charles, now deceased, married Susan Kennedy.
11. Henry, twin of Charles, married Nora Burse.
(VIII) Abbie C., daughter of Warren and Eliza Burr, was born at Brewer, Maine, and on Oct. 9, 1861, was married to Wentworth Maxfield, of Bangor.