Saturday, January 28, 2017

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Elizabeth Gaydon Burgess–1813-1884–My 3rd great grandmother

Diane with her G G G Grandmother Elizabeth BURGESS' headstone-June 2007
Me visiting Elizabeth in 2007

Elizabeth Gaydon is my 3rd great grandmother.  She was born
30 Jan 1813 in Barnstaple, Devon, England. 
Her parents were Richard Gaydon and Mary Thomas

Here is the index for the baptismal record.  No image has been located.
Devon Baptisms
First name(s)    Eliza
Last name    Gaydon
Baptism year    1813
Birth year    1813
Birth date   30 Jan 1813
Father's first name    Richard
Father's occupation    Mason
Mother's first name    Mary
Baptism place    Barnstaple St Peter
Residence    Barnstaple
County    Devon
Record set    Devon Baptisms
Category    Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Record collection   Births & baptisms
Collections from    Great Britain

The next record I have for Elizabeth is her marriage to Henry Burgess on 14 Nov 1832 in Barnstaple, Devon, England.

NOTE:  I began looking for the marriage record of Elizabeth and Henry Burgess in July 2009.  At the time I did not know what Elizabeth’s maiden name was.  I found several records that were possible, but Henry Burgess is a common name and of course, so is Elizabeth.  I keep research notes in my Legacy database and I date each entry.  Here’s the entry from my notes when I located the marriage record and my conclusions as to why I believed it to be the correct one.  Keeping research notes is critical for us as we look for information on our ancestors
7/18/14 - I believe I have just located the correct marriage record on  I believe this based on the name of the groom - Henry Burgess, the place - Barnstaple, the county - Devon, the year of marriage is before the recorded birth year of the first child - 1832 and the bride's name is Elizabeth Gaydon - I have her name as Elizabeth Gaden from the death certificate of their daughter Susan.

Devon Marriages from FindMyPast website 

No image available
First name(s)  Henry
Last name  Burgess
Marriage year  1832
Marriage date   14 Nov 1832
Parish  Barnstaple
Place   Barnstaple
Spouse's first name(s  )Elizabeth
Spouse's last name  Gaydon
County    Devon
Record setDevon Marriages
CategoryBirth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Record collectionMarriages & divorces
Collections from    Great Britain

Henry & Elizabeth had 3 children that I know of – William Gayden Burgess born 27 Nov 1835, John born about 1837 (married Jane Browning) and my 2nd great grandmother, Susan born 20 Nov 1841 and lived to the age of 91.

I find Henry and Elizabeth enumerated in the 1851 and 1861 census in Tiverton, Devon, England.

Here’s the 1851 census.  From my post 2 weeks ago about Thomas Gillespie, you’ll note that Thomas and his family are living next door to the Burgess family.  Susan Burgess later married Joseph Gillespie.

1851_Burgess_Henry plus Gillespie_Joseph and familiies 1851 England

Here’s the Burgess family in the 1861 English census.  The children are out of the house, but I notice the same boarder that was with them in 1851, Charlotte Rudaway. I wonder if she is a relative?

1861_BURGESS_Henry & Elizabeth_111 John St_Tiverton Devon England
Elizabeth is next found as the person who paid for her daughter Susan and husband Joseph Gillespie and their two children to come to the United States on 23 Dec 1862.
Source for this information came from a book I purchased titled Passage to America 1851-1869: The Record of Richard Elliott, Passenger Agent, Detroit, Michigan, by Mary Lou Straith Duncan  My family is listed on page 68.  This book was published by the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research c/o Burton Historical Collection.  The ISBN is 0-943112-22-2.  You can find the book here.  Scroll down to the 12th item on the page.

The transcript from page 68 gives the following information:
Date: 23 Dec 1862
No. 3120
By Whom Paid – Mrs. Elizabeth Burgess
Port of Departure – Liverpool
Destination – Detroit
Passenger’s Names – Joseph Gillespie, Susan Gillespie, 2 infts
Total cost – 56.00 (there is no notation as to what currency)

There are two Elizabeth Burgess’ listed on other pages in this book.  One is on page 64, item 3026, travel date 27 May 1862.  The other on page 113, item 4219, travel date 16 Aug 1866.  Could either one of these be our Elizabeth?  Since no ages or other identifying information is given, it’s difficult to determine.  I find no passenger records to go along with these dates.

In the 1880 census I find Elizabeth Burgess living with her daughter Susan and husband Joseph at 71 Jones St., Detroit, Michigan.

  • When did Henry Burgess die?  I have looked on FindMyPast, Ancestry and Family Search for a death record and cannot find one.  Plenty of Henry Burgess’ but which one is the right one?
  • When did Elizabeth Burgess come over to the U.S.?  Based on the information in the book referenced above, she did not travel with her daughter, Susan and family as only 2 adults are listed and paid for.  However, there are two other listing for Elizabeth Burgess in the book.  Could one of them be her?
I located the notice of Elizabeth’s funeral. This notice was published in the Detroit Free Press, Sunday, May 18, 1884, page 1.  It reads as follows:

“BURGESS – At the residence of her son-in-law, J. Gillespie, 71 Jones street, on Friday, May 18, at ___o’clock p.m, Mrs. Elizabeth Burgess, aged 70 years, after a long and painful illness.  The funeral will take place on Monday afternoon at ___o’clock from residence.  Friends of the family invited to attend.”

I don’t know what the “painful illness” was.  The death certificate I received from the State of Michigan is woefully lacking in detail.  I would like to see the actual register entry for her death and will look for it on my next visit to the Family History Library.

BURGESS_Elizabeth_death cert from Mich 1884

I was able to locate a copy of Elizabeth’s probate record.
Here is the cover of the will packet.

BURGESS_Elizabeth_Probate and will_1884-1885_Detroit_Wayne_Michigan_Page_01_cropped

Here is the first page of the probate record and my transcription of it.

BURGESS_Elizabeth_Probate and will_1884-1885_Detroit_Wayne_Michigan_Page_02


To the Hon. Edgar O. Durfee, Judge of Probate for the County of Wayne, in the State of Michigan:

            The Petition of Susan Gillespie who is the age of twenty-one years and upwards, of the County of Wayne of State of Michigan respectfully shows:

            That Elizabeth Burgess departed this life on Friday the Sixteenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four leaving her last Will and Testament, as your petitioner is informed and verily believes.

That said deceased was, at the time of her death, an inhabitant of the City of Detroit in said County of Wayne and State of Michigan that she was possessed of real and personal Estate, situate and being in the County of Wayne, to be administered, and that the estimated value thereof is the sum of One Thousand Dollars, or thereabout, of which Fifty Dollars is personal estate, as your petitioner is informed and verily believes.

            And your petitioner further shows that the names and residences of the heirs of law of said deceased, and other persons interested in said estate are as follows:

            Susan Gillespie, Detroit County Wayne Mich.
            William Burgess                                  
            John Burgess                                      
            Susan Milne                                        
            Said Susan, William and John Burgess being children of said deceased and said Susan Milne being a grandchild of said deceased and lega__ under said will.

            Your petitioner therefore prays That said will which is placed on file for probate may be allowed and that admistration [misspelled on form] of said estate may be granted to Edwin F. Culver the _______________ named and that such other further order and proceedings may be had in the premises as may be required by the statues in such case made and provided.

            Dated May 21st A.D. 1994
                                                                            Susan Gillespie (signature)

I was able to visit Elizabeth’s burial place in Detroit, when I went there in June 2007.  She is buried at Elmwood Cemetery near her daughter, Susan and son-in-law Joseph Gillespie.  The back of her headstone says “wife of Henry Burgess died May 16, 1884 aged 69 years.”
You can see the front of her headstone in the picture at the top of this post.

Burgess_Elizabeth_back of headstone

You may visit her FindAGrave memorial here #2177653.

I still don’t know anything, other than names, for Elizabeth’s parents or if she had any siblings. Work yet to be done.

If you are related to anyone mentioned in this post, please contact me, we might be cousins.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Diane, I've only recently started using the Research Manager of my family tree software. I'm getting into the habit! Wonderful photo of you visiting Elizabeth. I like the way you used the front of the marker on top and the back on the bottom of the post. ~ Cathy

    1. Those research notes are invaluable to me Cathy. I started dating them years ago, otherwise there is just no way to know when I found or didn't find something. Comes in very handy.
      Funny thing about the headstone photos. I didn't plan it and until you mentioned it, didn't even think about it. I do think that sometimes we "just know" what works as we prepare our blog posts.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    2. You're welcome. I'm enjoying your posts.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.