The history of James Ceburn Burch…
does not begin with him, but with all the ancestors so far found from whom he descended as reported by a researcher of the Burch family.
The earliest documented Burch ancestor found is his father John C. Burch who
was born 1812 in Georgia and died 10 Aug 1858 in Randolph County, Alabama. He was
riding either a horse or mule that ran under a low tree limb. John C. Burch died of a broken neck.
James’ mother was Mary Ann Burroughs, daughter of Joshua Burroughs and Mary
Barnhill. (Depending on census year the Burroughs name has also been spelled
Burris, Burress, and Burrows. The final spelling of Burroughs was used from
1850 onward.) Mary Barnhill was the daughter of Mary Clancy Barnhill. A 1840
census for Georgia (Meriwether County, image 59) has Joshua Burris living next
door to the household of James Barnhill his wife, their 2 young children, a
teen age male too old to be his child, and an older woman who can only be his
mother Mary Clancy Barnhill then aged 60-70. (Mary Clancy lived 107 years, and
daughter Mary Barnhill Burroughs lived 105 years.)
Also, depending on census year Mary Ann Burroughs Burch birth place listed as
Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Her mother and grandmother are
both listed on the 1870 census as being born in North Carolina.
Georgia marriage records have John C. Burch and Mary Burris wed on 15 December 1842 in Meriwether County.
They moved almost immediately to Randolph County,
Alabama. Many members of their extended families also moved there about the
same time. The 1850 census, Al, Randolph County, Weedowee Beat 12, image 9,
shows John C. and Mary Ann as parents of Berry (Little Berry) age 7, Seaborn
(James Ceburn) age 5, and Edward (Anderson) 2. Martha Sousan was born 1851,
William Thomas was born 10 Apr 1855. The 1860 census shows Mary Ann Burch and
her 4 sons still living in Randolph County. Daughter Martha Sousan died 1853
and is buried next to her father.
At the same time in 1860 Randolph County, (Randolph P O , image 18) the
household of William and Sarah Eubanks includes Matilda and her daughter
Adeline age 5. Matilda’s relationship to other members of this household has
never been determined. There is a son of William and Sarah named Thomas
Griffin age 10. A very small bible passed down to this writer records
Matilda’s full name as Katherine Matilda Eubanks, born 12 Mar 1828, and her
daughter as Adeline Josephine Eubanks, born 12 Feb 1856.
With permission, follows a piece written by the g-g-grand daughter of Edward
Anderson Burch which details the service of Little Berry and James Ceburn
Burch in the War between the States.
“Our Confederate Ancestors
By Kathy Burch Spit
Pvt. Berry Burch (b 2 Feb 1845 – d 20 Dec 1911) Company ‘F’
Berry Burch was the son of John C. Burch (b 1812) and Mary Ann Burris
He joined the 25th Alabama Infantry at age 16.
The “Census of Enumeration of Confederate soldiers residing in Alabama, 1907”
states the following:
“First entered military service as a Private on 30 Oct 1861 [Nat’l Archives
information states the date was 19 Oct 1861] in Wesobulga, Alabama in the 25
Alabama Infantry Company F. Paroled and discharged April 26 1865 at
Greensboro, North Carolina.” Under “Other service” Berry stated, “The 25th
Alabama Regiment consolidated with the 22 Alabama Regiment between 1st and
15th April 1865 and my company was Co. F. After the consolidation it became
Co. D and I was paroled under Co. D 22 Alabama Reg. on 26 Apr 1865.”
Military records obtained from the Alabama Department of Archives and History
reflect that Berry Burch received payroll dated near Dalton, GA February 29,
Military records obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D. C.
reflect that Berry Burch was present Sept. and Oct., 1863 and reenlisted in
the service of the Confederate States on March 14, 1864 near Dalton, GA
James Ceburn Burch (b 15 Jan 1848 – d 23 Jun 1932) Company ‘F’
James Ceburn Burch was the son of John C. Burch (b 1812) and Mary Ann Burris
(Burroughs) and younger brother to Berry Burch. Military records for James
Ceburn Burch are as follows:
“BURCH, James, Private, age 16. Eyes: Blue Hair: Light Height 5 Ft. 8
inches. Complexion Fair, Born in Randolph Co. Alabama. Occupation: Farmer
Captain Jefferson Falkner Company Mounted Infantry. Home
Roll Dated Wedowee Ala. Oct 20th, 1864”
Also on record – “Burch, James Coborn (or Ceburn) Co. F. 25th Ala. Private.
Born Feb 18, 1848 at Blake’s Ferry in Randolph County, State of Alabama.
Enlisted Spring of 1864 at Columbia S. C. and continued until Spring of
1865. Paroled at Raleigh N. Carolina. Served as Home Guard about 12 months
before enlisting in regular service as above
stated. Address Anderson Ala. Census Tax Assessor, Lauderdale County. 1907″
James C. Burch applied for Soldier’s Pension in September, 1923, at the age of
75 years, 8 months, and 25 days. His application is signed by him on
September 26th. On it he states he enlisted in Georgia. The application
contains a “Certificate As To Service By A Confederate Veteran” signed by
Capt. F. M. Handley, Roanoke, Alabama, notarized by W. H. Welch, Notary Public
for the State of Alabama, Lauderdale County. It also contains affidavits of
T. L. Howard and T. R. Gurley of Anderson, Alabama (Lauderdale County)
attesting that they have known the applicant “20 and 30 years respectively,”
and that they “consider him to be a truthful and reliable person and do not
believe that he would make a false statement for the purpose of securing a
pension.” This affidavit is notarized by W. J. Hammond, Notary Public.
James Ceburn did not give any specific dates on his pension application. He
only states his enlistment as “January, 1865,” and the length of service
as, “something over 3 months.” He also states that his parole papers
were, “lost in
some way.” (None of this is surprising, considering he was a 78 year-old
man trying to recall specific dates and locate papers nearly 60 years after
the war!) He also states that he was paroled in May, 1865 because the “war
was over,” that he was married in “1878 or 9” but his wife was dead, and that
he lived with his two daughters. When asked if he belonged to a Camp of
United Confederate Veterans he answered he belonged to “Camp Hobbs No. 400.”
When asked if he had taken the oath of allegiance to any other government than
the Confederate States
before April 9, 1865, he wrote an emphatic “NO!” He also stated that was a
registered voter of “Beat #1 Lauderdale Co. Ala.” He did not list any
It is evident that James Ceburn tried to sign his full name at least twice on
this application, eventually signing the application a mark. The
signature/mark is witnessed by J. I. McClure, a Judge of Probate for
Lauderdale County, Alabama. The application is stamped as received by the
Pension Commission on October 4, 1923.
It appears that James C. had trouble proving his military service when he
applied for Pension because of the lost parole papers. This is evident
through correspondence with the Alabama Pension Commission, in October,
1923, which is on file with the Alabama State Archives. The first letter
from the Pension Commission, dated October 11, 1923, is to the Adjutant
General, War Department, Washington, D. C. and asks for James Ceburn’s record
of service, capture, or parole, naming Capt. F. M. Handley as first officer,
Col. Johnson, and Col Rouse. Capt. F.M. Handley is named as a witness to the
certificate. The reply, in memo form from Robert C. Davis, Adjutant General,
U.S. War Department dated October 19, 1923 states the following:
“The name James C. Burch, has not been found on the only roll on file in this
office of Co. F (Capt. F.M. Hendley) 25th Regt. Ala. Inf. C.S.A. covering the
period Sept. & Oct 1863 and no record has been found of the enlistment,
capture, or parole of a man of that name and orgn. [organization]. The name
J.C. Burch, prt. [part] of above orgn. appears on a Register of Pettigrew Gen.
Hosp. No. 13. Raleigh, N.C. showing him admitted Apr. 10, 1865 and transferred
Apr. 12, 1865. No later record has been found. George D. Johnston was Col. of
above Regt. Col. Rouse has not been identified.”
On October 23, 1923, the Alabama Pension Commission wrote a letter to James C.
Burch, requesting the following:
Will you please inform us whether after enlisting as a soldier you were sent
to a Hospital while in North Carolina and give if you can the name of the
hospital and where it was located. Were you in the Hospital when the war
James C.’s reply on October 25, 1923 was a hand-written note, written directly
on the Pension Commission’s letter:
I was in a Hospital in North Carolina two or three days, but do not remember
name of the town, or the name of the Hospital, but it was somewhere between
Kingston and Raleigh N.C. My company was retreating before the enemy, and I
was placed on a box car and moved to Raleigh, N.C. and remained there till the
James C. Burch”
Another letter from the Alabama Pension Commission, also written on October
23, 1923 was to Capt. F. M. Handley, Roanoke, Alabama. It states:
“Your name appears as a witness to the pension application of Mr. James C.
Burch, who states he served about three months and was paroled in May 1865, in
North Caroline (sic).
Will you please inform us whether your company was surrendered at Greensboro
or Salisbury, North Carolina, or where it was surrendered? Do you recall
whether Mr. Burch was in a hospital at the time of the surrender? Do you
recall a Hospital called Pettigrew Hospital and where it was located? Please
give us the information requested at your earliest convenience.”
The reply, again hand-written on the bottom of the original letter and dated
October 28. 1923, states:
“Cant (sic) answer any of the above questions. Wasn’t with company when it
surrendered. Off on a wounded furlough.” This note is signed “T.M. Handley
for M.H” (assuming that M.H. is Capt. Handley and T.M. is possibly a relative
writing on his behalf). Another note written on the same letter which
appears to be in a different handwriting reveals, “M. Handley died. Can’t
attach thought or incidents.”
1870, Alabama, Randolph County (Blake’s Ferry) Township 20 Wedowee, image 120.
James is back home with his mother and younger brother William Thomas. Edward
has married Elizabeth K Taylor and has a 1 year old son John. Little Berry has
married Nancy J Ogletree and has one son born Mar 1870.
Meanwhile, Katherine Matilda Eubanks, her daughter Adeline age 14, and Griffin
Eubanks age 20 are still residing in Randolph County.
Adeline Josephine Eubanks became the bride of James Ceburn Burch on 19
November 1874. James and Adeline became the parents of:
Robert Lee, born 11 Oct 1875
Lela Jane, born 6 Feb 1877
Dora Montana, born 13 Mar 1879
Ada Dixie, born 17 Apr 1881
Julia Ann, born 23 Dec 1882
Della Lee, born 2 Apr 1885
Gustus, born Aug 1887
Lavada, born 27 Jun 1890
Cora Josephine, born 7 Oct 1892, died 19 Mar 1896
James William, born 23 Dec 1894.
In 1880 James, Adeline, their 3 oldest children, and Katherine Matilda make up
one household in Randolph County, Flat Rock, house 271/290. Edward and his
wife are in house 223/238 with 4 children and his mother Mary Ann Burch. In
the next house are Little Berry Burch, his wife and their 6 children.
Sometime before 1890 James, Edward, and Little Berry moved their entire
households to Cullman, Alabama. It was there that Cora Josephine died and was
buried in 1896. Little Berry settled in Cullman County where he died 20 Dec
1911 and his wife died 17 Dec 1913. Edward and his wife also stayed in Cullman
County. She died 20 Dec 1904. Edward eventually moved on to Lawrence County,
TN where he died Jan 1940. Their brother William Thomas married Cinthia Reed
Sanders and they settled in Morgan County, Al. where they raised their family
of 15 children.
The mothers, Mary Ann Burch and Katherine Matilda Eubanks, both died and were
buried in Cullman County.
Before 1900 James Ceburn and Adeline moved on to the little town of Anderson
near the Tennessee border in Lauderdale County, Alabama. (1900 census,
Lauderdale, Mitchell Beat, image 9) There James owned and operated a cotton
ginning mill and another member of the family owned and operated a water-
driven grist mill on the little creek that flows through the town.
One by one, the children of James and Adeline married and moved on to their
Robert Lee married 7 Dec 1898 to Cinthia Adeline Griffin and lived to 16 Dec
1955, seven children.
Lela Jane married Aug 1902 to Jasper Newton Hammond and died 29 Apr 1947, five
Dora Montana married 25 Dec 1901 to Stephen D Howard and died 5 Dec 1956, one
Julia Ann married about 1906 to Mack Lonnis Ingram and died 27 May 1940, three
Della Lee married 19 Jul 1903 to Jesse Lee Eastep and died 22 Apr 1926, ten
Gustus married Jane Ellen Lee and died 28 Sep 1956, twelve children
Lavada married Sam Threet, died 19 Jan 1932, her only child a son.
James William married 7 Aug 1915 to Edna Mae Thornton and died 2 Nov 1961, two
Ada Dixie, known in the family as Aunt Dixie, never married, remained in the
old home place at Anderson, and raised Lavada’s son. She died 29 Mar 1967.
Adeline died 13 June 1922 at Anderson, Alabama.
In 1932 James Ceburn Burch attended a reunion of Confederate Soldiers in
Richmond, Va. The quarters assignment receipt says he was assigned to cot #
1253 in Johnston Hall at Camp DeSaussure, was from Florence, Al, served in Co
F, 25th, rank Private. Attendants were Mrs W.B. Burch (as yet not identified
within the family) and Lillian Hammond, the 29 year old daughter of Lela Jane
Burch Hammond. Mrs Burch was given cot # 1254, room 1, Johnston Hall, Lillian
Hammond had cot # 1360, room 3, Johnston Hall.
At the end of the reunion the family group departed and headed for Washignton
DC. There was a vehicle accident and James Ceburn died of his injuries 23 Jun
1932 at the Quantico military hospital. His body was returned to Anderson, Al
where he was buried at Mitchell Cemetery. He had lived 84 years, 5 months and
8 days. Many members of his family and descendants are buried nearby.
Sadly, we still don’t know if James Ceburn ever got his pension!