Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family by Jesse Stallings BURRIS

Two days ago I heard from a lady named Terri, who is a descendant of Benjamin W. BURRIS. Benjamin is the brother of Sarah Jane BURRIS, mother of Arelia Darnella (TAYLOR) SPORTS. Their father was William BURRIS, Jr.

Previously I had William BURRIS, Jr.'s will and knew his children's names. I knew his first wife was a CHANDLER, daughter of James CHANDLER (who moved to Amite, MS), but I did not know her name. William's second wife was named Jane. Terri sent me information which revealed that William's first wife was named Martha CHANDLER. Terri wrote:

There is a book called "The Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris Family" by Jesse Stallings Burris, written in 1952. It follows the family of the brother of the William Burris whose will I referenced in my original email. This family moved to Amite Co. MS in the early 1800's. But it had one really interesting nugget of information. It lists the children of Martha Chandler and William Burris. James Chandler was a friend of Samuel Burris who also moved to MS, and in James Chandler's will, he left money "to the children of my deceased daughter Martha Burris, the late wife of William Burris of Darlington District, South Carolina, the number and names of them I do not know, four thousand dollars." Then there were court documents filed in Darlington County and in Amite Co., MS, to establish who those children were. The one cited in the book is from Darlington on Oct. 16, 1832.The children listed are as follows: Benjamin W. Burris, Ira E. Burris, William M. Burris, Emily Burris Fraser, Samuel N. Burris, Elizbeth Burris, John Burris, and Martha Burris.

I have found the book on-line on Google Books and will transcribe the pertinent parts.
The Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family
by Jesse Stallings BURRIS, Flora Mae BURRIS, and Mamie Lettie BURRIS-SIMMONS
1952, Pelican Publishing Co., Inc., 1000 Burmaster St., Gretna, LA, 70053, on-line on Google Books
Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 6 Dec 2009

p. 93 Data on the Samuel and Mary (MYERS) BURRIS Family

One of the first families by the name of Burris and one of the pioneer families to settle Amite County, Mississippi, was doubless the Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris Family. The migrated there from Darlington District, South Carolina in 1809....

The prior migration to Amite County of close friends may have influenced their migration there. He appears to have migrated to Amite county in 1807, two years prior to Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris's migration there. According to American State Papers--Lands II, pp. 243-8 --he was granted 320 acres of land on the Amite River in 1807. This place is though to be on the East Fork of Amite River, about seven miles east of Liberty, Miss., and near the place known as Chandler's Hill, which doubtless got its name from James Chandler. This place is also near the place where Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris settled. According to a nearby resident of Chandler's Hill, there is an old broken-up tombstone near an old grave on this hill, which tombstone has James Chandler's name engraved on it, indicating that he was buried there....

p.96-97 Will of Samuel BURRIS, copied from Amite County Records:

The Last Will and Testament of Samuel Burris as Exhibited by the Executrix, Mary Burris, and James Chandler, Executor

For Probate Record
Mississippi Territory
Amite County}

In the name of God, Amen. I, Samuel Burris, of the territory and county aforesaid, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, blessed be to God, do make this my last will and testament, and first give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Burris, all of my personal estate, consisting of five Negroes, horses, dogs, cattle, household and kitchen furniture, duing her natural life, and, at the same time, what money I have by me and what will arised from the sale of my land in the State of South Carolina, or, at least as much of it as can be conveniently spared from the necessay support of my family, to be laid out for the lands, at the commencement of the sales of the public lands and the land so bought shall be equally divided amongst my children at the death of their mother, together with all my property, whether real or personal; and lastly, I do appoint my beloved wife, Mary Burris, Executrix, together with James Chandler, Executor, to this my last will and testament. I also give and bequeath to my son, John Burris, my shot gun.

In witness, whereof, I have set my hand and affixed my seal this 10th day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, and in the thirty-sith of the American Independence.

Samuel Burris (L.S.)
John Wilson
Craddock Gober

[There follows an inventory of the estate and other documents regarding the orphaned children and the estate.]

p. 99 The Relationship of Samuel Burris and James Chandle

....In James Chandler's will, James bequeaths "to the children of my deceased daughter, Martha Burris, the late wife of William Burris of Darlington District, South Carolina, the number and names of them I do not know, four thousand dollars." Just who this William Burris was, and what kin, if any to Samuel Burris, is not known. It is thought, though, that he may have been Samuel's brother, or nephew; and that it was for this brother (or nephew) that Samuel named his son, William.

Also, in James Chandler's will, he bequeaths one thousand dollars to his step-son, Sam'l B. Simmons. Samuel Burris's daughter, Harriet Almira, married a man by the same name and it is thought that he was this step-son of James Chandler's that she married.

The following document, which was drawn up and executed in Darlington District, S.C., and copied from the Amite County, Miss., records, distinguishes this William Burris of Darlington District, S.C., husband of Martha Chandler, late daughter of James Chandler

p. 100

whom James Chandler mentions in his will, and to whose children he bequeaths some of his estate, from Samuel and Mary (Myers) Burris's William:

State of South Carolina
Darlington District}

Personally appeared before me, Hugh E. Cannon, who being first duly sworn, says that he has been acquainted with William Burris and Martha Burris as man and wife since the time that Ira E. Burris was born, who was the second child of said William and Martha--that Benjamin W. Burris was at that time reputed to be the first child of said William and Martha and always contained in the family of said Martha and William as one of their children--further deponent says that the lawful heirs or children of said Martha Burris are eight in number, to-wit: Benjamin W. Burris, Ira E. Burris, William M. Burris, Emily Burris (now Fraser), Samuel N. Burris, Elizabeth Burris, John Burris, and Martha Burris.

Hugh E. Cannon
Sworn to before me this 16th day o
Oct., 1832, Alex D. Sims, J. Q.

On-line on GOOGLE Books:
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © Teresa McVeigh 2009


  1. Thanks! I enjoyed the Burris/Myers/Chandler /Amite County Ms. connection connection!

  2. hi,i googled my mothers name one day and i came up with this book that has her brothers names also.Ellen Callia, Peter Jr. and Roger is my mother and her two brothers mentioned in this book. I knew them personally and thats how i know this is my mothers side of the family.Could you please contact me at ? It would mean so much to me as i do not have much on my familys history and would love to learn more.:)

  3. I need help to follow my blood line. Is there much information in the book about Ruby Lorelle Smith, DOB: Oct. 11, 1925. Please reply to