Saturday, April 9, 2011

Barnabus Burch

Barnabus Burch
From the Martin-Neely Family History by Louise Neely:
"Barnibus Burch was an old man in his seventies and almost 'bed ridden with rhymatiz', what we now call arthritis. He was one of the two or three men who were hauled to Gainesville in a wagon because he could not mount a horse.
The Burch family lived just north of what is now Burns City.
At the mock trial, Barnibus Burch made the statement: 'one night recently I had a dream, I thought this was a needless war. I thought the North over ran the South. This disheartened me. Truly, old men shall see visions and young men dream dreams." (from Acts 2 verse 17) He was found guilty and hanged. All of the men who were hanged had signed the Montgomery Act.
After Barnibus Burch was hanged, his body, with all of the others who were hanged, was thrown in a warehouse, on the square, that was owned by James Bourland. The next day Burch's wife and daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Burch) Neely went to Gainesville and brought his body back to his farm. The two women dug the deepest grave they could and buried him in a fence row, near Wade Lake. It is now the Marvin Cason place…
The irony of all this is that the son-in-law of Barnibus Burch, James Neely, Jr. was away fighting for the Confederacy when the hangings occurred. James Martin Neely, Jr. was in Morgan’s Battalion and saw action in Arkansas and Louisiana. His Confederate Pension was number 26367 from Cooke Co., Texas."
Neely, Louise Y., Neely-Martin Descendants Privately published in Dallas, Texas; 1982, Chapter 3, page 55-56.

The trial of Barnabus Burch from page 84 of George Washington Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862:
Trial of Barnabas Birch
“On being arraigned he confessed his guilt, giving the signs, grip and password. He was a participant in the Ramey Dye meeting. While his trial was pending he addressed the court as follows:
One night recently I had a remarkable dream, which runs this way: I thought that the North had overrun and surrounded the South which disheartened me. I could see no way for the South to escape. This dream, with what I heard (of the organization,) determined my course. I further dreamed that the Federals took me prisoner, and an officer gave me some liquor and I drank it; and it proved to be the best liquor I ever drank in my life.
Truly, 'the old men shall see visions, and the young men shall dream dreams.'
Birch was found guilty and hung.”
George Washington Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862, ManuscripteEdited by Sam Acheson and Julie. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. LXVI, January, 1963, No. 3, pages 331-414.

McCaslin on Barnabus Burch:
“Barnibus Burch moved to Hood County, Texas, from Missouri about 1850, then to Cooke County by 1860. He was approximately seventy years of age, and crippled with arthritis, when he paid twelve cents in taxes on his personal property in 1862. His name is penciled in above that of “Thomas Burch” on the 1862 tax roll for Cooke County found in UNT.”
McCaslin, Richard B., Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862, Louisiana State University Press, 1994, page 196.

1830 Morgan County, Illinois
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 2
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39: 2
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 4
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7

In 1850, the Barnabus Burch family is found living in Hickory County, Missouri.

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 37, Hickory, Missouri; Roll: M432_401; Page: 61B

By the 1860 Census the Barnabus Burch family was living in Hill County, Texas.  They were living in the same household has N. A. and Sarah McPhaul.  Sarah may be an older daughter of Barnabus.

Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Division, Hill, Texas; Roll: M653_1297; Page: 97; Family History Library Film: 805297

The Barnabus Burch Family
Note: Barnabus Burch and family can be found in quite a few message boards and online databases such as and It seems that most of the information in these databases have just been copy and pasted from each other -- none seem to have sources. We have not found well documented information for the Barnabus Burch family. Below is a sample of what can easily be found online. We would welcome a well researched family history for Barnabus Burch.

Barnabus Burch was the son of James Phillip Burch and Sarah Gillespie (or Whaley). Barnabus was born about 1798 in Surry, North Carolina and died 19 Oct 1862 at Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.
Barnabus had at least two wives, but he may have had three.
He married (1) M. May about 1822.
Children of Barnabus Burch and M. May are:
1.George Milton Burch, born 1823; died 26 Oct 1889 in Camden County, MO, marr Mary Elizabeth Green (1833-?)
2.Tillman Barnabus Burch, born 19 Feb 1824; died 07 Apr 1893, marr Susan Slaven (1836-1918) 1 Jun 1854 McLennan County, TX
3. Capt. William "Bill" Burch, born 28 Aug 1825 in Monroe Co.,Indiana; died 11 Oct 1893 in Maysville, Garvin Co., Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, Marr Teletha Cox
4. Sarah Cordelia Burch, born about 1829 in Illinois. Married to N. A. PcPhaul? Did he die while serving in the Civil War?
5. Cynthia Burch, born Jul 1834, died Apr 1924, marr Henry Matlock (1843-1896) 20 Dec 1860 Cooke County, TX.  Husband Henry was serving in the Confederate army when the confederate hanged her father.

Barnabus married (2) Mary McConnell (some add Jackson as a surname?) 18 Apr 1839 in Scott County, Illinois.
Children of Barnabus Burch and Mary McConnell are:
1.David Austin Burch born 1840 Missouri.  Married Lucinda Hutchinson.  Deid 3 Aug 1909 Jasper County, Missouri
2. Elizabeth Ann Burch born 16 Apr 1842 in Neosha, MO; marr James Martin Neely 8 Mar 1861 in Cooke County, TX. While James served for the Confederacy, Elizabeth took her little family to Missouri to be close to her brothers.
3.Catherine Burch born 1845 Missouri
4. Rosetta Burch born 1847 Missouri
5.Lunetta Burch born 19 May 1847 in Missouri.  Died 24 Jan 1911 Newton County, Missouri.  Married Americus Murray 24 Oct 1880 Newton County, MO.
6.Elizetta (Alzetta) Burch born 1851 Missouri married possibly John S. Martin 13 May 1878 Newton County, Missouri.
7.Lucinda Burch, born Apr 1852 Missouri, married possibly Aaron Miles 1874 in Indiana.
8. Angeline Burch, born 1854 Missouri; married Henry M. Land 08 Aug 1880 in Jasper, Missouri. Angeline lived with sister, Elizabeth Neely in 1870 census and brother, David A. Burch in 1880 census.

It seems as if most of the Burch family left Texas and traveled back to Missouri sometime after their father died in the Hanging and before 1870.  As stated in the above Neely-Martin history, Elizabeth Ann Burch Neely left Texas and took her little family to Missouri to live with her older half-brothers.  Elizabeth's younger sisters most likely traveled with her.   Elizabeth Neely can be found in the 1870 Dallas County, Missouri census with her husband,children and youngest sister, Angeline Burch.    Rosetta Burch can be found in 1870 in Dallas County, Missouri, living with the West Family.  Alzetta Burch can be found in 1870 Hickory County, MO, living with J. A. Romans family.  In the 1870 census of Dallas County, Missouri, there is a 20 year old Lunthe Burch, which could be Lunetta or Lucinda.  She is living next door to her brother, Milton Burch, with his mother-in-law, Margaret Green.  So, it seems as if the younger children of Barnabus Burch were scattered, living with whoever would take them in.  It is not known what happened to their mother, Mary.  No records have been found for her.

Any additional information on this family would be appreciated.  Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Hi, all! I'm a descendant of Barnabus Burch through his daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Burch) Neely. Her daughter, Mattie Jane (Neely) Walker, was the mother of my great-grandfather, Oliver Ansel Walker. Mattie Jane (Neely) Walker and her family
lived in Cooke and Denton counties before they moved to Oklahoma around 1915. My great grandfather Oliver Ansel Walker grew up in Oklahoma, and many of his descendants still live in Oklahoma. I'm living in Denton County, so there are still Barnabus Burch relatives around here!

Riley Stephens said...

hello, my name is Riley Stephens and as part of my Local History Course at UNT I have been assigned Barnibus Burch as my person to gather as much information as possible and complete a family tree for an essay due at the end of the semester. I was wondering if you could tell me why the spelling of the name was changed from Barnibus to Barnabus.