There are some postings on the internet and inclusions in some CDs that attribute 16 children to Mathew Burt, b York Co., VA about 1725 and d Edgefield County, SC 1794. These children include Willis and William and "a son born about 1770 who died young."
I offer the following comments, trusting that those so inclined to use that particular family grouping do so with the utmost of caution.
This particular family composition originated from the following by James Claude Burt, now deceased, but a respected Burt Family historian of earlier times:
THE MISSING SONS OF MATHEW BURT We have the necessary records to be certain of the relationship of the foregoing families. Now we will have to do some genealogical guessing about these other brothers and they would have to be older brothers to prove the truth of the story about the Seven Revolutionary War brothers. According to Dr. John Smith Burt of Ark. born 1819, son of Hewitt Burt, born 1791, we have ten brothers. If we take the word of Harriet Glover Watson of Anniston, Ala, descendant of Oswell Burt, born about 1810, a son of Francis Burt, born 1759, we have Twelve brothers. We almost have to take the Twelve brother record to satisfy the seven brother tradition. In Moody Burt's Application for Veterans' Benefits filed in 1836, he speaks of only his brother Robert as being in the War. A biographical sketch of Francis Burt, First Territorial Governor of Nebraska, says that his father, Francis Burt had Revolutionary War service. The other sons named in Mathew Burt's Will of 1794 were too young for service. We think that Mathew Burt lived in Mecklenberg County for perhaps ten years at least. In fact Harriet Glover Watson said that he moved from Mecklenberg County to Edgefield, but we know he lived in Charlotte County for twelve years prior to 1790. The Circuit Clerk of Mecklenberg has an Appraisal of the Estate of Mathew Burt dated 1778. So we can assume that he was one of the sons of Mathew, Sr. and close to John Burt in age, born say 1752. Then in a Deed in Charlotte County, Witnessed in 1790, we have the name of W. Burt, junr. (In these early days, Senior and Junior were used to distinguish an older and a younger, not necessarily father and son. In York County where W. - probably William- was born, Mathew had an older brother named William, also an uncle.) In our section "Virginians in the Revolution" we have Willis Burt in the 6th Colonial (Virginia) Regiment along with Mathew Burt. Willis is also a Burt family name and in Edgefield in 1814-15 we have several Land Deeds of Willis Burt. (This Willis Burt could possibly have been one of the sons of Robert Burt, died 1797.) Also we have John Burt in the Virginia State Regiment and William Burt in the Infantry. Now if we take John Burt, Mathew Burt, Willis Burt, William Burt, Moody Burt, Robert Burt and Francis Burt we have the seven brothers in the traditional story. We now make a new tabulation of Mathew Burt's Family 1. John Burt, born 1749-50 in York County, Va., died after 1820 perhaps in Abbeville County, S. C. 2. Mathew Burt, Jr., born 1751-52 in York County, died 1778 in Mecklenburg County, Va. 3. Willis Burt, born 1754 in York County, died - no record. He may have been in Edgefield County in 1816. 4. William Burt, born 1756 in York County. He may have remained in Charlotte County when his father moved to Edgefield in 1790. 5. Moody Burt, born in York County, Dec. 25, 1757, died in Anderson District, S. C. Oct. - Nov. 1843. 6. Francis Burt, born in York County in 1759, died in Pickens District June 9, 1838. 7. Robert Burt, born - we think - in York County, died late 1797 or early 1798 in Edgefield County 8. Harwood Burt, born 1762. (We do not know just when Mathew moved from York County. See Note about Pittsylvania. But he was in Mecklenburg for a number of years where probably the rest of his children were born). Harwood died in the summer of 1815 in Edgefield. 9. Mary Burt, born 1764-65. 10. Philip Burt, born 1767-68, died in Edgefield early 1829. 11. Do we have a son born about 1770 who died young. To satisfy the twelve brother tradition we have to have another son, whose name we have not found. 12. Edward Burt, born 1771, died in March, 1809 as a result of a fall from his horse. 13. Nancy Burt, born about 1773, died after 1840 in Anderson Dist. 14. Armstead Burt, born about 1775, died late 1839 in Edgefield. 15. Susannah Burt, born 1776-80, See first notation 16. Patsey Hewitt Burt, born 1776-80. " "
The following critical comments of the above were prepared by Bill Adams.
To start out what is supposed to be a definitive study of a family history with the initial statement that he will "have to do some genealogical guessing" makes the entire document suspect from the beginning.
And then: "We almost have to take the Twelve brother record to satisfy the seven brother tradition." Taking one tradition to satisfying another tradition still offers no proof for either tradition.
I have found no source for a "Twelve Brother" tradition. I do know that when Mathew wrote his will, he named twelve (12) living children, eight (8) sons and four (4) daughters. My question then becomes: Did some one through the many years, confuse "children (siblings)" with "brothers?"
In this will, Mathew Burt identifies himself as Mathew Burt Senior and provides names of 12 children. The will of Mathew Burt was written 14 April 1794 and probated in June 1794, Edgefield County, SC. Those children named were: John Burt, Moody Burt, Francis Burt, Robert Burt, Harwood Burt, Mary Burt, Philip Burt, Edward Burt, Nancy Burt, Armstead Burt, Susannah Burt and Patsey Hewitt Burt. Patsey Hewitt has been otherwise identified as Martha Hewitt Burt.
In addition, there are court records of Mecklenburg County, VA of the death of a Mathew Burt, Jr.
From this, there is proof of at least 12 children, all living in 1794, and strong evidence of a 13th child.
Next - there is a statement on page 52 in another manuscript by James Claude Burt, available in the library at LA Tech, Ruston, LA, as follows:
"Also John Daniel Burt, born in 1816, son of the John Burt, born in 1776, tells his son William A. that he had seven GREAT-uncles who fought in the Revolutionary War. If John Burt, born 1776, had been Mathew's son, then his older brothers Moody Burt and Robert Burt, both Revolutionary War soldiers, would have been UNCLES to John Daniel."
For John Daniel, some of his mother's uncles could have fought in the American Revolution, thus being great uncles of John Daniel. On page 96 of this same document, a great uncle is identified and one person has been accepted into the DAR on this record. And further, if John Burt fought in the American Revolution, he would not have been a great uncle to John Daniel, rather would have been a grandfather.
In the fourth paragraph of his "Missing Sons" manuscript above, James Claude Burt mentions that Harriet Glover Watson stated that Mathew Burt moved from Mecklenburg county, VA to Edgefield. He then follows with the fact that this is wrong, that he (Mathew) in fact lived in Charlotte County, VA after Mecklenburg and before Edgefield. Accepting one statement while rejecting another lacks consistency.
From perhaps a source allied with Harriet Glover Watson, the following is extracted from Page 47, Vol. 156, of Alabama Records, Benton County - now Calhoun, By Pauline Jones Gandrud, 1981 Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC
"1850 Census Benton Co. Ala. Family No. 478 Jacksonville District Glover, Wily 28 SC farmer $2500 Angeline S. 20 Ala Willis A. 1 " " Susan 46 SC
Memorial record of Ala. Vol. 1 page 595 published 1895. Sketch of Dr. W. Glover b. S C. Oct. 21, 1822 son of Willis & Susan (Wightt) Glover, both natives of Va. The father, Willis Glover was a farmer. The mother was a daughter of Truman and Martha (Burt) Wightt. The grandmother Burt had seven brothers who fought through the Revolutionary War and not one ever received a wound. . ."
This brief passage has three errors of fact in it.
First, Moody Burt, a son of Mathew, was in fact wounded. The following is a description included in the LA Tech manuscript prepared by James Claude Burt: ". . . served as corporal and sergeant in Captain Benjamin Taliaferro's Company, Colonel Richard Parker's Virginia Regiment, marched to Savannah, Georgia, and was in the siege of that place; that he was severely wounded at said siege, nature of wound not stated, was sent to Charleston, South Carolina, where be remained for three months receiving treatment, then rejoined his regiment at Augusta, Georgia, and. that he remained at Augusta until after the fall of Charleston, his wound having re-opened, and was later discharged, date of discharge not shown; . . ."
Thus, there is a well-documented record that Moody Burt was in fact wounded during the American Revolution.
Second error: Martha Hewitt Burt married John Wightt, not Truman Wightt.
Third error: Susan Wightt was not a native Virginian. She apparently was born in SC.
Now, to those picked to be sons of Mathew.
Mathew did in fact have a brother named William. My research has led me to the conclusion that this brother died in Surry County, VA in 1776. This William did not have a son named William.
Mathew had an uncle named William who died in Greensville County, VA about 1783 who had a son named William. There are DAR records to document that this William, who died in Warren County, NC in 1823, is the one who served in the American Revolution in VA.
As of this date, I can find no record of the Willis Burt who served in the American Revolution. I do have a record of the Willis Burt son of Robert Burt and grandson of Mathew Burt. Willis was present in Edgefield County, SC in 1797, the date of death of Robert. It has been my belief, and belief only with no proof, that the deed records of Edgefield County were made by this grandson of Mathew.
I just cannot believe that Mathew would write his will, name his children and omit one living in the same county, one who served in the Revolutionary service.
Prepared by: B. J. Adams, 20 July 2000, email@example.com
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