Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dawson Jabez Burns, son of Jabez Burns, Baptist Minister;:My Story of The Jabezes, Part 4

Seems strange to me, how quickly the name Jabez disappeared in my English relatives, considering that it was there in Lancashire the first Mary Burn of my line named her second son Jabez. He was a rather famous Jabez, a temperance preaching Baptist minister. His son was named Dawson Jabez
Burns; Dawson was the surnmane of his mother, and of course, Jabez the name of the father.

The Dawson Jabez Burns of this Part 4 of the Jabezes series was the last of the English Jabez Burns of which I am aware.

Although Dawson Jabez Burns' older brother George interest turned to printing and publishing, Dawson Jabez Burns followed his famous father's footsteps into the ministry. At the age of 22 years, he was attending the General Baptist College at St. Margaret, Leicester. During his youth he was surrounded by those in the temperance movement, such as Clara Lucas Balfour, who was the wife of James Balfour, of the Ways and Means Office in the House of Commons. Her husband, an alcohlic took the temperance pledge in 1837, and she a week later. Clara later contacted Jabez Burns and became a Baptist convert. It certainly is not surprising that Dawson Jabez Burns found a suitable wife for an upcoming Baptist minister in Clara's daughter Cecil Balfour. Dawson and Cecil Burns had five children, none of which bore the Jabez or Dawson name..

Dawson Jabez followed his famous father's steps in preaching temperance from the Baptist pulpit. He died at the age of 80 years, 23rd of August,1909.

1841 English Census, St. Marylebone, Middlesex, England
1851 English Census, St. Margaret, Leicester, England
1861 English Census, St. George, Southwark, Surrey, England
1871 English Census, Southwark, Surrey, England
1881 English Census, Southward, Surrey, England
1891 English Census, Southerick, Surrey, England
1901 English Census, Battersea, London, Surrey, England
1909 BMD Record, London, England

Jabezes, Part 1
Jabezes, Part 2
Jabezes, Part 3
Jabezes, Part 3, Addendum
Burns Brass Band
~  ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jabez Burns,Son, Grandson and Great Grandsons of Jabez Burns, The Coffee Roaster: My Story of The Jabezes, Part 3-Addendum

Jabez Burns, the Coffee Roaster had one more grandson who carried the name Jabez Burns.  This Jabez Burns, b.1855, was the a grandson of  the Coffee Roaster.  His father, Joseph Burns, was the third son of the Coffee Roaster, and was named after his great grandfather Joseph Burn of Lancashire, England.

According to Census Reports, this grandson, Jabez Burns,  worked as an investigator, and office manager probably in a retail rating agency,  He married a woman by the name of  Irene, who was a hairdresser.  They had one daughter, Ethel.

It does not appear that this grandson was employed in the family business; although, the business had several off-shoots and there is a possibility that the rating agency was one such allied company.

In regard to his birth family, his father Joseph was listed in the 1880 Federal Census as a Merchant of Dry Goods, which may or may not have been related to Jabez Burns & Sons.  One other son, George Washington Burns, was born to Joseph and Carrie Burns.  The Joseph and family lived in close proximity to the rest of  his brothers and to his father, Jabez Burns, the Coffee Roaster.

1880 Federal Census, Brooklyn, Kings, NY
1920 Federal Census, Brooklyn Assembly District 5, Kings, NY
1925 NY State Census, Brooklyn, Kings, NY
1918 WWI Registration Cards 

Jabezes, Part 1
Jabezes, Part 2
Jabezes, Part 3
Burns Brass Band
~  ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jabez Burns,Son, Grandson and Great Grandson of The Jabez Burns, Coffee Roaster: My Story of The Jabezes, Part 3

My Jabezes, Part 3
Three Jabez Burns,
Coffee Roaster's Son, Grandson, and Great Grandson

Strange as it seems, I seem to have more information about the Jabez, the Coffee Roaster, than I do about his son Jabez, or his grandson Jabez Dawson, and certainly more than about his great grandson, Dawson Jabez Burns, Jr.. I used “Coffee Roaster” not as a pejorative term, but only as a way to separate my Jabezes, both in my mind and the mind of the reader.. This is what I do know, Jabez, was the second born son (about 1852) to Jabez,the Coffee Roaster. He was joined his older brother, another William G. Burns, who was born in 1849, followed shortly by the births of Joseph (1855), Robert (1857), and sister Agnes (1858). The family was complete with the births of brothers, James B. (1863), Abraham Lincoln (1866), and George Washington Burns (1868).

During young Jabez's youth, his father the Coffee Roaster was making a good life for his family though the early years were difficult. By the time the boy, Jabez, was about 12 years of age, his father started the company Jabez Burns & Sons, which made a new, improved coffee roaster. Although it appears that all of the sons played some part in this family business, young Jabez seemed to play an important part in the family business early on. Later, his younger brothers Robert and A.Lincoln, joined him in management positions.

The only picture of the Jabezes that I have in my possession, or even know about, is the picture of the Burns Brass Band, taken in about 1880. Young Jabez, at nearly 30 years of age, is one of the balding fellows in the back row. I do, have a picture of Ella Louise (Spedick )Burns whom he married when in his early twenties. 
Ella Louise Spedick Burns
Courtesy of the Spedick Family

Jabez and Ella had four sons:
the first born, another Jabez (Dawson) Burns, b 1876, who was called Jabez as a child, but took on his middle name of Dawson Burns as an adult. (Dawson was the surname of his minister-uncle's wife; Jane Dawson married Jabez Burns, baptist minister in 1824);
second son, another William Gibson Burns, b. 1877;
third son, Grant Burns, b. 1885;
and fourth son, Kenneth Burns, 1892.

Not much is known about their personal and family life, but it appears that the coffee roaster's son's and grandson's life revolved around the family business, which made them very wealthy. Jabez, the coffee roaster's son, died at the relative young age of 56 on the 6th of October , 1908. His widow, Ella, lived in very comfortable circumstances on and around Park Avenue, New York City, with her other three sons William G., Grant, and Kenneth. Although son William G., was single and lived with his mother until his mid-forties, he did marry Sara Gaston. I have no record of whether Grant or Kenneth married. However, when their mother Ella Louise Burns died at 103, in 1957, she left only one living son, Kenneth, who died in 1971.

Jabez Dawson Burns, grandson of the coffee roaster, was known as Dawson Burns. He married June Adams around 1907; they had a son, Dawson Jabez Burns, Jr, great grandson of the Coffee Roaster.. (Jabez) Dawson Burns attended Columbia University and graduated as a member of the class of 1900. By 1918, he was the vice president of an electrical and manufacturing company, and by 1942 he was with the Ward Lenard Electrical Company. He died on the 7th November 1954.

Dawson Jabez Burns, Jr., great grandson of the coffee roaster, was born 17th October 1908 and died in Florida in September 1976. I have tried to find out more about this last of the men (at least the last that I know about) that carried the name of Jabez Burns, but little success. I have, however, sent letters and emails to likely appearing men with the name of Dawson Burns, but no response. However, I keep hoping that members of this Burns family will find my Jabezes writings and contact me – with stories, pictures and more names.

1880 Federal Census,  Brooklyn, NY
1900 Federal Census,
1910 Federal Census, Manhattan, Ward 12, NY
1920 Fedreal Census, Manhattan Assembly District 7, NY
1925 New York Census, Eastchester, Westchester, NY
1930 Federal Census, Bronxville, NY
1940 Federal Census, NYC, NY
1918 WWI Registration
1942 WWII  Registration
Passport Application
Passenger Lists
Public Directories,
Ancestry.com Historical Newspaper Obituaries

Jabezes, Part 1
Jabezes, Part 2
Burns Brass Band
~  ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 June 17 -- Father's Day

A quick peek at this past week.  Writing, not much.  Blogging, not much. Research, zilch. Richness of family, O, Yeah!  Last Sunday, our daughters, son and his family arrived in time for a birthday celebration for their father. Unfortunately our younger daughter had to return to her home in northern part of the state.  The rest of us worked and played Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  By Thursday the tempo increased; birthday breakfast for son, complete with singing Happy Birthday at random times during the day -- he cringed a bit, but couldn't stop us. My sis joined us late Thursday evening, but missed the graduation celebration for youngest granddaughter, complete with singing Happy Graduation  --- we were on a roll.  Friday, we headed to Lost Creek Reservoir for a day of picnicking, sunshine, canoeing, kayaking.  After falling into bed early on Friday night, we arose early Saturday morning to make the trek over the mountain for a Liege Waffle breakfast at the family owned Waffle Hut --- nearly twenty of us squeezed into the Waffle Hut, talking, hugging, kissing, and catching up on each other's lives. Then it was back home and beginning to pack up for some of us. This morning we waved goodbye to son and his wife, as well as my sister.  A wonderful vacation with family is winding down and on Tuesday, I'll drive our Florida daughter to Eugene and meet up with my sis and younger daughter for a last hurrah before Florida daughter heads home.
Wonderful week and a bit sad to see it coming to a close --- but tons of great memories.

On this Father's Day, I also want to pay homage to my father, that Scotsman who guided my life until his death when I was only fifteen.

Harold Lloyd McPherson,
 February 12, 1912-June 29, 1951
1918, My dad at six years,
Crow Wing Lake, MN

1935,  Daddy & his dog,  Midland OR

1939, Daddy and me

1951, My dad at the Klamath Falls Airport

Note:  All pictures are the property of JGHill, and reside in the JGHill Archives.
~ ~ ~ 

 © Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(Jabez) Burns Brass Band of Brooklyn, New York - circa 1880

Burns Brass Band, circa 1880
Courtesy of the Margaret McPherson Burmeister Family
     The above picture intrigues me an a number of different levels.  First and foremost, I can only identify with any sense of surety Jabez Burns, the Coffee Roaster, front row center. The notation on the copy that was given to me indicated that it was a picture of
"Uncle Jabez and sons (six)
 and son (Clair?)
Taken in Brooklyn, New York"
      I don't know whether Maggie McPherson Burmeister (niece of Jabez Burns, the Coffee Roaster) or perhaps someone in her family, wrote the notation.  However there are some discrepancies;  Jabez had seven sons, William (b. 1849), Jabez (b. 1852), Joseph (b.1855), Robert (b. 1857), James B. (b. 1863), Abraham Lincoln (b. 1866) and George Washington (b. 1869).  I have followed each of the children of Jabez, Coffee Roaster, through several decades of census reports and have not found any one named  "Clair", male or female.
     It seems likely that  Jabez is flanked  by his youngest two sons; George Washington Burns (b. 1868) and Abraham Lincoln Burns(b. 1866) because of the closeness in age of the two.. But that belief is open for discussion and change because young George is reported to have died in 1877, or at about 9 years of age and the young man on the left certainly looks older than eight or nine years of age.  Also I have no corrobarting evidence or information about if or why he died so young, so is does seem possible that yourng George is in the picture.

     Lincoln Burns, as Abraham Lincoln Burns was called throughout most of his life, was a tall, slim man according to his passport description,  also describes the young man to the left of Jabez.  Lincoln Burns attended the College of Mines at Columbia University and then started working his way up in the family business.  By 1925 he retired as Vice President and took his position as Director of the Board.

     In this scenario for the above  photo, my next identification choice would be James B., center of the back row.  James was born two to three years before A. Lincoln Burns. This would make sense if this is indeed a picture of Jabez and his seven sons.  He was listed as Jabez'es son in the 1870 census, with an estimated birth year of 1863. There is a James B. Burns, born in the same year and married to Amelia with two daughters in the 1900 and 1910 census.  They live where I would expect them -- in the area of Brooklyn near where the Jabez Burns family lived.  Also the parental birthplaces match.  James B.Burns is also listed as an engineer, which also fits with working at the family coffee roaster machinery business.  Unfortunately, James B. died before the 1920 census, leaving Amelia a widow living with their two daughters..

     However, if I am wrong about the two young men in front being George W. and A. Lincoln Burns, then the sons flanking Jabes Burns, would most likely be A. Lincoln and James B.Burns; then the identity of the back row Burns brothers and/or band members awaits more information.

     I am hoping that sooner or later, a Burns family member will see this picture and the Jabezes series and feel compelled to respond.  I am sure that there is a hoard of Burns family pictures just waiting to be found and shared.  I hope and hope and hope those pictures will surface and come to me.

     Also intriguing  to me is actual history of the band.  How did it start?  Where did they play? Competitions?  At rallies? I know that Mary Burn McPherson's husband and son also played instruments at political rallies in Springdale, WI, so were their English relatives also engaged  in musical endeavors?

     So my Burns family, out there in cyberspace, take a look at this band, this picture of Jabez, the Coffee Roaster, and his sons, then leave a message, send an email,  find a way to contact me as I would really like to know my Burns family.

Jabezes, Part 1 - The Baptist Minister
Jabezes, Part 2 - The Coffee Roaster 

~ ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 June 11th

After more than a week, maybe two, of head's down research, organizing and writing long lists, the 2nd part of my Jabez series is finally off  my desk, out of the computer and making its way through cyberspace.  My planned progression of the Jabez series will be to make a one blog piece about the Jabez son and grandson of Jabez the Coffee roaster.  Then back to England and a one blog post on the Jabez son and grandson of Jabez, the Minister.  Then back to America for a blog post on James P. and Mary Burns McPherson's son Jabez Burns McPherson.  O, for the love of Jabez, my head is beginning to hurt.

However the next couple of weeks will be filled with family.  In fact, my own dear chil'ins are still asleep in their beds -- here at home -- a very nice feel, but t'will soon be gone.  One leaves again on Monday, then another on the following weekend, and the last will head home on the  Tuesday next --- but for the time being I will treasure each minute and each child.

Then my Miss M, and her entourage, will be moving back in  later next week --- but just for a couple of months until she finds new digs.  Always enjoy her company, so that will be a good thing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jabez Burns, The Coffee Roaster: My Story of The Jabezes, Part 2

circa 1870, Jabez Burns,
Founder of Jabez Burns & Sons
Courtesy of  The Margaret Burmeister Family

So that you, dear reader, may place this Jabez Burns in my family tree, the Jabez of this story was the nephew of Jabez Burns, the temperance Baptist minster of Part 1. As you may remember, William Gibson Burns and Jabez Burns were sons of the basket maker and vendor of worm medicine Joseph Burn and his devout Wesleyan wife Mary. The Jabez of this story is also the son of my 3rd great grandparents,William Gibson Burns and Elizabeth Horrock (or Herrick in later records) and the brother of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Burns McPherson.

Reportedly he was born in London on the 12th of February 1826 and the family moved to Dundee, Scotland when he was a small child. So far very little verifiable information has turned up on their life in Dundee. We do know, however, that his father was a basket maker like his father before him and an ardent Chartist. Based on later letters and speeches, the father William Gibson Burns was fairly well educated for that time and place. It appears that a similar education was most likely given to young Jabez because during his first winter in America he taught in a country school in Summit, New Jersey.

Although the exact date of Jabez' emigration to America is yet unknown, it is likely that is was between 1844 and 1845. His mother may have made the journey with him or perhaps at a later date. According to later writings, in about 1846 Jabez Burns was working as a “teamster” for Henry Blair, a prominent coffee merchant. Blair attended the little “Disciples” church on lower Sixth Avenue in New York City, where many of the city's Scots congregated. Evidently, Blair introduced Jabez Burns to the church and the attending Scots community where Burns met and courted Agnes Brown, a young Scots girl, a daughter of a Paisley weaver.

The 1850 Federal Census lists twenty-five year old Jabez Burns as living in New York's 16th Ward, District 1, with his twenty-six year old wife Agnes, their baby William, and Jabez's mother Elizabeth. At this time, the 16th Ward, District 1, was comprised of eight blocks of tenement buildings, bounded by West 22nd Street and West 18th Street, between Sixth and Eighth Avenues. Just a block away from New York's “North River” (Hudson River) and the meat packing district and docks. Jabez was working as a “cartman” – possibly this occupation was the same as being a teamster for Henry Blair.

The next decade was busy for Jabez and Agnes. Young William was joined by three brothers (Jabez in 1853; Joseph in 1855; and Robert in 1857) and the only sister (Agnes in 1858). Jabez was listed on the 1860 New York Census as a peddler, probably with the Globe Mills. A biography in All About Coffee (published by the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal), noted that he was not a talented salesman, but learned all aspects of the coffee business, from bookkeeping, to purchasing, to delivery,
During this period he was also working on a number inventions, which the struggling family hoped would add to their income. In 1858 he had a patent for the Burns Addometer, a primitive adding machine. He was reportedly always working on some kind of invention.
By 1860, according to the 1869 Federal Census, Jabez had moved his family to the 16th Ward's District 2, which was a bit further east, away from the river, meat packing and docks – most likely a better place to live. The 1860s heralded the birth of their last three sons (James B in 1863; Abraham Lincoln in 1866; and George Washington Burns in 1868) and on September 19, 1864 he received his naturalized citizenship. It is interesting to note that Jabez Burn's employer Thomas Reid of the Globe Mills witnessed his citizenship proceedings.
In that same year of 1864, Jabez Burns founded his trademark company, Jabez Burns & Sons, and began to manufacture the improved coffee roaster which he invented. The first location was on Warren Street in New York City, which was was close to the docks on the east and to the west just a few blocks from the notorious Five Points district. The company outgrew its location several times. By 1908, the business moved to the northwest corner of 11th Avenue and 43rd Street, occupying a six story building which was doubled in size in 1917.
1937 Image of the Jabez Burns & Sons Facility
11th Avenue & 42st Street West
Courtesty of NYPL Digital Library

  Jabez had risen from a cartman, to a peddler, to bookkeeper, an ertstwhile inventor, to founding a company that has been referred to as the “unique coffee-machinery workshop, the greatest of its kind in the United States.” The 1880s saw the Jabez Burns family living in upscale Brooklyn, and several of his sons attending Columbia University before entering the family company. Several, and perhaps all of, his sons worked in the Jabez Burns & Sons Company.
Burns was looked to as an authority in the coffee industry because of his wide experience and also the articles he wrote for the American Grocer. Then in 1878 he began publishing the 32-page quarterly Spice Mill, which gained great interest with the spice and coffee traders. He also published a pocket volume called the Spice Mill Companion in which he distributed valuable information on coffee, spices and baking powder. His valuable advice, it was said, started a number of coffee-roasters on the road to success.
Although the Burns family seemed to be hard workers, they exhibited a strong sense of family and apparently enjoyed playing music together. Jabez and his sons started and participated in the Burns Amateur Brass Band. Jabez also took care of his mother until her death in 1861. His father William Gibson Burns was in the United States at least a couple of times, but it doesn't appear that he lived with Jabez and Agnes for any length of time.

circa 1880, Burns Amateur Brass Band, Brooklyn, NY
Frt. Row: George Washington, Jabez, Sr, and A. Lincoln Burns
Back Row could include: Wm G, Jabez Jr, Joseph, Robert and/or James Burns
Picture Courtesy of Margaret Burmeister Family

 Death came to Jabez Burns on September 16, 1888 at the age of 62. His life was a true rags to riches story. After his death, the business continued and prospered; first as the firm of Jabez Burns and Sons, composed of his sons, Jabez, Robert, and A.Lincoln Burns; and later, in 1906 as Jabez Burns & Sons, Inc., with next generation making their appearance in the family business. Jabez Burns & Sons continued designing, fabricating and erecting entire facilities for the processing coffeee, cocoa, and tea for 100 years until it was acquired by the Blaw-Knox Co. in 1964.

1850 Census Report, 16th Ward, Dist. 1, NY NY
1860 New York Census, 16th Ward, Dist. 2, NY NY
1880 Census Report, Kings (Brooklyn) NY
1864 Sep 19 Naturalization Citizenship from Common Pleas Court, NY County
1888 Illustrated New York: The Metropolis of To-Day, International Publishing Co., New York.
1922 All About Coffee, William H. Ukers, editor, Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, New York

Jabezes, Part 1
~  ~ ~
 © Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications