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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #42 Sarah Jane Hairston McBurnett

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

This is #42 of my 52 posts. Only 10 more to go.  I haven't found all of my answers, but have learned many new facts, organized my Hairston family research, and have been able to now see how the various families connect. 

Today, I am writing about Sarah Jane Hairston McBurnett.  Sarah and her twin, Mollie/Mary Elizabeth, were daughters of Samuel B. Hairston and Matilda Glasgow. 

If my great-great-grandfather, John L. Hairston and Samuel B. Hairston are found to be brothers and sons of Hugh Brown Hairston, then Sarah Jane Hairston McBurnett would have been first cousins to my great-grandfather, Phillip.  

Samuel B. and his family members often lived so close to my Hairston family in Texas. I still wonder if some of my unknown photos are those of Hairston cousins. 

John W. McBurnett applied for this patent in 1893.
Sarah Jane's fascinating family had me looking online for documents in Iowa, Florida, California, Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina.  Divorce, Hollywood, jewelers, a hotelier, a patent, a town site developer, an alias, and so much more had me searching and writing for much longer than expected.  

Sarah was born on March 10, 1854. Four of five census records indicate that she was born in Georgia.  Her parents were known to have lived in Troup County, Georgia in 1851 and 1867 so it is presumed that she was born in that county.  

Sarah married John Wesley McBurnett in the 1870s and by 1880 Sarah, John, and children Christoper C. and Carrie B. were living in Wedowee, Randolph County, Alabama. 

John, born about 1853, was a farmer in 1880, but later occupations included blacksmith and silversmith.

By 1900, Sarah and John were living separately. Sarah was in Mitchell County, Texas and John in Cooke County, Texas. Sarah and her younger children moved to Fort Worth, Texas before 1910 where Sarah remained until her death on February 13, 1926. Her place of burial is unknown. 

John Wesley McBurnett died at age 82 in Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas in 1935. At the time he was using an alas of Max and may also have been known as Dad Stephens. John is buried in an unmarked grave in the Roscoe Cemetery in Nolan County, Texas. 

Known Children of Sarah Jane Hairston and John Wesley McBurnett

Sarah and John had six known children; however the 1900 census record indicates that Sarah had 11 children born to her and only six were living. 

Carrie B. McBurnett, born in 1877 in Alabama, married lumberman, Theodore R. Glass in Davenport, Iowa on November 29, 1906. They moved to Burke, North Carolina where Theodore had family and a business.  The family moved between a home in Florida and a home in Burke, North Carolina.  In 1926, Theodore died while in Florida.  Carrie remained in Florida, starting a dressmaking business in Miami where she can be found until 1941.

The McBurnett Building owned by CC McBurnett
Abilene Reporter-News Dec. 16, 1928
Christopher Columbus McBurnett was born in 1879 in Alabama. As an adult, he went by the name Columbus and, in newspapers, was often referred to as C. C. McBurnett. In 1900, Columbus was living with his mother and siblings and working as a blacksmith.  Ten years later, he was married to Mary Elizabeth Henderson and worked as a watchmaker and jeweler at the Leffel Jewelry Store in San Angelo. He opened The McBurnett Jewelry Company and later sold it to concentrate on his hotel business. Throughout his life he appeared to be extremely prosperous. He owned numerous hotels and other real estate. In Texas newspapers, there were reports of lavish parties, travel, and purchases of race horses. He owned a ranch, appeared to be involved in the oil business and was an avid golfer. Christopher Columbus McBurnett died on December 19, 1959 in San Angelo, Texas and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery. 

Martin Van Buren McBurnett was born on May 28, 1883 in Mitchell County, Texas. In 1900, he was living with his mother and siblings in Mitchell County, Texas where he attended school. At 35 years old, he was found working as a jeweler for the McBurnett Jewelry Company, owned by his brother, in San Angelo, Texas. He was married to Cora Franklin. In 1920, he was manager of the Holland Jewelry Company (formerly McBurnett Jewelry Company). For more than 12 years, he owned his own jewelry shop on South Chadbourne in San Angelo. Robert died on December 18, 1961 in San Angelo, Texas. He is buried at Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. 

Mary "Mollie" Elizabeth McBurnett was born on March 13, 1887 in Texas. Probably Mitchell County. I suspect that she was named for Sarah Jane's twin, also named Mary "Mollie" Elizabeth.  Sometime after 1900, Mollie moved to Fort Worth with her mother and two youngest brothers.  Mollie married James Homer Woodard in 1906. They had two children; James Homer Jr. and Willota May. Mollie's husband seemed to be an ambitious young man. He can be found in Makers of Fort Worth at The Portal to Texas History. James Homer Woodard was described, in 1914, as one of the youngest and most successful real estate salesmen and town site promoters in the Southwest. The marriage didn't last as from 1916 to 1923, Mollie could be found working as a sales clerk with marital status "widow."

Mollie McBurnett Woodard and sister, Carrie McBurnett Glass
The News-Herald, Morgantown, NC
Sept. 29, 1921
 In 1920, Mollie is living in Fort Worth along with her two children, her mother, and her brother, Robert. In 1930, James can be found with wife, Loretta C. Woodard and his son Homer; however, I did not find Mollie or Willota. I suspect that they were in California as 20 year old Willota, an actress, married Pat Mahan, a 26 year old director, on April 19, 1927. Mollie was a witness to the marriage. She lived in Hollywood. 

Mollie was found in Miami, Florida, not far from her sister, Carrie Glass, in 1935. Mollie was not found again until searching death certificates. She outlived both of her children and died at the age of 94 on June 3, 1981 in Fort Bend, Texas. 

Samuel Albert McBurnett was born in Colorado City in Mitchell County, Texas on March 15, 1890. He lived with his mother and siblings and by age 20, he was living with his mother and younger brother, Robert, in the city of Fort Worth. It was reported on the 1910 census that he worked odd jobs as a laborer.  By 1917, he was married to Ruth Jenkins and supporting his family by working as a traveling artist. The family home was in San Angelo. In 1920, they were living in Cisco, Eastland County, Texas where Samuel worked as driver. In 1930, he was found with his family in Los Angeles where he was working as a jewelry salesman and auctioneer. From 1935 until his death in, Samuel had his own jewelry and watch repair business in San Angelo, Texas. Samuel Albert McBurnett died on October 31, 1964 in San Angelo where he is buried in the Fairmount Cemetery. 

Carrie McBurnett Glass and brother, Robert McBurnett
The News-Herald, Morgantown, NC
Jan. 29, 1920
Robert Neal McBurnett was born on September 29, 1895 in Colorado City, Mitchell County, Texas. He can be found living with his mother, first in Mitchell County and later in Fort Worth through 1920. He worked as a clerk in a bank and reported on his 1917 draft record that he contributed to his mother's support. Robert married Ruby Lee Hanks in 1926 in San Angelo.  Robert and Ruby were living in Temple, Bell County, Texas in 1930 where Robert managed one of his brother's hotels. In 1935, the family was back in San Angelo where Robert managed another of his brother's properties, the Western Reserve Building. He later managed the McBurnett Building and continued to manage his brother's properties throughout most of the 1940s. He was found, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, working as a salesman for an insurance and real estate agency. Robert died on June 5, 1962 in San Angelo, Texas where he is buried in the Fairmont Cemetery.

This post was much longer than planned. I kept finding more and couldn't put it down. There was very little in the Public Trees at about this family so I hope that this will help many McBurnetts. If you are a descendant of Sarah Jane Hairston, I would love to hear from you as I have much more to share. 


© 2014 Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. Iowa, Select Marriages, 1809-1992 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2014. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

"California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Nov 2014), 005698443 > image 1767 of 2528; county courthouses, California.

Newspaper Artists' Association, Forth Worth. Makers of Fort Worth. Fort Worth. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 11, 2014.
Quinn, Diana. "Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog." : 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #12 Samuel B. Hairston of Georgia and Alabama. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <>.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Wedowee, Randolph, Alabama; Roll: 29; Family History Film: 1254029; Page: 293C; Enumeration District: 110

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Mitchell, Texas; Roll: 1659; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0115; FHL microfilm: 1241659

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 2, Cooke, Texas; Roll: 1623; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1241623

Year: 1910; Census Place: Morganton, Burke, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1100; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1375113

Year: 1910; Census Place: San Angelo, Tom Green, Texas; Roll: T624_1592; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0280; FHL microfilm: 1375605

Year: 1920; Census Place: Cisco, Eastland, Texas; Roll: T625_1797; Page: 40A; Enumeration District: 118; Image: 1183

Year: 1920; Census Place: Fort Worth Ward 10, Tarrant, Texas; Roll: T625_1850; Page: 38A; Enumeration District: 141; Image: 497

Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 154; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0570; Image: 557.0; FHL microfilm: 2339889

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