The Descendents of Julius Saunders and Priscilla Carter Burnett: Resolving a Genealogical Mystery, Part 2

WHB: I received the following e-mails, both from descendents of Priscilla Carter Burnett, who share my interest in determining the true relationships between Williamson Burnett and wife, Priscilla Carter Burnett, Julius Saunders and Priscilla’s sons William, Joseph and Christopher Ammon Burnett


E-mail from Justin Crawford:

I stumbled upon your blog tonight in which you wrote that the DNA samples from descendants of both Christopher Ammon and Joseph Burnett are confirmed in the line of Julius Saunders. 

I am a descendant of Christopher, through his daughter Sarah Ann Burnett Hackworth.  About 18 months ago, I coordinated a DNA  test between two confirmed descendants of Christopher and Williamson, Jr.  The test sample for the Christopher line was from one of my cousins who is related to me through both the Burnett and Lemon family (my paternal side). 

The Williamson, Jr line was from a friend and distant cousin who lives in Bedford, VA.  Both samples were from confirmed 3rd great grandsons of Priscilla (I am a 6th great grandson).  The results were conclusive in that they matched one another!  We were, however, unable to find a Joseph sample at the time.

I’m very curious to see the Burnett DNA results as they connect to Julius Saunders.  It has long been assumed that my ancestor and his brothers were all children of Julius and Priscilla.  To further support this claim, my relatives and I were able to locate the grave of Priscilla within the Five Oaks Plantation Cemetery, where her granddaughter, Sabra Burnett Saunders is also buried.  I am happy to share with you all information you can use.  The DNA results of my cousins further confirms the claims by Williamson, Sr, in his last will and testament.

To find proof that I descend from Julius Saunders will be great closure to a long-standing mystery, which I have followed since my childhood.

My line is as follows –

Christopher Ammon Burnett/Orphy Jane Leftwich

Sarah Ann Burnett/Elijah Austin Hackworth

Virginia Catherine Hackworth/Thomas Meredith Newman

Allen Street Newman/Cora Lee Burroughs

Mildred Virginia Newman/Frank Lewis Hogan

Lois Jean Hogan/Roy Marion Crawford

Charles David Crawford/Tina Marie Goforth

Justin Dallas Crawford (b1979)

Based on information provided me by my great grandmother, Mildred Newman Hogan, I can confirm the burial location for Christopher and Orphy Burnett as well as Elijah and Sarah “Sallie” Burnett, in a private family cemetery, near Huddleston, VA. 

Within a short distance of the cemetery, there are ruins of a house which belonged to Christopher and Orphy.  I remember seeing the house about 20 years ago and have a map from a cousin identifing the location.  I can’t confirm at this time if the house is still standing, but plan to visit in the coming months.

 Looking forward to hearing from you!

Justin Crawford

Bedford, VA & Charlotte, NC


E-mail from Jennifer Thomson:

I was looking at your website about the Burnetts  and I see that you were able to prove by DNA that Joseph and Ammon were siblings and NOT Burnettes.  I know recently a DNA was done between a descendent of Williamson Jr. & Ammon and they matched each other.  So it looks like her last 3 kids are full siblings and NOT Burnetts. 

Any way, the reason I am writing this email. You said “There is no doubt that JULIUS SAUNDERS, whose property adjoined that of JOSEPH CARTER, the brother of PRISCILLA CARTER, was the father of at least two of the three boys she had with her.”   
Problem though, Joseph brother of Priscilla was in Kentucky at this point.  It is most likely her father Joseph that you are talking of.  Joseph III, Priscilla’s brother, was in Kentucky by early 1800’s and I know of no proof of him being in Bedford.  Joseph Jr. moved to Bedford County by 1806 and died in 1812.
It is highly likely that her dad moved to Bedford to help her out.  She also had her brother John that was living about a mile down the road.  Both Joseph and John were living about 20 miles south of the Courthouse on Craddock Creek. (middle of Smith Mtn Lake today) Priscilla is buried in the Saunders cemetery in the Smith Mtn Lake State Park Grounds. 
I am descended from Joseph III.  

WHB Response to Jennifer Thomson:

. . . .  My point about Julius Saunders being a neighbor of Priscilla Carter Burnett’s brother is that it provides a good reason why the two of them met.

As you may know, the Bedford County authorities had sanctioned Williamson Burnett for wife abuse (which I think was unusual for a public entity at the beginning of the 19th century), so it makes great sense that she was living first with Joseph and then with his neighbor Julius at the time that Williamson, Joseph and Ammon were born.
Jennifer Thomson’s Response to WHB:
. . . My thing was just that her brother Joseph did not live in Bedford. Her dad Joseph and brother John did. There may have been other siblings there too.  Just want to make sure you knew which generation you were talking about. . . 
WHB – There is very useful information in the e-mails from Justin Crawford and Jennifer Thomson. To sort it out, it might be well to concentrate research on these Bedford County families in the first decade of the 19th century, when Priscilla Carter Burnett bore the children William, Joseph and Christopher Ammon.
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