Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Cornelius Donaldson Burnette 1832 - 1901

Burnett Chapel Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky ~ Spring 1999

Cornelius Donaldson "Neelie" Burnette - Second husband of my great, great grandmother Ursula Ann Martin Davis.

My paternal great, great grandmother Ursula Ann was the daughter of James Monroe and Susannah Grabeel Martin. Ursula Ann married John Miller Davis, son of James and Achsah Jackson Davis, in 1874. John Miller Davis died in 1880 and four years later in 1884 Ursula Ann married Cornelius Donaldson Burnette. Cornelius was married previously to Elizabeth Elam and at least six children were produced from that union. Children of Ursula Ann and Cornelius D. are: Daisy Cordelia, Cora Jane, Hobart Cornelius, and Amanda Ursula. Ursula Ann died in 1900 and Cornelius died in 1901. Ursula Ann's daughter and her husband, my great grandparents, Sarah Frances Davis and Oliver Morton Wallen, became guardians of the four half siblings of Sarah Frances.

Some excerpts from the diary of Oliver Morton Wallen:

"Jan. 4, 1901 - Hauled two loads of wood. Wade Mullins came (for) Sarah and I. Mr. Burnette was very bad, he died at 12 P.M. that night.  Jan. 5 - Staid at Mr. Burnette's place most of the day. Took dinner with J. B. Cummins. Sarah and I staid all night with James Denny.  Jan. 6 - Freemasons buried Mr. Burnette at Burnette's Chappel. Rev. Powel preached the funeral. Sarah and I attended the funeral."

"Mar. 26 [1901] - Went from Mt. Vernon to Brodhead and got W. H. Sowder to go on a bond for me to be appointed guardian for Cordia, Cora, Hobert, and Sula Burnette. Went to Mt. Vernon and received the appointment. "


  1. What a pretty little churchyard! I stopped by to read your post because the gravestone with the Masonic symbols caught my eye. Just by coincidence I've been seeing a lot of Masonic gravestones lately in the cemeteries I've been photographing.

  2. Hi Heather! Yes, I see more now just because of the two that I know of in my family. I guess it's like after you buy a new car, you start seeing the same make and model everywhere! The Masonic symbol certainly stands out!