The Burgin Family Contribution


"What others might think of you is important, but what you think of yourself is even more important. It's a matter of self-esteem."

--Donald Burgin


The Burgin family contributed to the history of this nation in many ways:

Burgin Valley: Benton County, Arkansas. An area name for the early Burgin settlers in that area. The valley is still populated by many Burgin families.

Burgin, Kentucky: Was named for Temple Burgin, who donated land for the communityís railroad depot. In 1874 the Cincinnati Southern Railroad obtained a right-of-way from Temple Burgin and opened Burgin Station. The town was established in 1877 and incorporated the next year. Burgin's 1990 population was 1009.

Burgin Cove, NC: Just inside the Yancey County line that borders on McDowell County; on the spine of the Blue Ridge, is an area is called Burgin Cove. Named for and by the descendants of John Mann Burgin 1817 - 1900.

Ethel, Texas: Named by William Hix Burgin (1563B2) for his niece Ethel Davis. She was the daughter of his sister Martha Ann (Burgin) Davis. Burgin did this in hopes of getting a railroad through his town. He lost his bid, but owned three general stores, two cotton gins and a piece of land 10 miles east and west & north to south, between Whitesboro and Southmayd, Texas.

#152 "Pioneer Ben" Burgin: Was appointed as one of the two "judges of the upper election for elector" in 1796. Thus Ben participated in the selection of members of the electoral college which elected the second president of the United States, John Adams.

#1526 Merritt Burgin: Son of "Pioneer Ben" had a distinguished and richly successful life as a farmer, surveyor, military officer, jurist, and legislator. He served in BOTH houses of the North Carolina State Legislature, as did his younger brother Alney. He also attained the rank of Colonel while serving in the 8th North Carolina Militia Regiment 1812-1815. All this was accomplished in a quite way, with none of the flamboyance or eccentricities of his brother Major Ben. (Burgins Back to Devon by Ramond Burgin)

#1527 Abner Burgin: Son of "Pioneer Ben" and brother to Merritt and Alney Burgin, married Margaret Patton, the sister of Davy Crockett's wife Elizabeth. Davy and Abner set out for Texas (The Alamo) in 1835, but Abner left Texas and started home before the Battle of The Alamo (1836). For more on the Crockett\Burgin connection Click Here! Note: In Echoes in the Mist Abner is shown as #15221 the son of James Burgin. The Benjamin Burgin family Bible which was discovered after ECHOES was published, shows Abner to be Benjamin's seventh child, b. March 10, 1789.

#1529 Alney Burgin: Was a friend of Davy Crockett and second for North Carolina's Senator Samuel P Carson at the infamous Vance-Carson Duel. Vance was killed and Carson moved to Texas and became Secretary of State in Governor David G Burnett's cabinet. Alney served in BOTH houses of the North Carolina State Legislature.

#1564 James Burgin: Son of Jesse, was presiding justice in 1843, when McDowell County held its first session (Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions).

#152641D41 Polly Bergen: Hollywood and Broadway Star, was born Nellie Pauline Burgin. As an aspiring young actress she changed the spelling of her name to Bergen, like that of Edgar Bergen, who was a multi-media star at the time. Polly's grandfather, Daniel Patton Burgin (#152641D) and my grandfather, Joseph Hatten Burgin (#1526419) were brothers. (Click here for the full story)

#15646393 George Prichard Burgin: Was caretaker of Billy Grahamís Estate in Montreat, Black Mountain, N.C., until he retired.

#152676 Samuel Lewis Burgin: Was a cotton broker who spent most of his life in Plains, Georgia and was a neighbor of the Jimmy Carter Family. (Click here for the full story)

#1563C45 James Garland Burgin: Supt. for Texaco Refinery Was in charge of building the first 50 oil storage tanks for Texaco at Port Arthur, Texas.

#1526311 James Burgin & Wife Abbie: Murdered in their sleep, June 30, 1897.

#152641541 Martha Burgin: Reporter/Journalist for Knoxville Journal. Our granddads were brothers.

#15234168 Wilbur Jennings Burgin: Served on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

#152345 The Burgin Train: In the Winter of 1887, Flora Burgin Smith, husband Sherman and two small children (along with eighteen other adults with their children) got the Texas Fever, left western North Carolina and set out for the new land of opportunity. Joseph Benjamin Burgin (son of Alney #1529) who worked for the railroad organized the entire event.

#152344 Rosaline "Rosey" Burgin and husband Samuel Asberry Byrd: Got the Texas Fever and moved there in 1895, traveling in a covered wagon with several small children They arrived there on January 6th and buried a child on January 15th. They relocated five different times over the next 50 years, using the same covered wagon. Rosey was a true pioneer. (Click here for the full story) ,

#152641D22 Paul Daniel Burgin: Born January 1, 1929 was married six times. He divorced his sixth wife in 1985. Had one child by first wife Katherine Brown.

#15128 Samuel and Caroline Burgin: Lost all five of their children to Diphtheria in 1878. They were: John, age 9; Henry, age 7; Albert, age 5; James, 3; Sara, 6 mos. (Click here for the full story)

#1523437 Thomas Walker Burgin: A Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army was in the first battle fought by Americans in WWI. He lost an eye shortly before the armistice was signed and became an instructor. One of his first students was a Captain in the Missouri National Guard by the name of Harry S. Truman.

#1526731 Van Hampton Burgin: Van not only served his country as a fighter pilot during World War I, but he was a renown 'flying ace'. He was respected by friend and foe alike. (Click here for the full story)

Teachers and Educators

#156468 Mary Williams Burgin: The daughter of James Lee Burgin. She was born May 30, 1878 in McDowell County, NC. After marrying Winford Judson Nesbitt on March 26, 1901, she lived in McDowell County until 1919, when they moved to the Fairview section of Buncombe County. Mary and Winford had eleven children, eight of whom were School Teachers. (Click here for the full story)

#152641B22 Doctor John Burgin: Retired from a thirty-year teaching career at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. He was Professor of Music and Chair of the Voice Department at the University. During his tenure there, he was also a president of the faculty senate. Long active in the National Association of Teachers of Singing, he served a term as national president, as well as editor of Inter Nos, the national newsletter, and as vice president for field activities. He has conducted master classes and clinics in Tennessee, Florida, Montana, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas. John's grandfather, Edward Jesse Burgin and my grandfather, Joseph Hatten Burgin, were brothers.

#1526419111 Doctor Kelley Burgin: taught Discreet Mathmatics at Auburn and Carnegie Melon Universities, while working towards his PhD. in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization (ACO). Kelley, the son of Stephen W. Burgin, is my grandson.

#15646972 Doctor Sherron Crawford: Is Superintendent of McDowell County schools. She is the first woman ever to hold this position. Doctor Crawford is Peggy Silvers' sister.

#156462431 Doctor Joni Burgin - Hartshorn: Is Superintendent of schools in Grantsburg, Wisconsin and has served in this role since 1997. She is also the first female to hold this position in Grantsburg.

#15624334 Ramond Burgin: Semi-retired, but still teaching Speech and Communication part-time at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Ramond is an excellent researcher and is presently writing a book titled "Burgins Back to Devon".

#1526662 Mary Greenlee Burgin: Teaching career Spanned fifty years.

#1526754 Mary Lou Burgin: Taught first grade for thirty-one years

#1529 Alney Burgin: Son of Pioneer Ben, served on the North Carolina House Committee on Education 1824-25. Advocated more liberal appropriations for Public Schools and opposed the law prohibiting any slave from learning to read and write.

Medical Profession

#1521C Elizabeth Burgin: Born in 1817, Eliza was a remarkable woman, especially in that day and age. Born with only one hand, she rode horseback and cared for the sick as a practical nurse and midwife.

#1523416B1 Kelli Lynn (Burgin) Mayfield: Daughter of 1523416B Max Burgin, is a Family Practice Physician, currently practicing in Rutherford County, NC. She earned her MD at ETSU in 1991.

#1528 Leah Burgin: Born in 1793, was a mid-wife, a lay doctor, and made herbal medicines.

#15646 Lizzie (Solomon) Burgin: Born 1843, was a mid-wife and lay doctor. She continued working long after suffering a stroke.

#156469 Winifred (Gilliam) Burgin: wife of Alphonzo, born 1884 was a mid-wife. "Freddie" delivered the twins Mary Helen and James Henry Knupp. The mother of the twins, Femma (Morris) Knupp, died shortly afterwards, so "Freddie" kept the twins until the family got straightened out.

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