View Full Version : Led Astray....Sort of

01-01-2007, 10:32 PM
After looking at a brickwall for 18 years it finally crumbled. Here's what I knew less than a year ago:
Nancy Burrows/Barras/Barrass (multiple spellings never help) b. either Blacko or Barrowford, Lancs. ca 1830. From marriage certif. (to Robert Dixon, in Burnley) - father John, a weaver. One known brother, 2 known half-sibs.

About 18 years ago I searched through censuses for my families in Burnley, where my father was born. I found Nancy, married, with a brother/lodger, Abraham Barras, b. ca 1818, Nappa/Gisburn, Yorks, in 1861/71/81.
In 1851 Abraham was listed in the household of Edward Hoyle and his wife Elizabeth and several Riley children, in Burnley, as a lodger. Listed under him was a Robert Burrow(e)s age 17, "half-brother". Naturally I assumed that he was Abraham's half-brother.
Well I was right, but it's not what the enumerator meant.
A couple of weeks ago, after putting together info. that I have found on the internet in the past year (including Nancy's christening), mostly new entries from the IGI and various censues, I have discovered that Nancy was one of at least 13 children from two marriages of John Burrows. Abraham was a half-brother and Robert was a full-brother.
Back to my point. I had a Eureka (or was it yikes!?) moment when I realized that the wife of Edward Hoyle back in 1851 was Elizabeth Riley - the children with her were illegitimate and they all appeared with John Burrows in 1841 - she was his stepdaughter. This confirmed my suspicions of a marriage I'd found in Clitheroe to a Mary Riley. The IGI coughed up a christening for Elizabeth to Mary (apparently single) in 1814 in Halton Gill, Yorks., which matched her bp given on the census.
So in actual fact, Robert Burrow(e)s was the half-brother of Elizabeth Riley Hoyle, not of Abraham Burrows (though he was actually his too!). Now if only that enumerator had thought to write "step-brother" after Abraham's name, I might have knocked down that brickwall a long time ago : ).
I found this info. 2 days before Xmas so it was a great present. Last night I found another Barras listed as a relative to one of John's grandsons - she's the right age to be John's sister. Onward!
I guess the moral of the story is - check those census entries from every angle you can think of!

Burrow Digger
03-01-2007, 12:55 PM
Congrats. :)

Do your Burrows have any connection to Devon by any chance??

I too have a John Burrow from Devon who is still a stubborn brick wall. I know everything about after he got married - but nothing before his marriage.

And I have 2 men named William Burrow who both have fathers named John - one is my gt gt granduncle (brother to Isaac Burrow - my gt gt grandfather) - the other I dont know.

I think my John Burrow was married twice - he was approximately 50 when he got married in 1817 (and died in 1839 aged 73) so its quite likely he was married at least once before. I'm also wondering if he had 2 sons named William.

I have had different spellings including the following
Burrow - Burrows - Burrough - Burress - Borrow - Burow

Anyway Good luck & Congrats again.

03-01-2007, 9:52 PM
Hi - haven't found any connection with Devon. I suspect my line is well entrenched in the area around Burnley, Lancs. and just over the border into Yorkshire. Gisburn Yorks. (think it's in Lancs. now) has IGI references to Abraham Burrows going back many generations. John had a son and at least one grandson named Abraham, so probably the same lot.
Strangely, I have a Barrow line on my Sussex side - about the same generation too. Apparently it means the same thing.
Funny how Burrows was generally found as Barras before the mid-19th c., whereas your folk stuck with the "u" or "o". Regional dialects, no doubt!
Good luck with your research.