Mary Walker/John Burnside descendants
(There is a reference in this post to a slave named Lucy.)

To descendants of Mary Walker and John Burnside of Pocahontas County., WV:

Identifying the parents of Mary (Walker) Burnside has had me stumped for many years. There are so many Walkers, especially in Rockbridge County, that it seemed impossible to sort them out. Too many Marys, Johns and Alexanders!

Emma Siggins White's book on the Wigton Walkers (mostly of Rockbridge County) does not identify her as near as I can tell. Jewell Simmons, a Walker/Burnside researcher, some time ago submitted Mary Walker's name to the LDS records as the daughter of Alexander Walker and Jane Hammer, but I have thought for many years that she was in error because of the dates of birth of Mary's children. I believe now that Mary was the daughter of Alexander Walker who built his plantation on Little Run near the present town of Mt. Meridian, Augusta County, VA.

Alexander Walker's plantation, his family and descendants and a little of his history is found in the book, My Augusta A Spot of Earth, Not a Woman by C.E. May, 1987. Alexander is in Augusta County as early as 1748, is granted a patent on 400 acres in 1760, had several children, and died testate in 1775, leaving his plantation to his son, John. I have been unable to determine if this Alexander Walker is related to the Wigton Walkers of Rockbridge County, VA, but I would be very surprised if he was not, given the dates and locations of the families.

Here are some facts which, put together, leads me to Mary's parents.

In his will, Alexander leaves 50 pounds to a daughter, Mary, as well as a slave named Lucy, a child bearing woman valued at 40 pounds. Other children are named, of course, as well as his wife, Elizabeth.

John Burnside and Mary Walker began having children about 1775 and lived in present day Pocahontas County although I have seen no documentation giving birth dates or John and Mary's marriage date. The only date I am relatively sure of is my ancestor, their daughter Margaret, who died in 1855 at age 65 (Pocahontas County death record).

John Burnside is said to be the son of Robert Burnside, killed by Indians in 1742. His mother, Esther (Mayes) Burnside then married Archibald Clendennin and they lived up on the Cowpasture River in present day Bath County. John, probably about 10 years old at the time of his father's death, is said to have gone to live with his Uncle John Burnside who lived near the Old Stone Church in Augusta County. This is the same area where Alexander Walker, named above, lived. This then, in my mind, gives an opportunity for John Burnside, Jr. (called Jr. to separate him from his Uncle John) to meet Mary Walker, daughter of Alexander.

John Burnside is named in Greenbrier County tax records as early as 1782 living in what is now Pocahontas County on the Greenbrier River.

William T. Price in his book Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, WV published in 1901 page 220 says Mary Walker, John Burnside's wife, is "of Augusta County" and "her family and the family of General J. A. Walker of Wytheville, VA are closely related."

Another researcher, Bertha Lewis Clark, said in her typescript on the Burnside family written in the 1930s that Mary Walker is the great aunt of General James A. Walker, CSA.

The General's lineage is also traced to this same Alexander Walker who died in 1775. Alexander is the great grandfather of the General which makes Mary Walker a great aunt of the General, as stated by Berth Lewis Clark. I have the lineage of the General, but I did not include it since it is rather lengthy.

One final piece of evidence was located only recently. In the 1783 tax list of Greenbrier County the slaves names are given. John Burnside has a slave named Luci which is almost surely the Lucy given in the will of Alexander to his daughter, Mary, in 1775.

While the above facts are not proof of Mary Walker's lineage, I think it is very strong circumstantial evidence. The next task is to find the lineage of this Alexander Walker.

Contributed by: E170lakewy@aol.com
By way of: LEELEE114@aol.com


Created: 26 December 1998 | Updated: 18 March 2000
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