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Jennie Belinda (Rose) Burgess


Jennie Belinda (Rose) Burgess was born on June 20, 1861 (or 1864) in Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Charles and Catherine (Minerd) Rose.

On May 3, 1882, at the age of 21, Jennie married 19-year-old William M. Burgess (1863-1944), a native of Ursina, Somerset County. (The name of the town apparently was pronounced by locals as "Ursinee" as evidenced in at least one document.) The ceremony was held at the office of Squire Campbell in Connellsville, Fayette County, PA and was reported by the Connellsville Keystone Courier. 

They had seven children, of whom the identities of six are known -- Harvey Burgess, Charles Burgess, Arthur Burgess, Bertha Burgess, Jesse J. Burgess and Catherine "Katie" Barber Semple. 

In May 1891, at the time of the birth of their son Charles, the Burgesses resided in Perryopolis, Fayette County.


Perryopolis, PA - Souvenir - Perryopolis Centennial Celebration, 1814-1914


In 1896, Jennie purchased a four-acre parcel of farmland from her parents near Ursina, Somerset County, PA. The tract was located next to the farms of her brothers J. Grant Rose and William Rose. She enjoyed visiting her relatives in Somerset County, and in July 1913 was noted in a newspaper article as having traveled with her daughter Katie to the mountains for a vacation of several weeks. Unfortunately, in October 1916, while living in Perryopolis, she received word that "her mother's home at Ursina had been burned to the ground with all its contents," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier.

The federal census of 1900 shows the Burgess clan making its home in Perryopolis. William, age 37, and son Harry, age 18, were employed as coal mine laborers. William and his sons labored together in local mines in Perryopolis for many years. 

Evidence suggests that William relocated in 1904 to work in Millvale, Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh, while Jennie maintained an address of Perryopolis.

Anxiety enveloped the family in early 1904 when their young daughter Bertha became seriously ill. She appeared to improve, and the April 25, 1904 edition of the Connellsville Weekly Courier reported that she "is able to go out again." Within a few days the family moved back to Ursina. But the girl's fate was sealed. Her health again declined, and she died on Feb. 15, 1905 at the age of eight. Interment of the remains was in Mount Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis.

Two elements of heartbreak visited the Burgesses in 1916. The house of Jennie's mother in Ursina burned to the ground in October, destroying $148 in cash and everything else. Then in December, Jennie's brother William was struck and killed by a moving locomotive near Confluence as he was walking to work. William and Jennie are known to have traveled to Ursina for the funeral service.

The federal census of 1920 shows the family in Perryopolis, with four adult children and three grandchildren living under their roof.

Jennie suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 66 on Dec. 27, 1930, just two days after Christmas. The funeral was held at their home, officiated by Rev. Car. D. Chapman of the Perryopolis Methodist Episcopal Church, followed by burial in the nearby Mount Washington Cemetery.

William outlived Jennie by several years. In 1933, he was listed as a dependent when his son Charles was profiled in the book World War Veterans of Somerset County. At the time, he lived with his son in Millvale. 

He remained there, at 414 Colton Street, for the balance of his years. In about 1939, he was diagnosed with hardening of the arteries. Five years late, on April 24, 1944, he died at home of a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 84. His son Harvey, also living at 414 Colton, signed the official certificate of death, but was unable to furnish the names of his father's parents. The remains were transported back to Perryopolis for interment.

~ Son Harvey Burgess ~

Son Harvey Burgess (1883-1958) was born on May 26, 1882 or 1883 in Ursina, Somerset County.

In young manhood he relocated to Perryopolis, Fayette County, PA, and earned a living as a laborer. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighed 185 lbs. and had blue eyes and brown hair.

He appears to have been married twice. On March 24, 1906, at the age of 22, he entered into marriage with 19-year-old Margaret "Maggie" McKee ( - ? ), daughter of William and Julian McKee of Sutorsville, Somerset County. The ceremony was performed in Perryopolis by Rev. J.C. Longanecker. At the time of their marriage, Margaret worked as a spinster.

Five months into the marriage, the couple's daughter Dartha Thorne Burgess was born in Fayette County on Aug. 17, 1906. Sadly, the newborn suffered from malnutrition and only lived for one month and 17 days. She succumbed to death on Oct. 3, 1906, with burial in Mount Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis.

At some point in time, Harvey appears to have wed again to Agnes (McKinney) Muldoon (1881-1975). She brought a son to the union, Walter O. Muldoon.

Harvey was the father of five known children -- Kameron Burgess, Wilmer Burgess, Evelyn Getchell, Alverda Wolak and Lillian Payne.

Circa 1916, Harvey lived at Dickerson Run near Vanderbilt. There, he and his brother Jesse were employed as coal miners for the Washington Coal and Coke Company of Star Junction.

The family migrated to Pittsburgh. The 1930 federal census shows Harvey and Agnes and family on Colton Street in Millvale, Allegheny County, PA. That year, Harvey's occupation was listed as a stationery engineer (custodian) in a high school.


Bird's eye view of Millvale, early 1900s, as seen from the reservoir


In 1940, at the time of death of Harvey's brother, the family was still in Pittsburgh. He was required to register for the military draft during World War II. At that time, with an address of 414 Colton Street in Millvale, he worked at Allegheny High School, employed by the Board of Education. He disclosed that he had tattoos on each arm.

Their address in the 1950s was 3128 McClure Avenue, where Harvey was employed as a church sexton. 

Having suffered from kidney and blood vessel disease, Harvey suffered a heart attack at home at the age of 75 and died on June 30, 1958. His body was returned to Fayette County for interment in the Mt. Washington Cemetery in Perryopolis. A death notice was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Agnes lived for another 17 years. She died on April 2, 1975. In an obituary, the Pittsburgh Press reported that her survivors included 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Stepson Walter O. Muldoon (1905-1984) was born on Aug. 9, 1905. He married Myrtle Fischer ( ? - ? ). The couple together bore a brood of children including Nannette Theil, Dorothy Henry, John W. Muldoon, William D. Muldoon and Patrick C. Muldoon. The family put down roots in Bethel Park near Pittsburgh. Walter died on Jan. 28, 1984, with an obituary appearing in the Pittsburgh Press.

Son Kameron Burgess (1907-1984) -- also spelled "Kamern" and "Kammerer" -- was born in 1907. After his parents' marriage ended during the 1910s, he went to live with his grandparents in Perryopolis and is shown there in the 1920 census. In 1930, as an unmarried man, he dwelled in Millvale and worked in a shipyard in Pittsburgh. Nothing more about him is known.

Son Wilmer B. Burgess (1910-1982) was born on Dec. 14, 1910 in Perryopolis, Fayette County. Wilmer's occupation in 1930 was as a pattern shipper in a steel mill in Pittsburgh. On June 15, 1940, in nuptials held in Millvale, he married Ruth A. Christmann (1914-2008). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed a notice of their marriage license. Their union endured for four decades. One son was born to this marriage, W. David Burgess. An unnamed daughter was stillborn on Nov. 23, 1942 after what a physician wrote was a "difficult labor." The infant's remains were lowered into repose in Allegheny Cemetery. The Burgesses initially established a residence in Millvale at 319 Sample Street. Later, they moved to Shaler Township, near Pittsburgh. Sadly, Wilmer died in Sept. 1982. Ruth outlived her spouse by more than a quarter of a century. At the age of 93, she passed away on March 8, 2008. Her Post-Gazette obituary said that in addition to her son, she was survived by "many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and great great nieces and nephews." They are in eternal sleep together in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery in Millvale.

  • Grandson W. David Burgess ( ? - ? ) relocated to North Carolina and was in Raleigh in 2008.

Daughter Evelyn Burgess (1913-1982) was born in about 1913. Evelyn earned income in 1930 as a saleswoman in a chain store in Pittsburgh. She wedded Howard Getchell ( ? -1976). The couple dwelled in Bethel Park in Pittsburgh. Howard was deceased by 1982. Sadly, Evelyn succumbed to the angel of death on Sept. 30, 1982. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an obituary.

Daughter Alverda L. "Al" Burgess (1915-2001) was born in about 1915. She was joined in the bonds of matrimony with Stephen A. "Steve" Wolak ( ? -1990). The family established a longtime home in Millvale. The couple's four children were Jane Zellers, Stephen Wolak Jr., John Wolak and Thomas Wolak. The family was plunged into mourning when Stephen died on Dec. 7, 1990. His remains were interred at St. Ann Church. Alverda survived him by a little more than a decade. She died at the age of 85 on Jan. 19, 2001. Burial was at the Holy Spirit Church.

  • Granddaughter Jane Wolak wedded (?) Zellers. She was in Florida in 2001.
  • Grandson Stephen A. Wolak Jr. dwelled in Oil City, PA in 2001. He was deceased by 2005.
  • Grandson John M. Wolak (1945-2005) was born on Nov. 8, 1945. graduated from Community College of Allegheny County. Circa 1973, John wedded JoAnn Mazurek ( ? - ? ), daughter of Joseph F. Mazurek of Shaler Township. Their one son was Jonathan M. Wolak. At the time of their marriage, JoAnn was employed by Consolidation Coal Company. The family lived in Ohio Township in the outskirts of the town of Sewickley, near Pittsburgh. John died without warning at the age of 59 on Feb. 22, 2005. His mass of Christian burial was held at the Holy Spirit Church in Millvale, with an obituary appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Grandson Thomas E. Wolak ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). In about 1971, he is believed to have wedded Kathleen M. Terjak ( ? - ? ), who at the time was a student at Edinboro State College. She was the daughter of R.E. Terjak of Old Perry Highway. The Wolaks moved to Slippery Rock, PA.

Daughter Lillian D. Burgess (1917-2002) was born in about 1917. She was united in holy wedlock with Charles A. Payne ( ? -1973). Together, the pair bore two sons, Charles Richard Payne and Thomas R. Payne. They made their residence in Bellevue north of Pittsburgh, with an address of 28 Sheraden Avenue. Cancer cut down Charles on Jan. 26, 1973. His funeral mass was held at the Church of the Assumption, with an obituary printed in the Pittsburgh Press. Lillian lived as a widow for 19-plus years. She died at the age of 85 on June 22, 2002. Her obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in which the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

  • Grandson Charles Richard Payne ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He received a degree from Point Park College and served in the U.S. Navy. Circa 1968, he married his first wife, Elizabeth Cost ( ? - ? ), daughter of John W. Cost. The couple's nuptials were held in Heinz Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Elizabeth's wedding portrait was printed in the Pittsburgh Press. In 1989, Charles was employed by McKesson Corporation. Circa Oct. 1989, he married Patricia Ann Garbe ( ? - ? ), daughter of Frederick E. and Anna Mae Garbe of West View near Pittsburgh. At the time, she earned a living with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, having attended Community College of Allegheny County.
  • Grandson Thomas R. Payne ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He made a home in Bellevue and at times wrote letters to the editors of Pittsburgh's daily newspapers.


Ursina Cemetery

~ Son Charles Burgess ~

Son Charles Burgess (1891-1977) was born on May 7, 1891 in Ursina, Somerset County. 

He served in World War I as a private in Company G of the 52nd Infantry, 6th Division. He enlisted May 3, 1918 at Perryopolis. After shipping overseas in July 1918, he served in the Geradimer Sector, Voges Mountains and Meuse-Argonne. He was discharged at Fort Dix, NJ on June 17, 1919.

After the war's end, he returned to Perryopolis and lived with his parents, rejoining his father and brothers as coal mine laborers. He remained at home at least through 1930, as shown in newspaper records.


Book naming Charles

At some point in time, Charles married Sabina Hinzy (1906-1983), a native of Middlecreek Township, Somerset County, and the daughter of Josiah Hinzy and Ida M. (Reeseman) Hinzy Phillippi.

They did not reproduce.

Circa 1937, Charles was profiled in a book entitled World War Veterans of Somerset County, produced by the Commissioners of Somerset County. At the time, he lived in Millvale, near Pittsburgh, in a dwelling located at 414 Calton Street. He was a laborer, and authorities considered his physical condition as "fair." 

Charles passed away back at home in Ursina on July 21, 1977, at the age of 86. His obituary, published in the  Somerset newspaper, was clipped by Hazel (Rose) Cameron, who saved it in a notebook, and inscribed it in the margin, "1st cousin." 

Sabina outlived Charles by six years. She died at home at the age of 76 on Aug. 26, 1983.


~ Son Arthur "Art" Burgess ~

Son Arthur "Art" Burgess (1892-1940) was born in July 1892. 

He was twice married. His first wife was Marie Wingrove (1897-1918), daughter of Schuyler and Magdeline (Morris) Wingrove.

The two sons born to the couple were Arthur Burgess Jr. and Raymond Burgess. 

Tragedy blanketed the young family in the autumn of 1918. Marie contracted a deadly case of pneumonia and influenza, and within a week she was dead. Death swept her away at the age of 21 on Nov. 11, 1918 -- World War I's famed Armistice Day. Her remains were laid to rest in Cochran Cemetery in Dawson, Fayette County.

By 1920, the 25-year-old Arthur lived with his young sons in his parents' household in Perryopolis. That year, he was employed as a laborer in a local coal mine. 

Eventually he married a second time to Gertrude "Gertie" (1892- ? )

At the time of death of Arthur's mother in 1930, the Connellsville Daily Courier reported that the family resided in Blairsville, Indiana County, PA. Records show that they were in Vintondale, Cambria County in 1935, Claridge, Westmoreland County in 1938 and White Valley/Export, Westmoreland County in 1940.

The federal census enumeration of 1940 shows that Arthur was employed by the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment and is widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings.

Arthur died at home on Nov. 16, 1940, at the age of 48. Funeral services were held at the home in White Valley, followed by interment at Mount Washington Cemetery near Perryopolis.

Son Arthur Burgess Jr. (1916-1997) was born on Jan. 1, 1916/1917/1918 in Star Junction, Fayette County. (Records differ.) As a young boy he dwelled in the home of his grandparents in Perryopolis. Then circa 1940, he moved from Export, Westmoreland County to Cleveland. He stood 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighed 155 lbs. and had hazel eyes and brown hair. When required to register for the military draft during World War II, he was in Cleveland and unemployed. In time he married Elizabeth J. (1921- ? ). They dwelled in Macedonia, Summit County, OH. He died in Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights near Cleveland on Jan. 28, 1997. Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery in Twinsburg, Summit County.

Son Raymond Burgess (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918. He has faded from view for now.


~ Son Jesse J. "Jess" Burgess ~

Son Jesse J. "Jess" Burgess (1898-1938) was born on July 7, 1898.

When he was 20 years of age, in 1918, he lived in Perryopolis, Fayette County. At that time, he and his brother Harvey were employed as coal miners by the Washington Coal and Coke Company of Star Junction. Jesse was of medium height and build, and had brown hair and blue eyes.

Circa 1926, suffering from some sort of mental illness, he was admitted to the Torrance State Hospital, where he spent the next 12 years of his life, until his death at the age of 40.

A census-taker recorded that Jesse lived in his parents' home in Perryopolis as of December 1930, when he was 32 years of age. 

He died in Torrance State Hospital on Sept. 22, 1938. Funeral services were held in Perryopolis, led by Ref. Fred Fink of the Perryopolis Christian Church. His remains were placed at rest in the Mount Washington Cemetery.


~ Daughter Catherine "Katie" (Burgess) Barber Semple ~

Daughter Katie Burgess (1902- ? ) was born in 1902 in or near Perryopolis, Fayette County, PA. 

She is believed to have married Robert S. Barber (1883- ? ) in about 1929, when she was age 27, and he was 46.

The federal census of Euclid, near Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, shows that Robert was a native of Nebraska, and was employed in manufacturing furniture.

In 1930, a Connellsville newspaper article reported that she lived in Cleveland and was married to "Robert Barber." 

By 1938, at the death of her brother, she was listed in the Connellsville Daily Courier as "Mrs. Catherine Semple" of Cleveland. 


Copyright 2000, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2021 Mark A. Miner