June 17, 2006


The Burlingham Rudd who married the Widow Mary Whaley

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHave you ever wondered why a widow who was probably in her mid to late 40’s would marry an 86 year old man? Especially, when she came from a socially recognized family and her husband left her an estate. I doubt it was for the “conjugal perks” of marriage. Although William Wesley Rudd, oldest son of Elias David Rudd, might undermine my theory! But that’s another story for later.

From the first time I was told that Burlingham Rudd 2nd married the widow Mary Whaley, I thought it to be a rather curious arrangement. I think it’s one of those old assumptions where no one actually took a look at the documentation because it didn’t really matter. It didn’t affect anyone’s generational line. Maybe they didn’t have the information that is available today or maybe they just didn’t find it. But I thought it was an interesting story and from time to time I had been contacted by Whaley researchers who also had the same information and never really questioned it. The one document that most of us had was the Inventory of the Estate of Burlingham Rudd of Goose Creek. It’s a very interesting accounting of his material possessions and provides us with a glimmer into what his life was like back in 1836 Charleston, South Carolina.

But there are other documents pertaining to the marriage between Burlingham Rudd of St. James Goose Creek and Mary Whaley, widow of George Powell Whaley, Sr. also of St. James Goose Creek. One of those documents is the Last Will and Testament of Burlingham Rudd signed and sealed with his legal signature on October 30, 1827.

Another document is a Pre-Nuptial Marriage Contract between Burlingham Rudd and Mary Whaley dated December 26, 1826 which is signed by Burlingham Rudd with his legal signature and Mary Whaley makes her mark “X”. Contained in that document is the sworn testimony of the witness G. Crawford who says he and the other witnesses were present and saw “Burlingham Rudd subscribe his name and Mary Whaley subscribe her mark on this act”.

There is another document that was created during their marriage, a Deed of Gift from Mary (Whaley) Rudd to Susannah Whaley, her daughter, dated October 15, 1829 where Burrel Rudd is one of the witnesses and signs his name, Burrel Rudd. Is this her husband, Burlingham Rudd, who now calls himself Burrel? I think it’s very likely.

The point is that the Burlingham Rudd that married the widow Mary Whaley could write his name. This will be a very important clue to his identity ... not who he is, but who he is not.

I have found and transcribed three land surveys, two land grants and one deed of sale in the name of Burlingham Rudd of St. James Goose Creek. You can view them all HERE. It’s not clear if they are all the same person but on the one deed of sale from Burlingham Rudd to William H. Harrall on April 5, 1814, Burlingham Rudd signs his legal signature. This land was acquired by grant on September 6, 1813 after it had been surveyed on March 4, 1808. The survey plat notes that adjacent land was owned by the Late George Lounsdale Rudd. George Lounsdale died around 1804.

Now I’ll take you back to Anson County, North Carolina and give you a brief review of those land deeds of sale that bear the Burlingham Rudd name as seller which requires a signature or mark to seal the deal. I apologize, I still need to transcribe those deed and grant and post them for you to see.

The original April 11, 1749 land grant of 300 acres in Anson Co., NC to Burlingham Rudd 1st changes hands quite frequently, which I must say peaks my curiosity but I’ll wait to discuss that at another time.

Item 1:
October 12, 1750, 40 acres from Burlingham Rudd to John Red. Burlingham Rudd signs his name.

Item 2:
1750, same tract of land not defined by acres, John Read to James Steward. Burlingham Rudd is a witness and signs his name.

Item 3:
(April 15, 1751, the same tract of land returns to Burlingham Rudd sold by James Steward.)

Item 4:
January 26, 1757, 200 acres of the original grant, Burlingham Rudd, Sr. to Burlingham Rudd, Jr (2nd). Burlingham Rudd Sr. signs his name.

Item 5:
October 20, 1788, one tract of the original grant not defined by acres, Burlingham Rudd, Jr. (2nd) to Lewis Lanier. Burlingham Rudd makes his mark “X”.

Item 6:
March 11, 1792, 100 acres of the original grant, Burlingham Rudd (2nd) to James Lanford. Burlingham Rudd makes his mark “X”.
All of the above transactions involve the same land. In Item 1-3, 40 acres of the original 300 acre grant to Burlingham 1st change ownership and is eventually sold back to Burlingham 1st.

In Item 4, Burlingham 1st sells 200 of his 300 acres to Burlingham 2nd for 20 pounds sterling. What is very strange to me is that Burlingham 2nd would have been only 15 years and 3 months old at the time and 20 pounds sterling is a lot of money. Where did Burlingham 2nd get so much money at such a young age? Why did his father sell him the land at such a young age? It’s a mystery we’ll have to tackle later.

Item 5, appears to be the same land that Burlingham 2nd bought from his father and he sells it to Lewis Lanier in 1788. This is the deed that includes access to the Rudd graveyards on the property. I think Burlingham 1st has died by this date.

Item 6, appears to be the other 100 acres of the original 300 acre land grant to Burlingham 1st. Apparently Burlingham 2nd inherited the land. I think he must have been living on this tract and he sells it in 1792 in preparation for his move from Anson Co., NC.

In Item 1-4, Burlingham 1st signs his legal signature. Yes! He could write his name. But in Item 5 and 6, Burlingham 2nd makes his mark “X”. He could not write his name.

Item 7:
January 18, 1790, 2 tracts of 100 and 150 acres, purchased for Burlingham Rudd from the Sheriff thru his friend, Malachi Watts, at auction with Lewis Lanier as witness.

Item 8:
July 16, 1793, the same 2 tracts of land bought at the auction, from Burlingham Rudd, Sr. to Burlingham Rudd, Jr. Burlingham Rudd signs with his mark “B”.

Item 9:
September 9, 1793, the same 2 tracts of land, Burlingham Rudd to Robert Wallis. Burlingham Rudd makes his mark “X”.
In Item 7, it appears that Burlingham Rudd, perhaps 2nd, authorized a friend to bid for a parcel of land that contained 2 tracts at an auction in 1790. That land in Item 8 is then sold by Burlingham Sr. to Burlingham Jr. for one pound current money of North Carolina in July 1793. Burlingham Jr. then sells that same parcel of 2 tracts in Item 9 in September 1793.

I believe that Burlingham Jr. in these transactions is the one we have come to call Burlingham 3rd because the description of the land list William Vaughn as an adjacent land owner and in Item 9, William Vaughn is a witness on the deed. We know that Burlingham 3rd married Mary Vaughn. This William Vaughn appears to be her relative, perhaps father or brother. But what I’m not certain of is that the Burlingham Sr. in these transactions is the 2nd unless he has switched his legal mark to a “B”. This is really interesting because if this is not Burlingham 2nd with the “B” mark, then Burlingham 2nd is not the father of Burlingham 3rd!

So based on these documents, Burlingham 3rd signs with his mark “X”. He evidently could not write his name. And Burlingham 2nd signs with his mark “X” and perhaps later with his mark “B”. But either way, he could not write his name.

That brings us back to the Burlingham Rudd and Mary Whaley documents. I don’t think it’s likely that Burlingham 2nd went from signing with a mark “X” or even a mark “B” in North Carolina to being able to sign his entire name as a legal signature on documents in South Carolina.

In addition, it doesn’t appear that the Burlingham Rudd in Goose Creek with the 606 areas of land he acquired in 1808 and sold to William H. Harrall on April 5, 1814 is Burlingham 2nd unless he learned to write his name between 1793 and 1814. I think that’s unlikely.

In 1793 Burlingham 2nd is about 52 years old. In 1826 at the time of the pre-nuptial marriage contract with the widow Mary Whaley he would have been 85 years old. He would have been 86 when they married. He would have been 94 when he died. I think when we add to this that the Burlingham Rudd who married Mary Whaley could write his name and the documentation in North Carolina shows us that Burlingham 2nd could not write his name, I have to propose to you that it was not Burlingham Rudd 2nd who married the widow Mary Whaley.

But which Burlingham Rudd did marry the widow Mary Whaley?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You’ll notice that when we look at the Rudd households in Charleston District, SC between 1800 and 1830 there is a Burlingham Rudd in 1800 that records his age as 45 years and older and a Burrel Rudd in 1820 that records his age as from 26 to 45, which I believe at the time meant he was at least 26 but not yet 45 years old. These are clearly not the same man. The one in 1800 might be Burlingham 2nd but that’s not clear either.

A while back I was working with Jean Hollars who is descended from the Eli Rudd (1815-abt 1859) and Maryanne Mizell line who were the parents of Hiram Rudd (1845-1910). Hiram married Anne Caroline Williams (1842-1910) who was the daughter of Reverend West Williams. Jean and I were trying to figure out who was the father of her Eli Rudd when she made what I think is a significant discovery that goes right to the question of which Burlingham Rudd married the widow Mary Whaley. She called to my attention that on the 1820 St. James Goose Creek census there is a woman head of household identified as Mrs. Valey living next door to Burrel Rudd. Look HERE.

Given that this census was transcribed as a copy, you can clearly see that by the way it looks, and given the accents that could have contributed to a “W” sounding like a “V”, and I have looked through the rest of the census and there is no other Valey listed. Also, the number and gender of the children in “Mrs. Valey’s” household match the number of children the widow had with George P. Whaley, Sr.

This is pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this is the Burlingham Rudd that married the widow Mary Whaley.

No comments: