My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

CELIN BURGESS. One of the great industries of this country and which today, in this State, has over fifteen million dollars invested and nearly six hundred thousand cows, is the dairy business. A prominent representative of this industry in the town of Ripley is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. Celin Burgess is a son of Walter S. and Delitha (Welch) Burgess, and was born in Madison county, New York, July 23, 1830. Levi Burgess (grandfather) was a native of the Green Mountain State. Like his illustrious compatriot, Ethan Allen, he served in the Revolutionary war, and at its close moved from Vermont to the Empire State and settled in Madison county, where he died. He united in marriage with Ruth Sabin and reared a family of four sons and three daughters. Nicholas Welch (maternal grandfather) came from Germany during the first decade of the present century and when the mother country was a candidate for her second chastisement this newly arrived citizen went forth to assist the forces of his adopted country. At the battle of Queenstown, about the same time and place that Lieut. Winfield Scott, afterwards the renowned general, was wounded, Nicholas Welch was so severely wounded that it was necessary to amputate both hands. He returned to his home in Madison county, finally became blind and then lived with his daughter, Mrs. Burgess, until his death. Walter S. Burgess was born in Vermont, and when central New York was pretty well “out West” he moved to Madison county, Later he came to Chautauqua county and selected for his home a site that was covered with stately monarchs of the forest. His ax laid low the mighty monarchs and with wedge and maul transformed the vast trunks into boards and rails for houses, barns and fences. A double duty was performed by clearing and building simultaneously. When a few acres were cleared he tilled the soil to provide food for his family. He married Delitha Welch, a native of Germany, who was a helpmeet to him in all that the term implies. They reared four children: Alfred, a miller, resides in Iowa; Celin; Henry, occupying the responsible position of master mechanic for an Ohio railroad; and Lucy, wife of William O. Case, who lives in this town.

Celin Burgess did not pass his early life in ease nor as a pampered child of luxury. His parents were in straitened circumstances and he soon learned to depend upon his own exertions. Such education as he found means of securing he got in the public schools and then began life as a farm laborer. Industry, economy and good judgment soon began to tell, and it was not many years before he had money of his own. To-day he owns one hundred and seventy-eight acres of as good land as may be found in Ripley, upon which he keeps a herd of cows that is the delight of the county. He is a member of the Farmers’ Alliance.

Mr. Burgess married Laura Edwards and has two sons: Andrew lives in Ripley, where he is a farmer. His wife was Mary Imbury, who has borne him two children, Laura and Louisa; and Albert is married to Ida Ruter and lives with his father.

Politically Celin Burgess is a republican, but, it is not in politics that he has become prominent. He who can show his fellow-farmers how to make agriculture profitable, aye, a well-spring of wealth, is worthy of place beside statesmen, warriors and genii. We know too much of war but the arts of peace develop slowly.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Chautauqua County, New York here: Chautauqua County, New York Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.