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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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.

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Thomas Burgess, a retired farmer of Sulphur Springs, was born three and a half miles west of there, on Grand Glaize Creek, in 1824, and is the third of nine children born to Judge Sanders and Elizabeth (Stewart) Burgess. The father was born in Georgia, in 1792, and when but a small boy removed with his parents, Thomas and Nancy Burgess, to near Nashville, Tenn. Here Thomas Burgess died. He was a soldier in the early Indian wars, and his ancestors were among some of the most prominent English families who came to America in Colonial times. The father of Thomas, Jr., came to Missouri about 1811, and spent about two years mining lead in Washington County. He then returned to Tennessee with his ore, which he disposed of to Gen. Jackson and his troops, whom he met near Nashville, Tenn., on their way to fight the British at New Orleans. In 1813, Sanders Burgess, in company with his mother, three brothers and two sisters, again came to Missouri, and settled in Jefferson County, where the mother died in 1845, and was interred in the old family burying place, which was formerly a part of the old homestead on Grand Glaize Creek. Sanders then returned to the lead mines in Washington County, where he spent several years. He then came to Jefferson, and for several years was assisting Col. Bryant in his distillery, on Sandy Creek. While there, and in 1818, he was married, and soon after settled about three and a half miles above the mouth of Grand Glaize Creek, where he was extensively engaged in farming and stock raising, milling and distilling until 1840, when he removed to the mouth of the creek, where Sulphur Springs now stands, and was largely engaged in the wood trade. He owned an old Spanish grant of land of about 1,500 acres, and 2,000 acres in the vicinity of Sulphur Springs. Mr. Burgess was well known throughout Jefferson County as a man of integrity and honor, and was for some years one of the county judges of Jefferson County. He reared a large family of children, who inherited many of his noblest characteristics, for which he was so much esteemed. He died June 3, 1855. The mother of our subject was born in Jefferson County about 1799, and died in 1848. Both were for many years faithful and consistent members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Burgess was a daughter of Capt. John Stewart, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, and who served through the Revolutionary War under Gen. Washington, and was one of the very early pioneers and well-known citizens of Jefferson County. Mr. and Mrs. Burgess furnished one son for the Union army. He was in Col. Thomas C. Fletcher’s regiment, but soon after the fall of Vicksburg, in which he participated, was taken sick, returned home, and January 22, 1864, was buried with the honors of war. Thomas was reared at home, with very limited educational advantages, and his first move after leaving the parental roof was to engage in the wood trade on Island No. 8. In 1854 he married Miss Caroline E. Kennerly, a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of Thomas J. Kennerly, who was formerly of Tennessee, but at that time was living in St. Louis. Seven children were born to Mr. Burgess’ union, three of whom are living: Mary E., widow of Peter Kirk; Lillie, wife of Dr. W. W. Hull; and Strother, which is a family name in honor of Gen. Strother, who figured prominently in the early days of Tennessee, and who was a relative of Mrs. Burgess’ people. The same year of his marriage Mr. Burgess built the house at Sulphur Springs, and in this he has ever since lived. He has made farming his chief occupation through life, and is an honest, industrious citizen. Although not a member of any church he is a liberal supporter of this and all other worthy enterprises. He is politically a Union Democrat, and voted to sustain the Union during the war. The family is well-known and esteemed throughout the county. Mrs. Burgess was a member of the Baptist Church, and died February 28, 1888, after a long illness.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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