A dictatiion by Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns to Roy Fay Burns in the 1950s

Submitted by Sandy (Mowery) Sparrow

The following are excepts from a transcription of notes dictated by Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns to her youngest daughter, Roy Fay Burns/Mowery, probably between 1954 and 1957. The notes were what Tabitha remembered about the Burns, Stephens, and Cornelius families.

I remember my great grandmother Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns very well. She lived with my grandparents, only ten minutes away and we visited them often. She died when I was 6 years old. One of the things I remember most about my grandmother, Roy Fay Burns/Mowery, is that she had really nice handwriting. When I received the copies of these notes from Jane Freeman (blessings to her), I immediately recognized the handwriting and remembered a story my mother used to tell me. She said that Roy Fay hand-copied an entire Civil War book that Tabitha had of Calvin's so that she could have a copy and her sister(s) could have a copy. I have no idea what happened to the original book or the copy. But I remember thinking when I was young how special that book must have been to her. Their are 19 pages of notes and 12 numbered sections. It is obvious that some numbers of pages and notes were written in later by others. The later written-in page numbering is strange and does not make sense. I renumbered the pages for myself (leaving numbers written in later by others) into what I feel might be their original order grouping the families together; Stephens, Cornelius'; and Burns.

1) Roy Fay as she is writing Tabitha's dictation often refers to 'mother', referring to Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns
2) Anything in (parenthesis) were in the notes that way. Anything in ((double parenthesis)) are my notes.
3) No one seems to know why Tabitha refers to Tommy Burns wife Elizabeth with the maiden name 'Whitecotton' instead of Burnes and that she was 'Indian'. Tillman, Tommy's brother was married to a Sarah Whitecotton, but I have no parents or siblings for her? Was this Tabitha's failing memory, confusing Tommy's wife and Tilman's wife?
4) Months after transcribing this material my mother gifted me with copies of additional notes now integrated into this material marked with double **
Some of those notes are writen by my grandmother Roy Fay Burns, some dictated by her mother, my great grandmother, Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns.
If you are a descendent of any of these people and would like a full copy of the transcription, you may email me

.....- Granville Cecil Stephens and his wife Sarah Cornelius were third cousins ((actually they are 2nd cousins)). Sarah's mother was maiden name Stephens. She ((1st)) married a man by name of Parks, had two boys Rhyer Parks and Lish Parks. Sarah's mother then married Grandpa Cornelius. The family lived on Marsh Creek in Kentucky. That is where they left the Parks men. Mother ((Tabitha Jane)) said she remembers that they looked like of foreign nationality. ((Granville and family)) lived near Bruno Ark. Granville Cecil Stephens buried at Water Creek.)

Grandpa Cornelius ((and)) Grandma Stephens/Parks/Cornelius, mother of our grandma Sarah 'Sallie' ((and grandmother of)) mother Tabitha Jane Stephens/Burns, their children:

Sarah 'Sallie' Cornelius - our grandmother

Jim Cornelius - married Martha Rainey

Margurette Cornelius - married John Giddion

Grandpa & Grandma Cornelius and Uncle Jim Cornelius, as a single man at that time, moved from Kentucky to near Mansfield or Norwood Missouri in Taney or Douglas County. (and she, mother, don't remember who else). ? before Granville and Sarah 'Sallie' and our mother Tabitha moved to Arkansas. Jim Cornelius and wife Martha had a little girl to die. She was the first to be buried in a family plot on their own place, then Uncle Jim Cornelius was next. Mother ((Tabitha Jane)) supposes that Grandpa & Grandma Cornelius was buried there also.

Margurette and husband John Giddion close by there but mother ((Tabitha Jane)) is not sure they lived in the same county.

Granville Stephens and Sarah 'Sallie' our mother Tabitha and all the rest of the families that moved over ((to AR))

... started from Kentucky in November, mother Tabitha was five years old (mother was born 8/4/1868, that would make the move started in 1873.) On Christmas Day they arrived in Yelville, Arkansas. A man there had a double log house they moved into. Mother had an attack of fever. They later had to move into a tent. Some of them picked got to pick cotton. Grandpa Stephens made wagons.

**This is somewhat repetitive but worth the reading additional notes -
**When mother was about 5 yrs old several families of her relatives left the Appalachian Mts in KY and headed for AR and MO. Her parents mother Sarah 'Sallie' Cornelius/Stephens, her husband Granville Stephens and 3 or 4 little children: Andy; Martha; Tabitha 'Tabby'; and Barto a baby girl, Granville's parents Elijah Stephens and his wife Tabitha Marlin/Marlen/Marlowe, Elijah's mother and sons and two of Elijah's brothers left the Appaliachians and headed west. The older people James Wilson Cornelius and his parents and one sister, with the younger brothers went to MO near Norwood ... Granville and family stopped near Bruno AR in Marion Co. Granville made wagons, harnesses, things of wood and later did farming. They had cows, goats, horses, turkeys, geese, ducks, a few chickens and hogs, mostly on open range. What portions of Marion Co I have seen was very rocky white flint with small patches of level land. People planted steep rocky hillsides and it did produce. In places there are beautiful springs of water and it is dry country and most everyone had a Cystern Well to catch all the water they could from house tops. They would travel many miles to a good spring to get water to drink and use.**

These are Grandma Sarah 'Sallie' Stephens ((siblings))

Brother Henry Cornelius married he had children

a sister Susan - married

Mary Ann did not marry

Margarette married John Giddion they had several children eldest boy named Johnny (Martha and Sarah Giddion ((were)) children of John Giddion by ((a)) previous marriage.

also a brother Richard Cornelius (I cannot say truthful if this is the correct spelling of the name Cornelius)

...Jim Cornelius, Grandpa James Wilson Cornelius, Grandma Elizabeth 'Betsy', Ellen, Aunt Mary ((are all)) buried at Norwood, Missouri

**My father, (written by me, Roy Fay Burns) Calvin Henderson Burns, was a master mason and a Union soldier in the Civil War. He was a trumpiter for three years. He was married twice before he married my mother. His 1st wife Elizabeth and he had 7 children and then they divorced. His 2nd wife Rosa and he had 7 children who lived and then Rosa died giving childbirth. He then married my mother, Tabitha Jane Stephens. When Papa married mother, Sarah was married, but Tommy, Belle, Brad, France, Arkie and Zona still lived at home with Calvin and Tabitha.**

Calvin Burns - wife Louisa Elizabeth Mears their children - Jimmy, Margot, 1 baby died, Ransom, Sarah, Tommy, Bell and I don't know the others.

Sarah Burns - husband Jim Dosier - 2 children Mrytle and Tommy.

Sarah's 2nd husband Joe Robinson - their children; Bonnie, Edna, John, 1 other boy ((Cecil Edgar Robinson)), Della, Josephene, Marshall.

Tommy Burns - wife Nancy Mooney - children Ethel, 3 or 4 boys, Gertrude.

Calvin Burns - wife Rosa Kyles their children - Brad, France, Matilda 'Tilda' known as 'Papa's litle girl" died young, Arkie, May, Zona, 1 baby boy died

Brad Burns - wife Jane Fortenberry - children; Jimmy, Homer, Bertha, Delea, Rosa Lee

France Burns - wife Bell Wilson was 3/4 Indian - children; Viola, Bob, Ruby, Bernice

Arkie Burns - husband Jim Moody - children; Vivia, George, Jonathan, Hazel

May Burns - husband Charley Underwood - children; Una, Willie, Theodore, Jewel, Earnest, Syble (who married Vester Jones), Retha, Lester, France (who died in WWII), Oscar

Zona Burns - husband Jim Grey - children Rosa & Marie - Zona later married Robert Hughes they had children, only know Della? ** Someone passing by her house shot through the window and killed Zoan Burns.**

....((again repeats much of the information on page 16 and also seems this page might have been added later by someone))

1st - Calvin Henderson Burns - son of Tommy Burns & Elizabeth Whitecotton/Burns First Wife - Louisa E. Mears married Jan 26 1862 by William Wood an ordained minister of the M-E Church South was dissolved by the circuit court at Yellville ARK Aug. 1876 witnessed by J.W. Smith and James Mears

2nd - Calvin Henderson Burns was married to Rosa E. Kyles October 19, 1876 matrimony being solemnized by A.S. Gilley J.P. Hampton Township Marion Co. recorded at Yellville ARK marriage witnessed by J.F. Smith - Rosa died April 2 1888 **On Belle's broken monument it reads:

Rosa Belle Burnes Born June 18, 1875 Died April 21, 1904 A loving one from us has gone A voice we loved is still A vacant place is in our home Which never can be filled buried by Calvin Henderson Burnes Cleveland AR Conway Co**

....3rd - Lived in N. ARK Cleveland, Scotland, Butter Creek, Culpepper Mt., Little River Tabitha Jane 'Tabby' Stephens/Burns daughter of Granville Cecil Stephens and Sarah Cornelius/Stephens born Aug. 4, 1868 **{Tabitha's own notes later say May 4? }**(about 50 miles from Somerset in Kentucky. Died June 24, 1957 at 308 Del Sur St., Vallejo, Calif. buried at Culpepper Mt. Cemetery, Clinton Arkansas.

Husband - Calvin Henderson Burns born Nov. 17, 1842 in Henderson Co.. Tennessee. Died Oct. 7, 1918 buried at Cleveland Arkansas. He was a trumpeter of Captain Lawson D. Jernigan Co.. H. first Regiment of Arkansas Cavl. volunteer who was enrolled on the 28 day of July 1862 to serve three yrs. or during the war was discharged from the service of the United States on Aug. 23, 1865 at Fayetteville, ARK

Married at Grandpa Burns Home on Water Creek in Marion Co. ARK about 10 miles from Yellville ARK on May 3, 1888 their children

Susan 'Susie' Anne Burns b. July 12, 1889 Claudia B. Burns b. Oct. 5, 1891 Myrtle Burns b. Jan. 11, 1894 Edgar Cecil Burns b. Feb. 19, 1896 Edna Burns b. Feb. 22, 1898 Minnie Lula Burns b. Mar. 31, 1900 Esther Gracie Burns b. Sept. 1, 1902 Durward Burns b. June 5, 1905 Roy Fay Burns b. March 15, 1908 ** Calvin and Tabitha's children:

1) Susie was 1st married to Robert 'Bob' Wilson 3/4 Indian who lived in Turley OK - Their children were James 'Jimmy' Wilson who died 12 yrs old and robert 'Bob' Wilson who came down with Polio at about a year old but survived. Susie 2nd married Overton Moss and they had one child who died about 2yrs old, a girl Marie. Susie 3rd married Garland Wolverton and they had no children, he died of cancer. Susie 4th married Renfroe Thompson of Wolverton Mt and they had 6 children and lived in Center Ridge AR. Their children were Leon, Everette, Lorene, Willie May, W.R, and David.

2) Claudia married Ralph Anglin and they had 2 children, Edgar and Ralph

3) Mrytle married Tom Whitworth and their children are Opal, Porter, Irene, Chestal, Edna, Bertha and Oscar.

4) Edna married Bill Bradley and they have 2 children, Harry and L.D.

5) Edgar was a veteran of the WWI. He never married.

6) Minnie married Lester Merryman and their children are Pauline, Clarkie, Carthal Ray, Anna Jane and Lillian Rose.

7) Esther married John Whitworth and their children are Lavern, Dorthea, Marie and Geraldine.

8) Durward married Zetta Baker (Zetta's mother was Addie Whitworth who married Harrison Ward) and their children are Buel, Dean, Mary, Jo Ann, Floyd and Sharon

9) Roy Faye married John 'Edward' Mowery and their 2 children are Billy Ray and James Edward.**

**At the end of my grandmother's notes is a prose poem that she possibly wrote or maybe just copied, who knows?

When the sun is up the shadows on the wall reveal thy glorious handiwork. I sit and watch the changing lines. Even the heat's radiation is clearly defined. My cup and the trees outside and yes the slats of the window blind, these are joy and peace sublime, reflected by thy gift to all mankind, revealed for those who look and thank of thee the giver of glorious sunshine.**