Migrating Burrs


Dr. William Rice Burr House in Auburn, KY

Two months ago was the premier of Hamilton and I was thrilled. Unfortunately, my budget couldn’t accommodate going to see it live when it was in Louisville and Nashville so this would be next best thing. When it debuted July 4th on the Disney Channel, I watched several times because it was that good. I also realized that it was a romanticized portrait of Alexander Hamilton; like most of the founding fathers, he was a complicated man but still an important part of our history.

While doing research on the Drane House, I came across the name Burr and watching Hamilton triggered that memory. It concerned a Burr that I think was an attorney in Russellville, Kentucky in the 19th century and was involved in some sort of legal case. Well, wouldn’t you know that the Burrs in Logan County Kentucky are cousins to Aaron Burr. The first Burr that moved to the Kentucky from what was Jefferson County Virginia ( it is now in West Virginia) was William Burr whose father was Peter Burr (Jr). Peter’s dad, who was also named Peter (link goes to the historic house in West Virginia), was the uncle to Aaron. Like many settlers, I’m sure he was drawn to the promise of the fertile land to grow tobacco and other crops west of the Appalachians. With all the similar names, it can get pretty confusing when searching through genealogies. There is the Burr family cemetery just south of Adairville. I did look for the cemetery but believe it is now all grown over so was unable to take photographs of it. The original property borders Red River or it is close to it. It is near here that the Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson infamous took place in 1806. Tennessee banned dueling so Kentucky became the dueling grounds of hot tempered Tennesseeans. A kind of odd coincidence was that Andrew Jackson and Aaron Burr were friends, possibly bonding over the fact of Burr’s killing Hamilton in a duel that occurred in 1804 and less than two years later… Burr visited Jackson at the Hermitage on several occasions, trying to convince Jackson to become involved in a venture that would eventually end Burr’s political career.

The house pictured above is the only 19th century house that I could find that can be attributed to the Burrs in Logan County Kentucky.  I think that Dr. William Rice Burr was a grandson of William Burr. Hopefully, if anyone reads the blog and has any information about the Burrs, that they will share information. I’m almost certain that there are still descendants of the original Burrs still residing in the area.




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