The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
BURNSIDE, Thomas - Otego
Thomas Burnside, the subject of this sketch, is a descendant in the
fourth generation, from Gloud Burnside, who immigrated from Ireland and
settled in this country in 1765, together with three other brothers, he
settling first in the New England States and his progeny in the State
of New York. For a fuller account of the Burnside history, see the
biography of General S. S. Burnside, of Oneonta. Thomas was second
child in a family of four sons and five daughters of Gloud T Burnside
and Margaret WILLSON. The former was a grandson of Gloud Burnside,
the emigrant, and son of Thomas Burnside, who settled in Albany county
and raised a family of fourteen children, two of whom still survive at
the advanced age of over eighty years. His father, Gloud, moved from
the town of Bethlehem, Albany county, and settled in the town of
Milford, Otsego Co., N. Y., about the year 1800, having then one child, Nancy,his second, the subject of this sketch, having been born after coming here,in the town of Milford, Aug. 7, 1801.
His father settled on a farm near what is now the Junction, a
wilderness tract of land, where he remained until about the year 1810,
when he moved to the township of Maryland, where he remained the
balance of his life as a farmer, and died at the age of about eighty-one
years.His mother died when he was twenty-three years of age, and in her
As was the case generally with the oldest children, so with Thomas,
being the eldest son, his time was valuable with his father at work, and
hence his education from books very much neglected; but, with many of
the boys and girls of those days, although book knowledge was limited,
they received in place habits of industry, self-reliance as a necessity,
resolution, and economy, which in after-years proved the fact that all
wealth is not obtained by education, but is rather the exception; and
these qualities laid for them the foundation for the best business men
that the country can boast of to-day.
At the age of twenty-one, and in the year 1822, he married Miss
Levina, daughter of Nathan BARBER and Thankful BROOKS, of the town of Maryland, but both formerly of Danbury, Conn., having been among the earliest settlers of that town.
Soon after his marriage his father-in-law died, and in the course
of eight years he owned the farm formerly occupied by him, having first
bought one-third (his brother-in-law buying another third); and
afterwards Mr. Burnside, by economy and judicious management, became the possessor of the whole. He remained there as a farmer until 1852, when
he sold all his farm land, then consisting of some 300 acres, and
to the town of Milford, bought 200 acres of land of Stephen PLATT, to
which subsequently he added some 125 acres more, selling his first
purchase to George CLARK, a large real estate owner. His general
business was farming and hop-growing. In 1869 he sold his real estate
in the town of Milford, and moved to the town of Otego, where he
purchased 200 acres of rich quality of farm land, lying on the
Susquehanna river, where he has since resided, farming and growing hops.
As a farmer, Mr. Burnside has been a success, and while he has
accumulated for his own comfort, he has remembered those deserving
his attention, - the needy and the poor.
He was first identified with the Federalist party, and has
continued in that line, and is to-day a standard-bearer in the Republican ranks. Never solicited office, but at one time was elected justice of the
He can nearly remember the days of General Washington's administration,
and has lived as a voter for some fifty-six years. He has been a
life-long supporter of educational interests, and a supporter of all
efforts tending to elevate and build up society religiously.
Mr. and Mrs. Burnside are plain, unassuming people, and belong to
the staunch old families who have lived to see the many improvements
and various changes in almost every direction, - from the rude log cabin
to palaces of grandeur, from the ox-team and cart to carriages of ease
and beauty; to see schools and churches rise from the wilderness and
spread abroad over the entire land. To them have been born nine
children, - Diadama, Margaret, Sylvester (deceased), Thankful
(deceased), William, Jerusha, Delmar, Sobrina, and Franklin (died in the army,1863).
The children, except Jerusha, live in the county; she lives at
Cobleskill, N. Y.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, opposite page 244--
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