Monday, June 11, 2018

Burwell David Mitchell (1828-1905): Brother and Son-in-Law

Burwell David Mitchell is one of the reasons I call my blog Tangled Roots and Trees.

He was born on 5 November 1828 in Bedford County, Virginia, to Daniel Mitchell, Jr. and Sarah "Sally" Wood. Daniel and Sally's youngest child, Barbara Ann Mitchell, was one of my great great grandmothers, so her brother, Burwell, was my three times great uncle.

Burwell first married Susan Mildred Powell on 28 October 1856. When they were enumerated in the 1860 census, they had two children. Their youngest child followed in 1861.

Burwell enlisted in the 2nd Virginia Cavalry in Liberty, the county seat, on 26 March 1862 and was away from home for most of the war. Sometime during that period, his wife, Susan, died. Burwell returned home 29 June 1864 to recover from a gunshot wound in his leg, and likely found himself responsible for three small children, ranging in age from 7 to 3 years old. So he quickly found a new wife.

On 15 December 1864 Burwell married Martha Virginia Beard. She was the daughter of David Fleming Beard, Sr., and Ann Dooley. Two years later, Burwell's sister, Barbara Ann, married Burwell's father-in-law, David Fleming Beard, Sr.!

Tangled Mitchell-Beard marriages; created using Microsoft PowerPoint

So when David and Barbara (Mitchell) Beard married, Burwell became step son-in-law as well as her brother.

And if that wasn't enough of a tangle, there is one more related to Burwell. He and his first wife, Susan, had a daughter named Sarah "Sally" Mitchell, who married her first cousin, George Washington Andrews, daughter of Burwell's sister, Margaret, and Chesley Andrews. When I discovered this, I got curious about when Virginia made marriage between first cousins illegal. I was surpised to learn that first cousin marriages are legal in Virginia with no age or other restrictions.

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