The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 49

Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 49
It is a most remarkable fact that those who bore a conspicuous
part in the early struggles and triumphs of Texas were either the
direct descendants of some of the most famous families on the
continent, to which belonged distinguished statesmen, soldiers, and
politicians, or else they were young men who gave promise of the
highest usefulness in their sphere in life. Dr. R. C. Burleson, the
subject of this memoir, forms no exception to this rule. His pro-
genitors include men distinguished in every business and calling,
during the colonial, revolutionary, and constitutional periods of
the history of the United States. Possessing a dauntless and dash-
ing element of character, they spent little time in hesitation and
hovering around the old homestead in their youth, but pushed out
and became powerful factors in the moral and material develop-
ment of twenty-two States and Territories.
All the members of the American branch of the Burleson family
have descended from two brothers: Sir Edward Burleson, who set-
tled in Jewett City, Conn., in 1716, and Aaron Burleson, who set-
tied in North Carolina in 1726. The descendants of these broth-
ers have constituted two separate families, those of Sir Edward
being Western people, in the common acceptance of that term, and
those of Aaron being intensely Southern in sentiment and sympa-
thy. Jonathan, a descendant of Aaron, son of John, and father of
the subject of this sketch, was born near Lexington, Ky., October
6th, 1789. Both John Burleson and his wife, Abigail Adair, were
strong in mind and resolute in purpose, and possessed that daring
and courage always and everywhere a characteristic of pioneers.
After attaining his majority and wedding Miss Elizabeth Byrd,
Jonathan moved to Alabama, and settled on a farm near Decatur.
Here he lived and died after amassing a large fortune, and raising
a family of thirteen children. Rufus C. Burleson, seventh of these
children, was born August 7th, 1823.
On his maternal side he was a lineal descendent of Sir William
Byrd, founder of Richmond and Petersburg, Va., and Governor

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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.