Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Harrisburg

The Kemp Sketch

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BURCH, JAMES - Born near Bardstown, Kentucky, July 11, 1816, a son of Samuel Lewis and Dorothy Burch. The Burch family came to Texas in about 1825, landing at Natchitoches, Louisiana by boat and traveling overland from there to Nacogdoches.

Mr. Burch was a member of Captain William Kimbro’s Company and is name appears on the rolls printed in 1836 of those who participated in the battle of San Jacinto and it does not appear on the Harrisburg rolls in the General Land Office. Since however, he accepted Donation Certificate No. 957 for 640 acres of land issued in his name November 25, 1839 for “having been detailed to guard the camp near Harrisburg”, April 21, 1836 it is assumed that he performed that service. On November 23, 1839 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 787 for 320 acres for his services in the army from July 20 to October 20, 1836.

In Headright Certificate No. 85 for one-third of a league of land issued to him February 1, 1838 it is simply stated that he came to Texas prior to March 2, 1836. It seems that he was a member of Reverend John Parker’s caravan which came to Texas from Illinois.

Mr. Burch was married to Martha Simms. Mr. Burch died December 21, 1884, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. He is buried in the Catholic cemetery, four miles west of Moscow, in Polk County. Mrs. Burch was born August, 1820, and died May 24, 1901. The State of Texas had a monument erected at their graves in 1936.

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Burch, all of whom are deceased except Mrs. Catherine Eliza Parson, and Miss Elizabeth Frances Burch, were (1) Thomas, (2) Malvina Ann, (3) Ellen Mary, (4) Matilda Harriett, (5) John Lewis, (6)Catherine Eliza, (7) Elizabeth Frances, (8)Benedict Brown, (9) James Valentine and (10) Martha Apolis.

(1) Thomas Burch was married to Margaret Gibbs. Their surviving children are: James Edward, Starks, Louisiana; Emma Beatrice Hays, Beaumont; Thomas Vivian, Jasper, Texas; Robert Stafford, Carmona, Texas.

(2) Miss Malvina Burch died single.

(3) Miss Ellen Mary Burch died single.

(4) Miss Matilda Harriet died single.

(5) John Lewis was married to Samantha Ann Brock. Their surviving children are: Anne, who married Archibald Saxon, resides in Saratoga, Texas; Stella, who married B. L. Thompson, Corrigan; Joseph Lewis, who married Ella Turner, lives in Corrigan.

(6) Catherine Eliza married Samuel Zenas Parsons, their surviving children are: Raphael Burch; Lelia Steward, Voth, Texas; Laurence Ross, Corpus Christi.

(7) Elizabeth Frances has never married, resides in Beaumont, Texas.

(8) Benedict Brown married Mary Davison, their surviving children are: Mary, married Selma Collier, Silsbee, Texas and George Davison, San Antonio.

(9) James Valentine married Callie Eugenia Mantooth, their surviving children are: Sarah Burch Morris, 1815 Hazal Ave., Beaumont, Texas; James Calvin Burch, married Lucile Ostebee, live 760 Ave. B., Beaumont, Texas.

(10) Martha Apolis married William Plamer who survives her. Their survivng children are: John Reynolds, seaman, address unknown; and Samuel Augustus, who lives in Los Angeles, California.

Mrs. R. L. Rothe, a great-granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Burch, resides in Corrigan, Texas, Box 1014.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Company: [Capt. William Kimbro] detailed to guard baggage

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1816 Jul 11
  • Birthplace: Kentucky, Bardstown
  • Came to Texas: 1825
  • Date of Death: 1884 Dec 21
  • Burial Place: Catholic cemetery, Moscow, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 787
  • Donation Certificate: 957
  • Wife: Martha Simms
  • Children: Thomas Burch; Malvina Ann Burch; Ellen Mary Burch; Matilda Harriett Burch; John Lewis Burch; Catherine Eliza Burch Parsons; Elizabeth Frances Burch; Benedict Brown Burch; James Valentine Burch; Martha Apolis Burch Plamer
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother Valentine Burch at Harrisburg