Family Matters

Misfortunes of the Samuel Davidson Burgin Family

#152128 Samuel Davidson Burgin

Samuel Davidson Burgin was born December 9, 1846 in Buncombe County, North Carolina. He was the eighth child of John Burgin, Jr. and the fourth by John's second wife Rachel Davidson.

Sam married Mary Caroline Quickel, daughter of Cephas Quickel and Sally Killian of Lincoln County, North Carolina. Family tradition has it that Sam walked all the way to Lincoln County to marry Caroline.

They first made their home in Swannanoa, Buncombe County and were there in the 1870 census. Sometime around 1875, they moved back to Lincoln County and remained there until their respective deaths.

Each year however, they would travel back to Swan-nanoa for a visit. This was no small task back in those days. They traveled by horse and wagon and it took a week to make the trip. They would visit for two weeks, then the return trip would take a week. In 1878, this trip proved to be disasterous.

Diphtheria was spreading like wildfire across the mountains. And while they were visiting, their son John came down with the illness. Johnny died while they were still in Swannanoa and was buried in Piney Grove Cemetery near his paternal grandmother Rachel Davidson.

Sam and Caroline returned to Lincolnton, but in less than a month their remaining four children; Henry Levi (age 7), John Albert (age 5), Sara E. (age 6 mos.) and James Cephas (age 3), had died with diphtheria. These children were buried at Daniel's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Lincolnton.

Like true pioneers, Sam and Caroline struggled with their grief while trying to move on with their lives. Through their church they arranged for the custody of Ceilia Sellars age 13, who had been in an orphanage in Goldsboro since the death of her parents, when she was just a baby (probably due to the diptheria epidemic). She was never legally adopted.

Ceilia was given a room and as was their way, Sam and Caroline pretty much left her alone, unless she was needed. Unfamiliar with their ways, she shed many a tear before the other children were born and she could share her love. Sam and Caroline had six more children: Samuel Gaston, Martha Caroline, Jacob Alexander, Robert Harris, Kate and Winslow Davidson. Ceilia became a much beloved member of this family.

Caroline was an accomplished seamstress, well known locally for her beautiful fingerwork. Tragically all these, and many other family heirlooms stored at daughter Kate's house, would be destroyed in a fire. Caroline, was born in January 13, 1848, in Lincoln County and died of cancer April 8, 1912.

Sam was bothered with ulcers for years and in all probability those ulcers were ruptured when a calf kicked him on November 5, 1905 -- He bled to death. Both Sam and Caroline were buried at Hollybrook Cemetery in Lincolnton.

Source: Peggy Silvers, Echoes In The Mist (The Burgin Family 1677 - 1989)
            A PRESS Printing Company 1989