Aaron Burdoo

Living in Reading, Windsor County, with five other free persons in 1791 census.

Living in Reading, Windsor County, in 1800 census with three other free persons; name spelled as Burdue.  In 1810 there are three other free persons, surname spelled Beddon; in 1820 there is one free colored male, age 26-45 years; in 1830 there are three free colored males under 10, one free colored male 36-55, and one free colored female 36-55, name spelled Bardow.

I believe he may be the Aaron Burdoo who is baptized 16 April 1780 in Lexington, MA, parents not recorded.  He was married 28 Feb. 1788 in Groton, MA; he of Reading; MA, to Phebe Lew of Groton.  Phebe was born 28 Dec. 1745, in Groton, MA, daughter of Primus and Margaret Lew.  Ten years prior to her marriage to Aaron Burdoo, Phebe had a son, William Barr.  William Barr is listed in the 1810 Reading census with one white female 26-45 and six other free persons.  Twenty Families of Color in Massachusetts, 1742-1998, by Franklin A. Dorman (1998).  Early Church Records of Groton, Massachusetts, 1761-1830 (1896) has his marriage recorded 1788, Feby 28th, Aaron Burdoo of Reading, Vermont, to Phebe Lew of Groton [Colored persons].  Entered in ye town Clerk’s book to this place.  It is odd that this marriage is also recorded in Reading, MA, saying it occurred in Groton, MA.

The History of Jaffrey, NH, Vol. 2, Genealogies, compiled by Albert Annett and Alice E.E. Lehtinen and published by the town of Jaffrey, NH in 1939, has an excellent write-up on the Burdoo family.  Here is some of what they say:

Philip1 Burdoo, of African descent, m. in Medford, MA, 17 Oct. 1704, Ann Solomon.  No record of his having been a slave has been found.  He d. 30 June 1750.  They had the following children baptized in Lexington:  Philip, bp. 10 April 1709; Eunice, bp. 10 Apr. 1709, died 28 Nov. 1720; Moses, bp. 9 Apr. 1710; Aaron, bp. 27 July 1712; Phineas, bp. 31 July 1715, d. 16 May 1766; Lois, born 12 March 1720/21; she was baptized and admitted to full communion 5 Sept. 1742 to the church in Bedford, MA.

Philip2 Burdoo married Mary and had Philip, Mary, Silas, another child who died young.  Silas3 is the one who came to Reading, VT.

Moses2 Burdoo m. Phebe Bannister of Concord, MA; she died 8 Oct. 1756, and he died in Jaffrey 27 April 1784.  They had children Eli, Aaron, Moses.  This Aaron was the one who married Phebe Lew and came to Reading, VT.  Therefore, the Aaron and Silas who came to Reading, VT were cousins.

The "History of the Town of Lexington, MA.," by Charles Hudson 1868 shows the following for the Philip Burdoo family:  updated 2/28/10


Page 80:


1. Philip Burdoo died 17 Apr. 1752. He resided on the Bedford Road nearly opposite the old Simonds tavern.


  He married ANN ___, died 30 June 1757, admitted to the church 26 Dec. 1708. (Philip Bizdue married at Medford, 17 Oct. 1704, Ann Solomon.)


Children, baptisms recorded at Lexington:

2. i. Philip2, bapt. 10 Apr. 1709.

    ii. Eunice, bapt. 10 Apr. 1709; d. 28 Nov. 1720.

3. iii Moses, bapt. 9 Apr. 1710.

    iv. Aaron, bapt. 27 July 1712.

    v. Phineas, bapt. 31 July 1715; d. 16 May 1766.

    vi. Lois, b. 12 Mar. 1720-21.


2. Philip2 Burdoo (Philip1), baptized 10 April 1709; married MARY ___ who died 19 June 1785.


Children, first two born at Lexington:

    i. Philip3 b. 2 Mar. 1738.

    ii. Mary, b. 14 Mar. 1740-11.

    iii. Silas, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Silas's name appears on the

Grand List of Reading, Vt., 1784.

     iv. Child, d. IS Oct. 1755.


8. Moses2 Burdoo* (Philip1), baptized 9 Apr. 1710, died at Lexington about 1760.

He married 13 Feb. 1754 Phebe Banister of Concord, died 8 Oct. 1756.


Child, baptized at Lexington:

i. Eli, bapt. 20 July 1755; served in Capt. Parker's company, 1775.


Aaron Burdoo was baptized and received 16 Apr. 1780, and dismissed to Reading, Vt., 12 Jan. 1794. His name appears on the Reading Grand List in 1784.

He married at Groton, 28 Feb. 1788, Phebe Lew of Groton, died at Reading, Vt., 7 Apr. ? 1811. They had several children, and the family was much respected. 


* The will of Moses Burdue, dated 1 Aug. 1759 "encamped on the Island of Orleans in Canary." probated 18 Feb. 1760 has this item: "I give my Body into the hands of Lieutenant Abi]ah Smith to be decently Buried if it Shall please Almighty God to take me out of the World while I Remain under his Command." Middlesex Co. Reg. Probate, Vol. 26, p. S13.


Page 496:

The Burdoo Family

            As God has made of one blood all nations of men, tere is no reason why we should not notice a very respetable colored family, which resided many yars in town, and discharged all the duties of citizens.


1.  Philip Burdoo resided on the Bedford road, nearly opposite the Old Simonds Tavern House.  His wife was ad. to the ch. Dec. 26, 1708.  The record of the family, though probably incomplete, is as follows.


Children of Philip Burdoo and wife


     1-2 + Philip, bap. Apr. 10, 1709; m. Mary ___, about 1738.

     3  Eunice, bap. Apr. 10, 1709; d. Feb. 28, 1720

     4  +Moses, bap. Apr. 9, 1710; m. Feb. 13, 1754, Phebe Banister. Con.

     5   Aaron, bap. July 27, 1712

     6  Phinehas, bap. July 31, 1715


1-2  Philip Burdoo, m.. Mary ____




     2-7  Philip, bap. Oct. 21, 1739

     8  Mary, bap. Feb. 18, 1732

     9  Silas, ? and a child which d. Oct. 13, 1755


1-4  Moses Burdoo, m. Phebe Banister of Con. and had Eli, bap. July 20, 1755, and probably other children.  Tradition say that some of this family moved to Vt. where they were highly respected, and some of them promoted to public office.



Reading, Vermont lists Aaron as a freeman 29 Dec. 1794 to 1800.  He owned several parcels of land in Reading.

Windsor District Probate Court has an intestate record for him, presented to the court 2 March 1831.  Quite an extensive inventory; contains books, History of New England, Carver’s Travels, one small bible and one large bible.  Inventory total valued at $194.93.  There is an application by widow, Rebecca Burdoo; she was given property to the value of $140.82.  According to Dorman’s book, Phebe (Lew) Burdoo, “consort of Aaron, in her 74th year, died in Reading 7 April 1818.  Aaron married, second, in Reading on 25 Oct. 1821, Rebeckah Dexter.”

The Dorman book lists an unknown child and says it’s according to the 1790 VT census; he then lists a daughter Phebe Burdoo, born in Reading, VT, 13 Jan. 1791; m. there 24 Oct. 1819, Sylvester Wheeler.  Since VT’s first census was taken in 1791, the year we joined the Union, I believe that the child shown in the 1790 census is the daughter Phebe.

I am not sure if this would be Aaron’s widow, Rebecca, but the History of the First Congregational Church of Windsor, Vermont, 1768-1898, printed by the Journal Co. in 1898, shows Rebecca Burdoo joining that church 8 March 1843, by letter from Reading; she died 17 Jan. 1846.

The following shows vital records related to Aaron Burdoo in Reading, VT:

Married Aaron Burdoo of Reading, VT to W. Rebeckah Dexter, 25 Oct. 1821, by W.C. Hawkins, recorded Reading.

Born Aaron Burdoo, 18 Aug. 1822, mother Rebeckah, father Aaron Burdoo, recorded Reading.

Born Silas Burdoo, 28 March 1826, mother Rebeckah, father Aaron Burdoo, recorded Reading.

Born Phillip Burdoo, 18 Dec. 1828, mother Rebeckah, father Aaron Burdoo, recorded Reading.

Died Phebe Burdoo, age 74, 7 April 1818, husband Aaron Burdoo.

The Silas Burdoo who was son of Aaron, born in 1826, is mentioned in The Valley of the Kedron, The Story of the South Parish, Woodstock, Vermont, by Mary Grace Canfield (1940).  Page 245, in a section called “Items of Interest,” speaks of the cemeteries in South Woodstock.  In the Ralph yard are buried . . . “Silas Burdoo, a colored man, who served in the War between the States and lived in the Ralph Walker family, rests here.”

This Silas lived in Woodstock for many years.  Several years ago the new owners of the Walker residence were preparing to do some remodeling, and in digging near the house discovered a slave
collar.  It is not known to whom this slave collar might have belonged.