Edwin Burnett, a native of Michigan, is working to save the history of Grundy County. Moving to Grundy County when he was six-weeks old, Burnett attended school locally and graduated from Tennessee Tech before moving to Ohio. In 1995, he returned to Tennessee, settling in Rutherford County.
“I developed an interest in genealogy in 1985 because of the work of my parents in researching our family,” revealed Burnett. “Since retiring in 2008, I have spent most of my free time with genealogy and the history of Tennessee and Grundy County. I volunteer at the Linebaugh Library in Murfreesboro and have assisted dozens of people with their search for their ancestors. I have assisted the Grundy County Historical Society on a limited basis with genealogy research for people making a request.”
Burnett says genealogy and the search for one’s ancestors has become very popular and the Internet is filled with information – some accurate and some unverified family lore. The unverified, and often inaccurate, information far exceeds the accurate information.
“I began a personal crusade to document accurately the history of my ancestors with sources that are still available such as census records, court records, letters, family bibles, and other sources. It is my belief that an accurate history is essential for future generations. To date, I estimate that I have completed more than 20 family histories for friends and relatives. When appropriate, I have donated copies to the libraries in the counties where the families lived.
“My brother, Carlton Burnett, and I recently prepared an essay on the life of Henry White who was a resident of Pelham, between 1894 and 1984. After the death of his last child, other members of the White family asked us to review the massive amount of papers the White family had accumulated. It quickly became apparent that the papers contained a clear description of life in the early part of the 20th century. The life styles, customs, joy and sorrow that naturally comes with living were described in great detail.
“Carlton and I are in process of getting permission from White’s descendants to publish and share the information with local libraries.”