Mary Elizabeth Burks

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Mary Elizabeth Burks (Davis)

Also Known As: "Pollard;Burks;"
Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Jamestown Island, Albemarle , Virginia Colony
Death: Died in Albemarle, Virginia, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Nathaniel Davis and Mary Elizabeth Davis
Wife of Samuel King Burks
Mother of Frances Smith; Charles Burks; Elizabeth Cabell; Mary Smith; Richard Burks and 4 others
Sister of Nathaniel Robert Davis; Robert Davis and Keziah Elizabeth Davis

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Elizabeth Burks

Mary Davis, daughter of Nathaniel Davis and Elizabeth Hughes, was born c.1682 in Albemarle County, Virginia and died after February 12, 1756 in Albemarle County. She married Samuel Burks I c.1703 in Albemarle County, Virginia. She was the mother of seven.


Samuel Burk (b. 1680) m. Mary Davis (b. 1685), daughter of Nathaniel Davis.

(It is at this point that Indian blood enters the Burks family), as Nathaniel's wife was Elizabeth Hughes, daughter of a member of a colonial family and a Trader named Hughes and his Indian wife, Niketti, whose mother was Cleopatra, sister to Pocahontas. Or so it has been recorded in several genealogies. The Indian name Niketti translates as "She who sweeps the dew from the flowers."

Documentation for the the Burks/Davis genealogy of Nicketti is given by Frank Wellington's daughter, Mary Wheat Burks Dean (819 Peaksview, Bedford, VA 24523, April 15, 1980). She is the researcher of this Burks genealogy, which was begun by her mother. It is supplemented by information from Faye S. Poss, 471 Mimosa Drive NW., Tucker, GA 30084. Faye Poss is researching the Burks who migrated to GA.

There is positive and indisputable proof that Pocahontas had a sister named Cleopatra. This proof was located in the old library of the Maryland Historical Society, an item of three lines covering eleven years. During the period covered by the fragment, matters became so

bad between the Whites and the Indians that Opechancanough , Chief of the Powhatans, was induced to agree upon a line being established which neither White nor Indian, excepting truce bearers, should cross under penalty of being shot on sight. To insure strict obedience to the

compact, a law was passed at Jamestown imposing a heavy penalty on any people crossing the line without a special permit from the Commissioners Council and the General Court. This accounts for the item alluded to, which is given verbatim. It reads:

"Dec. 17th, 1641 -- Thomas Rolfe petitions the governor to let him see Opechankeno to whom he is allied, and Cleopatra, his mother's sister."

The record of the General Court was evidently intended to be a verbatim

copy though they differ in phraseology and spelling:

"Dec. 17th, 1641 -- Thomas Rolph petitions Gov. to let him go see Opechanko, to whom he is allied, and Cleopatre, his mother's sister."

Thomas Rolfe was the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, and Cleopatra was unquestionably not his aunts Indian name. It is, however, the only name that has been passed to us historically, and we must accept it. One wonders if her name was not "Matachanna", the aunt-nurse associated with his mother in Thomas Rolfes earliest memories.

Mary Davis was the daughter of Nathaniel Davis and Elizabeth Hughes. She was born c.1682 in Albemarle County, Virginia and died after February 12, 1756 in Albemarle County. She married Samuel Burks I c.1703 in Albemarle County, Virginia. She is still alive on February 12, 1756, when she appeared in court for the probate settlement of Samuel’s estate. She was certainly dead by 1770 when the land she lived on was finally sold and the proceeds distributed according to Samuel’s will.

Family lore claims that she was descended from Powhatan through his daughter who adopted the name Cleopatra. Family lore also claims that she is an ancestor of Jefferson Davis.

Children of Samuel Burks I and Mary Davis

  • Frances Burks
  • Elizabeth Burks
  • Mary Burks
  • Samuel Burks
  • Richard Burks
  • Charles Burks
  • John Peartree Burks

See also:

view all 12

Mary Elizabeth Burks's Timeline

May 16, 1685
Albemarle , Virginia Colony
Age 17
Albemarle County, Province of Virginia
Age 17
Albemarle, VA, USA
Age 19
Henrico, Virginia
Age 20
Albemarle, Virginia
Age 26
Albemarle County, Province of Virginia
Age 27
Albemarle, VA, USA
Age 27
Albemarle County, Virginia
October 6, 1755
Age 70
Albemarle, Virginia, USA